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Subject: People who have played this game... rss

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Patrick
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How did you like it? The video on the site didn't really make the game seem all that exciting and honestly was so boring I stopped watching midway through. So I am wondering how people with live experience playing the game enjoyed it. Compare it to the following games if you don't mind:

-Agricola
-Caylus
-Age of Steam
-Power Grid
-Le Havre
-Puerto Rico

Cheers!
 
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Brian Bankler
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dragon of blood wrote:
How did you like it? The video on the site didn't really make the game seem all that exciting and honestly was so boring I stopped watching midway through. So I am wondering how people with live experience playing the game enjoyed it. Compare it to the following games if you don't mind:

-Agricola
-Caylus
-Age of Steam
-Power Grid
-Le Havre
-Puerto Rico

Cheers!


I've played all of those and like them all (although I'm mostly done with Le Havre and Caylus, the latter because I've played 100+ times, Le Havre because it seems to have a dominant strategy).

Homesteaders has more "out of the gate variability" than all of those (excepting Agricola). You quickly differentiate positions by the 2nd turn. After the 4th turn there's a lot of variety. Whereas (once you get good at the game) the others have pretty scripted openings.

The end game is also reasonably tense. I need to play more to get a feel, but it's at least in the middle of that pack. Probably top half.

In general, Homesteaders has fewer decision points than any of the other games, but has almost no 'automatic' decisions. (Even making a minimum bid risks having someone claim your breakpoint, but means that you may get an item for less if you aren't outbid). Placing workers can be automatic (and probably is few a few of your turns, or if you have very many or very few workers compared to the number of potential places to play them). The 'soft' money limit means you can always bid something up, but may be shooting yourself in the foot. (You can effectively do that in Power Grid).

Way too early to tell if there's a dominant strategy, but given the nature of the game (auctions + tech tree) I suspect not.

This isn't a dungeon lords "laugh out loud funny" game. But its a good serious game (like the others you listed), and looks like it will have a complicated strategy space to explore.
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Larry Levy
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I don't really like saying "this game is like that game", since it usually isn't fair to either of them. That said, I wouldn't compare Homesteaders to any of the ones you listed (although my buddy Jason thinks that Puerto Rico is a good match). It's a very stripped down auction game, boiled down to its essentials. The game it reminds me the most of is Phoenicia, but even then, the comparison isn't too close.

I liked my one game of Homesteaders quite a bit. The Evo-style auctions work well and the game moves quickly. The key for this kind of designe is to have a varied and interesting set of buildings and that's exactly what is provided. It looks like there's a good number of viable strategies. I'm looking forward to my next game.

I love all six of the games you listed, so it's way too early to compare the newcomer to any of them. I don't know if Homesteaders will exceed any of them, but if it works out as well as I hope, it won't look out of place next to that group.
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Alex Rockwell
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dragon of blood wrote:
How did you like it? The video on the site didn't really make the game seem all that exciting and honestly was so boring I stopped watching midway through.


Honestly, the video sucks. Sorry Michael

I'd recommend the game to those that enjoy resource management games.

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Alex Rockwell
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Bankler wrote:
I need to play more to get a feel, but it's at least in the middle of that pack. Probably top half.


Considering that half of the list is the top 3 games on BGG, thats pretty good.

Huzonfirst wrote:

I love all six of the games you listed, so it's way too early to compare the newcomer to any of them. I don't know if Homesteaders will exceed any of them, but if it works out as well as I hope, it won't look out of place next to that group.


This is very true, it is too new for any of you to know how it fits with that group. Obviously I am biased, being the designer, but if I am trying to be unbiased, and based on my preferences in boardgames, and my expereinces with all these games which is pretty extensive, where would I rank it? To me it definitely fits somewhere in that group, that is for sure.
I personally would put it behind Puerto Rico, of those on the list. I'd put it around even with Power Grid and Agricola, and ahead of the others. (and most everything else). I love Agricola, and that is a hard comparison for me, but I think Agricola is a top 10 game for me, but its not a #1. Homesteaders is the same. I'd put it behind Race for the Galaxy, and I think Race and Puerto Rico are the two best games ever. Really to me those are the only two strategy games that I would solidly put ahead of it. It is in the second tier just below that to me, which contains Agricola, Power Grid, and a couple others.


