GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
10,442 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
14 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 Hide
37 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Endeavor» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Never Judge A Book By Its Cover rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ender
Estonia
Tallinn
Estonia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I was looking forward to Endeavor. Seriously. I thought the theme was fascinating, I thought the design looked great, I thought the play time was stunning compared to the seeming depth of the game.

I honestly do not know whether it's me (and my group) or... Are we missing something?

The problem with this game is that I don't understand whether I dislike it or not. Or worse: whether it manages to make me feel anything at all. After 10+ plays I still think: what the hell is this about?

Don't get me wrong, it is definitely not a bad game. In many ways, it is a good game. The problem is, it's completely unrelatable (at least for me). I don't understand my role. I don't get any tension. I just play through the rounds, think "ok, it's over" and then bring something else on the table. Possibly Chaos in the Old World. Or, in any case, something else, which makes me feel that the decisions I make are important not only in the sense of victory points, but in the meaningful sort of way.

We don't remember anything about the sessions. Like, nothing. Not who won, what happened, who played, not anything. Even with deeply abstract games like Genial, I can tell stories about how I reaped a whole row of greens and after that the purples; even with two-player UNO I can indulge in stories about playing 16 cards in a row. Heck, I could even throw in a story about three double sixes in pretty much any roll and move. But I just. Can't. Remember. Anything. About. Endeavor.


In itself, it's easy: there is a determined number of turns, everybody builds one building dependent on their Industry class and then everybody takes turns until they run out of population/action tokens. You can ship and conquer and attack and occupy and explore and, well, you get the point. Only I can't see the point. Okay, so I shipped myself to India. I'll continue by drawing all the cards from the deck. I keep the ones I want. I occupy the cities I want. I get more action tokens. I push all the areas to the top.

It is just not... fulfilling and the worst thing is, I cannot think of why. It seems to have everything - an entertaining theme, a lot of decisions, (seemingly) lots of player interaction. I cannot say what it lacks, but it definitely lacks something. It is not engaging, although there is something there that makes me want to play this again and again, kind of like giving a new chance. It's almost like with those stereogram pictures from the early 90's which flooded Estonian newspapers, where you stare at a bunch of dots and then suddenly a 3D image appears. I kept staring and staring and staring and BANG suddenly, at a random day, I finally saw one. I'm kind of hoping this is what it will be like with Endeavor - that I will see the greatness of this game, but to this day it has just left me hollow inside and it is one of the few games which makes me constantly check for how many bloody rounds are there to go. And, might I tell you, it's a short game.

All in all, in the name of justice, it must be said that it is not a bad game. It is just very difficult to relate to, in my opinion. I think the game would improve drastically if there was some sort of a logic in token placement (e.g. you get more Culture/Population from one part of the world and Industry from the other, dependent on the region), and a bit more juice in the decision-making process.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Stanley
United States
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I love Endeavor, and in our games the memorable narrative tends to revolve around who became a governor and where, who resorted to slavery and whether they got burned for it, and to a lesser extent what civilization and action (building) specializations and strategies people pursued and who undermined who.

I picked it up when it was brand new and before it had been reviewed by anyone, in some ways just on the stength of the "cover," and it has proven to be one of the few times that really worked out great for us. Fast, interesting, variable strategies, and in our groups always hilarious, thought provoking, and memorable. Aside from a couple of very minor balancing issues, I'd say it is a flawless game. I hope you discover what you are looking for in it.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Van Zandt
United States
South Ogden
Utah
flag msg tools
designer
badge
PlayTMG.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
siretsch wrote:
I think the game would improve drastically if there was some sort of a logic in token placement (e.g. you get more Culture/Population from one part of the world and Industry from the other, dependent on the region), and a bit more juice in the decision-making process.


the cards in the different regions (and to a lesser extent the way the connections are set up) give the "character" to the region (and the cards actually give it in the way you describe, with some regions being more industry heavy, etc). and also, in keeping with theme, being governor in a particular region tends to mean you have much better access to the cards that region offers.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
siretsch wrote:
After 10+ plays I still think: what the hell is this about?


