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Subject: Brass vs. Steam vs. Endeavor rss

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Chris Wood
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I was trying to figure out my next post-christmas purchase and I've narrowed it down to these three....I was wondering if you are able to compare and contrast these three games and offer any personal opinions, likes and dislikes. All three look really really good.
For reference, personal favs: Puerto Rico, Agricola, Mare Nostrum, Bohnanza, Carcassonne, Mystery of the Abbey
 
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Randall Bart
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Get Endeavor. It's quicker to learn, quicker to play, and completely incompetent play will cause you to move slowly forward rather than causing bankruptcy.
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Doug Adams
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I love Steam and like Endeavor. Brass doesn't do a lot for me, but it is a good game.

I'd go for Endeavor - easy to pick up, teach and play, but still and excellent game. Steam is great head-butting game, but you already have that with Agricola. Brass is a pain to learn, and then teach.
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Zopper Alf
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All three are good games. My favorite is Age of Steam, closely followed by Brass. Endeavor is a great game but for me not as deep as the other ones.

Age of Steam has, also in my opinion, not such hard rules but plays deep and requires complex thoughts. Brass, once you get the game, plays quicker than AoS and has more climatic shifts (if that makes sense).

If you have someone to teach you Brass, then go for it. If not I would recommend AoS. With the additional maps and a lot of players around the globe it's more likely to get played often.

Endeavor is a new games and also a very good game. For me it has to prove itself over time. It's definitely a good one but not as outstanding as the rest.

Hope that helps and sorry for the totally different opinion than the previous posters :-)
Simon
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Jens Hoppe
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Well, all three are fine games!

Personally, I am not completely sold on Steam, and I think I prefer Age of Steam over it. That being said, I enjoy that whole family of train games (AoS, Steam, RRT, etc.) and Steam is certainly a fine game.

Brass is the heavier and most complex of the three. I love it, but if simplicity and accessibility are priorities, you might want to go with one of the other games instead.

And I absolutely love Endeavor! Easily my favorite new game of 2009. It's quick and relatively simple. Thematic too.
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Get Endeavor and you will not only have a great game, but you will be able to stop playing PR.
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Maciej Welc
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You should make a poll.

Brass is brilliant.
Steam is good (I would say very good but I don't know AoS).
Both may provide you with hard competition and keep you sitting at the edge of the chair.

Endeavor seems to be too easy and boring. Didn't catch me.

PS
PR beats Endeavor undoubtly.

PS2
Mare Nostrum ME rules.
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Craig Liken
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Very different games, so it might really depend on your normal game group dynamics as to which would suit or which you feel will get more play.

Brass is the heaviest and takes a bit of getting your head around the rules at first. Only plays with 3 and 4 (and not 5) so this may be a factor if your game group often has 5 players. We find it plays quite long (2 hours plus) but other groups might get through it faster.

Endeavor is easier to pick up and quite intuitive once you get going - it is pretty short - maybe an hour to 80 minutes or so.

Sorry I can't comment on Steam as I haven't played it, but from reading the rules and having played games of its ilk (eg Railroad Tycoon) it is certainly heavier and longer than Endeavor.

I generally find that I just don't get heavier/longer games to the table, so while Endeavor has had around 10 plays in the last 2 to 3 months, in contrast I have owned Brass for 18 months and played it twice. Probably criminal but that's just the way it is. If you have a game group that is keen to regularly tackle heavier games then Brass may well be the best bet, if not then I'd go with Endeavor.
 
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Jesse Dean
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I found Endeavor to be pretty boring after my second play. I don't feel any real need to play it again, as I doubted there would be much new for me to learn as I played more games. There just did not seem to be enough there.

Age of Steam and Brass, while heavier, continue to offer new things even after 25+ plays. They can be a bit more opaque, however, and tougher to get into in general, but they are so worth it if you do. I rate Age of Steam a 10, Brass, an 8, and Endeavor a 6.
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Matthew Naikelis
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I find Endeavor to be that perfect warmup game. You can usually knock out a game in 45 minutes (closer to an hour if you have 5 players) and its a very satisfying experience in a short time.

Based on your other likes, it appears you are a medium weight gamer for the most part and Endeavor fits that criteria perfectly. So if you are looking to move to something a little more towards heavy on the scale, maybe try Steam or Brass, but if medium games tend to fit your gaming group well, then Endeavor, in my opinion, is a perfect medium weight game!
 
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David Hoffman
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I love all three games unreservedly and would eagerly play any of them without hesitation, almost anytime.

Having said that, I think Brass is my favorite of the lot.

Having said that, I think I may agree that Endeavor is the game for you.

Endeavor is the "lightest" of the three games and the most accessible. Brass, once you've played it, and once you get how it works (this is not "hard", but the game itself can feel rough to a new player), is absolutely tremendous. However, the story is that Martin Wallace is going to be coming out with a sort of "Brass 2.0" around summertime. It's going to change Brass from what it is (well, the original won't "change", but you know what I mean) and introduce a sort of "Brass System" which will work with user-made expansions, etc.

So, I'd say go with Endeavor right now. If you're buying something when "Brass 2.0" (which I believe will be called something like, "Age of Industry") comes out, consider picking that up then.

Honestly, though, you can't go wrong. Three great games that are completely worth your gaming dollar. For your particular circumstance, at this point in time, though, I'd have to suggest Endeavor.

Also, FWIW, I absolutely love Steam. I don't want it to seem like I'm disregarding that game; it's just that Steam, like Brass, can be rough on newcomers. Once it's digested, though, it really is a great game.
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J S
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I have yet to try Endeavor, but am itching to do so. As mentioned, it sounds like a good game to kick-off the night with. I tend to prefer heavier games, so I am sure I personally, would prefer both Age of Steam and Brass to Endeavor.

I currently rate Brass a 9 and Age of Steam a 8. I haven't gotten to play my copy of Steam yet, but my gripe with Age of Steam is that as soon as you get your head above water, the game is over. Supposedly, this is addressed a bit with Steam, but I'll wait it see.

As the person who had to read and explain the rules to Brass to my group, it's a bit of a pain. I don't think it is THAT hard, but it is quite fiddly and everything works differently in terms of scoring. That being said, it was well worth it and it's one of my all-time favorite games.

 
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Mark Huizinga
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I have never played Brass so I can't give you a recommendation on that one.

I have played a lot of Steam and some Endeavor.

I prefer Endeavor myself.

That said Steam is an excellent rail game and reminds me of Railroad Tycoon which I also really liked. I like the development and the economics of the game but it is harsh to people who are new to it. Steam really doesn't scale well for experienced players when playing against newer players. The basic Steam game is really good but fairly cut-throat.

While Endeavor with its' shorter playtime and more forgiving mechanics is much friendlier for players with less experience. I still don't expect them to win but they stand a better chance of feeling like they have competed then in Steam. It is also reasonable to play Endeavor in about an hour once everyone has a handle on it. Endeavor can have some take-that with the Fortress and Barracks though. Overuse of these two buildings can quickly render someone out of contention, either with too much attacking on their part or too many people attacking them.

Both games are fairly simple and easy to teach. Both have a learning curve and this will definitely show in the first play. I think Steam is more prone to AP because of the multitude of options but Endeavor can have surprisingly tough choices as well.

I would recommend you buy both games but if you are going to buy one and wait for the other I would buy Endeavor first.
 
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Maciej Welc
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mattnaik wrote:
I find Endeavor to be that perfect warmup game. You can usually knock out a game in 45 minutes (closer to an hour if you have 5 players) and its a very satisfying experience in a short time.

Having 45 minutes for startup I'd rather go for Taluva with 4 players or PR with 5.
 
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Brian Brokaw
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Barticus88 wrote:
... and completely incompetent play will cause you to move slowly forward rather than causing bankruptcy.

After my first game of Brass, I really appreciate this difference!
 
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Chris Wood
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Thank you for all your input!

