Introducing Batavia

Once upon a time, there was a game called Moderne Zeiten. And it was good. And it was designed by Dan Glimne and Grzegorz Rejchtman and featured artwork by Franz Vohwinkel and an economic theme about industries in the Roaring Twenties. And lo and behold, Queen Games hath reimplemented Moderne Zeiten, and called it Batavia. And it was still good. It was still designed by Dan Glimne and Grzegorz Rejchtman. But now it featured artwork by Michael Menzel, and a trading theme about the spice island trade in the Far East. And that made it better. Or did it?

What is the Batavia anyway? It's two things actually, it's a ship, and it's a city. Let's start with the ship - here's a replica:



Batavia was a ship of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). She was built in Amsterdam in 1628, and shipwrecked on her maiden voyage off the coast of Western Australia. The subsequent mutiny and massacre makes interesting reading, but it's not really relevant to this game (although the ship is!). So don't go buying Batavia expecting a game about sordid murder - for details about that, head to the Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batavia_(ship)

Batavia was also the the name given to the city of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, during the Dutch colonial era. It was an important part of the spice trade in the 1600s. And it's for that reason that Batavia the city even makes an appearance on the game board of the game:



So in the game of Batavia, players are merchants who use ships (including the ship Batavia!) to visit the trading posts of the five East India Companies throughout Asia (including the city Batavia!). By playing Ship cards, you can gain "majorities", which will earn you the right to different commodities, which in turn will translate to money that will win the game! So let's hop back in time on the good ship Batavia, and head to the city of Batavia to see if we can make some lucrative profits as part of the spice trade!



Components

Not surprisingly, the box cover features a Batavia looking ship, and an adventurous merchant engaged in trade somewhere in the Far East:



Truth be told, it looks like he's sniffing something, but let's just be charitable and assume he's not engaged in any kind of illegal activity with narcotics. It's a spicy game, but not that spicy!

The reverse side of the box tells us some more information, including a glimpse of the components and a synopsis of the basic concept of gameplay:



It's in 6 different languages - no surprise since it's a Queen game! And who knows, perhaps these different languages might come in useful, after all, we're going to be dealing with ships from several foreign countries, so having Queen as our interpreter might come in useful during gameplay!

So what do you get with the game? Here's what we find when we open the box:



The complete list of components:
● 1 Game Board (map of Asia)
● Hexagonal tiles: 35 Trading Posts, 1 Target Counter
● Wooden tokens: 60 Commodities, 5 Merchants, 5 Counting Pieces, 1 Ship, 1 Cannon
● 75 Promissory Notes
● 5 Ship Cubes & 5 Company Seals
● 1 Dice
● Rules

Let's just walk through the components and check them out a little more closely.

Rulebook

As we'd expect from Queen game, we get the rulebook in 6 different languages:



It consists of 8 pages, and has lots of illustrations and examples. It's well laid out, and is a good example of what the ideal rule book should look like! Thumbs up! You can find a copy of the rules here:
http://www.queen-games.de/dmdocuments/Rules_Batavia_UK.pdf

The basic idea of the game is that players visit trading posts of the five East India Companies to get commodities which score points (money). The different components reflect the fact that the game features five companies and seven commodities.

There are five companies: Sweden, Britain, Denmark, France, Netherlands.



And there are seven commodities: Tea, Cotton, China, Silk, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pepper.



Components: Game board

Map of Asia

The game board is a map of Asia, and features the central islands of the spice trade route:



There is a reference that describes the different parts of the game board:



Ship Scale

The bottom of the board has a "Ship Scale", that will be used to keep track of the amount of cards played.



When the total number of ship cards in play from all players reaches 25 (21 in a 3 player game), the Pirates will attack.

Warehouses

The top of the board features seven different warehouses, corresponding to the seven different commodities in the game. For example, here is the Warehouse for Tea:



Now don't start getting funny ideas - it really is Tea!

When you go to a Trading Post, you will gain commodities which you'll put in these warehouses (depending on which commodity it is).

Trading Post hexes

The board has hexes (numbered 1-35) on which the trading post counters will be placed:



Gold coin strip

Around the edge of the board is the gold coin strip which tracks how much money players have. This is essentially the score track.



