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Subject: First Impressions rss

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We got our first play of Ora in this weekend. This was a 2p game, so I really can't comment on it with more players. I'm sure to get flamed for this, but I was somewhat lukewarm on it with 2p. I would love to try it with more where it might really shine.

Unboxing was what you might expect. Terribly overpriced for what you get. Warped out of the box player mats. Magazine thin player aides. Two less resource wheels then they should have provided. Chits that you had to cut out and be satifisfied that at least you hadn't had to cut out 100 of them. Blech. I should be ashamed of myself for spending this much money on crap components. Even my husband who isn't a complete components whore like me was like "geez, this is horrible." But I knew that was what I was getting. I'm never looking at a Z-Man game again as being superior and worth the extra money though.

After the game, my husband's first comments were that it reminded him of a combination of Glen More and Le Havre. I don't think he's far off. The spatial component of the dwelling points is definitely one of the most interesting parts of the game to track.

The other things of note are cutting peat (and to some extent, cutting trees). It's hard (at least in a 2p) to get energy later in the game and there are some very interesting things to do with energy. The only other tension is stone, which is very unavailable for quite a long period, but I didn't feel like that added as much tension.

The wheel was interesting addition, but I felt like it didn't add all that much over Agricola.

All in all, I felt a bit disappointed with the game. I've read that this is going to replace Le Havre and Agricola. It's certainly a solid game, but for a 2p game, it's never going to replace either of those games for me. I didn't feel the stress of Le Havre or Agricola. Maybe it's the lack of an obligatory feeding phase, something that has been lauded about the game. I can see that it's a more forgiving game and how that might be very appealing. There are certainly days where I will want to pull this out for that reason and for the reason that I really like the spatial planning aspect.

I also really don't like the 2p end conditions. It just seemed like an exercise in who was going to pull the trigger to end it. I could see it going on and on. Blah. Why not just have it end after a set number of rounds. Why extend it until the last building is built? I wonder if I would like it better if we houseruled it to match the 3p end game. I may try that next game.

It is a neat (and solid) game that I am glad to have in my collection. I just don't think it's going to be in my top 20 years from now.

Edited for: This clearly didn't come through, but I do think this is a good game that I will play again (i.e., I did like it---I don't play games I hate). This is entitled first impressions, as it is just that and only that. First impressions after buying a game that I had very high expectations about. I wouldn't read more into it then that.


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Clyde W
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Hysterical.
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Chris Linneman
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About the components: Z-Man had nothing to do with it. This is Lookout's production, Z-Man is merely distributing it in North America. I am waiting for the 2nd edition, as some of the counters sheets missed a pass at the factory and weren't cut at the corners. They should fix this for the 2nd print run. They may improve the player boards (by making them thinner so they don't warp) and the player aids (by making them thicker).

Try the long 2p game; I believe it has a fixed ending. I know you might be loathe to try a longer version of a game you weren't a big fan of, but it might improve what you didn't like about it.

I don't think the game is meant to replace Agricola. Le Havre yes, as it's very similar but with a spatial element. I don't really see anything in Le Havre that isn't in O&L, so for me it's an improvement.
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Chris Linneman
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clydeiii wrote:
Hysterical.


Wrong thread?
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Loren Cadelinia
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Good review. The absence of obligatory feeding definitely makes gameplay feel more free compared to Agricola and Le Havre. I have a feeling, however, that the more I play, and the more familiar I become with the buildings and strategies, the more stress I will feel.

I think I'll be able to anticipate and prepare better for upcoming buildings, akin to anticipating family growth in Agricola and shipping line in Le Havre. There is definitely less stress overall. I enjoyed your review. Thank you.
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Loren Cadelinia
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QBert80 wrote:
Try the long 2p game; I believe it has a fixed ending. I know you might be loathe to try a longer version of a game you weren't a big fan of, but it might improve what you didn't like about it.


The long 2p game has a similar non-fixed ending, except it ends when there are no more than 3 buildings left in the open display.
 
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dyepbr wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
Try the long 2p game; I believe it has a fixed ending. I know you might be loathe to try a longer version of a game you weren't a big fan of, but it might improve what you didn't like about it.


