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Subject: Is Great Zimbabwe a good gateway into Splotter? rss

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Todd
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I am interested in this game due to the shorter playing time (more chances it will hit the table) and easier rules.

Is there a better introductory Splotter game than Zimbabwe?

Thanks
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Daniel Indru
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That's an interesting category, "Splotter Gateway Games".

Indonesia is not very difficult to put on the table, comprehensive rules and a decent 120 minutes playing time.
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Todd
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It is an interesting category....I have never played a Splotter game. whistle

Zimbabwe is available, which also makes it attractive.
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Jack Francisco
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I actually think Antiquity is easier rules wise than TGZ


And Todd - I have a copy of this if we ever want to brave the fiddlieness.
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Todd
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Antiquity always seemed super fiddly....TGZ is more fiddly??? gulp
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Martins Livens
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Falcons wrote:
Antiquity always seemed super fiddly....TGZ is more fiddly??? gulp


nope. They are not even comparable in mechanical sense.
Just common cliché.
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Mc Jarvis
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Falcons wrote:
Antiquity always seemed super fiddly....TGZ is more fiddly??? gulp


No, TGZ is one of the least fiddly games by Splotter there is.

Ultimately I'm not sure that there is a true gateway game for Splotter titles--- one of the joys of their games is they are all good but are all very different games. Knowing how to play Indonesia wouldn't help you learn Antiquity or Roads and Boats, and knowing The Great Zimbabwe certainly wouldn't help you with the big three either.

A quick point on Indonesia-- I would recommend starting with a 5 player game. The playtime goes up dramatically with three player due to the timing mechanism on the game's pacing.
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Mark Gerrits
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I've played TGZ without any problems with people who had never previously played any Splotter games.
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Martins Livens
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ldsdbomber wrote:
Parsing the rules is trickier IMO. Antiquity has a lot of bits but the phases are simpler to understand. Neither is particularly difficult but I had more problem in the beginning remembering the way primary and secondary craftsman worked, with and without hubs, with range, where cattle goes, when it does or doesn#t come back to you. I found Antiquity much more transparent at first reading than TGZ. I#m just offering my opinion, not claiming it to be a fact, as some are wont to do.


though given the fact that youre asking the question, you might want to consider whose answer is more relevant to your experience


Agree about your assessment of Antiquity rules. However there is less rules in TGZ.
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Jason Reid
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I actually think Antiquity is easier rules wise than TGZ


I agree. It's the most classically Euro-like of their big games, the most straightforward (yet still enthralling). I've never played with anyone who had a problem w/the "fiddliness"...though perhaps all of my friends have small fingers.
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Todd
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Does TGZ scale well?
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Chakroun Karim
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do give consideration to Duck Dealer, which is quite underrated and is as quick as tGZ to play (though with turns taking longer). It is also quite cheap. You can even try the redesign before buying.
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Clyde W
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Falcons wrote:
Does TGZ scale well?
Remarkably well.
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Jason Reid
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Falcons wrote:
Does TGZ scale well?


Depends on your definition of scale well. It's one of those games where it feels different with different player counts, even though it remains interesting and enjoyable and doesn't suffer from too much downtime. However, I have seen some questions on the 2p game (haven't tried it myself).

In contrast (though not to belabor the point), Antiquity scales well in the sense that the game doesn't feel very different no matter how many players (2-4), and there's enough simultaneous action that there isn't a lot of downtime. But as Lee points out, this is probably a product of its multiplayer-solitaire leanings more than anything.
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Jason Reid
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ldsdbomber wrote:
Indonesia is also OOP but available in the market.


The rules are probably Splotter's simplest, but I'd personally avoid Indonesia as a "gateway". Great meaty game, though.
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Mc Jarvis
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carthaginian wrote:
do give consideration to Duck Dealer, which is quite underrated and is as quick as tGZ to play (though with turns taking longer). It is also quite cheap. You can even try the redesign before buying.


It isn't that Duck Dealer is a bad game-- it just doesn't have the same shine that R&B, Indonesia, and Antiquity have. I'd say TGZ is much closer in quality to these three than Duck Dealer is.
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Chakroun Karim
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McJarvis wrote:
carthaginian wrote:
do give consideration to Duck Dealer, which is quite underrated and is as quick as tGZ to play (though with turns taking longer). It is also quite cheap. You can even try the redesign before buying.


