Highly focused stock manipulation game with short selling, ultimately I think the short selling makes or breaks the game for those involved, either destroying the shorted company and owning player with profits all round for the others or the company ends up surviving, paying out 60% to the president and over 100% to the company and they go on to win easily. Would be willing to play more as it has a lot of nice subtleties to explore but it seems a bit too long for something that can easily get out of control, I would rather play 1880.
only played 2 player, some interesting ideas around all upgrades available at start, unlimited yellow track between cities but the stock market lets it down, if one player manages to get a vast majority early of a good company they will win easily, this discouraged further play.
Mostly played via the DOS game and now found a few players for real life games, looking forward to playing it.
After multiple plays I'm tiring of it, I much prefer more modern 18xx games with streamlined track, half the game is laying the right tile at the right time and it's too subtle for my liking in a 4 hour game. Most of the companies are poor and i'm bored of 3d stock markets where all you do is buy and sell shares to cripple prices and mess with operating order, then the player to their left gets priority so one player in a game dominates turn order.
Interesting mix of mining companies, part privates (that merge in to a larger company) and standard public companies, quite a lot in the initial auction but would like to play it a few more times to see how it holds up, doesn't seem to work with low player numbers due to its heavy auction nature.
An interesting system with loans and shares in the bank of England, some games its used much more than others which feels right, I like the boundary costs for trains and K-K bonuses for getting your tokens in the right places.
On the one hand it is a really great track laying game with the different gauges, trains and the large area to build over; however, the stock side of the game is lacking and overall it takes too long for what you get, I really like the 1849 implementation of different gauges in a smaller package.
I really enjoyed this at first but it seems like there is less variability than you would first expect, the real crux of the game is how the CGR will form, either you want to aim for dumping a company in or avoid it and it's too long for just this. I prefer the nationalisation in 1861.
Incredibly odd set-up of mechanics that work really well, dumping companies on other players and going bankrupt are out but companies can go director less, insolvent, bankrupt and refloated (ironically published by JKLM), you can own 100% of your own companies and buying trains across is more difficult in conventional terms, there can be big jumps in share price too.
Have to learn just to play this stand-alone, works well from 2 - 4 but they are very different, the two player game is a lot to take in with so much control over so many companies. Lots of ways to end the game, you can run good companies and end on share price maxing out or bank breaking, or run them in to the ground (usually not intentionally I imagine) and have nationalisation rules kick in and have your best companies survive longest to make the most money.
I'm glad the Isle of Wight is so small, but there’s a lot happening.
I like the combining of Minor companies to public ones and that the Russian state acts as a clock to play against, which will also eat up anything unprofitable, adds a new spin to the game to try and profit as much as possible from minors while leaving shells for the government, very interesting, would like to play more.
Played in late prototype stage, will be interested once it's all finalised, Mike Hutton always adds some interesting quirks to the system. Can't see myself enjoying this with more than 4 players though even though they tried playtesting with 8!
Currently one of my favourites, the most interesting mechanic of variable share rounds puts a whole different spin on who to invest in as it's not just how much they will pay out but when. The variable president certificate, grand scale of the map, lots of companies, foreign investors, communist take over and bonus dividends linked to the stock market gel together very well and I am keen to investigate the system more.
A nice entry level game, short and sweet but can also be quite vicious as the stock market can be volatile, companies are subtly different and the train rush can be quite fast, although there aren't many train slots to easily get a 6 train so it can stall if someone engineers it which feels like a good part of the game and something to watch out for.
An enormous system that constantly keeps you entertained with thinking about the current state and future of a lot of companies you control, and how they will interact with the several dozen other companies that the other players have. Like most 18xx games you constantly are on the ball and this continues for the whole 10-12 hours! There is nothing quite like it, a truly epic experience. I burned out a little after 3 games in the space of 4 weeks but I'm feeling the urge to play it again.
Update: The living rules are not really working anymore, feels like they can't be bothered with it anymore and a small rule change in a long game can be quite tricky. We discussed some variations in our group and if we play it again we'd probably try to incorporate some tweaks to better suit us.
A very variable game as companies are born from how the initial auction of private companies goes. Have heard a lot about the initial auction signalling the winner, having played twice now its probably true but i would like to play more; 1861 will probably survive as the better game for making majors out of minors.