The long 2p game has a similar non-fixed ending, except it ends when there are no more than 3 buildings left in the open display.


My bad. It must have been the 3p game I was thinking of, then.
 
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Tadeu Zubaran
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You my friend are obviously hysterical.
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QBert80 wrote:
About the components: Z-Man had nothing to do with it. This is Lookout's production, Z-Man is merely distributing it in North America. I am waiting for the 2nd edition, as some of the counters sheets missed a pass at the factory and weren't cut at the corners. They should fix this for the 2nd print run. They may improve the player boards (by making them thinner so they don't warp) and the player aids (by making them thicker).

Try the long 2p game; I believe it has a fixed ending. I know you might be loathe to try a longer version of a game you weren't a big fan of, but it might improve what you didn't like about it.

I don't think the game is meant to replace Agricola. Le Havre yes, as it's very similar but with a spatial element. I don't really see anything in Le Havre that isn't in O&L, so for me it's an improvement.


True, I shouldn't probably blame Z-Man for it. In any case, I knew that there were component issues going into it.

I said I was a bit lukewarm and disappointed in the game, but that's mainly in relation to the anticipation I had in buying the game. That's probably not fair to the game, but there you go. Plus, I read some reviews that implied it was better than Le Havre or at least as good. I do think it's a solid game that I will play again (sorry if that failed to come through above). I just don't think it's that good with 2p.
 
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QBert80 wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
Hysterical.


Wrong thread?


Nah, I think he's saying my first impressions are hysterical. I'll take his dismissive post over flame-a-thon.
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dyepbr wrote:
Good review. The absence of obligatory feeding definitely makes gameplay feel more free compared to Agricola and Le Havre. I have a feeling, however, that the more I play, and the more familiar I become with the buildings and strategies, the more stress I will feel.


I think that's a good point as well. This game may be one of those that I will like more as I play. And I will be playing it again.

Have you played the multiple player? I must admit I'm intrigued by the multiplayer game. I was thinking as we were playing that resources might be tighter with more, but then the wheel is numbered differently so I don't know.
 
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Jon Pessano
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dyepbr wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
Try the long 2p game; I believe it has a fixed ending. I know you might be loathe to try a longer version of a game you weren't a big fan of, but it might improve what you didn't like about it.


The long 2p game has a similar non-fixed ending, except it ends when there are no more than 3 buildings left in the open display.


I played the 2p game with my girlfriend and we just ended 7 turns after the D buildings came out

I guess for the long player game you will need more time so maybe we will try ending it after 14 turns or something

Thoughts?

Thx
jonpfl
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Jon Pessano
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she2 wrote:
dyepbr wrote:
Good review. The absence of obligatory feeding definitely makes gameplay feel more free compared to Agricola and Le Havre. I have a feeling, however, that the more I play, and the more familiar I become with the buildings and strategies, the more stress I will feel.


I think that's a good point as well. This game may be one of those that I will like more as I play. And I will be playing it again.

Have you played the multiple player? I must admit I'm intrigued by the multiplayer game. I was thinking as we were playing that resources might be tighter with more, but then the wheel is numbered differently so I don't know.


I felt I had a ton of resources in the 2 player game but that is only after 1 game

I am now teaching my girlfriend LH since she has never played

Thx
jonpfl
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dyepbr wrote:
I have a feeling, however, that the more I play, and the more familiar I become with the buildings and strategies, the more stress I will feel.

I think I'll be able to anticipate and prepare better for upcoming buildings, akin to anticipating family growth in Agricola and shipping line in Le Havre. There is definitely less stress overall. I enjoyed your review. Thank you.


This is how I felt upon my second play. The first play there was a bit of "I don't really know what I'm doing so I will just do this." Which is ultimately less stressful for me, because I have no idea how I am going to turn out at the end of the game and so don't worry as much about it. I worry more about learning the game and how it flows.

On the second play I had a better idea of what I was doing. I better understood where points come from, how to make luxury goods, how to place settlements for optimal scoring (and how to plan long term for that), and how much time I will likely have before the next settlement, etc.

