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Subject: Essen play? rss

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Bill M
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Would it be possible for those persons who are able to demo at Essen to comment on the gameplay please.
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Jérôme
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graham671 wrote:
Would it be possible for those persons who are able to demo at Essen to comment on the gameplay please.


Briefly: stunning game!
The artwork is beautiful, even on a prototype print’n’play copy. Gameplay is pretty deep because you have to think ahead one or two turns. There’s no (or hardly) absolute blocking but things become more expensive if you’re second or third for an action. The players have slightly asymmetrical powers and you need to find out how to use them optimally.

I was convinced after the demo and raised my pledge because I really want to have Barrage on my table.
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Pablo GA
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Play time is real? How prone to PA?
 
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Jérôme
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Zubera wrote:
Play time is real? How prone to PA?


Our demo was with 4 players, the instructor was Tommaso Battista (one of the two designers and the actual architect, so it appears!). The explanation took about half an hour, the board was setup so we jumped right into the second round. Of course all of us had to wrap our heads around the many options we had which basically narrowed down to short term plans and long term strategies.

We played one full round, including scoring, for about 45 minutes, every now and then interrupted by the instructor to give hints or explain further.
Since the game last 5 rounds I expect that first play will need 3 hours, especially with 4 players, and usually later plays are faster.

Mind you, I’ve only played the demo and not even a full game!
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Bernhard W
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Tsaar wrote:
Zubera wrote:
Play time is real? How prone to PA?


Our demo was with 4 players, the instructor was Tommaso Battista (one of the two designers and the actual architect, so it appears!). The explanation took about half an hour, the board was setup so we jumped right into the second round. Of course all of us had to wrap our heads around the many options we had which basically narrowed down to short term plans and long term strategies.

We played one full round, including scoring, for about 45 minutes, every now and then interrupted by the instructor to give hints or explain further.
Since the game last 5 rounds I expect that first play will need 3 hours, especially with 4 players, and usually later plays are faster.

Mind you, I’ve only played the demo and not even a full game!

Did you play with the expansion? 30 minutes to explain Barrage seems like a lot after reading the rules.

One of the draws for me is that after reading the rulebook, Barrage seems to not have huge amounts of actions or special rules so that you could get playing relatively quickly. I hardly get to replay heavier games a lot, so a quick rules rundown met with a lot of depth (a la Tigris and Euphrates) is what I'm atm hoping for getting here.

An estimated 3 h playing time for the first game I can understand as there's a lot to take in and consider. Everything is interconnected, it's a tight economy and you're fighting for space, so a longer playing time with some AP makes sense.
 
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Tyler DeLisle
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BeloW06 wrote:
30 minutes to explain Barrage seems like a lot after reading the rules.

One of the draws for me is that after reading the rulebook, Barrage seems to not have huge amounts of actions or special rules so that you could get playing relatively quickly. I hardly get to replay heavier games a lot, so a quick rules rundown met with a lot of depth (a la Tigris and Euphrates) is what I'm atm hoping for getting here.


I'm very much on the same page as you. Gameplay that I've seen looks great, love the theme and components and the designer's past work. Everything is telling me that this could be one of the best Eurogames to come out next year... but the one thing worrying me a bit is hearing some comments from people like Rhado and No Pun Included that it's "too heavy".

I don't mind heavy games, and it's a fairly subjective term, but I like a complexity and depth of actions with a lower rules overhead. Also I like planning one or two turns ahead, but get stressed if I have to plan 4 or 5 (like a Lacerda game). Tzolk'in and Terra Mystica hit my sweet spot, so that's what I'm hoping for here.

Would love to hear more feedback from people who got to demo it.
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Sherman Oaks
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I feel like this game will be easy to teach to anyone who is familiar with worker placement games. The mechanisms and rules seem very straight forward to me it's just that there are a lot of options. Similar to something like Feast for Odin.

I'm guessing the thing that's tripping people up the most is the long term strategy over headstreams and how you see most of what's going to happen at the very start of the game so people feel like they have to plan 4 rounds ahead.

You could do a variant that makes the game more tactical and less overwhelming strategically by limiting players' knowledge about head streams to 1 or 2 rounds instead of seeing 4 round ahead at the start of the game. Maybe at then end of round 2 you just flip out all new headstream tiles for the four rivers.

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Bernhard W
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Jimmydm90 wrote:
I feel like this game will be easy to teach to anyone who is familiar with worker placement games. The mechanisms and rules seem very straight forward to me it's just that there are a lot options. Similar to something like Feast for Odin.

I'm guessing the thing that's tripping people up the most is the long term strategy over headstreams and how you see most of what's going to happen at the very start of the game so people feel like they have to plan 4 rounds ahead.

You could do a variant that makes the game more tactical and less overwhelming strategically by limiting players' knowledge about head streams to 1 or 2 rounds instead of seeing 4 round ahead at the start of the game. Maybe at then end of round 2 you just flip out all new headstream tiles for the four rivers.

Another option might be to have a learning game setup where players have already one building on the board (of the same type?). This helps to develop a strategy and make the entry less daunting.
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Jeroen van der Valk
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It doesn't surprise me that some would call it too heavy. But this is not a factor of rules, but a factor of gameplay. The interaction between competition for worker spots, building spots on the board, and planning for the timing of water flow, is pretty intense.

I would compare it to say Terra Mystica for weight (both rules and gameplay). So for predominantly Eurogamers, Barrage would considered heavy. For those who are used to play say Splotter games, 18xx games, wargames, etcetera, this is an easy game to digest rules wise, but not strategy wise.
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Randolph Bookman
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Where was the no pun included comment ?I'll try to find it
 
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Tyler DeLisle
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shieldwolf wrote:
Where was the no pun included comment ?I'll try to find it


It wasn't a straight comment, and I might be reading into it too much, there was a picture posted on Reddit with an expression on Elaine of sheer exacerbation as she played the game, and some comment like "Elaine's head is about to explode."
 
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According to Jon Gets Games, Elaine immediately looked up the rule book for Barrage after they finished their game because she was “fascinated” by the game.

Granted that’s a second hand retelling so take that as you will.
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Tyler DeLisle
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Found it: https://twitter.com/NoPunIncluded/status/1055450027391361024


"Help, my Elaine is exploding."

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Tyler DeLisle
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So either she was frantically looking through the rulebook while playing because she was "fascinated"... or completely confused, hah.
 
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TyDeL wrote:
Found it: https://twitter.com/NoPunIncluded/status/1055450027391361024


"Help, my Elaine is exploding."



Maybe she’s just turning into a blueberry?
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Tyler DeLisle
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I think the short demo did them a disservice. Every feedback I've heard from Essen was mostly that getting only two turns, thrown into a the middle of a game, left everyone without much sense of how things progressed, or how the game worked ultimately in the big picture. It takes several turns just to get a return on your investment when building things.
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Jeroen van der Valk
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Well that wasn't my experience. I think the two turn demo gave me a good feel for the game. But, it might not be for everyone, because it's a brain-burner...

To add: I'm not sure what you mean by turns, but the game only has 5 rounds. Of which two were played during a demo session. Return on investment can be made during the same round.

However, playing the long game, strategy-wise, will of course not work in those two rounds. But they were enough to understand what those strategies could be.
 
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Jérôme
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We played one full round (the second, so there were some buildings on the map already) and got a very good feel of the game. I wouldn't have wanted to play the full game at Spiel, too much other stuff to do.
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