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EDIT Oct.31: the original title of this thread was “A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition” but the discussion quickly derailed enough into talks about upgraded components and went further down toward smug jokes some think are very funny after which some ideas are shared regarding map creation.

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Dear Splotter,

with great regrets I have to admit that I sold my copy of Roads & Boats a few years ago. It was lurking on the shelves but it would never return to the table. I tried, six times. But the vast amount of tiny cardboard chits, the clumsiness of covering the hexagon tiles with bending plexiglass, the lack of oversight due to covered chits and faded roads; all of these issues turned an initial thrill to build up our own economies into sheer frustration.

Still I regret I sold my copy, for the lack of anything better. What to do?

I wish you would re-design your game to modern standards. Keep the excellent core and turn the rest into a smooth and streamlined Roads & Boats Essential Edition. With a minimum amount of cardboard which is at least twice as thick, custom cut wooden tokens in any shape imaginable, a selection of the included expansions and updated artwork. Let Z-Man or Feuerland or any other fine company produce it and become the smash hit of Spiel 2018.
Or 2019, I can wait.

Kind regards and good luck,
Jérôme
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
I expected this to be a plea for a reprint that included etcetera. I'd dig that.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Yes!
I mean Yes, Yes please !
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Could you imagine if they went with miniature Mechano-goats, mechano-geese, maybe some 7" boats, BAM!!!! Best game EVA on Kickstarter. /sarcasm_off
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Just imagine how expensive would it be if they replaced all of the cardboard chits w/ wooden tokens...
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
I understand your plea. But I also understand that board game design is a hobby for the Splotter guys. So a redesign would mean less time for other projects. So in all likeliness that would mean that that would push a new design years back. And I don't think that's worth it.

But yeah, Roads & Boats will probably get reprinted eventually. I'm crossing my fingers for a smaller box (like they're doing with Antiquity). But I'm hoping they'll otherwise keep it the same.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
So which tokens should be replaced with wooden ones, and why?

Given the enormous piles of resources that happen every time I play this game, I'm not sure there's anything to be gained here. So I'm wondering what your reasoning is.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Jasonbartfast wrote:
So which tokens should be replaced with wooden ones, and why?

Given the enormous piles of resources that happen every time I play this game, I'm not sure there's anything to be gained here. So I'm wondering what your reasoning is.


I should put deeper thought into your first question before I can answer that, but the reasoning behind it is to streamline the wonderful game into an excellent modern game, without dumbing it down. One of the things that I consider a problem is the enormous pile of resources. There should be a smarter way to deal with that. For example the way Fields of Arle has a chart instead of a zillion chits with the same resource over and over again. But R&B has an important pickup and deliver component so that wouldn't work here.

Another part of my reasoning is that a board game nowadays should be playable within three hours tops, two is better. For some people that argument is crap, and they are and forever will be happy with R&B as it is. My plea isn't for them, obviously.

Like I said, I should think deeper before answering but I hope you understand the direction of my thoughts. A re-design goes further than just replacing bits and artwork.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Jasonbartfast wrote:
So which tokens should be replaced with wooden ones, and why?

Given the enormous piles of resources that happen every time I play this game, I'm not sure there's anything to be gained here. So I'm wondering what your reasoning is.


The only thing I could think of that would make sense would be wooden buildings. It would help to differentiate them from the goods.

Oooooh now I'm debating ordering some wooden Monopoly houses or Catan cities and stickering them with the building symbols....
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
If you want a sub-two-hour streamlined modern game, I can't think of any reason why you'd be looking at R&B, let alone &c.


Neuland accomplishes much of what you request, especially the clever elimination of the piles-of-chits mechanic.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Redo the art??? surprise BLASPHEMY! The art is half of the charm.

In all seriousness (and I do really love the art) the only thing I'd want to see is a smaller box so that I could carry it around more easily. I have only found the portability to be an issue and would not see any true benefit in changing components. The chits serve a purpose, and to replace them with wood bits would only result in a much more difficult to manage pile. And this is coming from someone who LOVES wooden components.

