Bernhard W
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As a casual gamer I don’t get to play enough games to figure out which mechanisms/themes I really love and which ones I don’t. So far, with “Mediterranean trading/worker placement” games I can see that there is something there that I really like. That is, multiple ways to score points, some player interaction (but not too much), resource/action shortage, building routes/buildings to name a few. Some games I played that I put into this category are The Princes of Florence, The Merchants Of the Middle Ages, Le Havre (iPad) or Puerto Rico (could be in the Med., so fits here for me). However, I haven’t found a game that sticks out enough and doesn’t feel a bit samey/bland after playing.

I don’t think they are all highly ranked because they are like puzzles that you have to play x-times until you solved them, although I’m leaning towards that opinion a bit at the moment. As this causes my brain to shut down after reading a game description if it begins with “You’re a merchant/builder/adventurer in…” and results in a Tom Vasel blue screen, I’m searching for a game(s) as a cure!

That’s where this poll comes into play. Rate which of the following games you would (highly) recommend for casual gamers that fit the “You are a Merchant/Builder/Explorer… in the Mediterranean (Europe or elsewhere in the world like PR)" theme and have to gain the most wealth/influence. If you’re not sure whether the games listed or you would like to add fits, think whether Tom Vasel would get into rage when holding it in his hands (If you don’t know what I mean, watch his Vasco Da Gama reviews).

If you think now I should simply use the advanced search function, well, this is how I created the poll. However, a lot of the top game ratings for this sort of games are up to 10 years old, so I wanted to get some more current opinions. Also, I wanted to see whether other gamers were in a similar situation and found a game that clicked. Feel free to comment why you think a specific game sticks out from the crowd, is missing or why it doesn’t fit to my criteria (don't take the chosen mechanisms too serious though).

The games should be playable in up to 2 h on the 1st go and be accessible to casual gamers (not: it’s great after 5+ plays), although that doesn't mean that a new player has the same chances to win as someone who played before.

Thanks for your contributions.
(At least I know now how to create a poll)


(BTW, I really like Toms reviews but didn't get influenced by his view even if it might look like it. Our tastes are quite different in other occasions). Edits: Subject title; text highlights.

Poll
Which of these "Mediterranean" themed trading/worker placement games would you recommend to casual gamers?

