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Subject: Vinhos or Trajan rss

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Martin Bradley
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Was wondering if anyone could help...

Have decided to splash out on a new game but have a few in my collection that haven't been played enough such that I would feel extravagant and excessive for buying more than one. I have come across Vinhos and Trajan which both look interesting and up my street, but wonder which one I would enjoy more.

Generally my gaming groups and I prefer strategy games with plenty of options and plenty of depth, long games are OK, but ones over 4 hours tend to make people flake out. Would love to try something with unique gaming mechanisms and something that plays well with 2 players also.

Games we really like at the moment include Agricola, Power Grid and to be honest all the popular Euro stuff on BGG.

Does anyone have experience of both these games? Have posted in both forums to hopefully get info from both camps.

Thanks in advance

 
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To me the first thing that stands out to me is the length of the two games in terms of turns and actions.

Vinhos has only 2 actions per turn over 6 turns so only 12 total actions over the course of the game (yes this can be increased through the use of selling wine to the experts). Because of this you really have to try and plan out what you are going to do in your limited amount of time.

Trajan seems like you get a lot more choices, probably like 2 per round over the course of 16 rounds? I haven't played it yet(getting it on friday) but it seems like you will probably have more time to build up to what your end goal is. Also I think the way that you have to choose your actions in Trajan seems like a little mini game in itself that Vinhos kind of has, in that you have to try to plan your actions around other people and the turn marker so that you don't have to pay too much for your action.

I hope this helps in some way...
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john guthrie
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trajan is not deep, vinhos is
 
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Ryan Metzler
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grafpoo wrote:
trajan is not deep, vinhos is


Errr...no...this is incorrect.

Vinhos, as everyone else has mentioned, breaks down to 12 actions. You must carefully plan those 12 actions in order to win. There is really not that much of a variable path to victory in Vinhos. Produce good wine and sell/show it. Doing this well can be difficult however!

Trajan does, indeed, take place over several rounds, with MANY more actions. In addition, those actions encompass what I would call several different "mini-games". Do you focus on legionnaires or on building, maybe you want to focus on Trajan tiles...who knows. Both games have their merits, and I enjoy both...but if I had to choose the game that I find more enjoyable AND to have more variance in terms of paths to victory, I'd definitely go Trajan
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Clyde W
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Ryan, which one is more abstract?
 
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Trajan = Pushing Cubes for the sake of pushing cubes gulp It's an exercise in math.

Vinhos = Theme rich game where your choices seamlessly integrate into the growth of your vineyards.
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slaqr wrote:
grafpoo wrote:
trajan is not deep, vinhos is


Errr...no...this is incorrect.

Vinhos, as everyone else has mentioned, breaks down to 12 actions. You must carefully plan those 12 actions in order to win. There is really not that much of a variable path to victory in Vinhos. Produce good wine and sell/show it. Doing this well can be difficult however!

Trajan does, indeed, take place over several rounds, with MANY more actions. In addition, those actions encompass what I would call several different "mini-games". Do you focus on legionnaires or on building, maybe you want to focus on Trajan tiles...who knows. Both games have their merits, and I enjoy both...but if I had to choose the game that I find more enjoyable AND to have more variance in terms of paths to victory, I'd definitely go Trajan


i could have been more descriptive, but i stand by my terse comment. trajan is mostly a puzzle - how can i distribute these tokens in my mancala so i can get the best (most) actions in the most turns - the most actions will typically translate into the most stuff. i guess i don't equate that with "deep". trajan seems much more tactical to me, but that's probably because that is how i have to play it.
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Ryan Metzler
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clydeiii wrote:
Ryan, which one is more abstract?


You mean purely in terms of the way it feels?

If so, I'd have to go with Trajan being the more abstract of the two. In Vinhos, the theme of the game fits to the mechanics very well. The weather influences your wine, which effects its value or presentation score, but you can compensate by appealing to the right judges or aging your wine, etc.

In Trajan I feel more like i'm moving colored pieces around a wheel in order to optimize the actions I can take...rather than feeling like I'm influencing the senate or conquering with legionnaires.

Now...I'm not one to care of my game feels abstract, so I enjoy Trajan more. I'm a big proponent of Vinhos as well...but Feld is a genius.
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Ryan Metzler
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grafpoo wrote:
slaqr wrote:
grafpoo wrote:
trajan is not deep, vinhos is


Errr...no...this is incorrect.

Vinhos, as everyone else has mentioned, breaks down to 12 actions. You must carefully plan those 12 actions in order to win. There is really not that much of a variable path to victory in Vinhos. Produce good wine and sell/show it. Doing this well can be difficult however!

