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Subject: Drum Roll: Probably the best new game on Spiel 2011 in Essen rss

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Immanuel Gadaczek
Germany
Niedernhausen
Hessen
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Before I start my review about the game, I want to give you some details about how I got it:

I was looking for the new games I wish to see at Essen and in nearly every forum I found Drum Roll as a "must see". Unfortunatly I was too late for the preorder, so I had to be quick to get a copy of this game.
So I went to Essen on the first public day and went to the Drum Roll booth. I didn't had my lucky day, since all playing tables were crowded and the two guys were too busy, that I could have a short conversation about that game. Luckily, I was able to listen to the rules explanation and I could see the lovely material. That was enough, I bought it directly. Two days later I was able to play my first two plays and what should I say: It's amazing, awsome, great and anything else of adverbs which sound positive.



What's the game about?

You are a circus owner in the early 1900s Europe. You want to become the most famous circus. Therefore you have hire performers, give them what they need to give a big show and fullfill the needs of the cheering crowd. But be careful, your money is running through your hands like water.
It's a simulation, with a really nice artwork and an interesting background.



The Material:

When you open the box you find a lot of material in there. A stable board, wooden cubes and markers round about 100 cards, wooden and board tokens, tiles and laminated player boards. Oh I forgot, a big rulebook.
All in all enough stuff which legitimates the charge of 35€.
The only thing for complaining: No inlay for sorting the stuff, but a lot of little bags, where you can sort the material into.



The Rules and the rulebook:

The rulebook is really neat written (english and german version). The rules are easy to understand and even the "Investment Cards" are explained in the rulebook. The language dependency in the game is not present, since everything is given in pictures and the pictures are explained in the rulebook. Well done, thumbs up!
I don't want to go to far into detail about the rules, I just want to give you an overview:
You start with a small circus including 2 performers and a small amount of money.
You have to give 3 shows during the game. Before the show starts, you have up to 7 rounds for preparation. In each preperation round you can choose 3 out of 10 actions:
Cube actions:
- Rehearsal
- Equipment
- Promotion
- Costume
- Supplies
Other actions:
- Sell tickets
- Invest
- Hire a performer
- Hire personnel
- Pass and earn 1 coin
All actions are limited, either by each player or for all players. The players choose clockwise one action after each other. When everybody has chosen all 3 actions, the actions are carried out. The players get there cubes, which are needed by the performers, earn money, hire people or get special investment cards. Then everybody is allowed to move 2 cubes to the performers, that they can perform a good show. Every performer needs 3 cubes in different colors to give an outstanding performance, with less cubes they can also give poor or good performances.
After 5 rounds the players can decide if they want to have another round of preparation, this is done by secret voting. The same voting takes place after the 6th round.
Then the show starts, the players recieve their bonuses for the performers. They can also choose to flip the performer card to get the prestige points. Prestige points are important, because that's all that counts in the end. The also get additional prestige points, if they fullfill the needs of the local crowd.
After the show you have to pay for the performers, but be careful, if you can't pay them you loose prestige points!
Then you travel to another place and have a different crowd with different needs.
After the 3rd show the game ends, and additional prestige points are given for largest show, full variety, perfect show, large troupe and investment cards. The winner is the player who has the most prestige points at the end.



All in all

After some plays, I really love the game. The gameplay has so many variations, that you have to think about your next steps. The artwork is great, not really vintage, more vintage comic style but really nice. The playing is fast, no long downtime for the players and a lot of fun. Sometimes you get angry if another player is in front and can take the cube you need, or he/she hires a performer you need for your circus.
It's a fun game, with less player interaction.



Short word

For me 9 out of 10!
The price is legitimate, and I would recommend it to every player, who likes simulations.
If you are near Bonn und want to try it, contact me!

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Andy Andersen
United States
Michigan
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Thank you for the overview
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Geo
Greece
Athens
Marousi
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I am waiting impatiently for my pre-order to arrive...

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Steve Duff
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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Haven't pre-ordered, but this is certainly looking like a must buy.
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Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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Nice overview. Can you give any opinions on how well this would play 2-player?
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Immanuel Gadaczek
Germany
Niedernhausen
Hessen
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I've tested it with 2 and 3 players. It works very good with two players.
No specials rules with different playing experience like in 7 wonders.
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J Cale
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again.
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Thanks for the review. This game sounds great, but it seems I will have to wait until it is officially released before I can get a copy.
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Dr Edward Locke
United States
Washington
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GeoMan wrote:
I am waiting impatiently for my pre-order to arrive...



Me too!!

It looks and sounds awesome, thanks for the great preview. I can't wait to get my hands on this.
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Danilo Festa
Italy
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Tnx m8!
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Maciej Teległow
Poland
Gdansk
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I would just say that I do not agree with title opinion.
For me it was boring, repetitive and much too long.
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Bryan Jensen
United States
Layton
Utah
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MacTele wrote:
I would just say that I do not agree with title opinion.
For me it was boring, repetitive and much too long.


How about you write a constructive review about any perceived weaknesses (and possible suggestions for improvement) in the game, especially compared to some popular light-med weight worker-placement games like Stone Age, Pillars of the Earth, Kingsburg and/or Fresco. As a pre-orderer of Drum Roll I would read your opinion.
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Renata Palheiros
Brazil
Niteroi
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Awesome review of Drum Roll!

I will play at next Saturday and I can't wait for this!
I just read de rules and watch de Essen's video and, with your review, my expectation are up.
Thanks
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