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Subject: Torres - great software, bad hardware? rss

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Marc
Belgium
Antwerp
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It has been a long time since I last wrote a review, but I thought this one deserved its own. A classic in a new jacket, a revamp of a celebrated original. I always admired the pictures of Torres online and promised myself I would pick up an original version once I saw one somewhere for a cheap price. Obviously this never happened and it's only now I get why. It's great, I mean it really is, who would ever part ways with their copy?

Anyhow, the review. I'll try to keep the same, short structure as my last one:

The Rules
They did a great job at explaining the rules in the booklet, but as with many games, this one is much easier to learn from another player. The game takes about 60 minutes, sometimes less if you play with experienced players, sometimes more if you play with advanced rules. But overall our games were pretty fast and fun! The goal of the game is to build the biggest forts, hold those with your knights and impress the king. Three rounds of each 3-4 turns per player with a special scoring round after every round. Each turn the players get 5 action points (AP) to spend on variable actions like building fortblocks, adding/moving knights and drawing/using action cards. During the scoring round you will get points for each fort you have a knight in and each player that is present in the same fort as the king, will get extra bonus points. After three scoring rounds like this, the winner is the player with the most points.

Some essential rules I'll explain with this picture:



1) Scoring is counted by multiplying (level knight x size fort), so the purple bottom right fort would be 2 points (1 x 2), the top purple fort would be 20 (4 x 5). Keep in mind that it's the level of the knight that gets counted, not the level of the fort itself. The top fort would generate 25 points for yellow and 20 points for purple.
2) Building works in a similar way, you can build anywhere on the map, but you cannot connect 2 forts. Obviously you can not build on top of a knight or a king. If you wanna build an extra level of a fort, you can not exceed the size of the fort. To use the top fort again, you can not build higher than 5 since it's only 5 big.
3) Moving a knight is basically 1AP for each move. The knight can not move diagonally, can jump 1 level higher per AP, can jump down x lvls per AP and can use the gates in the forts to take shortcuts.

The Play
For new players, it will take 1-2 rounds to get a basic feel for the game, by the 3rd round they will be hooked. I love this game since it's simple and fast, yet so deep. After about 8 plays in the past few days, I can already say this will be a welcome addition to my collection. Building your own forts the most efficient way while still annoying your opponents is insanely fun! To get your knight as high as possible, you have to build stairs or work your way up with two towers in the fort. Your opponent can take advantage of you and sneak in on your stairs, or use one of the many action cards to get a special ability (move diagonally or jump 2 high among many others) to get ahead in your own fort. The shortcuts you can take through the forts, make you able to jump out late game and sneak in somewhere else. The action cards really add flavour to the game. In the experienced mode, everyone has access to all action cards from the start of the first turn. Or you can add the master cards, which give a 'mission' each game (occupying the sides of the map, or certain forts). All these little things make for a very high replayability on all kinds of skill levels.

The Hardware
At first, I wanted to rant here about the poor quality, but I thought about it some more and came to the conclusion that maybe there isn't a better solution. Basically, it sucks. The production quality on this one is below average in my opinion; you get plastic knights without a base that get knocked over when you touch the board, you get lightweight building blocks for the towers and you get a few cards.
I picked this 2017 edition up last weekend for a mere 29 euros, so the cheap plastic might be a way to keep the price low and accessible to lots of people. Doing the whole thing in wood, would make it too expensive? Or using heavier plastic? Or using lego locks to build the forts? I don't know, maybe there weren't many good alternatives, but it just feels cheap. But it works! Nevermind keeping it safe from the kids or big deal if the dog played with one of the forts.

TL;DR

++ Pros
++ Fast
++ Easy to learn, hard to master
++ Very strategic
++ Works with 2,3 and 4
++ You get to build real towers!

-- Cons
-- Crappy build quality

9/10
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I'd reckon if better components were used, like the heavier plastics or wooden components you cited, it may price this even higher. AFAIK, better components wouldn't have been overcome the higher price, and more people seem to like more inexpensive product than more top notch components.