Knowing how long I had before the next settlement phase was the big change from my first play and it was a much greater source of stress/tension in my second play since I now knew how many turns I had in which to accomplish a longer term goal.

Both of the games I have played are 2P games.
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Jon Pessano
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lorddillon wrote:
dyepbr wrote:
I have a feeling, however, that the more I play, and the more familiar I become with the buildings and strategies, the more stress I will feel.

I think I'll be able to anticipate and prepare better for upcoming buildings, akin to anticipating family growth in Agricola and shipping line in Le Havre. There is definitely less stress overall. I enjoyed your review. Thank you.


This is how I felt upon my second play. The first play there was a bit of "I don't really know what I'm doing so I will just do this." Which is ultimately less stressful for me, because I have no idea how I am going to turn out at the end of the game and so don't worry as much about it. I worry more about learning the game and how it flows.

On the second play I had a better idea of what I was doing. I better understood where points come from, how to make luxury goods, how to place settlements for optimal scoring (and how to plan long term for that), and how much time I will likely have before the next settlement, etc.

Knowing how long I had before the next settlement phase was the big change from my first play and it was a much greater source of stress/tension in my second play since I now knew how many turns I had in which to accomplish a longer term goal.

Both of the games I have played are 2P games.


I am curious how you played your 2P end game?

Did you play to a fixed ending or did you play until there were X buildings left (don't recall what it is)

Thx
jonpfl
 
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jonpfl wrote:
lorddillon wrote:
dyepbr wrote:
I have a feeling, however, that the more I play, and the more familiar I become with the buildings and strategies, the more stress I will feel.

I think I'll be able to anticipate and prepare better for upcoming buildings, akin to anticipating family growth in Agricola and shipping line in Le Havre. There is definitely less stress overall. I enjoyed your review. Thank you.


This is how I felt upon my second play. The first play there was a bit of "I don't really know what I'm doing so I will just do this." Which is ultimately less stressful for me, because I have no idea how I am going to turn out at the end of the game and so don't worry as much about it. I worry more about learning the game and how it flows.

On the second play I had a better idea of what I was doing. I better understood where points come from, how to make luxury goods, how to place settlements for optimal scoring (and how to plan long term for that), and how much time I will likely have before the next settlement, etc.

Knowing how long I had before the next settlement phase was the big change from my first play and it was a much greater source of stress/tension in my second play since I now knew how many turns I had in which to accomplish a longer term goal.

Both of the games I have played are 2P games.


I am curious how you played your 2P end game?

Did you play to a fixed ending or did you play until there were X buildings left (don't recall what it is)

Thx
jonpfl


We played it "rules as written" for the "short" 2P game.

That is, we used is all buildings without 3+ or 4 on them, and we played until there was only one building left on the table, then that round ends and the other player gets one more action.

It still took us a couple of hours for the "short" game, and we haven't had time to try the "long" 2P game yet.
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My wife and I used the house rule of a fixed ending. It was fine.
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youperguy wrote:
My wife and I used the house rule of a fixed ending. It was fine.


Good to know. Thanks!
 
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Jon Pessano
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youperguy wrote:
My wife and I used the house rule of a fixed ending. It was fine.


What was the house rule you used? 7 rounds after the D buildings came out?

Did you keep the 3+ cards in the game?

Thx
jonpfl
 
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My first play was similar to yours. I currently enjoy both Le Havre and Agricola more... a lot more. The interesting decision of selling your buildings in Le Havre adds a lot of choices that I enjoy.

I didn't like that there are 10ish (4 player game) buildings available to build at a time. It was a case of too many choices. I much prefer the 3 possible buildings in Le Havre. Also, I didn't enjoy the buildings being next to each player since it made it very difficult to know all the possible things I could do on a turn. In Le Havre we put the buildings in the middle of the table with a ownership marker on each. Sadly, you can't do this in O&L unless you make a duplicate of all of the cards (which could be neat). I expect this to get better with more plays (if my group is patient) but so far I'm not liking it.

