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Subject: Any more info (perhaps rules?) rss

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Joe Kundlak
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Hi guys,

as an opera (and classical music) fan I am interested in Opera.
Is there any english preview, or making-of (as the dutch one) out there?

Or are perhaps even the rules in a state to be shared already?

Thx!

Joe
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Massimiliano della Rovere
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Yes Rules!
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Hans van Tol gave a fairly elaborate overview of the game here, but there's a snag: it's all in Dutch. I can provide a rough translation, but there's a lot of text to process, and it will take some time. For now the best bet would be to run it through Babelfish, or try and read it on your own.
 
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Massimiliano della Rovere
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I will wait
 
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Joe Kundlak
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Yes Maarten, we are a patient folk here. Sure you will be quicker than the original rules
 
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Matt Davis
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A full translation isn't necessary - any information you can glean from the preview and pass on to us would be great. Thanks!
 
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Richard Berg
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What happened to Rossini . . . he set the template for all of opera for a century (more or less)?

And the fathers of grand opera (like Meyerbeer, et French al.)

Just an observation . . .

Could have called the game BYE BYE VERDI.

RHB
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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From the discussion I referred to earlier I cut out the following part (disclaimer: I am just a translator, I never played nor saw this game up close---whenever 'I' is mentioned, it is Hans talking, not me):

GAME SUMMARY
In the boardgame Opera the players represent influential members of aristocratical families trying to obtain as much prestige (= points) as possible. The game takes place in 3 episodes, each consisting of 3 game rounds and 1 scoring round. In total therefore 9 game rounds and 3 scoring rounds. Whoever has the highest amounts of points after the final episode wins the game.

The game takes place in Venice, Berlin and Vienna at first. Later on Paris, London and Milan join in; in these cities larger opera houses can be erected. The game develops itself during these episodes, causing the choices which have to be made as well as the interests of different characters to fluctuate.

Every game round starts off with an auction. With this auction the players decide how much money they want to keep available for hiring one or more of the six characters and whether or not they consider the initiative to do so important as well.

The player with the largest level of bugest is first to chose a character to carry out an action with. Such a choice costs a level of budget [Hans explained how this works, see below]. One can chose between the Architetto (who erects opera buildings in the various cities and adds extra halls to them), the Impressario (buys pieces of music off of composers, the price is dependent on the level of fame of the composer at that particular moment), the Signora (offers pieces of music to the Palazzo in exchange for a lot of money if there is still room), the Maestro (doubles the income of all players with operas in the city where he resides at the end of a game round), the Critico (influences the fame of a composer by lowering or raising their fame value by 2 on the fame track), and finally the Esperto (cashes in on fame by exchanging that in one city for points---but it costs the player his best piece of music).

If everyone has completed their actions, players will then receive income for the operas they have had conducted. As the number of operas conducted in a city grows, so does a player's income. But it is not possible to increase this indefinitely, as an opera house has only room for at most six halls. By the way: money is worth nothing at the end of a game. Timing and effective spending of monetary assets are essential in Opera.

End of the round: the fame track is updated by increasing the fame of the composer whose works are conducted the most often by 1.


BUDGET LEVELS
[Explanation was offered when somone asked for clarification of this part of the game]



You're certainly going after the more complex parts of the game straight away. I'll attempt to explain the workings of the auction system and the bugdet level track in a global fashion:
— The players may at the beginning of every game turn place a closed bid to determine their budget. This causes their marker (the discs you see in the picture) to rise to a higher level.
— The player who finds himself at the highest level after this auction is first to chose one of the six characters and subsequently activate it. He pays the character salary (a fee, if you like), and moves his marker a few levels downward, depending on the salary of the chosen character. Then he activates it to perform whatever actions he desires. Three of the characters (Architetto, Impressario and Signora) allow the other players to 'play along'. The others may decide for themselves to what extent they wish to do so, but the consequence is of course that their markers too drop one or more levels. The other characters have action which are bound to the location they are currently standing at.
— After a character has been activated by a player, he turns over his budget marker so that the cross becomes visible. If all markers show the cross, then the character is completely 'worn out' and can not be chosen anymore for this rounds.
— Now players check again who is at the highest level of budget with his marker. Level takes precedence, order from left to right within the same level next. The player who is at the highest level choses a character to perform actions, and so forth.

