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Subject: "Dad, can I eat this mint? Wait a minute...." rss

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Jack Darwid
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"Dad, can I eat this mint? Wait a minute...."
My daughter said that when discovering me placing mints on cards.


MINT WORKS
The pocket-sized worker placement game
For 1-4 Players, 10-20 minutes each game.



BACKGROUND
I always love compact games and usually I design compact games.
I always thrilled when I find a new game that can put more content inside a small box. Love Letter really WOW me (sixteen cards!) as a super quick fun family/kids game (I have the Batman Love Letter version).
When I want more (I mean, small game but more meat), Province comes then excites me for a while, but it's not really flexible (only a 2 Players game and needs more variety).
Then I backed Mint Woks on Kickstarter, only $12 to Indonesia, shipping included. A really great project with great updates including Sonic the hedgehog. Yes, really. Great project, Justin and Sonic laugh


WHAT YOU GET



HOW TO PLAY
Each Player gets 3 mints (white, really looks like mint) as both money and worker. Shuffle the Plan cards and reveal 3 face up. The game will be played in Rounds until a Player has 7 Stars or more, then it's scoring time. Highest Stars wins!

Each Round, the Player with the Starting Player token takes the first turn, PLACE or PASS. PLACE = place mint(s) on an available space on a Location and you get the Location's effect:
Producer = you get 1 mint (pay 1 get 2).
Supplier = take a Plan card after you pay the Plan's cost. Put the Plan face down in front of you.
Builder = pay 2 and you can build a Plan you have. Flip a Plan face up, now it's called a Building.
Leadership Council = take the Starting Player token so you will act first on the next Round (it's pay 1 get 1, so basically you pay with your turn).

Each available space will be occupied one by one and soon each Player will PASS. If all Players PASS, continue to UPKEEP Phase.

On UPKEEP Phase:
- if a Player has 7 Stars or more then the game ends and continue to Scoring.
- if not, resolve UPKEEP effect on some cards. Refill the face up Plan cards to 3. Then each Player gets 1 mint, then begin a new Round.

That's the overview. The game shines on the Plan cards effect and interaction.


SO HOW WAS IT?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are already some complaints if you read on BGG:

1. the Rulebook is small (of course) and the Rulebook is hard to understand. Agree!
I have to re-read many times before understand that if you buy a Plan (by placing your worker on the SUPPLY location) you put it face down in front of you, and still called a Plan. Then if you build the Plan (by placing your workers on the BUILD Location), you flip it face up, and now it's called Building. Whew!
For me, the Player Aid is useless (and doesn't have the explanation of the Locations), it's better to add a few more pages on the Rulebook to clarify things.
To understand the game you can try to re-read and re-read the Rulebook or just watch Rahdo's Runs Through.

2. It's hard to put the Rulebook and the Player Aid back on the tin. Agree!
The book and the Player Aid should have rounded corner to enter the tin back easily.
Solution: take your scissors and cut the corners. I just cut two corners on the right side of my Rulebook and Player Aid. Problem solved!
Or you can cut four corners like Tom Vasel did on his review.

3. As mentioned in the Rulebook, the mint supply should be unlimited, yet we're out of mint. Agree! (maybe)
This will happen if you stack the mints on the Location cards.
Solution: We put only 1 mint to cover the required space on the Location card and put the rest on the Mint Supply.
Why? You need just 1 mint to mark that the space has been taken, since there's no difference whether you put 1 mint on the Builder space (cost 2) or you put 2 mints there.
Of course it's cooler to stack the mints on the Location cards, but you will have mint shortage quickly.
Note: I haven't tried 4 players, so I don't know if this trick works. For 1 or 2 Players, no problem.

4. The game is tight, and some rules are not clear just by reading the Rulebook. Agree! (for now).
I have read the Rules section here on BGG and some of my questions are answered, but I have more:

A) Recycler:
- on the Rulebook you can swap one Bulding OR Plan, but on the card itself it says "lose a Plan", no Building mentioned. So can I recycle my Building? I just follow the card when I play.
- I will gain mint equal to the "sum of its cost and current Star value". What is the Star value of Obelisk, Museum, Gallery, and Vault as a Plan? We play that the current Star value means the picture of Star on that card, means Obelisk 1, Museum 1, Gallery 1, Vault 2. Is that correct?

