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Subject: Boxfresh Review rss

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James King
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All it took for me to back this game on Kickstarter was the video of the Nuremberg 2012 demo. I really like Tokyo, am interested in playing more games with a history angle, and the worker placement mechanic looked quite fresh.

When this game arrived I tore off the shrink, lifted open the box, and took in that fresh game smell that I so love.

So after the very first play through with 2 players how is it you ask?

Components

The quality is very high here. The chits are well pressed that they practically fall out of the sheets on their own. I experienced absolutely no tearing punching these guys out. The finish on them is a fantastic matte canvas and the board is thick and heavy. These are the best chits in any game I own.

You also get a lot of wood bits! You get little brown wooden timbers, grey stone cubes for stone, and round cylinders for rice. There are also a plethora of bits for all the little samurai, houses, and so on. I didn't notice any mis-paints in my copy. One thing I did notice though was that the size of the samurai meeples and the fortresses kind of make them look more like... wobbly bits of wood than what their silhouettes suggest in the rule book. However all the edges are really fine and straight too which really reinforces the quality of all the pieces in this kit.

The box is also quite sturdy and provides ample room. Like most games however the insert is minimal and doesn't assist with organization at all. They do give you enough baggies which is a nice consolation, but you'll be spending a lot of time separating out the bits when settings this bad boy up. This is probably the first game where I'd suggest some sort of plano-box solution as being necessary.

The rule books are rather short, dense, and straight forward. I found the layout rather dense and confusing. Thankfully they include a nice little quick reference that comes in handy while playing the game for the first time.

This game has some of the highest quality components I've seen. I would consider myself a fan of Green Games now. Panda is nice, but I think these guys have the edge with this one.

Overview

The game is played over several rounds which are split up into phases. Pretty standard fare for a lot of games.

The phases are:

1. Select orders and assign officials. You start with a hand of three square cards that have four different actions listed on them. You pick three of them and assign some workers to carry them out. Some of these actions can be carried out multiple times by assigning more workers to them.

2. Perform actions. In turn order starting with the first player you will reveal one of your actions in the order that you placed them on your board. This is easily the most confusing part of the game in the first trip through so it's a good thing that there's a light-weight reference sheet with all of the actions listed on it.

3. Pay out wages and collect income. In order to keep units on the board you have to feed them some rice. Anyone you can't feed goes back in front of you. Then you look at each city and determine how much money you get from it. You get money from cities you build in and profits are distributed in descending order starting with who built the most. Ties are broken by the order in which buildings were built.

4. Check if the game over condition has been reached. If it hasn't you set up for the next round. Otherwise the game stops and everyone totals their extra bonus points for things like units on the board and the amount of money they currently have.

Along the way you'll be building buildings to get points, collecting resources to build those buildings, and out-foxing your opponents to get an edge.

Impressions

When you open this box prepared to feel a little overwhelmed. There are two things that contribute to this. The first of which is the heavy use of icons. Until you are familiar with the visual language you'll be referring to the rules book and reference chart a lot and that's because the meat of this game is in the number of actions and they all use icons. It's really intuitive once you get used to it and if you've played a lot of icon-heavy games then it might not bother you at all. The second thing that might make you sit back with a blank stare on your face are the sheer number of actions. This is a game that will require a number of play-throughs before the strategy of it will reveal itself. This isn't a bad thing and it actually made me excited to play this game again. It just made the first game really confusing. We were really unsure whether we were doing it right or not.

By the later half of the game we started getting into the rhythm of the phases and reached a sense of what actions to choose in order to achieve our goals in the game. A few things still didn't quite sink in like the importance of the extra action cards and it took us a while to realize how powerful extra officials from the community supply can be. However at this time the beauty of this game also started to sink in and I head my partner say that he thought it was, "rather clever." I think so too.

And so I definitely look into spending more time with this game. The initial challenge of learning it is a rather steep and I think it could be alleviated with a little addendum to the rulebook with an example session of an imaginary round or two. This doesn't really harm the game in my opinion as I'm sure several video tutorials will be available shortly. The combinations of actions, the simultaneous and secret selection, combined with the worker-placement mechanics definitely make this a deep but light game. I would recommend it as the main course for a euro-game night with a group of friends who enjoy challenging economic competition.

Thanks for reading! Cheers.
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Rae
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Your view are similar to my own, although have only played as 2player, but hopefully will hit the table tonight for a 4player.

Queen games seem to be standardising the box inserts as it the same as kingdom builder and the nomads expansion.

The action combination is tricky, first play through we ignored the merchant however he is necessary as seen in our 2nd game. At least by end of 2nd game we had fully learnt the symbols making life easier.
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Scholle
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I don't mind the simplified box insert because I use ziplock bags anyway - not that I received any in my copy.

I think they did a very clear job with the symbols. We only referred to the sheet to confirm our assumptions.

I dislike how Queen Games splits the rules between the setup sheet and the rule booklet, but apart from this the bits and pieces are all nicely done.

A very positive Kickstarter experience - posted when they said they would and arrived in Australia a week later. Can't do much better than that.
 
