$30.00
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
31 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Pax Renaissance» Forums » General

Subject: Simple question: how hard is this game to learn? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
John Van Wagoner
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
i've been following the game, and am close to pulling the trigger...but my one issue is who will i be playing it with?

my gaming group is primarily mid-level gamers; and more interested in "the playing" as opposed to "the learning (curve)"...

could someone compare this to another game(s), to give me a better idea of what i might be getting myself into? thanks...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Totonchy
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've really been enjoying Pax Ren. If you've played Pax Porfiriana or Pax Pamir there are similarities between those games but each is unique. I'd say Pax Renessaince is actually the hardest to learn of the three. I've played Pax Porf and Pax Pam countless times and I still found Pax Ren difficult to understand after reading the rules once. I read them 2.5 times and played a practice solitaire game so that I could teach my group. That being said once you understand the game it isn't really more complicated than the other Pax games, the rule book is just less accessible if you don't already know how to play Pax Ren.

I will say that the way the rules are written adds to the confusion. If you've played Pax Porfiriana the rule book is similar except at least half the important rules are contained in the glossary and specific rules are referenced in the main part of the rules by capitalizing words you have to look up. You'll be going back and forth constantly looking over the rules for things like Regime Change, Ruling Class, Repress etc. It is nice for reference but terrible when actually trying to understand the game from just reading the rules.

If your group enjoys the other Pax games then they'll likely enjoy Pax Ren. I'd like to write a piece comparing the three but want to get another game or two under my belt. Cole recently wrote a very good review you can find on the forums.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Denison
United States
Ames
Iowa
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
John_VW wrote:
i've been following the game, and am close to pulling the trigger...but my one issue is who will i be playing it with?

my gaming group is primarily mid-level gamers; and more interested in "the playing" as opposed to "the learning (curve)"...

could someone compare this to another game(s), to give me a better idea of what i might be getting myself into? thanks...


I would say any Sierra Madre game has a steep learning curve. They are simulation games. They are meant to be opaque and strategy only reveals itself after several plays. They are also fairly unique and it is hard to compare them to other types of games. Phil Eklund is good with coming up with really innovative mechanics. I have found that you go one of two ways with Sierra Madre games. You go my way of love them or you go the other way of hate them.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Kidder
United States
Martensdale
Iowa
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Having played the other 'pax' games this one was not that bad to learn. However it has taken me a while to become familiar with the many different military options. There are about five different military conflicts and each involves a different set of attackers and defenders. That has probably taken me the longest to get a handle on and I still find myself consulting the rules cheat sheet for just about every one of them. I have played the game five or six times.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Sinn
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmb
I'll say the Victory Conditions in PaxRen feel easier to understand/grok than PaxPam. The military/regime change rules are a bit more complex.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Morten K
Denmark
flag msg tools
mb
Looking at your collection, this is nothing like any of them. As has been mentioned Phil's games are rather idiosyncratic and to some that is a good thing. To others it is horrible. Very much a marmite designer.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Van Wagoner
United States
Bluffton
South Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Tigrillo wrote:
Looking at your collection, this is nothing like any of them. As has been mentioned Phil's games are rather idiosyncratic and to some that is a good thing. To others it is horrible. Very much a marmite designer.

- sorry, but i never update my collection (easily been 5+ years since i've made a change; just never have the time and/or forget)
- we've never played any Pax games, so i'm thinking i'll pass on this one

thanks!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Morten K
Denmark
flag msg tools
mb
John_VW wrote:
Tigrillo wrote:
Looking at your collection, this is nothing like any of them. As has been mentioned Phil's games are rather idiosyncratic and to some that is a good thing. To others it is horrible. Very much a marmite designer.

- sorry, but i never update my collection (easily been 5+ years since i've made a change; just never have the time and/or forget)
- we've never played any Pax games, so i'm thinking i'll pass on this one

thanks!


You have to start somewhere. Personally, I think they are worth it but I'd start with Pax Porfiriana. It has the benefit of living rules that have been perfected over the years and a couple of really good tutorial videos.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cole Wehrle
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
mbmbmbmbmb
If your group is interested in the period and doesn't mind the stranger or the more opaque games then its a good purchase. The game takes a bit of effort to learn but the rules are not difficult. Any group that could learn Dominant Species or Twilight Imperium or Arkham Horror can learn Pax Renaissance.

