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Subject: Is it worth joining this guild? rss

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Yellohat
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Emmerich am Rhein
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Guild
From the medieval times on professionals organized themselves in guilds. Some guilds had guildhalls built for them so they had a place where the members could have their meetings. The bigger and wealthier guilds built guildhalls at prominent places in town.


Guildhall in the center of Antwerp, Belgium

AEG's mysterious release for Spiel 2012
Alderac had a very interesting line up last Spiel which included the Tempest series, Smash Up and more. But there was also a mysterious surprise release only to be announced at Spiel.
I inquired the first public day, Thursday, for the mystery game and the guys at Alderac only referred to an empty space in their stand. The games were not delivered yet, they were supposed held up at customs. The next day Guildhall was available for playing and for sale.
To me it is not clear why they kept the game under the radar. In my view this is a very nice card game.

Guildhall
In the game you will find 120 profession cards, there are six different professions and they come in five colors. Each card is available in the game four times.
There are also 30 victory point cards and a pile of victory point tokens.
The game is language independent and there is also a well written and comprehensive rulebook in the languages German and English.

Setup
In the middle of the table five victory point cards are laid open in a row. These can be purchased. And there is a draw pile and an open discard pile for the profession cards and a draw pile for the victory points cards.
Each player is dealt nine profession cards. Initially he may choose to discard a few and get the same number of cards from the draw pile. Of these nine, the player may place, in front of him, three profession cards openly in his guildhall.

Play the game
In the game you try to reach the winning condition which is having 20 victory points. The game then ends abruptly.
A pivotal rule in this game is that you may never play or obtain a card, same in profession and color, you already have in your guildhall. And you also may not give another player a card he already has.

At a player's turn you have two actions to spend and there are three different actions to choose from.
- Play a profession card and perform the belonging ability. This ability will be better the more cards of that same profession the player has in his guildhall. You may play a single profession only once per player's turn.
- Purchase a victory point card from the middle of the table. A player can purchase one of these cards in exchange for one or two completed chapters in his guildhall. A completed chapter is five cards of the same profession in different colors.
- Discard a card from the hand and refill the hand to six cards.

At the end of the turn the player may enter the played profession cards in the guildhall. If a chapter is completed. All five cards of that profession are turned around indicating that this chapter is protected and can be used for purchasing a victory point card.


In this picture you can see the guildhall of the player. He has for instance four historians. If he now wants to play a historian he can only play the green one. On the bottom part of the cards you can also see the actions you can perform when playing a character. The numbers indicate the threshold you need to have in the guildhall for the enhanced action. In the back you can see the line of victory point cards and a draw pile. Picture from bgg user petejacko

Six professions
- Farmer, the farmer only has effect if there is already at least one farmer in the guildhall. The farmer harvests one victory point or two, if you have at least three farmers in the guildhall.
- Dancer, this woman looks very sexy, very unmedieval, in the card. She will give you an additional action and you may draw as many cards as you have dancers in the guildhall.
- Weaver, the weaver let you place a card from your hand directly in the guildhall. If you have weavers in the guildhall you then place more but then you must also bring cards from the guildhall to your hand, so you then can play them again.
- Assassin, this person kills characters from other guildhalls. The cards then go to the discard pile. The more experienced the guildhall is in assassination, the more cards you profession cards an opponent will loose.
- Historian, this card let you get a card from the discard pile for your guildhall. If you have no historian in your guildhall, it has to be the top card from the discard pile. If you have two in your guildhall, you may look for one and if you have four, you may find two cards.
- Trader, the merchant lets you exchange a card from your guildhall for an other player's guildhall. You may trade more cards is you at least two traders in your guildhall.

Purchasing victory points
There is a variety in these cards and there will always be five available for purchasing. The cards cost one or two completed chapters. The value in points is ranging in value from two to nine. Most of the cards also give the purchase one or two additional actions the player can do in his turn.

Components
The cards are of fine quality and the artwork looks really nice. All characters are really well drawn. Same can be said about the box. I really like the farmer on the front holding his two little piggies. The cards also have a symbol per color, so the color blind can play the game too. The used symbols in the game are also easy to understand.
The only complaint I have is that the inlay is not fit for the number of cards in the game. A few top cards will always be on the move.

