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Subject: Lewis & Clark: a great race or a drag? rss

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Duncan Russell
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Hi fellow boardgamers.

Happy holidays!

Have you played Lewis & Clark and would you recommend it?

I've read and watched reviews of Lewis & Clark and really like the look of it. But two things are nagging at me about the gameplay.

Does the game drag and not feel like a race? And if you fall behind, is that the end of the game for you? ie no chance of catching up.

Thanks for your thoughts.
 
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Chris Mcpherson
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Great race! Does not drag, IMO. I don't think you fall behind so much as you have a long term strategy vs. short bursts. Beautiful game and great multi use card play. I would just pull the trigger if I was you.
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Duncan Russell
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Thanks for your thoughts, Chris. I love games with multi use cards and for that reason I'm also interested in La Granja.

Maybe I should start a thread on the best games with multi use cards!
 
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Michael F
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In my experience, it's very difficult to catch up if you start to lag behind. Some people say a legitimate strategy is hanging back and surging forward once you have the cards, but that isn't exactly in the spirit of the game. I guess it does feel like a race, but not a very exciting one. If you're a big Euro gamer, chances are you'll probably like it. Otherwise I would caution you against it.

I personally didn't care for Lewis and Clark at all, much as I tried to. Steampunk Rally has a similar feel, but I think it's a better game.
 
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Sean
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It's a great race and I enjoy it a lot but it's much more of a brain burner than I thought it was going to be.
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Duncan Russell
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newkillerstar27 wrote:
In my experience, it's very difficult to catch up if you start to lag behind. Some people say a legitimate strategy is hanging back and surging forward once you have the cards, but that isn't exactly in the spirit of the game. I guess it does feel like a race, but not a very exciting one. If you're a big Euro gamer, chances are you'll probably like it. Otherwise I would caution you against it.

I personally didn't care for Lewis and Clark at all, much as I tried to. Steampunk Rally has a similar feel, but I think it's a better game.


Hi Michael
Yes, this is my problem. Some people clearly love the game, while others dislike it for specific reasons. Obviously, I should play it before I decide to buy, but I'm not a member of a gaming group (I play with my family) so I can't do that. I do prefer Euro games and a bit of brain burning is good. I'm not looking for a fast-paced race game.
 
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Michael F
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Barmybee wrote:
newkillerstar27 wrote:
In my experience, it's very difficult to catch up if you start to lag behind. Some people say a legitimate strategy is hanging back and surging forward once you have the cards, but that isn't exactly in the spirit of the game. I guess it does feel like a race, but not a very exciting one. If you're a big Euro gamer, chances are you'll probably like it. Otherwise I would caution you against it.

I personally didn't care for Lewis and Clark at all, much as I tried to. Steampunk Rally has a similar feel, but I think it's a better game.


Hi Michael
Yes, this is my problem. Some people clearly love the game, while others dislike it for specific reasons. Obviously, I should play it before I decide to buy, but I'm not a member of a gaming group (I play with my family) so I can't do that.


Yeah, I understand. Well, based on the games in your collection, it would be on the upper end of complexity, but if you're okay with that, then give it a shot. Just realize it has some issues. Most notably the fact that it can run long with 3 or more players.
 
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Daily Grind
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newkillerstar27 wrote:
In my experience, it's very difficult to catch up if you start to lag behind. Some people say a legitimate strategy is hanging back and surging forward once you have the cards, but that isn't exactly in the spirit of the game. I guess it does feel like a race, but not a very exciting one. If you're a big Euro gamer, chances are you'll probably like it. Otherwise I would caution you against it.

I personally didn't care for Lewis and Clark at all, much as I tried to. Steampunk Rally has a similar feel, but I think it's a better game.

For whatever its worth, I think Steampunk Rally is a great fast and fun game, but I don't think it plays anything at all like Lewis & Clark. You're right that L&C doesn't feel like a 'race' though. It's like an expedition should be, careful and measured where Steampunk Rally is a manic dash.

I like thinky Euros so prefer L&C, but I enjoy both. To the OP: don't expect a face frantic race game, but its a great 'euro-style' race with some crunch & tough decisions to it.
 
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Duncan Russell
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cafin8d wrote:
newkillerstar27 wrote:
In my experience, it's very difficult to catch up if you start to lag behind. Some people say a legitimate strategy is hanging back and surging forward once you have the cards, but that isn't exactly in the spirit of the game. I guess it does feel like a race, but not a very exciting one. If you're a big Euro gamer, chances are you'll probably like it. Otherwise I would caution you against it.

