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Subject: For anyone who played Ora et Labora and Tzolkin rss

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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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HI! I'm on the fence whether to buy Ora et Labora or Tzolk'in, so I have a couple of questions. How would you compare the two games according to:
1. complexity/strategic depth?
2. multiple paths to victory (which game has more paths to victory)
3. re playability?
4. tension - how does the game tolerate mistakes?
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Robert Ell
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The games are really not that similar. Tzolkin is significantly less complex and forgiving. Both have a couple major ways of scoring points, but Tzolkin definitely railroads your strategy more.
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Michael Denman
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Wow. You're really comparing apples and oranges here. For me, the easy choice is Tzolkin because I dislike most of Uwe's games and Ora et Labora is not the exception. I liked Tzolkin enough that I'm actually planning on buying it too once it's available in the US.
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Nick Case
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Buy both.
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Buy both.


I would, but I'm afraid one of them would kick the other out.
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Michael Denman
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Floating World wrote:
Big Bad Lex wrote:
Buy both.


I would, but I'm afraid one of them would kick the other out.


One of them is not going to trump the other one because they are too similar, that's for sure.

Ora is more hardcore, so maybe that will help you decide based on who you're playing with?
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Nick Case
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Kick Mage Knight, 7 Wonders, or Dominion out instead.
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Michael Denman
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Kick Mage Knight, 7 Wonders, or Dominion out instead.


Ha! Looking at the Daniel's owned list, I'm kind of surprised he's considering either of these titles. He only owns Ameritrash! Oh well, kudos to Daniel for looking to branch out.
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David Reed
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Kick Mage Knight, 7 Wonders, or Dominion out instead.


Absolutely! Games aren't meant to be enjoyed. :p
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Paul Grogan
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I've played both, lots. I really like both of them, but given the choice Tzolkin would be my preferred choice. Wider audience, easier rules, and possibly more depth. Yes, Ora has potentially more going on, but Tzolkin is very open, with a number of different things you can do. Tzolkin I would say is more accessible, but still very good for hardcore gamers, and the moving gears is much cooler than the wheel in Ora.

I really like both games, so its a tricky choice. Rules for both are avaialable online if that helps your decision.
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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PaulGrogan wrote:
I really like both games, so its a tricky choice. Rules for both are avaialable online if that helps your decision.


Already read the rules and still cannot decide. That's why I need your help

Big Bad Lex wrote:
Kick Mage Knight, 7 Wonders, or Dominion out instead.


Why should I kick these games, they don't have anything similar to Ora & Tzolk'in?

Trump wrote:
Big Bad Lex wrote:
Kick Mage Knight, 7 Wonders, or Dominion out instead.


Ha! Looking at the Daniel's owned list, I'm kind of surprised he's considering either of these titles. He only owns Ameritrash! Oh well, kudos to Daniel for looking to branch out.


I tried to do so a couple of years ago and it seems I either wasn't ready, or there weren't euro's for my tastes.
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Nick Case
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Floating World wrote:
Why should I kick these games, they don't have anything similar to Ora & Tzolk'in?


Big Bad Lex wrote:
Kick Mage Knight, 7 Wonders, or Dominion out instead.


Check my ratings for these games.
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Clyde W
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I would absolutely recommend Ora.

Neither are gateway games, and Ora is the more interesting of the two for sure. Tzolk'in sort of feels eh, while Ora has that Uwe magic.
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Floating World wrote:
Why should I kick these games, they don't have anything similar to Ora & Tzolk'in?


Big Bad Lex wrote:
Kick Mage Knight, 7 Wonders, or Dominion out instead.


Check my ratings for these games.


I agree with your thoughts on the games (but not with the ratings), the games have the problems you describe. I try to take 7 Wonders and Dominion as they are: half an hour fillers to play with casual players. As for Mage Knight, it is still a good co-op game, but not so good of a competitive game.

Speaking of that these 3 games scratch a different itch for me and I was afraid that Ora and Tzolk'in would be scratching the same itch, only one of them would do it better and the other one would be left unplayed in the end.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Floating World wrote:
Why should I kick these games, they don't have anything similar to Ora & Tzolk'in?


Big Bad Lex wrote:
Kick Mage Knight, 7 Wonders, or Dominion out instead.


Check my ratings for these games.


Err. I am sure your rating system is based on the reverse order..