Michael Menzel's artwork

The game features fantastic artwork by Michael Menzel, whose contribution has helped give this game high production values:





Components: Trading Posts and Target Counter

Trading Posts

There are 35 Trading Post tiles altogether, seen here unpunched:



They all have a similar design on the reverse side:



Each trading post tile has two important details - a flag of one of the five companies, and an icon of one of the seven commodities:



For example, the above tile features the Netherlands East India company, and the commodity Tea.

The companies come from five nations - Britain, Denmark, France, Netherlands, and Sweden - and each commodity has a trading post tile for each shipping company, as seen here with the Silk commodity:



This means that there are seven trading posts for each shipping company, one for each commodity. For example, here are all the trading post counters for the Netherlands East India company:



Target Counter

The 36th tile is the "Target Counter":



This will be placed on the last hex. A player who arrives on this last tile will trigger the game end (and be awarded some extra points):



Components: Ship Cards

In shrinkwrap, is a lovely looking deck of 110 cards:



We crack open the shrink, and discover some great looking cards:



Once again, kudos to Michael Menzel's great artwork!

The cards correspond to the shipping companies, and there are 22 cards of each East India Company (Britain, Denmark, France, Sweden, Netherlands):



These cards will be played by players in order to get majorities, and the right to visit trading posts of that company.

Components: Ship Cubes and Company Seals

Ship Cubes

There are five "Ship Cubes", corresponding to the five companies:



These will be used on the Ship Scale, to keep track of how many cards of each company are currently in play:



In the above picture, the ship cubes would indicate that there is 1 card of the British East India Company in play, 2 of Sweden, 6 of France, 7 of Netherlands, and 8 of Denmark.

Company Seals

There are also five "Company Seals", also one for each company:



These are used to indicate which player currently has the majority of shipping cards for a particular company in play. For example, if you currently have the most ship cards from Denmark in play, you'd get the Company Seal for Denmark.

Components: Promissory Notes

There are 75 Promissory Notes:



Each player gets an equal number at the start of the game. They are all identical:



Note: these are not banknotes or money! They are used for payment, in order to to win an auction at the start of each round, to gain ship cards and the right to be starting player that round. You will get money (points) by gaining commodities later in the game, and this money is recorded on the victory track around the board. The promissory notes, on the other hand, are just used to gain the extra ship cards that will be used to create majorities, and hence the right to go to trading posts to get money/point-scoring commodities.

Components: Wooden pieces

Each player gets wooden pieces in their component, and there are three types, a merchant figure, a counting piece, and a commodity marker:



Altogether there are fourteen wooden pieces in each of the player colours:



60 Commodities

The commodities are shaped like crates:



Each player has 12, and these will be placed in warehouses when a player goes to a trading post and gains a commodity:



5 Merchant Figures

The merchant figures are used to keep track of player movement:



These move along the track of hexagons, to visit trading posts:



5 Counting Pieces

The five counting pieces are used to track the score of each player:



Components: Miscellaneous

Aside from a regular D6 die (used to determine how many ship cards are auctioned at the start of a round), there's also a wooden ship (used to denote the start player for that round), and a wooden cannon (used on the Ship Scale to indicate the total amount of ship cards currently in play).



Now that we're finally done admiring the gorgeous components, we're finally ready to move on to the game play!

Game-play: Set-up

Game board and trading post counters

Since both the hexes and the trading post counters are numbered from 1-35, a quick start is possible by placing all the counters face up on the corresponding hex. This is a good way to play the first few times. The standard rules require a more random set up, which increases replayability: the counters for each company are shuffled, and one trading post counter is taken randomly from each company pile (this means that the commodities available will be random), and these five counters are placed face-down on the first five hexes. This is repeated for the next five tiles and hexes, until all 35 hexes are filled - and then the first 10 are turned face up, as pictured in the example below.



During game play, every time a merchant figure is moved to one of the last 5 face up counters, the next 5 are turned face up. This makes it harder to plan, and ensures a certain element of randomness that will change the game each time. The quick start rules have all the counters placed face up, and this will work fine the first few times you are playing the game, and also makes set-up easier.

Other components

Each player gets 10 cards from the shuffled deck of ship cards, and 15 promissory notes. They also get 1 merchant figure in their chosen colour (which is placed on the start space for the Merchants), 1 matching counting piece (which is placed on the start space on the Gold Coin strip), and 12 matching commodities.



