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Subject: Jamaica or Pergamon? rss

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Ahmad Lokman Ishak
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I look forward to buy a game where it can be enjoyed by two, but would still be great when I invite more people to come and play. Two games that I am eyeing at the moment are Jamaica and Pergamon.

Target audience:
My frequent gaming partner is my wife, who is not really into games which needed too much brain burning. She is fond of Finca, enjoyed Zooloretto, found Stone Age to be a so-so, and would played Ticket to Ride only on the iPad even when I have a physical copy of it.
My brother, 14 years old, will join in for a gaming session whenever I bring my games to my parents' house.
I also hope that the game I am going to purchase to be appealing to adults (non-gamers) as I intend to introduce some friends to the world of board gaming next year.

Why Jamaica?:
- beautiful components
- easy to learn

My doubt: from reviews, people were saying that Jamaica is too easy. They stated that adults will easily be bored of it after several sessions. I know that I do enjoy simple games like Finca, but some easy games like Hare & Tortoise with calculated way to win every single time does make me dissapointed and avoiding playing it again myself. Thus, I do not know whether Jamaica is a good choice for my purchase this time.


Why Pergamon?:
- beautiful arts
- unique gameplay

My doubt: I am afraid, yes very afraid that my wife will find the game play is not easy to learn. I do like it from what I saw at the pictures section and from the reviews I read, and I bet I would always bring this game to the table, but there is no use if my wife refuse to have another session with me after playing it once.


Please help me to decide!

 
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Mike Jones
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I own and have played both.

I found the Pergamon was actually easier to teach and learn then Jamaica. Also, I grew bored of Pergamon fairly quickly, whereas, Jamaica is asked for occasionally to get played.

There is a lot of luck in drawing and in dice rolling in Jamaica. In this case I feel it helps shake the game up so that it does play a bit different based on luck AND how aggressive the players are.

And I mean that in both aggressive in attacking people and aggressive in getting to the end.

When there's a lot of fighting you get a much different game then one is going all out to get to the finish. While it is a race game, there are also times when some people will go slower in order to try and get bonuses (give curses) and then find a balance between gathering and rushing to the end.
 
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Cliff Roberts
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Your wife sounds much like my own. She too enjoys Finca, Zooloretto and would tolerate Stone Age. She just started "getting" some of the Ticket to Ride aspects and is probably more willing to play that now as well than she used to be.

I enjoy Jamaica, but the 2p experience is definitely NOT where this game shines. It's a the-more-the-merrier type of game, quite fun on its own, but really needing more players for the pirate-on-pirate interaction everybody loves.

My wife really enjoys Pergamon, and even recommends it when we play games with others. After just a couple of plays, she understood it very well and it was not complicated at all. Also, the 2p version actually works quite well. The "third player" really does nothing more than limit one's options, so there is no controlling him or using him as a surrogate player.

I'd definitely go with Pergamon. I don't think you (or your wife) will regret it.
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Curt Carpenter
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I own both, and have played both many times each. Both are great games.

Jamaica really shines with many more players. Preferably all 6. With very little downtime since the main decision is made byy all players simultaneously. Jamaica is simple, but random in the card draws, thus you can't simply calculate it out like H&T. There's also simultaneous card selection, so you don't know what others are doing until after you've already locked in your move. It makes it a bit chaotic, but it's fun. It gets regularly requested by relatives at my house.

If you really have to play one with two players, Pergamon is the clear winner, with the special rules-for-two to make it better. Although personally I wouldn't play either with two players.
 
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Ahmad Lokman Ishak
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godurmyall wrote:
I enjoy Jamaica, but the 2p experience is definitely NOT where this game shines. It's a the-more-the-merrier type of game, quite fun on its own, but really needing more players for the pirate-on-pirate interaction everybody loves.


Have you tried the variant that people said will make a 2 player game to be more engaging? It will be awesome if anyone could give their two cents about that variant.
 
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Ahmad Lokman Ishak
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Guantanamo wrote:
I own and have played both.

