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Subject: Concerns about this game. rss

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Daniel Diemer
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I have three questions/concerns before buying this game:
1. Can one person runaway with the game and everybody knows it?
2. Will this game scratch the itch we have(read below)?
3. Does it feel like a tile laying game?
Each question is explained further below.

Firstly, I'm concerned because my wife and I desire an epic game like this where we can leave it set up on our spare table and play it over the course of a couple days.

However, I'm worried about getting halfway through an 8 hour game and realizing she has already won and I cannot likely catch-up. I don't really like catch up mechanisms, but does the game at least really hide the score or make it hard to determine who has the lead?

Secondly, I just want to make sure that this is what I want. Often, when we get to the end of a game, my wife and I want to keep playing. We have built this great engine, that we want to keep on using it. From reading reviews and watching videos, I get that is what this game is about, but is that what it feels like? Do you feel like you got to use what you built when playing a full game? Or at the end do you still wish you built a great thing you never used to its full potential because the game ended. I think any game can feel like that, no matter how long, but curious what it feels like having played it.

Thirdly, I don't know what it is, but my wife and I don't care for tile laying games. We've tried suburbia, Castles of Mad King, Carcassonne, Isle of Sky, and a few others that I cannot recall. There is just something about them that I neither of us care for. I guess the closest thing we like is maybe Viceroy, if the cards were tiles, I guess we'd still like it, I don't think it is the physical action of laying tiles. We don't mind buying tiles for upgrades in other games. Anyway, does this feel at all like Suburbia or Carcassonne? I'm thinking this is a non issue, because the game is larger than just that aspect, but curious what you guys think.

As always, thanks.
 
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Kolby Reddish
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While tiles are layed in this game - I wouldn't qualify it as a "tile laying" game. The tiles are laid to form the places that all players must share. So in this way, you're not really tile laying to get points or anything, it's just part of the interesting action selection puzzle.

You do also lay tiles on your individual player boards but there isn't any real placement puzzle like in the games you had mentioned. They are placed in a grid and I don't remember any of them getting bonuses for adjacent placements and such.

As for your engine building and run-away leader concerns, I have only played a single solo game so I can't comment about run-away leader concerns from experience. I can say that even in a single play I saw so many options to achieve points in different ways that it kind of caused my head to spin. Meaning that I do not really thing who is winning will be immediately apparent at any given moment and I see many opportunities for catching up. There is no artificial catch-up mechanic though. A player who is behind could (and should) try to use their placements to affect the other player and get that juicy fee.

The engine building in the game was very satisfying for a single play. The game felt like it had a satisfying arc to it and didn't feel like you are concerned about. Games that do feel that way (IMO) are Caverna and Agricola.
 
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D Clevenger
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My 2 cents:

stowed4sea wrote:
I have three questions/concerns before buying this game:
1. Can one person runaway with the game and everybody knows it?


Unless you are willing to keep a running tally, there is no way to know the score. Every building type and permanent improvement have different VPs. The amount of gold each person has is evident but that is only about 25% of the final scoring in my experience. And then there are the red guys. The red guys you have employed seem to determine the winner and you can't get any until Era 3. But most of the red buildings come out in Era 4. At the end of the game, green guys are worth 2 points if employed, yellow guys are worth 6 and red guys 16. So the race to get as many red guys employed as possible in Era 4 is where this game is won or lost.

Quote:
2. Will this game scratch the itch we have(read below)?


I think so. One beauty of this game is that it scales to how many Eras you want to play. Era 1 is really just teaching the game. If you play just 2 Eras, Era 1 is spent setting up the engine and Era 2 is exploiting it. Same for 3 and 4 Era games. But what you are describing is exactly what I do. I leave the game out in 3-player setup and play a year or two every night as I have a chance. I think it will scratch that itch very much.

Additionally, the Embassies that are available each game (9 possible, 4 random to start the game and one more random one added to start Era 3) drastically change how the game is played. Plus some embassies I find to have less use in Era 1 and dreadfully important to have in the later Eras.


Quote:
3. Does it feel like a tile laying game?

Not in any way. In fact, placement of the buildings you purchase is irrelevant and you can and should move them around to make them easier to deal with. For example, I put my Farms across the top row. Then when I start turning them into Flats, I put Flats on the far right of the top row and move all the Farms/estates to the left. Same when I build my first House. I keep my Embassies on the bottom row and my production buildings on the middle rows and keep the same buildings beside each other. But you can arrange, and move them around in whatever manner works for you. It doesn't matter for game play.

I also don't care much for tile games. Castles of Mad King Ludwig is about the only one I like. Suburbia, Among the Stars, Carcassonne, don't scratch my itch.