Theme
In a guildhall I can imagine encountering historians mumbling about the great past, even dancers for entertainment and shrewd traders too.
I read about a guildhall in Amsterdam, de Waag, where more guilds were situated, though each having their own entrance, so that allow the weavers and farmers.
But I do not see assassins united in a guild. I can imagine another profession taking care of expelling characters from guildhalls, murder is not needed.
Still the theme is there, especially in getting enhanced abilities if you already have a lot of experience in your guildhall present.

Is it worth joining this guild?
The game is tactical and I prefer to play it with three though it also plays fine with two or four. It is a tactical game because guildhalls' presences change in high tempo. You can do some planning with your hand but some of the plans can easily be disrupted by your opponents.
The game has a nice element. The more characters you have in your guildhall, the better the actions become. The downside of a big guildhall is that your place will be the place to be for your opponents' shopping and the harder it will get to get that fifth card. A player turn can go fast but it can also take a while as a player might be looking who has that red farmer the player lacks.
The game is easy to explain. It is fun to play. And a game does not take long, it is played in up to 45 minutes.
So yes, it is worth paying the fee for this card game, so you can join the guild. You are welcome.


If you are interested in reading more of my reviews, click here
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The Freshmaker
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ravinck wrote:
The only complaint I have is that the inlay is not fit for the number of cards in the game. A few top cards will always be on the move.


Yes! How does this happen? shake
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Captain Yellowbeard
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raile wrote:
ravinck wrote:
The only complaint I have is that the inlay is not fit for the number of cards in the game. A few top cards will always be on the move.


Yes! How does this happen? shake


I have three complaints. My first complaint, albeit a minor one, there are essentially two decks, a deck of professions and a deck of VPs. Each deck has a similar card back with the only difference is one presents the Guildhall logo horizontal and the other vertical. How easy would it have been to have more distinctive card backs.

My second complaint is more substantive, I like well designed inserts that fit the components. i.e. LoWD Since this is just a game of cards and unnecessary tokens, why couldn't the spaces for the cards be designed to fit the cards with sleeves? This is a real problem for us sleeve addicts, and could have been a simple design change to add some additional space for the sleeved cards.

Finally, my last complaint is a rampant problem in many games but especially evident on Guildhall. The amount of wasted materials and dead air that is included in producing the oversized packaging. Consumers are paying for this waste in the cost of their games. Does anyone believe that a game consisting of a 150 cards, rulebook, and handful of unnecessary tokens requires a box 8.5" x 8.5" x 2.4"? What about environmental concerns for the wasted packaging materials and energy spent shipping the air of the empty box space. I believe this was strictly a marketing decision to give the product more shelf presence. A tuckbox is not warranted but realistic packaging would have been appreciated.

Yes, I enjoy the Guildhall and have preordered the game. However, as a consumer I feel it is important to provide feedback about the other elements that affect my perception of the game.
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CapnYB wrote:
[q="raile"]The amount of wasted materials and dead air that is included in producing the oversized packaging. Consumers are paying for this waste in the cost of their games. Does anyone believe that a game consisting of a 150 cards, rulebook, and handful of unnecessary tokens requires a box 8.5" x 8.5" x 2.4"? What about environmental concerns for the wasted packaging materials and energy spent shipping the air of the empty box space. I believe this was strictly a marketing decision to give the product more shelf presence.


When designing a box, one must consider many things, the coloring, art, insert, description text, etc., but also "how easy will this be to steal?".
Sure, you're not going to steal it and neither am I, but sadly, there are some who will, and unfortunately, that means a bigger box size.

I don't know how relevant that would be for this game in particular, but there's always a balance to be reached.
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Captain Yellowbeard
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Sometimes, these marketing choices an meant to drive perceptions of value and could be an attempt to elevate the game into a higher price tier.

Yes, I enjoy Guildhall and did preorder the game with a significant Black Friday discount. Personally, I don't see $30 worth of value in this game. It is basically 150 cards, with unnecessary tokens thrown in for additional score keeping, and a rulebook.

Munchkin is comparable in its component quantities to Guildhall, although the box is smaller, and its MSRP is $25.