I found the Pergamon was actually easier to teach and learn then Jamaica. Also, I grew bored of Pergamon fairly quickly, whereas, Jamaica is asked for occasionally to get played.

There is a lot of luck in drawing and in dice rolling in Jamaica. In this case I feel it helps shake the game up so that it does play a bit different based on luck AND how aggressive the players are.

And I mean that in both aggressive in attacking people and aggressive in getting to the end.

When there's a lot of fighting you get a much different game then one is going all out to get to the finish. While it is a race game, there are also times when some people will go slower in order to try and get bonuses (give curses) and then find a balance between gathering and rushing to the end.


So you're saying that Pergamon is easy to teach and learn after all? Then it will depends on my teaching skill to make my wife love it then. Says I who happened to make my wife lost interest in Carcassonne after my lengthy lecture on Carcassonne.
 
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Anthony Harlan
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I own and have played both.

Jamaica does not work with only 2 players. In order to play with only 2 there is a variant involving a N.P.C., a "ghost ship." This mechanic feels clunky. Jamaica is a light, lucky racing game with some hand management and resource management. But it's almost all tactics and almost no strategy. Every turn you do the best you can. But because of the roll of the dice and the draw of the cards there is almost no way to plan ahead. Also, there needs to be conflict between players to keep this game from becoming a boring "roll and move" race. That's why the 2 player game does not work. There is too little conflict. I would not suggest this game for 2 adults, but maybe as a silly light game for a group of casual gamers, or definitely as a family game.

Pergamon does work well with all number of players. The 2 player variant, the "tomb raider," works simply and elegantly to keep play competitive. It's a fantastic medium weight strategy game. It still has a good deal of luck but not as much as Jamaica. In Pergamon you can absolutely plan ahead and set yourself up for future actions. It is also definitely more complex than Jamaica but that's not saying much since Jamaica is so simple. On the Board Game Geek scale Jamaica is a weight 1.6 while Pergamon is a 2.3. Both are still very accessible. You should read the rules for both before purchasing to see if Pergamon is too complex for your needs.

Bottom Line: Pergamon is a great medium light strategy game for any number of players. Jamaica is a good light thematic game for casual groups or families.
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Mike Jones
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loudtwist wrote:
...So you're saying that Pergamon is easy to teach and learn after all? ...


Yes, I find it easy to teach and I'm not that great at teaching games.
 
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Ahmad Lokman Ishak
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So.... I decided it will be Pergamon. Jamaica is still in the list. Soon

Thanks guys!
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Cliff Roberts
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Let us know how it goes!
 
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Chris Wood
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For light racing games, wait for Salmon Run
 
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Dan C
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Own and enjoy both of these games. Echo the above that Pergamon is a better game for 2p and better for adults. Jamaica is light, fun game for adults maybe, but feels more like something you'd play with the kids; especially 2p with the ghost ship is more of a "kid" game.

Edit: I see you went with Pergamon. Good choice
 
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Ahmad Lokman Ishak
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I did not keep to my words... I bought both of them, but haven't played any one of them yet.

After reading the rulebook for each game, I can say that Pergamon is easier to play but I know I need to clarify this through playing both games. These few days my wife and I were having rounds of Sheepland, and although the game was quite simple, she was still unable to see the significance of moving the shephard and how to score.

While she is still confused about to like or not to like Sheepland, I will put both Pergamon and Jamaica on hold.

Soon.

 
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J.A.H. van de Laak
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I traded away Jamaica... its beautiful, but it felt like a real children's game to me.
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Andre Lucato
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QueesteGeest wrote:
.Jamaica (..) it felt like a real children's game to me.


It could be taken as a compliment.
 
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Ahmad Lokman Ishak
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QueesteGeest wrote:
I traded away Jamaica... its beautiful, but it felt like a real children's game to me.


Maybe it will be good to play Jamaica with my daughter when she is older. She's just 1 year and four months old now.
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