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Subject: Entdecker review of components, rules and gameplay with pics rss

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Graham Dean
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Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons

Review

This review is an attempt to explain the rules, components and gameplay of the exploration board game Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons. This was the follow up game to the hugely successful Catan by Klaus Teuber, and I think suffered by comparison, and from the weight of expectation. Readers should be aware that there are two versions available, and this review is of the version with the native huts along the edge of the board.



Overview

Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons is an exploration game for 2-4 players, although I can’t see any reason why (with a few additional wooden components) it could not be adapted to play with 5. The main area of the board is a largely blank area to be explored, which is set up with a few tiles to give a starting position. Players take turns in exploring this board, by picking tiles and placing them on the board. Points are scored by placing settlements, forts or scouts on islands, and by gaining control of valuable produce which can be discovered. The winner is the player with the most points once the entire board has been completely covered by tiles.

Components (or What’s in the box)



The components are lovely. The box is sturdy and should not be prone to the bowing of the box lid problem which happens to the mass produced games of the 70s when othergames were stacked on top of them. The insert has been specifically designed for the components – each has its place, which is nice to see.



Inside the box are:
1 six fold game board.
Wooden pieces for four players.
180 exploration tiles.
One wooden ship marker.
One six sided die.
One rule booklet.
One quick start rule booklet with worked example of play.
One black bag.
9 produce tokens.
Card tokens for gold, in denominations of 1 and 5.
Card ‘native huts’.

The board is a classic 6-fold, and is solid with some nice decorative artwork – the sea serpent used for the scoring track is a nice touch. The tiles are good quality, and the player pieces are wooden. The money is handled by thin cardboard tokens, which are a little lightweight in comparison with the other components in the game but work fine. The native huts are also a bit fiddly and I personally would have preferred a better solution, but again they work fine. The only complaints I have to make are exceptionally picky.

Firstly, a different quantity of pieces are used per player depending on the number of players. To save costs, one of the sets only has enough pieces for the 4 player game, and another only has enough additional pieces for the 3 player game. Only two of the sets have enough pieces for the 2 player game, so if that’s what you’re playing your choice of colour is limited. It would have been nice to have a full set in each colour, but this does not detract from the game in any way when actually playing.

Secondly, and my biggest complaint, is that the scouts are represented by small wooden cylinders which roll everywhere if the table gets a knock. I know wooden cubes are a cliché in euro games, but this is a situation where they would have been an improvement.

Apart from these two very minor caveats, the components are top notch and a pleasure to play with.

Setup

The board is laid out in the centre of the table, and each player receives the appropriate number of pieces (1 settlement, 2 forts, and a number of scouts depending on the number of players), and 7 gold each.



The tiles are laid out in piles along the sides of the board. Tiles with numbers on the back (1-7) are placed face up so that the artwork is visible. These provide tiles for when a player is paying extra to choose the layout of what is placed, or for when the contents of an empty space are completely proscribed by the tiles around it’s edge.



The artwork on the tiles comes in different varieties, which is a nice touch and improves the appearance pf the final layout at the end of the game.

Tiles with plain blue backgrounds or with a question mark on the back are shuffled together and placed in six stacks face down. These are the tiles used most of the time for exploring unknown areas.

Lastly the native huts are assembled and placed on the spaces provided along the edge of the board, although the produce tokens are not added at this point.

Setup is reasonably quick and straight forward, probably taking about 5-10 minutes – less than that if everyone helps.

Gameplay

The Standard Turn

The first action is to check how much gold a player has at the start of his/her turn. If it is less than 4, then the player rolls a die. The player rolling the die receives that number of gold, but all the other players receive that number of gold plus one.

On a player’s turn, s/he must choose a starting position from one of the edges, and then trace a continuous line from this position to a tile which is not completely surrounded. If a path exists it is indicated by the dotted white line on the tile.

The edge at the bottom of the board is free (indicated by an empty circle). Any routes which can be traced back to this edge are free. The edges at either side cost 1 gold (indicated by a circle with a gold coin in it), and the edge at the top costs 2 gold (indicated by a circle with a gold coin in it). Routes which are traced back to one of these edges cost the extra amount indicated.



