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Subject: Odd Caylus situation. rss

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Patrick
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I just bought this game yesterday, I got it home and when I opened the rulebook I had absolutely no desire to read the rules and learn how to play the game. Has this ever happened to anyone before?

I spent 50 bucks on the game, so I suppose I should learn how to play it. Is it really that good? I personally have been disappointed by Puerto Rico and Power Grid. Is this Top 5 game along the same lines as those two?

All opinions are welcome.
 
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Dan Poole
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I have certainly put off reading game rules, especially with more complex wargames. The rules for Caylus are really not bad at all, and to make things easier, there are some nice player aids that can be downloaded here. The game is played in phases, so as a practice game, each phase can be understood one step at a time.

I personally enjoy caylus a lot, but there are obviously those here who do not. In my opinion, game play is neither like Puerto Rico nor Power Grid. Definitely crack it open and give a fair chance!!
 
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Edward
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I found myself in the exact same situation with this game.

I bought the game on the basis of its reputation and stellar reviews, but when I opened it and started studying the poorly-written manual, I almost lost the will to learn how to play it.

But I persevered and was finally able to wrap my head around it well enough to start a game. And after that first game, I was in love.

When I was first trying to grasp the rules, I developed some annoyance at what seemed to be a lot of gratuitously complicated rules (and exceptions to rules!). But when I finally got through the first game, it all clicked and made sense. Everything is there for a reason, and the result is a delicately balanced game that has many different paths to victory.

Despite all my talk about complicated rules, it turns out that the game as a whole is much less complicated, and quite a bit more elegant, than it seems. It has some similarities to Puerto Rico, but it has more player interaction and a richer theme. It has an impressive amount of depth to it, and it is totally worth the effort to learn how to play it.

Perhaps one of these days I'll rewrite the manual, or maybe even do a video tutorial.
 
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Enon Sci
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Can't say that I have had the same problem, but I value my money and don't spend it frivolously (i.e. I have to be extremely excited about a title to purchase it, and this excitement negates any desire to not play a game even in spite of poorly written rules).

I also rather enjoy Power Grid and Puerto Rico, however, so perhaps we just see things differently.

In an attempt to understand your psychology, what is it about Power Grid or Puerto Rico that you wouldn't want Caylus to be "in the same lines" like?

Personally, I think Puerto Rico and Power Grid are very different games. I'd be hard pressed to find common bonds between them, aside from the fact they're both roughly economic / efficiency development games.

If you meant "is caylus a game where you win by maximizing your efficiency at the title and streamlining your development better than the others" then yes, Caylus is in the same ball park. However, this would include Runebound as well.
 
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Dan Poole
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Wow, I am suprised to hear that the rules are perceived to be poorly written and complicated. In my opinion, the rules are very well written in that there are absolutely no ambiguties in the wording. Though Caylus is far from being considered a complex game (in my opinion), there are a lot of things to do in the game, which in turn makes this a great game indeed.
 
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Walt
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Spire wrote:
...poorly-written manual...
...gratuitously complicated rules (and exceptions to rules!). ...
I have to disagree. It sounds like you're describing Puerto Rico, which has no overview of the economics of the game, privileges which all operate differently, a mix of optional and required actions etc. (A lot of people play PR incorrectly, in my experience; and the list of common PR errors here on BGG is about 2/3rds my personal list.) Caylus's manual is perhaps overly long, over-explaining some points, but it is very clear.

Still, the easiest thing is to go to a local gaming group and get someone to teach you the game. Caylus is very simple: after a couple rounds, you'll understand the rules perfectly. Especially PR is easy with an experienced player around to remember all the exceptions.
 
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Nathan Morse
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dragon of blood wrote:
I just bought this game yesterday, I got it home and when I opened the rulebook I had absolutely no desire to read the rules and learn how to play the game. Has this ever happened to anyone before?

I spent 50 bucks on the game, so I suppose I should learn how to play it. Is it really that good? I personally have been disappointed by Puerto Rico and Power Grid. Is this Top 5 game along the same lines as those two?

All opinions are welcome.

Looking at your ratings, I think you are likely to rate Caylus no higher than 7 once you play it. It seems like you delight in more thickly themed games, so perhaps you should trade it for something like Lord of the Rings, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Shadows over Camelot, or perhaps even Hunting Party if you want to pick up some CCG-style card interaction.

A suggestion: Visit your favorite games' pages, and scroll down to the "You Might Also Enjoy..." section. It's not perfect, but it will give you some hints. Return of the Heroes' "YMAE" section might be a good place for you to start.
 
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james napoli
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well, it's very EURO, and quite mechanical and get be repetitive as well. These factors are likely not what you are looking for in a game unfortunately.

For those out there that like games with multiple paths to victory, like games where you plan out a string of moves that involve buying x to receive y that you later trade in for z which equates to 3VPs than by all means. Most caylus lovers have either gotten burnt out on it, or moved to the somewhat similar, lighter and more luck driven Pillars Of the Earth which tends to play in about half the time but results in similar tensions.

