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Subject: Have Heptagon, Will Travel - Another Mixed Review by Casualgod rss

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David Debien
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I have been a vocal proselytizer of Macao on BGG for quite some time now. It seems it is time for me to put up or shut up and get my thoughts about the game hammered down in a thorough review. This was one of the more difficult reviews I have written simply because so many of my thoughts about the game are abstract and hard to convey into coherent sentences. Apologies in advance for my rambling.

I have been a fan of Stefan Feld games for a couple of years now and this is the game that got me started. Since then, I have played The Castles of Burgundy, Trajan, Notre Dame, Strasbourg, and Roma. I aim to compare and contrast, discuss some of the common complaints as well as what makes the game so great.

So, without further ado, let's talk about...


Image by Marc B

Rules

The rulebook is very well written and the game can be quite easily learned from the rules. My one complaint would be the glossy paper the rulebook is printed on makes it difficult to read in certain light, but this is a common failing of many game manuals.

Components

If you have played an Alea big box game before, Puerto Rico being the best known example, then you know that the component quality in these games is far from top notch. The board is flimsy, the cards are thin, the art is stark and uninspired using muted browns like they are going out of style and the bits are utilitarian but serviceable. No obvious defects were present in any of the copies of the game I have played with, but there are frequently some irregular cubes in the mix, which does not affect game-play.

Fiddliness

There are a lot of the aforementioned cubes. How many? Well, this many:


Image by Mikael Vintermark

Actually, more than that. About 300 in all, in 6 different colors.

During the game, players will be collecting these cubes and placing them along the edge of their heptagons, which will then rotate. One of the sides of the heptagons has an arrow and it is the cubes which the arrow points to that the player will get to use on the current turn. Care is needed to keep the cubes on the correct facing of the heptagon. They can be moved about easily and the lines can blur as to where they belong. This can seriously impact game play and is to be avoided.

In addition to the cube/heptagon management, are the cards. There are a lot of them as well and each player has to keep track of which cards they have drafted but not purchased (the unpurchased cards remain on a board each player has) as well as the purchased cards they have tapped (exhausted, used? do I have to send Wizards of the Coast a usage fee now?) during their current round.


Image by GeekInsight

Finally, on a player's board, are their drafted and as of yet un-activated cards, the goods tiles they have managed to scoop up, as well as coins, and any punishment markers they have had to take.

So, there are a fair amount of things to keep track of and it only ever becomes a little overwhelming late in the game when a player has done really well and is running a super turn (more on this later) and trying to tap and activate their buildings, spend cubes, move their ship, acquire goods tiles, buy prestige, etc. When this happens, though, you are having so much fun doing it, that the bother of managing it all is rather minor.

There is a lot going on and this can be a turn off for some people. My wife especially likes this game, but when things get going she has expressed frustration over all the things to keep track of.

Theme

Macao's theme treads the familiar waters of Merchant Shipping During the Age of Sail (TM). On one part of the board, players are competing for city quarters in the city of Macao. Each acquisition allows them to remove the goods tile in the space and add it to their ship (a space on their player board) and exchange it with an ownership marker used for scoring at the end of the game. The goods tiles acquired can be delivered during the game when a player's ship arrives in the appropriate European port.


Board image by Francesco Neri

This leads to one issue with the theme in that your boat leaves Macao fairly early in the game, but you are delivering goods you acquire throughout the game. I like to think of it like one of those novels that jumps around in time. With one story being your acquisition of the city tiles and the other story your delivering of them in Europe. Thematically, the two things are not happening in real time. In the end it doesn't really matter, because the theme is paper thin here anyway, so tell yourself whatever you need to in order to make it work for you.

In addition to acquiring and delivering goods tiles, the players are trying to raise money to purchase prestige. Typically, the person who is able to purchase prestige more often than the other players stands a better than average chance of winning the game. How this fits into the theme is anybody's guess, but mechanically it works brilliantly as it forces players to focus on making a money engine and feeding it with cubes.

