Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Marrakech» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Rugs And A Crafty Mug : A Marrakech Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: Review [+] [View All]
Michael Coene
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I simply love it when this happens. I'm at the local game store, not really planning on buying anything but just kinda browsing out of boredom, and I see a cover that looks interesting. So, what the hey, I buy it without checking the geek to see what people say. Why not?

This type of purchasing can sometimes be disasterous, however this time it was quite the opposite.

Marrakech is a not-too-complex abstract strategy that takes place on a 7x7 grid (9x9 if you count the outer-edge, but we'll get to that later). Each player takes turns moving the same piece, a crafty little rug salesman named Assam (so crafty that he has one eyebrow raised at all times). You roll a large wooden six-sided di to determine how many steps Assam takes. You can move 1, 2, 3 or 4 steps at a time. Two of the sides of the di have 2-steps and two have 3-steps, while the remaining two sides have a 1-step and a 4-step. This enables players to play the odds when rolling.

Assam can also hit the edge of the board, which has arrows that flip him around to the next row on the grid. This set-up can be crucial in deciding where you are going to move and where you are going to place your rugs.

After you move Assam, you take a rug and place it on any two of the squares directly adjacent to him. One rug takes up two squares worth of space, so as long at one of the squares you are placing on is directly next to the square Assam is standing on, the move is legal.

The trick to this is that the other players are doing the same thing. You cannot place a rug directly over the entire rug of someone else's color. However, you can cover two SEPARATE squares' worth of their rugs with one. Basically, you can only cover half a rug at a time, but you can cover to different halves if you can.

Each player also has a bank of money that they start out with at the beginning of the game. If, upon moving Assam, you land on a rug of someone else's color, you must pay that player some money. The amount you pay is equal to the number of squares touching the square you are on that have the same color. Diagonal connections do not count.

Thus, it is important to try and build large connections of your color so if someone lands on it they'll owe you a whole bunch of money.

If this is difficult to follow, I apologize. Wording this is proving to be harder than I anticipated, which I suppose is why the instruction manual helpfully provides diagrams for everything you need to do. The manual, by the way, is simple and to the point. Always a plus.

Anyway, at the end of the game, the players add the amount of money they have earned to the amount of squares displaying their rug color. Whoever has the highest of this total is declared the winner (the tie-breaker being the one who has the most money of these two wins).

Okay, we've got that out of the way. Let's discuss.

Marrakech's mechanic is just simple enough for mom to play too, while being just strategic enough to entertain some of the more experienced tile-laying fans. The balance of strategy and luck is very nicely handled as well. Most of the strategy lies in making decisions like whether or not to extend a run of rugs you have going or cover up someone else's, or maybe you want to try to surround them with your color to increase your odds at having them pay you something. The luck that's in there isn't totally random, as you can always have several choices in where you can go. Usually it's best to play the odds, but sometimes a gamble really pays off in a big way.

As I said, the strategy here isn't super-deep, it's only deep enough. Some of the more hardcore folks out there might get bored relatively quickly. Chess masters and wargamers might need to look elsewhere, but I'm willing to bet that just about everyone else that likes boardgames will find time to play a couple rounds of Marrakech and enjoy themselves. I would say Marrakech is even more accessable than Hive, which is my go-to game for getting non-gamers to play with me.

As far as presentation is concerned, this game is very pretty. By the end of the game the myriad of different rug colors always creates a really dazzling display, and the rugs themselves are pretty neat. Instead of being cardboard tiles, they are made out of felt, and each color has it's own respective design. Even Assam, the di and the money are nice. They're all made out of polished, painted wood.

My only complaint about the board has to be that for some reason the artists put these shadows over the bottom row of the grid that block off the lines of the squares. In the beginning this is pretty frustrating, as you can't immediately tell if you're placing in the square or not, but they quickly get covered up by rugs so it doesn't stay a problem for too long.

So all in all, I love it. Does it satisfy my thirst for some hot strategy action? Nah, not really. But it does enough to keep me entertained without being totally mindless, and games of this type are very important to have around, whether you're "hardcore" or not a gamer at all.

I would like to take a moment to introduce what will now be a part of all of Focuscoene's reviews. I am not a fan of giving a game some arbitrary star rating, when I wrote movie reviews I never did it. I especially dislike this system because of how relative games can be. Thus, I developed...

FOCUSCOENE'S SCALE OF NON-RELATIVITY!!!

This scale enables me to show what collections this game belongs in. That way, my personal taste isn't as important as the general gaming question, "How many people will this appeal to?" So, wherever the camel spits is where the game belongs!

With that being said...

----------

Where does Marrakech belong?


No Collections


One Niche Collection


Some Niche Collections


Most Collections limecamel


All Collections

----------
12 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Mays
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review. thumbsup

I think you explained the game rules quite fine (although I agree things get more complicated when trying to wirte them in a review). Just picked this up for Christmas to play with my daughters. Hope we like it as well as you have.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Betty Dingus
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Focuscoene wrote:

Marrakech's mechanic is just simple enough for mom to play too


As a mom, I find this insulting. Maybe -- finally! -- it's a game simple enough for swimmers, or guys named Mike, or Marylanders to play, too.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Coene
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Dingus wrote:
Focuscoene wrote:

Marrakech's mechanic is just simple enough for mom to play too


As a mom, I find this insulting. Maybe -- finally! -- it's a game simple enough for swimmers, or guys named Mike, or Marylanders to play, too.


I apologize if my words had a negative connotation. I assure you I in no way meant that mothers are less capable of enjoying or understanding board games. Unfortunately, I can see how one could miscontsrue my word-choice and become offended. All I meant was that MY mother could pick it up and play; a mother who does not like complex rules. Samurai is about as complex as she's willing to get, and even that is pushing it. The goal was to imply that the game is family-friendly.

This was in no way meant to imply that all humans who have given birth are less intelligent than those who have not. I was raised by one of the hardest-working single mothers on the planet, she worked her way up from homelessness while raising two boys on her own. I have nothing but the utmost respect, and as a writer I am thoroughly ashamed that I conveyed my intentions so poorly. Thank you for pointing this out to me.

- Michael
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Canada
London
Ontario
flag msg tools
"Federer is Betterer"
mbmbmbmbmb
I understood your intent ... I think some people just over-react to stuff ... maybe having a bad day
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Wood
United States
Wheaton
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I got that it was your mom that you were referring to. I wish people didnt get so easily offended. It's a real bummer. I know personally someone who is
like that, and they really drag those around then down.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Heather Schwartz
United States
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My complaint is that the rugs slip and slide too easily. I play with a 4 year old and 6 year old and it's a pain to keep adjusting the rugs. I agree about the lines on the board being hard to see.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.