Joking aside, if OeL and Tzolkin aren't in Daniel's owned list but he is asking about it, then that's a good sign he wants to diversify and try other stuff. That's always encouraging!

Daniel I do think that these are significant jumps up if you have never tried worker placement games though. Maybe something like Lords of Waterdeep, Stone Age, or Alien Frontiers would be better games to start with?

PS. I love 7 Wonders. The expansions make the game even better!
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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freddieyu wrote:
Big Bad Lex wrote:
Floating World wrote:
Why should I kick these games, they don't have anything similar to Ora & Tzolk'in?


Big Bad Lex wrote:
Kick Mage Knight, 7 Wonders, or Dominion out instead.


Check my ratings for these games.


Err. I am sure your rating system is based on the reverse order..

Joking aside, if OeL and Tzolkin aren't in Daniel's owned list but he is asking about it, then that's a good sign he wants to diversify and try other stuff. That's always encouraging!

Daniel I do think that these are significant jumps up if you have never tried worker placement games though. Maybe something like Lords of Waterdeep, Stone Age, or Alien Frontiers would be better games to start with?

PS. I love 7 Wonders. The expansions make the game even better!


My favourite game is StarCraft: The Board Game , so anything short of Advanced Squad Leader or Empires in Arms would be fine and probably even lighter than Starcraft

P.S. I'm not touching anything with dice anymore.
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Jestin Jund
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As others have said, they are very different games. As such, you have to consider a few factors in your purchase:

1. Time of play: O&L is a relatively long game and has a somewhat long setup time. While I haven't played Tzolk'in yet, I would guess you could finish a game in about 1/2 -2/3 the time it would take you for a game of O&L.

2. Mechanics: O&L is very much an engine building sort of game. You create a landscape and everything you do on that landscape interacts with each other. Tzolk'in is much closer to your standard worker placement type of game. You generally focus on a strategy and go with it whereas in O&L you have to consistently build on an idea to be viable (some could argue this, but for the sake of generalization...).

3. Who you are playing with: Both of these games have an acquired taste but I think Tzolk'in has that "oh neat" factor more than Ora & Labora. If you're trying to wrangle new people in to the genre, Tzolk'in is definitely the way to go. Moreover, O&L is kind of a hard sell unless someone is really interested in playing it. That doesn't make it any less of a game by any means, it's just not a game that screams "play me" when you look at the box.

4. The Puerto Rico effect: O&L is definitely a game that you can consistently get better at over time due to knowing exactly what will be happening in future parts of the game. Tzolk'in has a bit more randomness as goals will change on every play. If you're looking for variety, then this is the way to go.


I think if you're really interested in making the Euro jump, both games will be a great choice. As a current owner of O&L and a pre-orderer of Tzolk'in, I am quite certain one will not be replacing the other.
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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attilathejund wrote:
As others have said, they are very different games. As such, you have to consider a few factors in your purchase:

1. Time of play: O&L is a relatively long game and has a somewhat long setup time. While I haven't played Tzolk'in yet, I would guess you could finish a game in about 1/2 -2/3 the time it would take you for a game of O&L.

2. Mechanics: O&L is very much an engine building sort of game. You create a landscape and everything you do on that landscape interacts with each other. Tzolk'in is much closer to your standard worker placement type of game. You generally focus on a strategy and go with it whereas in O&L you have to consistently build on an idea to be viable (some could argue this, but for the sake of generalization...).

3. Who you are playing with: Both of these games have an acquired taste but I think Tzolk'in has that "oh neat" factor more than Ora & Labora. If you're trying to wrangle new people in to the genre, Tzolk'in is definitely the way to go. Moreover, O&L is kind of a hard sell unless someone is really interested in playing it. That doesn't make it any less of a game by any means, it's just not a game that screams "play me" when you look at the box.

4. The Puerto Rico effect: O&L is definitely a game that you can consistently get better at over time due to knowing exactly what will be happening in future parts of the game. Tzolk'in has a bit more randomness as goals will change on every play. If you're looking for variety, then this is the way to go.


I think if you're really interested in making the Euro jump, both games will be a great choice. As a current owner of O&L and a pre-orderer of Tzolk'in, I am quite certain one will not be replacing the other.


Thanks for the in-depth response!
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Steve Walker
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I have played and enjoyed both titles but I own Tzolk'in

To me they offer very different play experiences and both have some satisfyingly rewarding experiences for good play.