Highly recommended: Great game for casual players
Recommended: Good, but has some drawbacks (player number, replayability,...)
Complex: (Highly) Recommended, but needs several plays to click (not for casual players)
Not recommended: Didn't like it.
  Highly recommended Recommended Complex Not recommended Vote Count
Aladdin’s Dragons 20.0% (1) 40.0% (2) 0.0% (0) 40.0% (2) 5
Albion 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 100.0% (4) 4
Alhambra 50.0% (11) 40.9% (9) 0.0% (0) 9.1% (2) 22
Amyitis 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 33.3% (1) 66.7% (2) 3
Aquileia 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 100.0% (1) 1
Arkadia 16.7% (1) 66.7% (4) 0.0% (0) 16.7% (1) 6
Asara 20.0% (1) 60.0% (3) 0.0% (0) 40.0% (2) 5
Assyria 25.0% (1) 25.0% (1) 0.0% (0) 50.0% (2) 4
Caylus Magna Carta 7.7% (1) 23.1% (3) 53.8% (7) 15.4% (2) 13
Cuba 0.0% (0) 36.4% (4) 27.3% (3) 36.4% (4) 11
Egizia 9.1% (1) 63.6% (7) 27.3% (3) 0.0% (0) 11
Endeavor 12.5% (2) 37.5% (6) 25.0% (4) 25.0% (4) 16
Felinia 0.0% (0) 50.0% (1) 0.0% (0) 50.0% (1) 2
Florenza 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 100.0% (3) 3
Fortuna 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 50.0% (1) 50.0% (1) 2
Hansa 42.9% (3) 42.9% (3) 0.0% (0) 14.3% (1) 7
Hansa Teutonica 29.4% (5) 23.5% (4) 41.2% (7) 11.8% (2) 17
Il Vecchio 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 100.0% (2) 2
La Citta 28.6% (2) 14.3% (1) 14.3% (1) 42.9% (3) 7
Le Havre 26.3% (5) 10.5% (2) 57.9% (11) 10.5% (2) 19
Macao 15.8% (3) 31.6% (6) 36.8% (7) 15.8% (3) 19
Maharaja 0.0% (0) 33.3% (2) 16.7% (1) 50.0% (3) 6
Medieval Merchant 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 100.0% (2) 2
Merchants of the Middle Ages/Die Händler 0.0% (0) 33.3% (1) 33.3% (1) 33.3% (1) 3
Navegador 37.5% (6) 37.5% (6) 25.0% (4) 6.2% (1) 16
Nefretiti 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 100.0% (2) 2
Ora et labora 0.0% (0) 30.0% (3) 70.0% (7) 0.0% (0) 10
Porto Carthago 0.0% (0) 50.0% (1) 0.0% (0) 50.0% (1) 2
Puerto Rico 33.3% (8) 33.3% (8) 20.8% (5) 16.7% (4) 24
Quebec 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 100.0% (1) 1
Santiago de Cuba 55.6% (5) 22.2% (2) 0.0% (0) 22.2% (2) 9
The Pillars of the Earth 36.4% (4) 45.5% (5) 18.2% (2) 0.0% (0) 11
The Princes of Florence 40.0% (4) 20.0% (2) 30.0% (3) 20.0% (2) 10
The Princes of Machu Picchu 0.0% (0) 20.0% (1) 40.0% (2) 40.0% (2) 5
Troyes 18.8% (3) 12.5% (2) 43.8% (7) 25.0% (4) 16
Vasco Da Gama 16.7% (1) 50.0% (3) 0.0% (0) 33.3% (2) 6
Ys 33.3% (1) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 66.7% (2) 3
Total Voters 34
This poll is now closed.   34 answers
Poll created by BeloW06
Closes: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:00 am


Edit: Nefretiti should read Nefertiti

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laura Creighton
Sweden
Göteborg
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Shipping in the Mediterranean (Poll )!!! Recommendations?
You are finding Québec in the Mediterranean?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernhard W
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Shipping in the Mediterranean (Poll )!!! Recommendations?
lacreighton wrote:
You are finding Québec in the Mediterranean?

And Machu Picchu is just an inch westwards of Spain whistle

I added games I thought could be set just as good in the Med to the poll. Sorry for not being fully consistent blush
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Shipping in the Mediterranean (Poll )!!! Recommendations?
As of 3 responses, my money's on Alhambra. It's relatively easy to teach an learn; players build up nice tableaux of tiles, it's non-confrontational, and you get to feel a little bit clever when "you have the right change" and get extra turns.

Lots of great non-casual games in there though...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernhard W
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Shipping, Trading & Building in the Mediterranean (Poll )! Recommendations?
fateswanderer wrote:
As of 3 responses, my money's on Alhambra. It's relatively easy to teach an learn; players build up nice tableaux of tiles, it's non-confrontational, and you get to feel a little bit clever when "you have the right change" and get extra turns.


I haven't played it yet, so I will try to get a game of it in. How is the replay value? Does it have enough for multiple plays so that not only new players have fun, but somebody who played it a fair bit also doesn't get bored?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tomello Visello
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Shipping, Trading & Building in the Mediterranean (Poll )! Recommendations?
BeloW06 wrote:
As a casual gamer I don’t get to play enough games to figure out which mechanisms/themes I really love and which ones I don’t.

As a gamer who has more casual tastes than what typically produces the Top 100 ratings, I find Alhambra to be practically the only one on your list I am familiar with.