Some odd rules and trains, would like to try again sometime.
Second play, works much better with variants to swap the 10's and E trains, switch the first two privates and make all the $50 ones available. Still needs something to beef up the ferries which are pretty much useless for the amount of possiblity and map space they inhabit.
A Hecht game which usually means too gentle, the biggest problem was that the different companies types seem too unbalanced, still in development though so probably released for general consumption too early.
Amazing game, much better than anticipated. A hecht game but highly lauded as one with too many rules, it seemed ideal to me, lots of variety in the companies but they work well together, you need a big plan but it's not easy to do well.
Look forward to trying this some more, suspect some items may be unbalanced but can't pinpoint them as its all very subtle, nothing seems particularly weak.
I like the variety of different companies, the urge to try and keep companies 5 share ones as long as possible before realising you might end up without a train or to push the rush on the others; but there's something about Hecht designs that fall flat with me, it feels too easy to end up with something with no likelihood of going bankrupt, lots of money in the system by the end, usually very little distinguishing most of the companies despite them appearing very assymetrical when they float.
Update: Having come back to this after a while it has been a more refreshing game, there is a lot going on and very interesting in how to set-up late game companies that work well. I think we mostly played 3 player before and at 4 players it gets very good, at 5 it's very constrained. 4 is the sweet spot.
A card game that never ends because there are too many cards that force you to draw more and the round most likely ends if you have no cards. Even removing some of those cards for the second half didn't help, I think we were playing to lose in the end so that we didn't have to play it anymore.
I don't get what all the fuss is about, it takes ages to explain it to new players and with it going up to 7 there is likely someone who doesn;t know it, and then your strategy is entirely dependant on what your neighbours give you/are dealt (it's possible all the cards you want end up in the same batch). It works okay I guess, the luck isn't too bad but it just doesn't have any depth to want to play it again and it doesn't work as a filler because people over think it too much or are new and have 30 minutes of rules.
Okay themed fish tank game, I never got round to trying it with the advanced rules, seems to suffer common card problems though, too variable in length and not really that much control over game ending, players end up trying to hold back until they can do it but just end up dragging out the game.
The last few times i've played there has been a tendancy for one player to be completely out of the game through not getting in on an early deal or players being forced to create mergers that help others more than themselves to get some cash flow going.
I like the idea of the game but the randomness of the tiles plays too big a factor for my liking and it doesn't feel like there are enough decision points or opportunities to twist the game; it's a bit too long to play out to decide who wins when you usually know half way through the game.
Only played once, I enjoyed the idea but no-one else seemed to jump on board and I didn't have enough urge to bring it out on game night, I really enjoy the action selection mechanic but in reading the forums I felt like there were just a couple of clear strategies to pursue but it deserves a few more plays for the mechanics alone.
I like the game, it's let down by the discoveries being too random, it's too unforgiving if you send too many or too few to conquer a land and other than that the game is very tight so it just comes down to luck.
Unfairly gets a lot of bad press from Brass fanboys but I like AoI for different reasons than I like Brass, AoI is more tactical than strategic as you have more options with your cards but you still need to focus to get to the top of your tech tree; developing is now a wasted action as there is no split between the eras. It's playable with two and is generally quicker once you get to know the system. I don't like it with 5 but then that applies to most games that go to 5.
Played this a lot when it first came out but it seems to have fallen by the wayside owing to me playing a lot more 18xx on a weeknight and realising it doesn't seem to fit that well in to some of the other groups I attend, but I'm still keen to explore the new maps that seem to change the dynamic a bit more, I like Japan's buying cards ability and the American disparity between different zones, some very good for iron or railways etc.
I really want to play this much more, like most of Wallace's best games (i.e the brain burning ones), people avoid it and go for something like Steam instead but it's the tense, tinkering on bankruptcy, make a mistake early and you are dead in the water sort of system that I enjoy the most. I need to recruit more followers now that Steam has trained up some of the fence sitters in how to play pick up and deliver games, they can try this as there is really nothing to be scared about?!
"The expansion has made this an even better game. The imbalance between players of cards drawn is still an issue for me, even when playing a card draft, one player can still have a great set of cards to win from the start.