I would say another factor to consider is number of players - I am not sure how O&L plays with 2 players but I can say I played 3 games of T with 2 players over the weekend each one clocking in at roughly 45-60 minutes and each one very close (1 point gap, 5 point gap and a tie) if it had not been so late we would have immediately set up and played a 2nd decider. O&L is normally a lot longer with 3 players (circa 2-2.5 hrs) but that may be more due to the gaps between plays.

I also agree with the earlier post that tzolkin is much more accessible - the rules are very simple and other than looking up what the monuments do we rarely if ever need the rulebook in play - with O&L there is a lot of information needed to inform your choices and i struggle without a lot of reference to the crib card(s)

I would alos throw in a couple of other considerations to the mix - I highly rate Lancaster from Queen as a quick and intuitive worker placement with a vicious auction mechanic woven in - similarly the recent Keyflower is exceptional and plays nicely from 2- 6 players which neither of your original choices can do.
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David Larkin
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If you aren't used to Euro's I would go for Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar it is much easier to get into but still deep.
All the differing building's abilities in Ora et Labora are somewhat overwhelming for the first couple of plays so it is harder to come up with strategies. Until you have an idea of what the buildings do and and how they interact it can be difficult to see where the game is going
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An alternative way to decide may the space you have to play. Ora et Labora takes more space which limits where gets played even though it is a great game. Tzolkin requires less table space so will probably for me be played more.

I own both and don't see one replacing the other as very different.
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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blondebunbun wrote:
An alternative way to decide may the space you have to play. Ora et Labora takes more space which limits where gets played even though it is a great game. Tzolkin requires less table space so will probably for me be played more.

I own both and don't see one replacing the other as very different.


I have ample table space, so no problem there.
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Daniel Nedeljkovic
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stevepwalker wrote:
I have played and enjoyed both titles but I own Tzolk'in

To me they offer very different play experiences and both have some satisfyingly rewarding experiences for good play.

I would say another factor to consider is number of players - I am not sure how O&L plays with 2 players but I can say I played 3 games of T with 2 players over the weekend each one clocking in at roughly 45-60 minutes and each one very close (1 point gap, 5 point gap and a tie) if it had not been so late we would have immediately set up and played a 2nd decider. O&L is normally a lot longer with 3 players (circa 2-2.5 hrs) but that may be more due to the gaps between plays.

I also agree with the earlier post that tzolkin is much more accessible - the rules are very simple and other than looking up what the monuments do we rarely if ever need the rulebook in play - with O&L there is a lot of information needed to inform your choices and i struggle without a lot of reference to the crib card(s)

I would alos throw in a couple of other considerations to the mix - I highly rate Lancaster from Queen as a quick and intuitive worker placement with a vicious auction mechanic woven in - similarly the recent Keyflower is exceptional and plays nicely from 2- 6 players which neither of your original choices can do.


I rarely play competitive 2 player games. Whether I buy Ora or Tzolkin I would play them with 3 or 4.

When I was researching Lancaster it seemed lighter than Tzolk'in and I'm afraid I'll get bored with a light game, as I have with 7 Wonders. What do you think?
 
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Nicola Bocchetta
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Try this criterion: Tzolk'in can be played in 1 hour or a bit more; Ora takes at least 2 hours and half (and maybe 4 if the first play!)
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If you had rated Agricola/Le Havre and Caylus, I would be able to tell you. All of my Ora games clock in at around 3 hours with 4 players, while Tzolk'in is 90-105 minutes. There is a lot more strategic depth in Ora than in Tzolk'in, but I feel they are fairly similar in their tactical complexity. The number of options in Ora for all players goes up as the game goes on, almost to the point of being way too much to process. It is more action selection than worker placement. Tzolk'in, like other worker placement games, has the number of strategic options boil down because it becomes too late to invest in other means of generating victory points.

I like them both, but Ora is simply a modern classic... a perfect mix of tactics and strategy for me...the best Uwe has designed by far. It made Le Havre look dated...it took the best parts of Le Havre, shortened it, and included a very tactical landscaping management component to it. The timing aspect of Tzolk'in is really well conceived...it makes the worker placement competition less of a focus, which is good for a lot of people who are tired of worker placement games. Instead of a tactical rush for worker placement, it is more strategic planning, which is why I immediately preordered it when I returned from BGGCON (I like strategic planning games, like Princes of Florence).

I guess I agree with many on here...you should get them both.
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