B) I misunderstood the Landfill. The card says: "You gain 1 fewer Star from each Leaf Building in your Neighborhood." I think that '1 fewer Star' is Landfill's Star, so if you have a Museum Building, your Landfill has only 2 Star, and if you have a Bridge Building then Landfill has only 1 Star.
Reading a discussion here: tells me that '1 fewer Star' is not Landfill's Star but all your Leaf Building's Star!
It's better if the words on the card are 'Each Leaf Building in your Neighborhood gains 1 fewer Star (minimum 0)'.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And there are a lot of praise that I agree:

1. Wow! Short, and super fun! It has meat with interesting decisions and quick. Some luck in the game because of the Plan cards, but gives you interesting choices because of that.
Some complains that the game is too short. To me it's good. That's why buying the Strip Mine (a great card for gaining a lot of money, er, mints) can be as good as buying Garden (giving 3 Stars with no money). If the game is longer, of course buying Strip Mine first is better, but since the game is short, you can buy Garden and go quickly to 7 Stars to force the end game.
In St Petersburg, it's a must to buy money producing cards first at the first few rounds of the game because it's a 45-60 minutes game. In Mint Works, the game can end in a sudden when you have just gathering mints after mints! In one game, my opponents have loads of mints with mints producing cards, but then I close the game 7-3 to his surprise (he enjoyed his wealth and forget to check my cards devil )

2. The game can be played with 1-4 Players. I wasn't counting, but I have played about 10 times solo and about 9 or 10 times 2 Players. When I end a game, I want to immediately play another one.

About the Solo games: I have tried all four AI, I have played against each of them a few times. Each AI has a different play style. Nice. I think I have won about 75% of my games.
Yes it has luck, but it's quite interesting. I feel that the luck factor is higher in solo than in multiplayer, and I prefer multiplayer. It's a nice addition though.
Out of the 4 AI, one I like less is Mort. He has unlimited mints, and he just eat'em all. Playing against Mort has much bigger luck factor, really depends on when the Production Plans show up. It's like playing against Iron Legacy on Sentinels of the Multiverse, BAM BAM BAM BAM. If the draw is not that good, you lose, quickly.

3. The advance Locations really push the replyability up. You have four, and you use none when you learn the game. Once you know the game, you can add 1 at random on each of your game.
The advance Locations really shake the game up and change how the game is played. I have some 'wait, you can do THAT?' with Recycler and Swap Meat. Crowdfunder gives more speed to the game by showering Players with more mints, and Temp Agency gives more options with 1 mint extra cost.
Try it!

4. My game group prefers light strategy game, and our most played game (other than playtesting my games) is St Petersburg.
About the 2 Players game: I like this game much better than a 2 Players St Petersburg.
I need to play the game with 3 and 4 players but so far we have the same feel and fun with only a small fraction of the size!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Adrian Schmidt
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Aw, seriously? I wrote this long answer to your post, and then BGG messed up when I tried to save it. yukyukyuk

Anyway, I'll at least write a short new one.

Good review!

I think you are allowed to recycle Buildings.
I think "current star value" means that if you have Vault and 2 plans, Vault is worth 4 mints because it's worth 4 stars, plus the mints it costs to buy.

In multiplayer, you can use 2 advanced locations if you want to. In solo it's only 1.
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Jack Darwid
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SpecularRain wrote:
Aw, seriously? I wrote this long answer to your post, and then BGG messed up when I tried to save it. yukyukyuk

Anyway, I'll at least write a short new one.
Happened to me many, many times ! angry
That's why I always use Notepad, I copy the long text there before hitting the submit / reply button, because if the internet connection is down I will lose all my text.

Quote:
Good review!
Thanks! laugh

Quote:
I think you are allowed to recycle Buildings.
I think "current star value" means that if you have Vault and 2 plans, Vault is worth 4 mints because it's worth 4 stars, plus the mints it costs to buy.
This means we count the Stars as if the Plan is build / becomes Building, eventhough right now it's still a Plan. Can you confirm that this official?

Quote:
In multiplayer, you can use 2 advanced locations if you want to. In solo it's only 1.
Ahh, missed this point. Using 2 Locations will be more exciting! Thanks! Will try this next time laugh
 
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Adrian Schmidt
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JackDarwid wrote:
SpecularRain wrote:
Aw, seriously? I wrote this long answer to your post, and then BGG messed up when I tried to save it. yukyukyuk

Anyway, I'll at least write a short new one.
Happened to me many, many times ! angry
That's why I always use Notepad, I copy the long text there before hitting the submit / reply button, because if the internet connection is down I will lose all my text.


Yeah, I usually just select everything and copy it before saving if I have a long comment. If it's a giant post I might write it in a text-editor. But this time, of course, I had done neither

JackDarwid wrote:
Quote:
I think you are allowed to recycle Buildings.
I think "current star value" means that if you have Vault and 2 plans, Vault is worth 4 mints because it's worth 4 stars, plus the mints it costs to buy.
This means we count the Stars as if the Plan is build / becomes Building, eventhough right now it's still a Plan. Can you confirm that this official?

