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Subject: Trajan vs. Through the Ages vs. Archipelago vs. Tzolk'in rss

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Chris Wood
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Which in, your opinion, is the best of these heavier euros, and why?
 
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Shane Larsen
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I have and love both TtA and Trajan.
I don't own either of the other two, but Archipelago is #1 on my want list.

Here are my thoughts:

If I were forced to say my favorite game--which is a hard thing to do because the gaming world is so vast in variety--I would say Through the Ages. So if I were choosing one as the best, I would say that.

However, Trajan is an outstanding game. And while TtA is my personal favorite, I can't sell it to others nearly as easily as I can Trajan. I've played Trajan 6 times since I got it about two months ago. I've played Through the Ages 2 times since I got it 1.5 years ago (not counting my 114 plays on boardgaming-online.com).

So if the question is which one would I keep if I had to give one away, well, I might give you a different answer.

As for Archipelago. Have you ever played a Christophe Boelinger game? I had Dungeon Twister and liked it. I have Earth Reborn and LOVE it. But ER is a very big sale too. It's complex, involved, and has a long set-up-take-down time. I have seen from early reports that Archipelago also has a lot going on in it. I am personally exhilirated by that news: A Euro with design Christophe B. design elements!" Hells yeah. That's why I want it so badly.

I can't speak anything to Tzolk'in. It hasn't grabbed me yet.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Myoman wrote:
Which in, your opinion, is the best of these heavier euros, and why?

I can argue that these games are all so different that the following analogy is spot-on: 'Apples vs. oranges vs. bananas vs. raspberries, which is the best and why?' And no, I'm not kidding.

So you'll have to provide more information as to what you are looking for in these games.

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David B
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I can only speak of Trajan. And I have only played it once. I enjoyed the play and would love to play it again. My only gripe is that there is almost too much going on in Trajan and those parts often seem totally unrelated. I also think there are too many ways to score. When someone thwarts an idea you have, you often find yourself not giving a rip because there is something else to do just a few inches away. Someone said that Trajan is a lot of mini games all within one. The Mancala wheel that drives the game is quite a fun challenge to manage and is what shines in the game, though a mancala has nothing whatsoever to do with the Roman Empire. The other little mini games scattered around the board are somewhat ho-hum and would be dull and disjointed were it not for the mancala wheel. But those turns in which you get the right colors on the right spot do make you feel like you achieved something. It is a fun game and I would gladly play again, but I don't think I will ever purchase it.
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Jonathan Harrison
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thedacker wrote:
I have and love both TtA and Trajan.

I don't own either of the other two, but Archipelago is #1 on my want list.

I'll echo Shane on this, except that my pre-order of Archipelago came in today, and I hope to be able to give a comparison soon.
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Shane Larsen
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
thedacker wrote:
I have and love both TtA and Trajan.

I don't own either of the other two, but Archipelago is #1 on my want list.

I'll echo Shane on this, except that my pre-order of Archipelago came in today, and I hope to be able to give a comparison soon.


So jealous. wow Please let me know how it goes when you play it. From where did you order it to already have it in your hands?!
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Kolby Reddish
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I am really looking forward to Arch as well. I actually switched my preorder for Clash of Cultures to Arch, and don't think I'll regret that decision one bit. Tzolk'in is a great game. I absolutely love it and I think it will quickly become a new standard in the "great games" category.

I've not played the other two, but I wanted to sound in specifically on tzolkin since next to noone has played it.
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Chris Wood
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ldsdbomber wrote:


well maybe he just wants a personal opinion on some general scale of meritoriousness. Like, I can say Tigris and Euphrates is better than Busen Memo, of course that's not true if you want to look at tits, but still, if someone would ask that question, I'd say "Tigris" and feel fairly honest about it.

Besides, he framed his question fairly clearly. Which is the best *in your opinion and why*, effectively he is canvassing the opinions of whomever replies here. He hasn't said anything about the games himself, or his tastes, so maybe he's hoping to be inspired!

