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Subject: what is everyone so afraid of? rss

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Joshua Balvin
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Following my obsessive (compulsive?) need to play the legendary games, I recently purchased a copy of ‘Die Macher’—the beast, the long game that everyone tells me you’ll enjoy playing once and never want to play again. My intention? Just that. Play the game once, and then sell/trade it.

So I set aside 7 hours one Saturday afternoon, and recruited the bravest of my gaming friends. For the most part, they declined, not wanting to commit to the monster. So I ended up with 4 friends (who enjoy games, but don’t really play them that often) — this had disaster written all over it. An hour before people began to arrive, I broke open my copy and watched the video tutorial on ‘board games with Scott’ (which consequently I STRONGLY recommend as a first step—it will tell you most of what you need to know before you open the rules and it will all seem much less intimidating)

What began as skepticism quickly gave way to intrigue as I began to learn about the various mechanics of the game. By the time my friends arrived, I was quite anxious to dive in. Because the video was not comprehensive, we decided to read the rules—the book that looks like 24 pages of intimidating rules turned out to be only about 6 pages of actual game play. There are a lot of appendixes, charts and explanations, but for the most part only 6 pages are actually needed to learn the game. Which again seemed quite small for such a ‘complex, overwhelming’ game as ‘Die Macher’ had always been characterized.

After about only about 30 minutes between the rule book and my regurgitation of what I’d seen in the video, we began. The first round took us about an hour and 15 minutes, which is to be expected—there are a lot of steps to each round! But we cleared out the remaining 4 rounds of the short version in about another hour and a half! I couldn’t believe it! The time flew, and even my friends who don’t consider themselves ‘real gamers’ all wanted to try it again, this time the full version.

A week later we tried it again. With 4 players the full 7 rounds took us just under 4 hours, and that included a lunch break! And the best part is we all want to play it again—the time really flew. In fact, if anything the game felt short!

In all honesty I could care less to dissect why I enjoyed this, why I think it’s brilliant, why I’m holding on to it and why I already can’t wait to play it again. All I can say is, why is everyone so afraid of this game? I can see the potential for it to drag on if you play with analysis paralysis players—however ANY game is pretty bad in my opinion with those players. I don’t enjoy the really really heavy games, yet ‘Die Macher’ turned out to be surprisingly simple and complex at the same time—a very beautiful combination! Since that initial play, I’ve been repeatedly surprised how many people haven’t even tried this wonderful game because of the fear its mere mention can render.

‘Die Macher’ is in a category of its own. Yes it’s a Euro, but it plays unlike any other Euro I’ve ever tried—I can’t even think of anything to compare it to. For theme, it’s like a 5 player ‘1960: Making of a president’. For pure mechanics, maybe a little bit like ‘Reef Encounter’? Though that seems like a bit of a stretch. Playing ‘Die Macher’, it’s not hard to see how ahead of its time it really was, as only now are some Euros beginning to catch back up to its level of ingenuity, layered-simplicity and elegance. This is a great game and deserves it’s ‘Legendary’ status probably more than any other I’ve been privileged to play.
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Einmal ist keinmal
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joshbalvin wrote:
So I set aside 7 hours one Saturday afternoon, and recruited the bravest of my gaming friends. For the most part, they declined, not wanting to commit to the monster. So I ended up with 4 friends (who enjoy games, but don’t really play them that often)


I'd tell your "brave" friends that you've found a new group to play with. If they want back in the club, they have to sit down and play a game of Die Macher to make up for their poor judgement.
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Stephen Stewart
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Agreed...This is a gem that most players should play. Very easy game flow with a handful of options you can do.


I think with all of the multiplayer solitaire games out... this one will keep them frightened for a long time.

INTERACTION?!?

CONFLICT?!?

HEAVEN'S NO!!!
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Ben Weiler
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I am a veteran of just one struggle for German political power (although it was the full version), and in general, I have to agree with your thoughts. The thing that keeps me from jumping back in, however, is that I don't like having to constantly consult the instructions to 1) see what step comes next and 2) review the guidelines that outline the processes of each step. That being said, I did enjoy getting rolled over by my opponent who toted pink vote counters.
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Tim Myers
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bengweiler wrote:
I am a veteran of just one struggle for German political power (although it was the full version), and in general, I have to agree with your thoughts. The thing that keeps me from jumping back in, however, is that I don't like having to constantly consult the instructions to 1) see what step comes next and 2) review the guidelines that outline the processes of each step. That being said, I did enjoy getting rolled over by my opponent who toted pink vote counters.

I printed out some reference cards that are color coded and when you cut them out are about the size of index cards. I got this in the files section.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/1346
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/1347
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/1348
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/1349
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/1350
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/1351

These worked great to keep us on track. They are great references on what to do in each phase as we went through each turn of the game. The other players (who were new) thought these reference cards really helped the game run smoother!
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Aloha!
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My first game was freakishly short, about 2 1/2 hours. I'd be up for it again, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and the game flow was perfect and fit the theme well. it might now be something I go out of my way to play again, but I would play it.
 