A lot of points in O&L are from settlements and that isn't very interesting to me. It's fairly obvious how to place your settlements and in our games it was annoying more than anything. There really was 0 stress in my game. I found it very easy to get the food for a settlement. Even the later settlements it was easy to do... it was more of a choice, "do I want to focus my efforts to get this much food or should I choose the lesser settlement and do x instead". The lack of tension took away from the game a bit.

There's also an extra step in transforming goods into victory points in Le Havre. I don't like how a lot of O&L is just converting x resource into x VP. At least in Le Havre, if you made some steel you don't have the points yet. You have to bank them by shipping them out or buying a lux liner, etc.

So far, O&L is so similar to Le Havre that it makes me enjoy it a bit less because I like the way things are in Le Havre more and I don't enjoy the main thing O&L adds, the settlements.

I'm looking forward to playing again though. I want to see if it gets better since it seems like a game that will improve with repeated plays. Hopefully something will just click and I will see the light. Did people actually enjoy their first playing of this one?
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she2 wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
Hysterical.


Wrong thread?


Nah, I think he's saying my first impressions are hysterical. I'll take his dismissive post over flame-a-thon.
Wasn't doing that at all. I was referring to the post that claimed that anyone who dislikes the components is creating hysteria.
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Ryan M
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lorddillon wrote:
dyepbr wrote:
I have a feeling, however, that the more I play, and the more familiar I become with the buildings and strategies, the more stress I will feel.

I think I'll be able to anticipate and prepare better for upcoming buildings, akin to anticipating family growth in Agricola and shipping line in Le Havre. There is definitely less stress overall. I enjoyed your review. Thank you.


This is how I felt upon my second play. The first play there was a bit of "I don't really know what I'm doing so I will just do this." Which is ultimately less stressful for me, because I have no idea how I am going to turn out at the end of the game and so don't worry as much about it. I worry more about learning the game and how it flows.

On the second play I had a better idea of what I was doing. I better understood where points come from, how to make luxury goods, how to place settlements for optimal scoring (and how to plan long term for that), and how much time I will likely have before the next settlement, etc.

Knowing how long I had before the next settlement phase was the big change from my first play and it was a much greater source of stress/tension in my second play since I now knew how many turns I had in which to accomplish a longer term goal.

Both of the games I have played are 2P games.


I am in a similar boat and had a similar experience. I personally have no problems with the stress of feeding in Agricola or Le Havre, but I like the settlement phase in OeL as a change of pace. As you said, settlements are worth big points by the end game but can take some planning to make sure you have the best buildings possible as well as the most valuable settlements.

Also, I found that we didn't end up in a race to finish, or drag the game out as long as possible. It was more a question of, "Okay, we are getting close to the end, how can I try and get the most points as quickly as possible before the game ends. Should I try for the wonders? Buy another settlement? Should I just convert as many goods to points as possible? What do I think the other player(s) will do?"

I personally like this a lot but haven't played it enough yet to say I like it more or less than the other two games being compared. But if I had to I'd say it isn't quite Agricola level but I know it will get more play time than Le Havre.

So while I personally disagree with the review, it is still a good review.
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I agree, the 2 player game is ok to learn how the game works but not very satisfying at the end. I think you could just take on a few extra turns and end it like the normal 3 or 4 player game. Haven't tried it yet but will probably do that next time I play with 2. May be a better game with 3.
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clydeiii wrote:
she2 wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
Hysterical.


Wrong thread?


Nah, I think he's saying my first impressions are hysterical. I'll take his dismissive post over flame-a-thon.
Wasn't doing that at all. I was referring to the post that claimed that anyone who dislikes the components is creating hysteria.


Okay, thanks for clarifying. I haven't read all the posts in this section, but I think I see that one now.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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lorna wrote:
I agree, the 2 player game is ok to earn how the game works but not very satisfying at the end. I think you could just take on a few extra turns and end it like the normal 3 or 4 player game. Haven't tried it yet but will probably do that next time I play with 2. May be a better game with 3.


It is a much better game with three, in fact I think I like it with three the best.
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