The entire board should look like this:



Game-play: Flow of Play

The basic game-play consists of several rounds of play, each of which begins with a quick auction to determine starting player for that round (the highest bidder also gets some ship cards), and then player movement (by drawing cards, or playing cards to earn commodities and optionally convert them to gold points), and a pirate attack if applicable.



Auction

The dice is rolled to determine how many ship cards will be auctioned, along with the right to be starting player this round. In some cases, only 1 card is available for auction, in other cases, 6 cards will be available!



Players bid with their promissory notes, increasing the bid until everyone has passed - the highest bidder wins the auction.



The winning bidder gets the ship cards, and becomes the starting player that round. But here's the interesting thing: the winning bidder must give the promissory notes that he bid to the other players, by dealing them out around the circle! This is an excellent balancing mechanism, because it means that the total number of promissory notes in circulation remains unchanged throughout the game. It also means that players who don't win the auction get more promissory notes, thus increasing their chances of winning a future auction. At the end of the game, the player with the most promissory notes in hand gets bonus victory points, so it can also be a viable strategy to let others win most of the auctions, in lieu of some extra points at the end of the game. This is a great mechanic!

Ship cards and movement

Starting with the auction winner, each player gets one turn, in which you can choose to do one of two things:
a) draw two ship cards
b) play ship cards, and move your merchant figure to get a new trading post counter (which can optionally be converted to gold points).

Playing cards and movement works as follows:

i. Playing shipping cards: You may only play ship cards if you have or can achieve a majority of cards in one of the five trading companies (this is important!). You play cards in front of you, and if you are the player with the most cards of a particular shipping company, you get the corresponding Company Seal (which can also be taken from another player), which indicates possession of the majority in that company:



If you already have a Company Seal, you can play any cards you wish; if you do not have a Company Seal, you must play enough cards to earn the right to get one, and then you can play other cards as well. To put it differently, if you don't currently have any of the Company Seals, and you can't play enough cards to get one, then you may not play any cards - then you must draw two cards instead.

ii. Merchant movement: Assuming you've played cards and have at least one Company Seal, you may move your Merchant figure on the game board forwards to a trading post counter corresponding to one of the Company Seals you own.



You take this tile, which represents gaining the matching commodity from that trading post, which is marked by placing one of your commodity tokens (crates) in the appropriate warehouse for that commodity.



Pictured below, the Yellow player has just got their third pepper commodity and placed it in the pepper warehouse!



iii. Converting counters to gold points: At this point, after merchant movement and gaining a trading post tile, you will have both ship cards and the trading post counters in their player area, for example:



If you wish, you may at this point trade the trading post counters for gold victory points. The counters you trade must be from different companies, and the more you trade, the more points you get:
1 counter = 1 point
2 counters = 3 points
3 counters = 6 points
4 counters = 10 points
5 counters = 15 points

Obviously this means it pays off to wait, and try to get counters from all the different companies before trading them for points! But there is a catch: you cannot exchange counters for points if the trading post you just acquired comes from a company that you already have a counter for! What's more, you cannot trade the counters at the end of the game! Here's where you have to make a tense decision: should you try to get a counter with that Swedish or British trading post that you don't yet have in order to maximize your points, or will the game end before that happens, or will you not get the opportunity to get a majority of ship cards in that company?

Pirate attack (if applicable)

As ship cards are played during a turn, the amount of ship cards played is recorded on the Ship Scale as follows, using the ship markers for each company:



The black cannon records the total amount of ship cards in play:



When it reaches 25 (21 for a 3 player game), the pirates attack, and all cards from the company that has the most cards in play at that time are removed.



This essentially "resets" that company, and ensures that the amount of cards in play doesn't become unwieldy. It also gives players who have only a couple of ship cards of this company in hand to start a new majority - especially if they become starting player on the next round, they can get a majority with as little as 1 card from this company! If this enables you to get a tile of a company that you don't yet have, it could significantly help you earn points, making the auction all the more important! This is another great balancing mechanic!

Game end

The game ends when a player reaches the Target counter. If there is a tile in a company for which you own a majority ahead of you, you may not go to the Target counter, but must go to that trading post. So in the example pictured below, the Red player could only get the Target counter (and some bonus points at the end of the game) if he did not have a Company Seal for Denmark, Sweden or France.



At this point the round is completed so that all players have an equal amount of turns, and this ends the game.

