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Subject: Lisboa compared to ZhanGuo rss

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Alexandre Santos
Belgium
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I've read mentions of similarities between Lisboa and ZhanGuo, which is a game that I didn't know. I watched Paul Grogan's video tutorial and No Pun Included review of ZhanGuo, and can see why some relate both.

So my question is: if you have played both Lisboa and ZhanGuo, how would you compare and contrast both titles?
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Morten K
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It's not something I would think of either. ZhanGuo has fewer moving parts but also has some difficult decisions whereas Lisboa is full of stuff and mechanisms. The main difference for me is that Lisboa is built around the setting and theme and ZhanGuo around the mechanisms which are far from thematic. Lisboa is both the bigger more involved game and the better game if you ask me.
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Ottevaere Wouter
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AlexFS wrote:
I've read mentions of similarities between Lisboa and ZhanGuo, which is a game that I didn't know. I watched Paul Grogan's video tutorial and No Pun Included review of ZhanGuo, and can see why some relate both.

So my question is: if you have played both Lisboa and ZhanGuo, how would you compare and contrast both titles?


The only similarity I see is the particular game mechanic of using a card in two ways: one can play it on his own player board/area (for upgrading his own profits) or one can play it on the main board (fulfilling an action).
For the rest, IMHO, these are completely different games...
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Allan Nordahl
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Agreed - and I like both but would prefer Lisboa
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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KEW GARDENS
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Own and enjoy both and feel their relative ratings here on BGG closely reflect my own feelings about each.

I'd happily play Lisboa 2-3 times a month whereas Zhanguo is something I'll likely only take off the shelf a few times a year.

To echo the sentiments already shared above, apart from the multi use cards you either tuck or play to the board they have virtually nothing in common experientially.
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Evan Scussel
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There is no doubt that Lisboa is the better game. But for me, the difference isn't in the mechanisms as much as it is in the theme. At the end of the day, both games have one core central action. You can either play a card to your tableau, or play a card to the "royal court". In Lisboa, there are 3 main actions and 6 secondary actions you can do. In ZhanGuo, there are 6 main actions. In Lisboa, you have to play a certain type of card to do certain actions. In ZhanGuo, you have to play a card either higher or lower numbered than the card most recently played in order to set off various bonuses you have accumulated in your tableau.

Both games use this primary mechanic to great effect and I enjoy them both quite a bit. They both have interesting ramifications to every action players take.

However, where Lisboa is dripping in theme and you really feel like you are reconstructing a city, you never feel like you are unifying China when you play ZhanGuo. Furthermore, there is more player interaction in Lisboa as what players do greatly affects the choices of the other players. In ZhanGuo, there are benefits to getting to certain spots on the board first, and how you use your unification tokens will impact other players, but it's much more of a multiplayer solitaire-type experience.

Lisboa is my second highest rated game behind only Great Western Trail. ZhanGuo is solidly in my top-20, but it's not in the same class as Lisboa, either design-wise, or in terms of the game's overall production quality.
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Chris Puram
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I agree that both are excellent games and the similarities are overall pretty minimal despite a couple of obviously similar mechanics in spots.

I actually prefer Zhanguo slightly but would play either any time.
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Shadow Rogue
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I like both about the same, though Lisboa edges ZG due to its being able to be played solitaire. ZG's a brilliant game though. For all of its many, many merits, Lisboa doesn't have anything like the potential for chain-reaction bonuses that ZG does, which is immensely satisfying when you pull it off.

I'd agree that ZG is not quite as thematic as Lisboa, but I don't think that the former lacks in theme. The distribution of your officials across the different provinces, tracking unrest, building the great wall, all feel very thematic to me.

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Michael Cabral
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I like the chain-reaction bonuses of my clergy tiles and Treasury cards that are played into my portfolio. There are many powerful cumulative combos that can be achieved in Lisboa.

Two off the top of my heard are:

I can play 2 treasury cards into my portfolio where I can get a 2 réis discount and make earthquake rubble free of cost. Combining with my 1 Real discount clergy tile plus either a 1 wig bonus for building stores will score me lots of cheaper points.

There are also combos with shipping. I can start with a no-goods-cost build a ship clergy tile. Play a political card with high influence and build my first ship to gain more influence with no goods spent. Later on I can get other clergy tiles like +2 wigs when sets sail, +2 réis for a particular good sold. That combo is very powerful in gaining lots of money and wigs, making it easier to build more stores that will produce more goods and keep building and upgrading ships to force others to use your ships to gain wigs.
 
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Michael Frost

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Both are great games but Lisboa is "heavier" and more "strategic".

I'd put ZhanGuo closer to Lorenzo il Magnifico.
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Chris Puram
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Lisboa is definitely "heavier" in terms of rules but I'm not sure I'd say it's more "Strategic". Long term planning is critical in most aspects of Zhanguo. I actually found Lisboa to be more tactical and more of a point salad type game. Not a bad thing. Just a thing.
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Alexandre Santos
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Thank you everybody for the input, it's very informative!

MPMelanchthon wrote:
Both are great games but Lisboa is "heavier" and more "strategic".


In which manner do you think Lisboa is more strategic?
 
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Michael Frost

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Lisboa rewards or punishes those players paying the most or least attention to long-term strategy. Taking into account the amazingly complex interactions of all the various mechanisms and actions. ZhanGuo is essentially an engine-builder (usually one uses 12-15 of their entire 30 cards just to tuck to build and then later run that engine) to accomplish a few tasks.

The level of strategic thinking in ZhanGuo is much closer to Lorenzo il Magnifico in my opinion, which also has one build and run an engine. Though I think ZhanGuo is more strategic in that in Lorenzo you usually just choose that initial strategic course that fits for what is out there and you can get at in the first round, then you just max the hell out of it the rest of the game. (I've played Lorenzo enough to know I just don't care to play it again, as there are only so many viable strategies and one sees them in about 3-5 plays.)
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