Players then decide how many tiles they want to buy – a minimum of 1 and a maximum of three. The tiles are drawn one at a time, and if placement is legal, must be placed on the board (although the orientation is at the discretion of the player). If placement is not possible, the tile is discarded.

Once a player has finished placing tiles (and s/he does not have to take all the tiles played for – more on that later), s/he has the option to pay to place a wooden piece on a piece of land. This is the mechanism by which points are scored.

Buying tiles

As mentioned above, before taking any tiles a player must declare whether they want to select 1, 2 or 3 tiles. Tiles selected from the face down stacks cost 1 gold each, and tiles selected from the face up stacks cost 4 gold each. It is important to note that a player is not allowed to select tiles from both the face up and face down stacks on the same turn.

Some of the tiles in the face down stacks have a question mark on the back. This indicates a special event of some kind, either good or bad.



The good events are the gold mine and the friendly natives. A gold mine immediately gives you a windfall of 3 gold. Friendly natives allows you to place one of your scouts directly onto one of the forest paths.

The bad events are a storm and pirates. A storm ends your turn immediately, losing the player the opportunity to take any further tiles, even though they have been paid for, or from placing any wooden pieces. Pirates take half of the gold in your hand.

Placing a tile

Tiles must be placed on the board according to certain simple rules.

d10-1 The tile must be placed or discarded before any subsequent tiles are taken.
d10-2 Water must be placed next to water, and land must be placed next to land. The edge of the board counts as a water edge.
d10-3 If the player is exploring from a tile which has blank spaces on more than one side, the first tile placed can be placed off any edge.
d10-4 Subsequent tiles must be placed as a continuation of tiles placed previously on that turn.
d10-5 If a tile cannot be placed legally it is discarded from the game.
d10-6 If a player pays for more than 1 tile on their turn, they do not have to take them all. Potentially they may draw exactly the tile they want on their first turn, and wish to build on it. In this case they would declare they were declining the rest of the tiles paid for and would pay to place a wooden token. Players do not get money back for tiles paid for and not used.
d10-7 Players may only build on the last tile placed on their turn.
d10-8 If a player takes their final tile and cannot place it, they are allowed to build on the last tile they placed earlier in their turn.
d10-9 If an empty space is completely defined by the tiles around it, so that it’s contents are not in doubt, it is automatically filled from one of the face up stacks. No buildings can be placed on such a tile.



Building on an island

Although uncovering tiles and seeing the board build up over time is one of the most fun aspects of the game, this is not how points are scored. Points come from having the greatest influence on completed islands, (and from the native huts, of which more below).

Players have three different types of building available to them. A settlement costs 6 gold, and each player has one of these. Forts cost 3 gold, and each player has 2 of these. Settlements and forts are returned back to the player when an island is completed, and are available for re-use.

Scouts are the most plentiful (each player has 11 in the 4 player game, plus an extra one as a marker on the scoring track). These cost 1 gold, and are the weakest in terms of scoring an island. However, when an island is completed the scouts are placed on one of the jungle paths to a native hut, with the potential to score some good points from making a discovery from produce tokens.

A player may only place one wooden item per turn, and the token must be placed on land on the last tile placed, and if the last tile drawn could not be placed, or did not contain any land, then no wooden tokens may be placed. Of course, players don’t have to place a wooden piece at the end of their turn, and indeed may not be able to.

This is the heart of the tactical decision making in Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons, and is very similar to Carcassonne in that respect. Sometimes a player will be better off getting a small share of a large island cheaply than a larger share for greater expense. Players may also prefer to pick up scores for small islands and avoid getting drawn in to expensive battles for the large bonus islands.

Scoring an island

An island is worth a certain number of points, depending on how many tiles are used to make the island, and whether any bonus tiles are included. The island in the picture below is not yet completed, but when it is the island will be worth a maximum of 16 points (11 for the tiles and 5 for the bonus).



The scoring system ranks settlements above forts, which are in turn ranked above scouts. Whoever has the most settlements on that island takes all the points. If no one has any settlements then whoever has the most forts takes the points, and if no one has any forts then it comes down to scouts. If there is a tie at all three levels then all tying players get full points. Second placed players get half that number. Third placed players get half again, and so on.

