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Subject: Early impressions comparisons to Uwe's previous games rss

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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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This early impression article will be a light comparison of Uwe’s other resource conversion games to A Feast of Odin. I’ve played five times. Once with two, once with three, and three times with four. I obviously have not plumed the strategic depths of this game, but I wanted to put some impressions out there. Also these are clearly my opinions from my personal experience with the previous games, your experience and opinions may be different.

Agricola
The game uses Occupation cards like Agricola but so far, playing with the A & B decks (there’s also a C deck we haven’t used), the cards don’t seem as powerful as some of Agricola’s cards. The light brown occupation cards are meant to give direction, but the strength of the on board strategies seem more important that the occupation cards. There are several Agricola occupation cards which really do drive strategy in that game. Not seeing it so far in Feasts.
The actions aren’t as focused on converting as they are in getting stuff in the first place. You go whaling, or hunting or pillaging or raiding to get stuff and all of these are die roll dependent, unheard of in Agricola. The die roll mechanic isn’t really a ‘random’ mechanic more like a ‘possibly slow you down’ mechanic as every failure means a higher chance of success next time. You can also of course ignore all the die roll stuff and use your Vikings to simply get stuff but the other choices get better stuff for the same number of Vikings.

LeHavre
What I’m hoping against hope is that A Feast for Odin doesn’t turn into basically two viable strategies and only one player count that’s fair (three). I haven’t played LeHavre in many years because of the stratification we found in the strategies so no more about it here.

Ora et Labora
Not getting an Ora vibe at all. Ora has boards that you add to your main board, and Feast does not. Ora also has specific scoring times. Feast scores only at the end of the game. Ora has more direct interaction as well since you can make people play stuff for you on their board. There’s no similar interaction for Feasts. As an aside I’m sorry he’s left this mechanic behind, we enjoy it greatly in Ora.

Caverna
While the openness of Feast will remind some of Caverna, the player boards are totally different and there are no buildings but goods instead. And there’s a lot more pressure to complete your personal board than there is in Caverna because there are lot more negative points in Feast. There’s no adventuring to speak of either. The number of actions available in Feast are probably greater than the number of actions available in Caverna but their desirability is also higher as well. Outside of the adventuring spots, we didn’t compete much for the other spots. In Feasts early returns say the spots that use ships (whaling, raiding, and pillaging) are going to be fought over and also the spots that give the exploration boards.

Fields of Arle
This is probably most like Feasts in the actions available. However, unlike Fields, it’s not nearly as sand box like. We are seeing definite trends toward specific strategies in Feasts, something we have not seen in Arle particularly. Arle plays like a sandbox where there’s not really a ‘bad’ choice…. I don’t think that’s how Feasts will play out. I think there are better strategies and worse ones. The bad ones have been the ones I’ve tried of course.

There is still certainly something here for previous players who enjoyed all but Agricola. I could be wrong, but so far I don’t see this having the brutality of Agricola so if that’s what you are looking for, keep looking

We love the game and will be playing several times this week and all weekend. It’s an awesome game, best new game I’ve played all year by far.

The game was purchased with personal funds.

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Annemarie Post
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I can only comment on the comparisons to Agricola, since that's the only one I have played.
I think you're right that the occupation cards are not as strong as in Agricola (though I've only played deck A so far), but I don't think that's a bad thing. I feel that in Feast, the occupation cards are more like a bonus, instead of a strategy-driving mechanism.
My boyfriend and me feel that Feast is much less 'thinky' than Agricola, meaning that in Agricola you have to plan your moves really well, while in Odin there are chances to fix mistakes. And even though it is not as brutal as Agricola in having to feed your meeples, you do have to pay attention to the feast. Some rounds it takes care of itself, but some rounds you will have to go get a fish to add to the feast.
It is indeed very different from Agricola, but I like that.

I'm curious to know why you think only the three player count is fair. So far we've only played it with two, but tonight we'll play with three :-)

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David Gezelius
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Great comprehensive comparasons. Two thumbs up.
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Timo Barz
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Thanks a lot for the comparison even though I haven't played all the games so far. We're gonna grab it before long and give it a shot. None of Rosenbergs games have proved neither boring nor bad. So I don't believe fans of Agricola or Caverna will be disappointed. Have fun with your matches and share further insights if gathered.

