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Subject: Hansa vs Valdora rss

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Ender Wiggins
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Which do you prefer and why: Hansa or Valdora? Any thoughts on how they compare, and which of these two Michael Schacht games is better?
 
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Daniel Kearns
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Hooo, have to say, I like them both.

Valdora feel lighter and/or Hansa feels a bit more competitive/stressful.

Hansa is really nice for 2 players, if that helps.
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Lacombe
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Hansa is way more interesting.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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I prefer Hansa by a wide margin. To me, Valdora made such enormous efforts to be balanced that it seemed my decisions didn't really matter (or were overwhelmed by random noise in the game.) Whereas with Hansa, especially when played by 2 players, you have important decisions (and the game plays differently from one game to the next depending on how you decide.)
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Ender Wiggins
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dkearns wrote:
Hansa is really nice for 2 players, if that helps.

My impression seems to be that Hansa is better with 2, Valdora is better with 3 or more, would that be right?

NateStraight wrote:
Hansa is way more interesting.

Thanks Nate, would you care to elaborate on the way in which this might be so?

Eric Brosius wrote:
I prefer Hansa by a wide margin. To me, Valdora made such enormous efforts to be balanced that it seemed my decisions didn't really matter (or were overwhelmed by random noise in the game.)

Interestingly both games currently have exactly the same average rating (6.98); any guesses as to why people might be rating Valdora as high as Hansa, given the above?
 
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Eric Brosius
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EndersGame wrote:
Interestingly both games currently have exactly the same average rating (6.98); any guesses as to why people might be rating Valdora as high as Hansa, given the above?


Hansa has roughly three times as many ratings as Valdora, so the two averages aren't really equivalent. But perhaps it's because Valdora is physically very attractive; any people who haven't actually played either game are likely to rate it higher.
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Lacombe
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EndersGame wrote:

NateStraight wrote:
Hansa is way more interesting.

Thanks Nate, would you care to elaborate on the way in which this might be so?


Valdora is linear. You get contracts, collect stuff to fill them, turn them in for points, and work to form similar sets of coompleted contracts to earn bonuses. The only way to interact with your opponents is to do things before they do. You can be neither aggressive nor defensive, there is no play.

Hansa is bumpy. You have to cannabalize work you've already done to continue to move forward in the game. Player interaction happens on multiple levels simultaneously, and encourages clever play and suboptimal moves so as not to set up your opponents for even bigger combos than you could have done.

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Eric Brosius
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I'll add that I'm a big fan of many Michael Schacht games (this may be relevant in understanding my opinions, even though I know he designed both games.)

So, for example, I rate:

Web of Power a '9' (BGG average is 7.37)
Paris Paris a '9' (BGG average is 6.23)
Coloretto an '8' (BGG average is 7.00)
Hansa an '8' (BGG average is 6.98)

But I don't like all of his games. I don't care for:

Zooloretto
Valdora
Fist of Dragonstones
Dschunke

It's hard for me to figure out what makes the difference for me.
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Daniel Kearns
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EndersGame wrote:
dkearns wrote:
Hansa is really nice for 2 players, if that helps.

My impression seems to be that Hansa is better with 2, Valdora is better with 3 or more, would that be right?


I'm not sure I've played Hansa with more than 2 and I'm not sure I would like it with more. The weird/cool forced asymmetry to the board movement I think could be annoying if my turns were less frequent than every other.

I'm not sure I've played Valdora with less than 4 and I'm not sure I would like it with less. There would be too much stuff on the board and too many open options diminishing tension.
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Tomello Visello
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NateStraight wrote:
Valdora is linear.

Hansa is bumpy. You have to cannabalize work you've already done ...

From just a limited exposure I think I would say it as Hansa is oblique.

(which is very definitely how I also think of, and appreciate, China and Patrician)

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Manuel Pasi
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Valdora is gorgeous to look at, but the gameplay soon feels very repetitive. Hansa seems quite easy and nice at first, but there's a viciousness underneath the surface. I would say Hansa by a wide margin for me as well...
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Ender Wiggins
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Thanks for all the great feedback so far. Would it be a fair assessment to suggest that Valdora is more likely to be well received in a family setting than Hansa, and that this might account for the fact that its average rating is at the same level as Hansa? Whereas Hansa is more likely to satisfy true gamers looking for more of a challenge and a real "game", something that Valdora is unable to provide?
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Ralph T
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It sounds like Africana is the game Schacht wanted Valdora wanted to be. What are your thoughts on Africana?
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Manuel Pasi
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EndersGame wrote:
Thanks for all the great feedback so far. Would it be a fair assessment to suggest that Valdora is more likely to be well received in a family setting than Hansa, and that this might account for the fact that its average rating is at the same level as Hansa? Whereas Hansa is more likely to satisfy true gamers looking for more of a challenge and a real "game", something that Valdora is unable to provide?


You could say that, but I feel that Hansa would be well received by families and casual gamers as well, since the rules are not overbearing and the game flows nicely.
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Eric Brosius
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EndersGame wrote:
Thanks for all the great feedback so far. Would it be a fair assessment to suggest that Valdora is more likely to be well received in a family setting than Hansa, and that this might account for the fact that its average rating is at the same level as Hansa? Whereas Hansa is more likely to satisfy true gamers looking for more of a challenge and a real "game", something that Valdora is unable to provide?


That's true in some ways, since Hansa can be quite cut-throat, and some families do not like that (as occasional bad experiences with Catan or Ticket to Ride demonstrate.) On the other hand, if your family doesn't mind games with that feature, it's a fine family game.
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Valdora looks nicer than it plays ... I traded mine away ...
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Daniel Kearns
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EndersGame wrote:
Thanks for all the great feedback so far. Would it be a fair assessment to suggest that Valdora is more likely to be well received in a family setting than Hansa, and that this might account for the fact that its average rating is at the same level as Hansa? Whereas Hansa is more likely to satisfy true gamers looking for more of a challenge and a real "game", something that Valdora is unable to provide?


I'd say you've got it.

Which are you thinking about getting?
 
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