Jayson Myers
United States
Clermont
Florida
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Please check out my other reviews at:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2728438#it...


Conclusion:

Cavern Tavern is not a game without flaws, but it is really, really fun and only slightly frustrating. This is a wonderful production with fantastic art work. It has big shoes to fill in the long history of dice allocation games, but it does a great job of standing on its own.

Cavern Tavern puts you as a waiter in a bar filled with fantasy characters all wanting different drinks. Your job is to fill these orders as quickly as possible. You do this by running around getting ingredients and mixing them together to make those specialty drinks.

You accomplish these lofty goals by rolling your dice and placing them on the board get ingredients. The cheapest spaces (1-6 which normally only require one die) only give you a choice of 1 of 2 ingredients. The "more expensive" spots (7-18) give you an ingredient, some VP and at times a power/action that you can use (steal an ingredient, take first player, etc). The game is easy to understand, easy to play, but still gives you tough decisions which can normally be solved with math. Do I try to get exactly what I need to score more points on the order card or take what I rolled and max out my VP score? Well, it isn't that easy as each round you don't fulfill and order you go down on the nasty track which is negative points and give you a pretty Nasty "Nasty" card that can be brutal.

The main complaint I have with the job is the order system. You are going to either love it or hate it. It really puts a lot of pressure on the players to just fulfill those orders as quickly as possible. The first couple of plays you may focus too heavily on this aspect of the game. When you get past that and take some risk, the game comes alive. Focusing just on those orders can limit your options greatly and decrease your fun in the game. Or will it?

This game can also be pretty brutal. The Nasty Cards can be very, very nasty. Yes, I know they are called nasty for a reason. These also give you negative points which can be very costly.

Other than these points, you sort go where the dice lead you. You may need fruit really bad, but if the dice do not give you an option to get fruit, then you do something else. At times, you may just get something because there isn't anything else you can do at the time and you don't know if it will help you later in the game or not. You just do it because you can't do anything that will help you.

Overall, I really like this game. I keep coming back to it to play over and over again. I've had a ton of fun with it. I don't know if these are flaws per se or just a different way to play the game. These things I bring up will likely dictate whether like this game or not. I cannot state it enough that this is a very solid game. I've had a ton of fun with this game. I've played it over and over and I've tried to play differently each time. There are a few variants in the box including an expansion. Good times. I recommend this game!


Keeper.




Components:

The components are really good which is what I expect from a Kickstarter game. The scoring markers are these cute mugs. The art work is amazing. All of the cards have a great finish on them and are fantastic. The meeples have little stickers on them and look great and fit the theme really well. This is a very solid produced board game and you cannot tell it isn't "store ready".




Rule Book:

I found the rule book to be an easy read. The organization may not be to everyone's liking, but I found it very easy to read and comprehend. There are a few games with this core mechanic and if you have played those before, it makes understanding this game easier. The trickiest part was when to activate the benefits on the tracks.

Flow of the Game:

The game easy to play but has some flair to it.

At the start of each turn, everyone rolls their dice. If you are in last place, you get an additional white dice.

On your turn, you select one spot on the board and place your dice (or die) on the spot and get the reward.

Globally, you are trying to score VP and you score VP mostly by selecting certain spots on the board or by fulfilling orders.

Fulfilling Orders: Each order, once completed, is worth a number of VP (normally dictated by the number of ingredients required) and worth less VP each round it is not completed. This is the main rub in the game.

Spots on the Board:

In the cellar, the spots are number 1-6 and each spot requires one die and gives you a choice of the two listed ingredients.

Then you have spots number 7-18. These will give you VP in addition to a particular ingredient and normally another benefit (stealing an ingredient from another player, trade with another player, take first player, etc).

Then there are a few extra spots that move you up the Nasty Track and another player down, a couple spots that give you item cards and even a wild card ingredient, and one that gets rid of an order for you to replace it.

On your turn, you set down a die (or set of dice) equal to the number required and get the benefit listed. The trick with the game is to fulfill those orders.





Should I buy this game?:

While maybe a step down from Kingsburg in quality, this is a very good dice allocation game. There is some meanness to it so it may be better for some families or game groups than others. The game can be punishing if you do not get the right rolls or if things are just going wrong for you. This may affect the purchasing decisions of some. Otherwise, I really like this game and I keep going back to it. That is a good sign for a game.

Keeper.
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Colin
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Re: The Purge: # 1282 Cavern Tavern: Dealing drinks to Dwarfs and the life, but boy are they are demanding
Nice review! I also enjoy playing this game, its fairly light and not a brain burner and the art is fantastic. I think you hit the nail on the head about the pressure of trying to complete orders as fast as possible and the nasty cards. After my last play I was thinking maybe it would be better if you had to fulfil an order by certain times or you have to draw a card (e.g. 1 order must be complete by 11pm), or linked to the nasty track so if someone pushes you down the track you have to get an order out quick. The expansion adds a lot of choice and I would not play without it.
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Jayson Myers
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Re: The Purge: # 1282 Cavern Tavern: Dealing drinks to Dwarfs and the life, but boy are they are demanding
therdfamily wrote:
Nice review! I also enjoy playing this game, its fairly light and not a brain burner and the art is fantastic. I think you hit the nail on the head about the pressure of trying to complete orders as fast as possible and the nasty cards. After my last play I was thinking maybe it would be better if you had to fulfil an order by certain times or you have to draw a card (e.g. 1 order must be complete by 11pm), or linked to the nasty track so if someone pushes you down the track you have to get an order out quick. The expansion adds a lot of choice and I would not play without it.


I think it is hard to not focus on those orders. I need to play the expansion more before I review it.
 
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