Cheerio!
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Charlotte Malone
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Great review....thanks for posting! I'm on the fence with this one. I love me some Uwe, and was jacked about this game until I saw the Dice Tower review and heard about the patchwork mechanic. This brought the room down super-fast. It just doesn't excite me. At all. But your review may have me excited again? I'd like to hear your thoughts on that specific aspect of the game (patchwork/income mechanic).
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Jimmy Okolica
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Jennifer, Wow! I don't know how you've got so many plays so quickly, but thanks! I had completely dismissed Feast but now I'm at least considering it again. One of the reason I dismissed it was the number of different goods types. It reminded me of OeL and it's really long supply chain. Can you comment on the number of goods types. Does it feel overdone? How do the number of different goods compare to OeL and FoA?

Nice to hear its less sandboxes than FoA. That was another reason I dismissed it. Good to hear there are reasons to fight over action spaces and that there are right and wrong strategies.

From your comments and Annemarie's, it sounds like Feast is more forgiving than 'Gric but maybe less than Caverna? Would you agree? That'd be a sweet spot for me if it's true.

@Annemarie, not to speak for Jennifer, but I'm pretty sure she was saying that Le Havre has only two strategies and only one good player count (3 player).

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creevedog wrote:
Great review....thanks for posting! I'm on the fence with this one. I love me some Uwe, and was jacked about this game until I saw the Dice Tower review and heard about the patchwork mechanic. This brought the room down super-fast. It just doesn't excite me. At all. But your review may have me excited again? I'd like to hear your thoughts on that specific aspect of the game (patchwork/income mechanic).

It is not as much Patchwork as it may look like.
Most of the tokens are rectangular or square, only 14 of the 15 special tiles have different shapes.
You don't have to use them, but you could; their shape may offer opportunities to cover lots of negative points on your home board or other boards with one tile, even leaving resource tiles untouched.
Mainly you will be using the regular tiles and it isn't that complicated.
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Thomas Leitner
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Mondkalb123 wrote:
creevedog wrote:
Great review....thanks for posting! I'm on the fence with this one. I love me some Uwe, and was jacked about this game until I saw the Dice Tower review and heard about the patchwork mechanic. This brought the room down super-fast. It just doesn't excite me. At all. But your review may have me excited again? I'd like to hear your thoughts on that specific aspect of the game (patchwork/income mechanic).

It is not as much Patchwork as it may look like.
Most of the tokens are rectangular or square, only 14 of the 15 special tiles have different shapes.
You don't have to use them, but you could; their shape may offer opportunities to cover lots of negative points on your home board or other boards with one tile, even leaving resource tiles untouched.
Mainly you will be using the regular tiles and it isn't that complicated.


I would respectfully disagree. The tile laying complications come not from the tiles, but from the boards themselves. None of them is symmetrical and you often have to make tough choices regarding the preservation or obliteration of the bonus spots.

Also, because of the board asymmetries, very careful planning about which tiles to go after is a requirement, especially toward the end of the game.
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Nice writeup. One question:

Quote:
Ora has boards that you add to your main board, and Feast does not.

I have not played Ora so I am not sure what you mean. Feast has island and house tiles you can buy and "add to" your main board in a sense, in that your placement and bonus options expand. What is the difference in Ora?

Also, my impressions after 2 games with 2 players were that occupations do tend to affect optimal strategies, and careful planning is necessary at times because of the layout and action complexity, but obviously your experience vastly trumps mine there. We are not at the 100-point-per-game level yet.
 
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Frank M.
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If you haven't played Ora et Labora, please do. IMO it is the best of all of these -- that good!
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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GAFBlizzard wrote:
Nice writeup. One question:

Quote:
Ora has boards that you add to your main board, and Feast does not.

I have not played Ora so I am not sure what you mean. Feast has island and house tiles you can buy and "add to" your main board in a sense, in that your placement and bonus options expand. What is the difference in Ora?

Also, my impressions after 2 games with 2 players were that occupations do tend to affect optimal strategies, and careful planning is necessary at times because of the layout and action complexity, but obviously your experience vastly trumps mine there. We are not at the 100-point-per-game level yet.


The exploration boards are separate entities. The Ora boards become part of your overall board. Completely different game play impact. Also the Ora boards become more expensive as more people take them, the exploration boards change over time but cost the same action.

