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Subject: Kingdom Builder vs Tobago rss

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Aswin Agastya
Indonesia
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Have the opportunity to add 1 game (and only 1 game) to my collection this Christmas. First I was going to get biggy, geeky, AT-ish games, but I think Christmas is for family, so I decided to get family-ish games.

So we narrowed the choice down to 2: Kingdom Builder & Tobago. Which one?

Just to add some spice: stuff that we also consider before narrowing down to 2: Africana, Bombay, The Golden City, Ticket to Ride: Europe, Finca.

EDIT: Forgot to add... good with 2 players is a definite plus.
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Marcus Lau
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Petaling jaya
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Kingdom Builder is good with 3-5 players. It's do-able with 2 players but it's less cutthroat.

I haven't got around to playing tobago yet so I can't comment on it.
 
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Kathy Sheets
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Stuart
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We play Kingdom Builder a whole lot with 2p, probably over 200 times and the remainder have been 3p with a couple of 4p games thrown in. We found the more we played and understood what we could do in this game, the more cutthroat we could be. We are ALWAYS getting in each others' way now though in the early games it often was a bit like 2p solitaire. It is an awesome game, my nongamer husband's favorite (which is why we play it so much) and has led the way to many many more games.

We have not played Tobago either, so no comment.
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Merric Blackman
Australia
Waubra
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Kingdom Builder is 2-4 players. You need the Nomads expansion for a fifth player.

Tobago is also 2-4 players.

(Personally, I'd go with Ticket to Ride: Europe, as it's one of my favourite games, and handles 2-5 players well).

Cheers,
Merric
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Gláucio Reis
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You can't go wrong with Kingdom Builder. Although Tobago also has a family-game vibe, more than once I have seen non-gamers struggle with the card playing.
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Sean Boyll
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I've played tobago a couple of times. It has a very unique feel. It plays like a race game but has some good choices and strategy for a light game.

Have not played kingdom builder buti have heard that the it kind of plays it's self a bit.

I would like to give you another suggestion: King of Tokyo
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Clem Fandango
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WELLINGTON
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Tobago


UNLESS

you love abstracts.


I didn't realise Kingdom Builder has a theme bypass until I had it explained to me and my head started to throb.
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Wade Ashton
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Played both and IMO, Kingdom Builder is the winner. Tobago is fun in it's own right, but I think my initial interest was based more on the cool factor of something new/different, with cool bits. It was fun but didn't give that "lets play again" feel. Ended up trading my copy and haven't missed it.

Kingdom Builder, on the other hand, is a keeper. Replayability is excellent and it's definitley a family game.

You have some other good alternatives you've considered. You may want to take another look at Finca. We didn't expect it to be anything special, but our family plays it regulary, and it has more "strategy" than you initially think.
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Aswin Agastya
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Quote:
(Personally, I'd go with Ticket to Ride: Europe, as it's one of my favourite games, and handles 2-5 players well).

Merric, TTR:E was actually on my final three. Finally I asked the wife: train, treasure, or kingdom. I showed him some picture. She thought all were pretty cute, the plastic train (TTR:E), the plastic bits (Tobago), the monopoly houses (Kingdom Builder). Finally she settled for the treasure or the kingdom (not much of a help for me to decide ).

Quote:
You have some other good alternatives you've considered. You may want to take another look at Finca. We didn't expect it to be anything special, but our family plays it regulary, and it has more "strategy" than you initially think.

Actually I'm not much of a strategist. I like my strategy games, but I also rate Carcassonne very, very highly, especially with rulesepth ratio.

I like them each for different stuff (Tobago for the mechanism and funny treasure looting, KD for the depth), so any one of those I nominated is okay by me. I just need the food for thought so I can finally decide!

So keep 'em coming!
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Kevin B. Smith
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I haven't tried Kingdom Builder, but suspect it might feel a bit abstract for my tastes. I played Tobago once, and it was fun, but several people have said it wears thin after a number of plays, and I suspect it's not great with 2.

I have played Africana a bunch, Bombay a bunch, and Ticket to Ride: Europe once (and TtR US once). If you're still open to your finalists, the clear winner for me is:

Africana

It works as a non-gamer gateway, but also holds the interest of medium-weight gamers. It plays well with 2p to 4p, and (imho) is way more fun than TtR. Bombay does handle 3p to 5p very well, but feels a bit cutthroat with 2, and it's always a bit fiddly to teach (and set up). Those elephants sure are cute, though.
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Vivienne Raper
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If you like cool bits and you're not a hard-core strategist, have you considered Takenoko?