I have the RGG version, and the box is twice the size of the FX Schmidt version, which is why I hardly carried it with me. The tower blocks are more "full sized", but carrying it was too much a pain in the neck.


Also, the cards used icons instead of text, which is another tradeoff.
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P B
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This is the third reboot to an AMAZING game. Blows my mind that each redesign is worse than the last. First edition with wooden pawns and quality towers is still the very best! I love the original artwork. I had high hopes for this edition, but it is pretty clear that they bungled it. Maybe we can get the folks at SuperMeeple to produce this.

Still happy with my first edition copy.
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ackmondual wrote:
I'd reckon if better components were used, like the heavier plastics or wooden components you cited, it may price this even higher. AFAIK, better components wouldn't have been overcome the higher price, and more people seem to like more inexpensive product than more top notch components.


I think your completely wrong here. No one wants to stare at an ugly board and push plastic or move paper chits around. People will pay more for quality components. Having said that, SuperMeeple reissued Mexica and Tikal with what are likely the BEST components anyone has seen on the market to date. They did so without raising the prices.
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David B
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Kimball Bent wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
I'd reckon if better components were used, like the heavier plastics or wooden components you cited, it may price this even higher. AFAIK, better components wouldn't have been overcome the higher price, and more people seem to like more inexpensive product than more top notch components.


I think your completely wrong here. No one wants to stare at an ugly board and push plastic or move paper chits around. People will pay more for quality components. Having said that, SuperMeeple reissued Mexica and Tikal with what are likely the BEST components anyone has seen on the market to date. They did so without raising the prices.


MSRP of the Super Meeple Mexica in the US was $70. It was, however, widely available for less.
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pfctsqr wrote:
Kimball Bent wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
I'd reckon if better components were used, like the heavier plastics or wooden components you cited, it may price this even higher. AFAIK, better components wouldn't have been overcome the higher price, and more people seem to like more inexpensive product than more top notch components.


I think your completely wrong here. No one wants to stare at an ugly board and push plastic or move paper chits around. People will pay more for quality components. Having said that, SuperMeeple reissued Mexica and Tikal with what are likely the BEST components anyone has seen on the market to date. They did so without raising the prices.


MSRP of the Super Meeple Mexica in the US was $70. It was, however, widely available for less.


Sure, but aren't most MSRP prices on games pretty high? Hammer of the Scots is $65 MSRP. Paper board and a few blocks with stickers!
 
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Derek H
South Africa
Johannesburg
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Kimball Bent wrote:
pfctsqr wrote:
Kimball Bent wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
I'd reckon if better components were used, like the heavier plastics or wooden components you cited, it may price this even higher. AFAIK, better components wouldn't have been overcome the higher price, and more people seem to like more inexpensive product than more top notch components.


I think your completely wrong here. No one wants to stare at an ugly board and push plastic or move paper chits around. People will pay more for quality components. Having said that, SuperMeeple reissued Mexica and Tikal with what are likely the BEST components anyone has seen on the market to date. They did so without raising the prices.

MSRP of the Super Meeple Mexica in the US was $70. It was, however, widely available for less.

Sure, but aren't most MSRP prices on games pretty high? Hammer of the Scots is $65 MSRP. Paper board and a few blocks with stickers!

You really can't compare production quality/aesthetics for wargames with "mainstream" Euros (a topic/debate that has spawned endless threads here on BGG).
 
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Stephen Groves
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Component quality is an issue. I saw this on a retail site and came here to see if the components are as good in the latest edition as the one I have played years ago. They are not so I didn't buy it. I liked the weight of the pieces in the original and like Carcassonne it looked good as the board filled up.

It's a solid game where the components make it more pleasing than "just an abstract". I consider the current hype for Azul being a case of great components drawing people into what sounds like a great game (I haven't played it yet). If Azul used cardboard tiles I probably never would have heard about it.
 
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