In the end, the player who makes the most victory points via delivering goods, purchasing prestige, acquiring city quarters in Macao and via miscellaneous cards that award points will be declared the winner.

Gameplay

Before I begin, I just want to say that Macao is very much a Euro game. As such, plyer interaction takes a back seat to the games mechnisms. Interaction is mostly limited to blocking and competing for player order. Fans of high interactivity should look elsewhere. At its heart, Macao is an engine building efficiency optimization game with a side order of victory point salad.

Each round, characters will draft cards in player order. After this, the 6 game dice will be rolled and everyone will pick two of the dice to add cubes to their Heptagon (more on this below). Once everyone has decided which two dice they want, everyone rotates their Heptagon one tick clockwise and then play continues in player order. Each player, in turn, will spend all of the action cubes that have accumulated up to that point on the side of their Heptagon the arrow is pointing towards. This can range from 0 cubes (in which case the player takes a penalty marker) to many cubes in up to all 6 colors. Due to this, a player’s turn can take anywhere from no time at all to several minutes while they puzzle out all the permutations of what they can do. An experienced efficient player, however, will be ready to go on their turn and can knock out even the most complex turn in a matter of 20 or 30 seconds.

Gameplay in Macao revolves around the Heptagon.


Image by Tony Bosca

This is an ingenious game mechanism used in determining player actions (action points). Each round, a community pool of 6 colored dice is rolled and each player gets to pick 2 of the dice. Both the color of the die chosen and the number of pips on the die are important, for if a player choses a blue 4, then she takes 4 blue cubes and places them next to the 4 side of her Heptagon. This denotes that in 4 turns, she will have those 4 blue cubes available to her. In this way, players can create a mix of cube colors and quantities on each of the Heptagon's facing sides.

What are the cubes used for? Well, everything. All of the game's actions (aside from purchasing prestige), is driven through the spending of these colored cubes.

For instance, this card:


Image by Kerstin Jakob (never mind that it is in German, this is the best I could find. Too lazy to upload my own images - back off).

Requires the player to have 1 of each red, black, green and violet cubes available to them on their turn in order to activate the card.

You may also spend cubes to purchase city quarters (thus gaining goods tiles to deliver) in Macao:


Image by Antony Hemme

Note that each city quarter has a cost stipulated underneath (e.g. 3 gray, cubes, 1 red cube etc).

Any color cubes can also be used to move forward on the wall (player order) and to move a player's ship on the board.

Finally, a player will have activated various buildings which require a certain cube color to be used in order to activate them. Many of these cards will give a coin in exchange for a cube of a certain color. These cards are the offices and we will talk about them a lot more in the section on Luck (below).

In addition to all of the cubes, a player should also keep their eye on the Prestige market:


Image by Henk Rolleman

This exchange rate of Gold to Prestige (victory points) will fluctuate every turn (never mind how, it isn't important). When a player has enough to buy prestige, they need to decide if the exchange is favorable enough for them to go ahead and buy it. Money is hard to come by and it is unusual to have enough money to buy prestige every round, so picking the right times to buy can be crucial. It is important to recognize that money is not worth anything at the end of the game, so passing on a chance to buy prestige when you can is a risky maneuver.

So, players are focusing on using their cubes to buy city quarters, activate and use cards, raise money to buy prestige, move their boats to make deliveries and move along the wall to maitain a favorable player order position. Sound like a lot to plan for? It certainly is, and the main twist here is that you are planning these actions out up to 6 rounds in advance!

And here is the heart of what makes Macao such a devilishly clever game. Being able to see which city quarters you need to buy and when, which colors to pair up and when, when you will need extra cubes to move your ship, how many cubes and of which colors you need to use your buildings, etc. can become a real analysis nightmare. For people who like this sort of thing, Macao is a fantastic game. It can all come together in specucular way, resulting in what I like to call a "Super Turn" in which you have 20 or so cubes to spend: using them to buy a city quarter, activate and use multiple buildings, raising a ton of money to buy prestige, move your boat to deliver tiles for more victory points and finally move yourself up on the wall to seize or maintain first player position. These super turns are what make Macao such a blast and with clever play you can expect to have several in every game.

