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Subject: Hacienda: A fair amount of excitement in a short amout of time. rss

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Ben Weiler
United States
Wauwatosa
Wisconsin
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In Hacienda, players try to expand their territory and grow their herds to strategically allign themselves with access to water or markets, or to build haciendas on large herds, or long land chains. The game allows players to take 3 actions during their turns without restricting which types of actions must be taken. Their choices include, buying land or animal cards (which are later played to expand their herds or their land holdings), buying and immediately placing haciendas or watering holes (which are used to earn additional points), placing an animal or a land tile on the board (by playing a matching card), or harvesting from their land holdings, which results in additional money (but no points). Like many Euro games, players must keep a careful balance between their available resources and their goals on the board. There are 2 scoring periods: once at the halfway point (based on how quickly animal cards are used) and once at the end (when all animal cards are gone). The player with the most points wins(based on several different accomplishments throughout the game--such as connecting to multiple markets, expanding a herd near water, building land chains, building haciendas, and earning pesos).

I have only played this game with a total of 3 players. I'l lstart with the only negative aspect of teh game for me: as I was playing, I kept thinking that the game could easily have been built on a much more interesting theme. I usually don't really care too much about the theme of a game, but it can be hard to get people to play when you tell them that you are playing the role of an Argentinian cattle rancher. A minor set back for sure.

Now for the good: I really enjoy the multiple strategy options available in the game. I got drawn into the strategy of trying to block my opponents from access to markets, which really did not make them happy. In the end, though, I had wasted way too many resources, and in doing so, I lost by a large margin. In my opinion, this game involves a good amount of strategy, is quite fun to play, and is a quick game (compared to many other Euro-type games). My wife, who cringes at the thought of a game of Power Grid, Die Macher, Caylus, or Agricola really likes this game. Ultimately, a very straight-forward platform that allows for multiple strategic options and plays in under an hour is a can't miss!
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John W
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Have you played Through the Desert?

If so, how would you compare them?
 
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Ben Weiler
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reapersaurus wrote:
Have you played Through the Desert?

If so, how would you compare them?




Sorry, but I haven't.
 
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Al Johnson
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I've played both and I would give a slight edge to Hacienda especially the more players you have. However, I that is not a slight to Through the Desert which is a very good game. I'm sure there are others that would disagree with me, but for my tastes Haciends seems a little more fun and friendly.
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