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Subject: Ticket to Ride vs. Australia, Sunken City, Marco Polo.... rss

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Kane Klenko
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I'm thinking I need some more Wolfgang Kramer games. I realized that I don't have too many of his light-middleweight games. I have Pueblo and Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix, but most of my Kramer games are the heavy ones. He has a couple of newer ones that intrigue me, but they don't seem to be well accepted here and I'm not sure why.

OK, so they're lighter games. Is that the problem? When you see Kramer/Kiesling do you immediately thing "Oh, it's another Tikal!" and then when it's a lighter game you're disappointed? Or are they truly not-great games? Ticket to Ride is a light game that seems to be universally loved (of course there are exceptions). I like TtR, but it's nothing great for me. It has too much of the "wrong kind of luck™" for me (mostly towards the end of the game). The type of luck where it can stall your game and make it just a case of waiting to draw the right cards. (Settlers has this kind of luck too)

I don't mind light games. In fact I like some of them a whole lot (Niagara especially). After all of that rambling, I guess I'm just wondering why games like Australia and Sunken City get shot down for being "too light" while TtR is praised as being a great game. Is there something majorly wrong with Australia and Sunken City?

I was mostly looking at Kramer games, but I'll throw Knizia's Marco Polo into the mix too since it seems to get the same bad rap.

I've read the rules to Australia and while it's no Tikal, it sounds like fun. Beautiful production and a nice middleweight Kramer game is what I'm looking for....is Australia a bad choice?
 
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Justin
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java is decent, torres is better. it's still accessible even though it's not as thematic.
 
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Brad Miller
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Neither of which could be called light.
 
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Clark Rodeffer
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I like Australia a lot. It's not incredibly heavy, but with the windmill included, I'd say it's more of a gamer's game than a family game. It's a bit too much to keep track of for younger players, though. I also still like Sunken City, yes, even for three or four players. Sunken City is certainly lighter fair, and hard-core gamers might tire of it after only a couple of plays. But it's excellent for the target market -- it's a family style game where you could give the kids an equalizing advantage by letting them use Neptune tokens while the adults don't. (I don't recommend using the tokens for a game among all adults).
 
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"that's a smith and wesson, and you've had your six"
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Quote:

I don't mind light games. In fact I like some of them a whole lot (Niagara especially). After all of that rambling, I guess I'm just wondering why games like Australia and Sunken City get shot down for being "too light" while TtR is praised as being a great game. Is there something majorly wrong with Australia and Sunken City?


I liked Sunken City. It's fun, and has a nice level of player screwage. I enjoyed it when I played it. I am still unsure why it had such lackluster reviews.


Quote:
I've read the rules to Australia and while it's no Tikal, it sounds like fun. Beautiful production and a nice middleweight Kramer game is what I'm looking for....is Australia a bad choice?


Australia was not a bad Kramer, just not the most interesting I found. I would still play Java or Tikal over Australia. Just not as exciting.

Another one that I would recommend as a good middleweight, that has also gotten lukewarm response, is Tower of Babel. I really enjoyed it, moreso than Australia.

Marco Polo is a fun game, a little quick, and not a lot of substance, but makes for a good starter. Instead of Marco Polo, I would suggest Around the World in 80 Days.

meeple


 
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Kane Klenko
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I have Torres and think it's great. I think I'd love Java, but I don't know that it would get played much, so I'm holding off on that one.

I'm leaning towards Mexica or Australia. I know Mexica is a little heavier, but these 2 both look interesting to me.

Instead of the usual "which should I buy" question, I thought I'd open it up a bit more and get opinions on why certain light games are accepted and other are not, even if the non-accepted ones aren't necessarily bad games.
 
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Kane Klenko
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I am very interested in Tower of Babel.

I think it's the colorful box cover and map that draws me to Australia. I can't help it. Nice artwork catches my attention.

Oh look, shiny things.....
 
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Ray
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Last year I too noticed the lukewarm opinion for his newer games and made a geeklist to ask the same questions you did (I have to update it):

Kramer Sinking?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...

I'm a huge fan of Kramer and thus spend a lot of time defending his games against those who don't like them. What I've seen that many folks don't care for:

o His games have a good amount of hidden information in them (chaos)
o His games have a good amount of randomness in them (I don't call it luck because I believe good players use their skill in a game to mitigate luck while bad player simply trust to luck and then complain when it fails them)
o His games have a good amount of player interaction allowing for 'attack the leader' and even kingmaking. It can be frustrating when one player doesn't know what they are doing and does not know who is winning and ends up giving the game to another player. On the plus side such games are rich in that when everyone plays them many times and builds the ability to recognize the leader they can be a tight contest. So not only do you need to get the highest end game score, but you have to look for ways to do it that mislead the other players as to your potential and that can't be easily countered (many games are needed to get there!)
o He has many fans of Princes of Florence (a game that has some very solvable expected value calculations or puzzles) who are disappointed that they can't find the many simple math equations in his newer games.

Oh one other even lighter game you might want to look at is Vampire. Looks like a kids game but if you make a serious study of the decks you'll see that the vampires move in certain patterns (e.g. row 2 and 3 never move at the same time but rows 2 and 4 almost always move at the same time) and count card you can do quite good. (My teenage kids have rarely beaten me).

Good luck with what ever game you go for. Just make sure to really study it's subtlety and not write it of as 'light'.
 
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Tom "Snicker Daddy" Pancoast
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If you are interested in trying a really light K&K game, take a look at Verflixxt!:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/17240

It is to roll and move games what Cartegena is to Candyland. Well, there is still a lot of luck in Verflixxt!, but the comparison should give you an idea what it is like. You can try it on BSW (http://brettspielwelt.com & http://brettspielwelt.info).
 
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Kane Klenko
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Yup, I've tried Verflixxt on BSW. I like it, but it's not what I'm looking for right now. We'll see how it's priced when the Rio Grande version is released.
 
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