On the flip side of that coin, for people unfamiliar with the flow of the game, that have a hard time seeing what to look at for future planning and grab random cube colors each round and then complain when those colors don't line up to do anything useful for them on their turn while opponents are having super turns, the game can be a real drag.

Here is where the cries of too much luck stem from and to be honest, even knowing the game as well as I do, I still have the occasional game where nothing lines up and I crash and burn horribly.

So, let's talk about these cries of too much luck shall we?

Luck

There are so many ways you can mitigate the luck in Macao, I am not even going to pretend to understand them all, nor is this review intended to be a strategy article. This will not be a deep dive into mitigating the luck of the rolls and card flips in Macao. Rather, it is intended as a primer for either the first time player or maybe someone who has played a few times and thinks there is too much luck in the game and wants to understand how they can come to grips with the seeming chaos.

First off, let’s talk about the Office Cards. There are 2 main types of cards in Macao: the aforementioned Office Cards and the Building/Person cards. During the drafting phase of each round, 2 Office cards will be joined by 4 Building/Person cards (then depending on the player count, some of the building/person cards will be discarded). The building/person deck is large enough that not every card will be seen in every game. This adds to the replay value and uncertainty to the game, and that is great. However, EVERY OFFICE CARD APPEARS in every game. More to the point, players can see all 24 of them, and the drafting round in which they will appear, from the very beginning of the game.

So, what are Office cards? They all do the same thing: they turn cubes in to coins (1 for 1). Considering that getting a money engine is very important, the Office cards are a crucial and oft overlooked aspect of the game. Again, there are 24 Office cards, in 6 colors. Meaning, there are 4 Offices for each cube color, ranging in cost to activate from 1-4 cubes of that same color. So, the Office that turns Blue cubes into coins and costs 1 blue cube to activate is inherently better than the blue Office that costs 4 cubes to activate, but once activated is exactly the same.

Once you understand how the Offices are distributed (evenly across all 6 colors in costs ranging from 1-4 cubes) you can look out over the next 1-6 rounds and identify which offices you want to go for. Bear in mind, that the earlier you go in the player order, the better chance you stand to actually draft the card of your choice. Keep these choices in mind when selecting your dice colors.

Now, once you have, say, a Red office, start getting red cubes and drafting cards with a Red cube requirement. Why? Well, the Red office will turn 1 red cube into a coin no matter what. So, with that, you always have a use for red cubes, but since you will almost always be getting more than 1 cube of a certain color, you will want to find other things to spend those red cubes on. To take matters another step further, let’s say from round one you stake out a claim in the Red district in Macao (city quarters), you now have a reason to draw more reds to buy tiles and a red office would fall right into this plan. Drafting additional cards with a red cube requirement would just be icing on that cake.

Wall position is also key, especially in a 3 or 4 player game. Getting first or second pull from the cards available for the draft is key. In this way, you stand a better chance of drafting the cards that match your cube distribution. Grabbing those cards that require 3 or 4 colors early in the game can be a very risky proposition. In this way, you can choose the level of luck that you are comfortable with.

The last 5 rounds of the game will start to see a lot more 1’s roll on the dice (starting with turn 7, 6’s become 1’s and 5’s and 6’s become 1’s in turn 8, etc) , which is a great way to get the cubes to line up correctly on those difficult to complete 3 and 4 color cards. By turn 12, all 6 dice automatically roll a 1. This is important in planning out the right time to draft the more expensive cards.

Drafting a 4 color cost card in round 1 can certainly result in a great game if you get lucky and manage to get it purchased quickly, but most likely it will result in clogging up your tableau and worse yet, picking dice colors which never pan out. It is far wiser to draft easily purchased cards early (offices with 1-2 cubes costs and useful person/building cards) than to go for the powerful 3 and 4 color cards from the start.

