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Subject: Heavy Euros rss

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Mark Huberty (General Trashy Meeples the Ambigamer)
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Relatively new geek, would like to jump into the strategic deep end. In my limited experience I really enjoy Agricola, Puerto Rico and Hansa Teutonica. I'm not really interested in wargames and I might prefer it if the theme was more in the background (I'm transitioning from abstract strategy) but I'd be interested in anything that is meatier, Euro-style and something that can be played in an evening (even if it's a long evening). I've heard Le Havre and Caylus might be good places to start. Thanks,
Mark
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Stephen Stewart
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Meat:

Caylus is a good start, decent conflict
Dominant Species, great strategy with bumps along the way
Die Macher, need at least 4 players
Wretching decisions:
Twilight struggle/ Andean abyss. Damage control games
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Joe Salamone
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Trajan - I recently bought this game and I love it. It has some military elements to it, but it isn't a war game. You can choose from among a nice variety of actions every turn and there are multiple ways to gain victory points.

Shogun - I love this one, too. Again, not really a war game, but attacking your opponents is certainly part of the game. Basically, you control various provinces and each round you need to determine which of several actions to take in each province (e.g., collect rice, construct buildings, add or move military units).

Also, you mentioned Caylus and Le Havre, and I enjoy both of those games.



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Dave Eisen
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Both terrific games. I have my recommendations and am pretty happy to discuss them at length, but you might want to get a general BGG consensus by looking at the ratings.

Go to Advanced Search and restrict by weight 3.7 to 5. Restrict Subdomain to Strategy Games and let er rip.

I notice two of the highest rated returned in the list are the Caylus and Le Havre you mentioned.

If you have more specific criteria such as player count, theme, level of interaction vs. more independent planning, etc., then the folks here will be more than happy to help.

(Edited to include specific mention of the Strategy Games subdomain which I thought I had included originally.)
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Moe45673
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I will add Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization to the fray. The game looks dry but by game end, I really feel like I played Civilization. It's fun as hell, mechanically sound, and complex. IMO, the best game ever made (never played Twilight Struggle, though).

The other games mentioned here also fit the bill. Take a real look at Dominant Species, it's much more than it appears to be.
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Caylus and Dominant Species are both awesome. Other favorite heavier Euros that I enjoy are Dungeon Lords, Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar, and Troyes.
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nyn -
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You're sure off to a good start....

If you enjoy Agricola, I suggest hitting the rest of the Harvest Series. Le Havre is a very deep merchant style game with very tight resource management and layered engine building based on bulding decisions and resource conversion order. Loyang is similar in that it relies heavily on resource management and layered engine building and is at its heart a merchant based theme, but it feels very different due to how resources are obtained/traded and how short term goals are generated (a deck of cards introducing a significant random influence). Of the three, I'd rank Agricola as the heaviest followed closely by Le Havre. Loyang is closer to medium weight due to the heavy random element.

Another game by the same designer is Ora et Labora. This one is easily as heavy as Le Havre or Agricola but the scoring is based as much on where you build as what you build (connected buildings act as multipliers for your score). Personally I've been reluctant to purchase Ora due to what I perceive may be limitted replay value as the buildings will always be the same buildings and they all come out in the game in one way or another. I'd love to see an expansion add more buildings to this game in order to add variation to the gameplay.

Caylus has been my wife's favorite since I purchased it a year ago. She loves deep games with no randomness and this fits the bill. There is definately player interaction both around blocking and in movement of the provost. The game can feel very different based on alternate strategies deployed by your opponents so while it might get dry between the same two people you can add some freshness simply by inviting over someone to join your next game.

If you don't mind the heavy math feel of Le Havre, then I definately suggest Brass: Lancashire or Age of Industry. Brass is, in my opinion, one of the best heavy Euro games ever made. It has amazing depth and remains challenging regardless how many times you play. It is a deep economic game and can be hard to find players for as it can feel inaccessible to gamers who are not into this sort of game.

One the lighter side, I might also suggest Navegador (not really a light game at all, but slightly lighter than Le Havre or Caylus). This uses an exploration theme with some economic elements to manage worker placement (sort of) and building for production and point advantage.

