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Subject: Briefly: why I WAS disappointed with Notre Dame after one play (I've since wisened up) rss

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Seth Jaffee
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I'm fairly disappointed in Notre Dame. I expected to like it very much, it sounded like just my kind of game. After my first play I was very frustrated with the action selection mechanism, as it's difficult to do anything that you really want to do on purpose. The draft mechanic ties you into your right hand opponent (and his right hand opponent) in such a way that if they want to do the same thing you want to do, then you're pretty much out of luck - you need to switch your strategy. Of course you can't know that's the case until you're 1/3 of the way through the game! Because you always pass left, the game encourages people to settle into a strategy that's not disrupted by the players to their right, and stick to it. There's little means by which to hinder any other player (defensive draft) because you only draft 3 cards at a time, and you can't really afford to tank your own play to keep someone else from having a good action.

I feel like this game would be better if the draft changed directions each round, or if you drafted more cards at a time, or if instead of drafting at all you played the cards like Kreta, one at a time from the whole supply... something.

Some other things I didn't like so much in this (5 player) game...
- Using the carriage: There are 4 messages of each type. Noone was really pursuing a carriage strategy perse, but the green tokens ran out before I got one and I got the impression that actually trying for a carriage strategy in a 5 player game might not be the best idea. Maybe in a 3 or 4 player game.

- Card Draft: Maybe in a 3 or 4 player game the card draft would be more interesting. I wouldn't mind playing it like Hearts in a 4 player game, pass to the left, then the right, then across...

- Weak spaces: I found the more versatile space where you get a $, a cube, or a Rat, and if you have 4 guys in there you get 2 to be pretty weak. I think I'd read that others have said the same. The reward for building up 4 guys in there is not really commensurate with th investment, compared to any other space. The Park on the other hand is a VP grinding machine! I misunderstood what it did during the rules explanation, or I would have invested in that space rather than the crappy one I put my guys in.

- Multiplayer Solitaire: Several people in my game made reference to the fact that the game is effectively solitaire - with the exception of the draft and maybe ninja-carriaging someone, there no interaction at all.

- Threat of Rats: The Plague mechanic is a good one, and players were appropriately afraid of going over 9 rats... or so I thought. The player who won got Plagued the most, the player in second got plagued the second most. Made me think perhaps worrying about Rats is not really that big a deal, and my efforts would be better spent earning VPs and taking the 2vp hit once in a while.

Off the top of my head, those are the complaints I remember most. I will play the game again, hopefully with fewer players... I think it will be better that way. I can't help but feel disappointed with the whole drafting thing though. I have a similar distaste for Wallenstein in that there's no way to know what order your actions will be coming up in.
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Werner Bär
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one play
sedjtroll wrote:
Because you always pass left, the game encourages people to settle into a strategy that's not disrupted by the players to their right, and stick to it.

I think it's best with just 2 or 3 players. There you get cards from each player, and give cards to each player. More players mainly prolong the game, and make seating order more important.

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There's little means by which to hinder any other player (defensive draft) because you only draft 3 cards at a time, and you can't really afford to tank your own play to keep someone else from having a good action.

Again, this is true for the 4-5 player game. In 2 player, hindering the other player is as important as improving your position.

Quote:
- Using the carriage: There are 4 messages of each type. Noone was really pursuing a carriage strategy perse, but the green tokens ran out before I got one

You do know that that isn't a problem for you? When you have all colors exept green, and there are no green messages left, you ignore this color and may pick up the other colors again.

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I got the impression that actually trying for a carriage strategy in a 5 player game might not be the best idea.

If only 1 player out of 3, or 2 players out of 5, go for the carriage, it is strong. Especially if combined with the park. If everyone uses it, it's less good.

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I found the more versatile space where you get a $, a cube, or a Rat, and if you have 4 guys in there you get 2 to be pretty weak.

I think if you get 2 items at 3 cubes, it would be very strong. At 2 items at 4 cubes, it is a bit weak. But these cards are usually more easy to collect as others, and they add flexibility.

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Several people in my game made reference to the fact that the game is effectively solitaire - with the exception of the draft and maybe ninja-carriaging someone, there no interaction at all.