7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Gilbertson
United States
Duluth
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Cole Wehrle wrote:
If your group is interested in the period and doesn't mind the stranger or the more opaque games then its a good purchase. The game takes a bit of effort to learn but the rules are not difficult. Any group that could learn Dominant Species or Twilight Imperium or Arkham Horror can learn Pax Renaissance.


... my three 'Pax' games have given me the greatest return on the "learning curve/satisfaction mastering and FUN playing ratio" for any games I've ever played. A mighty 'Thanks' to Phil and Cole for the genius they've created for us to enjoy!
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cole Wehrle
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
mbmbmbmbmb
Grim Norsefury wrote:
Cole Wehrle wrote:
If your group is interested in the period and doesn't mind the stranger or the more opaque games then its a good purchase. The game takes a bit of effort to learn but the rules are not difficult. Any group that could learn Dominant Species or Twilight Imperium or Arkham Horror can learn Pax Renaissance.


... my three 'Pax' games have given me the greatest return on the "learning curve/satisfaction mastering and FUN playing ratio" for any games I've ever played. A mighty 'Thanks' to Phil and Cole for the genius they've created for us to enjoy!


...and Matt and Jim!
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colm McCarthy
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've found this the hardest going of the three Pax games so far, but I'm hanging in there for the theme (and the game looks beautiful on the table - nicely done, guys!). A how-to-play video or teaching script would be a life saver on this one.

I found Pax Pamir the easiest to learn and teach. Even though it's probably more complicated than Pax Porfiriana, I think the graphic design makes it a much easier play. Pax Ren has adopted that graphic design, but then Phil's gone and added all those extra layers of Eklundness for us to wrap our heads around

But yes, I think all of Phil Eklund's games are "hard to learn". Like the Splotter folks, and Alban Viard, he's a very idiosyncratic designer whose games take a bit of a different headspace to grasp. It's almost always worth the trip though.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Morten K
Denmark
flag msg tools
mb
colmmccarthy wrote:
But yes, I think all of Phil Eklund's games are "hard to learn". Like the Splotter folks, and Alban Viard, he's a very idiosyncratic designer whose games take a bit of a different headspace to grasp. It's almost always worth the trip though.


Add Martin Wallace and you'd have mentioned all my favourite designers.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt B
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played a test game. I've tried all three in the Pax series. Pax Pamir had the best staying power easiest to learn over a course of three solo games.

Pax Renaissance is probably also going to take three practice games before it clicks, that's just true of the Eklund style of games.

But if you can push through those three learning (can be solo) games, the reward is WAY worth it. Great titles.

In comparison to other games, any brain burner game. I'd say any harder strategy (Fief, Clockwork Wars, Warrior Knights, RuneWars, Twilight, Eclipse, even Scythe) type game is in the same learning vein. It just is going to take one person who's experienced and everyone else at least 1 learning game.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Oberly
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Haven't played yet, but I have it set up while I am learning it. It seems the hardest of the Pax series to me, just because there is a lot of stuff going on. Porfiriana seems intimidating, but it's really not that bad....the hardest thing to grasp is the Topples and how they work.

But I would agree with Cole, it doesn't seem any harder than a lot of heavier Euro games. I'd hate to have to explain it multiple times, though...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Gilbertson
United States
Duluth
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Cole Wehrle wrote:
Grim Norsefury wrote:
Cole Wehrle wrote:
If your group is interested in the period and doesn't mind the stranger or the more opaque games then its a good purchase. The game takes a bit of effort to learn but the rules are not difficult. Any group that could learn Dominant Species or Twilight Imperium or Arkham Horror can learn Pax Renaissance.


... my three 'Pax' games have given me the greatest return on the "learning curve/satisfaction mastering and FUN playing ratio" for any games I've ever played. A mighty 'Thanks' to Phil and Cole for the genius they've created for us to enjoy!


...and Matt and Jim!

... a 'Mighty Thanks' to Matt and Jim for their good work too! Playing games for me took a brilliant leap forward the day I dumb-lucked into trying that enigmatic thing of beauty, "Pax Porfiriana". The subsequent Pax incarnations have their own unique twists that only improved the series, adding even more fuel for keeping my brain happy and on fire for playing them. If there's more to be done with this series I'll be playing the heck out of those games someday too!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Anderson
United States
Elk Grove Village
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Another poor choice impulse buy. I might be able to learn it if I could read the rulebook. I don't like using magnifying glasses and my bifocals aren't quite up to snuff.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samuel Hinz
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Read them on your phone or computer, or print it out. Much bigger that way
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
They're all three of them clearly cousins, but with some big differences.

