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Subject: What is making - Vinhos Deluxe - so special to me rss

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Victor Lamy
United Kingdom
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Today I am going to talk about what I like most in Vinhos Deluxe. I am not going to review this game, but I have to say it is, in my opinion, one of the most elegant games ever designed. There isn't much I can hold against it.

In my opinion, the most satisfying phase of the game is the production phase. Throughout the game, the players invest in land, workers, infrastructure and media ultimately to produce more wine of better quality and value.

That production phase feels extremely satisfying for the following reasons:

- Each player’s personal board is a cute little model of their wine estate, with joyful art, plenty of different worker meeples and infrastructures. Seeing this model come to life as the game engine during the production phase is somewhat thrilling. Agricola was one of the first games to implement brilliantly this idea, however Vinhos feels more like modelling for adults where Agricola can have a more childish edge to it. Building a living system is core to all Vital Lacerda games and I think it is particularly well executed in this one.

- There isn't any uncertainty in the production phase, it is a true reflection of how well the player did during the last turn. It feels a little bit like waiting for a mark after a successful math exam.

- The outcome of the production phase will dictate and fuel the player’s strategy for the upcoming turn. Should the player have produced only high quality high value wines, options offered to them are different to the options available should they have produced only low quality low value wines. But in almost no case, the player will run out of options as long as they are adapting to the game state. In that sense, the production phase also contributes as an elegant catch up mechanism, should the player be smart enough to grab the pivotal opportunity.

I would love to see modelling used more often and more purposefully in board games. Being able to interact with the components of the game in a meaningful way. Board games are sensorial experiences.
The Kickstarter version of Anachrony is an example that comes to mind where slotting card board characters in plastic mechs has been very well received by the players. We’ve just scratched the surface and opportunities there are endless and quite exciting.

What is your favourite aspect of Vinhos Deluxe ?
Can you think of a great implementation of modelling and interacting with game components in another game, albeit not in a childish way ?

If so, let’s discuss in the comments section!

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Thanks for reading and for being part of an amazing community !

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