So Mårten, get off the fence and tell us which is your favourite and why

PS
I am only tugging your contrarian chain and wondering where you've been in the meatball list


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CHAPEL
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All I can say is that it's going to be hard to find any game new or old that is better than Through the Ages. IMHO.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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ldsdbomber wrote:
So Mårten, get off the fence and tell us which is your favourite and why

You naughty, naughty Lie. Well, if you insist, I abused the private information field to conjure up this display.

Quote:
I am only tugging your contrarian chain and wondering where you've been in the meatball list

Lurking, mostly; I don't have much to contribute at the moment.
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Shane Larsen
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What's funny is when Maarten gave the fruits analogy, I applied it to myself. Here's what I got:

I like raspberries the best because they make the best shakes and I have childhood anchors in Bear Lake, UT, where they grow the best raspberries in the world. Have you ever tried a chocolate-dipped raspberry! It will change your life! I think raspberries are a must-eat for any eaters of fruit.

I enjoy all the others in the right situations. I find the prep time for oranges to be a bit annoying, so I reach for it less. With the right crowd, an apple is awesome--have you ever bobbed for those things?! And I eat a lot of bananas because they're easy, cheap, and work great in smoothies.
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Jonathan Harrison
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thedacker wrote:
HuginnGreiling wrote:
thedacker wrote:
I have and love both TtA and Trajan.

I don't own either of the other two, but Archipelago is #1 on my want list.

I'll echo Shane on this, except that my pre-order of Archipelago came in today, and I hope to be able to give a comparison soon.


So jealous. wow Please let me know how it goes when you play it. From where did you order it to already have it in your hands?!

Straight from Ludically. I usually don't do direct publisher pre-orders, but with Chris I make an exception.
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Richard Feather
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pfctsqr wrote:
I can only speak of Trajan. And I have only played it once. I enjoyed the play and would love to play it again. My only gripe is that there is almost too much going on in Trajan and those parts often seem totally unrelated. I also think there are too many ways to score. When someone thwarts an idea you have, you often find yourself not giving a rip because there is something else to do just a few inches away. Someone said that Trajan is a lot of mini games all within one. The Mancala wheel that drives the game is quite a fun challenge to manage and is what shines in the game, though a mancala has nothing whatsoever to do with the Roman Empire. The other little mini games scattered around the board are somewhat ho-hum and would be dull and disjointed were it not for the mancala wheel. But those turns in which you get the right colors on the right spot do make you feel like you achieved something. It is a fun game and I would gladly play again, but I don't think I will ever purchase it.


I felt exactly the same way after my first play, but now that I have a few more plays under the belt I see how it all comes together. Familiarity makes it not seem disjointed at all. Every play I like it better and better. You are much more likely to thwart yourself in pursuit of victory, however, than the other players. That can be a turnoff to some. I also don't find it particularly heavy. It plays very quickly.
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Shane Larsen
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cymric wrote:
I abused the private information field to conjure up this display.


Interesting you give TtA a 3, but then say this:

"The game itself does not really deserve the rate I'm handing out: it is a fine example of the genre..."

So why did you give it a 3? I realize your comments elaborate your criticisms, but that still doesn't explain why you gave the game a lower rating than what you think it deserves.

[edit]

This is all in good nature, by the way. I'm sincerely curious.
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Richard Feather
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thedacker wrote:
What's funny is when Maarten gave the fruits analogy, I applied it to myself. Here's what I got:

I like raspberries the best because they make the best shakes and I have childhood anchors in Bear Lake, UT, where they grow the best raspberries in the world. Have you ever tried a chocolate-dipped raspberry! It will change your life! I think raspberries are a must-eat for any eaters of fruit.

I enjoy all the others in the right situations. I find the prep time for oranges to be a bit annoying, so I reach for it less. With the right crowd, an apple is awesome--have you ever bobbed for those things?! And I eat a lot of bananas because they're easy, cheap, and work great in smoothies.