BeloW06 wrote:
The games should be playable in up to 2 h on the 1st go and be accessible to casual gamers
This list does not reach me and my friends. We're mostly casual about playing level, but fairly active in playing frequency.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tomello Visello
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Shipping, Trading & Building in the Mediterranean (Poll )! Recommendations?
BeloW06 wrote:
fateswanderer wrote:
As of 3 responses, my money's on Alhambra. It's relatively easy to teach an learn; players build up nice tableaux of tiles, it's non-confrontational, and you get to feel a little bit clever when "you have the right change" and get extra turns.


I haven't played it yet, so I will try to get a game of it in. How is the replay value? Does it have enough for multiple plays so that not only new players have fun, but somebody who played it a fair bit also doesn't get bored?
A highly favored game for one of my friends, especially becuase he plays it at family gatherings with his high school and college age daughers, his sister and brother-in-law, and his mother who in her nineties.

That's how we see "casual".

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernhard W
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Shipping, Trading & Building in the Mediterranean (Poll )! Recommendations?
TVis wrote:
BeloW06 wrote:
The games should be playable in up to 2 h on the 1st go and be accessible to casual gamers
This list does not reach me and my friends. We're mostly casual about playing level, but fairly active in playing frequency.


I'm not sure what you're saying there. By casual I meant along the definition of "occurring without regularity; occasional", which doesn't really fit your fairly active playing frequency.

However, I know that this list includes games that are not extremly well known, but they fit a theme that I would like to have some games for. My point is to get suggestions for games that are easy to teach to gamers and they can have a good time the first time they play it. Or in other words, they have a rough idea after the rules explanation how to form competetive strategies even if they won't win against someone who played the game before. This excludes games with a high learning curve, where you are a bit lost the first time through and only after several plays, you understand how everything comes together.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BeloW06 wrote:
fateswanderer wrote:
As of 3 responses, my money's on Alhambra.


How is the replay value? Does it have enough for multiple plays so that not only new players have fun, but somebody who played it a fair bit also doesn't get bored?


Several people in my medium/heavy gaming groups play Alhambra reasonably often, and I've met a "national champion" of the game, so it can certainly take a fair bit of plays.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernhard W
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fateswanderer wrote:
BeloW06 wrote:
fateswanderer wrote:
As of 3 responses, my money's on Alhambra.


How is the replay value? Does it have enough for multiple plays so that not only new players have fun, but somebody who played it a fair bit also doesn't get bored?


Several people in my medium/heavy gaming groups play Alhambra reasonably often, and I've met a "national champion" of the game, so it can certainly take a fair bit of plays.


Thanks Andrew. I just checked your profile and saw that you rated it a 6, which corresponds to my rating of Carcassonne. I think Alhambra might be a nice game to play with others that are new to the game (matches my criteria), but I'm not sure whether it would outstay its welcome for me.

What do you think of Navegador? It looks like it is a bit more than Alhambra but still not too difficult to find your way through the 1st time.

The votes are really interesting so far. Especially with Hansa Teutonica the opinions stray a fair bit. Do you think it’s because it has a steeper learning curve? Despite the rule problems, do you think it’s a mixed bag the first time and you need to play more to understand it?

I played Puerto Rice a couple of times and although I don’t have a good strategy, I enjoy it and so did everyone I played with so far. The fact that you can get better with multiple plays is only getting in the way once you know some tricks that you don’t share. Maybe that’s why the results stray here. For me, I would (highly) recommend it.

Thanks again for participating!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laura Creighton
Sweden
Göteborg
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In my opinion, Le Havre and Ora et Labora are pretty much the same game. The largest difference between them is that Ora is more accessible to newcomers. You know you have to build settlements. You know you need energy and food to do so. There. That's enough for a beginning strategy for Ora. In Le Havre, there is no little voice that whispers in your ear 'want to get VPs? Get into steel making in a very big way.' You really have to take the time to study the cards, and the ways that you can get VPs. Beginning Le Havre players often complain that they have no clue what it is that they should be doing.