Scoring

All players play the Ship cards in hand, and the Company Seals are redistributed accordingly, if applicable. This is a good rule - it ensures that earning ship cards is never wasted. Even if the end of the game is surprisingly triggered, you might still get some points from the cards in hand.

Points are awarded as follows:
● 2 gold coins for each Company Seal
● 4 gold coins for the player with the Target Counter
● 5 gold coins for the player with the most Promissory notes (2 gold coins each in the case of a tie)
● 10-16 gold coins for having the most commodities in a warehouse (5-8 gold coins each in the case of a tie)



Having the second or third amount of commodities in a warehouse doesn't earn any points!

Additionally, players will already have earned gold points for trading post counters that they have converted to gold:
● 1-15 gold coins for 1-5 Trading Post counters converted

Note that Trading Post counters at the end of the game that have not been converted during gameplay are worth nothing, so you'll have to manage your game plan carefully to ensure you get points for them!

The primary means of gaining points is by earning Trading Post counters. These will give you points in two ways:
- you can trade Trading Post counters for points (in-game scoring)
- your commodities that have majorities in the warehouses earn points (end-game scoring)

Comparison with Moderne Zeiten

Since Batavia is a reimplementation of Moderne Zeiten, a review of Batavia is not complete without comparing it to the original.



Modern Zeiten certainly has its share of fans, some of whom have accolades like these:
"Clever game with the stock crash option ready to wipe out your opponent's majority. Pretty board and pieces." - David Karasick
"I adore the utterly closed system of the game. No money in or out. The ever-crashing stock market provides very interesting challenges. ... Moderne Zeiten is fun every time I play it, and I keep wanting to play it yet again. Brilliant fun!" - Nathan Morse


So how do the two games compare?

Rules and scoring differences

I've not played Modern Zeiten, but fortunately Alfed E. Neuman has done a fantastic job in summarizing the main differences between the two games. I'm gratefully indebted to him for the following comparison, which he first posted elsewhere:

Neuman wrote:
Rule Differences During the Game:

Batavia: 36 spaces on board including target counter.
Moderne Zeiten: 31 spaces on board including final destination.

Batavia: tiles are shuffled and added to the spaces on the board with only first 10 being revealed initially (i.e., path pattern changes from game to game and entire path is unknown at the start)
Moderne Zeiten: spaces are printed on board (i.e., board is static and the same from game to game and the entire path pattern is known from the start).

Batavia: 110 cards in five companies, deal 10 per player to start.
Moderne Zeiten: 105 cards in five industries; deal 8 to start.

Batavia: when auction won, move merchant to next unoccupied space and remove the tile, place commodity counter in one of 7 crates for later scoring in the game. Tiles may also be traded for gold coins during the game.
Moderne Zeiten: when auction is won, move zeppelin to next unoccupied space and add your large tile on space and your small tile on 5 x 6 grid which allows points to be scored both vertically (for industries) and horizontally (for cities) later in the game. Since no tiles are picked up, there are no trades for points during the game.

End of Game Scoring Differences:

Note: as indicated above, points can be scored by trading in tiles for gold coins during the game in Batavia so players will potentially already have points on the track before a player reaches the end space whereas no points are earned until the end of the game in Moderne Zeiten.

Batavia: 2 bonus points for majority in each company after laying down the rest of the cards in your hand to the cards already on the table (gives one a chance to steal a majority by adding those cards).
Moderne Zeiten: 1 bonus point for majority in each industry without laying down the rest of your cards (i.e., when the last space is reached, players are stuck with what's already on the table no matter how many cards are held in their hand).

Batavia: bonus points for majority or ties in each of 7 markets (ranging from 5 to 16 points)
Moderne Zeiten : bonus points for majority or ties in two dimensions on grid: five industries (ranging from 1 to 3 points) and five cities (ranging from 1 to 6 points).

Batavia: 4 point bonus for landing on last space and 5 point bonus for player with most money.
Moderne Zeiten : 1 point bonus for landing on last space and 3 point bonus for player with most money.

Other than scaling of points, most of the above differences are relatively minor except for the two-dimensional 5 x 6 grid scoring for both industries and cities in Moderne Zeiten versus the one-dimensional scoring for 7 markets in Batavia and balance of points across different scoring paths.