Hmm… I read the rulebook for the Recycler now, and the instructions doesn't match at all…

On the card it says

Recycler card wrote:
Lose a plan you own, then gain mints equal to the sum of its cost and current star value.

But, in the rulebook, it doesn't just add "or Building". It actually says

Rulebook wrote:
Placing here allows the player to take any on Building or Plan from their Neighborhood and place it at the bottom of the Plan Deck.
They gain mints from the Mint Supply equal to the sum of the Plan's printed mint cost and star value.

(Emphasis mine.)

This can be interpreted in two ways. Either the word "printed" applies only to "mint cost", in which case this at least doesn't contradict the text on the card outright.

Or, it applies to both "mint cost" and "star value", in which case this completely contradicts the text on the card itself.

I could make a case for taking the less contradictory path, and say it's the printed cost but the current star value, and it applies to both plans and buildings.

But if I just read the rulebook, and not the text on the card, I would certainly interpret the word "printed" as applying to both "mint cost" and "star value".

I'll ping Justin about an official ruling.

Since I had already written a long reply about how I interpreted the card text before I noticed the discrepancy with the rulebook, I'll leave the original reply below, but please note that I am now not at all convinced that it's the correct interpretation.

Old reply wrote:
I think you misunderstood.

A plan on its own would only be worth its cost, since it is worth no stars.

Some examples:

- You have Statue, unbuilt. Recycle to get 2 mints (2 cost, 0 current stars).

- You have Statue, built. Recycle to get 4 mints (2 cost, 2 current stars).

- You have Museum built. It's your only green building. Recycle to get 3 mints (2 cost, 1 current star).

- You have Museum built. You also have the Bridge built. Recycle Museum to get 5 mints (2 cost, 3 current stars).

- You have Museum built. You also have the Bridge built. If you recycle the Bridge, you only get 1 mint (1 cost, 0 current stars), because the increased value from the Museum/Bridge-combo is placed on the Museum, not the Bridge.

- You have Statue and Landfill, both are built. Recycle Statue to get 3 mints (2 cost, 1 current star). Note that, in contrast to Museum, Landfill does not modify its own number of stars, but the number of stars on the green buildings.

- You have Vault built. You also have three other unbuilt plans. Recycle Vault to get 11 mints (5 cost, 6 current stars). The Vault gains 2 stars from each unbuilt plan in your neighbourhood.
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Justin Blaske
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Yeah, I'll have to get this errata in the digital rules soon.

Here's the official rules for Recycler:

You can recycle either a Building OR a Plan. If you recycled a plan, you gain it's cost + it's static printed star value. (Face down obelisk would recycle for 4, face down Statue would recycle for 4)

If you recycle a building, it's current calculated star value is used. (Face up obelisk would recycle for 4 + building count, including itself. Statue would recycle for 4)

Hopefully that helps clear it up a bit.

-Justin
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Adrian Schmidt
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jblaske wrote:
Yeah, I'll have to get this errata in the digital rules soon.

Here's the official rules for Recycler:

You can recycle either a Building OR a Plan. If you recycled a plan, you gain it's cost + it's static printed star value. (Face down obelisk would recycle for 4, face down Statue would recycle for 4)

If you recycle a building, it's current calculated star value is used. (Face up obelisk would recycle for 4 + building count, including itself. Statue would recycle for 4)

Hopefully that helps clear it up a bit.

-Justin


Great! Thanks Justin!

Then my "old reply" was almost correct:

- You have Statue, unbuilt. Recycle to get 2 4 mints (2 cost, 0 current 2 printed stars).

- You have Statue, built. Recycle to get 4 mints (2 cost, 2 current stars).

- You have Museum built. It's your only green building. Recycle to get 3 mints (2 cost, 1 current star).

- You have Museum built. You also have the Bridge built. Recycle Museum to get 5 mints (2 cost, 3 current stars).

- You have Museum built. You also have the Bridge built. If you recycle the Bridge, you only get 1 mint (1 cost, 0 current stars), because the increased value from the Museum/Bridge-combo is placed on the Museum, not the Bridge.

- You have Statue and Landfill, both are built. Recycle Statue to get 3 mints (2 cost, 1 current star). Note that, in contrast to Museum, Landfill does not modify its own number of stars, but the number of stars on the green buildings.

- You have Vault built. You also have three other unbuilt plans. Recycle Vault to get 11 mints (5 cost, 6 current stars). The Vault gains 2 stars from each unbuilt plan in your neighbourhood.
 
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Jack Darwid
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Recycler: the Building part is easy to understand (other than it's not mentioned on the card), but the Plan part needs clarification. So for a Plan you gain it's cost + it's static printed star value, means any special effect (example: the Obelisk) doesn't count since it's still a Plan.

Thanks for the clarification.
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