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Subject: Are we having fun yet? rss

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Brad Tritone

Missouri
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My wife and I have played Ivanhoe for a short while now, and we're just not feeling the fun. OK, nobody promised there would be any fun. In particular the special cards kind of overpower (i.e. ruin) the experience for us. Just when you think you are about to win a tournament... boom, somebody plays their "crazy eight" and now it's a whole 'nuther tournament in a whole 'nuther color!

Some other things subtract from the fun. Having the WINNER of a tournament pick the color of the next tournament. This has lead several times to a quick lucky streak of wins for the already-winner. We now play that the LOSER picks the next tournament's color and like that better.

The way the chips are handled squeeze the last couple drops from this game. Having to play a red tournament when you already have red and so does your opponent. A couple rounds of THAT and you're suddenly thinking.... hmmmm, Transformers Battling Card Game wasn't THAT bad after all...

Maybe if the chips were handled more like the dragons in Blue Moon? Have only one chip in each color in the middle of the table. Win a tournament in a color, that color chip is yours. Your opponent wins that color, and he pulls the chip back into the middle of the table. He has to win that color AGAIN to pull it towards his side. Tug-o-war style. Etc.

Dunno. I couldn't wait to get this game and was so thankful that GMT reprinted it. Now I'm not so sure.
 
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Mik Svellov
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Well, you are not alone.
I bought the game in Essen when it was first released.
It was so new that they didn't have boxes for the game yet - but they promised so send the boxes when they became available.

The box never showed up, which did upset me at the time. But I don't bother anymore as no-one is willing to play the game anyway.
 
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Jon Grantham
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I don't know that I've ever played the game as a 2-player game. In a multi-player game, the winner of a tournament is generally so depleted in cards compared to the 3rd place player (who generally dropped out early) that it's nearly impossible to string together a streak of more than 2 wins in a row.
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Matthew M
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Ivanhoe is awesome - but I've never played two player. Perhaps that's what is dragging down your experience. If two players have a red chip the third is quite pleased for a red tourny to be called. Even if all players have a particular color of chip I am likely to call that color if I have a lot of it in my hand - not only do I get to exchange my red cards for new cards, but if my guess is correct that I have more reds left than my opponents I will still have control over the next tourny.

Changing the rule about who gets to call the next tourny is a huge change for the worse, IMO. It isn't infrequent for a player to go on a streak of wins. What is rare is for that streak to be maintained long enough to win the entire game. Typically they will have to give up initiative at some point and the other players will have an easier time of things while the leader is rebuilding his hand.

Changing it so that the loser picks the next tourny...'
a) muddles things for games with more than two players - which loser gets to choose?
b) makes it EASIER for a leader to win. As the rules stand, if the leader needs only one more chip but does not have control he needs to win two tournaments - one to gain control and then the one needed to win the game. Your change makes it much too easy for a player to regain the initiative.

But mainly I suggest playing with at least three, and preferably four or five.

-MMM
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Martin
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tritone wrote:
Just when you think you are about to win a tournament... boom, somebody plays their "crazy eight" and now it's a whole 'nuther tournament in a whole 'nuther color!


I've played two-player a number of times and find it just as fun as the multiplayer game, but cardplay as you describe above is exactly the sort of tournament I enjoy. I like games where you can actively foil your opponents plans (or be foiled) rather than just race towards a common goal.

Quote:
The way the chips are handled squeeze the last couple drops from this game. Having to play a red tournament when you already have red and so does your opponent.


I haven't played in six months or so, but I don't remember the game forcing you to play a certain color. You can call one that you've both already won as a relatively safe way to dump cards, but if your opponent calls one you don't have to participate and no one will get another chip.

Quote:
Dunno. I couldn't wait to get this game and was so thankful that GMT reprinted it. Now I'm not so sure.


For such a simple game, this one has always been surprisingly polarizing. My group really gets into the theme, but it leaves many people completely cold.
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Kent Reuber
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I should have liked Ivanhoe, since I'm a big Knizia fan and I like Eurogames with conflict. But, it just didn't do it for me. The game seemed to really drag. I ended up trading it away.

For a multi-player card game, I prefer Condottiere or its sister game Iliad. For two players, try Hector and Achilles.
 
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Brad Tritone

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grantham wrote:
I don't know that I've ever played the game as a 2-player game. In a multi-player game, the winner of a tournament is generally so depleted in cards compared to the 3rd place player (who generally dropped out early) that it's nearly impossible to string together a streak of more than 2 wins in a row.


I believe you. It is very hard IMO to find a multi-player game that plays well with two, even if the box *says* two can play. Since my "group" is just my wife and I, I start salivating the moment I see a "2" anywhere at all on the back of a box.
 
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Brad Tritone

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Octavian wrote:
Changing the rule about who gets to call the next tourny is a huge change for the worse, IMO. It isn't infrequent for a player to go on a streak of wins. What is rare is for that streak to be maintained long enough to win the entire game. Typically they will have to give up initiative at some point and the other players will have an easier time of things while the leader is rebuilding his hand.


Thanks for your insights... I appreciate them. I'd love to play with 3+, but it's not an option right now. I shouldn't complain about multi-player games with only two, since it's a common theme I'm sure most are tired of hearing about. I'm still relatively new around here... so I'll learn. You'd think.

 
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Brad Tritone

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kentreuber wrote:
For a multi-player card game, I prefer Condottiere or its sister game Iliad. For two players, try Hector and Achilles.


We own and have played Iliade. I'm sure it plays great with 3+ as you suggest. I printed the rules for Condotierre and had tentatively pencilled that on my Christmas list! But I didn't know about Hector and Achilles. I'll definitely give that a look instead.. thanks!

My wife and I own, play, and enjoy a lot of the typical 2p games (Lost Cities, Jambo, Balloon Cup, Battlelore, Princes of Florence works great with 2, etc.) But I like to pretend I'm a "big boy" and still buy lots of games that we just shouldn't be playing with two (Fury of Dracula, Arkham, Caylus, Puerto Rico, etc.) despite "workable" 2p variants. I don't see that ever changing, because I just like too many games! I always figure someday I'll find a larger group to play with, and then I'll already know how to play (sorta).
 
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Brad Tritone

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itsmarty wrote:
tritone wrote:
The way the chips are handled squeeze the last couple drops from this game. Having to play a red tournament when you already have red and so does your opponent.


I haven't played in six months or so, but I don't remember the game forcing you to play a certain color. You can call one that you've both already won as a relatively safe way to dump cards, but if your opponent calls one you don't have to participate and no one will get another chip.


That was poor wording on my part. I didn't mean to imply you "had" to play red (or any color) under certain circumstances. I was referring to a situation where everyone already has red chips, and all you've got in your hand is more red cards.

Quote:
For such a simple game, this one has always been surprisingly polarizing. My group really gets into the theme, but it leaves many people completely cold.


We are big Knizia fans... perhaps a little too "fanatic" at times... so we own and play a lot of RK games. Some work better than others for us. We tend to ignore theme in most RK games we play... maybe it would help us to think more about the theme here? Hmmm, have to give it a try.
 
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Jim Marshall
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I've been playing this with my two kids, and we've been having a geat time.
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