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alan beaumont
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Re: afraid of Die Macher?
The graphics are pretty hostile. There's so much other stuff out there clamouring for attention that messing this up in a reprint is plain stupid.
Played it, understood it, found it too much work to check card status. Goodbye Die Macher.
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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I hear people throw around five hours as a time span for a game of Die Macher, most notably Scott on Boardgames with Scott. In actuality, DM is one of only two games I can remember that actually took less time than I was planning on the first play. We prepared for five hours for the long version, and it ended up taking only about four and a half with five newbies. Our next game was even speedier at about three and a half, and we're a slow group.

I agree, this game seems to get this undeserved reputation for being a lengthy monster. This is easily playable in an evening.
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James Hemsley
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I love this game, too. A string of great mechanics that all work together to achieve the goal of gaining votes (but not too many, you don't want to go over the max).

This article has made me want to break it out again!

--James
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Chris B
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We knock it out in some time between 3 and 4 hours, depending on how heated some of the elections can be.

I love this game. And play it almost any time I can get the people together.
 
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Joshua Balvin
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Quote:
The graphics are pretty hostile. There's so much other stuff out there clamouring for attention that messing this up in a reprint is plain stupid


i absolutely agree. the artwork is some of the worst out there. but i still adore it. the game play gets me so immersed that i don't even notice. but i must say, i'd LOVE to see a reprint with updated art. it's too much fun and too great a game to fall flat with the graphics. i've even contemplated making my own cards! there's some cool artwork out there for this!
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Ben Weiler
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Thanks! I wonder why something like this wasn't included in the actual game . . .
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David Bohnenberger
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Quote:
In fact, if anything the game felt short!


There is certainly not much "downtime" in Die Macher, so no matter how long the game is it will likely not "drag".

And as I often say, would you rather spend 3 or 4 hours having fun or endure 90 minutes of misery?
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King of the Dead
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I'm afraid of no robots!
...

Uh... Seriously...

Where are the giant robots?

Where are the magicians?

Where are the assassins and ninjas and guns and swords and giant bug mandibles and border zone skirmishes with snipers and massive artillery barrages and river crossings with thousands dead and millions more blasting off on an ark ship to the stars with the hope of the human race?

I'M AFRAID OF BOREDOM.



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John Di Ponio
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The first time I played this monster, I went into it thinking...if I could just survive the long playing time...I will be fine. The game ended...it was 5 hours later and I never even worried about the time!
A lot of people get a mixed feeling when they see the board...one of intrigue and fear! The game does flow well and there isn't muc down time! I noticed that the guys that left the table to get a bite or catch up on a game score was back in the pack!
I like the game a lot.....no...I don't get to play often...but wen I do I really enjoy it!
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Kirk Thomas
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Definitely a great game, and definitely fits easily into an evening. If I was to give it any critique I would say that, for a game that takes 4 hours give or take, I think you have to play several times to really "get" the mechanics, there are so many interacting pieces. But I find the time just flies - there is always something to think about, most of the many steps of each round are simple but important, and it all interacts on so many different levels. Absolutely recommended, IMO, and nothing to be afraid of.
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Mark Crane
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Nazhuret wrote:
...

Uh... Seriously...

Where are the giant robots?

Where are the magicians?

Where are the assassins and ninjas and guns and swords and giant bug mandibles and border zone skirmishes with snipers and massive artillery barrages and river crossings with thousands dead and millions more blasting off on an ark ship to the stars with the hope of the human race?

I'M AFRAID OF BOREDOM.





I am a confirmed plastic addict and I really enjoyed this game. Many opportunities to politically beat people up.
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Barak Engel
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Absolutely with you there.

I only got to play this once - at the recent BGG.con. Even with a full complement of players, rules instructions, and a couple of APers, we finished at under 5 hours. The game is relatively simple from a mechanics standpoint, but my perception is that it is almost insanely deep in terms of their application. The decisions are always interesting, I don't remember a single gimme moment, and the twists and turns and surprises are just delicious (coalitions baby!).

I think the game was way, way, way ahead of its time. It flows extremely well, has a distinct rhythm and pace, and a surprising amount of humor potential. The game balance is brilliant, and while you can never allow yourself to relax in any scoring area (I won the general election comfortably and still ended a distant third), you won't get too severely punished for the occasional error. Heck, sometimes fate (or somebody else's media influence) will turn your turds into roses.

The game suffers from the theme and the perceived length ("a 5-hour game about german politics? no way!"). Both of these are misleading. Now that I know how this works, a game should take no more than 3 hours. And the theme fades quickly considering no one really ends up caring about the politics.
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Scott Randall
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Fear.....

I REALLY want to play this game. I actually OWN the game. I embarrassingly have to admit that when I bought the game, the seller neglected to tell me it was printed in German. Well...I don't speak German and I have yet to work up the courage to just sit down and learn it with the English translations that I have.

I will say this is all on me. And I do plan on sitting down and learning this game......one day. One day soon.
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