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Subject: Would I like this game? rss

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Sean Franco
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I've been looking at Princes of the Renaissance, and parts look interesting, but I am apprehensive. I've only played one of Martin Wallace game, Struggle of Empires, and I didn't care for it at all.

Things I didn't like about Struggle:
* Bidding for allies. For some reason this rubbed me wrong. It seemed like it just rewarded the people who were already doing well and had extra money to spend. The way it seemed, those who needed to attack someone because they were in a desperate situation may not be able to secure a position in the opposite alliance, thus negating their ability to enact a practical strategy.
* Getting control, and military not affecting scoring. Tiles that give you control aside (slavery, etc.), the way to get control is to beat someone in combat. This too seems to limit your options, making whole areas of the map potentially void of scoring opportunities, because there will be no control and no military there.
* The combat system. It's not complicated and I understand it, but it seems like it's going the long way about regardless for no important reason.
* What country you are. My favored country for games like this is England, just because I like her history. However, in this game, England is possibly the worst country to play. Austria and Prussia both have instant access to three European countries, and England has none. They aren't adjacent to anything. I understand the game actually tries to go far with theme, but I think a bit of balance might have been a wiser idea this time.

Now, I understand that perhaps I'm getting some rules wrong here (in which case, please correct me) or that I'm missing some of the nuances of this game (in which case, perhaps enlighten me). But I have these main problems with the game. Does Princes have similar mechanics? Will the gameplay and feel be as similar as some say? Do you think that I would enjoy this game? (Feel free to consult me Top Games list on my profile as well...)

Thank you for your input.
 
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Mr Cricket
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I like Princes but I've only played it a couple of times as other people I play with don't like it as much as I do. To me it has a really nice feel, unlike any other game I can think of. Struggle, on the other hand, I didn't enjoy the one time I've played it. It's an area control game dressed up as a wargame which I don't find an enjoyable combination. From my limited experience of the two games they are quite different so I wouldn't be put off the one by your experience of the other.
 
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You may want to just tell yourself you'll hate it, as it's one of the hardest games to find.
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Kevin Gonzalez
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I think it is likely you wouldn't care too much for Princes of the Renaissance, either. It is a very different game than Struggle of Empires but does have some similarities. In both games there is a large pool of tiles from which you choose the ones that will dictate your strategy(although in POR you might have to win some auctions). To me, they are essentially similar for that reason. POR does have more ways to score victory points than SOE, but it definitely "feels like" a Martin Wallace game. In my opinion that is a good thing. In yours, though, it might be bad. Have you enjoyed some of Martin's other games? Which ones?

I guess a better question is: what do you find appealing about AOR and is there another game that might have those attributes?

Good luck!
 
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Brad Miller
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I really disliked SoE, but I think PotR is one of Martin's best games. For something somewhat similar, that will cost you a lot less, look at Perikles.
 
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Sean Franco
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kevtor wrote:
Have you enjoyed some of Martin's other games? Which ones?

I guess a better question is: what do you find appealing about AOR and is there another game that might have those attributes?

Good luck!

Nope, only SoE.

I liked the thematic ideas of PotR, and I liked the idea of the treachery, and cities being manipulated but not dedicated to a single player. I understand that Imperial has some of these elements, but I was curious about avoiding part of the stock elements of it for the moment.
 
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Bill Eldard
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logopolys wrote:
I've been looking at Princes of the Renaissance, and parts look interesting, but I am apprehensive. I've only played one of Martin Wallace game, Struggle of Empires, and I didn't care for it at all.


You probably won't like Princes of the Renaissance. Here's why . . .

logopolys wrote:
Things I didn't like about Struggle:
* Bidding for allies. For some reason this rubbed me wrong. It seemed like it just rewarded the people who were already doing well and had extra money to spend. The way it seemed, those who needed to attack someone because they were in a desperate situation may not be able to secure a position in the opposite alliance, thus negating their ability to enact a practical strategy.


Wars are all about bidding in PotR. And since players don't own any of the cities that fight, wars are about (a) profits, (b) prestige of the city, and (c) glory of the victor. But . . .

1. On his/her turn, a player decides that two cities will go to war, and which city is the attacker. Players bid influence points for the privilege of being the attacker, and then bid for privilege of being the defender. The player who declared th ewar may not win either bid (and that could be by design). In any event, whether the player gets to fight or not, the war expends his/her game turn.

2. Players calculate their strength based on the die-roll supplements of component army units, plus the roll of the die. However, any player can intervene by playing a treachery tile that neutralizes the strongest unit of one side or the other, (b) force a player to re-roll a die, or (c) the player who owns the Pope can add his/her army to one side or the other (often for monetary gain), greatly skewing the odds.

3. The victor does get credit for the victory (a laurel wreath chit), but each side is paid by the city it represented; the more prestigious the city, the more gold it pays, regardless of whether that army won or lost. I could win and earn 4 gold, while my opponent loses and earns 8 gold. Ce la vie.

