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Viticulture Essential Edition» Forums » General

Subject: I'm officially a convert, my wine glass floweth over rss

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Tyler DeLisle
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Richardson
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I have to admit, somewhat sheepishly, that I was a pretty vocal dissenter of the original, base game of Viticulture. I played it twice and I just could not get all of the praise. I really enjoyed the aging mechanism, and planning to fulfill orders, but everything else felt overly simple and FAR too luck-driven based on the card draw. I kept getting frustrated drawing cards that weren't useful while other people would drop cards giving them 4 points, and I basically felt like I experienced everything that the game had to offer in those two games.

I kept hearing how great Tuscany made everything, but I refused to drop that much money and just traded away my copy of Viticulture. Finally I got an opportunity to pick up Viticulture: EE second-hand and took it. Tuscany: EE was so reasonably priced that I went ahead and ordered that as well... and wow this game turned into magic.

On the most base level, the fixed cards go a LONG way, there are still strong cards, but they all feel like they're mostly on the same level, it's more rare that I feel like they aren't worth using and when they aren't, now there is a way to dump them for something more useful. I absolutely LOVE the extended board, the full four seasons, and the way the wake-up chart interacts with each. There was really only one other weird path to victory in the old version which involved never making wine... but now there are a lot of alternate strategies that you can pursue based on what is available and where the cards guide you. Tons of variability through the buildings, starting cards, special characters, etc.

I'm actually finding myself getting tripped up in my own plans, it's great! Being able to get both Essential Edition boxes for around 70 bucks is a much better deal, and it is indeed a fantastic worker placement for that cost. It has reinvigorated a genre that I've gotten pretty bored with.
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David Goulette
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Santa Clara
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You were right to criticize the first edition. And you are so right about your revised opinion. I love viti essential because it is just the right weight for a next-step euro game with a theme that draws people in. But the tuscany board alone is worth the price of the expansion. It turns the game into a solid euro that gamers can really enjoy.

The wake up order and the ability to trade makes the game more strategic and mitigates the luck.
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Darin Bolyard
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Oak Grove
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But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
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In your world, I have another name. You must learn to know me by it. That was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.
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TyDeL wrote:
... but now there are a lot of alternate strategies that you can pursue based on what is available and where the cards guide you. Tons of variability through the buildings, starting cards, special characters, etc.

This↑ has come true each and every play. I won a recent session playing VEE+TEE without fulfilling a single wine order. I made plenty of [cheap] wine, but a certain structure card draw triggered the idea for my chosen strategy. My observations of the other players tendencies/strategies, the particular combination of special workers, and the visitor card draws were all important factors that led to a very interesting path to victory.

I'm not one to line out strategies for other players, despite inevitably doing so through discussions and session reports. But I'm happy to divulge which structure card it was, though as stated above, I doubt I could have done it simply based upon that card alone...though I shall now forever keep an eye out for it in the future ninja
Spoiler (click to reveal)
The Tap Room(£5)
When you play a Summer or Winter Visitor card, you may discard 1 Wine token to gain 2 VP.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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I'm happy to welcome to the cult of Viticulture .
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David Goulette
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mortenmdk wrote:
I'm happy to welcome to the cult of Viticulture .


I drank the Kool-Aid Cabernet.
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Francois LC
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I'll also chime in to tell that you were right to criticize the first edition. It was just an OK game.
The 2nd edition revision made it a good game.
Viticulture Essential Edition then made this game, a great game by it's own.
Tuscany Essential Edition then made this great game, an awesome game.

All this iterative process made the reputation of the game somewhat confusing for other people checking if they want to jump in the train, as some people today are still talking about Viti 1st Edition badly, saying it's a random fest (and they are right in this regards), while other people sing praises of VEE at the same time. So yes, this made it complicated for the first year(s) of the game taking form slowly (instead of in one shot as most release), but I'm glad that Stonemaier Games did "finish" this game in the end, because it's an awesome game. And I think that Stonemaier as a company learned a lot from this process, from their mistakes and all that. Now I'm really happy to always check out their new games and follow this small company.
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