Just like Puerto Rico. No, this game isn't near Puerto Rico. But it has the same kind of interaction - indirect, through role selection (here: by passing the cards).

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Made me think perhaps worrying about Rats is not really that big a deal, and my efforts would be better spent earning VPs and taking the 2vp hit once in a while.

You wrote the right words. Once in a while. If you ignore the rats completely, you will lose often; these lost cubes hurt more than the VP. If you try to avoid the rats at all costs, you spent too much resources and actions for that.
 
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Daniel Corban
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one play
sedjtroll wrote:
- Using the carriage: There are 4 messages of each type. Noone was really pursuing a carriage strategy perse, but the green tokens ran out before I got one and I got the impression that actually trying for a carriage strategy in a 5 player game might not be the best idea. Maybe in a 3 or 4 player game.

- Card Draft: Maybe in a 3 or 4 player game the card draft would be more interesting. I wouldn't mind playing it like Hearts in a 4 player game, pass to the left, then the right, then across...

- Weak spaces: I found the more versatile space where you get a $, a cube, or a Rat, and if you have 4 guys in there you get 2 to be pretty weak. I think I'd read that others have said the same. The reward for building up 4 guys in there is not really commensurate with th investment, compared to any other space. The Park on the other hand is a VP grinding machine! I misunderstood what it did during the rules explanation, or I would have invested in that space rather than the crappy one I put my guys in.

- Threat of Rats: The Plague mechanic is a good one, and players were appropriately afraid of going over 9 rats... or so I thought. The player who won got Plagued the most, the player in second got plagued the second most. Made me think perhaps worrying about Rats is not really that big a deal, and my efforts would be better spent earning VPs and taking the 2vp hit once in a while.


I have also only played this game once with five players. I had similar thoughts to you about the drafting. I tried to change my tactics based on what I thought the players would pass me with moderate success, but if the players in question are either new to the game, select randomly, or just plain suck, you will suffer greatly.

1. If a particular color of token is no longer available, you may ignore that color and continue collecting sets as normal.

2. I actually found it interesting that in a five-player game, the players passing me cards never saw any of the cards I was passing. This wouldn't be the case with three or four players.

3. I agree that the space in question appears extremely weak, to the point that I did not consider placing there from the very start.

4. I also felt that the plague penalty was rather weak. It seems like it was intended for players to take the hit.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
Werbaer wrote:
You do know that that isn't a problem for you? When you have all colors exept green, and there are no green messages left, you ignore this color and may pick up the other colors again.

Someone mentioned that they thought that was the rule, but I looked in the rulebook and did not see it. Admittedly, I didn't want to hold the game up too much so I may have overlooked it.

What a silly rule anyway. If it's intended to be a 5 player game with that restriction on carriages, why not make 5 tokens of each color?
 
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Daniel Corban
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one play
This leads me to believe that it wasn't designed for five players. I bet quite a few games have "five players" shoehorned in.

The rule about the market tokens is translated from the German rulebook. I have only skimmed the English rulebook. I think the rule makes sense, since the carriages completely shut down otherwise. It doesn't matter to me, since I never, ever, plan on wasting time with the carriage again.
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
dcorban wrote:
This leads me to believe that it wasn't designed for five players.

I'd love to hear from the designer about that. I suspect maybe this is a good game for 3 players. I'd like to try it that way.
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one play
The audacity of a review after one play! Well here's my thoughts on your thoughts after that same game.

sedjtroll wrote:
After my first play I was very frustrated with the action selection mechanism, as it's difficult to do anything that you really want to do on purpose. The draft mechanic ties you into your right hand opponent (and his right hand opponent) in such a way that if they want to do the same thing you want to do, then you're pretty much out of luck - you need to switch your strategy. Of course you can't know that's the case until you're 1/3 of the way through the game! Because you always pass left, the game encourages people to settle into a strategy that's not disrupted by the players to their right, and stick to it. There's little means by which to hinder any other player (defensive draft) because you only draft 3 cards at a time, and you can't really afford to tank your own play to keep someone else from having a good action.


Don't you think that there would be cascade effect around the table? If I change up what I'm doing based on what the player to my right is doing it could force tactical shifts all the way around the table. I think this would be an incredibley cool result of players trying to ride that "wave". Though I didn't see this at all in our game because of our inexperience with the game.