In this example, red currently has one settlement, one fort and two scouts, compared to two forts for the white player. If no additional items are added on the last tiles, red would score the full 16 points, by virtue of having a settlement on the island when white does not. White would score half of these, or 8 points, for having a presence on the island, but White would have scored the same with a single scout.

If white were to place a settlement on the island when placing the final tiles, red and white would be tied at 1 settlement each. In this case, the number of forts are used as a tie breaker, in which white has a 2-1 supremacy. This would give white 16 points and red 8.

The Native Huts

Once an island is completed, settlements and forts are returned to the players concerned and are available for re-use. This is not the case for the scouts. Instead, these are placed on one of the jungle paths leading to one of the seven native huts along the side of the board – always in the closest available position to the hut in question.

If a scout is the first to be placed on a particular path, the player chooses a produce token at random and looks at it in secret. The token is then placed inside one of the native huts, where it may no longer be looked at.

The only time when a token may be looked at again is when a scout is placed on a space on a jungle path marked by an eye. In this case the player in question may secretly peek at the token inside the hut, and then replaces it.



Produce tokens are worth 5, 10 or 15 points, and are nicely woven into the theme of the game. Each represents a valuable commodity (such as potatoes, maize or beans) brought back to Europe from the New World.

Most of the time players will be competing for a token without knowing how many points are available. This opens the way for some psychological mind games and double bluffing, which is a nice addition to the game.

Scoring the Native Huts

Huts are scored at the end of the game when the exploration area has been completely covered by tiles. All points go to the player with the most scouts on the path leading to the native hut, with whoever is closest being used as the tie breaker. No points are scored for second place or lower.



In the picture above, red has five tokens on the pathway at the bottom, and is the only player represented scores 10 points.

In the next pathway up there are fifteen points available for the discovery of potatoes. White has five tokens and yellow has two, so white scores the full 15 points, with yellow scoring nothing.

In the third hut, yellow has five tokens to whites 2, so yellow scores all 15 points and white scores nothing.

In the fourth hut, red has five tokens to white’s one, so red scores 10 points, even though white is closer. Proximity to the hut is only used as a tie breaker where the number of scouts are equal.

The fifth, sixth and seventh huts all have five points available, and go to white, yellow and yellow respectively. For the seventh hut, both white and yellow have two scouts each, but yellow wins because the closest yellow scout is closer to the hut than the closest white scout.

The most common criticism levelled at Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons is that the point scoring for the huts is overpowered and unbalances the game. The points available are generous when compared to the points available from discovering islands, and certainly I have found that focusing on the produce tokens at the expense of the exploration part of the game is a very successful strategy. The winner take all scoring mechanism and the imperfect information available to players does mean that after a keenly contested game the outcome can swing wildly, and be dependent on luck. This seems a shame for a game which is notionally about exploration.

What’s good about this game?

thumbsup This game is tactical rather than strategic, but is a supremely good tactical game, albeit skewed by the native huts. The decision available about when and how to use your limited resources make for interesting decisions on every turn.

thumbsup Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons is just random enough to represent the uncertainty of an exploration game, coupled with producing a challenging game which will reward good play over bad.

thumbsup The game moves quickly from turn to turn – it is not especially prone to analysis paralysis (AP), although players who are prone to AP will slow the game down.

thumbsup The theme is interesting, and well integrated into the mechanics. This is definitely a case where the theme came first and the mechanics were developed later on.

thumbsup There is very little downtime as the game moves quickly and turns are usually quite short. As mentioned above, while the game is not prone to AP, players who take a long time can spoil the game for other players, as there is little which can be done on another player’s turn.

thumbsup The majority of the components are of very high quality.

What’s bad about this game?

thumbsdown The huts are overpowered and unbalance the game. I have only ever played by the standard rules, and have won every game I’ve played by placing scouts early onto small islands, and then moving them swiftly onto pathways to native huts. By doing this I am missing out on a lot of tactical decision making and creative use of the exploration tiles, which to me should be the whole point of the game.

thumbsdown Although none of the components are poor, a few (the coins; native huts) are not of as high a quality as the rest, and suffer by comparison.

