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Subject: What would you suggest instead of Caylus? rss

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Alessandro Maggi
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I was just asking myself... since I played Caylus at a friend's place the other day, I totally fell in love with it. Now this is very odd of me, since I really don't like the look of it at all, and "look" and art style has often driven my interest (coupled with mechanics and gameplay, of course), and so I started to wonder... which games would you pick if you wanted an experience like Caylus without getting Caylus?

I'll probably end up buying Caylus too once the reprint is out, but I'm also interested in a second comparable title to play with the aforementioned friend that introduced me to Caylus (and to worker-placement games in general).

I should warn you that Agricola is momentarily out of question too, because this friend of mine owns it as well.

Some titles I've found recently that could scratch a similar itch are:
- The Manhattan Project
- Vinhos (maybe overcomplicated?)
- Lords of Waterdeep (maybe too light?)
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David Debien
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For a worker placement game with a completely different theme and feel, try Dungeon Lords.

Lords of Waterdeep is very derivative of Caylus, yet is simple to teach and plays fast. It sees considerably more play than Caylus because of this.
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Ian Klinck
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Homesteaders and Belfort both have some of that "Caylus vibe" for me.
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Scott Nelson
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Caylus Magna Carta
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Chris Wood
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Carson City has a Caylus action track.
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Nate Milbrath
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Vinhos is not overly complicated. I actually found it extremely easy to understand and had VERY few rule questions. It's an awesome game, but I don't feel it captures the same feel as Caylus. It's probably the closest though of all the suggestions.

I've heard Le Havre is a mix between Agricola and Caylus. I just ordered a copy so I can't comment on whether or not it is.

I haven't played Lords of Waterdeep, but I've heard it's kind of like Caylus lite if that helps any.
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Kevin Garnica
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+1

Homesteaders
Carson City
Belfort
Lords of Waterdeep
Caylus Magna Carta
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Curt Carpenter
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Dominant Species (3-5p)
Le Havre (2-3p)
Agricola (2-4p)
Luna (if you can find it)
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Tim Seitz
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ZephonSoul wrote:
Some titles I've found recently that could scratch a similar itch are:
- The Manhattan Project

This feels very Caylus-y, and I mentioned so in my review. There is a dual card draft, which offers some variability, but most of the action is like Caylus and there is essentially very little luck.
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sechzger
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Ora et Labora is an option, too.
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Rob Steward
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Definitely Florenza.

Like Caylus, you produce resources and build buildings which other players can use (but they have to pay you). There are also more major projects to complete for other bonuses (somewhat similar to favors).

And Florenza is beautiful while Caylus is, Caylus.

Other possibilities... Vinhos is really good, but not very similar to Caylus. Ora et Labora might work (or Le Havre).

Cuba? Constantinopolis?
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Adam Kazimierczak
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It's a little unclear whether you want something very like Caylus or just another solid game with a similar level of complexity. I think Dominant Species is a great choice as far as deep strategic games go, but it has much more direct conflict than Caylus. I like Lords of Waterdeep but strongly recommend against it if you already have a group that plays Caylus (it would feel samey).

If you like the hard choices of Agricola and Caylus then their euro cousin Puerto Rico Deluxe may be good fit. I recommend the Anniversary Edition because it comes with the expansions and some cool bits.

Of course if you could wait for it Ground Floor looks like it will satisfy that itch as well, but it's not out yet...

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Sicaria Occaeco
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Don't fight it. If you like Caylus then get and play Caylus. Sometimes you'll learn to like the art and style of a game or the game play can make up for the lack of beauty.
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Norman Hedden
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Sicaria wrote:
Don't fight it. If you like Caylus then get and play Caylus. Sometimes you'll learn to like the art and style of a game or the game play can make up for the lack of beauty.


What he said. There is always the limited edition. Nothing is close to Caylus. Nothing.
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William F.
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ZephonSoul wrote:

Some titles I've found recently that could scratch a similar itch are:
...
- Vinhos (maybe overcomplicated?)
...


