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Subject: Can someone give me a bad review of this please? (strange request I know) rss

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Steve Evans
Wales
Rhondda
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Hi Cyclades players and fellow geeks. I'm really thinking of picking this up. I like all the ideas in the game, the multiple paths to victory, the auction mechanic, the dudes on a map aspect. But it's fallen flat with my regular group and the person who owned it has since sold it so I never had the chance to play it.

The big accusation was that Apollo was beyond useless, the map was imbalanced and that Evo just does everything better.
Having not played it myself and not seen these points raised in the reviews here, could someone please let me know if these are big issues with the game or were the guys who did play it just the wrong group?

Thank you peeps.
 
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Andrew Rice
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LIHUE
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I'm guessing they played it wrong. Apollo is not useless, he is a means to increasing your Gold. The map is very balanced - purposefully planned that way.
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Iron James Rackham
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Furthermore, if someone insists that one colour has an advantage in the opening setup, you can always play with the free positioning round found in the expansion rules (available online).
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Ken Dilloo
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Bothell
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Everything is relative to perception, and your perception is limited.
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The Ginger Ninja
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Apollo is far from useless. Gain a gold (or 4 if you have 1 island) plus semi-permanently increase your income? Yes please. Apollo is also a great option to lay low for the next round. Let everyone else bid everything up, then come out swinging, in the next round.

My biggest gripe is that you cannot let someone run away with Zeus, and sometimes the creatures feel overpowered, even though it is a bid. Zeus's ability to cycle can be huge. The Hades expansion really smoothes out those edges, and makes the game that much better.

My other complaint is that one of my groups tends to hose me early and often, letting someone else waltz away with it. Hopefully, that won't be an issue for you
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Disgustipater
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Portland
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ironJames wrote:
Furthermore, if someone insists that one colour has an advantage in the opening setup, you can always play with the free positioning round found in the expansion rules (available online).
We've always just randomized setup. Deal out a random color column piece to each player. Regardless of their actual player color, they use the setup of the color column that was dealt to them.
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Ken Dilloo
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Everything is relative to perception, and your perception is limited.
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The Ginger Ninja
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Yeah, I like the bid for set-up. Free to implement from the Hades expansion. Makes an interesting decision. Spend to get a good position, and you might get pillaged, turn 1.

The board has always felt extremely balanced, with the set-up.
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Santi Velasco
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Jester Wales wrote:
The big accusation was that Apollo was beyond useless, the map was imbalanced and that Evo just does everything better.
I don't really get how Cyclades and Evo compare, beyond that yes, you have an auction, and yes, you move dolls on a map. Evo does the safe euro-route with victory points and all, whereas Cyclades is much more vicious and cutthroat.
For me, Evo was the better replacement for Smallworld, I find those two games much more closely related, both in mechanics and feeling. Not surprisisng I guess, having they both share the same father.
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Patrick R
Canada
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Jester Wales wrote:
The big accusation was that Apollo was beyond useless
Well, that's not really true. Granted, Apollo is the "consolation prize" God, since he's what you're stuck with when you're too poor to bid on the more powerful Gods, but that's not always a bad thing. Sometimes Apollo is the only way to give yourself a leg up when you're falling behind, since he guarantees extra income for future rounds and lets you hold onto your cash during the current round. And this game really is all about having the money to make powerful bids when you need them. And choosing him means you get first bid in the next round, which is also not bad if there's a particular creature you're after.

Quote:
the map was imbalanced
The islands are all pretty similar and many of them will change hands several times over the course of a game. I really don't see anyone starting off with significantly better footing than anyone else.

Quote:
and that Evo just does everything better.
I've never played it, so I wouldn't know.

Quote:
Having not played it myself and not seen these points raised in the reviews here, could someone please let me know if these are big issues with the game or were the guys who did play it just the wrong group?
It's kind of a weird game and I can see how it might rub some people the wrong way. Long-term strategy doesn't really exist here because if you get outbid on the action you need, you'll have to quickly revise your plans -- and you can expect that to happen ALL the time, unless you're crazy rich or you've been hogging Zeus all game long (also not that likely).
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Richard Dewsbery
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My opinion is that Evo is much more dynamic and cut-throat game than Cyclades. Virtually everything Cyclades does, I already owned a game which did it better (with Evo, Olympus and Kemet being the three most analagous games).

The issue for me, more than anything else, was that Cyclades *promises* big, exciting battlesm weird and wonderful creatures, tight auctions - then fails to deliver on almost every front. The battles in particular were a source of disappointment, with it taking so much effort - and so many steps to build, move then attack with an army - that there simply wasn't much of the promised conflict. There might be one or two moves, that dispossessed a player of something important or threatened a key piece of territory, but nowhere near enough to justify all the pretty plastic devoted to it.
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James Faulkner
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RDewsbery wrote:
The battles in particular were a source of disappointment, with it taking so much effort - and so many steps to build, move then attack with an army - that there simply wasn't much of the promised conflict.
Build, move and attack is just a single step if you win the auction for Ares. Setting up the ships to allow you to island hop could count as a second step.
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Jason Meyers
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Can't give a bad review, as I personally rate the game a 10; but I can certainly understand the disconnect that many gamers have when playing it: it "looks" like Ameritrash, but plays mostly like a Euro.

