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Subject: Next purchase rss

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I'm planning my first 2012 purchase. Options are Loyang or Ora et Labora. What u think I should buy?
Consider that
- I like playing solo
- I prefer Agricola to Le Havre
Thanks!
Poll
What is the best?
At the gates of Loyang
Ora et Labora
      119 answers
Poll created by james_bond
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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At the Gates of Loyang just has nothing to do with Agricola, Le Havre or Ora & Labora, despite the designer.

It is not about building an economy, but more about satisfying demands of customers. While the game itself is fun, and looks really nice (with all the veggiemeeples), it is not the game you are looking for, if you mention Agricola and Le Havre as reference...
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Richard Dewsbery
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I'm not too sure where I stand on At The Gates Of Loyang. It's not a bad game, yet in the last 18 months or so I don't recall having played it even once - it got several plays when first released, but since then the game hasn't drawn me back. I suspect that it's only "quite good", and those are the sort of games which struggle to get my attention once the initial newness has worn off.

Agricola and Le Havre have both been played much more often (if somewhat infrequently in the case of Le Havre, largely due to it's longer playing time). Yet I have already played Ora & Labora at least as often as I've played Le Havre, despite the fact that O&L takes the same sort of time and can only accommodate a maximum of 4 players.

What this means is open to debate - am I playing O&L simply because it is new, or because it is better than Le Havre and possibly as good as Agricola? Only time will tell, but right now I would rate it as being better than Le Havre, and not quite as good as Agricola (largely because I like the way Agricola plays well with both the full rules and cards, but also with the more straightforward "family" version; O&L has a "quickplay" variant, but no family version).

If I was tasked to buy no more than two of Uwe's resource-gathering games, I'd buy Agricola and Ora & Labora. Merkator I never cared for, and Loyang isn't anything like as good either IMO. It would be hard dropping Le Havre, but IMO Ora & Labora plays in a very similar manner but feels like a better game to me.
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Tadeu Zubaran
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Beware of the component issues [1] [2] [3] with O&L commented on the forum, they may or may not be a problem for you. The components are not on par with Le Havre or Agricola.
That said I think O&L is much more like Le Havre and Agriocla than Loyang.
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John Shepherd
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While Ora & Labora is a far superior game, there are no random factors... you'll play with the same set-up every time. I suspect this might be an issue with repeated solo play, and you'll likely find yourself falling into a fixed routine... or consider the game "solved" once you hit the target score of 500 points.

For this reason alone, I've voted for Loyang as the better choice; there's sufficient randomness to keep things interesting.

If, however, you're going to play solo *and* group games... Ora is the one to go for.
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Joshua Miller
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I voted for Loyang because you indicated that you like to play solo. It's a superb solo game. In fact, I think it's one of the rare cases where the solo version is better than the multiplayer version.

Note that I haven't played Ora et Labora yet. But I can't imagine its solo game would have the same shelf life as Loyang's.
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David Larkin
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Have played Ora et Labora once and am looking forward to playing it again. have held back on getting it so far because of the component issues, the main one for me being that you can't easily (as per Le Havre) see what the cards do as they are too small. This will probably be less of an issue as you get used to the game, and bigger cards would probably take up too much room on the table!

To me Layong is a 2 player game with 3/4 player mechanics added on. I wouln't get it if you want to play with more than 2
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Roger Fawcett
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I think Ora & Labora will be the better and more fulfilling solo game. I have not had a chance to play it solo yet, but I have played Le Havre and Agricola and Ora & Labora feels closest to Le Havre, and not at all like Loyang.

I have a suspicion that Ora & Labora lends itself to expansions slightly better therefore making it more replayable. For instance, there is only one building that can go on the water and yet you may develop several water spaces - space for more.

That's my take on it, but then I've got them both and enjoy them both.
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Geo
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tkzubaran wrote:
Beware of the component issues [1] [2] [3] with O&L commented on the forum, they may or may not be a problem for you. The components are not on par with Le Havre or Agricola.
That said I think O&L is much more like Le Havre and Agriocla than Loyang.


Wait for the 2nd printing. The components may get better if enough people complain about them.

I'm certainly not going to pay the high asking price to get this low quality, no matter how good the game may be. Let's hope that they will update it.

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Clyde W
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I plan on doing exactly that.
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Jonathan Harrison
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clydeiii wrote:
I plan on doing exactly that.

Mm-hmm. You're not the only one.
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Yep I think I'll wait... one thing that piss me off is a game with bad and/or damaged and/or lacking components.
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Steve Duff
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Given you like Agric over Le Havre, I'd go with Loyang. I found O&L gave me the exact same feeling as Le Havre when I played it. So much so, I don't feel the need to buy it, as I already own and love Le Havre.
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Andrew Foerster
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Given you like Agric over Le Havre, I'd go with Loyang. I found O&L gave me the exact same feeling as Le Havre when I played it. So much so, I don't feel the need to buy it, as I already own and love Le Havre.


Steve, did take issue with the components? I own, and love, Le Havre, but I did feel the need to acquire O&L (mostly because I probably wouldn't otherwise get to play it). There's a lot of talk about flimsy components and, while I love nice thick cardboard as much as the next guy, I think it's often overblown. Alea games, for example (Burgen von Burgund, Puerto Rico) work perfectly fine for me.
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Justin Dee
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andrewfoerster wrote:
There's a lot of talk about flimsy components and, while I love nice thick cardboard as much as the next guy, I think it's often overblown. Alea games, for example (Burgen von Burgund, Puerto Rico) work perfectly fine for me.


I have to agree with you here; while the miscut cardboard pieces were annoying, they've now been more or less fixed, and the component quality of the rest of the game really is perfectly fine for actual games. It seems to me that people here have been going round and round getting themselves worked up about it (some without even having ever played it), and when you get down to it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the game as it is. In fact, were all the terrain pieces printed on thick cardboard like Agricola, the game would be SO HEAVY. Personally I have no real problems with the actual game pieces, and it's a super game, lots of deep thought and decisions and planning. Don't let negative hype drive you away.
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Steve Duff
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I don't have any issues with either BvB or O&L components.
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Andrew Foerster
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
I don't have any issues with either BvB or O&L components.


Thanks Steve. Voice of reason. It's odd to see so much froth generated over components that are perfectly fine when, I feel, the thing should be the gameplay!
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Richard Dewsbery
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The O&L rules are printed on pretty thin paper - no big deal, as you'll not refer to them much after your second game, but the paper is a much lower quality than that of the Agricola rule book.

The player aids are printed on the same really thin paper. Legitimate gripe, but fixed by laminating them.

Some tokens don't punch as cleanly as they might. For some customers, it's a legitimate gripe as their tokens have actually been mis-cut. For the majority, the tokens are still better - and punch out cleaner - than those from some well-known publishers.

That there are effectively 4 resource wheels (two, double-sided) but only two pointers (one needed per wheel) is a complete non-issue too. Easily worked around by not fully assembling the plastic axle each game. Slightly more on an issue is that I found rules to be a little obtuse as to how to deal with the assembly/disassembly of the wheels, but still really a non-issue.

The cardboard of the player boards and landscape cards is pretty thin - Descent character card thin. But the game would be very heavy and very expensive to have gone with anything else. Given that these components aren't shuffled or handled, another non-issue in my book.

So, it really comes down to the fact that Lookout skimped on the weight of the paper for the rules and player aids.
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