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Tournay» Forums » General

Subject: How did I miss this game all these years? rss

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Ad Astra Per Aspera
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I have a weekly game night. Typically our game nights starts as family game night, then devolves to a hardcore game night between my friend and I once my family goes to bed. I have been working night shift for over a year. Up until very recently my friend also worked at the same place on the same shift. So our game nights used to be from 4pm til about 4:30am the following morning. What else can you do in the middle of the night? Watch infomercials? lol

He recently got a "real" job and now our game nights are generally 4pm to 9pm. He has to get up early the next day. During that year of 12+ hour game nights we played the feces out of tons of games. We were spoiled! Caverna back to back to back, Twlight Struggle back to back to back...some nights we played a dozen or so shorter games just to say we did.

Due to the luxury of time we also got to try a lot of games that were always on the radar that we never had time for. Vinhos, Gallerist, Takenoko, Five Tribes, Black Fleet, The Duke, and the list goes on and on. One genre of games we both ignored until we had time, but found we loved were 2-player strategy games. We spent countless hours playing these games. We could play 5 or 6 games of one title, and then another 5 or 6 of another in one night.

In this newfound genre we tried such gems as "7 Ronin", "Agricola: All Creatures...", "13 Days: Cuban Missle Crisis", "7 Wonders Duel", "Traders of Osaka", "Province", "Dos de Mayo", "Glass Road", "Fields of Arle"...the list goes on. Many more too that we didn't keep and sold simply because it didn't do it for us.

But we made it a point to search out higher-rated games that might be a bit more obscure, "Traders of Osaka", "7 Ronin" and "Dos de Mayo" being great surprises.

So...how the heck did we miss Tournay?

I never saw it mentioned in the dozen or so "good 2 player strategy games...preferably less than 45 min" threads. A couple weeks ago I saw another such thread "some topics on BGG are like weeds...they pop up regularly despite being asked regularly). Along with all the familiar titles was a suggestion for "Tournay." I went to the page, watched the video reviews/playthroughs, and read through the forums.

It showed up today and we played 3 games of it tonight. Wow! What a killer game! It's everything we love about games and nothing we didn't. Competitive, deep, but not Arle or Caverna deep, short, but not too short. Many different paths and strategies to victory. Original. Just was a blast to play. Luckily my copy is the ZMAN games copy with the card's abilities listed on the back. By our third game there wasn't many "what the heck?" questions about the card iconography.

Anyway, just wanted to share my appreciation for this great game. I have no questions. Just well deserved belated praise.

Next week we'll likely try it with the advanced cards. Though from what I can read it seems the advanced version isn't really more advanced per-se' as much as it's a change in how it's played. Not sure which is better. The few advanced cards look a little trickier (placement becomes more important) than anything else.

Thumbs up for this game. I feel like I arrived to the party late, but glad I still got a piece of cake.

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Paul Burkart
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I'm glad you found this underrated game. It's one of my favorites, but it seems as though it tends to get ignored by lots of people. Part of this has to do with its age and its similarities to Troyes, its older cousin. Although the game plays quite differently than Troyes, it carries a similar theme and visual style. When Tournay came out six years ago, it's likely that many either dismissed it as Troyes: The Card Game and never gave it a chance, or they were expecting a lighter version of Troyes and were disappointed when they found a different and mechanically-distinctive game. Others probably were scared away by its difficult iconography, especially since the first edition of the game apparently had a less-than-ideal player aid.

For a relatively quick card game, it really does pack a lot of depth. It's such a beautiful game, as well. My only complaint is that it's difficult to teach because of its iconography. My friend and I picked it up pretty quickly (and a good player aid is essential to this), but a lot of the iconography just isn't intuitive and can be downright confusing to a new player. The learning curve is a bit high with this one, but I think it's absolutely worth struggling through the first couple of plays in order to learn such a great and unique game.
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Jake Waltier
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I second what Paul said. Because it looked a lot like Troyes but didn't play like Troyes, I'm sure it scared away a lot of potential fans while attracting maybe the wrong people to try it. Almost everyone I played it with has enjoyed it quite a bit though.
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Ad Astra Per Aspera
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My gamer friend, with whom we play a lot of deeper games "Fields of Arle" and other Uwe machines/games, Twilight Struggle, Puerto Rico, etc. said after his third card drawn, "what the? They really could have put the words on the cards." And sure, they probably could have. But since the game struggled to be language independent (at the expense of a steeper learning curve) it just wasn't a quick first game. After a second game we were pretty familiar with the iconography except for a few cards we hadn't drawn in the first two games.