The cardboard as is is fine. Could it be slightly thicker, maybe, but it is under a sheet of plexi-glass. The thickness doesn't matter in that regard. And drawing the roads is so much a part of this game. To remove that would be to remove the soul of this game.

Of course, these are just the opinions of one R&B fanatic, so take them with a grain of salt.

And anyone having trouble playing this, swing on by and I'll help devil
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
NateStraight wrote:
Neuland accomplishes much of what you request, especially the clever elimination of the piles-of-chits mechanic.

I was thinking the same.
 
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Having played with homebrewed upgraded copies, I can attest that this game is made worse by using wooden or fancy components. 5-10 chits fit comfortably in a stack. 10 wooden disks get knocked over in no time. That said, I would certainly buy a deluxe version with tiles two to three times the size to accomadate the 3d resin roads and bridges as well as the hot wheels style toy cars and donkeys.

I'm not sure what you could strip out of the game to make it simpler. Neuland is a good answer, but it's a very different game in the same way that Tiny Epic Galaxies is a very different game than Space Empires 4x.

Lastly, you should consider that piles of resource chits represent inefficiency in play. A really good player will be wishing for more resources, not staring forlorn at a pile of 20 wood. As you play the game better, the resource stacks on the board decrease and you find yourself quickly cycling just a few chits through the production chutes.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
NateStraight wrote:
If you want a sub-two-hour streamlined modern game, I can't think of any reason why you'd be looking at R&B, let alone &c.


Because R&B gives you that a unique experience of building up an economy from scratch, while tackling logistics and insane commodity conversions.

NateStraight wrote:
Neuland accomplishes much of what you request, especially the clever elimination of the piles-of-chits mechanic.


More people are saying that, so I bought it after I sold R&B, but the experience was nowhere near R&B. The rules didn't make much sense and I was put off by the drab artwork.

malayet2 wrote:
Redo the art??? surprise BLASPHEMY! The art is half of the charm.


Charming it is for sure. But for a wider appeal the game would benefit from a more professional look.

malayet2 wrote:
In all seriousness (and I do really love the art) the only thing I'd want to see is a smaller box so that I could carry it around more easily. I have only found the portability to be an issue and would not see any true benefit in changing components. The chits serve a purpose, and to replace them with wood bits would only result in a much more difficult to manage pile. And this is coming from someone who LOVES wooden components.


Again, not all chits and resources should return in the Essential Edition, it's too much. I'm sure there must be a way to keep the spirit of R&B, yet streamline the processes that are going on in the game. Take some steps out, simplify where possible without stupidifying (is that a word?).

malayet2 wrote:
The cardboard as is is fine. Could it be slightly thicker, maybe, but it is under a sheet of plexi-glass. The thickness doesn't matter in that regard. And drawing the roads is so much a part of this game. To remove that would be to remove the soul of this game.


There, I'm not talking about R&B next edition in a compact box, but about R&B Essential Edition, or whatever name suits, as long as it's clear that it's no longer R&B as we all know it. Which is a fine game, for those who don't mind thousand pieces of cardboard. I do.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Tsaar wrote:
malayet2 wrote:
Redo the art??? surprise BLASPHEMY! The art is half of the charm.


Charming it is for sure. But for a wider appeal the game would benefit from a more professional look.

Wider appeal sounds overrated. yuk
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Tsaar wrote:
Again, not all chits and resources should return in the Essential Edition, it's too much. I'm sure there must be a way to keep the spirit of R&B, yet streamline the processes that are going on in the game. Take some steps out, simplify where possible without stupidifying (is that a word?).

Maybe the more common and appropriate name for what you're looking for is Family Edition.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Quote:

There, I'm not talking about R&B next edition in a compact box, but about R&B Essential Edition, or whatever name suits, as long as it's clear that it's no longer R&B as we all know it. Which is a fine game, for those who don't mind thousand pieces of cardboard. I do.


