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Subject: On the fence about CoB rss

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Hello all,

I have a few questions about Castles of Burgundy that will help me decide if it is right for my group.

First, I see that about 30% of players voted that CoB is not recommended with 4 players. Why do you feel it is great with 2 or 3 but not with 4? Is it increased playtime or does adding the fourth player change a certain aspect or dynamic within the game.

Secondly, I have seen complaints about the setup, but how bad is it really? My friends and I have no problem with Puerto Rico or Endeavor, if that is any help.

Lastly, is the estimated playtime of 90 minutes accurate? Is it possible to play a 4 player game in this amount of time? How about if were are only 3, does the playtime go down by a lot?


Thanks in advance.
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Drew Gormley
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Really the game is best at 2-3 because of both play time and separately, down time. Turns can go long depending on the game situation, and that's with players who almost never experience AP. with 2, set up included (for what it's worth, you can leave everything except goods tiles in the box, and I guess if you're really lazy goods tiles as well. You don't need to stack all the stuff like they recommend. Just pull from the box to reseed) you can play in 45 minutes. I've never played a three player game that took less than 90, and haven't played 4 players ever for that reason. Personally, the amount of game play you get doesn't equate to 90+ minutes of play, in my opinion.
The fun of the game is fast moving turns, or at least for me that's a large part of it. With 3 even down time can be too much, especially with new players. There can be a lot of "well I rolled this so I could go get that over there, but he can get this if I don't get it so how do I mitigate to get that" and such, an that's just with 2 players. One of my favorite games, but I wouldn't touch it with 4.
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George Parker
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Erratik wrote:
First, I see that about 30% of players voted that CoB is not recommended with 4 players. Why do you feel it is great with 2 or 3 but not with 4? Is it increased playtime or does adding the fourth player change a certain aspect or dynamic within the game.


My experience is it scales really well from 2-4 players, especially with players familiar with the game.

Erratik wrote:
Secondly, I have seen complaints about the setup, but how bad is it really? My friends and I have no problem with Puerto Rico or Endeavor, if that is any help.


I individually bag each type of tile and setup is no big deal. I could see however if you just tossed all the tiles in the box it would be pain to sort them each time you played.

Erratik wrote:
Lastly, is the estimated playtime of 90 minutes accurate? Is it possible to play a 4 player game in this amount of time? How about if were are only 3, does the playtime go down by a lot?


I have to admit I don't time my games. When everyone is enjoying the game play, then length of game hasn't been an issue. If I had to guess, my games have lasted about the same length as Puerto Rico with the same number of players.

Overall, I don't believe any of the issues you mentioned above should stop you from purchasing The Castles of Burgundy. My wife and I played it for the first time last November at BGG.CON (four-player) and really liked it, but it took us forever to get ourselves a copy. Now we have it and have played several two-player games and loved it. Over the last couple weeks we have introduced it to several family members in four-player games and they love it too (usually asking to play it again immediately).

So...BUY IT!!!
You won't regret the purchase!
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Michael Denman
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If you have ADHD (as apparently a great many BGG users do) then you might worry about downtime. I don't and I play four player all of the time. In fact, I prefer it. Only with four players do all of the chips come out. In some games, I really like that you never know if you'll see every chip/card, but not in this one. I certainly don't hate it with two or three, but I like four best.

Setup time is no worse than any other game I own. I am actually using the box insert and NOT a bunch of baggies. I can have the game up and running in no time at all and I have yet to have a player start to nod off while I'm doing so.

In short, I believe your fears are unfounded.
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David Jones
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I too am puzzled by this. I think the game is more fun with four than two. I think I've only played it once with three. Downtime is not too bad once everybody knows how to play. If, like the manual says, everybody rolls at the same time, late players can plan their move while early players are still thinking.
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Drew Gormley
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davypi wrote:
I too am puzzled by this. I think the game is more fun with four than two. I think I've only played it once with three. Downtime is not too bad once everybody knows how to play. If, like the manual says, everybody rolls at the same time, late players can plan their move while early players are still thinking.


