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Subject: A Fast and Furious Rialto review rss

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Peter D
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Type: Euro card-drafting and area majority game. Designed by the prolific and in-form designer Stefan Feld.

Aim:  Victory Points come from in-game card play, from buildings, and then largely from end-game majorities by region.  So there are a number of paths to victory.

Design: based in Venice, though we are talking mechanic over theme here. Good quality cards and components.

Gameplay: choose one set of 6 randomly drawn face-up card sets from the display plus 2 random cards from the deck.  Each type of card generates a benefit.  You then play the cards in rounds by card type, and bonuses are awarded for those whom placed the most cards in each card-type.  For example you get one coin per gold coin card you play, and a bonus gold coin for having played the most gold coin cards. Some cards allow placement of pieces in areas on the board for end-game majority scoring. Another allows buildings to be built, and buildings will change a rule to your advantage, so long as you fund the building with some cash. Six rounds of this card play are played and you're done.

Interaction: unlike many Stefan Feld games this is no multi-player solitaire.  Majorities in cards are important and the area-majority mechanism means that there is much interaction and conflict between players. You are definitely playing aganst each other rather than against 'the game'.

Replayability:  good due to the multitude of options driven by different card offerings each turn in each game.

So what?   The excitement comes from selecting one of the sets of cards, which set you choose will be determined by your strategy and will itself help determine your strategy.  It's novel, clever, and works very well indeed.

Hint: it pays well to remember what cards your opponents took in their hand to help determine the probability of you achieving a lead in the cards played of that type (though the 2 blind cards also drawn always leave a degree of uncertainty)

You'll like this if you like: San Marco is the obvious parellel as it is set in Venice, but also like San Marco it has card drafting by selecting from a limited number of sets, and furthermore is an area majority game.  Rialto is much better though as the options are so much wider.    From a game weight view it is in a similar bag to Stone Age, Asara, Basari or Collesseum.

Good Things:  
- Rialto is accesible enough to play with less gamey gamers, but offers depth enough to keep deeper gamers satisified. 
-  It plays smoothly, easily, quickly, intuitively and with interesting desicions at every turn.  
- The rules are straightforward and easy to explain 
- There is very little downtime even with AP opposition.
- Plays well from 3 to 5 and plays within the hour
- The systems combine so well: card selection, building use, and the placement of pieces for majorities all intertwine brilliantly and effortlessly into one satisfying system.

Bad things:
- the theme, whilst there, is a thin veneer.
- the  vp track is poor and difficult to score on. 
- The game benefits those with a good memory: it is advantageous to remember the cards picked up by opponents. Not good for seive-memories such as my own.

Summary: Stefan Feld is on fire right now. This isn't of the depth or complexity of his recent brilliant Bora Bora but that is not a critisism as Rialto is a far more accesible affair. More enjoyable too through its ease of play. This is a terrific game which punches a lot into 60 minutes, it never outstays its welcome, and leaves you feeling fulfilled and satisfied.  I love it.
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Thomas Leitner
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This is a nice, concise review.


However, I don't understand your last "bad" comment. The fact that a game benefits those with a certain trait or skill is value neutral. All games do this, so I don't think it's fair to label this as a bad characteristic of a game simply because you might not possess this particular ability.
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MDJD wrote:
This is a nice, concise review.


However, I don't understand your last "bad" comment. The fact that a game benefits those with a certain trait or skill is value neutral. All games do this, so I don't think it's fair to label this as a bad characteristic of a game simply because you might not possess this particular ability.


Some people don't like games with hidden trackable information, as they feel like it starts crossing into work territory from play territory. Some people even track it on paper. To each his own! I personally don't mind it too much, especially if it's paired with fully hidden information, but only in small doses or of small consequence. From everything I've heard, there's a lot to track in this game and it has a fair amount of consequence (pushing the HTI into work territory).
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Kpl Min
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So how did you get this game? When can we all get it? Sounds great.
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Peter D
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MDJD wrote:
This is a nice, concise review.


However, I don't understand your last "bad" comment. The fact that a game benefits those with a certain trait or skill is value neutral. All games do this, so I don't think it's fair to label this as a bad characteristic of a game simply because you might not possess this particular ability.


Yes, you are right from an objective point of view. However I was writing from my subjective veiw, and in that instance I wouldn't want to play against someone who could remember exactly what all other 4 players were holding in their hand (other than the two 'hidden' cards). So you are correct, it isn't a negative regarding the game, but simply a negative from my view. Clearly if you were a skilled card-counter you may see it as a positive!

And thanks for the complement re the review.
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Peter D
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kevinplarson wrote:
So how did you get this game? When can we all get it? Sounds great.


The wonderful Boardgameguru online store had some a couple of weeks ago. It is a UK store though.
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Thomas Leitner
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duckworp wrote:
MDJD wrote:
This is a nice, concise review.


However, I don't understand your last "bad" comment. The fact that a game benefits those with a certain trait or skill is value neutral. All games do this, so I don't think it's fair to label this as a bad characteristic of a game simply because you might not possess this particular ability.


Yes, you are right from an objective point of view. However I was writing from my subjective veiw, and in that instance I wouldn't want to play against someone who could remember exactly what all other 4 players were holding in their hand (other than the two 'hidden' cards). So you are correct, it isn't a negative regarding the game, but simply a negative from my view. Clearly if you were a skilled card-counter you may see it as a positive!

And thanks for the complement re the review.


Fair enough
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Gamesurplus.com had some for a hot minute. I was lucky and woke up at 3AM, picked up my tablet to check on their new stuff and snagged a copy.
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jschlickbernd wrote:
Gamesurplus.com had some for a hot minute. I was lucky and woke up at 3AM, picked up my tablet to check on their new stuff and snagged a copy.


Ah the late night internet game purchase.
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Jim Sutherland
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jschlickbernd wrote:
... I was lucky and woke up at 3AM...

You think aking up at 03:00 is lucky? Most odd.......
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Jazzuu wrote:
jschlickbernd wrote:
... I was lucky and woke up at 3AM...

You think aking up at 03:00 is lucky? Most odd.......


It was that night! Because by the time I actually got up, Rialto was gone
 
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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SIGH Apparently the train that was carrying my copy of Rialto derailed this morning. Awesome.
 
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Tiamat
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Hope it didn't get damaged...
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Derek H
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Tiamat wrote:
Hope it didn't get damaged...

The game ... or the train
 
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Clyde W
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You might say it Feld off the tracks!
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