I guess that is the confusion. The choice of title. When I imagine an Essential Edition, it is all inclusive. Sounds like you want R&B Lite.

I agree with others in that I see nothing that could be removed. And a Lite version is something I really don't know if I'd want to try.

Some games are big and epic on purpose.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Tsaar wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
Neuland accomplishes much of what you request, especially the clever elimination of the piles-of-chits mechanic.


More people are saying that, so I bought it after I sold R&B, but the experience was nowhere near R&B. The rules didn't make much sense and I was put off by the drab artwork.

I agree, Neuland isn't what you want as it isn't R&B light (or family edition), it's R&B shorter. R&B light (or family edition) is Cannes: Stars, Scripts and Screens.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
chearns wrote:
Tsaar wrote:
NateStraight wrote:
Neuland accomplishes much of what you request, especially the clever elimination of the piles-of-chits mechanic.


More people are saying that, so I bought it after I sold R&B, but the experience was nowhere near R&B. The rules didn't make much sense and I was put off by the drab artwork.

I agree, Neuland isn't what you want as it isn't R&B light (or family edition), it's R&B shorter. R&B light (or family edition) is Cannes: Stars, Scripts and Screens.


EXACTLY! I remember selling someone on the game by describing it as just that! Kudos to you for thinking of that.
 
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
malayet2 wrote:
I guess that is the confusion. The choice of title. When I imagine an Essential Edition, it is all inclusive. Sounds like you want R&B Lite.


No I don't want a R&B Lite.
I want a R&B Streamlined.

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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
Tsaar wrote:
malayet2 wrote:
I guess that is the confusion. The choice of title. When I imagine an Essential Edition, it is all inclusive. Sounds like you want R&B Lite.


No I don't want a R&B Lite.
I want a R&B Streamlined.



Streamlined components, by the sounds of it. I think (maybe?) we all agree that the game play itself is not cumbersome and in need of streamlining.

So you are correct, and I retract my earlier accusation of Lite

I agree that the component quantities are high, but (especially when the player count goes up) this can be essential. I won't even begin to try to figure out it, but off the top of my head I'd say you could really only safely reduce the chits by half, but that still leaves a lot of components.


Let's just all take a moment to bask in the glory that is a shared love of Roads & Boats... it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside!
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
So you'd like an intellectually challenging game that combines economy building, logistical planning, and resource conversion all at a detailed level, played in under two hours without any fiddly handling of bits?
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
The world is your oyster. If you have an idea of how it should be designed, you should take a crack at it!
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
adamredwoods wrote:
The world is your oyster. If you have an idea of how it should be designed, you should take a crack at it!


I actually got a number of workable ideas thinking over this thread... I need a good disciplined approach to working my way through them, though. I'd definitely be up for the challenge of creating a component-streamlined R&B-like game that isn't Neuland. My ideas bounce somewhere in the nexus of R&B, Antiquity, Age of Steam, and Ora & Labora / Glass Road for now.
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Re: A Plea for Roads & Boats Essential Edition
malayet2 wrote:
Let's just all take a moment to bask in the glory that is a shared love of Roads & Boats... it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside!


thumbsup

But... there's more than just the components, as I tried to clarify.
Apologies that my appeal is not clear about that. I will try to rephrase.

BTW this whole thread sounds more serious that it is, because I really don't think that there will ever be the R&B as I'd like to see it so much. Simply not going to happen. Not in the last place because of the Splotter-fans who don't want anything to change, except the size of the box. My personal opinion is that R&B could be a much more commonly enjoyed game if redesigned, streamlined and probably licensed to another publisher.

Would that still be R&B? I think so, R&B Essential Edition, because it takes the essential parts from the original game.
But, if you want, call it R&B Next Gen. I don't care about the name.
 
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