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Subject: A Meeple Pusher Review of: Montana (a lipogram adventure) rss

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David McMillan
United States
Madison
Tennessee
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WHAT I THINK

The artwork in Montana immediately drew my attention. Herr Franz can apparently do no wrong. Gracing the box top, we find an image of a pioneering couple gazing into the future while their children frolic playfully in the background. The image on the front of the box captivated me and took me away to another place and time where life lacked complication – where your home could be found wherever you happened to hitch your wagon. The artwork on each game board and each component only add to the theme without taking away from the overall clarity. Due to the clarity of the iconography, I never once needed to pore over the rule book vainly trying to figure out anything. The component quality in Montana left me in awe. The cardboard: nice and thick. The wooden facet: chunky, tactile, and beautifully realized. Even the rule book left nothing wanting.

Initially, I thought I’d hate the worker board with the dial, but even that excited me. The anticipatory thrill of finding out what fate decided you were going to get and having to decide whether or not to devote your wheat to improving your lot or hanging onto it in an effort to build up another town provided me with unexpected choice. And Montana provided me with many a choice during my experience with it. For example, no commodity gathering action could be refilled until every location in that board area had been taken. If I wanted to obtain a certain commodity, I would have to carefully think about the effect that would have on the overall game. Opening up that action area would provide my opponent with a much cheaper alternative to gain the commodity. Did I really want to make gathering that commodity a piece of cake for them or did I want to wait it out and hope they were foolhardy enough to open up the more efficient commodity gathering for me? Would my waiting it out play right into their overall plan?

In Montana, I never felt removed from the experience. I controlled my fate. Each choice that I made rippled throughout the game and affected each choice that came after. I really like that. I can’t find any fault with the game. The complexity of Montana felt challenging, but not overwhelming. From preparation, to teaching, to playing, to tear down, Montana moved at a pretty rapid clip. And more importantly, I had a lot of fun playing it. I don’t anticipate that will ever change. Rüdiger Dorn, if you’re reading my review, thank you for what you do. I find Montana to be a delightful, thrilling experience. You turned my head with your earlier work, Goa, and then you caught my eye with Arkadia. Now you’ve got my full, undivided attention.

FOR THE FULL REVIEW IN WHICH I GO INTO MORE DETAIL ABOUT THE COMPONENTS AND GAME PLAY, CLICK HERE: https://www.meeplemountain.com/reviews/montana-heritage-edit...
 
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Jason Moughon
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Texas
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Nice review and well said. Rüdiger is a great designer. Thank you!
 
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