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Subject: Game to play with my wife : Fresco or Trajan ? rss

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Fred ZILBERMANN
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Hello everyone,

I'm looking for another game to play with my wife. I do have to be careful in my choice because if she likes it, we can play it a hundred times, but if she doesn't, the game's fate is sealed...

She likes (loves) Stone Age, also Alhambra, Egizia and also Castle of Burgundy. She's quite a gamer and if the game suits her, providing it's not a hardcore game tho, we're not limited to lightweight games.

With these clues and careful searching, I came across two games she might like : Fresco and Trajan.

It seems Fresco's a must-have for all stone Age fans but I fear it would not add something to what we already know with Stone Age. Trajan seems a very goood game too, I read some good reviews with 2P but this time I fear it's maybe too "heavy", with too many choices and things to handle (compared to Stone Age for example).

What you would advise me ? Maybe there's another game you might tell me about you think it's a better addition considering my wife's likings ?(I was eyeing towards Bora-Bora and Tzolk'in too).

Thanks for your thoughts !
 
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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Whils I´d agree that people who love Stone Age will like Fresco too, it is still a realy different game. So owning Stone Age is no reason not to buy Fresco.

Trajan is good, but as you sayed heavyer, and theme and mechanic don´t interlock.

Maybe your wife would enjoy Trajan anyway, but I´d say with Fresco you´re on the safe side.
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Jonathan Er
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Ninjato is most like Stone Age. just that you use cards instead of Dice and that you score at intervals during the game

i like Trajan but i dont think i am up for it in a 2 player game
doesnt seem as tight and competition for places is less

never played Fresco but it seems like an interesting game

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Damien Seb. ●leoskyangel●
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I think Trajan or Fresco would be fine. Trajan is the heavier between the two, but I've introduced it to my friend's wife who is a non-gamer and she handled the game very well. She kept asking for another session of the game. Since you said she's a gamer, I think Trajan wouldn't be a problem. The game is actually pretty easy, every info is on the main and the player's board.

On another note, be aware that Fresco introduces a dummy player when playing with 2 player. Sometimes it's a deal killer to some, so make sure you're okay with that. Fresco also comes with 3 mini expansion in the box, so that's a good deal as well.

Fresco if you want a simpler game (note the dummy player), or Trajan for something deeper.

Damien

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Fred ZILBERMANN
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Markus Hagenauer wrote:
Whils I´d agree that people who love Stone Age will like Fresco too, it is still a realy different game. So owning Stone Age is no reason not to buy Fresco.

Trajan is good, but as you sayed heavyer, and theme and mechanic don´t interlock.

Maybe your wife would enjoy Trajan anyway, but I´d say with Fresco you´re on the safe side.


Thank you for your reply. It confirms what I thought, Fresco would be a better option.

Jion wrote:
Ninjato is most like Stone Age. just that you use cards instead of Dice and that you score at intervals during the game

i like Trajan but i dont think i am up for it in a 2 player game
doesnt seem as tight and competition for places is less

never played Fresco but it seems like an interesting game


Didn't thought about Ninjato, heard of the game but I didn't realized its mechanisms were close to the games I'm targetting. I'll have a closer look thanks to you. Maybe the theme will hinder its chances to join my game collection tho, Missus is not that keen of asian things altho she doesn't really care about themes anyway

dtroy_de_rapcore wrote:
I think Trajan or Fresco would be fine. Trajan is the heavier between the two, but I've introduced it to my friend's wife who is a non-gamer and she handled the game very well. She kept asking for another session of the game. Since you said she's a gamer, I think Trajan wouldn't be a problem. The game is actually pretty easy, every info is on the main and the player's board.

On another note, be aware that Fresco introduces a dummy player when playing with 2 player. Sometimes it's a deal killer to some, so make sure you're okay with that. Fresco also comes with 3 mini expansion in the box, so that's a good deal as well.

Fresco if you want a simpler game (note the dummy player), or Trajan for something deeper.

