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Caverna: Cave vs Cave» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Story Board reviews Cave vs Cave rss

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Angelus Morningstar
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Sydney
New South Wales
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Originally posted here:
http://storyboardwebseries.tumblr.com/post/162255598737/cave...

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



Synopsis: You are two families of dwarves bent upon a furious feud. You would prove that your family can outperform your rival family, undermining them and the cave they stand in. You will grow your family, hollow out the foot of your mountain, and build edifice to your name.

You must amass the greatest amount of wealth and stature, through the wonder of the rooms that you build from the gold that you can muster. For you receive points from both the value printed on the rooms you have furnished and a point for each gold unit in your possession.

On your turn, you select one of the available action tiles remaining in the action row. You will start being able to take two actions per round, and eventually be able to take four actions by the final round. The actions are distinct, allowing you to acquire several basic goods, carve out sections of your cave, and take the actions of rooms that you have built.

You will use these actions to accumulate the resources necessary to pay for the various rooms. Similarly, one of your options is to build stone walls between the room spaces; necessary as each room requires between one wall, for back support, up to all four walls entirely enclosing it. While some of these walls are optional, you need to plan your excavation to meet these demands.

Commentary: Cave vs Cave bills itself as a worker placement game without workers. It achieves this by effectively abstracting away the family growth elements of Caverna into an action selection mechanism, which grows as the game evolves. Likewise, there are certain actions with food costs, which scale to the imagined number of workers in the round.

One aspect that enlivens the game is the way new rooms become available. For while the number of your actions steadily increase across the game, which actions and which rooms become available is random. This means that the game progresses with a strong and escalating pace, but affords a high amount of variety from play to play.

Both of these add to the experience that you have multiple paths to victory, but that you cannot rely upon particular strategies to win you the day. You must adapt to the evolution of the game, and then compete for the specific key actions that are available each round. For example, there is only one action that allows you to build walls, and similarly there are a finite number of walls. These bottle-necks well set you against each other over key actions rather than key resources.

Cave vs Cave is a loose departure from its intellectual property, being its own little two-player game that draws upon the themes and central ideas of Caverna. Do not go into this game expecting a mini-Caverna, even though you will see many of its elements reflected therein. Rather, it is definitely a game that stands upon its own merits.

Verdict: An excellent distinctive take on Caverna that neither replicates nor replaces it.
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Curt Frantz
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I'm going to ask you the question I was asked on my review of the game:

How do you think this compares to Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small? Which do you prefer, and why?

Thanks for the review!
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Michael Bacon
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tribefan07 wrote:
I'm going to ask you the question I was asked on my review of the game:

How do you think this compares to Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small? Which do you prefer, and why?

Thanks for the review!


Me too.
 
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