Aaron Wood
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
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Ok, I know that these games are all completely unrelated, but I have come into several of those Ebay gift codes, and I want to add to my collection. I already ordered 7 Wonders, but here are the ones I am considering (I'm not limiting myself to these, but these are my top picks):

Cyclades
Roll Through the Ages
Through the Desert
Ra
Fresco
Reef Encounter
Power Struggle

I don't really NEED any of these, but they all intrigue me greatly. Here's why:

Cyclades:
Pros - just sounds like the perfect mix of AT and Euro for my gaming group of guys who will enjoy the conflict
Cons - lots of us are still fairly new, is the learning curve going to be too much?

Roll Through the Ages:
Pros - don't really have any form of civ game (altho I guess 7 Wonders will be, sorta), and my wife loves dice games, so this could definitely give her a Yahtzee type fix, while being deep enough for me
Cons - only plays 4, and while that's usually fine, occasionally like to game with 5, short (is that really a con?)

Through the Desert:
Pros - Knizia, and I don't own one yet! I definitely enjoy abstracts at times, and also plays 5
Cons - not sure of any, but just not sure I want it as much as the others

Ra:
Pros - Also Knizia, plays 5, and I love me some auctions!
Cons - Learning curve, Egyptian theme does nothing for me (but doesn't hurt it either)

Fresco:
Pros - love the colorful pieces, looking for a nice worker placement game
Cons - once again, not sure of any (other than only plays 4), but not sure I'll like worker placement, lol, or that it's my "best" option right now

Reef Encounter:
Pros - looks terrific, has nice amount of interaction, but still not so much direct conflict as to run off my wife and others
Cons - only plays 4, sounds like AP can really make it drag

Power Struggle:
Pros - plays 5, love variable player powers, and area control and negotiation aspects sound fun
Cons - too heavy?

So, what do you think? Or is there something else that my comments really made you think - man, he'd LOVE this other game! Any comments are greatly appreciated!

Aaron
 
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Ra.
Classic.
IMO.
 
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Nate Straight

Covington
Louisiana
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If you enjoy abstracts, Through The Desert is among the best multi-player abstract games ever designed.
 
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David Debien
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Woodstock
GA
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Roll through the Ages is pure filler. I like it and play it regularly with the kids but it is not very strategic and the replay value for adults is pretty low.

Edit: Adsolutely no reason why this could not be played with 5 as long as you order 2 sets of the game to get the tracking board. Otherwise, you could set up an experienced player with a sheet of paper to track their goods and food.
 
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Hoyle A
United States
fiskdale
Massachusetts
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I liked Medici better than Ra, but have only played each once. Ra is too random for my taste, and the bidding is too limited.
 
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EnderWizard
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Niskayuna
New York
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There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death...
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Here's another vote for Through the Desert. Love it
 
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Raymond Gallardo
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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Hi Aaron,

I quickly looked at your profile and games that you have rated. Your highest rated games tend to be medium-weight Euros. When I consider buying new games, I like to try to fill holes in my collection -- find games with characteristics that are not found in other games.

So I'll try to comment on your list of games with this in mind.

Heavier Euros. It seems that you don't own many heavier Euros. You own Power Grid, but haven't played it yet. You listed two heavier Euros:

* Reef Encounter
* Power Struggle

These two games are quite different! Considering your profile, I'd lean towards Power Struggle. You seem to like games that have a lot of varied mechanics, and this game has more of this: a touch of negotiation (it's not full-blown negotiation like Traders of Genoa or I'm the Boss), variable player powers, hidden objectives, a unique way of determining when a game turn ends, and a cleverly implemented (yet a bit dry) theme. The only reservation I have with this game is that it's a bit long for what it is and I feel like I'm playing on a spreadsheet.

Reef Encounter is a different monster altogether. The tricky part about this game is the strategy is at first counter-intuitive. It's a kind of game where you need one thing to get another thing to get another thing, but this chain of dependence is circular, so it's tough to wrap your head around the game. This might be an issue if your group is new to Euro gaming. The theme is implemented cleverly in this game too, but Power Struggle does a better job. I found Reef Encounter drier than Power Struggle; there's more chit-chat among players in PS than Reef Encounter, thanks to the variable player powers and the negotiation (really it's a form of bribery).

As for medium weight games:
* Ra
* Fresco
* Through the Desert

Out of these three, I'd pick Ra. The game moves at a very brisk pace. Some players do not like auction games because of the more-than-average mental arithmetic, but Ra doesn't have this issue! Second place would be Through the Desert. It plays very, very fast and incredibly easy to explain. However, it's quite dry: there's really only one kind of player interaction (blocking other player's positions on the board), so there's not much talking around the table. I'm not sure if you enjoy lots of chit-chat while you play games. Personally, I'd pass on Fresco if you are looking for a worker placement game. It's not one of my favourite genres, but I believe there are better ones out there.

I don't know anything about Cyclades, and the only thing I know about Roll Through the Ages is that it's a filler that uses a Yatzee mechanism.

Good luck choosing a game!
--Raymond


 
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Shane Larsen
United States
Salt Lake City
UT
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Through the Desert is my favorite abstract right now.

I used to own Roll Through the Ages, but it got old and there's pretty much ZERO interaction--interaction in a game is important to me. I would recommend Ra: The Dice Game over RTtA.

Good luck!
 
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