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Stefan Malz
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Scholle wrote:
I don't mind the simplified box insert because I use ziplock bags anyway - not that I received any in my copy.

There should have been 6 ziplock bags included (plus the one containing the wooden material) in Edo.

At least they were in all copies I know of (both multilingual and German edition).

Best regards
Stefan Malz
 
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P.D. Magnus
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malzspiele wrote:

There should have been 6 ziplock bags included (plus the one containing the wooden material) in Edo.


That's what I got in mine.

Also: I played for the first time last night and had lots of fun. I look forward to playing it again.
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Nick Case
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I'm not buying the need for a Plano box. Compared to games like Agricola, Sid M's Civ and Vinhos where a compartmented box is essential for the 100's of bits, Edo just needs half a dozen bags
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David B
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
I'm not buying the need for a Plano box. Compared to games like Agricola, Sid M's Civ and Vinhos where a compartmented box is essential for the 100's of bits, Edo just needs half a dozen bags


But if the Plano box cuts the set up and take down time in half...go for it.
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Scholle
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malzspiele wrote:
Scholle wrote:
I don't mind the simplified box insert because I use ziplock bags anyway - not that I received any in my copy.

There should have been 6 ziplock bags included (plus the one containing the wooden material) in Edo.

At least they were in all copies I know of (both multilingual and German edition).

Best regards
Stefan Malz


Nope, none in mine, but I seem to have got all the other bits and pieces in the right amounts, so I'm happy. Very pleased with my Kickstarter experience.

I only received the English rules in my copy. Is that correct?
 
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Stefan Malz
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Scholle wrote:
I only received the English rules in my copy. Is that correct?

Can't tell - my non-German copies did too, so it seems to be normal.

If you require another language, please contact Queen Games directly - I'm sure they can send you another language.

Best regards
Stefan Malz
 
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Thomas Büttner-Zimmermann
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pfctsqr wrote:
Big Bad Lex wrote:
I'm not buying the need for a Plano box. Compared to games like Agricola, Sid M's Civ and Vinhos where a compartmented box is essential for the 100's of bits, Edo just needs half a dozen bags


But if the Plano box cuts the set up and take down time in half...go for it.

Well, but if I need 2 minutes or 1 minute to set up...?
I use ONE Bag with all wooden components - they are sorted out very fast, since everything in a color is taken by a player, and all other components are easily distinguished by shape & (non)color...
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Matthew Berends
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Have not yet opened my Edo game (Hopefully play it this weekend).

However, I brought Arena: Roma 2 over to a friends house earlier tonight to play.
When I opened the box the cardboard components were missing.
Just contained 3 sets of rules, 7 die and a pack of cards (I checked under the insert).

I sent a message via the website so hopefully have missing parts soon.

Wish it was only baggies I was missing.
 
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Fire Lord
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goblin.77 wrote:
When I opened the box the cardboard components were missing.
Just contained 3 sets of rules, 7 die and a pack of cards (I checked under the insert).

There was a separate plastic bag containing the cardboard frames in the shipping box I received from Queen. There was also a sheet of paper explaining the mistake.
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James King
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
I'm not buying the need for a Plano box. Compared to games like Agricola, Sid M's Civ and Vinhos where a compartmented box is essential for the 100's of bits, Edo just needs half a dozen bags


I have Sid M's Civ and it too has tempted me to getting plano boxes for it. I might play it more often if I did have them. I have to know ahead of time if my group is going to be playing that game so that I can have a good 30 - 40 minutes to set it up before everyone comes over.

I think Edo might fall into that same category. The chits for the profit charts, the money, and the sheer number of wooden bits: they're all so similar and need to be separated out. If you keep like pieces in a bag this can be problematic... and separating them all out into individual bags would mean stuffing this poor box with a lot of extra bags.

Plano's just seem more efficient.
 
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David B
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j_king wrote:
Big Bad Lex wrote:
I'm not buying the need for a Plano box. Compared to games like Agricola, Sid M's Civ and Vinhos where a compartmented box is essential for the 100's of bits, Edo just needs half a dozen bags


I have Sid M's Civ and it too has tempted me to getting plano boxes for it. I might play it more often if I did have them. I have to know ahead of time if my group is going to be playing that game so that I can have a good 30 - 40 minutes to set it up before everyone comes over.

I think Edo might fall into that same category. The chits for the profit charts, the money, and the sheer number of wooden bits: they're all so similar and need to be separated out. If you keep like pieces in a bag this can be problematic... and separating them all out into individual bags would mean stuffing this poor box with a lot of extra bags.

Plano's just seem more efficient.


A Plano box has made a world of difference in my Puerto Rico game. I used to hate setting that game up, especially counting out the appropraite number of colonists and victory points which vary according to the number of players. In the Plano, I keep exactly 50 colonits in 2 seperate spots and the victory points are seperated (75 in one spot the rest in another). Now I dont mind setting it up at all.
 