Some others I enjoy (I like that they have a bit more theme) include Belfort, Village (you kill your meeples for points!) and Edo.

Enjoy!
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Joe Salamone
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thenyn wrote:


and Edo.



Oh, yes . . .

 
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Chris Ferejohn
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How many players do you expect for a typical game. For low player counts (2-3), Caylu, Through the Ages, and Le Havre are great. Higher you might want to take a look at Dominant Species or Agricola (which actually scales pretty well from 2 up to 5). Die Macher is probably worth a look at a higher player count too, though as an older game it is a bit quirky.
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Patrick Korner
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Most of the suggestions thus far aren't truly 'heavyweight' games, they're solid Euros.

I would recommend Age of Steam or Indonesia as games with significant economic systems that demand your full attention.

For a heavy thematic-style game, can't go wrong with Mage Knight Board Game.

pk
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David Janik-Jones
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I generally dont like the heavier Euros (and do not even mention Agricola when I'm in the room). But Troyes is a thing of absolute beauty. I don't even consider it a heavy game at all. I am so deeply in love with this game (in a manly way, but whose wife describes him as having a 12 year old Asian girl trapped inside him).
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Northern Vecino
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My recommended games would be:

1. Le Havre
2. Caylus
3. Power Grid

Hope this help
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Shane Larsen
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By the scale of the games I own (heaviest to least heavy):

Through the Ages (the king)
Brass (the queen?)
Steam (use expert rules)
Dominant Species (get ready for Euro-style conflict)
Trajan (layers and layers of puzzle-based maximizing within every action)
Keyflower (in spite of its lighter pedigree, I find it quite brain burning)
Container (simple rules, heavy gameplay)

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Johan Haglert
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Is Caylus really so good today?

I wanted to order it because it's so highly ranked and was cheaper in a polish edition but it seem like there's not that much different play of the game between games? Does it feel varied enough? Would this really get a 8+ score if released today? Really be among the top #15?

Or is it a game which was good but todays game got more theme, better components, more variation and what not so this game would had stayed out of the top 100 even if the mechanics might had been good?

There's no other game which deserves to be bought better? (I already own Agricola, have considering puerto rico anniversary edition but I don't know, I can play puerto rico anyway, haven't really considered much other euroes, martin wallace games look so ugly, should I get brass? Felds games also look like low quality productions and I haven't found them all that interesting. Vlaadas games got cool themes and looks but it seems like maybe they get a little more appreciation than they deserve thanks to that? The rest I don't know what to make out of it. I don't know how much is bonus appreciation of whatever is new and cool and what is really good.)
 
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Dave Eisen
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aliquis wrote:
Is Caylus really so good today?


Yes, it is. I think it's great.

What it has going for it beyond some of the other games which you mentioned is that beyond the basic few, the actions available to players are based on what buildings have been built so far. That is, the players control which actions are available.

Agricola is a fine game and all, but the same places to place a worker come out every game. I like the element of strategy involved in building in ways to drive the game the direction you want it to go to suit your position.

Might not be for you. In particular, it does not have the rich theme some of the other highly ranked games have. But to answer your question: Yes, Caylus really is that good.


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Steven Backues
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aliquis wrote:
Is Caylus really so good today?

I wanted to order it because it's so highly ranked and was cheaper in a polish edition but it seem like there's not that much different play of the game between games? Does it feel varied enough? Would this really get a 8+ score if released today? Really be among the top #15?

Or is it a game which was good but todays game got more theme, better components, more variation and what not so this game would had stayed out of the top 100 even if the mechanics might had been good?


I can't predict ratings, but I personally prefer Caylus to most any of the more modern games I have played. It's way better than Agricola, for example.

Theme, component quality, and lots of variety are not things that I particularly care about. Strategic depth, low randomness, and player interaction are more important to me. In these categories, Caylus remains a winner.

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Johan Haglert
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dkeisen wrote:
aliquis wrote:
Is Caylus really so good today?


Yes, it is. I think it's great.

What it has going for it beyond some of the other games which you mentioned is that beyond the basic few, the actions available to players are based on what buildings have been built so far. That is, the players control which actions are available.