It is certainly possible that a player can pick a character twice in succession. You purchase 'initiative' by bidding, but you lose it by taking many actions. The sequence of markers on the budget track (which changes throughout the course of the game) determines at all times the sequence of play---this contrasts nicely with the ubiquitous and rather dumb clockwise direction found elsewhere. A nice unique and subtle bidding and action system, therefore. It is for example possible to pass at an early stage ('fin') because you would like to be the first to carry out an action during the next round, and want to be sure that you have sufficient initiative to do so.


GENERAL REMARKS
Timing is essential in Opera. The game is different each session because a) there is a fluctuating offer of musical pieces, b) the fame value of composers can and will be influenced (thus affecting the worth of the operas you have chosen to conduct), c) the rounds themselves feel eachother's influence because of the location of the three main characters (Maestro, Critico and Esperto), and d) income and points are strongly influenced by the sequence in which the characters are played.

[...] Play this game with a couple of good friends or fanatical game players. For me, the best setting is with connaisseurs and other enthusiasts of somewhat heavier fare: Opera is definitely aimed at these players and takes between 90 and 150 minutes to complete. The dominant new game elements you may perhaps have seen elsewhere: auction system determining the play sequence during a game round, character powers which offer different options, and fluctuating fame ranking.

It is our intention to make a film about Opera, including an explanation on how the game works. This film will appear on our site somewhere around September. Also there will be a short movie appearing soon on Cliquenabend in which I attempt---as best as I can manage---to explain the game in German. This movie was recorded during the Spielewahnsinn in Herne, Germany.
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Matt Davis
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Thanks for posting that Maarten.

And more importantly than the omissions, Richard - Beethoven? Really? Is Beethoven in this game? I hope not.... It seems like they've got a glut of Romantic composers to choose from and slimmer pickings earlier on.
 
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Joe Kundlak
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Thx Maarten, highly appreciated!

I am eager to see those two movies/clips about Opera once they come out
 
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Ruud Kool
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Yes, Beethoven is in the game.
The 6 composers are Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi and Wagner.

The six composers were chosen on several points, and they had to be recognizable for everybody. In the end, Opera is primarily a gamers' game, even if it's interesting for opera lovers as well. Of course, we know that Beethoven wrote only 1 opera; but Fidelio bought him a ticket into the game.

As a detail, on the backside of each composer is a little information about his life and one of his most famous pieces.
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Ruud Kool
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On my blog, I explained the game rules in English as well.

http://aboutkoolgames.blogspot.com/2009/06/about-opera-gamep...

Some minor rules have changed since I wrote this. The major change is this: when selling a piece to the Palazzo (with the Signora), a player can choose to either earn money (fame x2) or VP (fame x1).

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Michael Kotsarinis
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And it seems we share the same bibliography...
 
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Julio

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I'm interested, keep an eye on this one.
 
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Leon
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Joeyeti wrote:
I am eager to see those two movies/clips about Opera once they come out


The CliquenAbend movie with Hans van Tol explaining half an hour in German:

http://www.cliquenabend.de/index.php?page=news&d=1245776098
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Joe Kundlak
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You beat me to it! Just watched it all



LeonM wrote:
Joeyeti wrote:
I am eager to see those two movies/clips about Opera once they come out


The CliquenAbend movie with Hans van Tol explaining half an hour in German:

http://www.cliquenabend.de/index.php?page=news&d=1245776098


 
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Diane Close
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in_dubio wrote:
The 6 composers are Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi and Wagner.


I can't think of a more lackluster choice for opera than Beethoven. If I buy this, I'm pasting him up as Bizet!!! You are sorely lacking in French opera composers.

It doesn't help that the worldwide-acclaimed Minnesota Orchestra specializes in Beethoven, so I've heard Overture to Leonore No. 3 performed by them enough times over the past few years to last me several lifetimes. yuk

I'll take Pearl Fisher's "Au fond du temple saint" over that any day!
 
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Fraser Grant
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Beethoven is in???????surprisesurprisesurprisesurprise
Fidelio contains wonderful music, but as a dramatic work it is seriously flawed in both structure and characterisation.
Where is Donizetti????Bizet???? Puccini??????
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Justus Pendleton
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Frasergrant wrote:
Beethoven is in???????surprisesurprisesurprisesurprise
Fidelio contains wonderful music, but as a dramatic work it is seriously flawed in both structure and characterisation.
Where is Donizetti????Bizet???? Puccini??????


It seems like a lot of people don't understand how Eurogame theming works....
 