It's about scoring victory points, like every other Euro.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ender
Estonia
Tallinn
Estonia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Appreciating the feedback,

I'd still like to emphasize that I do think it is a good game and I do realize it's about scoring victory points
It's just that it always makes me feel quite... unattached.

Regarding the cards - I completely agree that they hint at what the region is like, but it still sort of lacks the depth I'm looking for in a game.

I love the comment about creating a narrative - we had a session during which the sequence of exploring was similar to that of real history, and it was rather amusing.

Perhaps I came off more negative than I intended to - I do not think it is a "bad game" per se, I think the problem is I think it's just a, well, game. Too technical, perchance? I cannot tell.

But I'm definitely going to try and go further with the narrative, maybe it will suit my craving for that extra something
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Heap Senhouse
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"It's about scoring victory points, like every other Euro."

Do you ALWAYS have to respond negatively/obnoxiously to people?
Every post is a criticism of what the original poster said... it's annoying.

Chris
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Senhouse wrote:
Every post is a criticism of what the original poster said...


Not the one you quoted!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Heap Senhouse
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Exactly... my intent was clearly to say "the person you were replying to."

Chris
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I guess I don't know what you are saying, but my posting that you quoted is not critical of anyone, so to use it as an example in claiming that everything I write is a criticism doesn't work at all.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Heap Senhouse
United States
Somerville
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

It is a criticism/insult implying that the writer is too stupid to understand that the game is a mathematical game underneath and they have no right looking for theme as part of the rules. If you don't want to believe me, that's fine. I just didn't want to keep reading posts of yours like this and not give you the heads up that maybe they are sounding differently than you intend.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Senhouse wrote:
It is a criticism/insult implying that the writer is too stupid to understand that the game is a mathematical game underneath and they have no right looking for theme as part of the rules.


No, it's not. I believe that you think that but I can hardly be responsible for whatever you think. I certainly didn't say anything of the kind. If the OP is dissatisfied with the game, he's entirely entitled to feel however he feels, and I never gave the slightest impression that he should feel any different way. If there is one thing that everyone who reads my postings know, it's that I am a vigorous defender of everyone's right to have whatever opinions and preferences they have.

I'll just end by noting that he had no problem with the responses. It's only you who seem to have a burr in your saddle.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ægir Æxx
Iceland
Reykjavik
Gullbringusysla
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I for one like David's replies. He kind of reminds me of Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory. Bazinga!

But David always gets to the point and answers in simple and straight forward manner.

But back on topic. I bought Endeavor a few weeks ago, I've learned the rules and flow of play but I haven't been able to get this to the table. The theme feels some how played out like Tom Vassel talked about in his review and if the game had been released a few years ago it would've been a bigger hit IMO.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm in a similar situation - was pretty eager to play Endeavor initially, and then my enthusiasm tapered off. It's a clean Euro under an hour with some variety and interesting decisions, and yet I'm compelled to apply the very subjective "dry".

Perhaps I'm after more swinginess, a sci-fi theme, or the ability for greater specialisation, or maybe I just have to play it more...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
rick nichols
United States
San Antonio
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I really have to play the game a few more times to give it a fair evaluation, but I can relate. Everything felt so abstract.







 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
flag msg tools
designer
Baseball been bery bery good to me
badge
This is a picture of a published game designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
David's comment was a pithy and accurate criticism of the game in question not of any person. It's a spreadsheet game; you are trying to optimize your engine to produce the most points in the end. Along the way, there are little points of tension over advancing the tracks to the magic levels (I need a coin, I need a brick). There's a hint of an area control game, but often more about cards than territory. It's the sort of thing you'll like if you like this sort of thing (I do), but I understand why many find this dull.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David desJardins
United States
Burlingame
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Barticus88 wrote:
David's comment was a pithy and accurate criticism of the game in question not of any person.


It's not even a criticism of the game. It's just a description. Some people won't like games that simply optimize abstract victory points that don't represent anything. Others do.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charles Simon
United States
Ashley
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, I have a similar disillusionment as the original poster with Endeavor and I think my reason is exactly what David suggested.