Maybe there needs to be an auction to buy them, everyone likes auctions.
Have gone off this recently, maybe I overplayed it or got everything I wanted from the system, maybe I will come back to it after burning out on some other games
Scoring encourages diversity, winning requires holding majorities, the two are at cross purposes and create a problem as its better for a player to score more points by diversifying than challenging someone for a majority, whoever gets the most majorities for the least cards wins. "Well why don't you stop him winning", "Well, I make more money by playing these other shares, I didn't draw the right cards anyway so I couldn't do anything about it".
Played once a long time ago, I remember liking it and not many others doing the same which usually sounds like my sort of game, this was back when I didn't have my tastes in games so refined so I need to play it and see how it has held up with my changing palate.
I kind of like the game but it runs a bit too long with a little too much randomness with both currency and colours drawn for the currency you have. At its heart it is really an area control game and thats just an genre I have grown to dislike more and more.
You can do all of these exciting things with your dice but it's just quicker and easier just to steal stuff from other people, then at its core its an area majority game so the player who was in second place will likely win as leader always gets bashed.
From the initial impressions this is a simply wonderful game, a resource management game where you literally plant your farms and pollute the environment, you need to build to your victory as best as possible before your opponents get an edge over you.
Needs a few more plays to really get under the system.
At its core, just another euro but it seemed to play quite well, some interesting trade offs for turn order and cards available to select. Not keen to play again but would join in without too much persuasion.
One of my favourite economic games, I thought I knew how to play it but somehow people can sneak a win from under you. Lots to manage with only a limited number of actions to influence the game.
It's not recommended to play too frequently as you can burn out on it easily as it is quite intense, some people are put off by that though, not sure why (well other than having to play with me), I always play to announce probabilities of how many cars that we can expect to sell to avoid slowing the game down while everyone does it for themselves. Like most good games this is finely balanced and rogue players who don't get the subtlety can break the balance.
Made it in to the inner circle of two player games, had heard good things and the games so far have always been quite close; I can see some interesting strategies around holding cards and which colours to focus on, worthy of some more plays.
Draw some coloured cards, play some coloured cards, repeat for 2 - 4 hours. Someone will be a cylon , everyone will be accused of being a cylon, it will be funny for the first 30 minutes (you can also have this same enjoyment by calling out to players in the game from another table that they are a cylon - no need to even play it)
I prefer The Resistance instead, 20-30 minutes of pure treachery and then the game is over and you can enjoy another round or another game without having to sit through another 2 hours of BSG.
Love the balancing aspect, love the odd shaped tiles, hate the game mechanic of the auction, just feels bland/broken and some games can be great while others fall flat due to this rather than anything else, unsure how to fix it though.
Another of Wallace's greats, not sure if I prefer this to AoI mostly because it's harder to get a group of 4 players who know the system well enough to play properly. Once I've played a few times under those circumstances I can probably compare them better.
I do find the develeopment of level 1 tiles and dominance of railways to be rather overwhelming but I've mostly only played with newbies, I suspect a lot of the different scoring paths are all worthwhile if played well and railways will probably even out.
Seems like a nice game but quite vicious and generally ends up with rivalries forming over having your pieces stolen at inopportune times, then retaliating for no real reason other than to exct revenge since its not a serious game. So in summary a fun experience but doesn't seem a very interesting as a game.
Is fun with the right crowd, just not interested as much after several plays
Technically I lost interest after one horrible experience with a crowd who I didn't want to play it with but was forced to, it was worse than I could have imagined, the game lost all its charm after that.
Played two player, seemed unbalanced, probably needs more players but not a very exciting game. Was expecting more stereotyping from some of the complaints I'd heard, that would have made it more interesting
I like the premise but it usually falls flat somewhere, either someone not interested, too few players (needs at least 4) or a loop in the system exploited (like banker then sheriff on final turn), will give it some more chances as I like the theme.
Nice novelty of a bell at first but after two plays it seemed far too luck dependant and quite vicious with the spoiling rules (someone - i.e. always me when I had the chance - just grabs one fish and sells it to spoil several other players)
One of the first strategy games I played and it was fun at first, now though, too much of the game comes down to seating order and luck but still play now and then and I would like to try some of the expansion versions.
