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Subject: First game with 3 players a positive experience rss

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Joel Schuster
Germany
Bretten
Baden-Württemberg
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I didnt go to Essen to pick up alot of games there. I just wanted bring home like 1 or 2 games that intrigue me for whatever reason. Fürstenfeld caught my attention because of its artwork. It looks funny and beautiful at the same time.

I know Friedemann Friese did Power Grid and some others but I dont own or have even played a game of him. Checking further on Fürstenfeld I found out its a rather light 1h game for 2-5 players which is in a way perfect for me. I certainly wasnt looking for a 3h long dry simulation that bores me to death anyways. So I bought the game without actually playing it at Essen.

Back home I read the rules and checked on the geek. An initial average rating below 7 worried me a little, but then I dont care for some really highly voted games and also enjoy some of the lower rated ones. In the end, you'll have to try things for yourself.

So we had a first game last night, which was supposedly 4 players but then one player had to cancel his attendance so we were just 3. I explained the game to Julian and Beni in less than 10mins including all clarifying questions and we were ready to go.

I built a laboratory right away, to draw an additional card each turn. The other two guys got additional resource fields out earlier than me. This was probably simply due to the fact that I initially drew only rather valuable fields that I could not afford yet. After a couple of turns we all got our fields out though, plus a bank, were either drawing additional cards or allowed to keep more than one. Markets, Kontors and the like were used to maximize income, Julian also tried with the warehouse.

Beni was the first to build a palace tile at some point. We then also started screwing each other for the best prices and dropping them for others. Order of play can be really important here as we learned. Its also important for who gets palace tiles still at a lower price. It felt like I was more often unlucky and screwed than able to take an advantage by myself.

For the end game, everybody had his fields out that provide 3 resources of income plus the upgraded Bank. I retained the big lab for another while as Julian and Beni were going with the construction crane that reduces the cost for any other building by 2. As Beni actually started with a single palace tile very early he was then just producing tons of money for a while. Julian took the lead in palace tiles and was constantly and rather quickly building them at the end when he was beyond the turning point according to his calculations. He screwed me twice or thrice, taking good prices for himself and leaving me with bad ones. So even as I tried hard to keep up with him he placed his last palace tile one turn before me and won the game. He played well so it was clearly deserved. We finished close by the estimated mark of an hour.

There were certainly some decision to be made. Give up the lab or keep it for another while to cycle through cards more quickly ? Surely a trade off with some other benefit. Shall I keep the bank or a field for the last tile ? The bank was a save income of 5, resources might just be 3 or they might be 6. The crane seemed useful also for building the final palace tiles but then is it worth taking and giving up income or another benefit ? Even subtler, in the end it was important which kind of resource you retained and which you gave up. As the starting player I had to do that first and so the other two players could see what I did. Julian retained the same resource than I did for another turn as he knew he'll be ahead of me on the next turn. So he sold his harvest and ruined the price for me. Probably this doesnt work everytime but it did on that occasion.

So, it seems there is some randomness to the drawing of the cards but then there are also meaningful decisions to be made. For a light game of an hour I think the ratio is quite good. You can after all decide which tiles you build and keep, forfeit resources to take control over the order of play. You may place the discarded cards under your deck in the order you want and there is also the mode of play for experienced players which supposedly gives even more control and adds two more cards to your deck. Have yet to try that out.

Most of all timing matters in this game. If you start building palace tiles too late, someone else might be quicker to finish and win. If you start too early, you might get stuck with too little income and options so someone might overtake you. I find that interesting for now and prefer it over having yet another victory point track.

So, all in all it was a rather positive first experience. I am happy with this purchase as it totally matched my expectations. Looking forward to play again. If the game lives up to this in consecutive plays remains to be seen. Certainly not a game I'll want to play every week but it feels promising for a quick and fun match now and then.

Prost Fürstenfeld !
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Joe Pastuzyn
United States
Midland
Michigan
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Thanks for the session report. This is a game from Essen that I would like to try. Seems the right weight and length for our gaming group.
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Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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Just imagine the red offboard up here. I'll create it Real Soon Now...
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Quote:
Checking further on Fürstenfeld I found out its a rather light 1h game for 2-5 players which is in a way perfect for me. I certainly wasnt looking for a 3h long dry simulation that bores me to death anyways.


Nice way to set the context for your review, thanks!
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Kristof Bodric
Serbia
Novi Sad
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What it lacks in perfection, it more than makes up in flavour and spirit. Alas, like Factory Manager (which, BTW, is perfection itself), I fear it will remain woefully underrated.
 
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Scott Tece

Minnesota
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Great review! Not that I needed any excuse to look forward to this game. Friese + beer in-game theme....how could you go wrong? I am hoping Rio Grande has this game out before then end of 2010.

Quote:
Factory Manager (which, BTW, is perfection itself)


Amen, brotha
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Jörg Hopfgarten
Germany
Berlin
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Quote:
I am hoping Rio Grande has this game out before then end of 2010.


They already sold it at their booth in Essen, so it should already be available.
 
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