Don Brandt
United States
Manchester
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I played my first game of Viticulture:Essentials today with 4 other players. I really liked the game by the way. I had read on the forums before playing that the visitor cards were a good way to get victory points if your wine making wasn't aligning right. I did manage to fill a few orders. I ended up playing two visitor cards (with the bonus action), one that stated that everyone could either pay me 2 dollars or I would get two victory points. That card alone netted me 6 points (3 people didn't have enough money) and two dollars, the other card managed to get me another 2 points. That was one heck of a haul, 8 points (20 sets the game end in motion) in one action! Most of the other cards didn't net near that kind of score.

I am a little concerned in the point range of these cards and it kinda seems like there may be a bit too much luck of the draw with those cards that can swing the game quite a lot. Does anyone else feel that the cards may have too much difference in how much they can net/benefit a player?

Don
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jamey Stegmaier
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Swindler actually reads, "Each opponent may give you $2. For each opponent who does not, gain 1 VP." (it's not a 2 VP gain)

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
László Horváth
Hungary
Veszprém
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The cards are definitely swingy. Some of them are very situational, others provide a general benefit, so there are "easy to use, higher value" cards, while others seem to be "not useful and provide minor effect" in many situations.

This just emphasizes how important it is to draw many. If You already know this, you can play the next game with more awareness and mitigation.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M.C.Crispy
United Kingdom
Basingstoke
Hampshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Absolutely! If you ignore the Visitor cards, you are going to have a very hard time of it. Simply put, the Summer and Winter actions can give an opportunity to do TWO actions with your worker, actions that you can't do anywhere on the board, or board action variants for when somebody else has taken them on the board.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Harrison
United States
Greenville
SC
flag msg tools
Visitor cards are somewhat swingy although most of them are fine; they normally give the equivalent of ~2 VPs or 3VPs if you meet their condition. Also, keep in mind that you actually have to have visitor cards to use them, so comparing them to normal actions which don't use a resource isn't exactly fair.

The swindler card is definitely OP though if you're playing a 6-player game; there's no special condition you have to meet and you're guaranteed a large number of coins/points. I'd personally just take him out, but that's just me.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Don Brandt
United States
Manchester
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow, I messed up on that Swindler card. I must have gotten only 3 points from that and then got a little more from the other card which I don't have any idea what it is now. The cards are "swingy", not that it's a bad thing. Getting the cottage invested in quickly would seem to be a very viable strategy. Getting two of those cards per round over just one can really make points, though not guaranteed.....making luck a little more, again not a bad thing just something to know.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Gresik
United States
Bolingbrook
IL
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This question has had me waffling on this game for quite some time. I have played Viticulture (w/Tuscany) 3 times now. I have an awesome friend who own's the collector's edition (with both + metal coins).

I really love the game - but that question.."Do the visitor cards swing the game too much from strategy to random luck?" has been a concern.

I don't mind randomness in my games - just so long as it can't completely strip away the results of good strategy. This holds especially true in games that take more than an hour. It's the "issue" I have with Eclipse essentially. That is, that the randomness of certain aspects of the game can make hour(s) of good strategic play pointless - as the game is not decided by play, but on the randomness of a few actions (or in the case of Viticulture, a few cards).

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
László Horváth
Hungary
Veszprém
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I completely have similar feelings, also on Eclipse, Your point is spot on.

However, whenever i lose, and try to think about it, I always find missing parts in my strategy, where I could have mitigated the luck more. So I still keep on trying, with both of these games.

Nikoms wrote:
This question has had me waffling on this game for quite some time. I have played Viticulture (w/Tuscany) 3 times now. I have an awesome friend who own's the collector's edition (with both + metal coins).

I really love the game - but that question.."Do the visitor cards swing the game too much from strategy to random luck?" has been a concern.

I don't mind randomness in my games - just so long as it can't completely strip away the results of good strategy. This holds especially true in games that take more than an hour. It's the "issue" I have with Eclipse essentially. That is, that the randomness of certain aspects of the game can make hour(s) of good strategic play pointless - as the game is not decided by play, but on the randomness of a few actions (or in the case of Viticulture, a few cards).

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M.C.Crispy
United Kingdom
Basingstoke
Hampshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My experience is that the better players of Viticulture know the importance of the cards in general and the value of individual cards in particular. They play the game with that knowledge and so regularly beat other players who do not take it into account and just assume that they can win by good worker placements. They won't. There are many games that appear to the novice to be "luck driven" but which, with more experience, turn out to be far less dependent on the luck element that it originally appeared.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mccrispy wrote:
My experience is that the better players of Viticulture know the importance of the cards in general and the value of individual cards in particular. They play the game with that knowledge and so regularly beat other players who do not take it into account and just assume that they can win by good worker placements. They won't. There are many games that appear to the novice to be "luck driven" but which, with more experience, turn out to be far less dependent on the luck element that it originally appeared.


Totally agreed! I have played a ton of viticulture and the reason that new players feel the cards are swingy is because they treat them as some kind of "bonus" possibility instead of the heart of the gameplay that they are. In order to score well you need to treat the card play as if it is as important as your worker placement, if not more so. If you play a game "hoping" to draw the right card, you will lose. The key is to see what cards you do draw and work towards using them effectively.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Danny Mack
United States
Santa Fe Springs
California
flag msg tools
designer
Lefty / Happily Married / Parent of 2 Girls / Christian / Yucata User
badge
Smack dat Ghoulie, Mr. Trolla!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
reverendunclebastard wrote:
The key is to see what cards you do draw and work towards using them effectively.