Sorry Caylus, you have a bad reputation with some vocal people in my game groups, I then played one disastrous learning game (where you did nothing wrong except try to show your nuances) and since no-one else brings you to game night you will stay stuck in Limbo. I don't blame you, I feel great remorse at not giving you a better start in life.
Assymettrical, fantasy area control game, I don't know why I ever played it to be honest, not my cup of hot chocolate at all. Seemed overly scripted in that everyone needed to play a particular way to prevent another race running away with their race power (another race can usually each hold back another)
The first Winsome I played and a great example of track building with co-opetive share ownership (own too much and your minor investor/other players might screw you over), vicious track lays possible and lots of fun to be had….wth the right crowd. Like all Winsomes it needs to be played cutthroat, it deserves nothing less and only works well when the people involved care about the system.
Played a couple of games and it seemed to be over quite quickly and each round is very cut and dry, you either did best or you didn't. I kind of liked it but I won;t ever offer it as a game above another card game especially since there are lots of card interactions to learn if i'm teaching it, it's not worth the investment for me.
I think I prefer climbing games like Tichu where you keep a score and some rounds you might win 60-40 but some you might win 300 to -100 and I prefer that sort of differential in the scoring to balance it out over a whole game.
I like time travel but I wish I could go back and not play this game again, well it's not that bad, a bit like Fluxx, can be fun but most likely it will just drag out and when you think you were playing well some lucky sod goes and wins just before you were about to play out a great combo.
Great if everyone knows how to play well and keeps the game moving, terrible with new players. Some say its best with 2 but I hated it, did they take the assassin or didn't they?, did they take the architect/merchant or didn't they?, seemed like too many 50/50 guesses which I would always get wrong and my opponent got right. With more players, it seems a lot more interesting to see who would do what and the key roles were less defining of a good overall strategy because they were more spread out.
Finally got around to playing the game a year late, very impressive and I don't see why you would ever play without this expansion, or even why they designed the original without some variety in the player techs.
I really liked this at first but the more I play, the more I realise the starting mess of creating the mountain doesn’t make the game balanced enough so some people get off to great starts while others can never really flourish because we've put too many of their tiles the wrong way round.
Taj Mahal effect, two+ players fight and win as much as the next player who wins easily because the other players spent all their cards already. I like the cards just not the likely effect it has on players trying to win, sort of like an ebay mentality, people get wrapped up in winning this particular auction instead of the long game of getting what they wanted at a good price.
Similar to the Climbers and seems to work quite well, I would probably rather play this again than The Climbers as it also has a dexterity aspect and more player balance due to how colours are accessible to the players.
Okay if you like pure negotiation games with a hint of luck but ultimately you need to backstab at the right time to win which is not my playstyle, I don't think diplomacy/negotiation should be about lying through your teeth, I would prefer a game like Poker for that aspect where it's subtle and based on probabilities not just human emotion.
No depth of game play, you make your strategy choice on turn one as the buildings available are fixed and lock you in to a particular strategy, after this choice is made, the ships that come out that have the available goods spaces are random, the big kicker is the legislation changes each turn, these drastically change the game and often dictate which strategy will win, if you don’t have control you will probably lose, if controlling it spends all of your resources, you will probably lose, if the legislation cards you need for your strategy come out on the last turn, you will probably lose.
It’s a gambling game as to which strategy will win, but you won’t know which strategy is best until the last turn and you lock yourself in turn 1. I can’t see what there is to like about a game with ever closing options and opportunities.
Okay game, the theme doesn't resonate with me, I just see an area control game with very few options (add/remove minions/trouble). Seems too easy to prevent all win conditions from occurring on your turn, first focus on stopping anyone winning and then try to improve your position as subtley as possible. I only won my game of it because of the random event otherwise the players would have successfully prevented me all game. So with a group of good gamers I expect the game is broken towards either the luck of the draw/events or the deck exhausted win condition.
Seems to improve with each expansion, rare and unusual to find such things, I expect this to jump the shark at some point, especially with two expanson per year. Plays recorded in highest expansion set used
Doesn't work 2 player. May not work multiplayer once people have some experience at it.