I hope this helps.
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Bob Boberson
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1. The game is epic. Leaving it up on a spare table and playing over the course of a day or two is an excellent idea, because playing from start to finish (rather than skipping Eras) is in my opinion the best way to play the game. A 2 player game will probably take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, or more depending on the AP situation.

2. The scores are not necessarily known. Each building tile has a victory point value printed on it, so at any point during the game you could add up all the points on your opponent's board to get a total. Also each working colonist scores a known amount of points at the game end, so you could tot that up too. However, you may not be entirely aware of the opponent's plan with regard to what they're intending to do with the buildings/colonists. Those 3 green dudes - which will score 2 points if employed at the end of the game may well be exchanged for 3 yellow dudes which score 6 points. One or two of them may end up being merchants which score 16 points each. Also many of the buildings you're adding up may flip, be razed or remodeled at some point, so you won't know if that's going to be the case and if so you may not know which building it'll be replaced with. There are lots of levers in this game, and different paths to take.

3. There's lots of tile laying in the game, but not in a Carcassonne/Suburbia kind of way. In fact if you want to move your buildings around you could - their placement is irrelevant. Same with the tiles that make up the shared playing area; there's no adjacency bonuses or anything, although it does matter where the Place tiles are in relation to each other in order to get things done. You add 3 tiles to the playing area at the end of every year so there's that, but really the tiles are just a modular board that grows as the game progresses. This is where a lot of replayability comes in as the playing area will be arranged differently each game, and getting around from Place to Place is one of the logistical challenges of the game.

Hope this helps.
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moesjiff
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stowed4sea wrote:
I have three questions/concerns before buying this game:
1. Can one person runaway with the game and everybody knows it?
2. Will this game scratch the itch we have(read below)?
3. Does it feel like a tile laying game?
Each question is explained further below.


I'll give this a shot, but caveat is that I've only played a couple of games. Both in the past week.

stowed4sea wrote:
Firstly, I'm concerned because my wife and I desire an epic game like this where we can leave it set up on our spare table and play it over the course of a couple days.

However, I'm worried about getting halfway through an 8 hour game and realizing she has already won and I cannot likely catch-up. I don't really like catch up mechanisms, but does the game at least really hide the score or make it hard to determine who has the lead?


Granted I've only played a couple of games, but I don't think this should be something you're worried about if you play the long game. I played a single era game with my 8-year-old last night, and by the start or middle of the 5th year, I could tell he was probably going to win. But you only have 12 building spaces and so counting up building scores in your head is pretty trivial. But when you have 30 building spaces by the end of era 4 and a pile of money and various farmers/citizens/merchants it's not so easy to add up to 300-400 points in your head. You may have a vague idea, but it doesn't seem like it would be obvious.

stowed4sea wrote:
Secondly, I just want to make sure that this is what I want. Often, when we get to the end of a game, my wife and I want to keep playing. We have built this great engine, that we want to keep on using it. From reading reviews and watching videos, I get that is what this game is about, but is that what it feels like? Do you feel like you got to use what you built when playing a full game? Or at the end do you still wish you built a great thing you never used to its full potential because the game ended. I think any game can feel like that, no matter how long, but curious what it feels like having played it.


I felt like when I got to Era 4 and the last couple of years I was making my engine crank and just generating points. My focus had moved from upgrading/building to creating coins for points and using the market and other places to sell goods for points if they were worth more that way than as part of a building.

stowed4sea wrote:
Thirdly, I don't know what it is, but my wife and I don't care for tile laying games. We've tried suburbia, Castles of Mad King, Carcassonne, Isle of Sky, and a few others that I cannot recall. There is just something about them that I neither of us care for. I guess the closest thing we like is maybe Viceroy, if the cards were tiles, I guess we'd still like it, I don't think it is the physical action of laying tiles. We don't mind buying tiles for upgrades in other games. Anyway, does this feel at all like Suburbia or Carcassonne? I'm thinking this is a non issue, because the game is larger than just that aspect, but curious what you guys think.


It didn't seem like a tile laying game to me. You just add 12 tiles to the center game board each era, so if you're playing with 2 players there are at 6 turns between the start player adding tiles so it doesn't seem a huge part of the game in my book. A little bit of logistics to put the places in a spot that allows good combinations or isn't too hard to get to, but other than that I didn't find it to be a big part of the game.

stowed4sea wrote:
As always, thanks.


I hope this helps and if you get it you love it as much as I do.
 
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Daniel Diemer
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Awesome! I'm almost overwhelmed at the responses. Normally I over explain things and type way too much, which results in most of my questions not being read or answered to any extent, but you guys were all awesome.

