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Subject: Should I buy this game? rss

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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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Hi! Sorry to be a nuisance but I have purchasing problem: I want to get a medium to heavy Euro game with little to no luck with multiple paths to victory.
I had an unsuccessful attempt at this a couple of years ago when I got Constantinopolis . Initially we had some fun, but then we realized that the winner could be determined in the first round of the game depending on the luck of the draw. Needless to say the game is collecting dust on my shelf.

Then I got 7 Wonders and, also, initially liked it a lot. After a dozen or so plays, I realized that there weren't enough paths to victory and strategic options for my tastes and I now only play it with casual gamers.

Then we come to my present situation: I want to get another Euro in the hopes of getting something I will like. It should have multiple paths to victory, last no more than 4 hours (with 4 players), have multiple strategic options (maybe double to triple compared to 7 wonders) and be a resource management game with buildings (somewhat like Constantinopolis). Would Ora be a good game for me?

NOTE: I'm also considering Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and ,if it makes any difference, my favorite game is StarCraft: The Board Game which has a lot of strategic depth and multiple (upon multiple) paths to victory.
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Mathue Faulkner
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Seems like a great fit. Ora is the ultimate sandbox game..
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Josh C.
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Ora et Labora (and Le Havre, by the same designer) both fit that description pretty well, but in my opinion they're both best with 3 players. If you play these games with 4 people, they tend to drag a bit. But if you keep them to 3 people, they sound ideal for you.

I'm having a hard time thinking of a good 4-player building game that I've played.

 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Wheatie wrote:

I'm having a hard time thinking of a good 4-player building game that I've played.

I've only played Ora with 4 once, and it seemed to play just fine....but that was a long time ago. With a 4 hour maximum playtime, I imagine the OP is okay with longer games....

Having said that, a few other "good 4-player building games" may be:
Homesteaders
Puerto Rico
Cuba
Keyflower
Endeavor

Of course, some of the above are better fits than others...
Homesteaders would be my first recommendation.
 
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Moe45673
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Never played Ora (though I want to), but Homesteaders checks off all your criteria. Multiple paths, resource management, build buildings, takes ~60 minutes. Very deep game

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Matthew Tadyshak
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You should definitely get Ora.
 
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Dave Eisen
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Wheatie wrote:
Ora et Labora (and Le Havre, by the same designer) both fit that description pretty well, but in my opinion they're both best with 3 players. If you play these games with 4 people, they tend to drag a bit. But if you keep them to 3 people, they sound ideal for you.

I'm having a hard time thinking of a good 4-player building game that I've played.



I agree with all that. They are both good with 4, actually, but better with 3 for game length reasons.

As far as games for 4, it is hard to go wrong with Puerto Rico. Plays great with 4 and not much luck. You do have to have a group of people who know what they're doing as one beginner can throw the game to someone else easily. Maybe a little thin on the "resource management" side.

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar does seem like a reasonable fit once it is more available. Although I would not describe it as resource conversion in the way that Ora et Labora or Le Havre is.

I have not played enough Belfort to get a sense of how much randomness there is. The buildings come out randomly and, of course, this can impact someone, but it does not seem like an overwhelming amount of luck.

Terra Mystica. No luck at all. Building game. Mid-weight Euro, maybe a little heavier than mid-weight. One can view the Favor tiles as "buildings" as they are in-game benefits players acquire via specific actions.

I went into this thinking that there must be a lot of options better than Ora et Labora for 4 players meeting the rest of your criteria. But really, maybe you'd be just as well off buying Ora et Labora as anything else.



 
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Dave Eisen
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mfaulk80 wrote:
Wheatie wrote:

I'm having a hard time thinking of a good 4-player building game that I've played.

I've only played Ora with 4 once, and it seemed to play just fine....but that was a long time ago. With a 4 hour maximum playtime, I imagine the OP is okay with longer games....

Having said that, a few other "good 4-player building games" may be:
Homesteaders
Puerto Rico
Cuba
Keyflower
Endeavor

Of course, some of the above are better fits than others...
Homesteaders would be my first recommendation.


