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Subject: Where was the assassin? rss

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Andrew Rae
New Zealand
Wellington
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At one point in this game we asked ourselves, where is the assasin. This game has absolutely everything else, surely there is an assasin aswell. But even without the assasin I found this a very satisfying experience.

Die Macher has a fantastic reputation. It sits in the top ten on the geek and has rated as high as 7 in the last 12 months. Neither is DM wihtout it's supporters. An average rating of 8.12, and even it's doubters, it's critics and those that don't enjoy the game still rate the mechanics and gaem play as second to none (or more truely second to some). So what did I make of the game that I had waited over six months to play? Quite a lot as it happens.

By all accounts the production is much improved on the previous version and the board is a solid piece of work. It benrfits from a great layout and the quadrant idea works well. There is a lot to fit on the board and it is easy to see and there is plenty of space in general. It could have been slightly bigger to give more space for card piles, but there are always tradeoffs and this is fine. The money is nice and the bright colours are easy to play with yet the board lacks something. Flavour, theme or perhaps even creativity, I'm sure, but it is a tad boring and I don't believe I have said so much about it. In my opinion it is a little like how I see a BMW, classic and expensive but very safe, very boring and generally a little dull. But heck maybe this is just very thematic of German politics I don't know.

The rules should be mentioned because this is a game that can really use teaching. The flow of the game is not obvious at first and two turns at leasta re required before it makes sense. You must not, MUST NOT, pass judgement till you have finished because the flow and interactions between the different spheres of the board a re very important and not obvious. Yet whent he rules and the mechanics are understood I would say this game is elegant, petite and not nearly as daunting as first thought. In some places the rules are ambiguous. We found several that were still difficult even after multiple turns. One rule we played wrong but kept it that way for consistency. Please don't give up, just live witht he mistakes and employ the services of a tutor for the first game if you can. The strategy and mechanics snap into place as you play, and you feel like a genius when it does. When it is still a jugsaw you feel totally out of it. Some rounds you score very little and earn just as little for the next round. Don't dispair, a campaign contribution is just around the corner. You can defeinitely recover.

I mentioned the game was very satisfying, in part because it is fiddly and complex but clicks into place. There is a great continuity with investment here. You must invest for the future, you simply cannot play election to election. Trying for everythign will leave you crying in the end game talley up so you must journey with care.

The experience of Die Macher is one that not everyone will enjoy first time round. The downtime can be large, and the learn as you play player will learn the hardway. Yet everyone appreciates the genius of this game tand the player that prefer mastering of mechanics to triumph of wit and diplomacy will be loving it. The frustration factor is definitely there for the first time player, but push through and pull it out six months later. I am pretty sure that you will revel in it second time round even if it didn't tickle your facny first time round.

It really could've doen with an assasin, put that wouldn't have been very PC i guess. And as for the green party promoting nuclear power ... not in NZ, but heck in the world of Die Macher, anythign goes!


 
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Corey Porter
United States
Fort Wayne
Indiana
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Perhaps an element of citadels could be introduced where participants chose different jobs. The game will then last yet one more hour in length. Someone could be the assasin, another the media tycoon, the brother of the sheriff, someone with a great deal of money in the pocket of the special interest groups, etc...
 
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