This sounds like a description of Agricola, but Agricola this is NOT. In a dice game, if I roll more dice, I have a better chance of rolling more 6s, but that doesn't mean I ever will. Anyone who has played Catan knows that sometimes you just can't roll a number, even if the entire game depends upon it...and then by the time you do, it has no value/impact in the game.
I think you're kidding yourself if--on a scale of "Catan to Agricola"--you think VEE is closer to Agricola, with regard to card play.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bandit_boy7 wrote:
reverendunclebastard wrote:
The key is to see what cards you do draw and work towards using them effectively.

This sounds like a description of Agricola, but Agricola this is NOT. In a dice game, if I roll more dice, I have a better chance of rolling more 6s, but that doesn't mean I ever will. Anyone who has played Catan knows that sometimes you just can't roll a number, even if the entire game depends upon it...and then by the time you do, it has no value/impact in the game.
I think you're kidding yourself if--on a scale of "Catan to Agricola"--you think VEE is closer to Agricola, with regard to card play.


With all due respect, I am not talking about drawing a ton of cards and hoping for the right one, which is what your dice analogy suggests. I am suggesting exactly the opposite, look at the cards you have and create the requirements to make them effective. Your Catan analogy doesn't relate to what I am talking about at all.

There is no "kidding myself" at all, card play is key in this game, it is nothing like Catan, and is indeed much closer to Agricola. I have played a ton of this game at many different player counts and generally the winner of the game, in my experience, uses their card draw to the best effect.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Danny Mack
United States
Santa Fe Springs
California
flag msg tools
designer
Lefty / Happily Married / Parent of 2 Girls / Christian / Yucata User
badge
Smack dat Ghoulie, Mr. Trolla!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
reverendunclebastard wrote:
I am not talking about drawing a ton of cards and hoping for the right one, which is what your dice analogy suggests. I am suggesting exactly the opposite, look at the cards you have and create the requirements to make them effective.

So you are, in fact, suggesting building your entire strategy around maximizing the effects of the cards you draw at random? This does indeed sound more similar to Agricola. Unfortunately, very few of the cards I drew last night would have lent themselves to such an approach. I can't very well build my large cellar 3 times.

reverendunclebastard wrote:
Your Catan analogy doesn't relate to what I am talking about at all...card play is key in this game, it is nothing like Catan, and is indeed much closer to Agricola.

I just meant that VEE seems to have about the same amount of luck involved, as Catan (which is obviously NOT a WP game, and which instead uses dice rolling & commodities trading to drive player interaction.) Also, waiting for the right card to pop into my hand felt very much like waiting for somebody to roll a 10 so I could make a ton of goods off those 10 hexes I'm parked on.

reverendunclebastard wrote:
I have played a ton of this game at many different player counts and generally the winner of the game, in my experience, uses their card draw to the best effect.

I didn't mean to invalidate your perspective in any way. But my experience really happened and doesn't feel like a one-off. Anyway, I am encouraged by your viewpoint, and I defer (for now) to your superior experience with the game. I will definitely be seeking out more plays of this game in the near future (if only to test out the discard values variant I mentioned). (It was fun, after all.) I will be sure to take your advice and try to chase my cards; hopefully I will feel a bit more in control as a result.
Cheers!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Byron S
United States
Ventura
California
flag msg tools
I don't remember what I ate last night
badge
but I can spout off obscure rules to all sorts of game like nobody's business!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bandit_boy7 wrote:
reverendunclebastard wrote:
Your Catan analogy doesn't relate to what I am talking about at all...card play is key in this game, it is nothing like Catan, and is indeed much closer to Agricola.

I just meant that VEE seems to have about the same amount of luck involved, as Catan (which is obviously NOT a WP game, and which instead uses dice rolling & commodities trading to drive player interaction.)

In Catan, everything hinges on that die roll. If numbers roll that don't help you, there's absolutely nothing you can do to progress your game.

In Viticulture (and Tuscany even more so), drawing some cards that aren't useful doesn't set back your whole game. There are plenty of other things you can do to get things moving. You do have to adapt your strategy to the cards you draw, and occasionally you get clunkers, but most of the time, you can make use of them.

bandit_boy7 wrote:
Also, waiting for the right card to pop into my hand felt very much like waiting for somebody to roll a 10 so I could make a ton of goods off those 10 hexes I'm parked on.

If you're waiting for a very specific card, you're doing it wrong. Figure out ways to make what you've got work for you.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reverend Uncle Bastard
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
runtsta wrote:

If you're waiting for a very specific card, you're doing it wrong. Figure out ways to make what you've got work for you.


This is exactly what I was trying to say! Never, ever wait for the right card, there isn't enough time in the game and you will always lose using that strategy. Instead use the cards you do have to best effect.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Gerig
United States
Upland
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
reverendunclebastard wrote:
runtsta wrote:

If you're waiting for a very specific card, you're doing it wrong. Figure out ways to make what you've got work for you.


This is exactly what I was trying to say! Never, ever wait for the right card, there isn't enough time in the game and you will always lose using that strategy. Instead use the cards you do have to best effect.

This is actually one of the things I like so much about this game -- I can constantly tweak my strategy based on the cards I'm getting, or entirely build a strategy based on the structures I draw.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.