It would be interesting to understand how activity based costing could be used to produce a game like Guildhall. Then one could examine how these "choices" affect the margins earned on the game. i.e. box size, air freight, marketing cost, etc.
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Bruce Murphy
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CapnYB wrote:
Sometimes, these marketing choices an meant to drive perceptions of value and could be an attempt to elevate the game into a higher price tier.

Yes, I enjoy Guildhall and did preorder the game with a significant Black Friday discount. Personally, I don't see $30 worth of value in this game. It is basically 150 cards, with unnecessary tokens thrown in for additional score keeping, and a rulebook.

Munchkin is comparable in its component quantities to Guildhall, although the box is smaller, and its MSRP is $25.


You aren't buying components, you're buying a game. They throw enough stuff into the box to let you play the game as a courtesy. The idea that a game is valued based on the number of components is completely wrong-headed. Value it for how interesting it is to play!

Munchkin is probably a bad comparison.

B>
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I have to say that I wish all of my games were in one of two sizes, large or medium. I hate small boxes. They ruin any chance of storing them in an attractive and efficient way on shelves with the other games. I have never been upset when a game took more space than necessary. Much of the time I just figure I've got room if there's any expansions.
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Bruce Murphy
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rickert wrote:
I have to say that I wish all of my games were in one of two sizes, large or medium. I hate small boxes. They ruin any chance of storing them in an attractive and efficient way on shelves with the other games. I have never been upset when a game took more space than necessary. Much of the time I just figure I've got room if there's any expansions.


I use three Benno CD/DVD shelves to store small games fairly effectively but yes, I wish people wouldn't get so damn creative.

B>
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Captain Yellowbeard
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thepackrat wrote:
Value it for how interesting it is to play!

I did exactly as you suggest. Guildhall was a good value for me given the price I paid for it. ~$20

Your point is not lost on me, as evidenced by several of the games in my collection. I can also appreciate the cost of intellectual property and the cost of creative design that goes into producing a games components. Creative people need to be compensated.

Love Letter, another AEG game, is $10 MSRP. Components 16 cards, 4 reference cards, 13 cubes, and a 24 page rulebook. As a value of enjoyment Love Letter passes my personal hurdle rate. However, Guildhall at $30 MSRP would not.

BTW, I'm also convinced that Groo is not worth $60-100 it commands either, and it is only 60 cards, some stickered dice, and a rule sheet. But I surely didn't mind paying $25 for a copy.
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Bernie Pask
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ravinck wrote:
Guild
But I do not see assassins united in a guild.


Actually there is such a guild...
The Ankh-Morpork Guild of Assassins (also known as the Conlegium Sicariorum) is the assassin specialisation based in Ankh-Morpork, although it also has branches in Sto Lat, Sheepridge and Ohulan Cutash.
But that's a different story ! laugh

Anyhow,
It seems the box size vs content discussion has flared up again. I also often struggle with space to stock my games and wish for smaller boxes or tuck boxes in some cases.

But one general marketing practice I don't see to often in this market is the use of tabletop or floor-stand cardboard displays. You know them, the ones that are loud and easy to spot, depicting the sold items in large photo's, screaming 'Buy Me !'. These stands usually hold multiple smaller -packaged- items.

To me that would be ideal in some cases, smaller packaging for end-user, but high(er) marketing impact for the seller, whilst keeping packaging cost lower. I think Jackson games does this (since Munchkin was mentioned), with their dice-games-in-a-tube like Zombie or Martian Dice.

Mind you, I'm not an expert at this.
But i do know that during the days my parents had a shop, we hated those boxes, grr always in the way cry

just my 2 cents ...
Bernie
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/|\ Roland /|\
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Quote:
I have three complaints. My first complaint, albeit a minor one, there are essentially two decks, a deck of professions and a deck of VPs. Each deck has a similar card back with the only difference is one presents the Guildhall logo horizontal and the other vertical. How easy would it have been to have more distinctive card backs


Actually, the card decks do have different backs. One deck has wood texture, the other has stone. Just sayin'. But yeah, they could've done better. Other than that, my favorite and cheapest game of BGG.con by far!!!
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James Eastham
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Grrr. Just opened mine and ya, the inlay sucks.
 
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