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Subject: Card Drafting rss

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Bob Kohut
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I like card drafting games.But something a little more than Ticket to Ride.
Has anyone played these three games and can make a comparison?

Alhambra
Union Pacific
San Marco

Which one gave you the most to think abour?

I've heard that FAIRY TALE is ALL card drafting. Does it have more appeal than the above mentioned games?
 
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Kent Reuber
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The hot game that involves card drafting at the moment is Dominion. You might check that one out.
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Al Johnson
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I own all 3 and will try to compare them - hopefully you'll get something out of it.

I'll start with San Marco. It is a area majority game, but what makes it unique is the "cut the pie" mechanic. Basically, every turn you either divide cards into 2 or 3 piles or you decide which of those piles to take. These cards all have different roles or powers that effect where you place cubes, move cubes, or even banish (remove) cubes. If you are the person dividing the cards into piles, the trick is to divide them in ways such that the powers of the cards are somewhat equal in the 2 piles. If not, well it's obvious the chooser will grab the good pile leaving you what's left. Of course if you are the chooser, you select the pile that works best for you, or possibly the pile that doesn't help your opponent(s). (The term "cut the pie" for those who may not be aware of that term comes from kids who may be arguing about who gets to choose a piece of pie first - you simply pick one child to cut the pie and the other gets to choose first. Of course the first kid will take care to cut the pieces as close to even as possible). This (like the others) is a good game. The "cut the pie" mechanic is what makes this game.

Alhambra is a game where you are selecting "money" cards of different values (1-9) and different colors to buy tiles of that color to construct you palace. The tiles are a specific color and number. I'm trying to recall from memory but I believe 4 cards are laid out and you get you choice of one of these cards if the value is 5 or greater or more than one as long as the total value for that turn does not exceed 5. I like Alhambra and my wife loves it.

Union Pacific (again another good game) is somewhat similar to Alhambra in the card drawing mechanism. You are grabbing track cards or train cards that best benefit you. Again it's a case of grabbing a card you need or keeping someone else from grabbing one they need, but in Union Pacific I almost always would grab the card I need.

It is hard to compare these because they are all quite different. I suppose you could use a second priority - the type of game you like. If you like area majority go with San Marco. If you like building games select Alhambra. If you like stock market type games select Union Pacific.

Two final thoughts. I don't know if I would label any of these games main mechanic as card drafting, however some type of card drafting is used in each. You may keep looking and focus on something who's main mechanic is card drafting. Also I know I probably wasn't too helpful in giving a specific opinion about which you would like best because I really don't know. For me, I like Alhambra the best, but I like all 3.

Hope that at least helps out a little.
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Jesse McGatha
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Notre Dame is a pretty good game whose primary mechanic is card drafting.
 
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Al Johnson
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I have to second Notre Dame. I would say it's main mechanic is card drafting. My wife and I also enjoy this card with 2 players if that's a criteria.
 
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Bob Kohut
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Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. I'll look into Notre Dame and Dominion. I may be trying FAIRY TALE with a group tonight.
I've played Reiner Knizia's THE TWO TOWERS (a home-made version. I don't think an English edition was ever produced. I always wonder why not. Maybe it's tied to the Hobbit franchise, but the theme could always be changed.) It's a good card drafter.
 
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