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Subject: Wealth Of Nations, worth it? rss

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João 'Finding a new way to make you WTF today' Marum
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I'm considering getting Wealth Of Nations but I would like to hear from people who played it first. Is it worth it? Should I get another game instead? I'm thinking of purchasing Hamburgum or Imperial instead of Wealth Of Nations, should I do it?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Jeff Hinrickson
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Wealth of Nations is strictly economically based. While Imperial has a warlike take over aspect to the game (not much being that it is a Euro).

If you are into heavy economic games then yes pick it up, I suggest only playing with 3-4 otherwise your game could take a very long time.
The negotiation phase can become very teadious (sp?).
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Chris K
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I own it and have played it twice. As an undergrad currently studying economics, it's fun to actually see models like supply/demand, buying until your Marginal cost = marginal revenue, etc, come through so strongly in a game.

It can take a while, though, ESPECIALLY if your gaming buddies are prone to AP. The first phase, the buying/trading phase, can be particularly long because you are only allowed to do ONE action of buy/sell/trade per turn, so if you have to think through what to do every single turn, the game can bog down. When I taught the game I just emphasized that everyone should have an idea of what they want to do over the course of that entire phase (for example, "this phase I want to acquire capital, energy and food"), and focus on optimizing those goals.

If you like no-luck perfect information games it should be right up your alley, as well.
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Bill Eldard
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jjloc wrote:
If you are into heavy economic games then yes pick it up, I suggest only playing with 3-4 otherwise your game could take a very long time.
The negotiation phase can become very teadious (sp?).


That seems to be the general consensus in our group after several plays. The players enjoy the game system (An economics game that actually works!), but the games are longer than your average Euro. It's an excellent game for strategy gamers who don't mind putting 2-3 hours (or more for beginners) into the game.
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Ben Penner
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I concur with the thoughts expressed so far. I have really enjoyed my two plays (both 4P) of it and am glad I bought it.

As other people have said in other threads, 4P can have the two people who stat with 2 sets of tiles having a bit of an advantage, where 3P and 5P don't have this issue.
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Thomas Taylor
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Personally, I love it.
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J C Lawrence
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Get Imperial -- it is more flexible and has longer legs. WoN is troubled. 3 player is overly spacious, removing pretty much the only interesting element of the game (spatial board play). 4 player is severely unbalanced and should see either the 3rd or 4th player in turn order winning every game. 5 Player works well enough, but while there is plenty of fancy economic machinery that looks like a game, when boiled down there's not actually much left, just complexity.

Other notes:

-- Take 8-12 loans on the first turn of the game. This is a purely rote and automatic decision. The only question is where in that range or whether more (I've gone as high as 14, which was a mistake).

-- Expect the first trading phase to take about an hour, maybe longer. I've seen it go well over 90 minutes.

-- Remember: economies of scale. It applies to loans, trade, and production.

-- Board position and control are (almost) everything. A few dollars here or there are rarely worth arguing about. They just don't matter except when they force a loan, and even then they usually don't matter either. The economic sub-systems are mostly mummery. (This is another reason the 3rd and 4th players in a 4 player game have such an advantage)

-- Three are four decisions in the game: What to draught, where to build, what next industry to start and when to force the game to end. The first three decisions usually all occur in the first round of the game. The last decision is difficult to control. Games last 4-6 rounds.

Someday I'll get some photos of our games posted.
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Daniel Corban
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If you are considering Imperial, then don't hesitate. Get Imperial.
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Kai Jensen
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I have all three games. I would recommend Hamburgum, but still enjoy the other two. WoN is fun, but we all agreed in advance to use the set prices for barter to cut the haggling time out.