I also found that there was enough variety in the actions to get what I wanted. The "Best Friend"(?) action and the "Carriage" and the "Rats, Money or CUbe" action are various flavors of "wild card" that can help you kill Rats or get Money and Cubes. I always planned on getting one of these cards and chose my inital card based on that. I never specialized in any thing the entire game. At most I had my Best Friend and two cubes in the building that produces Money or in the Carriage building.

One downside that I thought of was the Notre Dame space. There is one card that allows you to put a cube there in everyone's deck and there is a huge potential for points (especially if you got some cash) and there is no "wild card" option for placing. It almost makes it seem like a no brainer to draft this card if you have the money to use it and only pass it if you have no money, and the player to left has none either and then you have to hope they won't be able to get any money during the round.

Quote:
Some other things I didn't like so much in this (5 player) game...
- Using the carriage: There are 4 messages of each type. Noone was really pursuing a carriage strategy perse, but the green tokens ran out before I got one and I got the impression that actually trying for a carriage strategy in a 5 player game might not be the best idea. Maybe in a 3 or 4 player game.

I used the carriage as a wild card, points grinder and it worked pretty well. Besided the money building it was my most used action.

Quote:
- Card Draft: Maybe in a 3 or 4 player game the card draft would be more interesting. I wouldn't mind playing it like Hearts in a 4 player game, pass to the left, then the right, then across...

I cannot figure out why anyone would play El Grande by bidding Power cards clock-wise rather than in reverse turn order. You sacrifice virtually no simplicity for a much better game. Similarly, I see no reason why you wouldn't change up which way you pass your cards in Notre Dame. So based on my one play I completely agree with this.

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- Weak spaces: I found the more versatile space where you get a $, a cube, or a Rat, and if you have 4 guys in there you get 2 to be pretty weak. I think I'd read that others have said the same. The reward for building up 4 guys in there is not really commensurate with th investment, compared to any other space. The Park on the other hand is a VP grinding machine! I misunderstood what it did during the rules explanation, or I would have invested in that space rather than the crappy one I put my guys in.


I think the weak space isn't intended to be anything other than a wild card and not a lynchpin of a strategy. I don't think I put a single guy in it the whole game. There were times where I would have if that would have been the only way to get a needed money or cube.

The park is a point grinding machine, but in our game the player with the most cubes (at least 4 maybe as much as 6 at one point) in their park came in third. It seems very powerful, but I'll hold off on judgment for now.

Quote:
- Multiplayer Solitaire: Several people in my game made reference to the fact that the game is effectively solitaire - with the exception of the draft and maybe ninja-carriaging someone, there no interaction at all.


This is my biggest gripe with the game. Hopefully with further playes the card drafting will become more intersting. But in the game we played I was just grabbing what helped me out the most.

Quote:
- Threat of Rats: The Plague mechanic is a good one, and players were appropriately afraid of going over 9 rats... or so I thought. The player who won got Plagued the most, the player in second got plagued the second most. Made me think perhaps worrying about Rats is not really that big a deal, and my efforts would be better spent earning VPs and taking the 2vp hit once in a while.

I think the jury's still out on this for me as well. Though I must admit, once I stopped worrying and learned to love the plague (or at least ignore it) I found it didn't really hurt me that much.

I enjoyed the game. I'd like to play it some more first to see if 1) there really is that much to the card draft, and 2) there's much replayability.
 
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Jim Cote
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
All I can say is: I was blah on the game after 1 play, and it was "must have" after 5 plays.
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Seth Jaffee
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
ekted wrote:
All I can say is: I was blah on the game after 1 play, and it was "must have" after 5 plays.

Well then, I guess I'd better play a few more times!

Jim, how many players were you playing with? How many do you think is the 'sweet spot'? Are The Metagamers going to do a show about Notre Dame anytime soon? And finally... why is your Baron in Bohemia too good for my daughter?
 
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John Paul Sodusta
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
For a light/medium weight game, there is a very steep mastering curve. Your first few games WILL feel random. Once you realize what cards your deck is made up of and knowing the possible combination the special characters show up, you'll be playing a lot better and appreciate it more.
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Jim Cote
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
sedjtroll wrote:
Jim, how many players were you playing with? How many do you think is the 'sweet spot'?

