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Lawrence Lopez
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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I don't really understand the low ratings... this is a playable and enjoyable LIGHT game. The rules are poorly written (full of typos, etc.) but the game itself is really simple and FUN. Seems like there’s too much luck that benefits the (randomly chosen) first player, especially with regards to the random events. This hurts the game, I think. Since the first player can’t be first in two consecutive turns, however, this luck element may iron out as the game progresses (but maybe not in time to win back players who get temporarily ruined by the un-lucky turn). The battle card system, which draws comparisons to that used in Condottiere, also seems somewhat flawed by an excessive reliance on luck. While there are ways to attempt to mitigate this (i.e., purchasing more battle cards during the buy phase), unlucky draws may cause a player to cripple himself financially, thus falling further behind in the race to build castles (handy for defense and income). This sense that luck overburdens the game is hard to ignore.

Despite all of this, I like Joan of Arc a lot. It’s a fun, light game that is very entertaining and colorful. I really like the card artwork and nice castle/stronghold bits. It’s a game that falls somewhere between Risk and Wallenstein in complexity and offers a similar thematic game experience. Joan of Arc is definitely a multiplayer game, though, that works well enough with 3 players but will benefit greatly from each additional player. For a relaxed group who like Risk, I’d pick Joan of Arc. For all others I’d pick Wallenstein.


 
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Michal Dziewonski
Spain
Barcelona
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Well, I gave it a 7 after my first play tonight. I must say that the design is a bit awkward (the chits were sometimes really disfigured printwise), apart from the absolutely delicious cards (yes, I could eat some of them ) and nice castles/keeps (resin? I think it's typical plastic, but I might be wrong)

It IS good fun, with many interesting turns of fate. And it is simple. I am an avid Warrior Knights player, and Joan of Arc is a great game to play in between mind-boggling sessions of WK.

The dice are a bit of randomizer, but then again, if you don't know how to play the game, even the best throws won't help you. Mind you, the first player might get some event bonuses, but it is the last player who gets to wait till all the others spend their cards, to attack any chinks in their defense.

Also, the buy cards OR build castles dillema is also a balancing element - after all, you either spend your income on roaming the land or investing in what you already have. The ambassador cards introduce a bit of randomness, too, with several events that can make one's in-game life harder or easier.

A 3 player game (allies etc.) left me hungry for a bigger one, so I am definitely coming back for more medieval French action!
 
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