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Subject: Carson City - a couple of questions to those who've played it rss

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Jake Fernandez
Philippines
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Hi everyone,

I'm trying to get a feel for this game. Reviews have been generally positive, but I'm trying to get a feel of the game beyond its components and mechanics.

What is the general feel of the game?
Is it scarcity of actions? Is it anxiety over being screwed over? Is it a puzzle in your mind that needs to be solved?

Which game does this remind you most of?
Mechanics do not need to be similar, just the general feel of the game.

What is the table banter like (or lack thereof)?
Do you feel like this was an atmosphere created by the game or just normal in your game group?

What are the central decisions in the game like?
Are you constantly watching out for your opponents or doing your own thing? What are your main concerns in this game?

Are the rules intuitive? What mechanic/concept is most difficult to explain?
Have you ever had trouble explaining the game? Are the rules disjointed that it is difficult to create an analogy that makes sense? Do you feel that there plenty of things that you need to remember?

What's the best thing going for this game? What's the worst thing? (You have to pick!)
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James Fehr
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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Hi there! Follow my gaming exploits on Twitter (fehrmeister)
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What is the general feel of the game?
I would say it's trying to solve a puzzle of how to get money and then how to spend it wisely to get points - including placing buildings on the most efficient spots on the map - all while under threat of having another player duel you for the right to take an action you wanted to.

Which game does this remind you most of?
This game has some striking similarities to Caylus, but is different enough that it still deserves its own place in my collection. While I slightly prefer Caylus, there is a lot that's different in this game that I like:
- It's about half the length of Caylus
- There's a strong spatial element as Carson City is built up from a small hamlet to a thriving western city as tiles are laid down throughout the game. Deciding where tiles are placed is hugely important.
- There's significant luck in this game, which I actually like, especially combined with the fact that it can be easily mitigated. There are enough spots where dice comes into play that there's a good chance it will balance itself out, making luck less of a factor rather than more.
- The added interaction of the duels is pretty cool. I like an extra helping of direct conflict in my euros.
- The game is saturated in theme.

What is the table banter like?
People will likely start threatening each other in their cowboy voices, and it can get mighty fierce!

What are the central decisions in the game like?
The game is very interactive so you're always watching to see what actions others are taking and trying to figure out if your opponents will challenge you for certain actions. The main choices have to do with how to get money most efficiently, how to get the biggest bang for your buck, and how to ensure that the most important actions you decide to take won't get taken away from you by your opponents.

Are the rules intuitive?
There are a moderate amount of things you have to remember, but the rules actually aren't that long, and I think the game is easier to play than it seems at first glance. I would say the rules are very comparable to something like Puerto Rico or Tigris & Euphrates. And you can always listen to the great How to Play podcast episode where Ryan Sturm explains the rules very clearly and eloquently: Episode 37 – Carson City

What's the best thing going for this game? What's the worst thing? (You have to pick!)
The best thing in my opinion is the heavy, direct player interaction in a strongly themed Euro. I really don't have anything negative to say about it except that the amount of luck in it may be a bit too much for some heavy-strategy game fans. I heartily recommend this game and rate it a 9/10.
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Michael Mesich
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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fehrmeister wrote:
I really don't have anything negative to say about it except that the amount of luck in it may be a bit too much for some heavy-strategy game fans.


Is this luck factor coming from NOT using the Might is Right "variant?" I think balancing fire-power vs starting money is precisely the way to go.

Using this, I don't see where there's much luck outside of how the Indian always seems to give away my Mine Mountains to other players! *shake fist*
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Jake Fernandez
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Thank you for the excellent reply! I am very much considering this game. You mention Caylus. I already have another game that plenty people compare to Caylus -- Lords of Waterdeep. Would you say it plays similarly to LoW as well?

Also, how crucial is dueling in this game? Do you find dueling a crucial part of strategy in order to win, or is it something you can ignore? How set back is the person who loses the duel (whether he was the challenger or person who was challenged)? Is the game flexible enough that it allows you to come back from these losses and swings in randomness?
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Scott Wheelock
Canada
Woodstock
New Brunswick
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David Malki drew this!
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dyeyk2000 wrote:
Thank you for the excellent reply! I am very much considering this game. You mention Caylus. I already have another game that plenty people compare to Caylus -- Lords of Waterdeep. Would you say it plays similarly to LoW as well?


No. The main difference, for me, is that in LoW, you pretty much always have enough agents to accomplish your goals. In CC (and maybe this is because I haven't played enough, and still don't really know what I'm doing), I feel like I never have enough cowboys and/or money to accomplish my goals. The main factor is that there are so many action spaces & so many parcels of land, and none of them ever get 'taken' by other players, since you can always pick a fight.

Quote:
Also, how crucial is dueling in this game? Do you find dueling a crucial part of strategy in order to win, or is it something you can ignore? How set back is the person who loses the duel (whether he was the challenger or person who was challenged)? Is the game flexible enough that it allows you to come back from these losses and swings in randomness?


I think it's definitely important on the money-to-points spaces, and probably on the rest. I haven't seen much robbery. To be honest, I haven't played enough to figure it out yet.
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Andrew MacLeod
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And when, exactly, are we playing Churchill again?
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dyeyk2000 wrote:
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to get a feel for this game. Reviews have been generally positive, but I'm trying to get a feel of the game beyond its components and mechanics.

What is the general feel of the game?

I'm generally distressed over how much there is to do, and how few cowpokes I've got to do it with. To a lesser extent, I'm worried about what gun-power those varmints are armed with.

dyeyk2000 wrote:
Which game does this remind you most of?

It reminds me of a ton of worker placement games, but with excellent theme, and a way to get out of someone else taking your spot. Dry, it ain't.


dyeyk2000 wrote:
Are the rules intuitive? What mechanic/concept is most difficult to explain?
Have you ever had trouble explaining the game? Are the rules disjointed that it is difficult to create an analogy that makes sense? Do you feel that there plenty of things that you need to remember?

There are most definitely a lot of things to remember, mainly in what the rewards are for most of the potential properties.

dyeyk2000 wrote:
What's the best thing going for this game? What's the worst thing? (You have to pick!)

[Pace to those above with whom I disagree] The fact that this is a worker placement game with an element of uncertainty (some may prefer to regard it as "luck") is, by far, the best element of the game. It is the duels (or potential for them!) that keep things interesting.
The worst part of the game is that, in my experience, there is a high risk for AP when deciding when and where to place cowboys.

The questions I didn't answer I thought had been handled well by the earlier posters.
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