To boil it down, look over the upcoming offices, the city quarters you are interested in and also the cards already drafted to your tableau when determining which cube colors to pick.

Number of Players and Time to Play

Macao is a game for 2-4 players. With 2 experienced players, Macao can be played in well under 90 minutes, while with 4 players you can expect play times exceeding 150 minutes.

Competition for the city quarters and player order heats up with 3 and 4 player games. In a 2 player game, it is a viable strategy to never spend cubes moving on the wall (player order) and competition for spaces in the city quarter is relatively light. For this reason, the 2 player game is a lot more multi player solitaire and can be a pleasant non-confrontational efficiency game to play with a significant other.

On the other hand, the 4 player game is a very tight race for the better spots in the city and the positioning for first player on the wall can be rather intense. Going last for a majority of the game (last on the wall) can be a real killer as you always get stuck with the worst cards and never seem to get that city quarter you need to make your plans work out.

The 3 player game fits somewhere in between the two above extremes.

Conclusion

Macao is a game that succeeds despite a poorly realized, over used theme, bland art, and sub-par components. It plays equally well at the 2, 3 and 4 player counts, making it a great couples game or a game that can easily be brought out at game night. Luck is a factor for many who try the game, and can turn off a lot of people who try it once or twice and don't try to look under the hood to find out why they are having the huge swings of luck they are having. There is a devilishly clever luck mitigation game lurking underneath the surface and consistent success at Macao is possible via clever manipulation of the game's mechanisms. Still, even for the most experienced Macao player, luck certainly plays a role, and for those people who like low or no luck games, they should look elsewhere. Theme junkeys or people who like to have a consistency of theme should also probably give Macao a pass. However, people who like tough choices, engine building, "Super Turns" and dice need look no further as Macao will deliver these in spades.

My Score: 9 out of 10.
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David Debien
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I wrote this review in 2 shifts several days apart (I got sick).

Looking at it now, I promise in the first pargraph to compare and contrast Macao to other Feld games and then I never mention another Feld game again. Sigh...I will come back sometime in the next few days and add in my thoughts in a reply somewhere below as to how Macao fits in with some of his other games.
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Carl Garber
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Great review David! You get better every review it seems! Even better use of pictures this time round(really helps people new to the game understand how everything fits together and works). I especially liked your section on luck as it sums it up quite nicely! I have played both Macao and CoB over 30 times each and I am not sure which game I would say is easier to mitigate luck in(although in CoB it is probably easier to see how to mitigate luck). Great work! You have killed my desire to write my own (2nd)review on Macao just a little bit with it!

PS- small typo in the section right above the luck one. You misspell the word "ton" as "otn". Also in the luck section you write "which just be icing on the cake" which I assume you meant to write "which would" or maybe just "would" instead of the "which".
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David Debien
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CarlG wrote:
Great review David! You get better every review it seems! Even better use of pictures this time round(really helps people new to the game understand how everything fits together and works). I especially liked your section on luck as it sums it up quite nicely! I have played both Macao and CoB over 30 times each and I am not sure which game I would say is easier to mitigate luck in(although in CoB it is probably easier to see how to mitigate luck). Great work! You have killed my desire to write my own (2nd)review on Macao just a little bit with it!

PS- small typo in the section right above the luck one. You misspell the word "ton" as "otn". Also in the luck section you write "which just be icing on the cake" which I assume you meant to write "which would" or maybe just "would" instead of the "which".


Fixed. Thanks Carl!
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David B
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Cool timing. Just played this today. My opponent got lucky, though, and beat me by 2 points....whistle
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C. Rexford
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I enjoy every chance to play Macao but have never met the courage to try to review it.

I think you covered it all very well, and kudos to you for forging ahead through your illness, which I trust is now in the past.

I agree with everything you said, and Macao has been one of my favorite games. Macao is also what introduced Stephen Felds inventive and resourceful games to me as well.

