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Tales of the Arabian Nights» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Comparing to the West End Games edition rss

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Joe Schlimgen
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This review is a comparison of the Z-Man edition to the WEG edition. The game play is virtually identical to the WEG edition with few exceptions.

Component wise, the game is beautifully produced. Everything is higher quality, from the art to the cards and tokens.

A huge improvement is the way statuses are handled. You no longer have chits to place on your player board and then have the reader look up a paragraph number every turn because you can't remember its effect or how to lose it. Every status has a card with the effect/lose entries right there in front of you -- you can still forget to apply them, but you don't have to waste time thumbing through the Book of Tales.

Same goes for the treasures, which are no longer double sided; in theory, all treasures could be in the game at once. If someone else has a specific treasure that you are told to gain, you get it and they are "out of luck" instead of you.

Each city encounter card also has a paragraph number on it that you encounter and the "special" cards have been removed. This means every turn you get to do a story action -- no more turns of "oh crap, another city encounter card, now which one should I discard?". You are not limited to holding just two city cards.

Quests are part of the standard game and are not an optional victory condition and are not even required to win. Their purpose is to give you a "purpose" for wandering around the map and a reward when you complete them. Like statuses and treasures, they are on self-contained cards and don't require referencing the Book of Tales.

The storytelling, merchant and solitaire versions are not included; they will be web published. But at this time, they are not on the Z-Man site yet.

The only negative in my opinion is the way wealth, story, and destiny points are recorded. Each has its own track printed on a different side of the board instead of on the player board; I prefer the old way of each player having the tracks on his own player board. This made us have different players record each of the changes and more difficult to check your values since they were no longer right in front of you. OTOH, it was easier to see what everyone else had.

If you like the WEG edition, you'll love the Z-Man edition. The game play holds up very well for a 25-year-old design. The game is still not one you "play to win" -- not a lot of opportunity for strategy/tactics -- but one you "play to experience" -- your own story as well as those of the other players. I introduced 3 new players to the game and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it; and each saying it would appeal to their family.

Edit: A couple more things...

As has been mentioned before, the Book of Tales is greatly expanded so the already high replayability of the WEG edition is probably enhanced. Especially if you try different actions each game.

It's now Morning, Noon and Night instead of first, second and third deck. Minor, but more thematic.

The bonuses for having story/destiny points are now at 3 and 5 instead of 5, 7 and 9 and you don't automatically get Storytelling or need master skill eligibility.
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Gary Averett
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uh...whose turn is it?
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I spent 100gg for this?!?!
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I had a great time even though I spent a lot of the game in an island jail, thanks for teaching.
 
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Donald Cleary
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If it isn't already, player boards will be in the file section soon.
 
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Gary Averett
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uh...whose turn is it?
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MikeDowd wrote:
Why didn't you jerks invite me. I just bought this game.

Mike, I called you on the 24th to see if you wanted to come over and play this with Joe, myself and my wife. You did not answer your phone or call me back.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Abdullah Ibrahim - African River
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MikeDowd wrote:
greenpawn wrote:
MikeDowd wrote:
Why didn't you jerks invite me. I just bought this game.

Mike, I called you on the 24th to see if you wanted to come over and play this with Joe, myself and my wife. You did not answer your phone or call me back.

Well an Evil Efreet had turned me into a donkey and cell phones aren't very hoof friendly. I love this game though and the 3 of you are a great group.


This sounds like an encounter in the game. Losing 'Jerk' status and gaining 'Great Group' instead is a nice upgrade.

MikeDowd wrote:
Good review BTW!


Yes, very helpful to me. I'd traded my West End version away 10 or 15 years back, and had forgotten some of the details.
 
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