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Subject: Rick Thornquist session Report at GoF rss

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Roland Goslar
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Hi,
I´ve been very frustrated after I´ve read Ricks report about Lost Valley from the GoF.
Just a little citation:

"The game is steeped with theme, and you have tons of options as to what to do. The object is to get 10 gold nuggets and get back to the trading post. To do this, you move around the board getting resources and mining gold. You can also head back to the trading post to get the tools to help you along. I really liked this part of the game - the theme is extraordinarily well integrated into the game.

The gameplay itself, though, does not feel as good. A players token moves quite slowly, and though there are tons of options as to what to do, you can do very little on your turn - basically move a couple of spaces and do one action. It feels hard to get things done as you are moving so slowly. As I said, there are tons of options as to what to do, and there are all these cool tools you can buy to help you along, but in our game barely any tool were ever bought because you had to trek back to the trading post to get them and that just took too long."


Rick and his friends did an awful mistake believing the aim is to get 10 nuggets (verified by the citation and the connected pictures). The real aim is getting the most nuggets. There is just one possibilty to end the game when you have collected 10 gold markers. Every gold marker can show from 1-4 nuggets. The common game end is by a countdown mechanism after the whole valley is explored.

Going just for 10 nuggets is like playing Settlers of Catan up to 4 victory points - no game at all. Especially as the first third of Lost Valley is in some greater parts about developing the landscape and to think about a nice strategy to be faster then your opponents. As a greenhorn you are slow in this part of the game and you will stay slow if you don´t get a horse, a boat or something else. Beginners in this phase often believe that they should run away from the others, but when you are familiar with the mechanism of prospecting you will see that - as far as I know - the winning strategy is to be just one to three steps away from your opponents and from the trading post. Otherwise you won´t be able to react to newly opened mines or to get faster by new equipment. And you should react and get faster as soon as possible. The runaways ending up without equipment almost never win against some experienced guys, carrying whisky and dynamite in their boat or on horseback.

In the next step the game is about exploring strategies against the dynamiteman.

In total: Of course it is ok if one doesn´t like the game and its mechanics at all, but if this is up to a misinterpreted central rule or to a dull strategy, it is frustrating me.

I may have written clearer rules, so I could be sure that it is the bad game dispointing the gamers.

Roland
 
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Patrick Brennan
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Re:Rick Thornquist session Report at GoF
I was in a different game to Rick's but can confirm that our game was played with the right game-winning rules. The issue is that the mountaingold is proportionately easier to get than rivergold in most cases (2 resources for avg 3.5 mountaingold vs 1 resource for 1.5 rivergold). If someone strikes a rich mountaingold vein and gets most of it, the other players will likely not be over 10 gold themselves (collecting 1's and 2's by the river) by the time the mountain miner gets back to the trading post to claim the win. I suspect that was the case in Rick's game as well as the rules were pretty clear.

I still like it, but people have to realise that in any exploration game luck has to play a large part.

Patrick
 
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Re:Rick Thornquist session Report at GoF
I'm going to try to set the record straight on this. My group was taught the game and since out teacher's previous game was played by the correct rules, it's likely our group misinterpreted what the game ending condition was (it was supposed to be 10 gold markers, not 10 gold nuggets). I have a copy of the English rules and the rules are correct on this issue - there wasn't a rule translation problem.

Arg, I hate when stuff like this happens. Apologies to the Goslars for getting it wrong. I have amended my report to include this new information.

I hope to be getting a review copy of this game from the Goslars, and will give it a thourough review when I get it. I think the game has potential, and, as I said in my report, it really does require more playings for me to solidify my opinion of it.
 
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Roland Goslar
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Re:Rick Thornquist session Report at GoF
Hi Patrick (#33895),
I don´t think digging mountaingold is easier, when you are adding the costs for the mine and the impossibilty to get the gold in the move after building the mine when you haven´t got some special tools and when the other players -as they should, up to the balancing of the game - are not to far away.
On the other hand biulding a mine at the right moment is the way to win, but almost ever you can be happy to get two markers out of four from one mine.
Think about San Juan: Our first games were allways won
by the guildshall, the last not :-)
Oh I´m eagerly awaiting Esssen to have some games done.
Roland
 
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