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Subject: The 4 of us loved this game! rss

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Don Alexander
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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I don't understand why there is so much hate for this game. I read all the reviews and almost didn't buy it. Boy would I have missed out.

I read a post on Days Of Wonder's Website clarifing a rule that most seem to over look, and in this post they talked about how much they loved this game. I thought, how can Days of Wonder make a bad game. I just don't believe it.
So, an hour before game night was to start, I ran out to the local game shop here in Ann Arbor called the Vault of Midnight (plug), and picked up a copy. Ran back home, ripped it open and read through the directions.

This is a sudo review, but let me tell you quickly what I found.

1. Beautiful pieces, game boards, and overall production. 10/10.
2. Simple intutive directions. Not just simple but laid out well. They even have little things like on your personal player board, a small number 7 where you keep your money to remind you when you start a game that you get $7. No need to look at directions if you played before. The reminder is right in front of you. This is one small example of how they make smart decisions for the gamers. The game is full of little things like this. I was able to read the directions in about 10 minutes and was ready to tell my family all the rules in 5 minutes. No questions after that and ready to go. Again, 10/10
3. Simple objective, with lots of options to get there.
There are so many point games out there that you use the same mechanic from begining to end. This is no different, but there are small nuances in what you may change from game to game. You could use the same startegy every game, but I can see that depending on how the starting boards are set up with cargo that you may change your strategy each game.

Some of the complaints I have heard are:
1. It is repetitive.
I agree you have to do the same actions each round, but you have to be smart with your actions, because you only have 10 or 11 rounds, and the feeling we got was "Oh crap, I have so many things I need, there just isn't enough time to do what I want to do."
2.There isn't a large amount of strategy or bidding.
This I could not disagree more with. It is almost 7 Wondersish where you have to watch other players boards. As people collect more matches, (or more diversity in car), they have the ability to get more points per round. The highest 6 point cards are single cards, meaning once someone buys the 40 point card, it is gone. There are no more 40 point cards. You either have to save for more, or settle for less. If you see someone has 5 Uraniums and they have the ability to get 2 more, you have to stop them. You would be stupid not to.
On this same subject, right out of the gate, there are 3 cards that are very important.
A. An extra ship
B. Extra Cargo warehouse
C. Syndicate (+$2 if you get beat on a bid and you retract.)
Your first card you choose will be one of these. This choice really dictates which strategy you will choose in the begining. In our first game, I bought an extra ship so I could get an extra cargo run each round. My wife and her brother each got extra cargo holds so they had a better chance of hanging on to extra cargo to make bigger sets. Lastly, my sister in law bought the syndicate. In the begining she bid a small amount on a spot she thought others would want because of the specific cargo, they were forced to bid more, and she got an extra $2 back.

At the end, I had 115 points, My sister in law had 110, my brother in law had 100, and my wife had 95. Very close game that came down to about the 9th round.

We had so much fun, we played a second and third time.

I know this game hasn't gone over like some other new games, and I am puzzled why. It is light and fun, but there is some real strategy here. If you like any Days of Wonders games, I encourage you to give it a try.

I had told my wife I wouldn't buy anymore games for a while. Then I walked in with this. She told me if I kept bringing games like this home, I can buy as many as I want.
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Patiently waiting for the zombie apocalypse...
United States
Colorado Springs
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MainManDetroit wrote:

I had told my wife I wouldn't buy anymore games for a while. Then I walked in with this. She told me if I kept bringing games like this home, I can buy as many as I want.


Music to our ears! thumbsup
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Kevin Garnica
United States
Buena Park
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Thanks for an encouraging, positive review. I was indecisive about this game, as I really really wanted to buy it and support it, but reading all the negativity kind of kept me on the fence.

But after reading a few (and they are *few*) posts about how much the game is loved simply for what it is, I am definitely leaning towards purchasing it.

And let it be known, the true testament to Cargo Noir's "effectiveness":

MainManDetroit wrote:
I had told my wife I wouldn't buy anymore games for a while. Then I walked in with this. She told me if I kept bringing games like this home, I can buy as many as I want.
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Patrick McIntyre
Canada
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I wouldn't mind hearing more on the effectiveness of spoiling a bid on a set of goods. In most games of this type, you are often causing yourself more damage than you are to you opponent. Is the balance different in this game?
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PatMan13b wrote:
I wouldn't mind hearing more on the effectiveness of spoiling a bid on a set of goods. In most games of this type, you are often causing yourself more damage than you are to you opponent. Is the balance different in this game?