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Leonard Moses II
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Hixson
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+1 Finca

Takenoko is great, but to answer your question my wife and I immediately agreed to trade Tobago for Pastiche (great trade for us) and we still own and enjoy Kingdom Builder. Out of the 60 we've played we might have made this decision about 10 of them or so. Some of the very cheap filler games have definitely been more pleasing for us than Tobago.

The theme and bits in Tobago were what caught my eye, but I scorned the gameplay and mechanics. There are plenty who will disagree with me though.

Oh and yeah. You can easily play Kingdom Builder with 2. We only play games with 2 so whatever we games we have we play with 2 players only.

We also hated but other people like:

-Merchants and Marauders (even in a group)
-Citadels
-Lord of the Rings the Confrontation

Finca or Takenoko I think are a LOT better than Kingdom Builder. Finca for gameplay, Takenoko for looks and theme.
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Dima Zaychenko
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Kingdom Builder is much better GAME. It works perfectly, it is interesting for 2, it has a good replayability.
Tobago is unusual game, but, in my opinion, it works worse..after the game there is a feeling of incompleteness.
I sold my copy of Tobago, but Kingdom builder is, maybe, #1 in my family.
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Patrick C.
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Both of these games have distinct positives and negatives. Neither are what I would call safe choices for families unless you already have a good idea as to whether everyone will like them or not. If money is tight then you need to somehow play them before buying.
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P. oeppel
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And another +1 for Kingdom Builder.

I played Tobago only twice when it came out three years ago. And its still on my wishlist for nice (eurogamer) theme, excellent production quality and bits. And because the mechanic is interesting.

However, I can only imagine playing it once in a while (and then I will like it), but not several back-to-back games like I often do with Kingdom Builder (well, not so much recently, as I'm still "suffering" from Essen overload).

Those games were mostly (maybe 90%) 2p. I thinks its an excellent game, "even" for two.

(I do not really share the "not-as-cutthroat" arguments.
I do not argue that the play is different for, say, 2 vs 4 player, though. Yes, in 4p game you are much more contesting for certain spots, but on the other hand, being blocked might open new opportunities for disconnected placement. In a 2p game you need better/different risk managment... )
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Jess
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I've played Kingdom Builder and Tobago about half a dozen times each. They're fairly equal in my mind. They're both games that I think are okay - I'm happy to play them from time to time but would get tired of them quickly if I played them more than once every couple of months. I rated them both a 7.

Kingdom Builder is definitely more abstract, if that's likely to bother you maybe Tobago is the way to go. On the other hand Kingdom Builder is probably the better game. (And for the record, I don't usually notice pasted on theme in games - Dominion is fine by me - but even I think Kingdom Builder is almost an abstract)

I agree with:
wrote:
Both of these games have distinct positives and negatives. Neither are what I would call safe choices for families unless you already have a good idea as to whether everyone will like them or not.

The game I definitely recommend is Ticket to Ride: Europe. I have played it way more times than the other two and am still not sick of it. It is my favourite lightweight game and I expect that will never change. I rate it a 9.

TTR : Europe is best with more than 2 players, but I would say that is also the case for Kingdom Builder and Tobago. None of them would be my first pick for a 2 player game.

I haven't played Africana but it's meant to be excellent too - people say it's TTR but better. It's on my wishlist for that reason.

 
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David B
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You can try Tobago online at Boardgamearena. I have played 3 2 player games there. I can tell you that Tobago requires some thought. It requires a lot of focus on the board. I can tell it is a game where repeated play will definitely result in improved skill. My last game I got absolutely smoked.
 
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Richard Dewsbery
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Tobago was interesting ... For a couple of games. By game 4, I was pretty bored with it.

Whereas with Kingdom Builder, I was bored halfway through the first game. On the other hand, I could probably stand to play Kingdom Builder again, whereas I'd rather not play Tobago again.

Though I'd much rather play Around The World in 80 Days. Or Escape, if you want something more obtainable.
 
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Aswin Agastya
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FWIW, I decided to get Kingdom Builder. From the first time I read the rule I was fascinated, unfortunately the local gamers who tend to play heavier games disagree. It's got the minimalist rule with depth vibe like Carcassonne, and I'd love to see how the settlements grow in different ways depending on the cards player.

FYI, while the theme of KB is "pasted on", I've found a good explanation of this one. The king is trying to build his kingdom, and you're a builder master, guild master, or whatever. You build infrastructure (not always a house despite the shape of the piece, could be a boat, road, etc). The Kingdom Builder cards show the population of the local area, so if you build stuff tailored to their needs, you get poi-... errr... gold!

I will definitely get Tobago some time, and also TTR:E.
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