I don't mind Euros (and highly enjoy a number of them), but usually if I really get into them its because there is something in the mechanics to intrigue me past the fact that you are just chasing points, such as building an economic engine or pulling off a smooth surprise move or finding some quick, efficient combination maneuver in the game.

Endeavor is a good game. It is smooth and elegant, but ultimately it may be too smooth and elegant and it almost completely eliminates any "gotcha" moments and really makes it difficult to have someone pull off a surprise move. It is is a good game, but not one for memorable gameplays.

Games like Chaos in the Old World are memorable even if you lose terribly, but have this one moment of pulling off a terrible upset in a particularly poignant battle, or at least pulling off a devastating surprise move.

Even abstract games like Uno can have surprise moments when someone plays a card you didn't expect.

Endeavor, however, is just chasing points. No surprises. No drastic battles. No real dramatic climax other than everyone just counting their points at the end of the game.

David was spot on with his response and there was no snark or criticism of the original poster in it. It was less wordy than this post, but I didn't think it needed to be as wordy as this until I saw that some people didn't get what he was saying. But I have similar feelings as the OP and its ultimately because Endeavor is just about getting points.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
A. B. West
United States
Beech Grove
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Why aren't you PLAYING a game?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I nearly completely agree with the OP, but come to an opposite conclusion: I like Endeavor and I can't exactly say why. It isn't just chasing points nor the smooth movements in the game. I suspect it has something to do with the strategy lanes (essentially found in the way through buildings) and the ensuing engine that builds toward the end. It's satisfying (and fun) to build something up and then execute it - even if the execution is pretty much just repeats of the first round.

The game does arc nicely - from colonization to shipping to colonization to attack. You tussle over bits of the board. But yeah, this all doesn't give me more than a peek into understanding more precisely why I like it. But like it I do.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Pinchback
United States
Leonard
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaviddesJ wrote:
siretsch wrote:
After 10+ plays I still think: what the hell is this about?


It's about scoring victory points, like every other Euro.


No no no!
In this game the goal is to get the most "Glory" points.
Pay attention please..... cool
12 
 Thumb up
0.03
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ender
Estonia
Tallinn
Estonia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
bno70_1 wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
siretsch wrote:
After 10+ plays I still think: what the hell is this about?


It's about scoring victory points, like every other Euro.


No no no!
In this game the goal is to get the most "Glory" points.
Pay attention please..... cool





win!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jarratt Gray
New Zealand
Upper Hutt
Wellington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I guess there are 3 basic win conditions for games
~First to finish
~Defeat the other player(s)
~Earn the most VP/Money/Glory at game end.

Some games combine some elements like be the first to earn X points.

Euro's tend to favour the most points because then you get a cumulative build that hopefully keeps most people in the game until the end.

It was always our intention to create a Euro style game. At points along the journey it wasn't always as such, sometimes it was a complicated monster, other times a exercise in brain agility.

In the streamlining of play to speed the pace of the game a lot of potential 'big moves' were lost. Some people have called this the chicken aspect of the game where you don't want to do something because someone else will get something good or better, or how it can be difficult to abolish slavery unless you can outlast the slavers on a turn. So because you have to wait to see what others do it can be difficult to set big memorable moves up. This is probably the price of an elegant streamlined game. The moves are there, but to some they feel less memorable.

I will say that in David's defense he basically stated the truth. Euro's are for the most part about vp collecting.

We actually wanted a game that wasn't really about that. From our point of view we wanted a game that rewarding you for doing what the game asks you to do, as apposed to a game where you push vp around. I for one am less enamored by games where all you are doing is collect vp, but then some of them work for me and some of them don't. The same for someone else. Of recent games I like Hansa Teutonica but not Vasco de Gama, while some of my friends are totally the other way.

Anyway I think that while Endeavor is about collecting vp, it is more about creating your engine to develop your empire. The vp that you have collected is a reflection of how well you have done that. Though admittedly on the last turn it really is about vp pushing because you don't need your engine anymore, but the things you have improved to make your empire grow better, the tracks and presence are basically the things that are rewarded at the end.