I just want to say that Vinhos is an awesome game and if you are interested at all in the idea of having your own vineyard, definitely look closely at this one.
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Alessandro Maggi
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Thanks everyone for sharing your opinions! Seems like I'll have to check a lot of other games!
Will report back once I've gathered information on all of them:
- Dungeon Lords
- Homesteaders
- Caylus Magna Carta
- Carson City
- Belfort
- Dominant Species
- Florenza
- Cuba
- Constantinopolis
- Ground Floor

kaziam wrote:
It's a little unclear whether you want something very like Caylus or just another solid game with a similar level of complexity. I think Dominant Species is a great choice as far as deep strategic games go, but it has much more direct conflict than Caylus. I like Lords of Waterdeep but strongly recommend against it if you already have a group that plays Caylus (it would feel samey).

Well my question was intentionally a little "abstract", because I'm in a situation in which I host a stable group of gamers who wouldn't ever try something like Caylus (not because length or depth, but because they tend to like card game with very in-your-face elements), while with my girlfriend we visit this buddy and his gf every month and we have a couple of games which are usually light filler + medium/heavy euro. Because I wasn't too fond of eurogames I didn't feel the need to make my group try any as I could get my fix with this buddy of mine, who owns a fair share of the top ranked ones... but as I said, Caylus blew up my plans and I didn't really saw that coming!

Dominant Species suffers from the same problem of Caylus before playing it, only by a much much larger magnitude: I can't stand the look of it! I know it sounds shallow, but I have friends that are even worse than me on this point and I wouldn't ever be able to make them try it. I hope the reprint will fix this game for my group as well.

kaziam wrote:
If you like the hard choices of Agricola and Caylus then their euro cousin Puerto Rico Deluxe may be good fit. I recommend the Anniversary Edition because it comes with the expansions and some cool bits.

Of course if you could wait for it Ground Floor looks like it will satisfy that itch as well, but it's not out yet...

Didn't hear about Ground Floor, will surely check that out. PR is already owned by my buddy and my first game with it didn't really thrill me: I felt like I was just trying to maximize my position and minimize opponents' benefits, while in Caylus every move was more focused on what I want to do next and what I want to prevent the others from doing (seems like the same thing, but in once case I felt "played" and in the other I was "playing").

out4blood wrote:
ZephonSoul wrote:
Some titles I've found recently that could scratch a similar itch are:
- The Manhattan Project

This feels very Caylus-y, and I mentioned so in my review. There is a dual card draft, which offers some variability, but most of the action is like Caylus and there is essentially very little luck.

Heard that in more than a single review, and by the looks of the rules I agree that luck is low. At first I was a bit skeptical because you have the possibility to build lots of private buildings, but since there are spies and bombardments thrown in to disrupt private strategies that could balance them out. I'd really like to try this one out myself, it seems the most promising among my original findings.

Normandy wrote:
Sicaria wrote:
Don't fight it. If you like Caylus then get and play Caylus. Sometimes you'll learn to like the art and style of a game or the game play can make up for the lack of beauty.


What he said. There is always the limited edition. Nothing is close to Caylus. Nothing.

Probably very much so. The more I look into other similar games, the more I think "wow! That's cool! But... well in Caylus the turn order mechanism is more solid... in Caylus you have different viable ways of achieving VPs... a bit of randomness is not bad, but how cool is that Caylus manages to be so engaging with zero luck!" and so on...
Yes, as I said I definitely want Caylus and I'll buy it sooner than later, I was just trying to find another game to play with my friend who already owns Caylus and that could possibly have a wider appeal to introduce to my gaming group.

On a side note, I also had the opportunity to try Vasco da Gama, and while it has some nice ideas (and colorful art) it didn't really felt that rewarding and maybe too "polite" (I loved screwing/being screwed in Caylus).
 
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Simon Webster
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I'm a fan of Caylus too.
There is one worker placement I like better - Dominant Species.

Honestly, if you like some 'screwage' in your worker placement, there's no better game (For me and my group at least).

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