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Subject: Story Board reviews Carson City rss

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Angelus Morningstar
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Originally posted here:
http://storyboardwebseries.tumblr.com/post/150233924927/cars...

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StoryBoardGames/
twitter: https://twitter.com/StoryBoardWebtv



Synopsis: You are a frontier adventurer and you’ve decided to settle in the Podunk little Carson City. In this lawless place you will attempt to build up your estate and fend them off from the others around you.

Carson City is a four-round worker placement game. Each round, you choose one of seven personalities to lead your posse. They will give you a unique advantage but this also determine turn order. Your actions go towards claiming plots of land or building structures on them and neighbouring plots. These will provide you valuable money you can cash in for points.

However, in most spots on the board it is possible for you to you contest control through a duel. Winner takes the actions, but returns their cowboy to the general supply, while the defeated reclaims their cowboys but take no action. You will roll off to win but you can boost the power of your duel with unplaced Cowboys and revolver tokens. You can even place cowboys on the plots of land to duke it out for the income it raises.

Commentary: I can see why this game made a splash when it first came out, enough to warrant a deluxe big box reprint. However, I’m not convinced all the mechanisms have aged as well as they could have.

For one, not all of the rules around the placement or earnings of various land plots were intuitive. Even with the reference sheet at hand saloons remained an exception to the general rules for income based on proximity. You would only know it if you remembered this detail from the book itself.

It’s also possible to fall behind quite badly in this game, and the inherent balancing mechanisms don’t seem to help level the playing field enough. The die roll for contested duels affects the outcome more than I’d like. In some ways the risk adds tension to the worker placement facet but more often than not I found it jarring.

Given you have only a few rounds and fewer cowboys, having ones off to the side should be more significant than they are now. If I were to tweak this game, at a pinch I’d have the offside cowboys count for two revolvers to each duel.

Verdict: An almost good game, but ultimately undermined but clunky mechanics seem to work against the game itself.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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This is a GREAT game, especially with the expansions. It's not clunky at all at it's quite a smooth playing game.
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Robert Sillas
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freddieyu wrote:
This is a GREAT game, especially with the expansions. It's not clunky at all at it's quite a smooth playing game.


I completely agree, this is a very good, and smooth game, and I don't agree with the original post.
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Angelus Morningstar
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rsillas wrote:
freddieyu wrote:
This is a GREAT game, especially with the expansions. It's not clunky at all at it's quite a smooth playing game.


I completely agree, this is a very good, and smooth game, and I don't agree with the original post.


I consider there to be a clunk as you are required to, on occassion, look up a table of results. It's not always a case of "this logic means this result" it is a case of "this condition, and this condition, make this result, but it's different from this condition and this condition".

Effectively, there is a spreadsheet, and cheatsheets are often necessary for new players.

I consider that a wrinkle in an otherwise excellent game.
 
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Glenn Eikenberry
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I agree, cases like the Saloon create some clunkiness. And the iconography on the building tiles themselves do NOT clarify - some references to houses refer to ones you own, others to ones you are adjacent to, but the icon is the same. (Did Alexandre Roche do the graphic design, too?)

I can't believe they didn't redesign the iconography for the building tiles in the big box reprint. It does present an unfortunate learning curve for inexperienced players.

That said, I played it this week with Gold 'n' Guns and it is an absolutely fun, tense, game where everyone is throwing elbows. Lots of fun space to explore. It's in my top 5 for sure.
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Michael Mesich
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Throw the dice off to the side and play with the gun tiles.

Then play some more.

#GunDiceShouldBeTheVariantAndNotTheRule

Also, as soon as one person fully gets the iconography of the building chart, everyone will be able to understand it and that confusion goes away.
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Ken Bush
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Morningstar_81 wrote:

For one, not all of the rules around the placement or earnings of various land plots were intuitive. Even with the reference sheet at hand saloons remained an exception to the general rules for income based on proximity. You would only know it if you remembered this detail from the book itself.

It’s also possible to fall behind quite badly in this game, and the inherent balancing mechanisms don’t seem to help level the playing field enough. The die roll for contested duels affects the outcome more than I’d like. In some ways the risk adds tension to the worker placement facet but more often than not I found it jarring.

Given you have only a few rounds and fewer cowboys, having ones off to the side should be more significant than they are now. If I were to tweak this game, at a pinch I’d have the offside cowboys count for two revolvers to each duel.

Verdict: An almost good game, but ultimately undermined but clunky mechanics seem to work against the game itself.


Did the re-release change the rules for Saloons? The income they provide uses the same proximity information as Banks & Drug stores, adjacent houses, (unowned or owned by you) in my edition. Even with consistent "iconography", it's there in plain site on the tile for all to see without referring to the book.

As to the next paragraph, yes if you don't pay attention to your opponents you will lose, but falling behind early is no guarantee that you will lose. There can be substantial end-game scoring.

Your comment about Cowboys off to the side counting as 2 guns is due to your not playing enough. It's pretty easy to get 3 extra cowboys, that would be 6 guns, early game that would be devastatingly strong for the person who took the Captain. I do like the idea of getting 2 guns for "returned" cowboys who lost duels however.
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Michael Mesich
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When it comes to building tiles, not all information is on there, just enough to jog memory. The Building List Chart is key.

In short, though: If a tile has one or more RED houses on it, it counts as a house for other buildings that derive income from houses. If it has a BLACK house on it (or other symbol), it means this building derives income from houses (or ranches or mines).

The only building that derives income from houses that does not do so in the standard "only count un-claimed houses and houses you own" rule is the General Store. It generates income from ALL houes, but at differing amounts as clearly indicated on the Building List Chart.

It takes time and plays to get these things down, but then so does pretty much every game of this kind of depth.
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