Damien


I've noted the dummy player, also read it's one good use of the dummy player. We played Alhambra with Dick, the dummy player, and it was ok. What could be good with Trajan is, and I found that out recently, she quite like Awalé and it seems the main mechanism is drawn from Awalé, altho I think the game's core has nothing to do with it.

So far I think I'll go Fresco and I'll try to get Trajan too (it's my birthday in about a month so I have to carefully plan my wishlist cool)
 
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David B
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The great thing about Fresco is that you can st you can start it out easy and add the modules to increase the challenge later. You do have to use Leonardo, a sort of "dummy" player, in the 2 player game. But its not that bad. Really nice theme.
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meepleonboard
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Note that the dummy player in Fresco acts differently from Dirk in Alhambra. In 2p Fresco the players take turns to control Leonardo (for such is his name), so his is a much more active part of the game and needs to be considered when planning moves.

Although Dirk can be given tiles in Alhambra (passively), Leonardo can block and scupper (active).

As mentioned, you need to play this game with the "expansions" included in the box. Without them it can be on the dry side.

I'm also going to throw a spanner in the works by suggesting that you consider Glen More. If you like Alhambra then this one might well be a hit, and, while there are similar mechanies it's different enough to stand in its own right.
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Fred ZILBERMANN
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nickster1970 wrote:
Note that the dummy player in Fresco acts differently from Dirk in Alhambra. In 2p Fresco the players take turns to control Leonardo (for such is his name), so his is a much more active part of the game and needs to be considered when planning moves.

Although Dirk can be given tiles in Alhambra (passively), Leonardo can block and scupper (active).

As mentioned, you need to play this game with the "expansions" included in the box. Without them it can be on the dry side.

I'm also going to throw a spanner in the works by suggesting that you consider Glen More. If you like Alhambra then this one might well be a hit, and, while there are similar mechanies it's different enough to stand in its own right.


Thanks for describing Leonardo, the dummy player. Indeed it's important to notice he's played actively indeed.

As for Glenn More, I looked at it but I thought it didn't stay in my list because I doubted it can be that good with 2P. looking closely at the polls, it seems it's rather enjoyed with 2P. So I'll have a closer look at that one, thanks for this addition. meeple
 
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Sky Zero
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Neither.

Play Stone Age. Turned my wife into a worker placement fanatic.
 
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Daniel Kearns
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Fresco is a really nice game and Leonardo works very well for two players.
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Kim Williams
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Would your wife be willing to watch videos for them both to help judge which one interests her the most? I can certainly recommend Richard Ham's (username rahdo)game play walkthrough video for Trajan - by the end of watching it I felt I only needed a very cursory read of the rulebook to enable me to play. I imagine there's quite a few videos to choose from for Fresco.

I can certainly recommend Trajan for playing with two; I'm really enjoying the fact that it's one game which my husband currently hasn't won! There's no neutral player issues, in fact the only difference for two players is which of the circuits you use, and how many of the forum tiles are available.
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Jennifer Derrick
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From the female perspective, I say go with Fresco. The theme is enjoyable and the game is fun. Trajan left me cold, despite liking Castles of Burgundy, another Feld design. It just felt too dry and boring and I kept wondering when it would be over. But Fresco just feels right, like you're really buying paint and sending workers out to do their thing. If theme matters at all to her, go with Fresco.
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Jordan Fraser
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Fresco is a great game - I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The rules are actually fairly simple, but the strategy is extremely deep. Also, the theme is well-integrated, and the components are beautiful. I've never played it with two though, so I can't vouch for the 'dummy-player' mechanic.
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Joe Salamone
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I have never played FRESCO. But TRAJAN is currently on my "wow, I'm really glad I bought this" list.
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Fred ZILBERMANN
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Thanks for your replies, and for the female point of view especialy, much appreciated ! I'll go for Fresco but will try to get Trajan too in the process
 
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Christopher Boat
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I'm a little late to the party, and I'm not exactly here to sway your decision, but I would say Trajan is a much higher quality game than Fresco. I enjoy Stone Age and Ninjato quite a bit. Love Trajan. Really did not care for Fresco at all. Personally, I think it requires some player made variants before it really shines.