I personally didn't care for Lewis and Clark at all, much as I tried to. Steampunk Rally has a similar feel, but I think it's a better game.

For whatever its worth, I think Steampunk Rally is a great fast and fun game, but I don't think it plays anything at all like Lewis & Clark. You're right that L&C doesn't feel like a 'race' though. It's like an expedition should be, careful and measured where Steampunk Rally is a manic dash.

I like thinky Euros so prefer L&C, but I enjoy both. To the OP: don't expect a face frantic race game, but its a great 'euro-style' race with some crunch & tough decisions to it.

No, I'm not looking for a frantic super-charged race, and I like Euros. But I do want to have the feeling that it's a race rather than just adding up points at the end of the game, like a typical Euro.
 
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Matt Brown
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Having to deal with the different terrain types breaks up what could be a straight up VP fest.
 
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Michael F
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Barmybee wrote:
cafin8d wrote:
newkillerstar27 wrote:
In my experience, it's very difficult to catch up if you start to lag behind. Some people say a legitimate strategy is hanging back and surging forward once you have the cards, but that isn't exactly in the spirit of the game. I guess it does feel like a race, but not a very exciting one. If you're a big Euro gamer, chances are you'll probably like it. Otherwise I would caution you against it.

I personally didn't care for Lewis and Clark at all, much as I tried to. Steampunk Rally has a similar feel, but I think it's a better game.

For whatever its worth, I think Steampunk Rally is a great fast and fun game, but I don't think it plays anything at all like Lewis & Clark. You're right that L&C doesn't feel like a 'race' though. It's like an expedition should be, careful and measured where Steampunk Rally is a manic dash.

I like thinky Euros so prefer L&C, but I enjoy both. To the OP: don't expect a face frantic race game, but its a great 'euro-style' race with some crunch & tough decisions to it.

No, I'm not looking for a frantic super-charged race, and I like Euros. But I do want to have the feeling that it's a race rather than just adding up points at the end of the game, like a typical Euro.


Some people have compared L&C's "race track" to a scoring track, and I think that's a fair assessment. It most certainly is a race, but it's a very methodical race. At the same time, it comes down to who can finish first, so there's no counting up points at the end. My biggest gripe with the game, ultimately, was that if someone got cards to let them move over the mountain spaces and the other players didn't, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion on who would win.

I compared L&C to Steampunk Rally because both have what is essentially a score track that represents a race track. The major difference being that you need certain resources to proceed in L&C, and in SR you have to be able to absorb the damage as you move along. I would argue that SR has a lot to think about, though it isn't as complex as L&C is. That being said, if you're looking for a game to play with the family, OP, I would strongly recommend SR over L&C.

Honestly though, neither is that expensive of a game (last time I checked). If you want to give L&C a try, the price to do so isn't that bad at all, especially considering what you get.
 
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Joe H
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I love this game. It was one Of the first "heavier" games I played. I played it as a 5 player game with only one person who'd played it before. (Not necessarily recommended). But I loved it and immediately went out and bought it.

It's not a fast race but every decision you make is meaningful and there is tons of tension. I don't necessarily feel that there is a runaway leader issue. Everyone's engine excels at different types of travel. It's not a fast race but the pacing feels appropriate to the theme. I love the difference in travel speeds between the river and mountains. It reminds me of old Native American/Voyageur maps where the scale was time, not distance.
 
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Duncan Russell
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newkillerstar27 wrote:
Barmybee wrote:
cafin8d wrote:
newkillerstar27 wrote:
In my experience, it's very difficult to catch up if you start to lag behind. Some people say a legitimate strategy is hanging back and surging forward once you have the cards, but that isn't exactly in the spirit of the game. I guess it does feel like a race, but not a very exciting one. If you're a big Euro gamer, chances are you'll probably like it. Otherwise I would caution you against it.

I personally didn't care for Lewis and Clark at all, much as I tried to. Steampunk Rally has a similar feel, but I think it's a better game.

For whatever its worth, I think Steampunk Rally is a great fast and fun game, but I don't think it plays anything at all like Lewis & Clark. You're right that L&C doesn't feel like a 'race' though. It's like an expedition should be, careful and measured where Steampunk Rally is a manic dash.

I like thinky Euros so prefer L&C, but I enjoy both. To the OP: don't expect a face frantic race game, but its a great 'euro-style' race with some crunch & tough decisions to it.

No, I'm not looking for a frantic super-charged race, and I like Euros. But I do want to have the feeling that it's a race rather than just adding up points at the end of the game, like a typical Euro.


