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Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar» Forums » Reviews

Subject: If you like Agricola you'll like this rss

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David Larkin
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Why? Because both have lots of options and things to do and too little time to do them. So if you like the tension of Agricola (and some people don't) you will probably like this.

Each turn you have to either put workers on the cogs or take them off. After everyone has had a turn the main cog is turned on one space (usually) moving all the workers on one space. As the workers progress around the cogs the actions get more profitable so the longer you leave your workers on the better the corresponding action gets. However if all your workers are on cogs you have to remove one or more, so deciding how many to put on and when becomes quite challenging.

When I first looked at the game I though this looked quite interesting and worth checking out at Essen. What I hadn't picked up on was that you don't have to just add your workers to the first spot on a cog, if earlier spots are filled you can add them further around the cog so that they get to the better actions quicker. Of course the down side of this is that it costs you money (corn) to place further round the wheel. Also by filling up lower slots you are enabling you opponents to place even further around the wheel so the games is quite tactical.

As later players can use early placements to place onto better actions start player is less desirable, yes you can place more men for less cost if you are start player but they have to sit inactive for longer to get to the better actions. There is a nice little twist though, if you take start player when you have the start player token, then it passes to the next player clockwise. In quite a few of our games people have taken start player to avoid being first. However not being first isn't good when it comes to building buildings as other people can grab what you want. Also if you don't have much food your options can be quite limited placing last as the cheaper slots may have all been taken

Just deciding which actions to take is quite complex, you can choose from getting food (which is vital for leap frogging people and getting to the better actions quicker, not to mention feeding your people), getting resources, improving your technology, building buildings and monuments or progressing up the temple tracks. Buildings give you in game bonuses and Monuments are end game bonuses.

Timing when to take your men off is also complex, you can't just grab any old actions when you put your men on, you have to place them so that you can remove them in the right order. Taking advantage of a cog with the lower spots filled may mean that you get to a good action earlier than you expected and before you get the resources you had planned on.

There is plenty of game to game variation too. each player picks two of 4 start tiles which give different advantages, from an extra worker, to advances in technology, food, resources or progression up the temple tracks. The buildings and monuments don't all come out each game either which adds more variety. There are also multiple paths to victory from collecting crystal skulls to use a a payment to progress up the temples to building buildings and monuments.

So this is a worker placement game with a gimmick, the cogs. I was a bit concerned that the game was all gimmick initially but having got five plays in I think the wheels are what make the game.

Verdict, best meaty game form Essen this year.
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Nick Case
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Agreed its an excellent game but I'd have to award best 'meaty' game to Ruhrschifahrt 1769-1890.
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Neil Christiansen
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It reminds me of Trajan as much as Agricola.
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donald fast
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Agricola does not agree with me, but i love this one.

Big Bad Lex wrote:
Agreed its an excellent game but I'd have to award best 'meaty' game to Ruhrschifahrt 1769-1890.

link: Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890

That game looks interesting too. If someone ever invites me to play, it will get a fair chance.
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Don D.
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Nice review. For a contrasting data point, I think Agricola is the finest game ever made and I love it, and I did not care for Tzolkin.
 
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Solomon M. Green
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Tzolk'in - Far more appeal than Agricola could ever have.
This was my reflection in the geeklist "New To You November 2012 => Best new boardgame".

To me, it has more appeal than Agricola could ever have.

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar (2012)
26 steps in time on the Mayan Calendar wheel go very quick if someone speeds it up just towards the end of the game. Knowing how many turns remain is critical for squeezing out those last victory points. Worshipping the gods in the temples grants very generous game bonuses that cannot be ignored, just as building just the right monument will also help. It's such a brilliant euro in that there are so many paths to victory.

On your turn you either place workers or retrieve them. Placing workers takes on an incremental cost paid in corn for multiple workers placed with additional costs for workers placed beyond the start of any of the cogs dependent on which tooth is next available. Retrieving of workers takes workers placed in previous turns which have undergone the benefits of time to increase their yields. The longer you wait, the greater the reward, which is a new concept to worker placement. Players start with 3 workers which can be increased through the game though they will need to be fed after each quarter of the game.

Amazingly, having done the research before, pretty well understood the game, I surprised myself in seizing victory on the first outing.
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Greg Lott
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Love Agricola, and I have a sinking suspicion this one is right up my alley too.
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Michael Denman
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Zark wrote:
Why? Because both have lots of options and things to do and too little time to do them. So if you like the tension of Agricola (and some people don't) you will probably like this.


I hate Agricola and I liked Tzolkin just fine. I don't see any reason to compare the two games at all. "Lots of options and too little time"? That applies to quite a few Eurogames out there, eh?
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manolo mr
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I do not like Agricola, but I love Tzolkin.
 
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Don D.
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Zark wrote:


Verdict, best meaty game form Essen this year.


Do you keep your plays up to date? Because you've logged plays of only suburbia, this, Keyflower and one or two more Essen games. I don't see any plays of terra mystica, Zimbabwe, archipelago, myrmes, etc. the first three blow the roof off of this game in my opinion.
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David Larkin
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dond80 wrote:
Zark wrote:


Verdict, best meaty game form Essen this year.


Do you keep your plays up to date? Because you've logged plays of only suburbia, this, Keyflower and one or two more Essen games. I don't see any plays of terra mystica, Zimbabwe, archipelago, myrmes, etc. the first three blow the roof off of this game in my opinion.


Should have supplied a caveat - that I have played. I don't have time to play every new game. I research them before Essen any try to pick the ones I think will be most interesting, 15 to 20 is the most I can give serious attention to at Essen.

One of the biggest reasons not to buy a game that looks interesting is lack of a demo (Copycat), I go to Essen as I already have a lot of games and don't want to buy more without being able to try them. Other reasons are price, (Splotter games), the game didn't make it in time, some were not for sale (Queen games), some have a mechanic that doesn't appeal (Archipelago), some sell out before I get to them (Suburbia). Some games I just haven't had time to play (Myrmes, Snowdonia), I prefer to play a gamed 3 or 4 time before moving onto the next).
Can't remember what happened with Terra Mystica, I had planned to look at it, was probably sold out or not available for a demo
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David Larkin
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Trump wrote:
Zark wrote:
Why? Because both have lots of options and things to do and too little time to do them. So if you like the tension of Agricola (and some people don't) you will probably like this.


I hate Agricola and I liked Tzolkin just fine. I don't see any reason to compare the two games at all. "Lots of options and too little time"? That applies to quite a few Eurogames out there, eh?


"Lots of options and too little time" does apply to lots of Euro's but that doesn't mean that they all provide the same level of tension

I have realised I like tension in my games and Agricola is one of the best at providing it for me. I played and like Tzolk'in, in part due to the fact that it gives me the same sort of levels of tension. Of course other may feel differently, but if you like the element of tension provided by Agricola you may well like Tzolk'in
 
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David Larkin
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Big Bad Lex wrote:
Agreed its an excellent game but I'd have to award best 'meaty' game to Ruhrschifahrt 1769-1890.


Another game I walked by several times but couldn't get a seat at, so don't have it!
 
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Nick Case
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I think I sat diagonally opposite you for a demo of La Loire, I seem to remember someone in a white T shirt with the badger avatar. The guy giving us the demo kept wandering off and not coming back. The guy demonstrating on your table was much better but dedicated to you and wasnt keen on answering our questions.
 
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