I've played with 2-5. I think any number is fine. The only problem with 2 is that you can only ever see 2 of any given card each set of 3 rounds. So some strategies are out.

sedjtroll wrote:
Are The Metagamers going to do a show about Notre Dame anytime soon?

Probably not. I discussed it in a Recent Gaming segment for a bit once.

sedjtroll wrote:
And finally... why is your Baron in Bohemia too good for my daughter?

You might have the most VP at this point, and you are already maxed out in money, so I figured by refusing it wouldn't do you any good. It was tempting, because I need the support. But I think I can get by without it.
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
sedjtroll wrote:
I'm fairly disappointed in Notre Dame. I expected to like it very much, it sounded like just my kind of game. After my first play I was very frustrated with the action selection mechanism, as it's difficult to do anything that you really want to do on purpose.


While I don't begrudge people forming personal opinions after just one play, Notre Dame is one of those rare exceptions where it takes several plays before you actually understand how all the mechanisms can work together to result in good scoring. Thus, your frustration might be valid, but I can say that a few more plays are definitely worth it to see if you REALLY don't like what's going on. If you can score 70+ points and STILL don't like it, then fine. :-)

Quote:
The draft mechanic ties you into your right hand opponent (and his right hand opponent) in such a way that if they want to do the same thing you want to do, then you're pretty much out of luck - you need to switch your strategy. Of course you can't know that's the case until you're 1/3 of the way through the game! Because you always pass left, the game encourages people to settle into a strategy that's not disrupted by the players to their right, and stick to it. There's little means by which to hinder any other player (defensive draft) because you only draft 3 cards at a time, and you can't really afford to tank your own play to keep someone else from having a good action.


This is what makes the game pretty unique and interesting for me. This is what separates out the good players. If you know (or can predict) how the other players will play, you can take advantage of the cards you will get passed and you can make some staggeringly high VP totals.

Quote:
I feel like this game would be better if the draft changed directions each round, or if you drafted more cards at a time, or if instead of drafting at all you played the cards like Kreta, one at a time from the whole supply... something.


Changing the drafting order ruins the subtle strategy choices you can make by playing against the other players. This would only serve to WORSEN the problem you are criticizing, IMO. Keeping the draft order the same throughout the game enables you to impact the other players downstream from you. Their play evolves, just as yours does.

Quote:
Some other things I didn't like so much in this (5 player) game...
- Using the carriage: There are 4 messages of each type. Noone was really pursuing a carriage strategy perse, but the green tokens ran out before I got one and I got the impression that actually trying for a carriage strategy in a 5 player game might not be the best idea. Maybe in a 3 or 4 player game.


Another point in Notre Dame's favor, IMO. Like Caylus, optimum strategies can shift based on the number of players. 2er is different than with more players, because won't ever have those big turns where you get to really cram stuff into one slot. The carriage track and Notre Dame get more crowded with more players. But the other cards remain about the same.

Quote:
- Weak spaces: I found the more versatile space where you get a $, a cube, or a Rat, and if you have 4 guys in there you get 2 to be pretty weak. I think I'd read that others have said the same. The reward for building up 4 guys in there is not really commensurate with th investment, compared to any other space.


This is certainly true, and it adds some tension to the game, because you never want to get stuck with those cards. But on the other hand, you can be sure of getting an endless supply of them. I've seen people use the inn strategy with some minor success, but it is admittedly weaker.

Quote:
- Multiplayer Solitaire: Several people in my game made reference to the fact that the game is effectively solitaire - with the exception of the draft and maybe ninja-carriaging someone, there no interaction at all.


Drafting, Carriages, Notre Dame add up for quite a bit of interaction. No, it's not overt conflict, but it's similar to Caylus. You get what others don't want.

Quote:
- Threat of Rats: The Plague mechanic is a good one, and players were appropriately afraid of going over 9 rats... or so I thought. The player who won got Plagued the most, the player in second got plagued the second most. Made me think perhaps worrying about Rats is not really that big a deal, and my efforts would be better spent earning VPs and taking the 2vp hit once in a while.


