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Subject: New Players--Objective Card Strategy?? rss

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Glenn Darrin
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I've been considering picking up a copy of Archipelago after doing some research here and skimming through the rulebook. When purchasing a new game, I normally try to stay away from looking at all the cards as to avoid spoilers and keep the game as fresh as possible for as long as possible.

My question, in this case, is that being new to the game should I not know all the objectives in order to strategize? And the same for any new players I introduce to the game. Shouldn't I show them all the objectives and make them aware of their implications so that they may strategize?

Please excuse any ignorance here on my part as I normally play heavily thematic games and this would be my first "heavier" euro. (It seems to have excellent theme).

As an aside, would this game be a decent entry into the heavy euro realm?

Thanks to all.
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Curt Carpenter
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Clammy721 wrote:
My question, in this case, is that being new to the game should I not know all the objectives in order to strategize?

You should know all the objectives. Print a cheat sheet to help new players.

Clammy721 wrote:
As an aside, would this game be a decent entry into the heavy euro realm?

Not really. It's more of a diversion for folks who have explored the space and are looking for something a little different.
 
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Chris Linneman
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Clammy721 wrote:

As an aside, would this game be a decent entry into the heavy euro realm?


Archipelago is not an entry into any realm other than perhaps that of the twisted mind of the designer. It is a brain-melty experience that will either turn you off in disgust or have you clamouring for more. No two games are alike, but the game intensely rewards repeat play.

To reiterate Curt's comment, it is absolutely essential that every player be aware of every objective and end-game condition. I have printouts of the objectives to give to each player for this reason. I also detail each one when teaching the game to make sure everyone is clear on their meaning. It happened in one game that one player mistook her objective for another, and this had disastrous consequences on the flow of the game.
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Curt Carpenter
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QBert80 wrote:
It is a brain-melty experience...

Huh? How so? I don't see anything brain-melty about it. In fact it seems quite mentally relaxing to me and my group, even with the tension of rebellion.
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Chris Linneman
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curtc wrote:

Huh? How so? I don't see anything brain-melty about it. In fact it seems quite mentally relaxing to me and my group, even with the tension of rebellion.


Me, I am constantly trying to figure out what people have based on their actions and having to revise previous assumptions. I'm trying to figure out how to pursue my goal without revealing what it is. There's the balance between pursuing your goals and stopping the rebellion. And then there's negotiation. Each individual element isn't taxing on its own, but the combination often leaves me swimming in (potentially pointless) AP. Maybe I need to just embrace the chaos and go along for the ride.
 
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Eoin Corrigan
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It's absolutely essential that all players fully understant the trend Card and their individual Victory and End Conditions. In every game I've played we've allowed sufficient time for each player to check their cards in the rulebook, and we've taken time to specificially address the Pacifist / Separatist cards and what they mean.

I also agree that Archipelago isn't a brain burner, in the sense that the action round choices are reasonably simple. Sometimes achieving maximum efficiency and profit from market and port transactions can require a little bit of thought (especially if Evolution cards are available to use), and one must be careful to line up the correct sequence of actions, but I find the game flows very well with little AP or downtime once everyone is familiar with the options.
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Glenn Darrin
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Well, I picked the game up from the CoolStuffInc store today. Incidentally, one of the main reasons I wanted the game in the first place was to have a game to play with my kids that's a nice mental change from killing monsters and dropping bombs on people.

In any event, we unboxed everything there in the store at one of their game tables and had a quick playthru after sorting out the components. I do like that the rulebook has summaries of all the cards and objectives, however, you guys are right in that I need to print some aid sheets.

We're going to get some solid plays this weekend to get everything down. I think it all makes sense and everything seems extremely logical.
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Curt Carpenter
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Clammy721 wrote:
Incidentally, one of the main reasons I wanted the game in the first place was to have a game to play with my kids that's a nice mental change from killing monsters and dropping bombs on people.

Um, check the Euro aisle. Lots of stuff there.
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Glenn Darrin
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curtc wrote:
Clammy721 wrote:
Incidentally, one of the main reasons I wanted the game in the first place was to have a game to play with my kids that's a nice mental change from killing monsters and dropping bombs on people.

Um, check the Euro aisle. Lots of stuff there.


Duh!! I didn't find Archipelago between Arkham Horror and Memoir 44. Check my small collection. Not one euro in there. I normally don't play too many euros. The few I have played were ones friends had. So, I was looking to delve in with something relatively similar to games I would normally play with the kids. As I said earlier, something with theme.
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Curt Carpenter
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Clammy721 wrote:
So, I was looking to delve in with something relatively similar to games I would normally play with the kids. As I said earlier, something with theme.

To me Archipelago is pretty typical Euro except the wonky victory conditions. I'm curious how that's more similar to the games you play, or more theme than most other Euros. But yeah, I see you haven't played many Euros, so maybe you're not well equipped to answer that. In any case, come visit Euro land more. Lots of great stuff to play with kids. I know I do. laugh

Edit: And my specific recommendation would be to look elsewhere for a game to play with kids. This is just wonky in so many ways. I would only recommend it to people have played all the Euro staples, and are looking for an oddity for sheer variety.
 
