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Subject: Questions after first attempt rss

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Colin Lewis
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We gave Le Havre a first try yesterday and gave up after several turns with several questions and without a good feel for what was going on. Here are some of the things I heard during our game:

"Seems stupid that I can pay a bunch resources to build a building, and then someone else comes in to use it before I ever have a chance, and all I get is one franc entry fee and points at the end."

"Are you sure that the worker disk just sits on the building, blocking it until the owner of the building sells to the town or the owner of the disk chooses to move the worker?"

"Can francs be used instead of food at harvest time? Or is that conversion only allowed when paying entry fees?"

In the shortened game, "Seems like we have a lot of resources and can't do much with them..."

"It makes more sense to put the worker disk on the offer space to indicate what your main action was."

We'll give it another try sometime soon, but our first attempt wasn't very smooth. Any thoughts? Are we playing something wrong?
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colinkun wrote:
We gave Le Havre a first try yesterday and gave up after several turns with several questions and without a good feel for what was going on. Here are some of the things I heard during our game:

"Seems stupid that I can pay a bunch resources to build a building, and then someone else comes in to use it before I ever have a chance, and all I get is one franc entry fee and points at the end."


Well, don't build it if you're sure you'll be shut out of it in the short term. That's part of the fun of of building: how much does it help you vs. how much it helps the table. Also, the entry fees add up.

Quote:
"Are you sure that the worker disk just sits on the building, blocking it until the owner of the building sells to the town or the owner of the disk chooses to move the worker?"


Yes. There are times when it can really frustrate the other players to just park and take good offers. Since you didn't make it to the endgame, I assume this came up regarding the wharf. Competition for the wharf is brutal. Once you know this, a lot more goes into the timing of building it.

Quote:
"Can francs be used instead of food at harvest time? Or is that conversion only allowed when paying entry fees?"


Francs can always be used instead of food. Food may not be used instead of francs.

Quote:
In the shortened game, "Seems like we have a lot of resources and can't do much with them..."


Well that's weird. Having piles of resources is not strange in and of itself. Not finding uses for them is.

Quote:
"It makes more sense to put the worker disk on the offer space to indicate what your main action was."


Why? Then your disc would be sitting on a space with goods chits. I would find that confusing. You take an offer and your turn is over; it's simple enough that a record of it seems redundant.

Quote:
We'll give it another try sometime soon, but our first attempt wasn't very smooth. Any thoughts? Are we playing something wrong?


Nothing is jumping out at me as far as rules mistakes, although the "lots of resources, nothing to do" seems odd. Cattle is somewhat of an exception, since you often let the herd grow and grow until later in the game.

EDIT: If you have any other questions, I'm happy to answer them. Great game... hope your next try goes more smoothly!
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Adam Smiles
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colinkun wrote:
"Seems stupid that I can pay a bunch resources to build a building, and then someone else comes in to use it before I ever have a chance, and all I get is one franc entry fee and points at the end."


Nope, that's how it works. You build a building to get victory points, get to use it for free, to get paid entry fees by other players, and be able to sell it off to guarantee that you can use it when someone else is in your way.

colinkun wrote:

"Are you sure that the worker disk just sits on the building, blocking it until the owner of the building sells to the town or the owner of the disk chooses to move the worker?"


Yes, that's how it works. Also if the building is in the town, you may buy the building to eject the worker as well.

colinkun wrote:
"Can francs be used instead of food at harvest time? Or is that conversion only allowed when paying entry fees?"


Yes, you may use money in place of food at any time. You may not use food in place of money at any time. The harvest time restriction is only for loans. You may take a loan when you can't afford the harvest, or if you can't pay the loan interest. You may not take a loan to pay an entry fee.

colinkun wrote:
In the shortened game, "Seems like we have a lot of resources and can't do much with them..."


You won't use every single resource, but most of them have some value. I think the full game is much better. The short game gives everyone the same stuff and doesn't allow really divergent strategies. I'd only use the short game to give first timers a quick feel or if you are really itching for the Le Havre experience and only have half the time needed to play it properly.

colinkun wrote:
"It makes more sense to put the worker disk on the offer space to indicate what your main action was."


Nope, your worker stays in the building until you use another building action. you can lock up a key building by continuing to select the resource action.

colinkun wrote:
We'll give it another try sometime soon, but our first attempt wasn't very smooth. Any thoughts? Are we playing something wrong?


Doesn't sound like you got much wrong. The game does have a learning curve, so it may take a few plays for it to click. It may also not necessarily be the right game for you group. Just because other people think it's great (I'm among them) doesn't mean it has to work for you and your group.
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Corin A. Friesen
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colinkun wrote:
In the shortened game, "Seems like we have a lot of resources and can't do much with them..."

That tells me you are still learning the game. Please persevere! It is a fantastic game.

colinkun wrote:
"It makes more sense to put the worker disk on the offer space to indicate what your main action was."

If you would like that reference, but it makes explaining the game harder, because now other players can place their worker disk on an offer space where there is another worker, but not in buildings. It's inconsistent and downright unnecessary.


Please keep going with this game! Try it again!

The long game is better than the short one; only play the short one when you don't have much time (I enjoy it that way only). Learn how to use your stuff! You can also check out the strategy articles here if you want.
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Dave Sinclair
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Good answers from all the above. I second the idea of trying the full game with a little perseverance. Maybe even try it with just two people to get a feel for how the game flows. Good luck! I also think it is a fantastic game.
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Colin Lewis
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Thanks all. I've spent a little more time with the rules and appreciate your comments and feedback. We will definitely give the game another try and will try it with a smaller group.
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Gordon Adams
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I love this game. Yes, like the OP, at first it seemed a bit too much going on to understand the mechanics. However, after about five plays, I found a deep and tactical game (yes, tactical)...what should I do if The "if" is a tactical decision).

There is depth in this game and longevity. It will not gather dust once the rules become ingrained and the choices made when playing will be worthwhile because you will gain experience. A bit of patience will pay off and you will see that LH has a lot going for it.

Replayabilty is the key to a good game and LeHavre is a good game.

Regards
 
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Mark Beyak
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Ambrose wrote:
colinkun wrote:
"It makes more sense to put the worker disk on the offer space to indicate what your main action was."

If you would like that reference, but it makes explaining the game harder, because now other players can place their worker disk on an offer space where there is another worker, but not in buildings. It's inconsistent and downright unnecessary.


In addition it seems like that would violate the rules because you would be freeing up buildings that the worker was previously occupying.
 
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Colin Lewis
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We did give the game another try with only 3 players, shortened version, and played all the rules correctly this time.

I would certainly like to play a few more times before I have a good feel for the game, but my initial thoughts are:
1. It's quite fun, lots of decisions and ways to score points
2. Wow this game takes a long time to play.
3. Wow, so long, that I can't imagine trying the long version for a while or playing with more than 3.
4. But yeah, it was pretty fun.
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How long are your short games taking? I would guess around 2 hours. The full game is more like 3. That eventually drops down to 2 - 2 1/2 if everyone had played several times.
 
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Colin Lewis
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It took about 2.5 hours today for 3 players. It was the first time playing the entire thing for each of us, so we were definitely slower as we were learning the game.
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