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Subject: [Review] Easy Come, Easy Go rss

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Tom Vasel
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Easy Come, Easy Go (Out of the Box Games, 2005 – Reiner Knizia) is basically Knizia’s version of Yahtzee. If you don’t like Yahtzee too much, even as a lark, then you can probably stop reading now, because ECEG (Easy Come, Easy Go) won’t change your mind much. The components are absolutely stunning with one of the best dice cups I’ve ever used and beautiful prize tiles. But do these components justify the game?

Sadly, I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the gameplay. At first, when I first tried it, I had a blast trying to roll different dice combinations. But the game is really too long for what it is. With four players, our game lasted for forty-five minutes, which was thirty minutes too long. With tinkering, ECEG can probably be modified to play in a shorter period of time. But then, I’m not sure that it will do anything other dice rolling games, such as Dancing Dice or Can’t Stop, do better.

Nine prize tiles are laid in the middle of the table. Players take a turn (starting with the highest roller, rolling four dice (six-sided dice with sides 0 – 5) on their turn, trying to match one of the nine prizes. The combinations for the prizes are…
- A total of 3 or less
- A total of 17 or more
- All four dice showing the same number
- A total of 7 exactly
- A total of 13 exactly
- A straight (“0”, “1”, “2”, “3”, etc.)
- Two pairs of matching dice
- Three dice showing the same number and all four dice with odd numbers
- Three dice showing the same number and all four dice with even numbers
Once the player rolls the dice, they must “lock” at least one die before rolling again. Once a player has frozen dice in this manner, they may not reroll them again that turn. This means that a player will roll the dice four times at the most. If a player does not match any of the nine prizes, they pass the dice to the next player. If they DO match a prize, they take the prize tile, placing it in front of themselves on the table. A player takes the prize, even if another player currently has it.

If a player has three prizes, they have a chance at winning. If they keep all three prizes through two turns, then the game is over, and they’ve won!

Some comments on the game…

1.) Components: As I said above, the components are grade A+. The dice cup is made of “leather” and felt, and just does a wonderful job – I may steal it for another game. The dice look like normal white six-sided dice, until one realizes that they have a null sign on one side instead of six pips. The tiles are wonderfully illustrated (by John Kovalic) and have some sort of laminate on them so that they are easy to slide around and maneuver. Each of these tiles (almost the size of a 3” by 5” card, would almost make a great coaster. Everything fits inside a custom plastic insert in a small, cubish box.

2.) Rules: Out of the Box does a good job in their games of managing to stretch a couple rules out onto six pages, and ECEG is no exception. Of course, this is because they use full color illustrations and explain everything so clearly that there’s no possible way you could misunderstand it. The game is simple to teach – even for Out of the Box, known for such simplicity.

3.) Luck: Okay, the picture of dice on the front of the box and the logo “The dicey game of changing fortunes” should warn people that the game is plumb full of luck. Yes, there is a minutia of strategy in determining which dice to “freeze” and what combos to go for, but the game is mostly luck luck luck luck luck. If you know this going into the game, it shouldn’t be a problem.

4.) The Never Ending Story: What WAS a problem was how the game didn’t really end well. The rules state that a person wins after they have three prizes for two whole turns. So here’s how a game would go: Laura would get three prizes. On the next turn, Peter would steal one, and then Zak steal the next. Then Zak would have three prizes. On the next turn, I would steal one, and Laura would steal one. A few turns later, Peter would get FOUR prize; but Zak would steal one, and I would steal one. This repeated itself ad nauseum, and it finally got to the point where I started rooting for people to FAIL when they tried to steal a prize from someone else, just so that the game would end. Changing the rules to requiring just one once-around to determine victory would help change this, but the rules as is state that a “challenging” game would require a player to hold on to the prizes for 3 rounds! Save me from such tribulation now!

5.) Fun Factor: When first playing the game, it’s fun to roll the combinations, especially when stealing from someone else. Howls of fun and joy fill the air. This lasts only a short time, however, until people begin to realize that too much of this fun becomes monotony.

I hate to be negative about the game, because at first glance it seems like fun. When I demoed the game at Origins, I had a blast, because I only played for five minutes. Easy Come, Easy Go is a GREAT five minute game. It’s simply a lousy thirty minute game. I’m sure that many games aren’t this long (I’ve played in one), but it only takes one to sour people on the game. If you really want this game, just play it for a short while, then put it away. That way the fun stays fresh.