Conclusion

Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons is a solid and enjoyable tactical game, which suffered in comparison to Klaus Teuber’s previous design Catan and so never received the recognition it deserved. At it’s best this game is an excellent tactical exploration game, but the points available from the native huts are a little overpowered. This is easily fixed, however, by using (among other solutions) one of the two simple variants suggested below.

If you’re looking for a largely tactical game with well integrated exploration theme and mechanics, which plays in under two hours, check out Entdecker. This is an under-rated quality game which could serve as a follow up game to the classic gateway games Catan and Carcassonne, and I am pleased to have it in my collection.

Rating 4 out of 5 (potentially 4.5 depending on how the variants work).


Variants

Although I like the native huts and I like what they add to the game, the charge has been made that they are overpowered and unbalance the game. I can see the justice of this. I think to be at its best, Entdecker: Exploring New Horizons is a largely tactical exploration game. With the points scoring mechanism as is, I was able to win comfortably by almost ignoring the tactical play on the exploration board, and focus on placing scouts on the paths to the native huts.

A couple of variants have been suggested elsewhere on BGG, which I think would be worth mentioning, although I have never played with either.

Variant 1

Use the scoring method used for the islands on the native huts. That is, the first player scores the full amount, the second player scores half (rounded up), the third player scores half of the second players score, and so on.

This variant takes the scoring for the islands and mimics it on the native huts. I’m not sure how I feel about this without playing it, as this might simply turn the game into a guessing game (trying to get the higher scoring bonus points), or simply cause people to spread their tokens across every native hut, which would lose the differentiation between good and bad play.

Variant 2

Use half points for the winner to reduce the influence of the native huts on the final outcome.

On the whole I like this variant more, and will suggest it for the next time we play. It keeps what is good about the native huts, and creates a tactical balance around placing scouts, which are weak for scoring on the exploration area, but strong on the native huts, without devaluing the exploration area.

After my original post, two further variants have been suggested in the comments below, so I thought it would be useful to add them here.

Variant 3

All huts are worth ten points.

This will take away the guessing element caused by the imperfect information on the value of each hut.

Variant 4

Hut tokens are not hidden information. Everyone knows how much each hut is worth from the beginning of the game.

The points available will be unchanged, so the balance between native hut and exploration will remain the same. What this would do is remove the psychological bluffing aspect, but also the luck based guessing. Players would instead have to decide whether to compete for big points where the competition is likely to be greater, or keep to the smaller values.
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David Stephens
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Great review. This is one of my favorite games, although I don't get to play it often enough.

Regarding Point 8 of Placing a Tile, I thought the rules read that if your last drawn tile is unplayable you can place a scout/fort/settlement on the last legally played tile in that turn provided that it contains land of some sort. I'll have to recheck the rules.

Again terrific review!
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Mont A.
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What a work of art this review is. Clearly a labor of love, and much appreciated.

Let's hope that it encourages more people to purchase this nifty game.
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Flawed Hero
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I would chime in on your rating of the components. for the price paid for the game, I expected some higher quality parts, including the box and the tiles.

the board is top-notch. Great artwork, solid construction. The tiles though feel like Wheat Thins and the edges have the potential for being torn when punched out. I expected something along the lines of Carc tiles. I don't have nearly as much of a problem with the huts as I do with the tiles.

The box is pretty low quality too. It's very thin. I haven't yet had the game for a year, probably have played it only 9 or 10 times, and some of the corners on the box top have torn, there's a few dings, etc. And mind you I'm very OCD about keeping my games in ship shape (pun not intended). It might be a Mayfair thing because the Pillars box is pretty similar.

Good review though, I like the pics!
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Graham Dean
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dstephens wrote:
Great review. This is one of my favorite games, although I don't get to play it often enough.

Regarding Point 8 of Placing a Tile, I thought the rules read that if your last drawn tile is unplayable you can place a scout/fort/settlement on the last legally played tile in that turn provided that it contains land of some sort. I'll have to recheck the rules.

Again terrific review!