4. There are no casualties. No one loses any units.

logopolys wrote:
* Getting control, and military not affecting scoring. Tiles that give you control aside (slavery, etc.), the way to get control is to beat someone in combat. This too seems to limit your options, making whole areas of the map potentially void of scoring opportunities, because there will be no control and no military there.


Players in PotR attempt to buy tiles representing nobles, bankers, artists, and merchants that are color-coded to respective cities. The VP value of those tiles goes up or down depending on the prestige of their cities, which is altered by combat. Fortunes can turn around in a hurry.

As noted in my earlier comment (above), you might have heavily invested in people tiles affiliated with Naples, only to have Naples lose two presitge levels in a war that you couldn't take part in or influence.

logopolys wrote:
* The combat system. It's not complicated and I understand it, but it seems like it's going the long way about regardless for no important reason.


The war resolution system in PotR is rather simple, but subject to substantial influence by non-belligerents.

logopolys wrote:
* What country you are.


In PotR, you are not a country nor a city. You are a mercenary fighting for profit and investing in people you hope will bring you big VPs by raising the prestige of their cities.

logopolys wrote:
My favored country for games like this is England, just because I like her history. However, in this game, England is possibly the worst country to play. Austria and Prussia both have instant access to three European countries, and England has none. They aren't adjacent to anything. I understand the game actually tries to go far with theme, but I think a bit of balance might have been a wiser idea this time.


But wasn't that England's historic situation? Being a rising commercial power with a significant navy but relatively small army, England tried to maintain a balance of power on the Continent for about 100 years.

logopolys wrote:
Does Princes have similar mechanics? Will the gameplay and feel be as similar as some say? Do you think that I would enjoy this game? Thank you for your input.


While I don't see much similarity between Princes of the Renaissance and Struggle of Empires, for the reason I posted above, I suspect you will not like PotR. Personally, I think PotR is Martin Wallace's best game and strongest to theme, but if you're looking for an intuitive wargame, PotR ain't it.
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Sean Franco
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Thank you for your expansive comments.

Eldard wrote:
But wasn't that England's historic situation? Being a rising commercial power with a significant navy but relatively small army, England tried to maintain a balance of power on the Continent for about 100 years.

It certainly was, and I suppose I understand why it's represented in the starting setup, but it doesn't mean that it is a fair or balanced starting setup. Why even play as England when Austria is a much better prospect?

Eldard wrote:
logopolys wrote:
Does Princes have similar mechanics? Will the gameplay and feel be as similar as some say? Do you think that I would enjoy this game? Thank you for your input.


While I don't see much similarity between Princes of the Renaissance and Struggle of Empires, for the reason I posted above, I suspect you will not like PotR. Personally, I think PotR is Martin Wallace's best game and strongest to theme, but if you're looking for an intuitive wargame, PotR ain't it.

I wasn't really looking for an intuitive wargame per say, I just liked some of the ideas I mentioned in this game. It just doesn't seem like Mr. Wallace's war and political games mesh well with my style. What of his economic games / train games? Does anyone think one of those may fit my tastes?
 
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logopolys wrote:
What of his economic games / train games? Does anyone think one of those may fit my tastes?


I have no idea, but Age of Steam is one of the best games ever made, and it shows up highly in your personalized recommendations.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/logopolys/recommendations?...

The real question is, do you have a group that would enjoy playing AoS?

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logopolys wrote:
What of his economic games / train games? Does anyone think one of those may fit my tastes?


Age of Steam is my favorite rail game. Many prefer the derivative Railroad Tycoon -- which is reputedly a bit more forgiving -- but Age of Steam neatly fits the complexity niche for me between the 'crayon rails' and the 18xx series games.
 
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Sean Franco
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jdludlow wrote:
The real question is, do you have a group that would enjoy playing AoS?

Maybe? It's hard to say. Meaty games don't bother us (we all loved Die Macher), but tedious games do (none of us like Struggle). Stock manipulation has also not been a big hit, as much as it fascinates me and I'd like to find a good game for it.

Eldard wrote:
Age of Steam is my favorite rail game. Many prefer the derivative Railroad Tycoon -- which is reputedly a bit more forgiving -- but Age of Steam neatly fits the complexity niche for me between the 'crayon rails' and the 18xx series games.

I've only played one of the 18xx (1870) games, and I honestly wasn't blown away by it. I'd gotten it to try out the series, and also because I dug the fact that the MKT was in it. I've never played a crayon rail game, tho' I do enjoy Power Grid, and I understand that it was derived from a crayon rail; I may be wrong there.
 
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James Ludlow
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logopolys wrote:
jdludlow wrote:
The real question is, do you have a group that would enjoy playing AoS?

Maybe? It's hard to say. Meaty games don't bother us (we all loved Die Macher), but tedious games do (none of us like Struggle). Stock manipulation has also not been a big hit, as much as it fascinates me and I'd like to find a good game for it.


The group that I play Die Macher with all enjoys Age of Steam. Not all of them like 18xx, though most do.

Quote:
I've never played a crayon rail game, tho' I do enjoy Power Grid, and I understand that it was derived from a crayon rail; I may be wrong there.


Power Grid plays nothing like a crayon rail game, at all.

 
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