-
James
 
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Daniel Corban
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I feel Caylus has one of the best written rulebooks I have ever seen. I am amazed that anyone would say it is poorly written. This is one of the rare games where the rulebook is clear, concise, organized, contains perfect examples, and has zero gameplay questions not answered within its pages.

If you want to see poorly written rules, glance at Return of the Heroes or Power Grid.
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Dave Why
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This is a great game - definitely one of my top 5 games - but I don't think the rules are written that well. I'm usually pretty good at reading and interpreting game rules, but I still got a few wrong. After reading some lists here at BGG and playing it on BSW, I discovered a number of rules that were not clearly written. I won't rehash them here since this has already been covered in other lists.

 
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Patrick
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Thanks for all the responses guys. I tried again to learn the game tonight and I had the same feelings of indifference.shake

Anarchosyn wrote:

In an attempt to understand your psychology, what is it about Power Grid or Puerto Rico that you wouldn't want Caylus to be "in the same lines" like?

Well, I find the pasted on theme of Power Grid to be slightly annoying, and I hate the victory condition, which makes no sense, and the lack of player interaction is boring.

As for Puerto Rico, I have the same problem with the lack of player interaction that I do with most Euro games. This is why I happen to love Carcassonne and Antike, because as far as Euros go they have a ton of player interaction that is both fun and strategic.

darlok wrote:
well, it's very EURO, and quite mechanical and get be repetitive as well. These factors are likely not what you are looking for in a game unfortunately.

For those out there that like games with multiple paths to victory, like games where you plan out a string of moves that involve buying x to receive y that you later trade in for z which equates to 3VPs than by all means. Most caylus lovers have either gotten burnt out on it, or moved to the somewhat similar, lighter and more luck driven Pillars Of the Earth which tends to play in about half the time but results in similar tensions.
-
James

Ack, not what I really wanted to hear.


 
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Daniel Corban
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dragon of blood wrote:
Well, I find the pasted on theme of Power Grid to be slightly annoying, and I hate the victory condition, which makes no sense, and the lack of player interaction is boring.

As for Puerto Rico, I have the same problem with the lack of player interaction that I do with most Euro games. This is why I happen to love Carcassonne and Antike, because as far as Euros go they have a ton of player interaction that is both fun and strategic.
For what's its worth, I initially had the exact same feelings about Power Grid. After a few more plays, the gameplay opened up for me and now it is one of my favorite games (although a little on the long side timewise). The theme isn't any more pasted on than Carcassonne or Antike. The victory condition is much more interesting than something like "add up the value of your cities plus your money, most money wins". There is quite a bit of player interaction, and I don't just mean the auctions. The resource market and city connections are usually very tight in 4+ player games.

Both Power Grid and Puerto Rico have plenty of player interaction. It just isn't direct negative interaction. It isn't "haha, I am stealing your farmland" or "bam, there goes your temple" interaction. It is "haha, I forced you to ship your coffee preventing you from trading it" and "bam, I bought your last cheap city connection forcing you to pay out the ass for your 6th city" interaction.

I actually find it odd that you mention Antike has having a lot of player interaction, since one of the primary complaints about it is the lack of interaction. Personally, I love the game as well, but I do see the critics' point.
 
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Merric Blackman
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Hmm. I wouldn't write off Caylus just yet. There's a lot more interaction than PR and Power Grid - I'd say there's more than Carcassone, myself - and because you create the board (town) as you play, there's a lot of variety depending on which tactic someone wants to try.

I love the game, but I love a lot of games, so that might not be much help.

Cheers,
Merric
 
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Patrick
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dcorban wrote:

There is quite a bit of player interaction, and I don't just mean the auctions. The resource market and city connections are usually very tight in 4+ player games.

Unfortunately I've only been able to play Power Grid with 2 players, so perhaps that is part of the problem.

dcorban wrote:

Both Power Grid and Puerto Rico have plenty of player interaction. It just isn't direct negative interaction. It isn't "haha, I am stealing your farmland" or "bam, there goes your temple" interaction. It is "haha, I forced you to ship your coffee preventing you from trading it" and "bam, I bought your last cheap city connection forcing you to pay out the ass for your 6th city" interaction.

True enough, but I am a big fan of direct negative interaction. I like the feeling of eliminating players and crushing them in a game.

dcorban wrote:

I actually find it odd that you mention Antike has having a lot of player interaction, since one of the primary complaints about it is the lack of interaction. Personally, I love the game as well, but I do see the critics' point.

Perhaps it's just the nature of my friends and the way we play Antike. We prefer a balls-to-the-wall military conquest style of play, which increases the interaction more than a just a group of players that sit back and build Gold Engines to steal all the Scholars, or a player that focuses on say marble to make a ridiculous amount of temples.

I think I am going to let Caylus sit until the weekend when I might have some time to sit down, relax, go through the rules and learn the game.

So far I know that the game has a rotating turn order, and that the Provost can prevent a building from activating, lol.
 
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Nathan Morse
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dragon of blood wrote:
So far I know that the game has a rotating turn order, and that the Provost can prevent a building from activating, lol.

Heh heh. By keeping a few deniers in your pocket to bribe the provost, you can continually provide negative interaction with your opponents.
 
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