I haven't played many other bidding games, and I'm not entirely sure what you mean about "spoiling a bid", but here are my thoughts about bidding wars:

1) The Syndicate card helps a lot, since you will receive 2 extra coins from dropping out of bidding (the same as placing a ship on the Casino.) This means that you can safely counterbid just to make your opponent bid higher because you still gain something if you lose the bid.

2) Even if you end up winning goods that are not what you were collecting, the "all different" set and the option of using Black Market for exchange means that you will still benefit and will not have wasted your turn/resources just to screw your opponent.

Hope that helped a bit, and thanks to the OP for a nice review!
 
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Eric Hautemont
United States
Los Altos
California
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JJJJS wrote:
MainManDetroit wrote:
I read a post on Days Of Wonder's Website clarifing a rule that most seem to over look,


What was the rule clarification?


When trading in cargos of different types, they must be each of a different type.

Not following this simple rule totally breaks the game, and leads to comments such as "there's no reason to ever go to any port except the Black Market", that are just plain wrong. shake

Eric @ DoW
 
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Andy Andersen
United States
Ada
Michigan
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I'm waiting for my copy to arrive and am glad to read some good news about the game. I hope it plays well with 2.
 
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Eric Hautemont
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It is really cut-throat and tense with 2. Whatever you don't get the other will. Manage your cash carefully.
 
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Loic
United States
Washington
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I think it's a great game to have. For a group of gamers, it's short, very quick to teach and focused on a single mechanic, while at the same time being definitely more than a filler. And then it has great potential for family gaming and as a gateway.
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Jeff Lingwall
United States
Blue Springs
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Thanks! Also waiting for my copy- it amuses my wife how often I check the mail.
 
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Scott
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Wisconsin
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Nice review!

It's a fine game. Play it deep and thinky, or play it fast and fun. Dead simple to teach. Another highly accessible game by DOW.
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Scott
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Erich wrote:
JJJJS wrote:
MainManDetroit wrote:
I read a post on Days Of Wonder's Website clarifing a rule that most seem to over look,


What was the rule clarification?


When trading in cargos of different types, they must be each of a different type.

Not following this simple rule totally breaks the game, and leads to comments such as "there's no reason to ever go to any port except the Black Market", that are just plain wrong. shake

Eric @ DoW


For what it's worth, I understood the rule plainly out of the box. I do understand your reasoning to clarify it in future printings, however. Really enjoying it so far!
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Djali
Belgium
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Thanks for the review. I'm keeping this on my wishlist
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Patrick McIntyre
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This is good discussion. Thanks to Helen for the clarification on bidding wars. I'm excited to try out a bidding game that encourages some aggressive play. A game doesn't need extra game mechanics getting in the way if you are spending a lot of brain power analyzing the boards of others.

The confusion over "different" tiles in collections has been interesting to read, although probably created a few sleepless nights for DoW. Unfortunately the error was made in one of the first reviews posted on this site, and it created a panic. Those of us that are experienced with modern set collection games, are used to sets of equal or greater value being of equivalent or greater difficulty to collect, and we are confused if that is not the case.

Our ability to "fill in the blanks" is what makes it possible for us to have so many different games for us to enjoy, but I imagine it makes it challenging to streamline these types of games for a wider audience. The other challenge is to market a novel change in a game mechanic (such as bidding) to experienced players, as we might make assumptions on how a game will play before we buy, or even the first few times we play it.
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Roger Howell
United States
Lenexa
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Awesome review. I too was on the fence about this game. There are a lot of good reviews of this game now, so I am buying it. (Tom Vasal didn't like the game too well, but I have learned some time ago that I disagree with him a lot.)

UPDATE: Bought the game and love it. It's one of our favorite from 2011.
 
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Mike Taylor
United States
Midlothian
Virginia
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PatMan13b wrote:
I wouldn't mind hearing more on the effectiveness of spoiling a bid on a set of goods. In most games of this type, you are often causing yourself more damage than you are to you opponent. Is the balance different in this game?


It may hurt you a bit but in some cases it's a case of someone having to do it since it's a game winner if you get away with it.

An aspect of the game that isn't clear from just reading the rules is that since your bid has to last through all the other players, that the need to block isn't shared equally. For instance, in my turn I might be the only one who can block yellow (since yellow is up next), but there are 3 other people who could block green (who just went). This means that you are also weighing whether you can force someone else to fall on their sword (hurting both of them) or if you have to do it yourself.
 
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