Thanks for the good wishes. I was working from memory, but I've checked the rules now and you are abolutely right. I was being too harsh in my interpretation when we played last night!
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Graham Dean
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Jim K wrote:
I would chime in on your rating of the components. for the price paid for the game, I expected some higher quality parts, including the box and the tiles.

the board is top-notch. Great artwork, solid construction. The tiles though feel like Wheat Thins and the edges have the potential for being torn when punched out. I expected something along the lines of Carc tiles. I don't have nearly as much of a problem with the huts as I do with the tiles.

The box is pretty low quality too. It's very thin. I haven't yet had the game for a year, probably have played it only 9 or 10 times, and some of the corners on the box top have torn, there's a few dings, etc. And mind you I'm very OCD about keeping my games in ship shape (pun not intended). It might be a Mayfair thing because the Pillars box is pretty similar.

Good review though, I like the pics!

I think I'm probably working from a lower expectation than you. My comparison as far as box toughness goes is to the old thin carboard box used for Totoply, Careers and Buccaneer in the 1970s in the UK. My copies of these games have all bowed and creased at the corners from the weight of other games stacked on top of them, something which the Entdecker box is tough enough to withstand.

Having said that, my box is a little worn around the corners, although I have played it more and owned it for longer.

Surprised to hear about your view on the tiles. I suppose Carcassonne sets the standard these days, and you're right in that the tiles here aren't as good. The thing is that this game predates Carcassonne, and the tiles were good quality at the time, so in going from Entdecker to carc I've gone from good to great, whereas I guess you've gone from great to not-so-good.

Still a good game though, which I guess we agree on!
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Andrew MacLeod
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And when, exactly, are we playing Churchill again?
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A fabulous (indeed, beautiful review), but I strongly disagree about the huts. That is to say, yes, the scoring of the huts is worth a lot (it's been my experience that about a third of the winner's VP's come from the huts in the average game), but the hut element just adds so much (rather than detracts from) the game. The presence of huts doesn't allow you to just go exploring all over the place....you also have to concentrate on what those islands actually PRODUCE! And that's what exploration is all about. Notice that the conquistadors did not boldly travel all over Greenland, the largest island in the world; they explored the relatively small islands of the Caribbean, which held very valuable produce for them!
In purely game terms, if you removed the huts, you'd basically have Carcassonne with money. The huts are totally dependent on your explorations (and subsequent placement of scouts), so even though it is a sort of "side game", the huts are nevertheless an integral part of Entdecker, and give you a totally different element to worry about; and, from where I sit, what good is a game if there isn't a lot of stuff to be stressed out about ?
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Graham Dean
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amacleod wrote:
A fabulous (indeed, beautiful review), but I strongly disagree about the huts. That is to say, yes, the scoring of the huts is worth a lot (it's been my experience that about a third of the winner's VP's come from the huts in the average game), but the hut element just adds so much (rather than detracts from) the game. The presence of huts doesn't allow you to just go exploring all over the place....you also have to concentrate on what those islands actually PRODUCE! And that's what exploration is all about. Notice that the conquistadors did not boldly travel all over Greenland, the largest island in the world; they explored the relatively small islands of the Caribbean, which held very valuable produce for them!
In purely game terms, if you removed the huts, you'd basically have Carcassonne with money. The huts are totally dependent on your explorations (and subsequent placement of scouts), so even though it is a sort of "side game", the huts are nevertheless an integral part of Entdecker, and give you a totally different element to worry about; and, from where I sit, what good is a game if there isn't a lot of stuff to be stressed out about ?

I actually agree with a lot of what you say here. I have only ever played the game with the rules as written and have enjoyed it immensely.

The point I was trying to make was that if the points from the native huts are reduced in scale, then I suspect that quite a different, more tactical and 'creative' game would appear, which I think is worth a look at. Finding the best route; placing a fort at a key point hoping that it connects up to a large island; making the one brilliant stroke which no-one else saw - all of these things ought to exist to a greater extent than it does. As it stands I have (so far) by-passed this type of play by placing lots of scouts and getting the produce tokens - and I suspect that I am missing out.

I don't know how well I've explained myself there. I certainly don't want to come over as overly critical of this game, which I enjoy (as is) very much indeed; or of your opinions about it, which are well thought out and expressed, and with which I don't completely disagree. I do think that reducing their value is worth looking at though - maybe 9/6/3 instead of 15/10/5. Something like that.
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Michael Kandrac
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Absolutely cherish this game. The hut issue is resolved by scoring them in the same way as the islands.