I admit, we have never played Troyes. Maybe that's why it was such a success for us? No expectations beyond "this better be deeper than love letter." The rules were slightly inadequate. They were short and got us going, but as we played we had certain questions (can we combat a card in response to town crier?). We now know you can't, but it was one of many small rules ambiguities that tripped up that first game. Answers were easy to find, it's just that the answers were generally on BGG and not the rule book.

But yeah, we love it. I'm so happy we found this game. It's also really great that it can accept up to four players. Maybe the games won't be as tight or strategic, giving way to luck as you have no control over what a 3rd or 4th player after you does, but at least it can be played.

One question I do have after re-reading the rules is in regards to expansion cards and the advanced rules. I thought the advanced rules included the expansion cards...not that they were independent of each other.

Do you generally play with this advanced rules? 3 meeps and 9 gold (or whatever they call it) to start, 5 meeps per supply (for 2p) and an added buy-meep action? I'm not sure this adds to the game as much as it simply lengthens it. It would see that after a certain point the game would find itself in the same state as a non-advanced rule game. Just prolonging the early/mid stages of the game while more turns are spent calling meeps back in the beginning. If there is more to it than adding game length then I'm for it, but if it's otherwise the same game I'll prefer the original non-advanced rules.

Secondly, the "expansion" cards look like a must-add to me. They do deepen the strategy a bit and allow for more complex and powerful combos. Which is really great in theory. I already added all the expansion cards to the decks and removed the non-expansion counterparts. The way I see it, why remove 3 random ones when you can just add the three more powerful ones deliberately?

It is sad that this game seemed to experience an unfair demise. Compared to other games targeting the same audience, even great ones, this game is great. Until now my favorite 2-P shorter game was probably Agricola ACBS, followed closely by 13 Days. This one is in there somewhere. Repeated plays will tell for sure. But it's just great to me.

In our three games the scores were never more than 8 PP difference. With our last one only 2 PP difference. Game 3 had us more familiar with the cards and playing odds against getting a card we knew was in a pile (something you just can't do until you know the cards). My freind ended up playing 3 Prestige buildings before I ended the game with my second (astonishingly we only turned up 2 town criers!...post game the third was only a card away in three piles). I decided to try to hold the last prestige building to build at the end. My opponent, aware of the win condition played a 3rd prestige building while I held my 2nd. After he played his 3rd I played my 2nd to trigger the game end. He couldn't afford to build on his final build phase. The one crappy building I built during the end phase gave me the 2 PP I needed for the win. ...Just fantastic! So much strategy. Similar to Agricola: ACBS, there seems no "solved" way to win Tournay. There are a number of viable strategies.

I wanna play it again now! Will have to wait until next week. It'll precede Fields of Arle. Woop!
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Jake Waltier
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I play with the advanced rules. I like having to build my engine, and it gives a reason to build level 1 buildings.
 
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Jack Francisco
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I've played this a few times and every time I've played it, I'm left wondering, "Why am I not just playing Troyes, instead?" It's ok, but the iconography is poor and the gameplay is just ok. It's not a bad game, but it pales by comparison to Troyes, which is a masterpiece.
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Jake Waltier
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senorcoo wrote:
I've played this a few times and every time I've played it, I'm left wondering, "Why am I not just playing Troyes, instead?" It's ok, but the iconography is poor and the gameplay is just ok. It's not a bad game, but it pales by comparison to Troyes, which is a masterpiece.

I think you are supporting our theory. Half the people I've played Troyes with were not interested in playing it again. Those who did like it would probably try Tournay and feel the way you do. The other half would avoid Tournay.
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Jack Francisco
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I think there are also a couple of stumbling blocks with Troyes. I don't care for it with 4p and new players can really get turned off if the game is taught incorrectly or options aren't fully explained. I suppose that can happen with any game, but Troyes, in particular, can suffer from that.
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