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Subject: Love at first play? maybe. rss

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Messy Jesse
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Although I have only played Yellow & Yangtze one time I feel I need to put down my thoughts in a review...

How can I not write this as a comparison to Y&Y's big brother (TE)? For one thing I know the big brother better, we have hung out, I think somewhere around 12 times (counting online). I consider TE to be one of my closest friends (in my top 3 games) and have some pretty great memories of our time together over the past couple years...

As a short aside, I can't go without mentioning the first couple times I hung out with TE. I have to admit we didn't get along. I thought he was boring, abstract, and without any real character. Fast forward to the 4th or 5th hang out, I started to see him for what we was, and by the 8th game couldn't imagine him not being my BFF 40 odd years from now...

And then I find out he has a brother!



... Now [the late 90's] TE could be considered pretty good looking, but I think YY is handsome in his own right (maybe more-so) and has great style to boot! Not to mention that he can be slightly less moody (swingy)!

.....END FRIEND METAPHOR....

Anyone who has played and liked Tigris & Euphrates has got to be skeptical as to why Knizia would make such a similar game, right?! Well after only one play (and there will be many more) I must say I understand now. Most likely there must have been some things that Reiner (personally) wanted needed to change about how T&E played, or at least some tweaks he couldn't help himself from making, that pushed him to expand on the original ideas. And while I would never say I like Y&Y better (I must say I really really really like Y&Y - can't say love after one play) I am very glad that Knizia put this version out into the world! ...I must also commend Grail Games for making it such a nice version.

The biggest differences in Y&Y are probably my favorite parts of it, which is probably the best praise I could give this game. I love the fact that the farmer and merchant tiles have several special actions. I love the way the pagodas work. And, most importantly I love the way that wars work in this game! As if the gameplay in T&E wasn't already great, I love that everyone can be involved in each war, and I love even more that the result of the wars doesn't create such a huge point swing!

... T&E I love you, but I also think I am going to learn to truly love your younger brother. I look forward to hanging out with each of you many times each year for the rest of my life!
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Gábor Tököli
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While this is not a review in the strict sense of the term, but your writing sums up perfectly what any interested person should consider about Y&Y. The frequent question "why does this game exist at all" annoys me beyond measure, because it's like saying "I don't give a damn if Knizia has any refined ideas after 20+ years of experience in games design". Y&Y is not supposed to replace T&E, it's a motivating and refreshing approach of a classic board game. For me, Y&Y is clearly an improvement, but I gladly accept if someone still likes T&E better. The point is, in any case, to rock the boat.
PS: big thumbs up for Grail Games, because they had the courage to take up this project, and because they didn't try to brand it like "T&E 2: Potter's Revenge", or didn't jump on the plastic miniature mayhem bandwagon. Y&Y has the same old feel with an air of a modern game.
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Messy Jesse
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angyi wrote:
While this is not a review in the strict sense of the term, but your writing sums up perfectly what any interested person should consider about Y&Y. The frequent question "why does this game exist at all" annoys me beyond measure, because it's like saying "I don't give a damn if Knizia has any refined ideas after 20+ years of experience in games design". Y&Y is not supposed to replace T&E, it's a motivating and refreshing approach of a classic board game. For me, Y&Y is clearly an improvement, but I gladly accept if someone still likes T&E better. The point is, in any case, to rock the boat.
I agree in the strict sense this is not a true review of the game and because of that I struggled to put it in the review category, but I don't know where else it would go...

I think the question about it existing at all is a good one, if for no other reason, because people who are currently talking about and playing YY are probably already Knizia and/or T&E fans. These same types of people are also probably the ones thinking about playing (or buying) it [and reading reviews]... I do agree he should be allowed to refine his ideas (especially after 20 years) as anyone should be able to refine any of their IP if they want to. The bigger issue is cost and space of games in peoples' lives/houses. When someone is asking their self "do I need a similar game in my collection," they are probably looking to others' opinions who have played it, no?

Anyway, I'm just happy they both exist is all and if I were a better reviewer maybe I could talk about Y&Y without talking about T&E but that isn't the case.

Thanks for your response either way. I appreciate your opinion!
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David desJardins
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I think Y&Y has more changes than it needs to justify its existence. Building on successful frameworks is a good way to make good games. There should be more E&T like games. I just think most of those changes in Y&Y are for the worse.
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trevor wolf

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DaviddesJ wrote:
I think Y&Y has more changes than it needs to justify its existence. Building on successful frameworks is a good way to make good games. There should be more E&T like games. I just think most of those changes in Y&Y are for the worse.
Your opinion of course, but I've played probably over 100 games of T+E (about 10 of Y+Y) and all the changes seem almost like a natural evolution. Having hexes instead of squares is by far the best change.
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Ben Kyo
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I just think most of those changes in Y&Y are for the worse.
I see you own the game. How many plays did it take to come to that conclusion?