Gg
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alan beaumont
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More is not better
Not as good as the simpler original. The huts add chrome that is unneeded.
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Adam K
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Haven't read the whole review, but still it was an extremely good and ambitious work. I really like the photos.

I got this game as a birthday present. First I was a bit sceptical, because I thought it was like carcassonne. However, it seemed to be ten times better (don't like carc.) and my friends liked it too.

The components are adequate, so are the tiles... But I would prefer other player colours.
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Andrew MacLeod
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And when, exactly, are we playing Churchill again?
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LupusX wrote:
Haven't read the whole review, but still it was an extremely good and ambitious work. I really like the photos.

I got this game as a birthday present. First I was a bit sceptical, because I thought it was like carcassonne. However, it seemed to be ten times better (don't like carc.) and my friends liked it too.

The components are adequate, so are the tiles... But I would prefer other player colours.


Well, I like Carcassonne......but I dearly LOVE Entdecker! In fact, if you look at the publication dates of both games, it makes one wonder if vanilla Carc is basically a dumbed-down version of my beloved Entdecker. I got Entdecker about four years ago and (quite surprisingly) it's still my favourite game; not a perfect game, mind you, but I'm still waiting for that to be created.
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Graham Dean
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LupusX wrote:
The components are adequate, so are the tiles... But I would prefer other player colours.

So would I - and a set of wooden pieces for a fifth player. I can't think of any reason why the game wouldn't play well with 5, apart from the length of time between turns, which really depends on the players.
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Chris Shaffer
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Great review.

Quote:
If a player takes their final tile and cannot place it, they are allowed to on the last tile they placed earlier in their turn.


Shouldn't that be "allowed to build on the last tile..."
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Graham Dean
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TheCat wrote:
Great review.

Quote:
If a player takes their final tile and cannot place it, they are allowed to on the last tile they placed earlier in their turn.


Shouldn't that be "allowed to build on the last tile..."

Yes it should. Good spot. I've made the change.
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Chris Shaffer
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There are two more variants available for the huts. Both work well in my experience.

1) All huts are worth ten points.

or

2) Hut tokens are not hidden information. Everyone knows how much each hut is worth from the beginning of the game.
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Graham Dean
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TheCat wrote:
There are two more variants available for the huts. Both work well in my experience.

1) All huts are worth ten points.

or

2) Hut tokens are not hidden information. Everyone knows how much each hut is worth from the beginning of the game.

Thanks for this. I've added them as variants to my original post.
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Quote:
With the points scoring mechanism as is, I was able to win comfortably by almost ignoring the tactical play on the exploration board, and focus on placing scouts on the paths to the native huts.

This is why I prefer the original Entdecker. I own both versions, and while the newer version looks bigger and more interesting, the original version is tighter and more focused. The whole hut thing takes away from the exploration part of the game.

The board is also much bigger than the original, causing the game to go on a bit longer than we would like. Both games are good but my vote goes to the original Entdecker.

Nice review and pictures!
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Gene Warren
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Using 3,6,9 for the hut values (instead of 5,10,15) seems to work well for us - the huts are still valuable, with a different "winner take all" mechanism than the islands, but they don't actually supersede the islands as the primary arena.
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Gene Warren
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P.S. While I have no real problems with component quality, the choice of the huts is a case where interesting bits get in the way, and the decision to use cylinders for the scouts is a blatant attempt to pander to the replacement game parts industry.

For shame, Mayfair - for shame.shake
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Deb Wentworth
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Loved this review! However, unless I missed it in my read-through, it didn't address the aspect I was looking for, which was paying tolls. Am I right that you only need to pay a toll for someone's settlement if it is on the *only* route available back to the side of the board?

For the resource tokens that you hide in the huts, I'm tempted to look through my other games for similar tokens that are one-sided, and place them face down, thereby foregoing the need for those clutzy huts. And after reading this, maybe looking for tokens with lower values than what the game comes with.
 
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Flawed Hero
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debwentworth wrote:
Am I right that you only need to pay a toll for someone's settlement if it is on the *only* route available back to the side of the board?

