Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Madeira» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report and review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Adam Majewski
Netherlands
Eindhoven
Brabant
flag msg tools
Foam Bananas
badge
Hello Stranger!
Avatar
mbmb
I wrote this on my blog and thought I would share it with fans of the game.



"My die is too low so I will give you some bread"


I previously owed this game. It was too heavy to get to the table even once. Erik had suggested we play his copy. Spielbox magazine had given it a perfect score and it was rated highly elsewhere. I had high expectations after I had played Nippon in March. 4 hours later (including set-up, rules, toilet and drink breaks) what was the verdict?


"Ships, islands and lies"


The game is a pleasure and a pain to play. In most games, you think of a strategy and try to follow that path. It is the same in this game, but the path is murky with many routes (none displaying obvious benefits over others) to your goal and difficulties made by your opponents and luck. I started with the goal to score guilds. The more guilds I had the more I would score. Guilds give you strong advantages and one way to flip them over is by choosing your turn order which in turn gives you a scoring target and dice. The dice are random and the targets are distributed randomly. You may be lucky that the turn order you choose has all three elements that you need, you may also be unlucky. You do have a certain amount of control when to pick but there is a taste of bitterness as you may or may not get lucky. Despite having a wide spread of guilds I seemed to be unlucky. I'm not angry or bitter, just a bit disappointed.


"Populating Madeira"


In Maderia, you will score six goals. It is best to focus on these goals. Each turn you have three dice, which are exchanged for actions. The actions are distributed randomly but the secondary actions, triggered at the end of the round, are not. This controlled randomness is exciting especially as you try to maximise your scoring opportunities. Apart from the guilds, there is strong competition for the other scoring opportunities. You compete for the majorities in the cities and you compete for positioning out on the seas. The sea is one of the main areas where you compete to trade goods into money and money can be used to gain points.


"Delivering the goods"


The game has resource management and upkeep. There is a harsh penalty if you fail to upkeep. In our game poor Kas was the only one to end with pirates, costing him a high price. The game is very historic, the resources are covered by wood, which first must be harvested to get certain resources. Resources change on different rounds to reflect the changing market. There is a lot to consider and it was great.

My focus began in the cities for an easy flow of wood in which I could hire the guild members. I was the only person to begin on the space with infinite wood. Kas focused on the ships giving him early bonuses the others would not be able to use. Both Erik and Ron were keen to get their engine started and used the pirate dice. This removed their people from the city watch, removing their opportunities to use the dice in the future but gaining an advantage. They would not need to feed their soldiers stationed there. I competed with Kas for dominance of the keep and had won a few times giving me a cheeky bonus. You score in round 1,3 and 5 (the end of the game). I had the majority in the most lucrative city and scored a tidy 15 points at the end of round 1. After that, everything got a lot more competitive. Erik and Kas got involved heavily in the city. The secondary action gave them three points each round.

When things became messy, it wasn't because of the other players tried to screw you over. It was because they had the same aims for you.

As the game went on, the feeling of dread bared us all. The penalties for not feeding were only existential as there was away to manage the pirates. However, this required an significant effort. There was the windmill to alleviate the problem but the temptation to use its resources were always there. Opportunities closed and new ones opened. Sometimes the randomness of the characters helped with your morale, other times not.


"The full island of pain"


Erik seemed to get in the way of my plans by scooping up the scoring tiles I wanted. The alternatives I found seemed to be better. In the four hours, there were highs and lows experienced. I have never been so overwhelmed by a game as I have playing Madeira. I was particularly pleased with the game at the end managing a somewhat successful second place after the more experienced Erik. Kas did extremely well considering he had only been playing games for a few months and I am amazed that Ron managed to get rid of all his pirates considering he must have had over a million at one point. This is not the best game in the world or from Portugal but I am very happy to have played it. Now, when is it time to play Nippon again?
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For me and those I played with, Madeira remains the pinnacle of the WYG family of games.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Danny Perello
Canada
Salmo
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Want DnDeeples? I'm on Esty as MagnificentMeeples.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
played wrote:
This is not the best game in the world or from Portugal but I am very happy to have played it. Now, when is it time to play Nippon again?
Given how you found the game to be very heavy and it took you four hours to finish, holding off on judging until you've played at least a couple more time might have been a good idea. I agree with Curt that this is WYG's masterpiece so far. It really isn't that heavy though, once you've played a few times, and play time should drop by half of your first game.

Don't give up on this one. It gives back much more than it demands as you play it more. Amazing game...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Majewski
Netherlands
Eindhoven
Brabant
flag msg tools
Foam Bananas
badge
Hello Stranger!
Avatar
mbmb
curtc wrote:
For me and those I played with, Madeira remains the pinnacle of the WYG family of games.
I really enjoyed Nippon and Railroad Revolution. Bring on the expansion to tidy up the game!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Majewski
Netherlands
Eindhoven
Brabant
flag msg tools
Foam Bananas
badge
Hello Stranger!
Avatar
mbmb
Relax wrote:
played wrote:
This is not the best game in the world or from Portugal but I am very happy to have played it. Now, when is it time to play Nippon again?
Given how you found the game to be very heavy and it took you four hours to finish, holding off on judging until you've played at least a couple more time might have been a good idea. I agree with Curt that this is WYG's masterpiece so far. It really isn't that heavy though, once you've played a few times, and play time should drop by half of your first game.

Don't give up on this one. It gives back much more than it demands as you play it more. Amazing game...
I quite liked it. Certainly happy to play it again but not all the time. It hasn't got that play it again appeal for me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
played wrote:
curtc wrote:
For me and those I played with, Madeira remains the pinnacle of the WYG family of games.
I really enjoyed Nippon and Railroad Revolution. Bring on the expansion to tidy up the game!
RR is my #2. I too am looking forward to the expansion. Mainly so people will quit bitching about the balance (which was easily house ruled).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls