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Subject: Average weight 3.5 rss

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Eugene Tackleberry
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This game has an average weight of 3.5. I have read the rulebook, and I have seen the effect rondels have on the ease of gameplay. It also has a shorter playing time for 2. Playing weight normally signifies brain strain, complexity, playing time or depth. Is the weight 3.5 due to depth or brain strain because its not that long of a game nor that complex?
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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I'm entirely confused as to whether you think 3.5 is too low or too high...
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Ben
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I'm a bit confused by your question, as well. I take it to mean that 3.5 seems high to you because you don't find the game particularly complex or particularly lengthy.

The way you phrased your question, it also sounds as if you have not played the game yet. Is that right?

To answer the question:

I don't tend to record game weight, because I think it's a bit of an illusory concept. But to the extent that you want to correlate it with length and "brain burn," I'd put Shipyard in the same neighborhood as Agricola (3.6), maybe just a bit lower. Another comparable game is Le Havre (3.7), although I find Le Havre lighter than Agricola and Shipyard, personally.

I've only played two two-player games, but they both ran close to two hours. In a two-player game, you can only choose between three actions per turn, creating significant anxiety, and your action choices implicate your income, which is both essential to success and relatively scarce throughout the game. Each ship needs so many components that a player must take many actions before one is ready to launch. That means you are always trying to think 2-3 turns ahead while juggling the position on several roundels and figuring out what you can actually afford. If you don't get everything to cohere, even launching a lot of ships won't help. In my two games, only one person managed to launch more than two, and that player lost badly.

I hope that helps give you a sense of the weight, and (if I'm right that you haven't yet played) provides you the info you need to decide whether to pursue this game further.
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Joshua Reubens
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I love both Shipyard and Le Havre and feel that Shipyard is a fair amount lighter than Le Havre. In Le Havre the vast amount of available information and the low chance of much of the current situation changing (and you can easily see what is available for people to do and thus know when they might, say, purchase a couple buildings) mean you have an immense amount to think about at a given time. While there is plenty to think about in Shipyard the hidden information of government contracts and the way much of it plays out means you can not plan in the same way and more have to take things as they come. For me this makes it a lighter game.
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Ben
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Good points, Joshua. I think this demonstrates why weight is such a fickle metric. I consider LeHavre lighter because it combines open information with an abundance of options. I know what I need to do, what my opponents need to do, and whether we're going to be able to do it. Typically, there is room enough for us both to substantially achieve our objectives. Shipyard has more hidden info and fewer options per turn, so it involves more press-your-luck and deduction. To me, that is where the AP and brain burn come from, and hence the "weightier" feel, ime.
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Eugene Tackleberry
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Thanks. I have not played Shipyard yet and this was exactly the information I was trying to get.
 
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Steve Duff
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I think Shipyard is way lighter than Le Havre. You've got just 3 or 4 options on your turn, and a bunch of the time, those options are easily evaluated "The rondel will move to the captain, I need a businessman, but can't afford to pay to move it there..."

In Le Havre, you might have 20 possible moves on a turn, and it takes a great deal of experience before you can eliminate many of them right off the top.
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