Some people have compared L&C's "race track" to a scoring track, and I think that's a fair assessment. It most certainly is a race, but it's a very methodical race. At the same time, it comes down to who can finish first, so there's no counting up points at the end. My biggest gripe with the game, ultimately, was that if someone got cards to let them move over the mountain spaces and the other players didn't, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion on who would win.

I compared L&C to Steampunk Rally because both have what is essentially a score track that represents a race track. The major difference being that you need certain resources to proceed in L&C, and in SR you have to be able to absorb the damage as you move along. I would argue that SR has a lot to think about, though it isn't as complex as L&C is. That being said, if you're looking for a game to play with the family, OP, I would strongly recommend SR over L&C.

Honestly though, neither is that expensive of a game (last time I checked). If you want to give L&C a try, the price to do so isn't that bad at all, especially considering what you get.


Thanks for your further thoughts. I don't like the idea that luck of the draw can give you a win. I'm not a fan of dice rolling for that reason. But in Australia L&C is a reasonable $60, so I may give it a go. My kids are happy with thinky games and I want to keep pushing them with decision making in games!
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Rick Argiro
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Lewis and Clark is one of my favorite games. It combines Worker Placement with slight deck building. I can understand the criticism in regards to the different terrain on the race track. When explaining how to play the game, make sure everyone understands that when they get to different terrain on the track, they should already have some option on how to traverse it. A few people I've played with took a second play through to really get this part of the game.

Things I love about the game:
-Worker Placement
-Vehicle Building (Determines how many resources you can bank)
-Deck Building (Some cards can be overpowered, but are costed appropriately)
-Engines / Combos (certain cards work especially well together)
 
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Duncan Russell
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jhaimowitz wrote:
I love this game. It was one Of the first "heavier" games I played. I played it as a 5 player game with only one person who'd played it before. (Not necessarily recommended). But I loved it and immediately went out and bought it.

It's not a fast race but every decision you make is meaningful and there is tons of tension. I don't necessarily feel that there is a runaway leader issue. Everyone's engine excels at different types of travel. It's not a fast race but the pacing feels appropriate to the theme. I love the difference in travel speeds between the river and mountains. It reminds me of old Native American/Voyageur maps where the scale was time, not distance.

Hi Joe
Thanks for your insights. Very interesting.
 
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Nathan Larsen
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I've owned Lewis and Clark Twice and I've traded it away Twice. This thread is making my want to acquire it again. I'm a big fan of the game and always regret when it leaves my collection.
 
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Duncan Russell
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dekedagger wrote:
I've owned Lewis and Clark Twice and I've traded it away Twice. This thread is making my want to acquire it again. I'm a big fan of the game and always regret when it leaves my collection.

Hi Nathan
If you really like the game why do you keep getting rid of it?
 
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Matt Brown
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Barmybee wrote:
Thanks for your further thoughts. I don't like the idea that luck of the draw can give you a win.


The most recent revealed card also costs the most to acquire.
 
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Nathan Larsen
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Barmybee wrote:
dekedagger wrote:
I've owned Lewis and Clark Twice and I've traded it away Twice. This thread is making my want to acquire it again. I'm a big fan of the game and always regret when it leaves my collection.

Hi Nathan
If you really like the game why do you keep getting rid of it?


I like trading games and this one gets a lot of lukewarm reviews from others. Sometimes it doesnt make sense to keep a game.
 
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Duncan Russell
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So you like the game but the people you play with don't like it?

This game does seem to have strong supporters and those who don't care for it.
 
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I think it is magnificent - really a brilliant game. There is a small rules correction (it's official, check the forums) that puts a slight limit on the "hang back and get great cards" strategy. Check it out.
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HenningK
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I do like the game and wish I could bring it out more often. The racing part is refreshing from all the "collect the most VPs" Euros, but I wouldn't call it a racing game. It's a combination of deckbuilding, worker placement and resource management where you are trying to juggle everything so you have the right cards and the right resources at the right time.

About catching up: People may either get behind because they made bad decisions and have cards and/or resources that don't work well together, or they may deliberately build up their engine in order to make huge leaps later. In the first case, they are screwed and out of the running. In the second case, it's a matter of whether their engine kicks in too late or right on time.
It IS very possible to screw yourself out of the running, but to me, that's the same as in other Euros as well. The difference is that you will lag behind on the race track in Lewis and Clark while you will lag behind on the scoring track in other Euros (or won't fill much of the scoring sheet at the end of the game).
 
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