Oh yeah the impact of the occupation cards is certainly something we'll look at over time. We probably will be playing this game three or four times a week but there are a ton of occupation cards to measure .
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Anny48 wrote:
I can only comment on the comparisons to Agricola, since that's the only one I have played.
I think you're right that the occupation cards are not as strong as in Agricola (though I've only played deck A so far), but I don't think that's a bad thing. I feel that in Feast, the occupation cards are more like a bonus, instead of a strategy-driving mechanism.
My boyfriend and me feel that Feast is much less 'thinky' than Agricola, meaning that in Agricola you have to plan your moves really well, while in Odin there are chances to fix mistakes. And even though it is not as brutal as Agricola in having to feed your meeples, you do have to pay attention to the feast. Some rounds it takes care of itself, but some rounds you will have to go get a fish to add to the feast.
It is indeed very different from Agricola, but I like that.

I'm curious to know why you think only the three player count is fair. So far we've only played it with two, but tonight we'll play with three :-)



So the issues with player count and strategy stratification for LeHavre only appear over many plays. You won't see them in your game tonight. If you only play the game a few times you probably won't see them at all. We played at least 20 times before we began to see what eventually led to me selling the game. More LeHavre talk probably belongs in its forum, noting I haven't played it in years.
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MDJD wrote:
Mondkalb123 wrote:
creevedog wrote:
Great review....thanks for posting! I'm on the fence with this one. I love me some Uwe, and was jacked about this game until I saw the Dice Tower review and heard about the patchwork mechanic. This brought the room down super-fast. It just doesn't excite me. At all. But your review may have me excited again? I'd like to hear your thoughts on that specific aspect of the game (patchwork/income mechanic).

It is not as much Patchwork as it may look like.
Most of the tokens are rectangular or square, only 14 of the 15 special tiles have different shapes.
You don't have to use them, but you could; their shape may offer opportunities to cover lots of negative points on your home board or other boards with one tile, even leaving resource tiles untouched.
Mainly you will be using the regular tiles and it isn't that complicated.


I would respectfully disagree. The tile laying complications come not from the tiles, but from the boards themselves. None of them is symmetrical and you often have to make tough choices regarding the preservation or obliteration of the bonus spots.

Also, because of the board asymmetries, very careful planning about which tiles to go after is a requirement, especially toward the end of the game.


Right, but still, most of these can easily be solved with the retangular tiles, considering that 1-square tiles (coins, metal) are also allowed.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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creevedog wrote:
Great review....thanks for posting! I'm on the fence with this one. I love me some Uwe, and was jacked about this game until I saw the Dice Tower review and heard about the patchwork mechanic. This brought the room down super-fast. It just doesn't excite me. At all. But your review may have me excited again? I'd like to hear your thoughts on that specific aspect of the game (patchwork/income mechanic).


I thought the Patchwork mechanic was much better implemented in this game than in Patchwork, a game I'm meh on. The boards are bigger and the choices are broader than in Patchwork. I was afraid of the Patchwork connection as well but there was nothing to fear but fear itself . Particularly the action board driving what you put on your player board is a far superior mechanic than going around in circles in Patchwork.

(As an aside, as I respond to people, note that these are my opinions and my experiences, others may very well have a totally different take. I will say that outside of Patchwork I've played all of his games at least 10 times and sometimes such as with Ora, more than 50 times).
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Butterfly0038 wrote:
Jennifer, Wow! I don't know how you've got so many plays so quickly, but thanks! I had completely dismissed Feast but now I'm at least considering it again. One of the reason I dismissed it was the number of different goods types. It reminded me of OeL and it's really long supply chain. Can you comment on the number of goods types. Does it feel overdone? How do the number of different goods compare to OeL and FoA?

Nice to hear its less sandboxes than FoA. That was another reason I dismissed it. Good to hear there are reasons to fight over action spaces and that there are right and wrong strategies.

From your comments and Annemarie's, it sounds like Feast is more forgiving than 'Gric but maybe less than Caverna? Would you agree? That'd be a sweet spot for me if it's true.

@Annemarie, not to speak for Jennifer, but I'm pretty sure she was saying that Le Havre has only two strategies and only one good player count (3 player).



Yeah I'd put it between Agricola and Caverna, probably more toward less forgiving than Gric because Caverna just loves you to death .

Ok so Feast's supply chain is only four for all goods. There's a bottom row of orange goods that can all be upgraded to red goods that can all be upgraded to green goods that can all be upgraded to blue goods. So it doesn't have that super long supply chain you see for a few goods in Ora.