So I am surprised that, at least as the votes are now (20 responses) there seems to be more support for Le Havre as a recommended game than Ora. I fear this means that not enough people have enough experience with many things on your list -- enough that they can compare them.

Navegador isn't hard to teach. The 2 things that are hard about it is the rondel -- if that is new to you -- and the whole idea that the winner in Navegador (in the multi-player game -- the 2 person game is a different beast) is the person with the underrepresented strategy. So it is not the case that we are all trying to do the same thing -- but we each strive to do it better than the others, but instead that we are trying to do something that nobody else is doing. Some people have a hard time getting their heads around that for the first time. They have a habit of copying what others do when they are unsure of what to do, on the grounds that if it was good for him to do it then it will be good for me to also. In Navegador, the fact that somebody did something is quite likely a very strong indicator that you shouldn't do it.

Also, if you want a game that is about exploring, and not about manipulating the market, then you should probably get a different game. This isn't a 'feel like an explorer, constantly changing course in the high seas' but 'feel like a speculator, constantly figuring out when to buy and sell things, and having to adjust with every move your opponent makes'. If you like 'everybody does their own thing and there is very little interaction between players' then this is not your game. If you like direct conflict -- I am going to blow your ships to Kingdom Come! -- this is not your game. But if you like indirectly affecting all of your oppponents, crushing them through market forces ... then this is great stuff.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernhard W
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lacreighton wrote:
In my opinion, Le Havre and Ora et Labora are pretty much the same game. The largest difference between them is that Ora is more accessible to newcomers... In Le Havre, there is no little voice that whispers in your ear 'want to get VPs? Get into steel making in a very big way.' You really have to take the time to study the cards, and the ways that you can get VPs. Beginning Le Havre players often complain that they have no clue what it is that they should be doing.


That's exactly how I felt when I playd Le Havre on the iPad! At least, it wasn't just me who was missing something there.

lacreighton wrote:
Navegador isn't hard to teach. The 2 things that are hard about it is the rondel -- if that is new to you -- and the whole idea that the winner in Navegador (in the multi-player game -- the 2 person game is a different beast) is the person with the underrepresented strategy. So it is not the case that we are all trying to do the same thing -- but we each strive to do it better than the others, but instead that we are trying to do something that nobody else is doing.


That would explain the mixed results. I agree that it's counter intuitive to find your own niche and not go for competiton in the same thing as others. Hmm, seems this one could result in disappointment on the first go then.

lacreighton wrote:
Also, if you want a game that is about exploring, and not about manipulating the market, then you should probably get a different game. This isn't a 'feel like an explorer, constantly changing course in the high seas' but 'feel like a speculator, constantly figuring out when to buy and sell things, and having to adjust with every move your opponent makes'. If you like 'everybody does their own thing and there is very little interaction between players' then this is not your game. If you like direct conflict -- I am going to blow your ships to Kingdom Come! -- this is not your game. But if you like indirectly affecting all of your oppponents, crushing them through market forces ... then this is great stuff.


I thought that Navegador fits to the rest of the pack in the poll in regard to market manipulatin, so that's fine. Some sort of interaction gives a game an edge that sticks out from feeling boring. However, crushing sounds quite harsh. Are you saying that in Navegador, you can pretty much eliminate another players chance to win via strategic play in the market? If you mean pulling off a great combo and go for the win, than that's fine with me.

Thanks Laura!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernhard W
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lacreighton wrote:
...I fear this means that not enough people have enough experience with many things on your list -- enough that they can compare them.


