Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Pint Craft» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Beer Mobbing Pint Craft rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
a valiant, pungent reindeer king
United States
Buffalo
New York
flag msg tools
Garfield
badge
Never trust a smiling Garfield!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If I love two things, it's beer and board games. And probably my wife and family. They aren't going to read this, though, so beer and board games.

So when I heard about Pint Craft, a game that combines both of these, I was interested. My brewery was having a "beer mob" event at a local bar, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to try the game in a suitable setting. I contacted Nick Helmholdt, the designer, and he was nice enough to send me a promo copy.

I played half a game earlier in the day with my wife to be sure I knew the rules, then headed to the bar. Two people agreed to play with me, though I would have had another person or two if we had waited. Teaching them the rules was straightforward, and one of the players knew nothing about beer: you don't have to know anything about beer or brewing, or be drinking, to play the game. I was happy about the "no drinking" part: some cards have flavor text saying the person who played it gets the next round, etc, but this isn't a drinking game. I wouldn't have associated it with my brewery if it was.

So, there were three players: D, E and J. The game began and I (D) took my turn, playing a brewery improvement card and another which allowed me to buy some ingredients. Brewery improvement cards give you ingredients and then provide an ongoing bonus of one ingredient per recipe per season. The season changes after each player has had a turn: D, E, J, fall; D, E, J, winter; etc. If I have three improvement cards and two recipes, I get 3x2=6 bonus ingredients per season.

There are four types of ingredients: base malt, specialty malt, hops and adjuncts. If you're a homebrewer this will all makes sense, and if not just consider them resources you need to collect to buy the recipes. You choose the ingredients in any combination when allowed: four base malt and one hops; one base, one specialty and two hops; etc. Adjuncts aren't purchased like the others: instead of taking four ingredients you can instead randomly choose one adjunct.

You either draw or play a combination of three cards per turn: play 3/draw 0, play 2/draw 1, etc. I played two, drew one and play passed to E. I immediately realized I could have bought a recipe but overlooked it: E took the opportunity and bought a recipe for one VP. Each recipe gives a certain number of VPs (renamed to "victory pints," which I thought was a nice touch), and depending on the number of players to play to a set number. Turn passed to J, who bought a few ingredients, then back to me. The season changed: I had a brewery improvement card and no recipes while E had a recipe but no improvements, so no one got any bonuses. Some recipes also give seasonal bonuses if owned when a season changes: if it goes from fall to winter and you have an Oatmeal Stout you get a bonus of four base malt.

As the game went on I was cursing my initial misstep. I couldn't get any recipes, despite having up to NINE brewery improvement cards. There are only three different types but you can have multiples: my four Distribution Licenses didn't make sense from a thematic perspective but I'm glad it was left in for gameplay reasons.

You mostly focus on yourself while playing but there are cards that allow for player interaction: some, like "Restock Hops," gives everyone a number of ingredients. Others hurt an opponent: my favorite was "Rodents in the Grain Supply," which makes a player discard half of their malt. Just as I managed to get my first recipe E played "Spoiled Batch" on me, forcing me to discard it. I got him back, though, playing the same card on him and removing his expensive and powerful Old Ale.

I also ran into trouble with adjuncts: I had all the ingredients for an American Wheat except for the wheat. I played "Smash Hit," giving me six ingredients, and spent four of them on an adjunct. I reached into the box and chose... oats. "Oats!" I cursed. Luckily I eventually was able to purchase the Oatmeal Stout, because otherwise that ingredient would have gone to waste.

Despite being far, far in last place for the entire game (and thus benefiting from the semiannual "player with the fewest VPs draws a card" rule at season change), once I got a recipe my large assortment of improvement cards netted waves of ingredients. One recipe times seven improvements gave me the necessary ingredients to buy another, meaning next turn I got 14 ingredients, buying another, and so on in an echo chamber of beer. It's possible to steal improvements from other players as well: I'll put E's reaction to my "Redistribution" card (stealing his Distribution License) in a spoiler, since it's profane but hilarious:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
"Redistribution? More like Redouchetribution."


Ultimately, we realized J had the required number of VPs. This triggered a bonus round for E and I, allowing us to take a final turn. I bought another recipe and we counted our pints. The score was 14/14/13: I was so close! E and J went into a tiebreaker round, and since E went first he bought the final recipe and won.

After the fact I realized I had made a few mistakes: E didn't buy any recipes in our bonus round, meaning he had the same number of VPs as J and therefore we should have ended the game sooner. Additionally, he had two brewery improvement cards, giving him an extra VP each, meaning when they were tied he actually had more. I'm chalking it up to user error and won't make the same mistakes again.

What I didn't like about Pint Craft:

- There's an awful lot of math for a game that's meant to be played while drinking. It's not so bad at first but eventually you need to figure out how to divvy up your 27 ingredients, plus four base malt bonus, and bookkeeping can be a little tough. I expect that this won't be as big of a deal in the final version, as the wooden ingredient tokens will be easier to grab and exchange than the paper demo ones.

- Adjuncts probably aren't worth it. There's one recipe each for Oats and Bacteria.

- The game was too long. It was enjoyable, and nobody complained about it, but we all agreed after the fact that it would have been nice if it had taken a maximum of 3/4 as long. I'll probably be reducing the number of VPs required as a house rule from now on.

What I liked about Pint Craft

- The theme is great. It's very well done and isn't just pasted on. "Rodents in the Grain Supply" is my favorite because yeah, rats like grain and if they get into your malt sacks you're in trouble.

- You don't need to appreciate the theme to enjoy the game. E and I were homebrewers while J just knew she liked beer but we were all evenly matched.

- It's very easy to teach to non-gamers. It's light but no so strategy-deprived that I wouldn't want to play it.

- It's fun!

While playing, two onlookers loaded up the Kickstarter page and backed it. I think Pint Craft worked wonderfully as a game to play in a bar over a beer or two, and while the theme makes it most attractive to beer lovers it's still something you can play with nondrinkers.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig.
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
...
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sigafoos wrote:
- Adjuncts probably aren't worth it. There's one recipe each for Oats and Bacteria.

- The game was too long. It was enjoyable, and nobody complained about it, but we all agreed after the fact that it would have been nice if it had taken a maximum of 3/4 as long. I'll probably be reducing the number of VPs required as a house rule from now on.

Agreed and both items and then some...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Blackwell
United Kingdom
Brighton
East Sussex
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bought the P&P level,not a hard copy, so just need to get around to printing a demo copy to play.

looking forward to it.

M B
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.