My rating could drop with more plays, but very enjoyable first impression. Nicely simulates an equity-versus-metals market using an 18xx-style share price grid. Lots of fun luck-pushing throughout. Like Union Pacific in that the most valuable commodity in the game is actions. Tempo is also extremely important, so that different numbers of players will likely provide very different games.
SO looking forward to this one. If it plays out the way it's supposed to, this could be an amazingly interactive game.
Have it now! First impression: very nice, luck-free and lighter than I had expected. Might be prone to seating order imbalances, but it will take a few more plays to determine that for sure. It does seem to self-adjust to different faction ratios, which is unusual and fun.
Set-up is a pain, and not incredibly clear; the board is about double the size it needs to be. Other than that, a great game.
The interactions are nuanced, but not required; I have a feeling that this may not get the love it deserves because shy folks will play it as a straight-up Euro game, synchronized solitaire. Just like with Tigris and Euphrates, you've got to get into sticking it to your competitors to make this entertaining.
Notes to self: keep the turn order sheet in view at all times, and leave explorers on the board until after resources are replenished!
Very interesting game! There is a lot going on, but it all fits together to be (quite possibly) the most elegant game I've ever played. Very sound thematically, and yet very balanced, as well, with catch-the-leader baked in deep.
There is some luck to this one, but most of it can be mitigated with good technology. The luck of the tiles is offset to a great extent by their point and resource values. This reminds me a lot of Merchant of Venus: deep or not, this is just a fun game to play.
A compelling title whose intricacies are hardly apparent on the surface. First play was incredible, with new possibilities appearing out of thin air almost every turn ("wait, if you're going to build a statue this turn, then I should try to take advantage of our shared transportation network" and "a chief placed in a crucial action hex can really help to move that size 3 moai", etc.). I believe this could become a favorite with additional plays.
Ugliest game ever, even worse than my 3M copy of Acquire. Well, maybe not THAT bad. But always a blast to play, pulling subtle and surprising interactions out of realtively simple rules. Vastly better than Dominion or RftG: more interactive than either, and (in contrast to RftG) nearly every deal will feature some exploitable combination.
Finally got around to playing this a couple of times. The rules are relatively simple without the chrome. But the chrome is pretty much indispensable, and it makes the rules very complex. This is not a fun game to teach.
I like the balance between cooperation and competition, allowing the players to decide whether the game will be "earn the most glory in Poland's climb to greatness" or "manage to eke out enough of a living to spare an estate or two as the various enemy hordes ravage the country". There's some incentive to be selfish, but in a three-player game the player who breaks from the pack first can expect some nasty retribution from the other two. The mechanics are an excellent fit for three players.
I would prefer a bit less luck o'the die--it is possible for an odd combination of results to determine the game, more or less.
Deliciously evil, very simple hidden auction with a theme that rings very true to those of us born in the sixties. I'd really like to write a quick program to roll the dice and do all the table lookups--I think six people could finish it in 45 minutes that way.
It's a bit fiddly compared to cards, but the nifty bits add to the charm. The actual play is fairly nuanced, if you stick to one of the more regular sets of rules. Check out Four Winds for a great PC version.
If you like auctions and difficult valuations, then this is the game for you. I think I'll need to play a few dozen games before I really feel like I have a handle on it, and a different mix of players changes everything.
A nasty, nasty game that defies simple strategies. Play too cheap and you can be the overseer all game, but you'll rarely win that way. Spend too much optimizing your favorite crop and you'll be open to freeloaders and drought.
I wish this played faster; I'd be willing to pull it out more often. Does an excellent job of simulating the development of a civilization in the time available. Every turn is full of difficult choices. Some have criticized this for being too luck-driven; I haven't played it enough to perceive this as a problem yet.
Update: several plays later, I don't think luck is very important at all, but knowing the cards certainly is. Unlike RftG, the decisions you make early don't lock you into a strategy that you're stuck with whether the cards show up or not. Switching strategies isn't free, but it's not a game-breaker, either.
The components are terrible, but the rules are quite good and the gameplay has incredible potential. It seems to be the next stage of evolution for deduction games. This could become a top 10 game with more plays.
Absolutely fantastic train game, a bit like Chicago Express meets Ticket to Ride. It's much meatier and more interesting than TTR, but luckier and less mechanical than CE. Each turn is an agonizing decision--do I lay track, increasing the value of my stock and drawing another share to play later, or do I lay out some shares to strengthen my portfolio before the next dividend? And laying out shares is not easy either. Do I want to add a little mojo to two different stocks, or a lot of mojo to just one? And what about the UP shares--when do I need to get those down on the table? An excellent game that really deserves a new edition.