It isn't that Duck Dealer is a bad game-- it just doesn't have the same shine that R&B, Indonesia, and Antiquity have. I'd say TGZ is much closer in quality to these three than Duck Dealer is.


It is very good. Not too many bits, intricate mechanics, a "can't stop" aspect that keeps players on the edge, and a total playtime under 2 hours. It can be had at most 1/3 of the price of the others.
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Matthew Tadyshak
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I've played R&B, Antiquity, Indonesia and TgZ. The rules all all pretty easy. TGZ just happens to play in an hour and a half, while the other take at least two and a half.
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Nate S
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You know, now that you ask I think TGZ is an absolutely perfect gateway into Splotter games, if you're willing to give it 3 or 4 or more sessions with a group to where you start to discover the strategic nuances of the game. I mean, every big Splotter game has that learning curve, but Antiquity for example is likely to be more fun/interesting for first-time players who don't yet grasp good strategy. TGZ takes a few plays before you start to perceive what kind of flavor the "real" (i.e. good strategic) gameplay has.

The big benefit of TGZ as a gateway is that it's minimally fiddly (compared to the other "big 3") and generally plays in well under 2 hours. And once you begin to grasp it, it's really a great game, with deep strategy, where most every decision is difficult with far-reaching implications. My favorite Splotter title is definitely still Antiquity, but it's longer and fiddlier - I would say plano boxes for the chits are almost a 100% requirement to make it a fun game as opposed to a tedious mechanical chore.
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Don D.
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I've played with every player count at least twice and honestly can say the game plays very well and very similar with all counts. It's a 9 for me at 2 and a 9 for me at 5. Just one of many qualities of this game that makes it so remarkable.
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David desJardins
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dond80 wrote:
I've played with every player count at least twice and honestly can say the game plays very well and very similar with all counts.


Can you explain "similar"? It seems to me it would be enormously different with 2 than with 5. Building secondary craftsmen to blunt your opponent's primary craftsmen seems much more of a factor with fewer players. The gods that are attractive are very different depending on player count, and you can do a lot of things to blunt your opponent's god if you only have one opponent. The opportunity to buy from lots of different craftsmen if you go early in a game with lots of players and you have enough cows is obviously going to be larger, and the dynamics of setting your prices so that you encourage or discourage other players buying from you is quite different. And so on.
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Dave Eisen
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I do not consider The Great Zimbabwe to be a gateway into anything. It is opaque, challenging, and unintuitive. These are some of the reasons I like it, but it is unique and does not really give a sense of other Splotter titles.

I would suggest Indonesia as being one of the more Euro of their titles, or at least accessible to a wider variety of gamers. It is generally clear what you want to accomplish, although naturally not particularly clear as to how to do it. It is a longer game, but not a monster.

Another choice is Bus, an early worker placement game (well before Caylus). Plays in a reasonable amount of time, has sort of a Splottery feel, I suppose, and is a fine game, at least for 3 players. I do not know how available it is.

Of course their reputation comes from their two "monster" games, Roads & Boats and Antiquity. Both terrific games, neither that complex from a rules perspective but both fiddly and difficult to play well. Naturally not gateways as those are the games hidden behind the gate.
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J C Lawrence
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dond80 wrote:
I've played with every player count at least twice and honestly can say the game plays very well and very similar with all counts. It's a 9 for me at 2 and a 9 for me at 5. Just one of many qualities of this game that makes it so remarkable.


Conversely, I find the 2-player game dismal, and the other player counts reasonable.

DaviddesJ wrote:
And so on.


Not least that the turn order auction (modulo the drunks) turns into a single cow question as the total bid, no matter how large, is split evenly between the players with only the rounding of the odd cow in question.
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Scott Nelson
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Cannes: Stars, Scripts and Screens. Now, there is gateway Splotter...towards Roads and Boats.
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Mc Jarvis
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ropearoni4 wrote:
Cannes: Stars, Scripts and Screens. Now, there is gateway Splotter...towards Roads and Boats.


This I would agree with.
 
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