So hopefully some see more than just vp pushing, but like anything I'm not surprised that that is all some people see. Sometimes that is all I see in a game too. For some people, theme is meaningless anyway and it is all about vp. I know I enjoy it and that is probably the most important thing.

I think the sci-fi argument is interesting. Endeavor couldn't have had a sci-fi theme because we actually started with the theme so it was pretty integral to the design. By the time the whole things was streamlined and working another theme like a sci-fi colonial theme could have worked very well, but that wasn't where we were coming from with the design. SF themes are becoming more popular (I know I like them) but they aren't or haven't been in the past as popular as historical themes. Also it is fun to do research for historical themes.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
alan beaumont
United Kingdom
LONDON
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Spannerish Empire
jarratt wrote:
Anyway I think that while Endeavor is about collecting vp, it is more about creating your engine to develop your empire.
I agree with pretty much all that has said for and against, although I come down heavily on the fan side of things.
I may be wrong, but I get the impression that many players concentrate exclusively on their own boards, which means it will feel very multiplayer solitaire. Upsetting other engines is also a necessary tool.
I find that not all 'optimal' play is the best option. At certain points you may be able to contrive to either throw someone's plan out of kilter with the 'wrong' move, or more subtly cause two opponents to collide, or maybe cause an area to open at a time inconvenient to another player or two. In these cases I may be considering the upcoming turn mid way through the previous one. I'm not claiming we're playing Chess here, but there are certainly more than 2 dimensions to the game.
This stuff jumps out more forcibly in the forums where down time is expected. In face to face it is a lot more difficult to calculate and play at the expected pace.
(It's that and the beer probably. )
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
flag msg tools
designer
Baseball been bery bery good to me
badge
This is a picture of a published game designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jarratt wrote:
I guess there are 3 basic win conditions for games
~First to finish
~Defeat the other player(s)
~Earn the most VP/Money/Glory at game end.

Some games combine some elements like be the first to earn X points.


It's not necessary for the game to be about a one dimensional score. In Careers, you win by reaching goals in three different categories. In Taluva and Mordred, there are multiple ways to end the game, with different victory conditions.

In Tigris & Euphrates and Ingenious, you are judged by your lowest score of four/six categories. That technique could have been applied to Endeavor, and would increase late game tension.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jarratt Gray
New Zealand
Upper Hutt
Wellington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Barticus88 wrote:
It's not necessary for the game to be about a one dimensional score. In Careers, you win by reaching goals in three different categories. In Taluva and Mordred, there are multiple ways to end the game, with different victory conditions.

In Tigris & Euphrates and Ingenious, you are judged by your lowest score of four/six categories. That technique could have been applied to Endeavor, and would increase late game tension.


One-dimensional or not, most games fit into the basic win conditions that I described.

Do you really think that late game tension in Endeavor would have improved if victory was based on your lowest track? That means cities and connections are worthless unless they give track points instead of glory, which is cumbersome because then players are trying to add to or subtract from their tracks as the board changes. We actually had an earlier version like this.

We wanted a reward for what you do in the game (which is build up your tracks) but we also wanted extreme strategies to be possible. Though extreme strategies in Endeavor are not as extreme as they are in other games of course, but that is because the game is much more tactical than strategic.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
flag msg tools
designer
Baseball been bery bery good to me
badge
This is a picture of a published game designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jarratt wrote:
Do you really think that late game tension in Endeavor would have improved if victory was based on your lowest track? That means cities and connections are worthless unless they give track points instead of glory, which is cumbersome because then players are trying to add to or subtract from their tracks as the board changes. We actually had an earlier version like this.


I am suggesting no change in what you do until the game is over. When I total my final score, I see six components: the four tracks, the map, and the glory markers on the cards. Judge a player by the lowest of those six numbers. The various game bits have not been balanced for this system, but I think it works with the game exactly as is. In fact, now I want to give it try. It could turn the last turn from a parade into a mad scramble.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.