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Nick Case
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j_king wrote:
[q="Big Bad Lex"]

I think Edo might fall into that same category. The chits for the profit charts, the money, and the sheer number of wooden bits: they're all so similar and need to be separated out. If you keep like pieces in a bag this can be problematic... and separating them all out into individual bags would mean stuffing this poor box with a lot of extra bags.

Plano's just seem more efficient.


The box is perfectly capable of taking a few bags, its the silly insert that reduces the space. 99% of all games can have their componants stored very efficiently if you ditch the unnecessary insert and invest in a few ziploks.
 
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Stefan Malz
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j_king wrote:
I think Edo might fall into that same category. The chits for the profit charts, the money, and the sheer number of wooden bits: they're all so similar and need to be separated out.

Hi James,

The setup time of Edo is nowhere near that of Civilization. I currently store the material as follows in the 7 ziplock bags includes:

- Each player's material (3 authorization cards, overview card, 20 Ryo and 3 rice starting supply, all wooden material in player color) in one bag (a total of 4 bags).

- The remaining money, the fortresses and the officials in one bag (they all need to be placed onto the supply spaces on the plan, so this is usually done by one player during setup).

- All resources and the "5x" tiles in one bag (they are simply dumped in a pile next to the plan on the table - no need to sort them).

- All remaining cardboard tiles (profit tiles, merchant cards, special authorization cards, cover tiles) in the final bag, they are all sorted and placed by a second player.

Once everybody knows where what material belongs to, the setup it a matter of 1-2 minutes.

Best regards
Stefan Malz
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James King
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malzspiele wrote:
j_king wrote:
I think Edo might fall into that same category. The chits for the profit charts, the money, and the sheer number of wooden bits: they're all so similar and need to be separated out.

Hi James,

The setup time of Edo is nowhere near that of Civilization. I currently store the material as follows in the 7 ziplock bags includes:

- Each player's material (3 authorization cards, overview card, 20 Ryo and 3 rice starting supply, all wooden material in player color) in one bag (a total of 4 bags).

- The remaining money, the fortresses and the officials in one bag (they all need to be placed onto the supply spaces on the plan, so this is usually done by one player during setup).

- All resources and the "5x" tiles in one bag (they are simply dumped in a pile next to the plan on the table - no need to sort them).

- All remaining cardboard tiles (profit tiles, merchant cards, special authorization cards, cover tiles) in the final bag, they are all sorted and placed by a second player.

Once everybody knows where what material belongs to, the setup it a matter of 1-2 minutes.

Best regards
Stefan Malz


That seems more reasonable that the setup I've got. I will try it out.

Great game none the less!

My office usually gets together on Fridays and plays boardgames. I'm looking forward to bringing this one out. I think everyone will like it.
 
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Matthew Berends
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roseundy wrote:
goblin.77 wrote:
When I opened the box the cardboard components were missing.
Just contained 3 sets of rules, 7 die and a pack of cards (I checked under the insert).

There was a separate plastic bag containing the cardboard frames in the shipping box I received from Queen. There was also a sheet of paper explaining the mistake.


Will look again when I get home.I did get a separate plastic bag, but the parts looked like they belonged to Edo.
Might need to pull the box out of the recycling to double check.
Also wondering what to do with the poster.
 
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Fire Lord
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goblin.77 wrote:
I did get a separate plastic bag, but the parts looked like they belonged to Edo.

Check again.
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Matthew Berends
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roseundy wrote:
goblin.77 wrote:
I did get a separate plastic bag, but the parts looked like they belonged to Edo.

Check again.


Definitely missing.
Even went through recycling for a second look in the packaging.

No response yet from the web enquiry I made.
 
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Doug Adams
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Scholle wrote:
malzspiele wrote:
Scholle wrote:
I don't mind the simplified box insert because I use ziplock bags anyway - not that I received any in my copy.

There should have been 6 ziplock bags included (plus the one containing the wooden material) in Edo.

At least they were in all copies I know of (both multilingual and German edition).

Best regards
Stefan Malz


Nope, none in mine, but I seem to have got all the other bits and pieces in the right amounts, so I'm happy. Very pleased with my Kickstarter experience.

I only received the English rules in my copy. Is that correct?


Hey Lindsay, mine finally turned up (FedEx had it for a week before they told me they don't ship to PO boxes). Several different language rule sets in mine, as well as baggies.

I gave my Roma II to a work colleague.... the missing bits post now has me worried. I'll get him to check it out.

Edo looks glorious. Second best KS experience so far, behind Glory To Rome (which is so bad it's actually entertaining).

Edit: nice review, too!
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Matthew Berends
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KissaTaikuri wrote:
goblin.77 wrote:
roseundy wrote:
goblin.77 wrote:
I did get a separate plastic bag, but the parts looked like they belonged to Edo.

Check again.


Definitely missing.
Even went through recycling for a second look in the packaging.

No response yet from the web enquiry I made.


So what was in the separate plastic bag? Was it the 2 tile edo promo?


Yes the separate plastic bag was the Edo Promo.

Edit: Should mention, I got an email saying they are sending missing parts.
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