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Subject: Alien Frontier, Kingsburg, OR Troyes??? rss

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Bill Kunes
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I see regular posts about these three games which seem similar to me at a glance. I have not played any of them so I have no experience with which to compare them first hand. I'm looking to the BGG community for insight and preferences:

Poll
Which ONE would you choose?
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Alien Frontiers
28.0% 23
Kingsburg
19.5% 16
Troyes
52.4% 43
Voters 82
This poll is now closed.   82 answers
Poll created by bkunes
Closes: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:00 am


I would appreciate it if you would post a comment explaining your choice.

meeple Keep playing...
 
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jflartner
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I recently traded away Alien Frontiers and am looking to pickup either Kingsburg or Troyes. I really enjoyed the dice in AF, but am not a huge fan of area control...

So I can't really vote since I haven't played all three...
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I vote NOT Alien Frontier. After a few plays, it seems rote.
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I voted for troyes, since i find it's the least "luck dependent" game of them 3. Tried Kingsburg, although it's quite fun, you can't help but think that when luck goes your way, you can't do anything at all
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Kevin B. Smith
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I have played Alien Frontiers once, and it wasn't my kind of game. Very cutthroat and aggressive at the end, and has those alien cards with special abilities that you always have to remember.

I tried Kingsburg online, and it seemed ok, but not great. Supposedly the expansion helps, although I kind of like the idea of the random combat from the base game.

Troyes sounds like the most complicated of the three, but I haven't even read about it enough to say.

Have you considered or eliminated some other dice-driven games, like: Alea Iacta Est or Yspahan? They have some similar elements to the three games you put in the poll. I enjoyed my one game of Yspahan.
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Joshua Woolls
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Depends on what you are looking for. I found Kingsburg very lite and we just did not like it that much. Prefer the worker placement and dice usage in Stone Age. Troyes on the other hand looks much deeper and it has a way to manipulate the dice that makes it less luck driven (have not played, but have researched and watched videos). Troyes is at the top of my list of games to buy.

I have not played Alien Frontiers, but I am interested in checking it out.

 
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Edwin Nealley

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I picked up both Alien Frontiers & Troyes midyear, and I like both of these - haven't played Kingsburg, but have heard it compared more closely with AF, but with a fantasy setting.

All of these are dice-driven games, using various throws to activate different abilities. The basic difference is the range of choices available in a given game/turn.

Alien Frontiers has resource accumulation, some small area control elements (though these are really more scoring/bonus ability related than a true area control/network building game), player interaction (which increases near the end of the game), bonus abilities (with either territory control or Alien card ownership), and a decent amount of dice-rolling, with some nice artwork.

It's not a heavy game, and always seems to play in about an hour.

Strategies can vary slightly, but basically they seem to revolve around getting batches of colonies down and grabbing areas or resources from opponents to prevent them from doing same. Usually the winner is the one who make the last burst of colonization in my experience, as points vary based on areas controlled, # colonies placed, and a couple of other bonuses. Since the last player can often both decrease an opponents score and increase their own simultaneously last move wins fairly often. (But then I suppose you'd have to say the same about Chess! ;-)

An enjoyable game, which plays quickly, but don't expect too much strategy, just a fun time.

Troyes is the one I am still trying to get my head around- it's far more of a gamer's game. Because the activities used to combat events, raise funds & grab VP's are selected randomly every game there is far more diversity in basic opportunities. Every turn you are trying to maximize what you can accomplish with your dice and money, and at the same time to prevent opponents from doing the same. But you can also influence your opponents resources by purchasing their dice; which is a trade between giving them future resources ($$) and depriving them of dice resources. Of course they will doing the same!

Area control gives you different dice for the next turn, or give you VP's/influence (Cathedral). Limited dice and funds make you select between activities/strategies, and achieving better optimization of these selections is one of the big divisions for winning.

The there are also semi-hidden VP end-game bonuses, which are randomly selected each game, and one is given secretly to each player so that there is partial knowledge of these, plus what you can glean/guess from others' play (dangerous!)

A much more thinky game, and not one in which I am expert yet, but which I look forward to playing more and learning better.

I'd say at a guess either of these games might suit you, depending on the amount of thought/strategy/effort you want to put into the game, the art appeal, and the amount of time you want to spend.

Troyes is really a much heavier game, Alien Frontiers a lighter & more social one. Troyes plays longer in time and in effort expended for me, Alien Frontiers is a fun way to spend an hour.

Troyes has a deliberately mock medieval look to the art which may not appeal to everyone but which suits the game well, Alien Frontiers is big and brash like a golden age of Sci Fi book cover.

I erred on the side of lighter and more fun and interactive based on your games/ratings, and voted for Alien Frontiers; most other folks seem to be leaning to the gamers game in the voting so far.

Would you rather play Railroad Tycoon/Railways of the World, or Age of Steam/Steam? Troyes leans to the latter choice IMO and apeals to the serious gamer in me; AF is really more of a Ticket to Ride, but OTOH it doesn't seem to hard to get folks to play AF, and I think it makes a pretty good gateway game.

Hopefully all this helps you make a good decision. Have fun choosing!
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Edwin Nealley

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I should add- kids can easily pick up what's going on in Alien Frontiers, and should likely be able to to learn and enjoy it quickly.