Trajan does, indeed, take place over several rounds, with MANY more actions. In addition, those actions encompass what I would call several different "mini-games". Do you focus on legionnaires or on building, maybe you want to focus on Trajan tiles...who knows. Both games have their merits, and I enjoy both...but if I had to choose the game that I find more enjoyable AND to have more variance in terms of paths to victory, I'd definitely go Trajan


i could have been more descriptive, but i stand by my terse comment. trajan is mostly a puzzle - how can i distribute these tokens in my mancala so i can get the best (most) actions in the most turns - the most actions will typically translate into the most stuff. i guess i don't equate that with "deep". trajan seems much more tactical to me, but that's probably because that is how i have to play it.


While I don't disagree with this, how does that translate to it being less "deep"?
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john guthrie
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slaqr wrote:
grafpoo wrote:
slaqr wrote:
grafpoo wrote:
trajan is not deep, vinhos is


Errr...no...this is incorrect.

Vinhos, as everyone else has mentioned, breaks down to 12 actions. You must carefully plan those 12 actions in order to win. There is really not that much of a variable path to victory in Vinhos. Produce good wine and sell/show it. Doing this well can be difficult however!

Trajan does, indeed, take place over several rounds, with MANY more actions. In addition, those actions encompass what I would call several different "mini-games". Do you focus on legionnaires or on building, maybe you want to focus on Trajan tiles...who knows. Both games have their merits, and I enjoy both...but if I had to choose the game that I find more enjoyable AND to have more variance in terms of paths to victory, I'd definitely go Trajan


i could have been more descriptive, but i stand by my terse comment. trajan is mostly a puzzle - how can i distribute these tokens in my mancala so i can get the best (most) actions in the most turns - the most actions will typically translate into the most stuff. i guess i don't equate that with "deep". trajan seems much more tactical to me, but that's probably because that is how i have to play it.


While I don't disagree with this, how does that translate to it being less "deep"?


this is why i lose arguments - i don't know. i'm judging based on my gameplay post-mortem. after i play trajan, i feel like i had a fun time solving some puzzles, after vinhos i feel like i really had to think - it satisfies that part of my brain that likes Brass.

i should mention that i like both games - unlike you (because you're wrong!), i prefer vinhos
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Clyde W
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To the OP, which other Feld game's do you like? Do you enjoy games where everyone scores VPs all the time and the winner is the person who does it most efficiently, or do you like games where it's pretty hard to score even a few points and one or two mistakes can actually set you back points?
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grafpoo wrote:
slaqr wrote:
grafpoo wrote:
slaqr wrote:
grafpoo wrote:
trajan is not deep, vinhos is


Errr...no...this is incorrect.

Vinhos, as everyone else has mentioned, breaks down to 12 actions. You must carefully plan those 12 actions in order to win. There is really not that much of a variable path to victory in Vinhos. Produce good wine and sell/show it. Doing this well can be difficult however!

Trajan does, indeed, take place over several rounds, with MANY more actions. In addition, those actions encompass what I would call several different "mini-games". Do you focus on legionnaires or on building, maybe you want to focus on Trajan tiles...who knows. Both games have their merits, and I enjoy both...but if I had to choose the game that I find more enjoyable AND to have more variance in terms of paths to victory, I'd definitely go Trajan


i could have been more descriptive, but i stand by my terse comment. trajan is mostly a puzzle - how can i distribute these tokens in my mancala so i can get the best (most) actions in the most turns - the most actions will typically translate into the most stuff. i guess i don't equate that with "deep". trajan seems much more tactical to me, but that's probably because that is how i have to play it.


While I don't disagree with this, how does that translate to it being less "deep"?


this is why i lose arguments - i don't know. i'm judging based on my gameplay post-mortem. after i play trajan, i feel like i had a fun time solving some puzzles, after vinhos i feel like i really had to think - it satisfies that part of my brain that likes Brass.

i should mention that i like both games - unlike you (because you're wrong!), i prefer vinhos



I would guess that you have not yet figured out Vinhos then. Once you do it'll lose its luster, while Trajan will stay a great game that you continue to figure out, or at least in which you will continue to try new things.

They're both great games. I don't think you should say Trajan isn't deep (especially when you self claim you can't really offer any support to your comment other than how it made you feel) and that Vinhos is. Out of curiosity, how many times, all together, have you played these two games?
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clydeiii wrote:
To the OP, which other Feld game's do you like? Do you enjoy games where everyone scores VPs all the time and the winner is the person who does it most efficiently, or do you like games where it's pretty hard to score even a few points and one or two mistakes can actually set you back points?


Both of those options equally describe both games..
 
