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Isle of Skye: Journeyman» Forums » General

Subject: First Impressions of Isle of Skye: The Journeyman rss

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Dean Jones
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The first expansion for Isle of Sky came out last week. I love the game, so I decided to snap it up straight away, even though there was surprisingly little information about it.





It adds a progress board for each player, a Journeyman meeple and some other bits, including new map (all with a journeyman icon) and scoring tiles.

The progress board and meeple add a new phase to the game: the journeyman phase. This takes place after you add new tiles to your clan territory, but before scoring. The main point is that you will be collecting resources from your territory in order to progress on the tracks.

You will place your waypoint cubes (you start with two, but earn one more) to indicate which tiles you plan to collect resources from. You can only place one marker on a tile and you can only collect one resource from it per round. You then move your journeyman to those tiles to collect them and progress on the track.

You start off with two movement tiles. Moving across tiles connected by road is one point per tile, moving across tiles without a road is two points per tile. This makes roads even more important. Luckily, you can also build up to three roads (based on the progression board) to link tiles.

As some resources may be difficult to get (due to what tiles come out), there are a few ways to progress. You can stop at your castle and pay money (it costs more the further up the track) to progress without the resource, and there are also journeyman icons on symbols, which lets you progress any track when you buy a tile. You can also progress on the top track for free whenever someone buys from you. There is also a slight hurdle on the track: it costs money to cross the "bridges", from 5 money up to 12 money

So, what does the progress board to exactly? The main features are getting additional points and income. The top track (warrior) gets you from 1 to 10 additional points in the points phase. The middle track (merchant) gets you additional money and increases your movement. The bottom track (herald) gets you both instant points and points per round.

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Example:



On this, it takes me 4 movement points to get to the castle. I use the castle to progress to the top track and will now get 10 points (instead of 7) in the scoring round. (Note that I could have instead progressed on the middle track, as the tile is on both a completed mountain and completed lake). Next I spend two movement points and progress on the bottom track as I am two tiles away from the castle. I also pay 5 coins to do so as I go over a bridge. I use my final two movement points to move up the top track again (four tiles away from the castle) and get three instant points.

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The other main thing on the progress board are reward tiles that give you bonuses: a third waypoint marker, a free progress, roads, money, extra movement on one turn). There are also ones near the end of the track they get you big bonuses.

One of them lets you opt out of using your axe, meaning you can price all three tiles you get. One of them has the bank paying for the tiles you purchase off other players. The final one lets you buy a second tile once other players have purchased. These are difficult to get, but can be very useful.

As for how this plays: initially, it's not quite that easy to explain (probably more difficult than the game itself) and it takes a couple of rounds to get your head around it. After that, though, it's really easy. At that point, we ignored the rules where we had to take turns on progression (what you do has no impact on other players, so I think the rule is there purely you can make sure others are doing it correctly).

The expansion adds a lot more to think about, and in a way completely changes the way you think about which tiles to buy and place, as you have your progress board to plan for. The game also ended with a tie breaker, despite us having to try different tactics (all games of Isle of Skye I've played have been very close). It also makes a lot more tiles useful, as icons that don't appear in the scoring now have a use.

Another thing that may be important for some people: once you combine the game/expansion, it's very easy to play the game without it. Just don't use the boards and remove two scoring tiles. The tiles that get shuffled in the bag can simply be used when not playing the expansion (as you just ignore the symbol, like any other symbol that doesn't turn up).

It's only been one play, but it takes the concept I love about Isle of Skye and turns it into a meaty game. One downside is that it does use up a lot more table space (it used a lot to begin with), as everyone now has a large board.

(one additional note: the images also contain some promo tiles)
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Trey Chambers
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This is sad. Extra complexity is the last thing I wanted for an expansion to this simple game.

I just wanted more terrain tiles, more scoring tiles, and maybe, at most, a new thing or two printed on the new map tiles that had some function in the game. Definitely not a separate board with its own mechanics.

I use this game to fill my "simple and fast" niche. I already have plenty of other games in my "meaty" niche.
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Andi Hub
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Shampoo4you wrote:

This is sad. Extra complexity is the last thing I wanted for an expansion to this simple game.

I just wanted more terrain tiles, more scoring tiles, and maybe, at most, a new thing or two printed on the new map tiles that had some function in the game. Definitely not a separate board with its own mechanics.

I use this game to fill my "simple and fast" niche. I already have plenty of other games in my "meaty" niche.

Then this expansion is really not for you. I like it, but I am still on the fence because with it Isle of Skye is not a game that you can quickly play after the meatier game of the evening.
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Chris Funk
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Shampoo4you wrote:

This is sad. Extra complexity is the last thing I wanted for an expansion to this simple game.

I just wanted more terrain tiles, more scoring tiles, and maybe, at most, a new thing or two printed on the new map tiles that had some function in the game. Definitely not a separate board with its own mechanics.

I use this game to fill my "simple and fast" niche. I already have plenty of other games in my "meaty" niche.


It doesn't add that much in the end. If anything, it makes the tiles you choose more important and, as noted above, it makes road planning more important.

Plus, there are a lot of people that felt IoS was too light and wanted something more involved. From what I've seen, I think it's a worthwhile investment.
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James Cartwright
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My family and I like the quick play and lack of complexity of IoS so I don't think this expansion will be for us.
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Darryl with one "R"
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On the other hand, I love the mechanics of Isle of Skye but generally prefer games with a bit more meat on them. This expansion is perfect for me.
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Candace Mercer
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Both sides have convinced me. I do need this and I don't. Existential crisis time.

I would have liked some more tiles along with the extra meat.

I can use my animeeples from Agricola so that is not an issue. Just for flavor, cause why not?
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Chris Funk
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candio wrote:
Both sides have convinced me. I do need this and I don't. Existential crisis time.


Schroedinger's Expansion?
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Justin Rubin
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Feeling the same - and also thinking of the people I play this with - will they really want the added stuff or will it kill it for them?
 
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Virginijus Digrys
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I'm thinking about with whom I mostly play this game - and it's my kids. Extra complexity would kill joy for kids and would make imposible to play for my 6 year old
 
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