Tom Vasel
“Real men play board games.”
www.tomvasel.com
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Doug Adams
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Quote:
The Never Ending Story: What WAS a problem was how the game didn’t really end well. The rules state that a person wins after they have three prizes for two whole turns


This is not correct - they only need to hold the prizes until the beginning of their next turn to win. The game should take 15 minutes, not 45 minutes.

Quote:
I hate to be negative about the game,


If you try it with the correct rules, you don't need to be.

I don't agree with the "luck luck luck luck luck" comment either, but we'll move on to that later
 
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Mark Haberman
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Tom,

I'm not sure if your version of the game is different than mine, but it is impossible for any player to get 4 prizes, since the game ends if they start thier turn with 3. Check your rules again! Once you win your third prize, you just have to keep it until the beginning of your next turn, not for 2 entire turns.

That being said, the game really can last a long time with 4 players, and sometimes even with 3. It is fun when it's quick, but it gets to be a big joke when no one can end the game. Our last game we were singing, "This is the game that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends..."

http://www.bussongs.com/songs/this_is_the_song_that_never_en...

I also don't agree that it's mostly luck. There is more strategy here than meets the eye. Just rolled a 3 of a kind and can still reroll the 4th dice? Don't take the prize, but instead reroll and try for the four of a kind. You still have a 50/50 chance of getting the three of a kind again anyway.

Mark
 
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Chris Dorrell
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Tom says:-

Quote:
If a player has three prizes, they have a chance at winning. If they keep all three prizes through two turns, then the game is over, and they’ve won!


and the rules that came with my game, purchased in the UK, agree.

Maybe there are two versions of the rules out there?

Chris



 
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Paul Sauberer
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Chris Dorrell wrote:
Tom says:-

Quote:
If a player has three prizes, they have a chance at winning. If they keep all three prizes through two turns, then the game is over, and they’ve won!


and the rules that came with my game, purchased in the UK, agree.

Maybe there are two versions of the rules out there?


Looking at the rules linked to at the publisher's site, I think that the confusion comes from the term "turn."

From the context it looks as if a player has to hold the three prizes through the next two turns (i.e. those of his next two opponents), not hold them through his own next two turns (i.e. 4, 6 or 8 total turns depending on the number of players).

This is evident from the exceptions listed for the two player game and the variant described for use with 4 players.
 
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Doug Adams
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Quote:
Maybe there are two versions of the rules out there?


My published copy of the game simply says "The first player to collect three prizes, and keep them until the beginning of his or her next turn, wins Easy Come - Easy Go!".

 
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Chris Dorrell
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OK we appear to have at least 3 sets of rules:-

Mine say:

"The first player to collect three prizes, and keep all three through the next two turns, wins Easy Come–Easy Go!
Note: In a two player game the other player may take two turns in a row, if needed, to take a prize away from the player with three prizes."


The OotB Web Site Rules say:-

"The first player to collect three prizes, and keep all three through the next two turns, wins Easy Come–Easy Go!
Note: In a two player game, a player gets a second turn to win a prize from the player with three prizes if he or she failed to do so on his or her first turn. This player may not collect prizes from the center of the table during these two turns."


and Doug's rules say:-

"The first player to collect three prizes, and keep them until the beginning of his or her next turn, wins Easy Come - Easy Go!".

It is evident that OotB have felt it necessary to clarify things and I think Paul is spot on. What I think they mean to happen is that as soon as a player gets three prizes the game effectively enters a different phase. In this "end phase" the other player(s) must concentrate on winning one of these 3 prizes and may not win one from the table. Two player turns must be survived.

Example. In a 4 player game if Player A gets three prizes then only players B and C would get the chance to steal one. Also if say player B failed to throw a combination to remove one of player A's prizes but the combination would win him a prize from the table he cannot take it.

Phew! - all this for a simple dice game?! It does solve / remove Tom Vasel's criticism of the game lasting too long though.

Chris
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Tom Vasel
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Whenever I type a review, I always have the rules in front of me to prevent me from making stupid errors. Yet even thus, I still managed to goof up a major rule in Easy Come, Easy Go (as dozens of people pointed out to me.) Instead of a player having to have three prizes for two turns around the table, it's simply two player turns. In other words, if a player has gotten three prizes, the next two players each have a chance to steal one prize; which, if they fail, gives him the game. I will contend that, stupid as I am, the rules could have been slightly clearer on this regard, but the fault is mine. This changes my opinion on the game quite a bit. While it certainly won't become one of my favorites (it's just too light), I will say that the length of the game is just right for what it is. I want to apologize to the gaming community at large for making such an error - especially one of this magnitude that changes the entire results of the game.

Tom Vasel
"Real men play board games"
www.tomvasel.com
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