Great Review! thumbsup
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David B
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Oh yeah, I forgot. It's very easy to explain how the goods get on the ship throughout the game without the boats coming back to port. The guys in Thurn and Taxis grandparents developed an early form of express global shipping and can get goods loaded on a ship anywhere in the world in under a week with a valid credit card and picture id.



Dave: Which of Feld's 2013 releases do you think will be the most intriguing? Personally, I cannot wait to try out Rialto. It seems elegant and interactive. I hope the replay value is high.
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David Debien
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pfctsqr wrote:
Oh yeah, I forgot. It's very easy to explain how the goods get on the ship throughout the game without the boats coming back to port. The guys in Thurn and Taxis grandparents developed an early form of express global shipping and can get goods loaded on a ship anywhere in the world in under a week with a valid credit card and picture id.



Dave: Which of Feld's 2013 releases do you think will be the most intriguing? Personally, I cannot wait to try out Rialto. It seems elegant and interactive. I hope the replay value is high.


To be honest, Feld's VP salad approach is starting to feel awful same-y to me. After I got pretty good at managing the Mancala in Trajan, the replay value of that game dropped to something hovering around zero.

That said, Amerigo is the one game I am actually thinking will be an insta-buy for me, since it purportedly uses the Cube Tower of Shogun/Wallenstein (first edition) fame.
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Carl Garber
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If Amerigo stays around the 3.1 difficulty range of CoB and Macao I think it is something I will be interested to pick up as well. Bora Bora seems to complex for who I play with(also it seems very similar to Trajan which was a miss for me). Brugge and Rialto seem solid but not spectacular or really all that innovative or unique(which is what I look for in games). Amerigo looks like it could have that nice blend of not too complex, modular board(good for replayability), and unique mechanism(cube tower). I don't believe in auto-buys anymore, but for me Amerigo is probably closest to it.
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David B
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casualgod wrote:
pfctsqr wrote:
Oh yeah, I forgot. It's very easy to explain how the goods get on the ship throughout the game without the boats coming back to port. The guys in Thurn and Taxis grandparents developed an early form of express global shipping and can get goods loaded on a ship anywhere in the world in under a week with a valid credit card and picture id.



Dave: Which of Feld's 2013 releases do you think will be the most intriguing? Personally, I cannot wait to try out Rialto. It seems elegant and interactive. I hope the replay value is high.


To be honest, Feld's VP salad approach is starting to feel awful same-y to me. After I got pretty good at managing the Mancala in Trajan, the replay value of that game dropped to something hovering around zero.

That said, Amerigo is the one game I am actually thinking will be an insta-buy for me, since it purportedly uses the Cube Tower of Shogun/Wallenstein (first edition) fame.



That's one thing I like about Rialto. There are fewer ways to score points in that game as compared to most of his other titles. Building, majorities, leftover resources, and bridge cards. So much of the game is centered around the players attempting to outsmart each other in their timing of card play. I agree it may not be the most innovative thing Feld has done, but it seems to offer so much room for players to prove how clever they are.
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David Debien
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casualgod wrote:
I have been a fan of Stefan Feld games for a couple of years now and this is the game that got me started. Since then, I have played The Castles of Burgundy, Trajan, Notre Dame, Strasbourg, and Roma. I aim to compare and contrast, discuss some of the common complaints as well as what makes the game so great.


casualgod wrote:
I wrote this review in 2 shifts several days apart (I got sick).

Looking at it now, I promise in the first pargraph to compare and contrast Macao to other Feld games and then I never mention another Feld game again. Sigh...I will come back sometime in the next few days and add in my thoughts in a reply somewhere below as to how Macao fits in with some of his other games.