This is the interesting bit I find so far. The majority of the games on the list has an average rating of 7 or higher (and well over 100 votes to get at least some meaningful value). I put this list together to also see whether there are some overlooked games that are highly recommended by those few who own them and love them (which results in a low Geek rating).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laura Creighton
Sweden
Göteborg
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
'Crushing' maybe is too harsh a word. But the way the market works is -- whenever a colony owner goes to the market, and sells raw materials to the market, the price of those raw goods sinks. Subsequent Colony owners who go to the market will get a smaller profit for their goods (unless the price is already at rock bottom). The only thing that will improve prices for raw materials is for factory owners to go to the market, use the raw materials to make manufactured goods which they sell. But this, of course, has exactly the same effect on the other factory owners -- the ones that follow a factory owner into the market will get poorer profit for their manufactured goods, than the first one did. There is a rule that for each of the 3 types of goods that exist in the game, whenever you go to the market, you can either use your colonies (if you have any) or your factories (you always have 1 general purpose factory that can be used for any good this way). This means that usually -- again, not in the 2 p game -- you strive to either have gold colonies or gold factories but not both -- and the same for sugar and spice.

Thus the best time for you as a gold/sugar/spice factory/colony owner to go to the market is right after a gold/sugar/spice colony/factory owner has gone to the market.

This means that if prices have hit rock bottom for either the colony owners or the factory owners, they can often be found looking hungrily at the people who have specialised the other way. They badly want these people to go to the market to improve their prices. If you can figuratively thumb your nose at them, because you aren't strapped for cash, you can watch their plans come undone because they cannot afford to buy things, at least this trip around the rondel because you won't go to the market and improve prices for them.

This is either the sort of thing you find fun, or it isn't. If it is, you will love your first game of Navegador, no matter how poorly you played it, and want to play another game right away. You have an immediate idea how you could do better and want to try it, right now. Since the game plays fairly fast (well for an economic game), this is no problem. On the other hand, if this isn't the sort of thing you find fun, then one game will be more than enough to convince you that this is the sort of dry, boring euro that you dislike. So -- whether you should play this is casual gamers depends not so much on how well they will play it their first time, but whether they will want to play it at all.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernhard W
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for your detailed comment! I guess if it's a like it or hate it game because of the market system, it's likely that it doesn't go down well with quite a few people, which is then not what I'm lookin for.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BeloW06 wrote:
What do you think of Navegador? It looks like it is a bit more than Alhambra but still not too difficult to find your way through the 1st time.


I love Navegador and would like to play it more! It's definitely harder to teach than Alhambra though.

BeloW06 wrote:
Especially with Hansa Teutonica the opinions stray a fair bit. Do you think it’s because it has a steeper learning curve? Despite the rule problems, do you think it’s a mixed bag the first time and you need to play more to understand it?


HT has a lot of precise rules, but once you know them, the game follows those rules exactly, each turn, and there's no hidden information so you can correct wrong moves and people can ask for explanations at any time. The learning curve is very interesting, because you keep on changing your mind on which strategy is overpowered, and every game is different. However a newbie who plays the game occasionally may not be able to appreciate this, and I would be careful and very patient teaching it. (For example my parents would have no hope learning this game, no matter how well I taught it. Actually they would have no hope learning many middle-weight games...)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bernhard W
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fateswanderer wrote:
However a newbie who plays the game occasionally may not be able to appreciate this, and I would be careful and very patient teaching it. (For example my parents would have no hope learning this game, no matter how well I taught it. Actually they would have no hope learning many middle-weight games...)

I'm slowly getting the feeling that applies to a fair bit of the games on the list. They are not easily approachable the first time you play and therefore might not be a good pick for casual gamers shake

In my case, I think I got a few friends/family that can grasp medium weight games the first time. When I'm teaching a game, I usually try to give some hints on what to watch out for, but that only works if I got it first. That means, a game needs to click half way through (not too complex), or it'll be just another dust collector on the shelf.

Currently, I'm leaning towards Princes of Florence, Navegador or Hansa Teutonica (although it looks a bit bland).

(I also read about Lancaster and A castle for all seasons that might be a fit. I think Genoa and Goa also look quite good but don't really grab me).
 
 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.