For the resource tokens that you hide in the huts, I'm tempted to look through my other games for similar tokens that are one-sided, and place them face down, thereby foregoing the need for those clutzy huts. And after reading this, maybe looking for tokens with lower values than what the game comes with.


yes you are right concerning your question about the tolls. You always have the option of traveling via any path anywhere as long as they are available.

I sort of agree with you on the hut values, but I'm not entirely sure. 15 and 10 points do seem like a lot to leave to chance, but there doesn't always have to be chance involved. You can always place scouts on the paths to see what point value is hidden. This encourages participation in this aspect of the game, which is nice.
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Kelly Fischer
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I've just purchased and received this game from the BGG marketplace. I've yet to play it as I am currently in the game research and rule understanding phase.

I see how the high scoring, all or nothing huts can minimalize the exploring aspect of Entdecker, & I am trying to figure which way of scoring the huts that would be the best of both worlds.

My thought is to have the values on the goods represent the total take among all players.

If there is only one player on a hut, that player would get the total value.

If there are two players present, the majority player would get 1/2 the total value rounded up, then the minority player would get half of the remaining value rounded up. If there is any remaining points, they all go to the majority player. The same formula would apply for three and four player claims as well, just extended out further. This caps the points scored from a goody hut to the number on good token but also spreads the points amongst those contending for it.

So they formula would be as follows:

a = 1st majority + z
b = 2nd majority
c = 3rd majority
d = 4th majority
V = Total value of good
z = left over points

a = [V / 2] + z
b = [(V - a) / 2]
c = [(V - a - b) / 2]
d = [(V - a - b - c) / 2]
z = V - a - b - c - d

I am thinking this is too complex to be practical, but I like how the values shake out. I just wish it was more elegant.

1. It keeps the numbers on the good tokens relevant
2. It keeps the hut scoring from out-weighing the exploration scoring
3. As a defensive move, it encourages diversifying scouts amongst the different huts to keep any one player from collecting the total point value of a good.
4. As an offensive move, it encourages to spread out your scouts among different huts since you can gain points without majority.

Example scoring, re-using your picture of the huts at game end:



Starting from nearest to furthest:

10 point good: R=10
Red would score 10 points as the sole player on the good.

15 point good: W=11, Y=4
White would score 8 points (1/2 of 15 rounded up), Yellow would score 4 points (1/2 of 7 rounded up). That would leave 3 points left over which adds to the 1st majority (White).

15 point good: Y=11, W=4
Yellow would score 8 points (1/2 of 15 rounded up), White would score 4 points (1/2 of 7 rounded up). That would leave 3 points left over which adds to the 1st majority (Yellow).

10 point good: R=7, W=3
Red would score 5 points (1/2 of 10), White would score 3 points (1/2 of 5 rounded up). That would leave 2 points left over which adds to the 1st majority (Red).

5 point good: W=4, R=1
White would score 3 points (1/2 of 5 rounded up), Red would score 1 point (1/2 of 2). That leaves 1 point left over which adds to the 1st majority (White)

5 point good: Y=4, W=1
Yellow would score 3 points (1/2 of 5 rounded up), White would score 1 point (1/2 of 2). That leaves 1 point left over which adds to the 1st majority (Yellow)

The far good I cannot tell the value, for this example I will assume 5.

5 point good: Y=3, W=1, R=1
Yellow would score 3 points (1/2 of 5 rounded up), White would score 1 (1/2 of 2), & Red would score 1 (1/2 of 1 rounded up). That leaves no left over points to assign.

So... This seems a rather complex and inelegant way to do it, but I like how the numbers add up. This variant may be too mathy to be of use.
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Peaceful Gamin'
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exquisite review
 
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Doug Bass
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Nice review. A couple of comments/questions:

Uncle G wrote:
Players then decide how many tiles they want to buy – a minimum of 1 and a maximum of three.

My 2001 Mayfair edition has no maximum restriction on the number of tiles. Do you have a different edition?

Uncle G wrote:
The tile must be placed or discarded before any subsequent tiles are taken.

You may want to clarify that the tile must be placed if it can be placed.

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