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bchlax944 wrote:

I would guess that you have not yet figured out Vinhos then. Once you do it'll lose its luster, while Trajan will stay a great game that you continue to figure out, or at least in which you will continue to try new things.

They're both great games. I don't think you should say Trajan isn't deep (especially when you self claim you can't really offer any support to your comment other than how it made you feel) and that Vinhos is. Out of curiosity, how many times, all together, have you played these two games?


I'm puzzled by the assumption that Vinhos has been "figured out". I'm familiar with the argument pertaining to maximizing the first turn accumulation of vineyards, but even if that is true (and after a dozen playings, I'm not convinced it is), that's only the first turn. What each player does after that, and in which order, and what the weather brings, makes all the difference in the world as to the outcome of the game.

I also find it odd that several people have made the comments about "12 actions". Anyone who plays this game against experienced players, while having anything less than about 18 actions, is going to lose. And I'd say that's a conservative minimum.
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DarrellKH wrote:
bchlax944 wrote:

I would guess that you have not yet figured out Vinhos then. Once you do it'll lose its luster, while Trajan will stay a great game that you continue to figure out, or at least in which you will continue to try new things.

They're both great games. I don't think you should say Trajan isn't deep (especially when you self claim you can't really offer any support to your comment other than how it made you feel) and that Vinhos is. Out of curiosity, how many times, all together, have you played these two games?


I'm puzzled by the assumption that Vinhos has been "figured out". I'm familiar with the argument pertaining to maximizing the first turn accumulation of vineyards, but even if that is true (and after a dozen playings, I'm not convinced it is), that's only the first turn. What each player does after that, and in which order, and what the weather brings, makes all the difference in the world as to the outcome of the game.

I also find it odd that several people have made the comments about "12 actions". Anyone who plays this game against experienced players, while having anything less than about 18 actions, is going to lose. And I'd say that's a conservative minimum.
I've only played this game three times but totally agree. The game, it seems, is all about obtaining as many extra actions as possible...oh, sort of exactly like Trajan!
 
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DarrellKH wrote:
bchlax944 wrote:

I would guess that you have not yet figured out Vinhos then. Once you do it'll lose its luster, while Trajan will stay a great game that you continue to figure out, or at least in which you will continue to try new things.

They're both great games. I don't think you should say Trajan isn't deep (especially when you self claim you can't really offer any support to your comment other than how it made you feel) and that Vinhos is. Out of curiosity, how many times, all together, have you played these two games?


I'm puzzled by the assumption that Vinhos has been "figured out". I'm familiar with the argument pertaining to maximizing the first turn accumulation of vineyards, but even if that is true (and after a dozen playings, I'm not convinced it is), that's only the first turn. What each player does after that, and in which order, and what the weather brings, makes all the difference in the world as to the outcome of the game.

I also find it odd that several people have made the comments about "12 actions". Anyone who plays this game against experienced players, while having anything less than about 18 actions, is going to lose. And I'd say that's a conservative minimum.


The talk is of the 12 actual movements of your player piece.
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Between the two, Trajan.

Vinhos is, in short, an excercise in complexity for complexity's sake. A complex and elaborate scheme for growing wine is literally reduced to two numbers, which are then shoved into three very simple areas for generating points or money. A fourth area, for the cheap vinegar, offers various action modifiers and end-of-game bonus points. Despite the multitude of little rules, the basic structure of the game is rather simple.

Trajan is, in short, a puzzle game with a fully deterministic private control mechanism (a Mancala wheel). Interaction, such as there is, is of the indirect kind. Options are steadily removed and only begin to bite, slightly, at the end of a round... But by then you should have chosen your path, so a lack of options isn't a big deal.

Neither game offers a lot of depth. Vinhos hides this lack behind a lot of fancy glitzy do this, do that-stuff, but the major choke point in the wine production with only a few fleeting connections to the rest of the game allows for little combinatorial wizardry. In Trajan the interaction between players is too limited for much depth analysis; on the other hand the Mancala wheel can be analysed to any depth the player wants or cares to manage. But it is very much one-sided as others cannot interfere with the actions on the wheel. (Hence the puzzle aspect.) I think Vinhos actually has more depth due to the higher interaction.

So why then Trajan? Because it doesn't outstay its welcome as Vinhos does, it plays in a reasonable time frame, players can judge each other's position better, it teaches easily, and the Mancala wheel is actually something of a different challenge rather than obtaining majorities or transforming money into points.
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Martin Bradley
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Thanks everyone for lots of of helpful information. These two stood out as looking interesting, and before asking I was more inclined to get Vinhos but perhaps that has changed the other way round now.