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Glenn Darrin
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curtc wrote:
Clammy721 wrote:
As an aside, would this game be a decent entry into the heavy euro realm?

Not really. It's more of a diversion for folks who have explored the space and are looking for something a little different.


Something different than the standard euro is precisely what I'm looking for.

curtc wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
It is a brain-melty experience...

Huh? How so? I don't see anything brain-melty about it. In fact it seems quite mentally relaxing to me and my group, even with the tension of rebellion.


curtc wrote:
Clammy721 wrote:
So, I was looking to delve in with something relatively similar to games I would normally play with the kids. As I said earlier, something with theme.

To me Archipelago is pretty typical Euro except the wonky victory conditions. I'm curious how that's more similar to the games you play, or more theme than most other Euros. But yeah, I see you haven't played many Euros, so maybe you're not well equipped to answer that. In any case, come visit Euro land more. Lots of great stuff to play with kids. I know I do.

Edit: And my specific recommendation would be to look elsewhere for a game to play with kids. This is just wonky in so many ways. I would only recommend it to people have played all the Euro staples, and are looking for an oddity for sheer variety.


Well, seeing as how you are curious(hmmm...did you maybe intend some sarcasm there? ), I didn't necessarily mean games that I play myself, but games I play specifically with my kids. If that, coupled with the fact that I haven't played many euros means I'm not well equipped to answer a question, that's ok. But, yes, the meaning was games with more theme.

And although the game is wonky and has lots of different mechanics going on, as you said in your reply to QBert80, it's definitely not brain-melty and is rather relaxing compared to some of those beat-em-up ameritrashy games. After playing some of the standard euro fare (Catan, Agricola, Carcassone, etc...), oddities and variety sounds very good. Add to that, after doing a lot of research on some games before purchase, the kids wanted to give Archipelago a try. I have to admit, I was very leary of this, but since picking the game up yesterday, we've had a lot of fun in a couple plays. Hopefully, I can parlay that into more titles in Euro land. laugh
 
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Michael Noakes
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Clammy721 wrote:
curtc wrote:
Clammy721 wrote:
As an aside, would this game be a decent entry into the heavy euro realm?

Not really. It's more of a diversion for folks who have explored the space and are looking for something a little different.


Something different than the standard euro is precisely what I'm looking for.

curtc wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
It is a brain-melty experience...

Huh? How so? I don't see anything brain-melty about it. In fact it seems quite mentally relaxing to me and my group, even with the tension of rebellion.


curtc wrote:
Clammy721 wrote:
So, I was looking to delve in with something relatively similar to games I would normally play with the kids. As I said earlier, something with theme.

To me Archipelago is pretty typical Euro except the wonky victory conditions. I'm curious how that's more similar to the games you play, or more theme than most other Euros. But yeah, I see you haven't played many Euros, so maybe you're not well equipped to answer that. In any case, come visit Euro land more. Lots of great stuff to play with kids. I know I do.

Edit: And my specific recommendation would be to look elsewhere for a game to play with kids. This is just wonky in so many ways. I would only recommend it to people have played all the Euro staples, and are looking for an oddity for sheer variety.


Well, seeing as how you are curious(hmmm...did you maybe intend some sarcasm there? :what: ), I didn't necessarily mean games that I play myself, but games I play specifically with my kids. If that, coupled with the fact that I haven't played many euros means I'm not well equipped to answer a question, that's ok. But, yes, the meaning was games with more theme.

And although the game is wonky and has lots of different mechanics going on, as you said in your reply to QBert80, it's definitely not brain-melty and is rather relaxing compared to some of those beat-em-up ameritrashy games. After playing some of the standard euro fare (Catan, Agricola, Carcassone, etc...), oddities and variety sounds very good. Add to that, after doing a lot of research on some games before purchase, the kids wanted to give Archipelago a try. I have to admit, I was very leary of this, but since picking the game up yesterday, we've had a lot of fun in a couple plays. Hopefully, I can parlay that into more titles in Euro land. :laugh:


I don't get this idea that it's wonky. Where's the wonk? I've only played two games so far but haven't wonked yet.

But I'm curious: what age kids did you play with? I'm considering starting up a boardgaming club at the school where I teach (again) but wouldn't have considered Archipelago for its rules complexity. How did it work out for you?
 
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J M
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The game feels "wonky" if you come to it with expectations of how it should work, or how you want it to work, rather than playing it the way it was intended. There have been particular people who just can't wrap their head around certain rules, thinking that "logically...yada yada yada" it should work a different way, or it should be like XYZ euro game, or blah blah blah. That's neat Mr. Euro but that's not the way the game was designed.

If you want a real Eurogame experience in all it's infinitely calculated glory then go play a strict Eurogame. Archipelago has worker placement and some economy, no dice, but it's still got some random elements that frustrate the clinical eurogamer. Some people embrace randomness and unpredictability in a gaming experience, others are repulsed, but to say a game is "wonky" because it has a unique set of rules and mechanics that are not strictly "eurogame"--meh, that's just being uptight.