Homesteaders is great, but has more randomness than I thought the original poster wanted. Maybe not as the randomness is only which buildings are available for purchase which round and this is generally manageable as it's an auction game. It's not going to have a player feeling they were eliminated on turn 1, that's for sure.

Endeavor is also a fine fine game and has literally zero luck to it, but I would not put it in the same category as Ora et Labora, Le Havre, Puerto Rico, or Homesteaders as players are conquering territories on a shared board. It's not really a building game.
 
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John Winkowitsch
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Everything you said pretty much confirms Ora et Labora as the perfect game for you. Medium to heavy? Check. No luck? Check. Multiple paths to victory? Check. Won't last more than 4 hours? Check. Multiple strategic options? Check. Resource management game? Check. Buildings? Check.

Ora would be the PERFECT game for you. Buy it.

My brain nearly melts every time I've played O&L just trying to process all the available options, nearly all of which seem to be legitimate paths to victory. Also, I think playing with 4 is the best, as that is the only way all the different types of buildings come into play, providing even more strategic options and paths to victory. Some other posters have been complaining about the length of the 4-player game, but there is no way it would ever reach 4 hours unless you have a group of AP prone players.

O&L is a worker-placement masterpiece. You won't regret it.
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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dkeisen wrote:

Terra Mystica. No luck at all. Building game. Mid-weight Euro, maybe a little heavier than mid-weight. One can view the Favor tiles as "buildings" as they are in-game benefits players acquire via specific actions.


I'll probably get Terra Mystica in addition to the game I'm about inquiring here as it seems to scratch a different itch

Bauble wrote:
My brain nearly melts every time I've played O&L just trying to process all the available options, nearly all of which seem to be legitimate paths to victory. .


This makes Ora sound like a perfect game for me.
 
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Moe45673
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dkeisen wrote:


Homesteaders is great, but has more randomness than I thought the original poster wanted.


I strongly disagree. Homesteaders has as much randomness as the family version of Agricola.
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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Moe45673 wrote:
dkeisen wrote:


Homesteaders is great, but has more randomness than I thought the original poster wanted.


I strongly disagree. Homesteaders has as much randomness as the family version of Agricola.


One more thing I forgot to add: The thing I also had a problem with 7 wonders is that you couldn't go a certain strategy because you might not get the cards you want later on. (due to randomness) So sometime when the game ends I would have no idea why i won or lost. Ho0w is Ora in this regard?
 
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Steven Steck
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Floating World wrote:

One more thing I forgot to add: The thing I also had a problem with 7 wonders is that you couldn't go a certain strategy because you might not get the cards you want later on. (due to randomness) So sometime when the game ends I would have no idea why i won or lost. Ho0w is Ora in this regard?


There is no randomness in Ora. The only thing that can foil your strategy is your opponents taking the buildings you want to build, or making you use your workers in ways you didn't intend.
 
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Clyde W
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Floating World wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
dkeisen wrote:


Homesteaders is great, but has more randomness than I thought the original poster wanted.


I strongly disagree. Homesteaders has as much randomness as the family version of Agricola.


One more thing I forgot to add: The thing I also had a problem with 7 wonders is that you couldn't go a certain strategy because you might not get the cards you want later on. (due to randomness) So sometime when the game ends I would have no idea why i won or lost. Ho0w is Ora in this regard?
If we're talking Luck Scale here from 0-10, 7W is a 7 and Ora is a 0.

They really couldn't be more different.

I love the game, but if I had to pick one between them, Agricola edges Ora out because of the cards.
 
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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clydeiii wrote:
Floating World wrote:
Moe45673 wrote:
dkeisen wrote:


Homesteaders is great, but has more randomness than I thought the original poster wanted.


I strongly disagree. Homesteaders has as much randomness as the family version of Agricola.


