Jayson Myers
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Clermont
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Please check out my other reviews at:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2728438#it...


Conclusion:

Pie Town was a game that I was really excited to play. I was hoping to get another great family game with some huge upside. Boy, was I disappointed! I hesitate to say this game works very well.

First, the game looks great. It is super attractive. I love the colors, the quality of the components, and the fantastic rule book. The look and the theme is going to attract a lot of people. Great job! This is what a game should look like if you want it to be around for a long time.

The problem here is the gameplay does not match the look of the game. I don't have a lot of good to say about this game. I do like the use of dice as workers. I've seen this before, but instead of rolling the dice the values get higher or lower based on your decisions.

The good ends there. The options in the game are very simple. Too simple. Most people will get all the upgrades, hire all the new dice and still run out of things to do. I had dice that I didn't really need to use the last couple of rounds. Let me explain a little more.

The game feels very scripted. You always, always need to get ingredients as often as you can. Without ingredients, you don't really score points and you can't bake pies and there is only one way to get them. In all of my games, and this might be group think, we have to grab those ingredients or they will be all gone and you won't be able to score points this round.

Once you get the three upgrades, then the spot is a dead spot on the board. This is one less thing you can do. Once you hire twice and get the two extra dice, then the hire spot is a dead post on the board. These are the two main spots to decrease the pips on your dice. Most people get this done fairly early in the game, and then for the remainder of your turns you are adding to your pips which means everyone gets pretty strong pretty quickly. With those two spots are used up and your dice get powerful, you may find dice you don't need.

The game last a couple of rounds too long, but you need those rounds to score so it is a catch 22 really. I'm sure this game was play tested to death, but I might want to play 5 rounds or 7, but not 9. I wish you didn't have time to do everything, but you do. And more really. Everyone will get all the upgrades, hire all the extra workers, and it really comes down to which ingredients you get, which makes getting that first player marker so important. Super important.

The game also has this big reveal about trying to guess the secret ingredients of your opponents. It is worth 4 points per player, so who cares? I scored over 50+ each game, what do I care about giving you 4 points when I get 7 for building my special recipe? Geez, grab the 7 and give them a one time 4 point score. It all just seems so pointless. And that is how I feel about the game itself. It really came down to ingredients and when to score, but the spaces are super limited.

If you cannot tell, I wanted to like this game but did not. I was super surprised that Renegade released this game. I've also seen a positive review on this game and I just do not understand it. The feels so scripted, it last way too long for the weight of the game, and it just boring overall with pointless scoring (I'm looking at you special recipe). I think this one may be leaning on the art work and the previous good games released by this company. Or maybe I'm dead wrong and I'm the one who is wrong. Maybe.

Purge.




Components:

The components are pretty good. The art work in the game is very cool and I love the look of this game. The pies are pies and look great. The dice are huge and chunky and have numbers instead of pips. These are great dice. The boards are very colorful and made of thick cardboard. The player mats have some pretty useless spots on them, so they could have been smaller. This is a petty complaint. All the markers are great: the first player is a chef hat and the round marker is a rolling pin. Great attention to detail!



Rule Book:

The rule book is really, really good. I love the list of components and the set up of the game. The book has a great overview which you need to read because a few of the rules are only on this page. Then the book goes into detail, with examples, of all the possible spots to place the workers. Very good rule book. You can read once and understand the game. The only tricky part is the special recipe rules. It is just odd.

Flow of the Game:

The winner is the person with the most victory points. You get victory points by baking and selling pies.

Each player starts the game with two dice and can add a max of two more dice during the game. Players will use these dice at workers. Some spaces will increase the value of your dice while others will decrease the value of your dice.

Each player is given a player board with spaces for your workers and there are a few communal places also. Many of the spaces on the personal board really don't serve any purpose. One allows you to upgrade 1 of 3 spaces: more VP per pie baked, one spaces increases your storage from 8 to 14, and another gives you an available dice place to bake. One space allows you to hire more dice (but your dice goes down by 2 at the end of the round). You can also bake a pie (the number on the die is the number of pies you can bake with this action). Each pie baked will score you 1 or 2 VP and there are 4 different pies you can bake each worth a different number of VP if sold.

There is an large tree with a number of hexes. Each hex holds 2 ingredients. You place a die on the tree and gain a number of ingredients equal to the number of pips on the die. You may only take from hexes adjacent to the die. This is the only want to gain ingredients and these go really fast. It will almost always be your first action.

There is a communal space in the market to sell your pies. You can either sell all the pies in a column or the pies across the bottom. If you sell, you sell all even those that are not yours. You also get the number of VP on the die you placed.

The last communal space is the pie convention. With this space, you can choose either to choose the first player or to change one ingredient from your special recipe.

There is also an action to spy. This means you take a die higher than one in the orchard or market and place on top of it. Then you subtract the pips from each other and you can look at one players special recipe.


The goal of the game is to get ingredients, bake pies, and then sell them. You gain the majority of your VP from selling the pies. You need to be careful about which to sell, because you may be selling other peoples pies!

After 9 rounds, the game ends and you go to the final bake off. This means you try to guess the other players recipes and if you are correct you get VP, if you are wrong you may lose VP.



Should I buy this game?:

No. I cannot really recommend this game. It is family weight, but it last so long that I don't think it is very family friendly. Gamers are going to be bored by the limited options and things to do in the game. The decisions are obvious and at worst scripted. I cannot in good faith recommend this game.

Purge.
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Justin Jackson
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After a few plays - I feel the same. Ingredients are the lifeline, and if you are able to snatch them away and bake, rinse/repeat you essentially you runaway.

I want to like it - sure looks good but I am saddened by the gameplay.
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Jayson Myers
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drimacus wrote:
After a few plays - I feel the same. Ingredients are the lifeline, and if you are able to snatch them away and bake, rinse/repeat you essentially you runaway.

I want to like it - sure looks good but I am saddened by the gameplay.


If you are first player, grab ingredients. If/when someone cannot grab ingredients, then grab first player (or make yourself second player).

This is how every round should go after about the third round.

Timing is everything, but that timing is luck based, not really good game play.
 
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brenton t vallade
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I found start player not that important. I played a game where I never was start player because the person on my left would take it every time the start player was to my right. I still won that game by a very large margin.
What I did find is that if you get a third worker and collect ingredients first round. Then every round collect ingredients, bake anything and sell. Repeat until the end. You get points for baking, selling and points for the selling worker plus two ingredients. No other actions, No upgrades. Bake your secret recipe when you can, even openly. Once I started doing this I haven't won by less than a 25 point margin.
I don't know what would happen if three or more players did the same thing the whole game.I suppose it would just keep those players close in points.
Has anyone else found a better strategy?
I wanted to like this game but it feels broken. Even if someone can unbreak it for me I'm still not sure how much play I will get out of it.
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Jayson Myers
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brentont wrote:
I found start player not that important. I played a game where I never was start player because the person on my left would take it every time the start player was to my right. I still won that game by a very large margin.
What I did find is that if you get a third worker and collect ingredients first round. Then every round collect ingredients, bake anything and sell. Repeat until the end. You get points for baking, selling and points for the selling worker plus two ingredients. No other actions, No upgrades. Bake your secret recipe when you can, even openly. Once I started doing this I haven't won by less than a 25 point margin.
I don't know what would happen if three or more players did the same thing the whole game.I suppose it would just keep those players close in points.
Has anyone else found a better strategy?
I wanted to like this game but it feels broken. Even if someone can unbreak it for me I'm still not sure how much play I will get out of it.


I have no idea why anyone would do anything different. I think the people you were playing with played sub optimal.
 
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