(I was going to buy it, then read details of the changes and decided not to, but I'm still tempted to give it a try every now and again)

bigGameGeek wrote:
Having hexes instead of squares is by far the best change.
Well, I can see various ways in which that could be interpreted as a negative change. Increasing the number of equidistant routes between spaces can be seen as reducing the significance of decisions present in T&E, such as cataclysm use, temple adjacency, etc.
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Messy Jesse
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bigGameGeek wrote:
Your opinion of course, but I've played probably over 100 games of T+E (about 10 of Y+Y) and all the changes seem almost like a natural evolution. Having hexes instead of squares is by far the best change.
I also like the square to hex change, mostly because of the potential to really stabilize yourself from revolts, but I'm sure other reasons I like it will unfold as I play it more!
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David desJardins
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Benkyo wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
I just think most of those changes in Y&Y are for the worse.
I see you own the game. How many plays did it take to come to that conclusion?
1.
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Laszlo Molnar
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Benkyo wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
I just think most of those changes in Y&Y are for the worse.
I see you own the game. How many plays did it take to come to that conclusion?
1.


But seriously, I wasn't a fan of T&E after one play either.
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Gábor Tököli
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jessebilger wrote:
When someone is asking their self "do I need a similar game in my collection," they are probably looking to others' opinions who have played it, no?
Actually my comment was supposed to be a compliment, but apparently it was drawn up poorly. Of course T&E comparison is necessary, and the first question anyone asks is, do I really need Y&Y if I already have/know T&E. But many reviews put this question in the sense that Y&Y should be a clearly better and/or distinct game, else it's a mighty waste of time and money. However, your review here is the kind of positive feedback Y&Y deserves. The game doesn't try to lure anyone who already hates T&E, nor promises an entirely different or superior gaming experience. It's the hexagonal expansion with pagodas. It's a new friend to hang out with, as you pictured it, without making your old friend jealous.
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Messy Jesse
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angyi wrote:
Actually my comment was supposed to be a compliment...
I got you. maybe I was too quick to be defensive, and maybe that's because I play too many board games like this one...
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Tomasz
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I played this game 5 times.
Guess where it landed on my annual top 100 list.
I would love this game be more popular and get a recognition it deserves. It should be in BGG top 200 for sure.
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Messy Jesse
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kaszkiet wrote:
I played this game 5 times.
Guess where it landed on my annual top 100 list.
I would love this game be more popular and get a recognition it deserves. It should be in BGG top 200 for sure.
WOW! I was surprised to see you put it there... Great list in general.
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David desJardins
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kaszkiet wrote:
I played this game 5 times.
Guess where it landed on my annual top 100 list.
Near other games I don't like. That's my guess.
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Tomasz
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DaviddesJ wrote:
kaszkiet wrote:
I played this game 5 times.
Guess where it landed on my annual top 100 list.
Near other games I don't like. That's my guess.
Perhaps you don't like games at all.
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David desJardins
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kaszkiet wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
kaszkiet wrote:
I played this game 5 times.
Guess where it landed on my annual top 100 list.
Near other games I don't like. That's my guess.
Perhaps you don't like games at all.
Nope. Just that the more you like a game the less I tend to like it. Not particularly surprising.
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Tomasz
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DaviddesJ wrote:
Just that the more you like a game the less I tend to like it. Not particularly surprising.
Why is that?
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David desJardins
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kaszkiet wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Just that the more you like a game the less I tend to like it. Not particularly surprising.
Why is that?
Because if you like one game that I dislike, you're probably going to like other games for their similar characteristics that I also dislike.
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Tomasz
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DaviddesJ wrote:
kaszkiet wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Just that the more you like a game the less I tend to like it. Not particularly surprising.
Why is that?
Because if you like one game that I dislike, you're probably going to like other games for their similar characteristics that I also dislike.
If people had such a polarized tastes recommending games would be much easier and more efficient.
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David desJardins
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kaszkiet wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
kaszkiet wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
Just that the more you like a game the less I tend to like it. Not particularly surprising.
Why is that?
Because if you like one game that I dislike, you're probably going to like other games for their similar characteristics that I also dislike.
If people had such a polarized tastes recommending games would be much easier and more efficient.
I think you missed "probably". I do statistics for a living, one reason that recommendations are hard is the difference between "probably" and "definitely". Another reason is that the training data is unreliable and inconsistent, so hard to generalize from; people rate games in all sorts of different ways for all sorts of different reasons. If you could get thousands of people to all rate lots of games in consistent ways then the recommendation problem actually would be much easier. And, yes, negative correlations between users would be very useful.
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Tomasz
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Nevertheless I think "probably" is way too much basing on a rating of a single game.
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David desJardins
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kaszkiet wrote:
Nevertheless I think "probably" is way too much basing on a rating of a single game.
I would predict that if you take a sample of people whose favorite game is one I dislike, their top ten is also going to probably have a bunch of games that I dislike.
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