Recommend
46 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

A Few Acres of Snow» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Brief Look at A Few Acres of Snow rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Larry Levy
United States
Manassas
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Best hobby, with the best people in the world. Gaming is the best!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Those who are on the fence about checking this game out may want to judge by my example. I don’t care for wargames and I’m terrible at deckbuilding, but after seven games (and the prospect of many more), this title has really grabbed me. I find myself thinking about strategies when I’m away from the game, which is very rare for me. It’s a leading candidate for my Game of the Year and I’ve never really been tempted to pick a two-player game for that honor before.

I don’t really consider this to be a wargame; it feels more like a colonization game, with military elements. In truth, players can choose to focus on either of these aspects or try to do a little of both, but while a pure military game is possible, I don’t think it would be too successful. Mechanically, there are enough good ideas here to fill up several games. One of my favorites is the reserve: players can place cards in their reserve for an action and can retrieve them on a later turn for a cost. This has all kinds of possibilities and I’m looking forward to exploring them.

I’m still struggling with the deckbuilding aspect, but I’m slowly learning and am genuinely enjoying the process, which is more than was ever the case with Dominion. But even a tyro like me can appreciate that the use of deckbuilding to reflect the logistics delays in a war carried out across the ocean is a brilliant idea and it works really well. There’s many strategies to check out and all of them seem to have a counter, so it comes down to proper execution, along with the imagination to come up with those counters. Both strategic and tactical skills are important and I always like games that feature both.

On a slightly negative note, the rules aren’t bad, but there have been some confusions that would have been eliminated with more careful wording. If you’ve played the game, the odds are you did everything correctly, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out some of the rules threads on the Geek.

My main complaint in gaming over the past two years has been the lack of a truly great game. I’m not 100% sure yet, but A Few Acres of Snow may finally be the design that fills that void.
42 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Seitz
United States
Glen Allen
VA
flag msg tools
badge
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree wholeheartedly.

I am normally tepid on Martin Wallace designs, but this is one seems his best ever.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree tentatively.

Think Brass is great.
Thought Steel Driver was interesting and fun.
Thought Automobile was too dry and limited.
Haven't played London or any of his "Wargames"

Think this one is pretty slick though.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jens Hoppe
Denmark
Frederiksberg
flag msg tools
What are you, like 80?
badge
It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am usually a big fan of Martin's economic games, but have always felt more so-so about his territorial games. This one's definitely a winner, though. I also can't stop thinking about strategies.

Larry Levy wrote:
I don’t really consider this to be a wargame; it feels more like a colonization game, with military elements.

Not sure I agree here. Sure, there are definitely colonization elements to the game, but the military game seems to be of paramount importance. Particularly the British seems to need to go on the offensive to have any chance of winning.

I am not sure I buy the whole deckbuilding aspect of the game from a simulation point of view. When I first played the game I thought it felt gamey as hell, but gamey in a good way, of course: While I feel it's a stretch to say that it simulates anything, it is a great abstract game mechanism, and it adds a whole new dimension to one's strategic considerations.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Providence
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have to agree, only playing it once, and thence purchased. My game of the year last year was Columbia Games Julius Caesar. A Few Acres of Snow heads the list for this year. I agree the deckbuilding mechanic, though not new to games, is dead brilliant in this game, and I suspect there will be a game or two that take advantage of that mechanic going forward.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Dearlove
United Kingdom
Chelmsford
Essex
flag msg tools
SoRCon 11 23-25 Feb 2018 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
markgravitygood wrote:
I have to agree, only playing it once, and thence purchased.


I'm currently running at having shown the game to five people who hadn't seen it before and knew at most the name and a one sentence description. I haven't played them all, for example the last two played each other after my explanation, and with me around for a few hints.

My best guess is that two or three of those will buy it, and four or five would if they had a means to regularly play it. Of course I only picked people who had either heavier Eurogame or wargame interests (or both).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Larry,

How do yo see the weight and complexity of this game satisfying those who tend toward longer, meatier Euros? I love games like Brass and Twilight Struggle, am enamored with Wallace's God's Playground, and think the one great game of the past few years is Dominant Species. By contrast, I found Wallace's London to be pleasant and innocuous, but not particularly rewarding (akin to Rosenberg's At the Gates of Loyang, perhaps). Perhaps because of the centrality of the deck-building in people's descriptions of the game, I worry that A Few Acres of Snow will be fun and accessible, but ultimately shallow. Are my worries unfounded?

As an aside, I'll be moving to DC at the end of the month. I hope we get a chance to game together sometime.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Larry Levy
United States
Manassas
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Best hobby, with the best people in the world. Gaming is the best!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ben, I definitely think Few Acres is closer in weight to Brass than it is to London. London is a fine game, but it's meant to be more accessible. Few Acres' breadth of strategic options and tactical tricks put it into the meaty category without a doubt. Whether it will be your cup of tea is another question, but it certainly sounds like the kind of game you should check out.

That's great that you're moving down here! I do most of my gaming in Arlington, so there's a very good chance that we'll be able to get together. Just shoot me an Geekmail when you get situated and I'll get you introduced to some of the local gaming groups.
6 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you can bring copies, we'll have to invite you both to our next DC "tournament".

I would also say Acres if far far deeper than London, and once you start playing you can't stop thinking about strategy for next time around. It's one of the few modern board games that reminds me of chess, in a very good way. It's interesting, because the game highly rewords long-term strategic thinking, but also rewords taking tactical opportunities when they're available. It's hard to describe without playing exactly, since they're much different from the tactics we normally think about when we're talking about wargames, but sometimes the right combo comes across in a hand that helps you do something you hadn't ever realized was possible. None of these combos are obvious from reading the rules, or even from playing half a dozen times. They reveal themselves to you through experiencing the game. It's a cool feeling.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wayne O Connor
Ireland
sligo
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
just played 2 games tonight. really liked it, simple core rules but definitely will require a few games to master tactics.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Providence
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
clydeiii wrote:
If you can bring copies, we'll have to invite you both to our next DC "tournament".

I would also say Acres if far far deeper than London, and once you start playing you can't stop thinking about strategy for next time around. It's one of the few modern board games that reminds me of chess, in a very good way. It's interesting, because the game highly rewords long-term strategic thinking, but also rewords taking tactical opportunities when they're available. It's hard to describe without playing exactly, since they're much different from the tactics we normally think about when we're talking about wargames, but sometimes the right combo comes across in a hand that helps you do something you hadn't ever realized was possible. None of these combos are obvious from reading the rules, or even from playing half a dozen times. They reveal themselves to you through experiencing the game. It's a cool feeling.


Clyde - 2 months later - do you still feel the same way given the beehive around HH?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.