Clyde - I haven't actually played any of Feld's games yet. I've been gaming since the beginning of the year but am really enjoying the Euros I have tried so far with a group of friends also new to all this. Have tried about 20 games and have a few in my collection; none of which I am remotely bored with yet; so looking for something unique so it won't feel like playing a similar version of something else I already own.

For that reason Trajan seems to be the best choice now. Was initially quite tempted by Vinhos because it seemed like a meaty game with an novel theme. That being said theme isn't usually that important to me. With regards to scoring/tightness etc. - not too much of an issue, but something less punishing is more likely to get played with my group, the angst in agricola I find quite fun, but some don't enjoy so much.

Ryan - Thanks for your points too, it was your video review of Power Grid that started me off on boardgaming in the first place; purchased the game not long after watching it and now, six months down the line have quite a few friends all hooked on pushing bits of cardboard around on a table according to various mechanisms!
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Maarten - What would you recommend in terms of Euros for 2-4 player that you found particularly challenging and regarded as "deep" games?
 
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For the moment your list of rated games is very general in nature, so there aren't yet any solid 'hooks' I can latch on to. The following is simply a mix of my favourites and known solid contenders. Don't the list as definitive: look up the games, look at some reviews, look at the opinions (especially the lower end of the scale), and if at all possible try a game before purchasing it.

You've listed Dominant Species. In the line of about equally long and rich, difficult and challenging I suggest Indonesia. That is Power Grid squared, or perhaps even cubed. Expensive title, map has slight usability issues, but complex game play which is nearly entirely in the players' hands with a lot of long term-planning.

Another title in this category: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. Set up a fledgling civilization, and through use of food and resources, build it to greatness. This you can compare a little bit to Puerto Rico, but then with dozens of different buildings in three different draw stacks each; plus a military component which allows some direct interaction between players.

Now follow shorter games. These have inherently less stuff to do because, well, the game is over quicker.

Tigris & Euphrates — A game 15 years old... And only being forced out of the top-10 of this website because newer games moved into those regions. That ought to give you some idea of its qualities. Rich, challenging game play based on stringing together large strategies from small, simple moves in an abstracted civilisation growth setting. The winner is determined by having the most balanced point balance, which, very subtly but inexorably guides the players throughout the game. Great fun to play and explore.

Reef Encounter — You won't find this game on many lists, and it leads a somewhat malunderstood existence far from the obvious top candidates. But play it, and you'll realise the game play is unique. The non-linear mechanics, which see you basically starting out in an opposite direction to your ultimate intention just to get things going, are fascinating to behold and manipulate. This is a game you'll need to wrap your head around for it to work.
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Martin Bradley
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Thanks for the info, it's really kind to spend the time to give some advice and opinions.

Indonesia has been on my radar too and a friend has recently bought Reef Encounter so hopefully I'll get to try that soon. I do prefer a longer game with large decision trees, but I have to accept that these sort of games hit the table less with my group at the moment. I think I'm definitely going to go with Trajan now from all the reasons mentioned in the thread. The games I've played and rated so far are quite a generalist group from the current popular games on BGG having checked those games out first.

 
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cymric wrote:
For the moment your list of rated games is very general in nature, so there aren't yet any solid 'hooks' I can latch on to. The following is simply a mix of my favourites and known solid contenders. Don't the list as definitive: look up the games, look at some reviews, look at the opinions (especially the lower end of the scale), and if at all possible try a game before purchasing it.

You've listed Dominant Species. In the line of about equally long and rich, difficult and challenging I suggest Indonesia. That is Power Grid squared, or perhaps even cubed. Expensive title, map has slight usability issues, but complex game play which is nearly entirely in the players' hands with a lot of long term-planning.

Another title in this category: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. Set up a fledgling civilization, and through use of food and resources, build it to greatness. This you can compare a little bit to Puerto Rico, but then with dozens of different buildings in three different draw stacks each; plus a military component which allows some direct interaction between players.

Now follow shorter games. These have inherently less stuff to do because, well, the game is over quicker.

Tigris & Euphrates — A game 15 years old... And only being forced out of the top-10 of this website because newer games moved into those regions. That ought to give you some idea of its qualities. Rich, challenging game play based on stringing together large strategies from small, simple moves in an abstracted civilisation growth setting. The winner is determined by having the most balanced point balance, which, very subtly but inexorably guides the players throughout the game. Great fun to play and explore.

Reef Encounter — You won't find this game on many lists, and it leads a somewhat malunderstood existence far from the obvious top candidates. But play it, and you'll realise the game play is unique. The non-linear mechanics, which see you basically starting out in an opposite direction to your ultimate intention just to get things going, are fascinating to behold and manipulate. This is a game you'll need to wrap your head around for it to work.