Archipelago plays really well if you take it for what it is (like most games, really). It's not overly complicated, just have to get through a game or two for the mechanics to settle in, may have a rules question or two along the way (recommendation, read the English version of the rules, apparently they are more clear than other versions), but overall it's a fairly simple game with enough variety and uncertainty to make it enjoyable on replays.

IMO, of course.
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Glenn Darrin
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Weloi Avala wrote:
Clammy721 wrote:
curtc wrote:
Clammy721 wrote:
As an aside, would this game be a decent entry into the heavy euro realm?

Not really. It's more of a diversion for folks who have explored the space and are looking for something a little different.


Something different than the standard euro is precisely what I'm looking for.

curtc wrote:
QBert80 wrote:
It is a brain-melty experience...

Huh? How so? I don't see anything brain-melty about it. In fact it seems quite mentally relaxing to me and my group, even with the tension of rebellion.


curtc wrote:
Clammy721 wrote:
So, I was looking to delve in with something relatively similar to games I would normally play with the kids. As I said earlier, something with theme.

To me Archipelago is pretty typical Euro except the wonky victory conditions. I'm curious how that's more similar to the games you play, or more theme than most other Euros. But yeah, I see you haven't played many Euros, so maybe you're not well equipped to answer that. In any case, come visit Euro land more. Lots of great stuff to play with kids. I know I do.

Edit: And my specific recommendation would be to look elsewhere for a game to play with kids. This is just wonky in so many ways. I would only recommend it to people have played all the Euro staples, and are looking for an oddity for sheer variety.


Well, seeing as how you are curious(hmmm...did you maybe intend some sarcasm there? ), I didn't necessarily mean games that I play myself, but games I play specifically with my kids. If that, coupled with the fact that I haven't played many euros means I'm not well equipped to answer a question, that's ok. But, yes, the meaning was games with more theme.

And although the game is wonky and has lots of different mechanics going on, as you said in your reply to QBert80, it's definitely not brain-melty and is rather relaxing compared to some of those beat-em-up ameritrashy games. After playing some of the standard euro fare (Catan, Agricola, Carcassone, etc...), oddities and variety sounds very good. Add to that, after doing a lot of research on some games before purchase, the kids wanted to give Archipelago a try. I have to admit, I was very leary of this, but since picking the game up yesterday, we've had a lot of fun in a couple plays. Hopefully, I can parlay that into more titles in Euro land. laugh


I don't get this idea that it's wonky. Where's the wonk? I've only played two games so far but haven't wonked yet.

But I'm curious: what age kids did you play with? I'm considering starting up a boardgaming club at the school where I teach (again) but wouldn't have considered Archipelago for its rules complexity. How did it work out for you?


I play with my son, 12, and my daughter, 11. We've played a few more times since the original post and they enjoy the game. Like most new games we play, the first time we play is usually a learning game with a chance to grasp the rules and then we go from there. This was no different. The rules themselves are simple enough, IMO. The perceived complexity, or wonkiness, may come from the different mix of rules/mechanics presented. But if you take the rulebook for what it is, as written, I think the game is just fine. My kids would say the same.
 
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Glenn Darrin
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Alcahaelas wrote:
The game feels "wonky" if you come to it with expectations of how it should work, or how you want it to work, rather than playing it the way it was intended. There have been particular people who just can't wrap their head around certain rules, thinking that "logically...yada yada yada" it should work a different way, or it should be like XYZ euro game, or blah blah blah. That's neat Mr. Euro but that's not the way the game was designed.

If you want a real Eurogame experience in all it's infinitely calculated glory then go play a strict Eurogame. Archipelago has worker placement and some economy, no dice, but it's still got some random elements that frustrate the clinical eurogamer. Some people embrace randomness and unpredictability in a gaming experience, others are repulsed, but to say a game is "wonky" because it has a unique set of rules and mechanics that are not strictly "eurogame"--meh, that's just being uptight.

Archipelago plays really well if you take it for what it is (like most games, really). It's not overly complicated, just have to get through a game or two for the mechanics to settle in, may have a rules question or two along the way (recommendation, read the English version of the rules, apparently they are more clear than other versions), but overall it's a fairly simple game with enough variety and uncertainty to make it enjoyable on replays.

IMO, of course.


Very well said. These are my sentiments exactly.
 
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J M
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Never did much care for the Eurogame/Ameritrash disparity. The simple connotation is that Euro games are superior and American games are garbage, which isn't true at all. Both areas have put out some fantastic games and some real crap. I know, Euro is more strict and eschews luck/random elements while American games revel in the toss of the dice and card decks and other such unpredictable elements. The more complex connotation is perhaps not as overtly disparaging but still--meh.
 
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Glenn Russell
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In our group we only look at the back of the rulebook to see what our own objective and end-game conditions mean, and I make sure to point out the separatist to people. Other than that, none of us have memorized the end-game condition and victory point cards for each game length, although if someone is exploring incessantly and not spending tokens, or building a million ports, we can still guess that it might be worth victory points.
 
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