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Subject: In-depth Engine Builder? rss

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Enon Sci
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A few days back I finally got a chance to try a two player session of Jórvík. It's a fun game, but I was a touch disappointed to see such a lack of combo potential in the rather rich tableau that developed.

So, to that end, I was curious what somebody might recommend to scratch this itch?

I have a pretty decent collection, so anything made over a year back is likely already there. The high water mark for me in this regard is Ora et Labora, but that game is almost a bit too much in this regard. Le Havre is a close second in my list, and definitely an easier game to bring to the table.

I just purchased Caverna: Cave vs Cave to give a light taste of this style to my 2017 purchases, but I suspect it isn't too involved when it comes to engine building combo potential, yeah?

Nusfjord and Terraforming Mars have been under heavy consideration, but I'm unsure how in depth the engines can be in Nusfjord (I suspect Glass Road is a good proxy), though Terraforming Mars looks like it would give a wealth of potential. I'm just unsure whether it'll be a bit much for two (I hear the card amounts can be overkill), and feel different enough between plays.

Anything else to consider?
 
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Daily Grind
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Anarchosyn wrote:
though Terraforming Mars looks like it would give a wealth of potential. I'm just unsure whether it'll be a bit much for two (I hear the card amounts can be overkill), and feel different enough between plays.

I play TM exclusively at 2 and its fantastic and plays differently every time. Not entirely sure what you mean by 'the card amounts can be overkill'. If you mean the sheer number of cards in the game, well, thats what makes it play differently every time
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Enon Sci
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cafin8d wrote:
Anarchosyn wrote:
though Terraforming Mars looks like it would give a wealth of potential. I'm just unsure whether it'll be a bit much for two (I hear the card amounts can be overkill), and feel different enough between plays.

I play TM exclusively at 2 and its fantastic and plays differently every time. Not entirely sure what you mean by 'the card amounts can be overkill'. If you mean the sheer number of cards in the game, well, thats what makes it play differently every time


To clarify, both Rahdo and Mina (two exceptional two-player centric reviewers on Youtube and BGG, respectively) commented on the amount of cards one has to manage with two is disproportionately heavy compared to a three or four player session (in large part because the same amount of cards come into play, irrespective of count). To quote her directly:

Mina wrote:


soblue 2. Can be difficult to keep track of all effects late in the game

This is related to the even duration of the game across player counts and extent of tableau sprawl when playing with two I mentioned above. Because two players have to accomplish the same amount of "stuff" as four players would prior to the end of the game, each player will have as many cards in his tableau in a 2-player game as 2 players would in a 4-player game. That is twice the stuff! That means you will be dealing with a relatively large number of effects, which can become troublesome to administer late in the game.

Late in the game, your tableau can contain a number of effects that trigger when certain things happen and it can be hard to keep track of them all, leading to forgetting to do X, Y, or Z. This can be frustrating. For example, there are multiple cards that take effect when a city is built and provide cash or animals or income increases, there are multiple cards that provide discounts for playing cards of various types or provide cash when you play cards of various types, there are multiple cards that give you a specific resource every time you play a card with a particular symbol...The list goes on. You can imagine how having a number of these different effects could a) slow the game down as you go through your tableau to ensure you have triggered every effect you are entitled to do and b) lead to missing out on effects when you neglect to follow what an opponent is doing. Add to your tableau effects the cascade of effects that can take place when you place a tile on the tableau, including gaining money from adjacent oceans, increasing terraforming parameters, getting placement bonuses, etc. and you have a perfect storm for a bookkeeping mind f*&^.


https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1636856/minas-not-so-mini-r...

So it's more of an issue with forgetting passive effects then being overwhelmed with active effects.
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Anarchosyn wrote:
So it's more of an issue with forgetting passive effects then being overwhelmed with active effects.

Ah... yes... I suppose thats true. I think overwhelmed is too strong a term, but I can see their point. It hasn't been a problem for us, but we also like heavier games, so take that for what it is.
 
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Timo Louisse
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Maybe 51st State: Master Set or Deus.
I think both are great engine builders, with a decent amount of depth and replay-ability, although 51st state is probably the better one to play with two players. 51st state has a great review by Mina, focused on playing with two players.
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Enon Sci
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timolouisse wrote:
Maybe 51st State: Master Set or Deus.
I think both are great engine builders, with a decent amount of depth and replay-ability, although 51st state is probably the better one to play with two players. 51st state has a great review by Mina, focused on playing with two players.


I like the theme of 51st State, but I purchased Imperial Settlers instead. I hate having two games in the collection that are fairly similar, but perhaps those similarities are more superficial than I currently appreciate? Any insight here?

For what it is worth, I liked Imperial Settlers, but was ultimately let down after 3 plays by how .. bland the builders were. There was never anything really exciting that came out, so I consider it a fun system that missed the mark on potential. 51st State the same?

Deus I played the digital version of Deus a lot over at Boite a Jeux. Never snagged a copy, though. Thanks for the reminder.
 
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