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Subject: Episode 66 - Lisboa! rss

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Zach M
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We fade in onto a Chameleon, walking slowly along a branch in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Camera pulls in its' normally independent eyes focus forward and we pan to a dragonfly, landing nearby. The Chameleon's eyes squint determinedly and he slowly opens his mouth, and as the soundtrack swells to a crescendo, his tongue lashes out and hits its mark, catching the dragonfly by surprise, unaware of its impeding doom. the dragonfly lets out a guttural scream and gets pulled back into that gaping maw of blackness. The camera switches to first person as we watch the lips slowly close, shutting out the ray of hope that is sunshine.

Smash Cut to November 1st, 1755 Lisboa(Aka Lisbon). In the morning, the city is hit by an earthquake, followed by a tsunami and three days of fires. The city is in ruins and the King has put The Marquis of Pombal — Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of the reconstruction, and with the help of the local nobility(you), will work with engineers and architects to finish the rehabilitation and business development of the city.

Lisboa is a 2017 game from designer Vital Lacerda with art from Ian O'Toole and published by Eagle-Gryphon Games.


In this worker card-driven game, you will be working with The Builders, The Marque, The King, and The Treasury to rebuild stores, reopen public buildings, build ships and sell goods, supplying workers to the Noble's Offices, conferring with the clergy, and gaining royal favors. Now doing this actions can result in getting influence, powers, or money, but you don't care about those. You don't care about anything. All you want is wigs, those sweet, powdery wigs. The game will end once a certain amount of rubble has been cleared and stored in player's warehouses.

As an FYI, we did receive a review copy of Lisboa from Eagle-Gryphon Games.

If you have any comments, questions, cries, etc. about this game then please put them down in this post and we will talk about them when we record. If you have anything to say about the episode after it airs, go ahead and put something down here and I will get to it in a future episode.

Have a weekend!
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Derek Lee
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Re: Episode 67 - Lisboa!
My wife and my first game of Lisboa was a challenging learning session, not unlike our first time through Lacerda's Kanban. About half-way through the game, the way all of the mechanisms worked together became clear.

When we sat down to the game the next night, we both had a much better understanding of the rules and it was a relatively seamless play. The way in which all of the mechanisms work together in all of Lacerda's games is amazing, and his ability to weave theme with heavy Euro mechanisms is great.

Overall, I think this game is worth much more play time, and I imagine we will only discover more of its beauty with more plays. The artwork is gorgeous, the component quality top notch, and the gameplay is what I have come to expect in a Vital Lacerda game.

Cheers to Zach to getting this post up just as I finished listening to Friday's episode!
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Mike Van de Casteele
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Re: Episode 67 - Lisboa!
I have not played any Vital Lacerda games yet. Any recommendations on where to start? I think I have a friend who owns the Gallerist, but we haven't gotten it to the table.

Interested in hearing your discussion, although I'm going to totally disregard anything you say, because you got a review copy, so clearly your review will be unreliable!
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Derek Lee
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Re: Episode 67 - Lisboa!
I personally feel that the Gallerist is the most accessible of Lacerda's games. I have taught it to a few people as an introduction into heavier games. I think the Gallerist highlights some mechanisms that are in his other games, and I feel that Lisboa would be the next step after that.

I find Kanban one of his hardest to teach, though it is very rewarding once you learn it. To me, Vinhos falls somewhere in between. Haven't gotten the chance to play CO2.
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Paul Hopkins
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Re: Episode 67 - Lisboa!
I love heavy Euros. Surprisingly I am not a fan of Lisboa (rated 5.5/10). I've thought long and hard (phrasing) about why, and I've narrowed it down to:

1) The setup time is truly atrocious. A special place in hell is reserved for a game designer that makes me randomly place 60 cubes (yes, I counted) out before each play through. Not to mention the random church tiles, random building bonuses (not required), player board setup, public buildings, ships, contracts, and noble cards. Did I miss anything?

However, this can be forgiven if I love the game (e.g., Gloomhaven), thus we come to:


2) The game mechanics feel disjointed. This is really the biggest reason - in other words, the mechanics don't come together in a way that they feel like more than the sum of their parts. I think the root cause here is that they tried to cram too many different pieces into the game.


3) I'm not really immersed in the theme in the same way that I was for Kanban and Gallerist. Too many things seem forced.

-- A patron leaving your gallery when you sell a piece of art makes sense. (Gallerist)
-- The boss checking on each area and penalizing lowest performers makes sense. (Kanban)

-- Getting victory points only when there is a public building at the ends of your building's street does not make sense.
-- Why is the bishop running in circles?
-- Why does collecting sets of rubble power me up?
-- Why do I have a wig fetish?
 
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Vital Lacerda
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2010 - Vinhos, 2012 - CO2, 2014 - kanban, 2015 - The Gallerist, 2016 - Vinhos Deluxe, 2017 - Lisboa, 2018 - Escape Plan, CO2 Second Chance and Dragon Keepers - Maybe: 2019 - ROTW Portugal and On Mars, 2020 - Kanban Deluxe Edition and Máquina
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Re: Episode 67 - Lisboa!
I presume you played only once. So its ok. By your questions you don’t know anything about the history of the city, then is natural that you felt that way. Not your fault, the teacher should be able to answer your questions. If he didn’t he coudn’t expect an easy understanding of the game. Specially this one that is totaly connected with the history of the City. All the answers to your questions can be found on the rulebook.
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Paul Hopkins
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Re: Episode 67 - Lisboa!
Thanks for your reply, and I apologize for being overly harsh. If it means anything, it's simply because I love Gallerist and Kanban - so my expectations were extremely high.

I've played 3 times (well, more like 2.5). You're correct in that I don't know anything about the history of the city. I also don't know anything about art galleries, but Gallerist is one of my all time favorite games. My main critique is not the setup time, or the theme connection, but rather that the mechanics of the game simply didn't come together for me.

I wish I could put it better into words, this is why I don't review games myself. I will think some more and come back to try to explain my viewpoint better.
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Daniel Lowe
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The discussion about theming in this game was pretty interesting. If someone was interested in the city of Lisbon and the rebuilding of the city, this game seems like it'd be very thematic and more fun because of it. But generally people would rather fight dragons, use lightsabers, and cast fireballs than rebuild a specific city. I think I could get into Lisboa if I watched a documentary on the rebuilding of Lisbon or read a book on it first. I probably won't do that, so the interest level is low unfortunately.
 
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matt franz
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Great review guys. I need to play this game some more (as well as Vital's other masterpieces). That was a fun review over all to listen to and agreed with most of the points good and bad. I still have Gallerist as my top vital game....for now.
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Derek Lee
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After listening to the review, I've got to say this is why Mile High Game Guys has become one of my top podcasts. You guys approach a game from all angles and from varying tastes. Even when the game misses the mark for one of you, you give it a fair shake and can still give credit to its strong points.

Well done review, and I enjoyed listening. Keep up the great work!
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