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The Voyages of Marco Polo: Agents of Venice» Forums » General

Subject: Initial thoughts after reading rules rss

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Matej
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Mats Persson
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I read the english rules. What are my firt impresions after reading them?

Well there are two modules which you can combine with the base game however you want. I am not going into details how to play them, you can find fotos of the rules in matpe galery.
First is aditional board with Venice. There you can put your trading posts, sou you start a game with three more of those. Those trading posts give you access to some action cards or small town bonuses. In order to perform that action you must put a single die on the action space which has the same restrictions like favour of the Khan action space. Then you place one Trading post, that must be conected to the one that you placed before. Sometimes there are aditional costs to be paid, like some camels, coins or resources.
This module is esential if you want to play with 5 players. For me it seems like much better option than traveling, even there is no points for objectives. Maybe thanks to the fact, there is one action space less than are players, the normal traveling is still esential. So far, however, I am not sure about that module.
Second module looks much better. You just basicaly put 6 companion tiles near the board, and you can grab one of them, when you put a die on that action space. You also gets one resource for that action. That companion is with you untill the end of the current round and gives you some special abillity. I really like concept of that. You must grab one that you will use most of the time during that round, so his ability will be most efective. Abilities seems balanced. There is one, which for every completed contract gives you +3 points OR you must pay one less resource. So grab that guy, when you plan to complete the most contracts is esential. Or there is the one, which let you exchange camels with coins etc.
At the end of the round everyone discards all of his comapinons. As I said, I like it very much.
And lastly there are five new characters. I dont like any of those, except one, to be fair. One seems just ridiculously overpowered (that one with the 5 chits), another is just ok, he lets you grab one of the companions at the start of each round. Third is the only one I like. At the start of the game, you gain five character cards. At the start of each round, you choose to have the abillity of one of those character, and then at the end of round you discard that character. I like that concept.
Penultimate character can start game on one of the three oasis which are shown on his card and also he can once per round put aside all of the dice from one action space, so he is able to perform something without paying coins for instance. This one seems underpowered.
And the last one has 6 special cards, which give him some special effects. Basicaly it is the same concept as that one character from that previous expansion, so nothing extra new.
Overall I like only the second module and of course 5th player colour choice since it is my favourite. Some characters are not that bad, and also the first module can be good, but it seems it destroys travel part of the game. I am not sure if I buy it. What do you guys and gals think?
EDIT: Oh, I missread the abillity of that character with chits, so she can use only one chit. But to be fair this is just basicaly copy of Mateo polo with slight changes.
 
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Mark Johnson
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I posted some thoughts on the new expansion HERE

I'll just copy and paste here:

GarcianIII wrote:
One outright doesn't work with Kublai Khan and has too many fluffy workarounds for others.


You do draw a replacement character if Kublai is one of the five, but I agree that this character is a little rules heavy and will likely get worse if more expansions come out. Good strategic richness to the character, though.

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Another seems to copy the ability of other characters whilst being a mixture of Gifts/city tiles/player abilities. Altogether is too random (6 drawn from a deck of 10)


Random, but I think could be fun.

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One infringes upon the ability of Berke khan AND Caprini rolled into one.


More like a really weak Kublai and Berke rolled into one. I scratch my head at this one as well. Maybe it's a lot better in practice than on paper. Though, after thinking of it more, it could allow a player to re-use a particularly powerful city card or make an action they desperately need to take cheap for them.

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One is distinctly worse and is a less interesting version of Matteo Polo.


Disagree. You can get compensation with the new character which almost never happens with Matteo. Additionally, you are guaranteed specific numbers on your 'white dice' which allows for better planning, whereas Matteo's is rolled randomly. Some would prefer the camel over a random contract.

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And another is locked into expansion only syndrome.


True, but it gives you an interesting ability during the round and denies said character from the pool of available characters. More on those helpers below...

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They all seem a little of lazy and a missed opportunity. As if the chicken came before the egg; the idea of an expansion came before the ideas for the expansion.


I think they will be fun and interesting to use.

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I do however like the ideas for the Scribe/Nun and Moneylenders. I Wish they could have been massaged into player abilities.


They did with the one you complained about being tied to expansion material. I don't think there would be anything wrong with not using this module (if you don't like it for making the game less tight) and randomly putting out 5 helpers as a 'character' (Even using that character's tile to represent it) who can only use one one per round, which discards after the round ends. Similar to the one that uses the unplayed characters.

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Rest of the expansion seems middling and I believe that the Venice board will only dilute the game, not expand its tightness or richness.


Some people find Marco Polo to be far too tight and punishing with 4. If you don't, you don't need to use the modules (Helpers & Venice) and you still have some added variability. For people that do find it too tight, they can enjoy the game with the added modules. The tightness will still certainly be there with 5 even with the Venice board. Being able to go up to 5 is a boon for people familiar with the game that want to play at this count.

I feel like they skimped on variability, though:

-3 City Income Tiles
-0 City 'First' Tiles
-4 City Cards
-6 Contracts
-4 Route Cards
-9 Helpers (seems kind of low when you randomize 6/9 per round)

I find this to be especially egregious when you need 3 income tiles, 3 city cards for the Venice board. Also needing all the route cards when playing with 5. Where are the Venice routes?

All-in-all, I'm still very excited for this.
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Dale Rowe
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Reading your post, which I largely agree on, I can't see how you can still feel excited. I wouldn't pay anymore than £10 for the content and they are charging three times that amount!

The helpers intrigue me slightly but I feel that they will guide your hand too much towards certain strategies and that a large part of the fun of Marco Polo is the internal puzzle of finding out what(*) you want to do, then how(*).

Both points that I think the helpers, despite being interesting in and of themselves, will take away from and effect.


edit: all of these thoughts and foibles I could forget if the base content was stellar or at least if there were lots of it. It falls short, for me, on both fronts.
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Jack Spirio
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GarcianIII wrote:
Reading your post, which I largely agree on, I can't see how you can still feel excited. I wouldn't pay anymore than £10 for the content and they are charging three times that amount!

The helpers intrigue me slightly but I feel that they will guide your hand too much towards certain strategies and that a large part of the fun of Marco Polo is the internal puzzle of finding out what(*) you want to do, then how(*).

Both points that I think the helpers, despite being interesting in and of themselves, will take away from and effect.


edit: all of these thoughts and foibles I could forget if the base content was stellar or at least if there were lots of it. It falls short, for me, on both fronts.


I don’t get the part of the helpers, what do you mean exactly?
 
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