I don't think I could possibly agree with this list more!!!! thumbsup

Particularly Reef Encounter....a far too often overlooked title.
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slaqr wrote:
cymric wrote:
For the moment your list of rated games is very general in nature, so there aren't yet any solid 'hooks' I can latch on to. The following is simply a mix of my favourites and known solid contenders. Don't the list as definitive: look up the games, look at some reviews, look at the opinions (especially the lower end of the scale), and if at all possible try a game before purchasing it.

You've listed Dominant Species. In the line of about equally long and rich, difficult and challenging I suggest Indonesia. That is Power Grid squared, or perhaps even cubed. Expensive title, map has slight usability issues, but complex game play which is nearly entirely in the players' hands with a lot of long term-planning.

Another title in this category: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. Set up a fledgling civilization, and through use of food and resources, build it to greatness. This you can compare a little bit to Puerto Rico, but then with dozens of different buildings in three different draw stacks each; plus a military component which allows some direct interaction between players.

Now follow shorter games. These have inherently less stuff to do because, well, the game is over quicker.

Tigris & Euphrates — A game 15 years old... And only being forced out of the top-10 of this website because newer games moved into those regions. That ought to give you some idea of its qualities. Rich, challenging game play based on stringing together large strategies from small, simple moves in an abstracted civilisation growth setting. The winner is determined by having the most balanced point balance, which, very subtly but inexorably guides the players throughout the game. Great fun to play and explore.

Reef Encounter — You won't find this game on many lists, and it leads a somewhat malunderstood existence far from the obvious top candidates. But play it, and you'll realise the game play is unique. The non-linear mechanics, which see you basically starting out in an opposite direction to your ultimate intention just to get things going, are fascinating to behold and manipulate. This is a game you'll need to wrap your head around for it to work.


I don't think I could possibly agree with this list more!!!! thumbsup

Particularly Reef Encounter....a far too often overlooked title.



I think I just add Le Havre, Caylus and Imperial to this list.
 
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newrev wrote:
slaqr wrote:
cymric wrote:
For the moment your list of rated games is very general in nature, so there aren't yet any solid 'hooks' I can latch on to. The following is simply a mix of my favourites and known solid contenders. Don't the list as definitive: look up the games, look at some reviews, look at the opinions (especially the lower end of the scale), and if at all possible try a game before purchasing it.

You've listed Dominant Species. In the line of about equally long and rich, difficult and challenging I suggest Indonesia. That is Power Grid squared, or perhaps even cubed. Expensive title, map has slight usability issues, but complex game play which is nearly entirely in the players' hands with a lot of long term-planning.

Another title in this category: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. Set up a fledgling civilization, and through use of food and resources, build it to greatness. This you can compare a little bit to Puerto Rico, but then with dozens of different buildings in three different draw stacks each; plus a military component which allows some direct interaction between players.

Now follow shorter games. These have inherently less stuff to do because, well, the game is over quicker.

Tigris & Euphrates — A game 15 years old... And only being forced out of the top-10 of this website because newer games moved into those regions. That ought to give you some idea of its qualities. Rich, challenging game play based on stringing together large strategies from small, simple moves in an abstracted civilisation growth setting. The winner is determined by having the most balanced point balance, which, very subtly but inexorably guides the players throughout the game. Great fun to play and explore.

Reef Encounter — You won't find this game on many lists, and it leads a somewhat malunderstood existence far from the obvious top candidates. But play it, and you'll realise the game play is unique. The non-linear mechanics, which see you basically starting out in an opposite direction to your ultimate intention just to get things going, are fascinating to behold and manipulate. This is a game you'll need to wrap your head around for it to work.


I don't think I could possibly agree with this list more!!!! thumbsup

Particularly Reef Encounter....a far too often overlooked title.



I think I just add Le Havre, Caylus and Imperial to this list.


More great choices! With Le Havre I would stick to lower player numbers...2-3...but the others are brilliant.

BTW Vital, I love Vinhos! Not trying to put it down at all.
 
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cymric wrote:
You've listed Dominant Species. In the line of about equally long and rich, difficult and challenging I suggest Indonesia. That is Power Grid squared, or perhaps even cubed. Expensive title, map has slight usability issues, but complex game play which is nearly entirely in the players' hands with a lot of long term-planning.
Bearing in mind I've never played an 18XX game, this is, at the moment, probably my favorite "heavy" Euro(ish) game at the moment and one I want to play any chance I can get. It has this wonderful sandbox feeling and the choices given to the players are huge and wide open. The best part about it is the very strange form of player interaction that the game provides to me, which is unique in my collection.
 
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