What were your scores? In a low scoring newbie game, this might be true. But you cannot compete effectively with better players if you are not aggressive with the rats. The VP hit is not as strong as the cube loss, although the "get points for available rat spaces" is the most powerful mid-game card. You'll never break 80 unless you avoid the plague.

Quote:
Off the top of my head, those are the complaints I remember most. I will play the game again, hopefully with fewer players... I think it will be better that way. I can't help but feel disappointed with the whole drafting thing though. I have a similar distaste for Wallenstein in that there's no way to know what order your actions will be coming up in.


Keep playing, and I think you'll find that you can pretty much predict exactly hat you'll be getting from your upstream draft opponents.
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Tim Seitz
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
Barkam wrote:
For a light/medium weight game, there is a very steep mastering curve. Your first few games WILL feel random. Once you realize what cards your deck is made up of and knowing the possible combination the special characters show up, you'll be playing a lot better and appreciate it more.


Well said! I took a lot more words to say less!
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
Quote:
You'll never break 80 unless you avoid the plague.


So what you're saying is: "avoid the plague like the plague"?
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one play
Jonathan Degann wrote:
Quote:
You'll never break 80 unless you avoid the plague.


So what you're saying is: "avoid the plague like the plague"?


Plague should be avoided, but not at all costs. I've scored 91 taking one hit from the plague, but constantly losing cubes and points will make the game hard for you. Usually it's worth it to fight the rats, but taking 1 hit doesn't destroy your game.
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
If you have at least three cubes at the hotel, and you pick the vp in the two actions, any park bonuses are applied twice. If you've managed to have a lot of cubes there, the hotel can end up being a respectable action and pretty easy to get.
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
hibikir wrote:
If you have at least three cubes at the hotel,...


Three??
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
ekted wrote:
hibikir wrote:
If you have at least three cubes at the hotel,...


Three??


Yes...because after three comes four...

-MMM
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
out4blood wrote:
Keep playing, and I think you'll find that you can pretty much predict exactly hat you'll be getting from your upstream draft opponents.

This undoubtedly accounts for the high popularity of this game. It is once again a tantalisingly calculable game where experienced players no longer compete against each other and using a relative score as a measure of how well they're doing---it has become a game against the game itself, to try and coax as many points from it as possible. You yourself mention or imply absolute scores three of four times in your answer; even tie in liking the game with the ability to achieve such scores. I respectfully disagree with such a notion: it is likely, but not necessary.

Notre Dame reminds me of St. Petersburg to no small degree. Not the actual game itself, of course, but the general appeal and the way people react to it are rather similar. I was not surprised when I found the following comment of Jerry Teleha at St. Pete which applies equally well to Notre Dame:
Quote:
Just don't like this one - like Puerto Rico, it seems that when the people who are playing are experienced, they know exactly what to do depending on what cards are showing...so, it is really more of an activity going through the motions than an actual game IMO...

Such going-through-the-motions games have always attracted lots of positive attention, while games which require you to be creative and clever are always a tad 'unpredictable' and therefore not quite so good. Notre Dame might have been enjoyable for me if it were more of an 'unpredictable' game. Right now I find it boring and processional, even with the card swapping.
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
Octavian wrote:
ekted wrote:
hibikir wrote:
If you have at least three cubes at the hotel,...


Three??


Yes...because after three comes four...

-MMM

He said:

Quote:
If you have at least three cubes at the hotel, and you pick the vp in the two actions, any park bonuses are applied twice.

You must have FOUR cubes in the Hotel to get 2 actions.
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
Play it more. If nothing else the game certainly has replayability.

What I find remarkable about ND is that for a game that seems to be so random, the skill curve is very steep.
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
hibikir wrote:
If you have at least three cubes at the hotel, and you pick the vp in the two actions, any park bonuses are applied twice.

What VP? The hotel action allows: one gold, one cube, or one dead rat. And that's it, at least according to the RGG rules.

I'm confused here, as I am in Brian Bankler's hotel thread, about this "use the hotel for VPs" idea. Am I missing something?
 