Topples - the winning condition - are probably hardest to understand in Pax Porf, but easiest to pull off. PaxPam has slightly easier to understand Topples, but they're slightly harder to achieve - unless you have one of the other players pulling in the same direction, in which case they get a LOT easier (in which case, shame on him for being your puppet). The victory conditions are really easy to understand in PaxRen (and once urned "on" during a game remain on - unlike PaxPam/Porf where you have just four chances per game to win); but the four victory conditions are all very different to one another.

PaxPam was the easiest game to understand overall, helped by the clean graphical design - and the most game-like. PaxPorf has this big economy thing going on, but at the same time has the weakest organisation of the graphical design. Patron I have yet to get a handle on - less bonkers than PaxPorf, less game-like than PaxPam.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Watson
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I'd actually dissent from the majority opinion here and say it's one of the easiest Pax games so far, at least in terms of explanation and understanding. The major difference I think is simply pacing - Porfiriana and Pamir for example tend to be relatively stable turn to turn, the major changes generally only occur when a topple card comes into play. Ren on the other hand can see the board drastically change each turn, so it's not so much understanding the strategy that's the problem as it is keeping up with what can be a blistering pace at times.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rex Stites
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Archonsod wrote:
I'd actually dissent from the majority opinion here and say it's one of the easiest Pax games so far, at least in terms of explanation and understanding. The major difference I think is simply pacing - Porfiriana and Pamir for example tend to be relatively stable turn to turn, the major changes generally only occur when a topple card comes into play. Ren on the other hand can see the board drastically change each turn, so it's not so much understanding the strategy that's the problem as it is keeping up with what can be a blistering pace at times.


The board may be much more in flux than Pamir (obviously Porfiriana has no board), but I'd say that the tableaus are much more stable in Ren than Porf. Your enterprises in Porf are much more open to manipulation by the other players.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pas L
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
No good will come of this, mark my words!
badge
mbmb
I played this for the first time this weekend.

I've never played any other Pax games. I found the game quite dense on the table before play, but once we started running through with play examples it all began to make sense.

We managed to play a few games and though some details I wasn't 100% clear on at the end the basic system and most of the actions were understood. I feel that with a personal read through the rules now I'd have a solid understanding.

Having said that, it was well explained to me, and I also tend to learn games quite quickly (I won both games, the first with a bit of luck but the second with pretty clear deliberation).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marcus Kielly
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not mad on heavy games either. Well, I really like some heavy games but I don't often want to play them - what with being a parent and time poor. When my friend dropped this on the table I rolled my eyes and thought "here go three hours of my life". I was wrong.

The rules are pretty dense, but as with many games, explaining the game is much harder than playing it. I think part of the problem stems from the fact that the game mechanics are so different from what you may be accustomed to. The best way I can describe it is this:

There are three sides in this game, and you're on none of them.

You don't win by traditional direct manipulation of one set of pieces, rather you win by creating circumstances that promote the empires you need to secure a victory condition. For example, rather than waging war directly on a 'neighbour', you might instead create two opposing armies in a region through trade, then stir up a religious war so you can cause regime change and seize that empire.


The rules are dense, the gameplay oblique, but it plays fast - played 5 games now, each lasts about an hour - and every minute of it was interesting.

Seriously, it's a work of pure genius.
8 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jose Cunha
Norway
Lysaker
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
sunwukung wrote:


There are three sides in this game, and you're on none of them.


If i had to describe a game with that sentence, it would be The King Is Dead. And yeah, i recently realised that we could probably strip down PaxRen to a few cards and play a distant cousin of The King Is Dead (not trying to bash on the game it is great as it is).

I think in PaxRen game that sentence is true for one of the victory conditions. For other victory conditions there are 10 factions to begin with and you are none of them

Not trying to make the game sound more complex than it is. I do agree that it probably sounds much more complex explained than actually is played.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cole Wehrle
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation"
mbmbmbmbmb
grayfoxpt wrote:
sunwukung wrote:


There are three sides in this game, and you're on none of them.


If i had to describe a game with that sentence, it would be The King Is Dead. And yeah, i recently realised that we could probably strip down PaxRen to a few cards and play a distant cousin of The King Is Dead (not trying to bash on the game it is great as it is).


True in more ways than one. That game's predecessor, König von Siam, was very much on my mind as I worked on Pax Pamir and there's a fair share of Pamir in Renaissance.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.