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Tokaido» Forums » General

Subject: Why Don't the "Experts" Get It?? rss

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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Sphere wrote:
(...) handled the same sort of problem with stickers that could be applied to the original board. The stickers had matching artwork, so they didn't ruin the beauty of the original board, but added links to new features included in the expansion.

Fair enough. That seems like a solution, or at least some solution. I guess what I meant was that with a game of such visual elegance and minialism as Tokaido, perhaps people would be slightly more reluctant to apply stickers to their boards. In general, times changed a bit (I think) and most gamers are slightly more reluctant to "fix" games like so - since the price tag goes up every year, so have gamer's expectations. If something should be there, then it should be there. Deliver it in the box, send fixed card decks, etc.

But, you're right, it wouldn't hurt much to include these stickers in the expansion and let everyone decide on their own, whether they want to do this or not.

Mentat1231 wrote:
Zee has mentioned on more than one occasion that he thinks Crossroads doubles the complexity and difficulty of teaching.

And you honestly think he is not right about this? Crossroads doubled almost every field you can land on in the game. There's twice as much to explain and twice as much to consider. That's a fact. Now, what kind of actual impact it might have on a particular person, that's something to be discovered on a personal basis.

Also, he said, that despite that, Crossroads still make Tokaido a better game and they (with Tom) prefer to play with it included. They just expressed the concern that it kind of broke the simple, light gateway zen-like game experience, by turning it into something "meatier", which might not be something the original target of the game wanted.

Here's a reference point (starts from 4:10):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1weh5Ugot_8

Mentat1231 wrote:

I wasn't frustrated because I keep clips from every podcast and memorize them; it was a general impression and some of the criticisms I'd heard. So I gave rebuttals. Is that alright?

You've titled your rebuttals as a kind of passive-aggresive attack towards reviewers (experts?) community. It's ok to state your opinion about things, but I guess all I'm saying is that I'm not sure the way you did it was the optimal way.
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Michael Gonzalez
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rattkin wrote:

...all I'm saying is that I'm not sure the way you did it was the optimal way.

You're probably right. That's fair. I wrote it after having been surprised twice within a month by comments of the sort I mentioned, so I probably posted emotionally. I stand by my rebuttals, though.

For example, I don't think Crossroads doubles the complexity. Shops always included choices, cherry trees are a way to get easy money and not waste time on a panorama you can't finish, and upgraded bath house for a buck could not be simpler. I mean, I'm not saying it isn't more complex, but not nearly twice as much. And it's very much worth it.
 
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Sphere wrote:
rattkin wrote:
Since it didn't introduce new board (which would be mighty expensive), it forced players to remember "when you land on this field, you can do the old action, that is depicted on the board or a new action and you have to remember which old field translates to which new action". They didn't have much choice really...
Lord of the Rings: Friends & Foes, published by Fantasy Flight back in 2001, handled the same sort of problem with stickers that could be applied to the original board. The stickers had matching artwork, so they didn't ruin the beauty of the original board, but added links to new features included in the expansion. The material cost for doing it that way is virtually nil - the expense is in production of the compatible artwork - but sticker art is orders of magnitude less involved than printing new mapboards. I could name other games where the publisher took this approach a decade or two back, but I haven't seen it done lately. It's worth consideration in such cases.

I hate stickers and would not want to have to apply stickers on my original board. I would gladly play more for a real mini-expansion board. Which is exactly what they included. I don't think stickers are necessary for this expansion. Technically, you are doubling your choices. But it's not twice as difficult to remember, because the new choices are thematically tied into each spot on the board. So it's not that difficult to add 1 extra choice to each type of space.


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Alexandre Limoges
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To those in whom the will has turned and has denied itself, this our world, which is so real, with all its suns and milky-ways — is nothing. [A.Schopenhauer]
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Too bad they never cared to release Crossroads for the 5th Anniversary Edition.
 
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Solipsiste wrote:

Too bad they never cared to release Crossroads for the 5th Anniversary Edition.

I posted an update about this in the other thread.

I asked Funforge about this and received a reply back:

"We plan to update Crossroads in 2019. Concerning Matsuri we'll see later.
Old and new editions can be mixed. They all match together."


A 2nd email told me that Crossroads should hit retail by the end of the year with the new art, with Matsuri to follow next year.
 