For me, raspberries are on the bottom. I love the taste alright, but they go bad so quickly and are expensive even in season. Give me a banana or an apple any day!
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Maarten D. de Jong
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thedacker wrote:
This is all in good nature, by the way. I'm sincerely curious.

It happens on occasion that I am able to recognise qualities in a game which would make it (highly) appealing to others; but which fail to excite me personally. TtA is such a game. I will recommend it to people without hesitation and reservation if I think what they look for is echoed by this design... But I'm not interested in playing it myself.

The game should then receive two rates really, one for 'private' and one for 'public' use. The private rate is what I eventually fill out (it deals with my opinion, after all), but in the comment I make note of the public rate, that there are two sides to the coin that is the game. I notice now that I left this out, which is an oversight on my behalf. (Once you begin producing as much Unicode as I do, you're bound to overlook a thing or two meeple!) I'll update matters in the next few days.
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Shane Larsen
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ldsdbomber wrote:
cymric wrote:
Well, if you insist, I abused the private information field to conjure up this display.


you see! a gentle prod and you provided me with an awesome new trick I'd not seen before. I will be saving that URL for future use and abuse!


I quite liked that new trick too. Very useful for sick people like us who write up such detailed comments.

Can you tell me how you did it? Or is it too private?
 
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Shane Larsen
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Bam!:

TheDacker's Comments on Archipelago, Through the Ages, and Trajan

[edit]

Changed link to make it permanent according to Jon's tricks.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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thedacker wrote:
Can you tell me how you did it? Or is it too private?

Ideally the Search-boxes allow for things like 'traj* OR tzol* OR "through the"*', but they don't. So you can't select games that way. The second best thing would be to use tags, but unfortunately the system does not allow views to be filtered according to these either. So I abuse some of the private information fields to act as pseudo-tags which can be filtered on. I chose a negative number for price so that it is clear (to me) that something special is meant with that value; obviously I cannot enter a game's true value in that field anymore. I cannot use more than a few of these pseudo-tags either because the system doesn't allow for more. So it's really of limited value if you want to have all sorts of cross-sections through your collection at your fingertips... But for such an ad hoc example, it suffices. At some point in the future I'll remove the negative prices, and then of course the link will no longer show the games I've marked...

It is my hope that the next iteration of the UI will handle this in a smarter way, but I'm rather afraid the generic search and filtering module I and thousands of others would love to have is not easy to implement and maintain, even using a drop-in search library (see here for an older research paper, or this comprehensive blog post)... So I'm not getting my hopes up here.

But we were talking various games, not obscure BGG tricks and OSS search libraries meeple. Apologies to the OP for derailing the thread, I'll be a good boy now.
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Chris Wood
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Not a problem; I find this particular derailment to be most interesting.
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Jonathan Harrison
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I just put my tags in my game comments. For example: The games that I am expecting in the mail.

For example, by creating a tag header (or footer) in my game comments as necessary, I could create a permanently working link for the purposes of this current thread (BGG thread ID 884364) by putting the tag _884364_ at the end of my game comments for the four games in question, so: Games linked to this thread.

Note that it's not even visible, if you comment-field tag in white text, and doesn't take up too much space, if you use small type. (Select all to see my tagging.)
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Shane Larsen
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
Note that it's not even visible, if you comment-field tag in white text. Select all to see my tagging.


Of course you would. I like it.

Yes, even though it is interesting, it's still a derailment. I apologize too. I'll be done. At least you have my full comments on three of the four games, right?

Good luck with your decision!
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Now that is an even smarter solution. Well done!
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Shayne Gray
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
thedacker wrote:
HuginnGreiling wrote:
thedacker wrote:
I have and love both TtA and Trajan.

I don't own either of the other two, but Archipelago is #1 on my want list.

I'll echo Shane on this, except that my pre-order of Archipelago came in today, and I hope to be able to give a comparison soon.


So jealous. wow Please let me know how it goes when you play it. From where did you order it to already have it in your hands?!

Straight from Ludically. I usually don't do direct publisher pre-orders, but with Chris I make an exception.


ooh hopefully mine will come today as well!
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