As to balance, I have spend literally hundreds of hours thinking about this game, in trying to create a variety of solid and well balanced openings and general midgame strategies, to get to where the differences between the 'optimal' paths on each line are too close together for me to decide which is better. Then because of the auctions, none of them can be dominant, because while one might be (and probably is) actually better when you pay the same amount for the auctions on its line, it becomes worse when you have to pay more for the right buildings. The auction mechanic is very self balancing. If turn 1 indusrtial is better than residential, you just bid higher on it until they are balanced again.

There really is an ocean of depth in the building choices, and the quantity of different paths available in what building you get on each round. It all starts branching out on turn 1, when you choose between: Farm, Market, Foundry, Pass, or "pay for Worker + Pass", which all lead to distinct and different positions that want different things. There is also a lot of depth in the following:
Lets say you are following a certain strategy line. You have discovered through a lot of analysis and experience that after getting X and Y and then passing on turns 1-3, that getting Z on turn 4 is optimal. However, you just got overbid on Z, and you could instead get W for $2 less. Which is better now?! You have to answer this in the bidding, every turn. You need to figure out if W is actually the second best thing you can do right now, and its close enough that its worth saving the money, or whether W is something that in this strategy is unacceptable, and you would be wasting your time with it. And there are so many combinations and paths it can take, that youre going to have to learn how to figure it out, because you wont have experienced it before, and you wont have been able to analyze or memorize it (except for the first couple turns).




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Dave Kudzma
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Larry Levy wrote:
I love all six of the games you listed, so it's way too early to compare the newcomer to any of them. I don't know if Homesteaders will exceed any of them, but if it works out as well as I hope, it won't look out of place next to that group.


I certainly think you can draw elements from any of the six but this stands out on it's own in it's simplified Amun-Re bidding, Building Bonuses from Puerto Rico, it's Railroad Bonus Track that's a piece of the Favor Track from Caylus.

I certainly think that the marketplace takes a unique angle in that you sell for cash and vps, but need a heftier investment to trade up, not to mention that it all requires trade tokens.

I personally think that it's a brother, and not a cousin or a more distant relation to those great games.

Finally I cannot remember the last time I felt like I had no clue as to how best to proceed even though I thoroughly understood the underling mechanisms, ideas, and goals of the system. That's an earmark of a good game to me; 2/3 of the way through I got my a-ha moment, and I expect the adjusting and jockeying during subsequent games will produce more of those moments.
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Alex Rockwell
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locusshifter wrote:

Finally I cannot remember the last time I felt like I had no clue as to how best to proceed even though I thoroughly understood the underling mechanisms, ideas, and goals of the system.


Yep! The game is an Ocean, and while its not too hard to learn to swim, the vastness of the decision space makes it remain a challenge.
 
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Dave Kudzma
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Alexfrog wrote:
locusshifter wrote:

Finally I cannot remember the last time I felt like I had no clue as to how best to proceed even though I thoroughly understood the underling mechanisms, ideas, and goals of the system.


Yep! The game is an Ocean, and while its not too hard to learn to swim, the vastness of the decision space makes it remain a challenge.


I think for some the similarities will blind them to the overwhelming diversity of options available. The majority will certainly embrace the similarities for the wealth of possibilities and recognize the game's uniqueness in that very aspect.

Fantastic Game ALEX!!
 
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Patrick
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Thank you for all the feedback gentlemen. This game will remain near the top of my want list.

The only question now becomes how long do I have to wait until the No Mold Edition is shipped?
 
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Alex Rockwell
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dragon of blood wrote:
Thank you for all the feedback gentlemen. This game will remain near the top of my want list.

The only question now becomes how long do I have to wait until the No Mold Edition is shipped?


December. Never any mold, just moisture.

Be careful punching out your tiles, thats pretty much all you need to worry about.
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