Ok, here we go:

Macao vs Trajan
Of all of Feld's games that I have played, Macao is most like Trajan. The future planning we see on the Mancala is very similar to the dice speculation on the Heptagon. However, where the card flips in Macao keep the game fresh, I do not get the same replay value out of Trajan. In Trajan, the forum tiles distribution and the goods cards you draw may move around, but you are mostly just trying to build sets and there isn't any real variation or card combinations to bring something new to the game. It's all just do what scores the most points in Trajan.

Macao vs Castles of Burgundy
Macao, on the surface is very similar to Castles of Burgundy. The actions in both games are driven through dice rolls. In a very similar vein, in CoB each player rolls 2 dice each turn and makes the best out of them. They aren't selecting 2 dice from a larger pool though and rather than speculating in the die rolls, you are making the best out of what you roll as you roll it. In this regard, CoB is much more reactive vs the "you are responsible for your own destiny" nature of Macao. CoB does have the super turn feel of Macao though and this is another thing that makes the two games feel similar.

Macao vs Notre Dame
Starting to get a little further afield now. Notre Dame heavily features card drafting which is only a small (but important) part of Macao. The future planning in Notre Dame is very prevalent and without a solid gameplan beyond the current round, a player can crash and burn pretty badly, similar to picking colors in Macao without a plan.

Also, Notre Dame has the victory point salad feel of a lot of Feld games, but this is not a complaint I have for Macao. In Macao, points come mostly from making goods deliveries and purchasing prestige. A few buildings award VPs and some are made at game end in the city. In retrospect, that is a lot of VP vectors but it feels a lot more tightly integrated in a game like Macao than in a game like Trajan or Notre Dame, where almost everything you do awards a variable amount of points.

Macao vs Strasbourg
Strasbourg is a neat little auction game and is the only auction game to be contrasted here. As such, that makes Strasbourg a bit unique. However, the auctions in Strasbourg are all laid out at the beginning of the game and it is the order they will be held which makes a big difference to game strategy, very similar to how the Office cards are displayed from the very beginning of Macao. In addition, you have to future plan your bids in each of Strasbourg's 5(?) rounds by making bidding stacks. This also feels a lot like the cube stacking that happens on your Heptagon as you plan actions from round to round. The result, oddly enough, is that Strasbourg feels like Macao while having a completely different set of mechanisms.

Macao vs Roma
Roma is a 2 player direct confrontation dice roller. As such, aside from the die rolling and card play, it is almost unlike anything else in the Feld lexicon. We have the very familiar "roll 2 dice and do interesting things with them" mechanism familiar to other Feld games. We have the fact they can be used in various ways and it isn't always high roll > low roll. You use dice to place cards, activate cards, gain money, and draw cards.
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James Flight
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Have you tried Speicherstadt? It is particularly fun with the expansion. Very different from the other games you compare above (I have not played Trajan or Strasberg).

I think Macao is great because of the interlaced options. Planning with the cube wheel coupled with the competition for the city spaces AND a race for the ports all weaver together makes for a very interesting set of choices

Thanks for the review and the comparisons. Very much enjoyed the read
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David Debien
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jflight1 wrote:
Have you tried Speicherstadt? It is particularly fun with the expansion. Very different from the other games you compare above (I have not played Trajan or Strasberg).

I think Macao is great because of the interlaced options. Planning with the cube wheel coupled with the competition for the city spaces AND a race for the ports all weaver together makes for a very interesting set of choices

Thanks for the review and the comparisons. Very much enjoyed the read


Own it and the expansion. Haven't had a chance to play it yet.

Regarding the interlaced actions in Macao. Many Feld games have this, but Macao somehow feels tighter in that all of these actions ARE related (Unlike Trajan). You buy city tiles so that you can make more points when you move your ship. You activate buildings and persons to force multiply the ship movement and/or city tiles. The only part that hangs a little off to the side is the purchasing of prestige, but that works out quite well because it's another thing you have to do. A necessary distraction if you will, that you are required to participate in if you want to win. Contrast this to Trajan again, where if you don't ship once during the game, it will not affect your chances of winning.

Thanks for your kind comments!
 