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
cymric wrote:
Such going-through-the-motions games have always attracted lots of positive attention, while games which require you to be creative and clever are always a tad 'unpredictable' and therefore not quite so good. Notre Dame might have been enjoyable for me if it were more of an 'unpredictable' game. Right now I find it boring and processional, even with the card swapping.

So you find it easy to score 70+ points? I think I understand your issue here, but maybe not: is play "boring and processional" because you've mastered the game, or at least found a simple main line heuristic that works too well? I'm not going to play Notre Dame enough (I think) to ever truly master it, so what I'm more interested in is if there is such a heuristic that renders casual play uninteresting (that's the fault [well, one of several] I have with StP). I don't see that with ND, at least not yet, but I'm interested in hearing more.

Maybe you're not guilty of this, but your complaint (and that you quoted) seems analogous to those who dismiss Connect 4 as solved (and it is), but who have not mastered the solution themselves; the mere fact that the game is known to be solvable is what grates. But it seems to me that until you've done it, or are playing against those who have, there's still something interesting there.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
No, I do not find it easy to score 70+ points. My record is 63, I believe. Nevertheless, I don't feel the need nor the incentive to try and score more than 70, let alone 80 points. I also freely admit to being a newbie who does not yet know all the intricacies of the game, as in 'knowing exactly what to play when'.

I find the game boring because I simply do not feel particularly engaged by it. Although I 'get' it to some extent and at least understand some of its elements as well as the game flow on a rudimentary basis (like for instance that you shouldn't worry greatly about the rats, and that the effort of getting cubes into buildings of the first two rounds has to change in the last), it doesn't 'grab' me. Moving cubes around in a medieval city which could just as easily have been London or Cologne feels somewhat artificial, also I don't feel engaged by the card swapping: usually it isn't a very difficult choice, and everyone just makes do with what he gets. The actual game seems to be about being as efficient as possible with the mechanics; I have not yet felt the need to be creative within the framework set by the rules.

In order to play well, I must memorise the various cards so that I know exactly what will turn up on rounds 3, 6 and 9, and can guesstimate on rounds 2, 5 and 8. (Otherwise the timing is wrong, and timing is quite a lot in ND.) I dislike this sort of thing, even though it is not very difficult here. And it leads me to wonder about the way people are actually playing ND. Tim mentions on several occasions that the fun comes out when one is striving for such high scores, or that you really should follow this and that strategy to score a good amount of points. It's what he doesn't say that puzzles me: 'Follow this strategy otherwise you'll have a hard time controlling the influx of cubes later on in the game'; or 'Don't use that tactic in combination with a neglect of rats---it'll leave the Notre Dame wide open for someone else to take advantage of'. Instead, I read 'Do this, and you'll score more than 80 points'. As if the other players do not exist nor matter to your actions!

I am sure that many people will like ND: it's a fairly clean design without obvious faults in any case. (Well, perhaps one: I dislike the busy artwork: I find it frilly and distracting.) However, at the same time I got Notre Dame, I started playing go as well (on a 9x9 board still, so fairly easy---says the person who gets his ass handed to him without too much effort on the other player's behalf), and although the two games are incomparable both in mechanics and game depth, already at that simplified level go captivates me far and far more then Notre Dame ever will. Go is about being creative within a very simple framework; Notre Dame about exploiting something complex and artificial, and the above discussion, in particular the contributions of those who are really good players, merely seems to emphasise this idea.

The above is not meant to be derogatory towards fans of this game, and if they feel it is, I apologise in advance.
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Jon W
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Re: Briefly: why I'm disappointed with Notre Dame after one
Thanks for the considered response, Maarten. It makes a much clearer case than your previous post. The quote you used before doesn't really seem to fit your actual position. If you don't like the sort of analysis required, then sure, the game is boring. I just think that's a rather different thing than "an activity going through the motions," which strongly implies trivial (and thus boring) decisions once you "get it."

I think the efficiency questions in ND are interesting, especially when combined with the constraints, but that's mostly a matter of taste. But then, I'm also not at all bothered by the relative lack of interaction in the game, either (in fact, it's a selling point, esp. with my wife). I'm much less keen on the memorization aspects, and I wonder if just a bit more variability (say a deck of 10 or 11 cards per player, still drawing only 9 per round) might not have been a better design choice.
 
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