To make things a little clearer, I like games with a longer mid-game, I don't like the "it ended just when it started to get going". I also dont care for a lot of "kill the leader". I do like games with positive intereaction instead of negative. I realize some of the games I mention I liked have these aspects, but such is the reason for looking at Endeaver, Brass, and Steam.

Also, I was interested in Steam, but not really Age of Steam....I don't know if that changes what everyone has said in this thread.
Thanks again!
 
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Jarratt Gray
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Myoman wrote:

Also, I was interested in Steam, but not really Age of Steam....I don't know if that changes what everyone has said in this thread.
Thanks again!


So Steam (Basic Version, I don't like the advanced) is a better implementation of the Age of Steam rules. It is more elegant, simpler and faster. Age of Steam is still better, but Steam does have it's merits. You can pretty much play Age of Steam using the Steam set though, and if you get some sets of boards they come with the off board mats necessary. They are essentially the same game with slightly different rulesets surround turn order and some of the actions. Given your group of games that you like Steam is probably more accessible straight up. I'm not sure of the long term appeal of it though compared to Age of Steam.

Brass is a fantastic. A richly deep game. It does take 3hrs though and there can be a lot of waiting around from Analysis Paralysis going into the later turns. I usually go and watch the other table during the latter half of the game if my moves are unlikely to be thwarted.

Endeavor fits nicely with the game you already like, and clearly I think you should choose Endeavor, but if you get the chance you should probably try and get all 3.
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Joe Mucchiello
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I would say Base Steam is only barely more complicated than Endeavor. In fact there are fewer game decision points in Steam. A 4-player game has 8 rounds. Each round you pick a job, lay track and ship 2 items. That's 24 "simple" decisions and 8 somewhat more complicated ones (the actual track laying). In Endeavor, you could have 6+ actions by the last turn plus choosing a building. The number of decisions you have to make is probably greater in Endeavor although they tend not to be as complicated.

I have not played either game enough to have a set opinion over which is better. If offered I'd play either.

I have not played Brass.
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wodan wodan
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Brass is strategic and long.
Endeavor is tactical and short.

I like them both. They do their jobs well. Endeavor is about grabbing opportunities as they come, while Brass is about careful planning of bigger gambits.
 
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wodan wodan
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Brass is strategic and long.
Endeavor is tactical and short.

I like them both. They do their jobs well. Endeavor is about grabbing opportunities as they come, while Brass is about careful planning of bigger gambits.
 
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Jason Wiebe
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Brass over Steam any time. Perhaps Rise of Empires? Having said that Endeavor looks good though!
 
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Kirk Thomas
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You've gotten great advice, almost all of which I agree with. Personally, I love Brass - it's an all-time classic, IMO. It is the most difficult to learn / teach, but it can be played in 2-2.5 hours which, for a truly deep game, is great.

If I could sit down with experienced players, my choice would be Brass hands down. It's difficult to get to that point with enough players, though.
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Tim OConnor
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Interesting question. On 4 spectrum I'd rank as follows, .

Brass - highest complexity/most difficult to learn/most theme/longest to play

Steam - mid/mid/mid/mid

Endeavor - least complex/easiest to learn/least theme/shortest

So I prefer Brass over Steam over Endeavor if I had my choice.
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Michael Basil
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Endeavor
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William Springer
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Myoman wrote:
Thank you for all your input!

To make things a little clearer, I like games with a longer mid-game, I don't like the "it ended just when it started to get going". I also dont care for a lot of "kill the leader". I do like games with positive intereaction instead of negative. I realize some of the games I mention I liked have these aspects, but such is the reason for looking at Endeaver, Brass, and Steam.


Based on this, I would go with Brass. All three games are awesome (although I've only played Endeavor once, so my opinion on it could change) but Steam is a fight for survival the whole way through (although not as much as Age of Steam - which is why I like AoS better ;-)) and most (though not all) of the interaction actually works to both players' benefit.

As mentioned, though, Endeavor is by far the shortest of the three games. I prefer longer games, myself, but that could be a consideration in getting it to the table.
 
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