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Fraser Grant
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hoostus wrote:
Frasergrant wrote:
Beethoven is in???????surprisesurprisesurprisesurprise
Fidelio contains wonderful music, but as a dramatic work it is seriously flawed in both structure and characterisation.
Where is Donizetti????Bizet???? Puccini??????


It seems like a lot of people don't understand how Eurogame theming works....


I'm European, I'm an opera director...where is my flaw in understanding this themeing decision???DDdevildevildevil
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Ruud already explained this: the names had to be familiar for the intended audience, and thus Beethoven got in, simply because 'Beethoven' is very well-known, much more so than Donizetti, Puccini and Bizet. This is almost all marketing, not being as thematically accurate as possible.

Personally, opera makes me want to howl and run away in terror, so I'd be silently replacing all the names with composers of classical music I like: Chopin, Rachmaninov, Gershwin, Ravel, Debussy. For me the names of the composers have little influence on the way the game is played out.
 
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Fraser Grant
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cymric wrote:
Ruud already explained this: the names had to be familiar for the intended audience, and thus Beethoven got in, simply because 'Beethoven' is very well-known, much more so than Donizetti, Puccini and Bizet. This is almost all marketing, not being as thematically accurate as possible.

Personally, opera makes me want to howl and run away in terror, so I'd be silently replacing all the names with composers of classical music I like: Chopin, Rachmaninov, Gershwin, Ravel, Debussy. For me the names of the composers have little influence on the way the game is played out.


Gershwin and Debussy wrote some beautiful peras anyway, so I'll allow those two!
Puccini is surely better known than Monteverdi?
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Maarten D. de Jong
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I wouldn't know. The two names mean very little to me, and I have a little knowledge of who wrote what, and what it souds like. Write to Hans, and see what he says meeple.
 
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Fraser Grant
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cymric wrote:
I wouldn't know. The two names mean very little to me, and I have a little knowledge of who wrote what, and what it souds like. Write to Hans, and see what he says meeple.


I might just do that
I'd have just thought that a game about Opera would surely profit more from the inclusion of the composer of La Boheme, Tosca, Madame Butterfly and Turandot than a composer mostly known for his sonatas and symphonies.
 
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Hans Van Tol
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Frasergrant wrote:
cymric wrote:
I wouldn't know. The two names mean very little to me, and I have a little knowledge of who wrote what, and what it souds like. Write to Hans, and see what he says :meeple:.


I might just do that ;)
I'd have just thought that a game about Opera would surely profit more from the inclusion of the composer of La Boheme, Tosca, Madame Butterfly and Turandot than a composer mostly known for his sonatas and symphonies.


Dear Fraser (and other interested geeks),

I was just surfing around on Boardgame geek and I noticed your remark and the discussion around the composers. I will explain our motivation to choose the 6 composers: Monteverdi, Handel, Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi and Wagner. We have been thinking of this a lot.

First we wanted to take the Renaissance into the game, but this way the game would become too complex and elaborate. Here is an old list we had, before we made the final choice:

Tijdsperiode - Stijl - Componisten

1400 – 1600 - Renaissance
1600 – 1750 - Barok - Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Händel
1750 – 1820 - Klassiek - Hayd, Mozart, Beethoven
1820 – 1900 - Romantiek - Wagner, Verdi

Monteverdi is a must for Opera. Why? Because he is the composer of the very first public Opera in 1607. Before, Opera was only performed in private, for example for Kings and other rulers of Europe.
Also, we needed to have two composers from each Episode, so this made the choice limited. In the Romantic Episode the number of composer to choose out was enormous.

So we decided to choose the composers based on four elements:
1. The composer must have written an Opera (quite obvious);
2. The fame of the composer;
3. Two composers per Episode;
4. My personal favorites (one of the advantages of creating).

Wagner performs in the Opera game as a result of my personal preference for the more "heavy" work of this composer (The flight of the Valkyres).

Of course I would have loved to include other composers in the game, as Bizet, Puccini, Strauss, Rossini and Purcell. But than again it would have made the game too complex for the broader audiance, we want to reach with this game. Bringing Opera to the public!

If Opera becomes the success we all hope for and if we are planning to develop an expansion of the game, I will definitely use your remark and the remarks of others to make it possible to introduce the composers of Carmen, Tosca, Salome, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and King Arthur.

Hans van Tol
The Game Master

By the way, you can always send a message to my BGG account Brainmaster if you have any questions. I try to check my account on a weekly basis. Or send an e-mail to info@thegamemaster, also if you have suggestions for new games.



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