So far it does not feel overdone. Again if it turns out there's only a couple of strategies and the rest is simply support then it could be, but so far so good.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Mondkalb123 wrote:
MDJD wrote:
Mondkalb123 wrote:
creevedog wrote:
Great review....thanks for posting! I'm on the fence with this one. I love me some Uwe, and was jacked about this game until I saw the Dice Tower review and heard about the patchwork mechanic. This brought the room down super-fast. It just doesn't excite me. At all. But your review may have me excited again? I'd like to hear your thoughts on that specific aspect of the game (patchwork/income mechanic).

It is not as much Patchwork as it may look like.
Most of the tokens are rectangular or square, only 14 of the 15 special tiles have different shapes.
You don't have to use them, but you could; their shape may offer opportunities to cover lots of negative points on your home board or other boards with one tile, even leaving resource tiles untouched.
Mainly you will be using the regular tiles and it isn't that complicated.


I would respectfully disagree. The tile laying complications come not from the tiles, but from the boards themselves. None of them is symmetrical and you often have to make tough choices regarding the preservation or obliteration of the bonus spots.

Also, because of the board asymmetries, very careful planning about which tiles to go after is a requirement, especially toward the end of the game.


Right, but still, most of these can easily be solved with the retangular tiles, considering that 1-square tiles (coins, metal) are also allowed.


What makes Uwe games so good is that you can actually see the opportunity cost of taking different actions and different strategies. The long rectangles are the best at the end of the game but they cover the least space. The short rectangular ones are fine but they are small so more actions will be needed to cover the same amount of space. Uwe is a master of this, which is what makes him an awesome designer .
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jschlickbernd wrote:
Again if it turns out there's only a couple of strategies and the rest is simply support then it could be, but so far so good.


I'm curious what you're thinking the main strategies might to be. I've mainly been playing solo so perhaps that ends up feeling more standboxy than multiplayer but from my plays so far there aren't any clear best paths. From a very high level perspective it seems like you want to generate tiles and fill in boards efficiently but there are so many options for both of those. I've been deriving my path from the occupations I get and there is a TON of variety there for sure.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Using or not using the ships are working out to be an early decision. Or maybe only using the whaling ship to get the cheap exploration board. Exploration boards or no exploration boards may also be a decision but so far we have yet to see an exploration board free strategy win. We'll keep at it though
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Fabrice Dubois
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jschlickbernd wrote:
Yeah I'd put it between Agricola and Caverna, probably more toward less forgiving than Gric because Caverna just loves you to death .

Ok so Feast's supply chain is only four for all goods. There's a bottom row of orange goods that can all be upgraded to red goods that can all be upgraded to green goods that can all be upgraded to blue goods. So it doesn't have that super long supply chain you see for a few goods in Ora.

So far it does not feel overdone. Again if it turns out there's only a couple of strategies and the rest is simply support then it could be, but so far so good.

Good to read this.

But there is cards in Feasts, something i am not very fond of in Uwe's games. It is the main reason that made me sell Gric and buy Fields.

Thoughts on cards ?
Thanks
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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As I was saying it's really too early to comment on the cards as more plays with experienced players will be needed to evaluate the balance. I'll update as that happens. Right now it's new for everyone so I don't have confidence in any conclusions.
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Fabrice Dubois
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jschlickbernd wrote:
...There’s no adventuring to speak of either...

I thought that adventuring was more present in Feast than Caverna and the expedition of Fields (i own Fields and love it but expedition to cities in Frisia are very abstracted). This was the main reason why i was considering Feast.
 
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fdubois wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
...There’s no adventuring to speak of either...

I thought that adventuring was more present in Feast than Caverna and the expedition of Fields (i own Fields and love it but expedition to cities in Frisia are very abstracted). This was the main reason why i was considering Feast.


Fighting and hunting are totally abstracted.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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fdubois wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
...There’s no adventuring to speak of either...

I thought that adventuring was more present in Feast than Caverna and the expedition of Fields (i own Fields and love it but expedition to cities in Frisia are very abstracted). This was the main reason why i was considering Feast.


I think I didn't make myself clear enough in that comparison. Caverna has a game action called Adventuring where you take your dwarf and go on a game defined 'adventure'. In Feast, I call whaling, hunting, trapping, adventures. Different things entirely in the games .
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I really like how this game creates more workers (automatically without need to take actions), is there any precedent in Uwe's games for how this works? I know this isn't how it works in Agricola or Le Havre.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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OnlyForDownloads wrote:
I really like how this game creates more workers (automatically without need to take actions), is there any precedent in Uwe's games for how this works? I know this isn't how it works in Agricola or Le Havre.


Nope, this is new (and welcome!) for an Uwe game.
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