I would say Troyes would pose a much greater challenge as a family game.
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Joshua Woolls
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herendil66 wrote:
I would say Troyes would pose a much greater challenge as a family game.


Based on what I have seen I would agree. Troyes seems pretty deep.
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Jon Brady
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Kingsburg or Troyes but not Alien Frontiers. I cant stand Alien Frontiers.
 
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carmine sansalone
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die burgen von burgund!!
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Kevin Brown
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I like Kingsburg the best of these three. Troyes is good. Alien Frontiers left me cold.
 
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Kasper L.
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Can you guys explain why you dislike Alien Frontiers? I'm interested in the game, but not sure if I'll thoroughly enjoy it.

I have Troyes, and I really enjoy it. Definitely a deeper, more complex game than Alien Frontiers.
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Zubbus O'Really
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Kingsburg is the easiest to teach and easiest for players at different levels to mix in and it takes 5 players but you certainly need to those combat chips (which you can make your own I suppose as Kingsburg + expansion cost quite a bit compared to Troyes).

I have not played Alien Frontiers. I few weeks ago I saw 2 copies of this game at my clubs twice (so it's hot then) and now no one brings it so that's all I got to go by.

Troyes is a much deeper and more balanced game. Right now I have suspicions that rolling low is better than high late in the game.
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Chris Cieslik
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Alien Frontiers bothers some because its a fairly static world. The game doesn't vary much from play to play because the only thing that changes is the order that the alien cards come out, so it's more about finding optimal strategies given what you roll, rather than exploring content. It's a pretty neat game, but if you're looking for a new experience every game it's probably not for you.

Troyes is on the opposite end of the spectrum. It's also a fair amount more complicated. Every game will be different, because the dice to point worker placement/conversion abilities are pretty varied from game to game, and only some of them are available each time. For AP-prone folks, this can really bog down.
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Bob Gallo
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I’ve played all three, like others in this thread I’d have to say NOT Alien Frontiers, between Kingsburg and Troyes I found Kingsburg to be a little more thematic and to my liking, Troyes, while not a bad game, started to feel a little like a cube pusher (but a good one).

Alien Frontiers started off promising. I like dice allocation games, I like area majority games, I like the SF theme … and the game starts OK … but there didn’t seem to be any middle game, it ramped too quickly from initial build up of resources to ignoring the resources and vying for colonies. I tried an alien powers strategy which ended up being unbelievable fiddly. Using the cards I could manipulate the dice a thousand different ways and couldn’t plan for any course of action until I saw what rolls I had to work with. Out of respect for my other players, and wanting the game to end as quickly as possible, I didn’t really bother to optimize my moves which left me in last place. That having been said, the discard powers left me in a position to be a total kingmaker … I wasn’t in a position to win but I could re-arrange the vp’s of the other 3 players as much as I wanted which just didn’t feel right. A big two thumbs down for me.

Kevin is right about Alea Iacta Est… it’s a small, often overlooked game but it scratches the dice allocation itch in a super filler format.

Carmine mentioned Die Burgen von Burgund, if you’re interested in something along those lines check out Macao, one of the best games I’ve played in 2011. It’s a dice allocation game with engine building where everyone works off the same set of dice rolls.
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Jason Carlough
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Alien Frontiers is fun little game. Quick to learn and understand. While there aren't a ton of strategies the competition for the planet and it's powers is intense. The dice add randomness in that you can't always just do the exact same thing every turn but as long as you have some powers in your hand you can always accomplish at least some of what you want. When it comes down to brass tacks the game is all about direct player interaction and not about the dice.

Troyes is dry, dry, dry, but if you love turning dice into victory points maybe you will like it. I found it terribly boring, obtuse and over complicated. The dice market mechanic is very cool and I hope to see it pop up in another more interesting game. I'm very glad that I didn't succumb to the hype on this one. I'd say get this if you wet dream is a very inelegant version of Puerto Rico with dice.
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Richard Sampson
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Troyes: Found to be slow, dry, and full of AP. I don't think I would ever play this game again.

Kingsburg: Fun, but my initial feelings were a lot of luck. In general people who rule higher will do better (or have better options at least). I would play again, but would not buy.

Alien Frontier: Lighter than the others, but also easier to teach. All kinds of rolls can be good (low, high, straights, pairs, triples). Tech allows manipulation of dice. I own this game and play it often.
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Kevin bad

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I haven't played Alien Frontier or Kingsburg, but I would recommend Troyes. I've played it with 2, 3, and 4. At times the 4 player game got a bit slow but that had less to do with the game and more to do with the players. In my opinion the rules and choices are straight forward. The tough part is putting a string of good decisions together to win. There is more player interaction than some other euros. The take home point from this ramble is that I found it to be a fun, well designed game.
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Max Maloney
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Troyes is a much more difficult game and will not likely appeal to the same people who would love Kingsburg or Alien Frontiers. For me, Kingsburg is flawed and Alien Frontiers is a bit dull. I love Troyes.

But if I had to teach a random gamer one of these games, I'd play it safe and choose Alien Frontiers.
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Jay Levy
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I like Kingsburg out of the choices ... The theme, the art, the length of game is just right. However, you really do need to get the expansion with it - the variety it adds to the game is vital.
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Jason Weed
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Kingsburg is a great game, try it on BSW first if you would like.
 
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