For example, I think being 1st player in Fresco is a HUGE advantage, and 1st player always goes to the player in last place. At my game table, we've started auctioning off 1st player each round. Not a perfect solution, but it helps us enjoy the game enough to actually play it occasionally at least.

Trajan, however, is an amazing game right out of the box. Yes, it's much heavier than Fresco, but in a good way. I've taught Trajan to non-gamers without too much trouble, and they always request to play it again.

Anyway- hope you enjoy whichever one you pick.
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Fred ZILBERMANN
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RhodesN7 wrote:
I'm a little late to the party, and I'm not exactly here to sway your decision, but I would say Trajan is a much higher quality game than Fresco. I enjoy Stone Age and Ninjato quite a bit. Love Trajan. Really did not care for Fresco at all. Personally, I think it requires some player made variants before it really shines.

For example, I think being 1st player in Fresco is a HUGE advantage, and 1st player always goes to the player in last place. At my game table, we've started auctioning off 1st player each round. Not a perfect solution, but it helps us enjoy the game enough to actually play it occasionally at least.

Trajan, however, is an amazing game right out of the box. Yes, it's much heavier than Fresco, but in a good way. I've taught Trajan to non-gamers without too much trouble, and they always request to play it again.

Anyway- hope you enjoy whichever one you pick.


DAMN YOU CHRIS ! Now I'm all doubts again ! No, frankly, thank you to throw in your poV on this, always greatly appreciated. The thing is : my wife doesn't really care about theme, so I think trajan's dryness in this area would be no trouble. She can understand about every game but she's getting angry when she feels it's getting really heavy, she fears she won't be able to play. So I have to weight whether she can make it to the end of the rules... laugh
 
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Matt Highfill
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+1 for Trajan.

I would have to agree with Chris here. Trajan is the better game, particularly from a replay standpoint. To be sure, Fresco is fun and light. However, as several have mentioned, it has a couple of shortcomings (turn order and dummy player). Trajan plays very well with 2, Fresco not so much. They're different games, and Trajan is meatier, but I think its "weight" is overstated. It plays more like a 3.2 than a 3.6. Moreover, it takes only a couple of turns to understand the game's mechanics. I guess you have to ask yourself: am I mostly going to be playing this as a 2 player? If the answer is yes, I would pass on Fresco altogether. There's plenty of great games out there that don't require dummy players or have limited scalability. But don't take my word for it, look at the player # ratings for each game. Good luck.
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Jason Edwards
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I'm also late to the party but I can't resist to throw my $.02 in here. I think Trajan is clearly the way to go here. Fresco beats Trajan only in theme utilization but any other way I think Trajan is hands down superior. My gaming group did a demo of Fresco and everyone said it was a "nice game" and it has never been requested again. I introduced Trajan and it has hit mythological status with the group...I would be shot if I don't bring it every week. More importantly, Trajan is my wife's favorite game and we love playing it with two (it is great with three and four as well). Her second favorite is Lords of Waterdeep which I mention b/c it is my understanding that LoW and Stone Age are frequently equated. Consequently, based on my experience and your description of what you and your wife are looking for I think Trajan is easily your best bet.
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Shane Larsen
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Trajan is clearly the better game. We're talking about a game with a solid argument for being the best of all of Feld's creations.

Now whether it caters to your needs/wants better than Fresco is a different discussion.
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Fred ZILBERMANN
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Thank you for all your thoughts. I think I know where to look precisely in each game to decide whether to get Trajan or Fresco first. It should be somthing like I should get Trajan but I have to have to decide if it's gonna be overwhelming for my wife or not. If so I'd better get Fresco.
 
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