I have never played this game but only read the rules.
It seems kind of mathy and very much on the dry side (normally something that cools my interest), but strangely, somehow I am still drawn towards the "salty ocean". Think it has much to do with the marvelous artwork.
I do have one concern though - the building abilities.
Are the buildings properly ballanced and equally attractive depending on your chosen strategy, or are there some buildings that are just must-haves while other are never used??
I hope for the first but seriously fear the last.
Would be glad to hear from anyone with some games of experience, as it will help me make up my mind whether to buy this title or not.
Andrius is Lietuvos
Last played: Steam: Great Britain, Eurorails, Kingdom Builder:Nomads
Thinking over my next move :)
Hi Martin, good question.
I played the game only once. As far as I remember, all buildings were used some time in the game. Yet, in a 4 player game, the winner and the player who came second were the ones who early invested into ship building. These buildings are pretty strong from my point of view. And leaving one of those to a single owner gives that player an early income and gives really significant advantage.
The Notre Dame was also a building were everyone tried to invest when there was an opportunity.
My opinion - the balance between buildings is pretty reasonable and similar to the other games I played. You can almost always identify that one building is stronger than other. I feel the same in Caylus or Le Havre (yet Rosenbergs design is more balanced from my point of view).
And yes, the game was pretty mathy. Playing the first game for 4 players including rules explanation took us around 4 hours (especially it dragged at the end when everybody started to calculate which move gives bigger benefit). Yet, I'm pretty sure that the second game should go significantly faster.
I gave the game 7.2. Not so dry to give it less
Would like to play it again, but there are quite a lot of games which I would prefer better
Greetings to Fyn dwellers from another shore of the salty Baltic sea
- Last edited Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:11 pm (Total Number of Edits: 6)
- Posted Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:06 pm
Maarten D. de Jong
Although my experience is very limited, I assume that the question is not readily answered, as I currently believe the true value of every building to be strongly influenced by the game's state: event tiles, action costs, turn order (and thus financial position), inventory, and market prices. A building that is strong in one game is probably weak in another. That also means that you don't get to play UaSO with a mindset of ‘Today I'm going for herring and the Notre Dame’ and expect to succeed. Strategies are evolving along with the game, and unless I miss my guess, it takes a while before you have a good feel for this.
In short: reading the rules does not prepare you adequately for how UaSO plays and handles.
You're only young once...but you can be immature the rest of your life!!!
I too have limited play, but will provide my thoughts.
I played it once at BGG.CON in November and it did happen to be late one evening that we started a 4 player game. I will also admit we had one player with serious analysis paralysis. Anyway, I thought the game was very dry. And as for the buildings being balanced, in our game the player that concentrated on Notre Dame won and won big. Once he started placing his bits there, we were all playing to catch up. We discussed this after the game and all believed you could probably win 90% of the time if you used that strategy. I don't know for sure, because as I said this was the only time I have played it. Whether it was the theme, the one player with AP, or what appeared to be unbalanced building, I left that evening with no desire to try it again. I try to never say never, so if the right people are at the table I may give it another try. However, I don't see it becoming a part of my game collection.
It depends very much on what happens during the game, sometimes a big depot and salt production can reap rewards, other times getting ahead in Notre dame is good.
The bonus to selling building reaps some good rewards if you fish a lot. Ship building is a good place since most everyone will build their other two ships during the game. Notre Dame is good for end game points, but you can lose out on selling fish. Depending on the event tiles, pirates is good (especially if you change the tiles, taking the first position in that building that negates bad fishing, which allows looking at further events cards and changing them if desired). Ship fixing is a no brainer if you have pirates or get damage. Salt production is really good, but warehouse is needed to keep them unless you send them into the ocean on multiple boats, so if you have a lot of salt production, big ship is good or warehouse advancement.
Overall, I believe there is enough different ways to play to make it have some good replayability, especially since event tiles change the costs and direction of game flow. The building to allow you to take an additional action would pay off in fishing so you beat others to selling fish.
In my last game, Notre Dame builders came in 2&3; winner was the best fisherman and got high salt production and warehouse. Bank was a no brainer for any player earning over 40 points and over 80 later. It caught one player who lost 9 points, bumping into the 40 barrier. Another player would've lost 5, but chose not to sell all his fish to not bump the barrier. Overall, again, I see that because there are enough building and stuff to do, the game doesn't go too long, and keeps you interested the whole time (minus waiting for others to pass).
I will not the second place was the player who controlled the events, and after taking the anti-pirates building, proceeded to make sure pirates hit us every time; he also had anti poor-fishing building, and didn't mind giving us that problem as well in the event tiles. But, he only got second place, so take that for what its worth.