Agricola is a fine game and all, but the same places to place a worker come out every game. I like the element of strategy involved in building in ways to drive the game the direction you want it to go to suit your position.

Might not be for you. In particular, it does not have the rich theme some of the other highly ranked games have. But to answer your question: Yes, Caylus really is that good.
Doesn't all or possibly close to all buildings come out in each game of Caylus then? Do you draw them or bought one of the correct color/period?
 
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Drew Thomson
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Steam is my favourite euro at the moment.
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Dave Eisen
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aliquis wrote:
Doesn't all or possibly close to all buildings come out in each game of Caylus then? Do you draw them or bought one of the correct color/period?


Different every game, although there are some typical patterns among experienced players. In many games (particularly with few players), only a few buildings are built. In others, all or nearly all.

There is no "period" to buildings, "color" is under player control based on which space and raw materials are used to build the building.
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Johan Haglert
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Le havre isn't in print longer is it? Though I think that's weird but I can't see an English copy here in Sweden, Poland or Germany.

Unless it's considered off-topic I would be interested to hear what people think about Brass to and how good or bad it is.
 
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nyn -
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aliquis wrote:
Doesn't all or possibly close to all buildings come out in each game of Caylus then? Do you draw them or bought one of the correct color/period?


While all buildings are available to build, the order in which they're built and which ones don't get built both play very heavily into the gameplay. The ability to cover buildings with resendential buildings can also change things dramatically. Being good at this game requires a flexible strategy. Playing an established line will fail against an experienced player.

Whether it's "really so good today" depends on what you prefer. Caylus would not rank very high in my book on having a well integrated theme compared to some of the newer games, but is more solid than most games I've played in regards to engine building with an almost comple absence of random elements outside of player choices.
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Dave Eisen
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thenyn wrote:
aliquis wrote:
Doesn't all or possibly close to all buildings come out in each game of Caylus then? Do you draw them or bought one of the correct color/period?


While all buildings are available to build, the order in which they're built and which ones don't get built both play very heavily into the gameplay. The ability to cover buildings with resendential buildings can also change things dramatically. Being good at this game requires a flexible strategy. Playing an established line will fail against an experienced player.

Whether it's "really so good today" depends on what you prefer. Caylus would not rank very high in my book on having a well integrated theme compared to some of the newer games, but is more solid than most games I've played in regards to engine building with an almost complete absence of random elements outside of player choices.
 
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Moe45673
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aliquis wrote:
Unless it's considered off-topic I would be interested to hear what people think about Brass to and how good or bad it is.


Never played Brass but have played Age of Industry. I love AoI and from everything I've read about Brass, it looks like a great game as well, though somewhat different. It's fun to put down counters so that other players need to use them, fun to take a monopoly on markets, etc etc. AoI rocks
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Shane Larsen
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Moe45673 wrote:
aliquis wrote:
Unless it's considered off-topic I would be interested to hear what people think about Brass to and how good or bad it is.


Never played Brass but have played Age of Industry. I love AoI and from everything I've read about Brass, it looks like a great game as well, though somewhat different. It's fun to put down counters so that other players need to use them, fun to take a monopoly on markets, etc etc. AoI rocks


I'll add to Moe's comments.

Brass is amazeballs. There's incredible depth of play and loads of ways to build up your industrial fortune. Having a hand of cards for your actions within each round is a wonderful mechanic that allows players to plan multiple turns in advance in an easy-to-remember manner (I use a right-to-left organizational flow in my hand). Then when you draw new cards at the end of each of your turns, you study them to see if it changes your plans. All this really shaves downtime because players should know what they're doing by the time it's their turn again.

What Moe says is true. I love the way all the industries interlock; essentially interlocking every players' games and roads to success. It implements the idea of symbiotic progress better than any other game, and in the most thought-provoking way.

I'll also put a plug in for the two-player variant that exists for Brass. It works excellently. My wife and I really love Brass as a 2p game. If you want a heavyish, economic Euro, Brass is the answer, IMO.
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Bill Eldard
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This is the heaviest Eurogame I know: Die Macher

It can take 6 hours or so, and requires at least 5 players to be really good.

I've only played it once, but it was a very entertaining and challenging game, and I will gladly play it again.
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