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Steve Dupree
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I always thought of the goods deliveries like in those train games where your train is not representing a physical locomotive, but rather is the leading edge of your route network. However I do realize that doesn't make any sense, given that you have to backtrack if you pick up a good for a city you previously visited. (That factor makes a number of theories difficult to justify.)
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Bryan Thunkd
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wrote:
Interaction is mostly limited to blocking and competing for player order.

Blocking makes it sound like you are taking an action that another player wanted. I'd consider the race to deliver wares and buy city quarters something more than just blocking. Of course, to those who are looking for high interaction the distinction is probably moot.
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David Debien
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stannius wrote:
I always thought of the goods deliveries like in those train games where your train is not representing a physical locomotive, but rather is the leading edge of your route network. However I do realize that doesn't make any sense, given that you have to backtrack if you pick up a good for a city you previously visited. (That factor makes a number of theories difficult to justify.)


Would be an interesting variant to mark the cities you have passed through and you get to score the matching goods tiles in the city as you get them. Thinking about it, it would put a lot more influence on spending cubes on shipping early, which would put more pressure on everything else. Probably not a good idea, but an interesting one nonetheless.
 
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Jonathan Powell
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Thanks for granting my wish and reviewing Macao. I should have my copy in about a week. I appreciate the comparisons to other Feld titles. I try not to purchase games that are similar to games in my collection, so I am a little worried that this will be too similar to Castles of Burgundy.

I have to admit that what drew me to Macao was the heptagon and the use of dice. Feld seems to have a knack for using dice in different ways than just Yahtzee mechanics. In Castles of Burgundy, mid-game, before I role the dice, I often can say, "I liked to role a 2 and a 4, but I can make a 1, 5, or even a 6 work. The luck factor of rolling dice is there, but it doesn't feel like it plays as big a role as in other games, for example, Alien Frontiers. Certainly, every once in a while I'll roll two 3s and curse the dice.

The heptagon is intriguing. Do I take 4 black and have to wait 4 turns to use them, or 2 green? I like the idea of planning ahead up to 6 turns for a super turn as you described.

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David Debien
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ukraineboo wrote:
I try not to purchase games that are similar to games in my collection, so I am a little worried that this will be too similar to Castles of Burgundy.


Outside of the "use 2 dice to do something" mechanism, the games are very dissimilar. I think you will be fine.
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Jacob Walker
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casualgod wrote:
ukraineboo wrote:
I try not to purchase games that are similar to games in my collection, so I am a little worried that this will be too similar to Castles of Burgundy.


Outside of the "use 2 dice to do something" mechanism, the games are very dissimilar. I think you will be fine.


Yeah, gotta agree here. Though they have a very similar "feel", the actual gameplay is fairly different. You'll find a lot of similarities (acquiring and activation of cards/tiles, planning several turns into the future, etc.), but I suspect you will find Macao a markedly different game. Primarily, I find that Macao is much more of an engine-building game, and the "super-turn" is a more frequent occurrence. In Burgundy, you have to have the right sequence of tiles, which might not happen. In Macao, having the right cards (a good engine) can help a lot, but having a lot of action cubes (the fuel) can often do the same thing, and it's very simple to build up a lot of action cubes.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Let us just say that the gameplay of Macao is much more stressful than the gameplay of The Castles of Burgundy, so yes the 2 games are really different!
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Jonathan Powell
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freddieyu wrote:
Let us just say that the gameplay of Macao is much more stressful than the gameplay of The Castles of Burgundy, so yes the 2 games are really different!


Thanks David, Jacob, and Fernando.

Castles of Burgundy is definitely one of the most relaxing games in my collection. There are certainly frustrating/stressful moments, but overall I don't consider it to be stressful or intense. It will be fun to try a more stressful Feld.
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Robert Lavarnway
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Nice review, David. Is there an "I Take Super Turns" MB?
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David Debien
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francisthe3rd wrote:
Nice review, David. Is there an "I Take Super Turns" MB?


There should be.
 
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