Maybe I should just buy the game from the point of view that if you all answered my long winded questions, then you are probably like me and I'd like the game if you like the game.

Thanks all for helping me make up my mind.
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Geppo Muzzak
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There's plenty of video playthroughs on YouTube you can see to have a look of what each era is about and the overall experience.

I think it's a lot better to leave everything on... and come back at a later time or day than to save the game and then resuming after putting everything back into place... yet this is possible.

I think this is more of a competitive game than it seems. The starting player can really block your moves and the more you progress, the more you feel like cashing in because you know that 1 or 2 coins can make the difference.

I think it's excellent for husband-wife in 1vs1 but also between father-son. I don't know with more players... I think it's possibly harder to make the moves BUT in 1 vs 1 I didn't think it was so competitive.

I thought it was all about beating one's record... no... you must try to do your best but also try to block the other guy.

Lovely.
 
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Nathan Ehlers
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You should get it!

The games I've played have all been very close. The first time I played, the final score was less than a 10 point delta.
 
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Daniel Diemer
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Well, I've ordered it from funagain! Cannot wait until it arrives. Thanks again all.

Anyone know of any similar game where you get to actually use the engine you build instead of arriving at the end of a game and wanting to play it longer? I've been looking but cannot really find any others. Any ideas? It wouldn't necessarily have to match the same epic play length as this one, but something maybe slightly longer than standard length. It seems that a lot of the good games out there the play length is relatively short.
 
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Bob Boberson
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stowed4sea wrote:
Anyone know of any similar game where you get to actually use the engine you build instead of arriving at the end of a game and wanting to play it longer? I've been looking but cannot really find any others. Any ideas? It wouldn't necessarily have to match the same epic play length as this one, but something maybe slightly longer than standard length. It seems that a lot of the good games out there the play length is relatively short.


You'd probably like Uwe Rosenberg's Le Havre.
 
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mfl134
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Rumplesink wrote:
stowed4sea wrote:
Anyone know of any similar game where you get to actually use the engine you build instead of arriving at the end of a game and wanting to play it longer? I've been looking but cannot really find any others. Any ideas? It wouldn't necessarily have to match the same epic play length as this one, but something maybe slightly longer than standard length. It seems that a lot of the good games out there the play length is relatively short.


You'd probably like Uwe Rosenberg's Le Havre.


possibly could argue 18XX game. But in many games, once the engines are built, the game goes on autopilot. So while there might be some satisfaction in doing this, in most games it just ends up in a prolong "scoring" portion of the game.
 
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Daniel Diemer
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Rumplesink wrote:
stowed4sea wrote:
Anyone know of any similar game where you get to actually use the engine you build instead of arriving at the end of a game and wanting to play it longer? I've been looking but cannot really find any others. Any ideas? It wouldn't necessarily have to match the same epic play length as this one, but something maybe slightly longer than standard length. It seems that a lot of the good games out there the play length is relatively short.


You'd probably like Uwe Rosenberg's Le Havre.


You know, I've always liked the idea of that game, and loved the gameplay when I had it on my phone. I forget why I never bought that one but I'll give it another look, thanks.

mfl134 wrote:
Rumplesink wrote:
stowed4sea wrote:
Anyone know of any similar game where you get to actually use the engine you build instead of arriving at the end of a game and wanting to play it longer? I've been looking but cannot really find any others. Any ideas? It wouldn't necessarily have to match the same epic play length as this one, but something maybe slightly longer than standard length. It seems that a lot of the good games out there the play length is relatively short.


You'd probably like Uwe Rosenberg's Le Havre.


possibly could argue 18XX game. But in many games, once the engines are built, the game goes on autopilot. So while there might be some satisfaction in doing this, in most games it just ends up in a prolong "scoring" portion of the game.


Yeah, I guess to a certain extent, you'll never want any good game to end. I mean after playing The Colonists for 4 hours, I might want it to end, but at the same time still want to keep building and playing with my little empire.

This is a tough thing to consider and think I'll just have to play more games, and sell off the ones that I feel end too short. I started a similar thread in the Mombasa forum, and all the numerous responses were that it did not end too short.

Then I watch the Tom Vassal review, and his conclusion was that it ended one turn too short! Everybody is going to take away a different feeling from every game, so I think I'm just going to have to try my best to guess before hand, and then buy and play more.

Unfortunately, the best reviewer for determining this would be rahdo, but he takes so long deciding things that his play through generally only make it about 1/4 way through a game. I need to really watch an entire game to know this. I was a tabletopia backer for this reason, but unfortunately, there are a lot of good games not there.
 
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