This is one game, however, that I actually will NOT bring out if any of my AP-prone gaming buddies are over. There is a lot to do and a lot to consider for each turn. Most of my group tends to plan while other players are taking their turns, so there is not much downtime lost to planning on their own turn.
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mark sellmeyer
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have all three games. All three are economic games with heavy player interaction. Hamburgum and Imperial both have the rondel wheel mechanic, but I like imperial better even though hamburgum has better bits. Haven't played WoN enough to tell if I like it better than imperial. A couple of games I would compare it to is container and industral waste, but with added board strategy. have played with 3,4, 5 and 6, and yes 5 is the sweet spot.
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John Weber
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I have all three, Imperial still gets played alot while I have had it over a year longer than the other two, more recent releases. Not alot of interest in playing Hamburgum, although it is interesting, not sure what the verdict will be on WoN (while interesting, there are some tedious, fiddly elements that may prevent it from becoming a favorite). Bottom line, go with Imperial.
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David F
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You asked if WoN is worth it. No. Fun? Yes. Worth it? No. The components are poor, and there is no insert or bags to store all the tiny, fiddly bits. The game has a "cheap" feel to it. It would've made a lot of sense if a lot of the components were printed double-sided, but they're not, which adds even more to the "cheap" impression.

Yes, WoN has been fun so far, but it's not worth a purchase if you ask me. Consider buying it if nobody you know has it, but if somebody does, don't even think twice: just free-load the heck out of his game.
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-=[Ran Over]=-
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Get Imperial.
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J C Lawrence
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selwyth wrote:
The components are poor...


How are they poor? Standard wooden cubes in 5 colours, (relatively) thick cardboard tiles and board (cf Carcassonne), similarly thick market boards with recessed wells for the price slots, clear printing, standard paper money and loans (no worse or better than countless others. About the only possible complaint is that the player aids are colour printed clayed paper. Not bad, not great.

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...and there is no insert or bags to store all the tiny, fiddly bits.


A bag is provided for the cubes. There are paper bands to hold the loans and money together.

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The game has a "cheap" feel to it.


Really? It seemed quite fine to me. The recessed well structure of the market boards in particular is sign of considerable more care in production than for most games.

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It would've made a lot of sense if a lot of the components were printed double-sided...


Huh? There are no single-sided components that materially interfere with the game.
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Daniel Corban
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Let me tell you this... attempting to play my newly purchased copy at Origins with the billions of single-sided flags all mixed up because there were no bags included was a huge pain in the ass.
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Josh Street
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Not to dogpile, but the components are pretty flimsy. The wooden cubes are fine and the wells are brilliant, but the counters are much thinner than in most games and are prone to tearing when punched out (particularly the flags).

Gameplay wise, I actually enjoy the game, but it goes on too long for what it is. The mechanics are interesting and make for interesting strategy development. It really is a different game from Imperial though, which I like quite a bit (even if I can't get it to the table as much as I'd like).
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David F
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clearclaw wrote:

Huh? There are no single-sided components that materially interfere with the game.


The flags and promissory notes are single-sided. You get the feeling that if this were any other game, they would have been double-sided. The flags, in particular, make it a bigger pain to set the game up at the start.

The paper bands don't work, and I've thrown them away. It's really easy to crush and crease your player aids and money if you're not careful with the paper bands (or more pertinently, if your opponents are not careful when they're helping you clean up). I'd have much preferred rubber bands.

Your points are valid, and I should be more clear with what I'm referring to with "cheap". The market boards with the recessed wells are definitely the highlight of the package, but the 1-sided short supply of promissory notes, tiny 1-sided flags (honestly, real flags with flag stands might work better) and paper player aids are not. The 3 identical punch-out sheets which give you 2 superfluous start player tokens gave me the "cheap" impression.

My point is the components are below-average for a $50 price point. For the components in the game, I'd expect to pay more along the lines of $35-40 (i.e. around Pandemic's MSRP). Of course, it's still a great game, and if being able to play the game can justify the extra $10 or so, go for it (it did for me). I'm just warning the OP that if the game turns out to be just okay, that'd be a significant drain of $ into a game which you won't be particularly proud of owning.
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Scott Everts
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There's a reason why you get 3 start player markers. Retooling a diecut just so there's only 1 marker would be much more expensive then just having the extras in there. I don't have a problem with that. Remember these guys aren't FFG so cutting corners like that help considering they have to run shorter, more expensive runs.

