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Subject: Impressions after the first play of MIL rss

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Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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This is going to be a quick hitting, just after the fact, quick impression "review" of MIL.

1) The rules leave a lot to be desired. On numerous occasions, we stopped to look for a rule that simply wasn't in the book. Or for clarification. Or for ANY hint or example. We took it upon ourselves to come up with "that makes sense" rules. For example:
> Are the parts counter mixed limited? We ran out of influence (red) cubes and food (green) cubes on several occasions. We figured that these resources were not
> Are the priveleges counter mix limited? We decided that, yes, they were.
> When you take off a white time token from the board, do you take ANY one off the line, or always the last one in line or always the first one in line? After the first round where we were automatically taking off the FIRST time token in line, we realized that it didn't make sense and that you could take ANY (typically, the move was to take the last one). Strategically, this made sense. But, it's not mentioned or aluded to in the rules.
> Do you get victory points for the lands that you "win" in war (either from the board or from another player). It made sense that you would (there's a VP icon on the lands) but again, there wasn't anything explicit that we could find in the rules that stated that you get the points immediately.
> If you war against another player, and take their land, do they lose the vp's immediately? And if you have no place for the land, do you not gain the VP's?

2) Believe them when they say "don't play a 5-player game the first time out". 5 is NOT the sweet spot for this game. 4-1/2 hours was way too long for this one.

3) Rolls of the vassals was never really fleshed out. There were a couple times when players vassaled others, but we really couldn't see the purpose of it. The 1 food per land? Food was plentiful. It was used more as a defense mechanism to prevent getting attacked by them later. But that was alieviated by allowing that knight to die, and therefore, loose the connection.

4) The bits were nice and plentiful. Although it was more a circumstance of playing in less than optimal lighting that the black and green figures looked the same on the board.

5) VP spread at the end seemed very wide. Winner only won by 1 point, but 3rd through 5th were 25+ points behind. Not a major quibble, but there was NO WAY those in the rear were going to catch up at the end. End points were minimal (2 points to whomever has the most priveleges? 1 point for every 2 gold?)

Maybe with all of the guesswork and assumptions made with the lack of clear rules, we didn't get a good, clean playing experience. Maybe it just played like a very LOOOOONG worker-placement euro for me. The theme has been done to death of late (maybe that's just me...but is "medival theme" the new "Eqypt"?). Yeah, I'm a knight (wasn't I a knight in Lancaster last week?). Oooh, my knights are getting old and will die (that's a cool mechanism...wait...didn't we do that in Village 2 weeks ago?). Hey, it's worker placement with a focus on being the most in line or first in line (yeah, Mecanisburgo, that's right, been there, done that 2 weeks ago too).

I know, the game is really great and I'm in the very small minority. I'm the guy in the group who always reads the rules book as we are learning a new game every weekend (or two or three new games). So I get to read and see a TON of rulebooks and gameplay mechanisms. I see good ones, I see bad ones. And when the first impressions of a game (aside from the bits, which in this case ARE nice) are the rules, when they're bad/poorly done, it lasts. I didn't care for these instructions, I didn't care for the theme and the gameplay was, for me, uninspired. For what the game was, it was too long.

Sorry, another "blech" game that hit the table and won't make me think twice for not seeing it brought out again.
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Martin Plourde
Canada
Windsor
Quebec
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I believe it is a problem with the english rules. I bought the french version, and nearly every french reviews I have read have been positive. My first playthrough of the game let me inspired and with nearly zero questions.
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Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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Scammer wrote:
3) Rolls of the vassals was never really fleshed out. There were a couple times when players vassaled others, but we really couldn't see the purpose of it. The 1 food per land? Food was plentiful. It was used more as a defense mechanism to prevent getting attacked by them later. But that was alieviated by allowing that knight to die, and therefore, loose the connection.

The point is quite simply the 4vp per land tile. You don't easily lose the connection, because letting a knight die without heir costs the player 4vp. And even then it only works if the knight had no lands, no castle, and no soldiers.
 
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