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Alexandre Limoges
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To those in whom the will has turned and has denied itself, this our world, which is so real, with all its suns and milky-ways — is nothing. [A.Schopenhauer]
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Listen, I understand your post, OP, but while I really like Todaido, the decision space in it is really small. No, going systematically to the next spot is not optimal, but it could also win the game sometimes. It's better to judge which space is best, but contrarily to some other more complex "one-way street" games, the good options are usually few, and "the next available spot" is often a strong contender.

I like it this way. It's fine. But it makes it a very light game. The thing is that reaching the inn first is not a big deal. Players often simply hope that they'll be able to buy food, and they do. And then they play first if they came last, so it's not an issue, except maybe for the last inn. This means that the decision making does not really imply weighing the advantages and disadvantages of skipping spaces to go quickly to the end or doing more actions to score more points, but missing some important bonus given to those who play faster.
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Michael Gonzalez
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Solipsiste wrote:

But it makes it a very light game.

Absolutely. I'm not saying it isn't light. It's just that these same reviewers (many of them) will sing the praises of something like Century: Spice Road or Carcassonne, but poo-poo Tokaido for some of the reasons I gave. And so I explained why I think those reasons are mistaken.

Quote:

The thing is that reaching the inn first is not a big deal.

But getting to the next place that benefits your specific power is a big deal, if everyone is playing optimally. If you're not maximizing your strengths, you'll typically lose to someone who is. I've tested this with the app version as well as live plays. "Next space" doesn't win against me.

That doesn't mean this is a heavy game or a complex game; I don't think it aspires to be (though Crossroads does make it above 2, maybe 2.5 or so, in my opinion). But the usual complaints just don't seem to hold with experienced play.

Crossroads really elevates this game, in my opinion, btw. And I don't think it comes even close to "twice as much to remember/teach" (as Zee and others have said). I routinely teach relative newbies with Crossroads out of the gate.

I am curious about other (maybe more complex/heavy) games that also utilize the time track mechanism. Any suggestions?
 
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Jeffery Hudson
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Solipsiste wrote:

Listen, I understand your post, OP, but while I really like Todaido, the decision space in it is really small. No, going systematically to the next spot is not optimal, but it could also win the game sometimes. It's better to judge which space is best, but contrarily to some other more complex "one-way street" games, the good options are usually few, and "the next available spot" is often a strong contender.

I like it this way. It's fine. But it makes it a very light game. The thing is that reaching the inn first is not a big deal. Players often simply hope that they'll be able to buy food, and they do. And then they play first if they came last, so it's not an issue, except maybe for the last inn. This means that the decision making does not really imply weighing the advantages and disadvantages of skipping spaces to go quickly to the end or doing more actions to score more points, but missing some important bonus given to those who play faster.

I've played enough games to realize that rather you just go to the next spot or not, go first/last into the inn, etc. completely depends on the character your playing. There is more strategy in the game then some are willing to admit. I play the street urchin far differently then i would any of the shopping characters and so forth. It doesn't mean I love the game though...i find the game far more stressful then the rest of my group and not being able to pursue my chracter's strategy really gets to me. I've had entire games derailed by excellent game play by my opponents. THEY find it relaxing and 'zen' like...i find it stressful and hecktic. :) But then again, they find Flower (the video game) relaxing and zen like and I like to play "Flower racing" complete with vroom vroom sounds. Drives them crazy...which is half the fun. :devil:

 
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Edward B.
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Negative reviews of the game don't bother me, but I've really not noticed that many of them either.

I slightly prefer to play without the expansion because I actually feel like that broadens your options a little too much. Although I do like the Matsuki expansion, which requires Crossroads, as well as the extra characters.

For a game of this length and weight, I feel that it strikes an excellent balance in decision making. Your decision each turn, especially with just the base game, is extremely simple. How far do you move? Yes, a lot of times you will want to take the next available space, but knowing when to skip ahead several spaces is integral and interesting. There's several instances when this could be beneficial, but to name just a few: you are one space away from competing a panorama and so jump ahead to score the bonus 3 points; you want to block another player from getting a good space; you want to position yourself to be first at the end to get first choice of meals or last at the inn to get first turn upon leaving.

I like that the rules are so simple that really anyone can play and have fun, because all they need to do is pick a space to move to. Yet, there is is some depth and strategy for those who are interested.
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