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Subject: Finca: My Most Frequently Played Game rss

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Dan C
United States
Florida
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A little about the reviewer:
I’ve loved boardgames since I was a teen. My favorite game then (rarely played now, until I get the new edition soon hopefully…) was Cosmic Encounter. I did not play boardgames much in college or early adulthood. But after starting a family, I got back into them courtesy of the post-Catan renaissance. I currently own about 70-80 games; most are Euro, but a few Ameri-treasures are sprinkled in there. I dislike CCGs, RPGs, miniatures, wargames and not interested in painting/pimping game pieces. Like most people I like a little randomness mixed in with my strategy and tactics – just enough to keep it spicy and unpredictable. So cards and dice are usually a good thing, but not always necessary. I dislike fantasy/horror themed games, and don’t care much for worker-placement (with a few exceptions). Favorite mechanics are pick-up and deliver, resource management and set collection and hidden goals. I don’t much care if I win or lose (though always try to win) – I just like watching a well-designed game “work.” I am reviewing games in order of most played to least. So obviously the first few reviews are going to be positive. Hope they are enjoyable reads and a little informative


FINCA

My history with the game
Back in the fall of 2009, I picked up two games on a shopping excursion that were on my list, but at the time also SDJ contenders – Finca and FITS (the winner that year was the only one of the five that did not interest me – Dominion – but I digress). FITS turned out to be a fine abstract puzzle game, but the real winner turned out to be Finca. My most played game in my collection since I started tracking plays (around that time), it is the best balance of randomness/strategy and accessibility to different skill levels that I’ve seen. For a Gateway-type game, this is among the best – I much prefer it to Ticket To Ride or Carcassonne or some of the other usual recommended games for introducing folks to the hobby. It is not my most favorite game (that would be either El Grande, Power Grid or Alhambra probably), but it is my most played at this time and it is a great one.

In the Box
A smallish map is included there (not a bad thing, perfectly appropriate for the game) with great artwork; a windmill with blades that change each game, and strangely shaped cardboard tiles with fruit on them. Also, lots of wooden fruit and a bunch of cardboard tokens with donkeys and special abilities are included. For some reason this one goes over well with the ladies; my wife loves it and I think part of it is because it is very colorful, Mediterranean-looking and has tons of wooden fruit rather than, say, zombie robots.

A brief description of rules and feel of the game
(These are not complete rules, since many other reviews and online resources – like the actual .pdf of the rules for example – already do that. Rather, this is just a brief summary and spotlighting of rules I found clever, interesting or strange.)
Summary:
This game is about collecting wooden fruit, and then delivering the fruit to towns with variable fruit demands. You get tiles for delivering the fruit. At the end you count up the points on your tiles and the highest wins.
Interesting rules:
The rondel – very simple but clever mechanism with which you collect the fruit. Pick a farmer, count how many farmers (including him) are on his blade and move that number of spaces clockwise. Then look at the pictured fruit on the blade you land on, count the number of famers (including him) on that blade and take that amount of fruit. Nice, elegant, and everyone gets it immediately.
Strange rules:
The “nuke rule”. You see, there are only 16 of each fruit in the game; if someone needs to take a fruit, and there isn’t any of that type available (because people are “hoarding” it – everyone must surrender their fruit to the stock and then the original person gets their fruit. I understand that an anti-hoarding device is needed in order to keep someone from short-circuiting the game by never delivering; but I’ve only seen it happen twice in over 30 games. I hear of others doing it a lot, but rarely with us. We are just quick deliverers I guess? I don’t know. Also, most of my plays have been 2p, which make it less likely. I know there is a house rule where you play with less fruit with 2p, but I almost never play unofficial variants just cause I don’t play a game enough to try different rules, generally, other than designer intent; but that’s just me. End of digression.

What I like:
The artwork, the Isle of Mallorca ambience, the windmill rondel and trying to get enough fruit of a type so that I can get the bonus tiles. You see, there are bonus tiles on each township that come up for grabs whenever the fruit tiles in a town are depleted; they go to the person who has delivered the most of the type of fruit pictured on the bonus tiles. At the beginning of the game, there are stacks of four tiles on every town. As the game progresses and the stack gets down to one or two, you are jockeying to be in position to receive that bonus tile. Very fun race to get the bonus tiles in this game.

What I don’t like:
Frankly there isn’t much to dislike in this game in my opinion (and since this is my review, that’s what you’re getting). The only thing is that it is fairly simple – like Ticket to Ride simple – and I generally like my games a little heavier. But not all my opponents do, so it is good to have a great lighter weight game to reach for that I actually enjoy when I am playing with the casual gamer folks. Scores are usually close, and more than a few times we’ve relied on tiebreakers to determine the winner.

Conclusion: Great, simple game that plays well with gamers of all different stripes. A great game value. Probably best with 2, but excellent with 3 or 4 as well.

Score: 9 out of 10
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Andy Andersen
United States
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I bought this after watching a Tom Vasel review. My wife and I really enjoy it. Nice review
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Wade Ashton
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We picked this up over a year ago and turned out to be an instant favorite for the whole family. Great bits, interesting decisions, light enough to be accessible to most anyone and plays easily within an hour. It's also become (unexpectedly) one of our most played games.
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Juan Flores
United States
Frisco
Texas
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great review.

This game gets alot of plays at my house. My wife and I really like how this plays as a two player game. We can usually get a game set up, played, and put up in less than 40 mins.




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Dan C
United States
Florida
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Quote:
It's also become (unexpectedly) one of our most played games.


Yes - it was unexpected for me as well. One of the things I was hoping to do with these reviews is to figure why certain games get played more than others. With this one it's the wide range of appeal mixed with (as you both said) the amount of game you get packed into a relatively short playing time.
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Kevin Garnica
United States
West Covina
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Thanks for the positive review.

I don't understand why more people don't like this game. It seems like you can play it nice, or ou can play it cutthroat. Scales well. Shorter than Carcassonne or Stone Age. I need to play this again soon.
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boardgamemuse
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North Carolina
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Finca is a great game and I am sooooo glad I bought it. It is also a great gateway game that I have played with my family and parents.

I love the colors, the many wooden fruits and nuts and especially the joker tokens - or whatever they're called - lol


Finca is a true delight and also is a JOY to play on Yucata.de for free!
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