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Subject: This game could definitely be a little more accessible. rss

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R. Frazier
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A friend of mine bought this game and brought it over the other day.

Let me tell you, this game is intimidating out of the box, and in addition, it doesn't have good "first game" suggestions in the rule book.

Asking players who have no idea what resources do to choose goods and resources before the game starts is pretty brutal.

I've read the rules and whatnot now, and I think I'm ready to guide my group through our first game, though I still am a little worried about finding a working strategy and making the game fun for everyone.
 
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Kory Stevens
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Yeah, I agree. I haven't played this much, but the few games I have played have been painful. You have to choose resources right away, and to make an informed decision you have to look at all of the buildings tiles (which there are 25 of). Basically, this caused me to dislike the game. I would have liked it if the buildings had to come out in some sort of order, so that you only have to look at a few at a time (Caylus does something like this, not that that game is nice to beginners either, but I felt it was nicer than Cuba).

I firmly believe that there is a good game under here once you are past the learning curve, but in my group no game hits the table often enough to have people get past any serious learning curves, so we never play this one.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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I guess it depends on past experience. If you've played Puerto Rico and/or Pillars of the Earth, I don't see this game as being terribly difficult. The rulebook does a pretty good job of dividing the buildings into categories.

Personally, if I get a game, unless it is obviously very simple, the first thing I do with it is set it up and play at least a few turns solo. If you don't consider this to be worth doing, then I agree that more complex games like Cuba are going to be hard to get into.
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Albatros
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My wife and I have played a couple times now and have found that having played Puerto Rico is a definite advantage. That said, all the various buildings was a little overwhelming at first but if you concentrate on the obvious strategies (producing goods with the Cigar Factory/Rum Factory), you can't go too wrong.
 
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I don't really see the "intimidation factor" as an issue. MANY eurogames of this caliber share this feature. e.g. Players may understand all of how Puerto Rico works 10 minutes into the game, but doubtful they'll see strong strategies in time for their first games. Agricola.... that's a game that's hard to pick up the first time, let alone get some strats. I've noticed players will be able to get by, but won't be able ot explain the finer details of basic rules like sowing grains/veggies and animals. That's even a game without the occupation/minor impr. cards.

Ditto with games like Carcassonne and Settlers, although those are easier to pick up and easier to devise winning tactics.

"First game suggestion" is pretty much get your feet wet to see how things worked out.

As for suggested first goods, I always suggest either citris and whatever the new duty will be (as you'll always be able to see the next bill that comes up before it has a chance to get passed into a law), so that assuming you don't use either of them, you're covered either way if that law passes or not. And then there's if they decide to Mayor, goods can be shipped for up to 2pts each.

As for finding a strategy, that's what first games are for within my groups.


rylfrazier wrote:
A friend of mine bought this game and brought it over the other day.

Let me tell you, this game is intimidating out of the box, and in addition, it doesn't have good "first game" suggestions in the rule book.

Asking players who have no idea what resources do to choose goods and resources before the game starts is pretty brutal.

I've read the rules and whatnot now, and I think I'm ready to guide my group through our first game, though I still am a little worried about finding a working strategy and making the game fun for everyone.
 
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David Short
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ackmondual wrote:
Ditto with games like Carcassonne and Settlers, although those are easier to pick up and easier to devise winning tactics.


I was nodding in agreement with you until you mentioned Carc and SoC. Those are lighter gateway games and are no where near on the same depth/difficulty level as Cuba, Puerto Rico or Agricola.
 
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dshortdesign wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
Ditto with games like Carcassonne and Settlers, although those are easier to pick up and easier to devise winning tactics.


I was nodding in agreement with you until you mentioned Carc and SoC. Those are lighter gateway games and are no where near on the same depth/difficulty level as Cuba, Puerto Rico or Agricola.
It does come with a disclaimer that those are easier to pick up and play. It's worth noting that in cc, a handful of people simply do NOT pick up on how farmers are scored their first game, or perhaps even their first few games. As a result, they miss out on things like why farmers are important or how to properly deploy them.
 
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R. Frazier
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Don't get me wrong, I am definately planning to play it. Thank you for the tips regarding goods.
 
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rylfrazier wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I am definately planning to play it. Thank you for the tips regarding goods.
Be sure to pay attention to the vernacular/terms used. Using the terms products, resources, and goods interchangeably is bound to cause confusion when certain laws (e.g. duty for how many resources you pay) and areas in the rulebook (pay one water to get one extra product when playing the Worker role) refer to only those specific bits.


products = octongonal shaped cylinders representing...
white for sugar
orange for citris
green for tobacco
>can be shipped for VP via Mayor, used to get VP via duties, sold at the market via Tradeswoman, and "converted" via buildings into other things

Resources = cubes representing....
blue for water
white for wood
red for stone (i think it was red... Remember the irony of having "red-white-blue" for a game called Cuba)
>Used for building buildings, used to get VP via duties, Market transactions via Tradeswoman, duties, and water for irrigation


goods = the brown "cigar box" and red "jug of rum", which are indeed cigars and rum respectively
>sell on market, ship for VPs, and possibly something else I can't recall
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Roberta Taylor
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We refer to the products as 'crops', as it is clearer to us that way. The rules translation on this was good, but it would have been better with a few tweaks and edits.
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Albatros
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RobertaTaylor wrote:
We refer to the products as 'crops', as it is clearer to us that way. The rules translation on this was good, but it would have been better with a few tweaks and edits.


"Crops" is a better word. I might use it when I introduce Cuba to our group.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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cferejohn wrote:
I guess it depends on past experience.


Definitely true. My wife and I had very little trouble understanding and only needed to reference the rules on 3 buildings. It isn't the easiest game in the world from a strategic point but the rules are not that hard for an experienced gamer.

I'm not exactly sure what you'd do to simplify it. The symbols and such were pretty darn clear.
 
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