With the wicked cool creature miniatures and plastic armies and navies, it first appears like a standard "dudes-on-a-map" game that promises massive battles and bloody dice rolls. Instead, it's a battle of maneuvering, bluffing, and deduction with combat mostly a calculated affair. There's still some nasty interaction, but its of a much more deceiving kind.

I think this is a tremendously well-designed blend of Ameritrash and Euro elements. And I think the biggest issue that some gamers have is that they'd prefer it to get off the fence and lean one way or the other.
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Aaron Bohm
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This is also one of my favorite games and I wrote a pretty possitive reviews but I understand what your saying so as devil's advocate, can I pretend I don't like it and give you a fake, mini negative review?

Review:

The big glaring problem with Cyclades is the luck factor. There is some interesting possitioning in bidding to get the right god however they all get resolved in order. Zues, Poseidon, Athena, Ares but the order of the gods is always random. This can make a difference as, if you need a specific god for your goals, you may only be able to get him/her after another god which may disrupt your plans.

Furthermore, creatures are always available for purchase from the top god down. They are also presented randomly. The random powerful abilities of the next creature really turns some people off as often the creatures can majorly change the course of a game if not win it outright. If you don't need Athena and she is the first god and the creatures are really powerful, possibly capable of doing serious harm to you, you face the difficult decision of paying a lot for a god you don't want to prevent another player from getting those creatures or risk another player getting them.

Lastly, combat is also random so, with a random die roll between 0 and 3 against an opponents roll, there is some risk in figuring out whether you can defeat a foe. Now, with all these factors, you know what the situation is before you bid so the balance to this is understanding how to bid more effectively and making the tough decisions, managing positioning, money, as well as a little politics in knowing your opponent.

Aside from the luck factor, replayability can be an issue. There are only so many gods and there are only 3 ways to build a Metropolis so there are only 3 ways to win - Combat, philosophers, or building one of each building. With combat, islands need to be connected with exception of using Pegasus. So often, an Ares bid, an Athena bid, or a Zues bid (flipping the creatures to find Pegasus) is how the game ends.
Luckily, it takes quite a few plays before Cyclades feels same-ee and the expansion really helps this factor a lot. For this reason, the game can also feel a little anti-climatic as the game is building, building, building and after resolving the first god Bob has his second Metropolis and no one else can stop him - suddenly it's over. The expansion helps with this quite a bit, creating a few more avenues to win and therefore a lot more dynamics to look out for when trying to prevent players from winning or some other creative ways to surprise an opponent with a win.
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Diego Garcia
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Cyclades is an amazing game, one of my favorites and i have played a lot of games. The only issue is that you can win the game by using zeus and the creatures cycling, and because of this a lot of people say that the game is broken but you have to have a lot of money to do this and is not that simple to get a lot of money and keep the other players from taking your second island.
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Simon DeS***
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i don't like this game much so heres some bad points;


The game is auction driven, so on the majority of turns you won't do much on board action. Its a game about stringing multiple turns together providing you win the right auctions. The result is you don't get much turn by turn satisfaction. This game is not a dudes on a map where you can sweep your armies across the map in a master plan in a turn of your choosing, you must win the correct auction first.

Secondly, in my group i found that turtling was a very successful strategy. Very rarely did someone win by conquering the second city, it was almost always built in a very anti climatic ending.

I wouldn't describe the game as being unbalanced. You could argue that Apollo is not so good in the late game. He can be great in the first three or four turns though.
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Sam Cook
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Denton
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Cyclades is primarily an auction game which some people may not like. When I have played, the auction phase takes about 2/3's of the round time. Combat is pretty rare and it's pretty small scale. I don't think most people will see more than 2 or 3 battles a game, usually between only a few units.

Once everyone has their gods, there aren't too many tough decisions left since you have already been calculating during the auction what you can afford to do.

I do really like this game, though. So many changing factors to consider when you are in the auction. Reading this thread makes me want to bust it out again soon!
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Santi Velasco
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DukeofChutney wrote:
Secondly, in my group i found that turtling was a very successful strategy. Very rarely did someone win by conquering the second city, it was almost always built in a very anti climatic ending.
I don't know, maybe it's group thinking or something, but in my experience, the "stealer" players win more frequently that the "builder" ones. Once you have built your first metropolis, it's like a big red targeting sign on your back.

Donkler wrote:
Cyclades is primarily an auction game which some people may not like. When I have played, the auction phase takes about 2/3's of the round time. Combat is pretty rare and it's pretty small scale. I don't think most people will see more than 2 or 3 battles a game, usually between only a few units.
Again, it's not my experience. Although I agree that the god auction is the heart of the game, we do have frequent battles, and especially so in the endgame. It is not rare that an island changes ownership several times in the course of a few turns. About 5 or 6 battles per game is pretty common, at least for us; more if you count naval battles. It is true though that most battles involve a small number of units, but then you don't have that many units for start.
 
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Philipp Ottensamer
Austria
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I agree with your mates, Kemet and Evo are better whistle.
 
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chris thatcher
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Kemet does not play anything like Cyclades. Both are great games however.

I would suggest getting the Hades exp tho to stop the cycling Zeus issue.
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Steve Evans
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Thank you all for your recommendations. I'll keep an eye open and see if I can get it at a nice price.
 
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