We do all roll at the same time, but I've yet to find that sentiment true. Often your plan will be messed up by what others do. I guess it comes down to preference though. My preference: it's hard for me to enjoy a game at 2 hours long when I've played it at 45 minutes.
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Drew Gormley
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No, I'm pretty sure the rulebook says roll once it's your turn, but to speed things up you can all roll simultaneously. Feld is normally very lenient wit those types of rules (see Macao). Not as bad as Vaccarino though.
 
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George Parker
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jmanders85 wrote:
davypi wrote:
If, like the manual says, everybody rolls at the same time, late players can plan their move while early players are still thinking.


Everyone must roll simultaneously, right? If I see that a player after me has rolled a 1 with no workers and really needs the ship tile in that depot, I may alter my plans to sabotage.


Yes...from the rules...

"First, all players roll their two dice, with the start player also rolling the white die. Then all players place their dice in front of themselves so that all players can see them.

Note: Rolling simultaneously allows those players whose turns come later to start planning their turns ahead of time."
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Steve Duff
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Yup, it's vital that you all roll at the same time. That's why the rules say to do so.

Personally, I think it's a great 4 player game. I've never understood the downtime argument on this game, turns are quick, I use this dice to do X, that one to do Y, your turn.

Stone Age downtime is longer, and yet no one seems to talk about downtime for that game.
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Robert Manore
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I personally love the game!

To add something not yet expressed is that it depends on your group dynamic and personalities. If you have "think tanks" in your group that take an excessive amount of time deliberating over their moves, then this game with 4 players is not for you. 4 player games last 90 - 120 minutes if everyone is familiar with the rules and is ready to take their action when it's their turn (+/- 2 minutes to finalize your action when its your turn).

My wife and I like to introduce other couples that game to tCoB. The downtime between turns allow us to chat but not so distracting that you make a mistake. I love to play this casually with 4 players, but not with my normal gaming group. 2- or 3-player matches maximum with my normal group because they are "think tanks."
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Buy it s/h. If you don't like it, sell it. Total cost is, roughly, the shipping. Much cheaper than buying a game and never playing it - and I have plenty of those!
 
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Brian, the first couple of times I played Burgundy, it was with 4 and the game lasted 2.5-3 hours, which was too long. But once I started playing with quicker players, particularly those with more experience with the game, the time came way down. Now we play 4-player in about 90 minutes or so.

I've also played with 3 and think it plays just as well with that number. We reveal the unused tiles before we start, to give us an idea of where the shortages will be, but that's optional. I've never played with 2, but I figured from the first that it would be a good 2-player game and that has proven to be the case.

Unless you're playing with "perfect planners" (which isn't really possible with this game anyway), I think 25 minutes per player is absolutely achieveable, which makes for a very brisk game. It's a great game with 4 players, just as it is with fewer numbers. I definitely recommend it, unless your group is prone to a lot of AP.
 
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The game plays great and seems balanced at all numbers...2,3 or 4!

The downtime will start out as 30min/player, plus looking up tile descriptions, plus tile refills, so 4 player will run about 3 hours at first.

But, eventually, the downtime will reduce and 90min total for 4 experienced players is right.

To get the downtime down and setup habits going, we do this:
--At the start, give each player a task to do for each new round (A-E).
--One player sweeps the unused hex tiles (except for the ships, castles and mines) and refills the goods tiles from the new round stack.
--One player replenishes the black tiles and the yellow rules tiles.
--One player replenishes the tan building tiles and the light green animal tiles.
--One player replenishes the blue ship tiles, the dark green castle tiles and the grey mine tiles (give this task to the least experienced player).

We also leave everything in open baggies and just give the baggies to the tasked players to handle.

We blind draw from them to replenish the tiles, except for the ships, castles and mines, which only need to be refilled if not used.

We're down to about 20-25min/player now total and we don't have to look in the book anymore as most of us know the iconography.

Even if we're playing a bit slow, we never go over 2 hours with 4 players.
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