One more thing I forgot to add: The thing I also had a problem with 7 wonders is that you couldn't go a certain strategy because you might not get the cards you want later on. (due to randomness) So sometime when the game ends I would have no idea why i won or lost. Ho0w is Ora in this regard?
If we're talking Luck Scale here from 0-10, 7W is a 7 and Ora is a 0.

They really couldn't be more different.

I love the game, but if I had to pick one between them, Agricola edges Ora out because of the cards.


Agricola seems more deep to me to, but I have to think about my playgroup - not all of them have a good understanding of English so Ora seems like a better choice. And Ora seems to have shorter playing time than Agricola
 
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Jade Youngblood
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Ora is a great medium to heavy euro. It takes long to play through, 2-3 hours. Agricola might be a good one to consider, it has excellent depth and much shorter play time.

If the play time isn't a deterrent, I think you will prefer Ora based on your criteria.
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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championstyle wrote:
Ora is a great medium to heavy euro. It takes long to play through, 2-3 hours. Agricola might be a good one to consider, it has excellent depth and much shorter play time.

If the play time isn't a deterrent, I think you will prefer Ora based on your criteria.

My favourite game takes aproximately 5 to 6 hours, so 2 to 3 is just what I'm looking for. About Agricola: I was under the impression it took longer to play than Ora, especially according to the real playtime poll in the Agricola forums.
 
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John Winkowitsch
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In a 4 player game of O&L, each player makes 36 decisions (31 turns + 5 settlement choices). In Agricola, each player makes between 28 and 52 decisions depending on how quick the player grows his family.

Thus, decision wise they are very similar. The only reason O&L seems like it takes so much longer is because your brain is melting trying to decide which of the numerous good options to take with each decision.

In my opinion, the main reason O&L can take so much longer is because it has so many more strategic options and paths to victory, all of which seem viable.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Floating World wrote:
championstyle wrote:
Ora is a great medium to heavy euro. It takes long to play through, 2-3 hours. Agricola might be a good one to consider, it has excellent depth and much shorter play time.

If the play time isn't a deterrent, I think you will prefer Ora based on your criteria.

My favourite game takes aproximately 5 to 6 hours, so 2 to 3 is just what I'm looking for. About Agricola: I was under the impression it took longer to play than Ora, especially according to the real playtime poll in the Agricola forums.


Agricola plays quick. My 3P games are done by 1 hour to 1.5 hrs at most. If you add the Agricola: Farmers of the Moor expansion then the game will extend by a bit due to the available extra actions, but no more than 30 min more.

For the real playtime, I'm not sure how that calculates but what I do is is to log the number of plays AND the TOTAL playtime for all games. I'm not sure if that is the correct thing to do though.
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Mathue Faulkner
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Agricola is definitely faster than Ora et Labora in our group. Homesteaders is fast, and as pointed out earlier in the thread, involves as little luck as Agricola at worst, and imo actually has less randomness...
 
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Dave Eisen
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mfaulk80 wrote:
Agricola is definitely faster than Ora et Labora in our group. Homesteaders is fast, and as pointed out earlier in the thread, involves as little luck as Agricola as worst, and imo actually has less randomness...


Homesteaders played quick when we first got it. The more we've played, the slower it's gotten.

That's a good sign in a game.
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David Larkin
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Floating World wrote:

NOTE: I'm also considering Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and ,if it makes any difference, my favorite game is StarCraft: The Board Game which has a lot of strategic depth and multiple (upon multiple) paths to victory.


Getting more impressed with this the more I play it.
 
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Tim Rogers
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Given your criteria, I might try Macao. There are a large number of ways to generate points, and choosing optimal actions is challenging.
 
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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Drez wrote:
Given your criteria, I might try Macao. There are a large number of ways to generate points, and choosing optimal actions is challenging.


I don't like dice in my games.
 
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The Other Tom
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Bauble wrote:


My brain nearly melts every time I've played O&L just trying to process all the available options, nearly all of which seem to be legitimate paths to victory.


Great comment. I will also toss out Troyes as the sheer amount of decisions you can consider every turn can definitely melt your brain...in a good way of course.

Nevermind....you said no dice...so go with O&L
 
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