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Subject: Patrick Reviews Everdell rss

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Patrick Dettmar
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Everdell
1-4 players
60 minutes
Medium
Worker placement, tableau building


Theme and Mechanics

In everdell, players control clans of critters competing to make the best forest/critter town. Players will play through one year, gathering resources, building buildings, gaining critter citizens, and achieving goals to earn the most points.

On their turns, players have 3 choices; place a worker, play a card, or prepare for the next season. Placing a worker allows the player to take one action on the board or on one of their buildings. These actions usually include gathering resources (berries, wood, amber, or stone), but some actions spaces also allow players to draw cards, or claim an achievement and earn some point and a special ability. Achievements are claimed by placing a worker on them and having the prerequisite cards in your town. There are 4 forest action spaces that are dealt randomly during setup and are different for each game, and the same is true for the special achievements.

There are 2 different types of cards that can be played; constructions or critters. Constructions are played by paying their cost in wood, amber, and pebble. Construction cards also have space for a critter that can be played for free if they occupy that construction (for example, a judge can be played for free if you have a courthouse). Critter cards can be played by paying their cost in berries OR can be played for free if you have a construction with space for them. Both constructions and critters come in several different types; travelers (grey cards, give a one time action), production (green cards, provide income for spring and fall), destination (red cards, provide action spaces), governance (blue cards, provide bonuses for playing other types of cards), and prosperity (purple cards, provide bonus points for various things). Player will have their own hand of these cards, but there is also a communal pool of 8 cards that any player can play from.

Lastly, the prepare for season action lets players collect back their workers and get bonus workers, cards, or production depending on the season. This action can ONLY be taken if the player has no workers left. In spring, players get 1 new worker and all their green cards produce. In summer, players get 1 new worker and 2 cards from the communal pool into their hand, and in fall, players get 2 new workers and their green cards produce again. After taking this action in fall (so, going into winter) the game is over for that player. One oddity about this action is that a player who has prepared for the next season will still take their subsequent turns as normal, and they do not have to wait for every other player to prepare for the season. There is no "end of season" cleanup or maintenance other than taking this action.


Art and Components

The art and components for this game are absolutely fantastic; In fact, I bought this game based on the picture of it set up and the box art alone. I didn't look into it any farther than that (and I lucked out). The board is a round forest/meadow and has a 3d tree on that holds the card deck, the special achievements, and the extra workers for each player. It really only serves the purpose of saving space, but it looks pretty great. The resources are cool plastic sculpted resources, and the berries are little rubber balls (they did have the fore site to put indentations on them so they do not roll around, but if you're not careful, they bounce. The log pieces do tend to roll a bit.). The workers are unique wooden animeeples for each player (squirrel, turtle

If you like the box art, you won't be disappointed with any of the art on anything else in the game, and I think that the art is among the best of anything I've seen in board games.

If you get the deluxe version, the cardboard "occupied" tokens are replaced with wooden stickered tokens and the cardboard point tokes are replaced with metal ones. It also comes with another set of animeeples and some extra cards in a mini expansion


Replability and Expansions

I would say that the replayability is moderate. Each game will have 4 action spaces that will be different from game to game, and there will be 4 unique achievements that are different each game (and 4 basic achievements that are the same each game). This is where nearly all of the replayability comes in. When it comes to the cards, there is a fairly large deck of cards, but in that deck there are several copies of each card, and it's not impossible to get through the entire deck in a single game. The cards are very combo-y, which gives you a bit of an engine building feel, and you can only play 15 cards into your village, so it is fun to explore different combos, but after your first play, you won't be surprised by any cards that show up.

There is an "expansion" that doesn't have an entry in BGG that came with my copy of the deluxe version. It adds legendary constructions and cards, which work the same as the regular cards, but they have very powerful abilities. Each player starts the game with one of each, wich provides a little more replayability (although, not much) and gives each player a unique starting point from eachother (because they have access to those 2 cards that no one else can get). It also adds a handful of new cards for the main deck.

It also gives you a new set of animeeples (black rats), but they are not intended to make it a 5 player game. According to the designer, it's "doable", but in a 4 player game, we ran out the deck without trying too hard, and "doable" isn't a resounding recommendation, so I wouldn't advise it.


The Up Side

The game is gorgeous. It's one of those games where people (gamers or not) will stop by your table, look at it and say "wow, what's this?". The quality of everything you get is well worth the price. The game is simple (rules light), but there is a lot of cool combos and strategies buried in that deck of cards. It's simple enough to include newer gamers without boring the veterans.


The Down Side

The rules are very ambiguous. They don't seem that way when you read them prior to playing, but once you get playing, you'll find that you have several questions/situations that have no clear answer in the rule book. I highly recommend reading the errata/FAQ prior to your first play. The rulebook could have used a few more drafts and revisions, and the cards desperately need better clarification text. We found ourselves looking up lots of things on BGG during our first play.


Final Thoughts

This is a solid, fun, combo building game. Probably a step above gateway for depth/complexity, but it's a good length for a wide variety of gamers. Once you get the fiddly rules confusions nailed down, the game flows pretty quickly, and it just looks so damn good.

8 out of 10

https://www.coolstuffinc.com/p/254796

unfortunately, I'm just noticing that it's not released retail yet. I'd imagine soon, as the kickstarter copies have all been sent out.
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James Wilson
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Thanks for the review, Patrick!
 
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Patrick Dettmar
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greycloak wrote:
Thanks for the review, Patrick!


Thanks for the great game! any plan for expansions?
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James Wilson
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dettmarp wrote:
greycloak wrote:
Thanks for the review, Patrick!


Thanks for the great game! any plan for expansions?


Yep! We’ve been working on it since January. Stay tuned!
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Rahn
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greycloak wrote:
dettmarp wrote:
greycloak wrote:
Thanks for the review, Patrick!


Thanks for the great game! any plan for expansions?


Yep! We’ve been working on it since January. Stay tuned!


Fingers crossed the expansion also comes to Kickstarter and gives those who missed out on the first Kickstarter to get a Deluxe edition of the base game at the same time (or a deluxe upgrade kit to go with a retail copy)
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James Wilson
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TumbleSteak wrote:
greycloak wrote:
dettmarp wrote:
greycloak wrote:
Thanks for the review, Patrick!


Thanks for the great game! any plan for expansions?


Yep! We’ve been working on it since January. Stay tuned!


Fingers crossed the expansion also comes to Kickstarter and gives those who missed out on the first Kickstarter to get a Deluxe edition of the base game at the same time (or a deluxe upgrade kit to go with a retail copy)


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Clint Kofoed
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I sure hope so. If you guys do allow another deluxe with the new expansion ill be signing up on your next KS this fall for an all in!
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Preet Tohvi
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I've seen many people mention that some rules are ambiguously phrased. I hope it will be possible update the cards/rulebook for subsequent print runs.
 
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Patrick Dettmar
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Preet wrote:
I've seen many people mention that some rules are ambiguously phrased. I hope it will be possible update the cards/rulebook for subsequent print runs.


There is a fairly comprehensive faq/errata that answered most (if not all) of our questions. You should probably print it out and add it to the game.

I was going to provide a link to the faq, but the wifi here is intolerably slow right now
 
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Michael Cyr
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dettmarp wrote:
I was going to provide a link to the faq, but the wifi here is intolerably slow right now


It's in the Files section, but if you want a direct link: FAQ.

I just uploaded version 1.4, but it's still awaiting approval.
 
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