Seems unbalanced in favour of setting yourself up a circular production cycle and once you start it there is no stopping you. The whole exploring aspect is dwarfed by a player who can quickly get a profitable route up and running, just blindly focusing on a small chain of events.
Randomness is a bit overbearing, feels like you have a lot of control but not really, monsters, traps, rooms, adventurers are all random and in the wrong combination can be impossible for you to get what you need. A poor end of year and you have lost the game, make sure you can kill all of the adventurers.
The card choice is very dependant on other players and is a great second guessing opportunity but you need to play the random board at the same time. Turn order can also be very influencial.
A very nice streamlined play and tech/ship levelling that fits together nicely, very keen to get this to the table some more and explore the advanced races. 4X is a tempting theme for me and with the fresher mechanics making it more like a crossbreed with something like Through the Ages (one of my all time favourites) this feels like it will be here to stay but I make this assumption about a lot of games before I play them to death.
I really enjoy the mechanic of balancing how far down stream you will go but after several plays it seems like luck of the draw (especially the Sphinx cards) determines the winner too often amongst people who know the game well and slow players can drag this on for far too long.
One of the better auction game with map presence games, not quite area control but the random nature of the climate, direct attacking and card play from other players can really destroy your chances but it's quite tough for everyone and quite light hearted so I'd happily play it every now and then.
Looking at the box of the new edition is terrible, not the fun cartoony style game I'm used to and don't expect it would be as fun with a more aggresive stance.
A very odd two player game, seems to work but is on a very fine balance as the game easily breaks if you overuse your powers with some of the cards and seems easy to get in a position of control over the other player due to the luck of the draw.
Quite a pure game of attack, not really a lot of control over the game so just for a bit of fun but after initially liking this a long time ago, it takes far too long and overstretches the fun filler mark.
Looks like a cute auction game but not a lot of money flowing in the system, it's easy for the cards on auction to be valuable enough to screw your own position for future rounds because you spent all of your cash or you let someone get a bargain. Great fun when the build up reverses and someone pays 10 for something worth - 10.
Painful game, can last 2 minutes - good or 20 minutes - bad. No real decision points as most cards are powerful, quite random and long periods of downtime as one player gets to draw and play lots of cards or direction of play is skipped/reversed.
One of the great filler games, often gets to a point where you either have to severely overbid or take the worst property in the game, quite a fun balance most games and works very well for 4-6 players.
Pandemic light but it approaches it in a better way for me, I prefer the collapse of the board instead of just adding cubes around the world. Plays quicker and seems easier to win but quite tricky of the insane setting which is the only way I will agree to play it, have almost won both games by a single turn. Feels much more intense when you feel the ground disappearing from under you than the abstract nature of "Oh no!, four cubes have gone to Atlanta we are all doomed by our cube overlords"
"Love the idea, love the gear mechanic, love the damage system (tyre, engine points etc.), looks quite luck based as you can often miss a corner or just land safely with a very small margin of error and some people roll really well, but with the right focus it is possible to play well and you need to be quite aggresive but not stupid.
The problem is it takes forever to play, usually the standings don't change much from the start so to really get the most out of it you need to play a series but I don't have that much time to devote to watching other people roll dice.
Also there isn't an awful lot of interaction for some if they get out ahead or behind and you need probably at least 6 cars, 12 would probably be an ideal player count to really lock up the corners and keep the game tight but how long would that take?!"
See Formula D, I think the same about both. Haven't really explored advanced rules or the nuances between different editions. I would say I would like to but I know I don't want to devote that much time to it above the many other games that I prefer playing
I didn't get in to this game at all, don’t mind the theme of american politics but it just felt too take that, works okay in a zero sum 2 player environment (not well I may add but better) but with more than 2 players it just becomes chaotic. Like Twilight struggle you probably need to know the deck well to really get under the system but after playing it and having several of my turns immediately reversed by just one player with one card (and also having my position worsened by other players). I don't see the point at all, awful game.
The theme is "funny" indeed, as a game it seems to work quite well but you definitely need to pick your crowd when you are trying to increase your score in sexual partners, alcohol intake and drug usage. I must admit it is quite light hearted and not very seedy. Once you get past the theme it is not all that exciting.