Sure, I agree double sided printing would be nice but you really would not believe the cost of printing a game for a small publisher. Sometimes they have to make consessions to get it done. Overall I'm impressed with the game.

My only real problem was the player ref cards. I wish they were printed on cardstock instead of paper. Since I own a laminator it was easy to fix but most gamers don't have that.

Don't most gamers have a supply of ziplock bags? I keep various sizes I buy from the local art supply store and they are super cheap. 90% of the games I get don't give me good enough storage solutions so that seems like a poor excuse.
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J C Lawrence
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selwyth wrote:
The flags, in particular, make it a bigger pain to set the game up at the start.


My flags are currently bagged one per colour, but even before that I've didn't find this a notable problem.

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The paper bands don't work, and I've thrown them away. It's really easy to crush and crease your player aids and money if you're not careful with the paper bands (or more pertinently, if your opponents are not careful when they're helping you clean up). I'd have much preferred rubber bands.


The paper bands work for me and are in fact still be being used on my copy after about a dozen plays with various tables. I've not had any problems with them or with the player aids creasing.

Quote:
...the 1-sided short supply of promissory notes...


The really short version there is that none of their playtesters went heavily into debt as a regular practice (and they had an enoumous number of playtesters), and they didn't fully consider the viability of the approach in the publishing process. That's a pretty easy oversight to make. Locally we've taken to giving up on the paper loans, using poker chips instead to track loans. There were comfortably over 50 loans issued by the early mid-game in our last game. The peak was probably over 55.

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...tiny 1-sided flags...


Yeah, I'll take double sided as better here. Not a biggie, but better.

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...honestly, real flags with flag stands might work better...


Oh lords above no. Then they'd fall over, dismantle mid-game, block lines of sight etc. Nice simple little cardboard flags are much easier and simpler.

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...paper player aids are not.


In part because they are never handled, just put down and left there, the paper player aids have not bugged me. Asides from which after a game or so they're pretty irrelevant anyway as everyone has internalised the key prices.

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The 3 identical punch-out sheets which give you 2 superfluous start player tokens gave me the "cheap" impression.


Standard printing sheets are a classic cost-savings and thus I simply expected it, especially from a small publisher. Frankly I found it pleasing -- it suggested they'd thought through their production costs further than most small publishers do.

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My point is the components are below-average for a $50 price point.


We have different expectations. I had no complaint.

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For the components in the game, I'd expect to pay more along the lines of $35-40 (i.e. around Pandemic's MSRP).


The wells on the market cards plus the far more generous cube supply pretty much guaranteed an MSRP above $45.

Quote:
Of course, it's still a great game, and if being able to play the game can justify the extra $10 or so, go for it (it did for me). I'm just warning the OP that if the game turns out to be just okay, that'd be a significant drain of $ into a game which you won't be particularly proud of owning.


I don't think I've ever thought of being proud of a game I owned. I might like them, I might want to play them, I might admire their designs or implementations, but proud of them? No more than any other possession. They're...just possessions. Bits'o'stuff. Tools with a purpose. Then again my currently most frequently played and enjoyed game (Chicago Express) ran me $40 for a paper map, a few score wood cubes and some monochrome cards made of construction paper, all stuffed in a polystyrene clamshell. I'm ecstatic with that purchase and have gotten way more than my money's worth.

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David F
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clearclaw wrote:
Oh lords above no. Then they'd fall over, dismantle mid-game, block lines of sight etc. Nice simple little cardboard flags are much easier and simpler.


I was thinking more along the lines of the flags being a pain to pick up when you're trying to replace the hex it occupies with a tile.
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