It seems to me that the game-play of Batavia will have a rather different feel, in that players can be scoring points during the game-play (by trading tiles for points), and not just at the end of the game. This introduces a balancing aspect, and also adds an extra level of decision making in Batavia: at what point should you try to trade your tiles? And when deciding what trading post tile to get, should you focus on something that might get you a majority at the end of the game, or something that will enable you to trade your tiles for points now?

On the other hand, others might argue that that Moderne Zeiten is more elegant, because the primary means of scoring points in Modern Zeiten is at the end of the game, when players are rewarded for having the majority of corporation tiles in each industry, and in each city.



What others have to say about the differences

Which is better? Arguments can be made for both, but from the reading I've done, it seems that people who have played both games find the scoring changes in Batavia to be an improvement over Modern Zeiten. There appears to be some confusion about the rules of Moderne Zeiten, which have probably led to it being appreciated less than it deserves. Nonetheless those who have some experience with both games seem to lean towards Batavia being the superior game:
"Same game as Moderne Zeiten. The rules have been improved immensely, but the game is still basically the same. I liked the original version, and like this even better." - Mik Svellov
"Batavia is a reincarnation of Moderne Zeiten; the new theme and improved components make the experience different but I can't say for certain better. The game is rather good and easily presents as much of a challenge as the original." - Anthony Simons
"Absorbing game, plenty to think about, almost too much toward the end. Some nice mechanisms such as the pirate boat attacks. More involved than its predecessor Moderne Zeiten." - Jonathan Badger
"An improvement on Moderne Zeiten in gameplay, but I definitely like the old theme and especially the art better in the older game." - Justin Green
"I understand this is a retheme of an older game, and the theme didn't fit what we were doing - it didn't make sense." - Scott Nicholson
"Better by far than Moderne Zeiten, but likewise far less exciting. - sisteray




It seems to me that the different ways of getting points in Batavia allows for more strategies - some will will find that it adds an unnecessary degree of complexity to the kinds of decisions that need to be made, but most will consider this change an improvement because it allows multiple paths to earning points and extra levels of tactical consideration. I prefer the spice-trade theme to the industrialization theme, but one of the weaknesses of Batavia is that the theme isn't married with the mechanics as successfully as it seems to be in Moderne Zeiten.

My assessment, in short:
● theme: advantage Moderne Zeiten
● components: advantage Batavia
● gameplay: advantage Batavia

What do I think?

Theme

While the game-play of Batavia seems to be an improvement over Moderne Zeiten, I'm not convinced that the retheming has entirely worked. Moderne Zeiten is an investment game, in which players represent different corporations looking to invest in various industries located in major cities throughout the world. The "Pirate attack" mechanic of Batavia is a reworking of the original "Market Crash" in Modern Zeiten. If the single review of Modern Zeiten is any reliable indication, this mechanic would seem to work very well with the investment theme of the game. I'm not so sure whether the same can be said of Batavia. I like the idea of shipping and the spice trades as a theme (and certainly the artwork and components are fantastic in this regard), but to be honest, I'm still struggling to understand precisely how the theme of Batavia fits with the mechanics. I can see how gaining majorities fits with the investment theme of Modern Zeiten, as does an ever crashing stock-market - in fact, the connection between the theme and mechanics in that game sounds rather appealing and natural! But in Batavia, it's not quite clear to me what I'm really doing thematically.

When I'm playing ship cards to try to get majorities, what does this mean in terms of the theme? Do I own these ships, or am I investing in these ships, or is something else going on? And when I get a trading post tile, I can understand that this means that I'm getting a commodity from a trading post of a certain company and depositing it in a warehouse. But what does it mean when I'm trading tiles later in the game for gold points? And why do I get proportionally more points for tiles from a wider variety of different companies? Am I just getting some kind of delayed payment? And when the pirates attack, what does it mean thematically that all the ship cards of a certain company are discarded?

If I could understand how the theme is linked to mechanics, this game would be easier to explain to new players, and also more enjoyable to play. Perhaps it's just pasted on, and if that's the case, this is not unusual for a eurogamers, and many eurogamers won't find this a real minus point, because they're long used to this happening in many of their favourite games! But perhaps there is a credible explanation for how the mechanics and theme are integrated, and I just haven't been able to figure out what it is yet. So if someone is able to help me explain the connection between the mechanics and the theme in more detail, I'd be most grateful. The rulebook makes no attempt to do this whatsoever, and maybe someone can come up with some clever way of explaining this, as a way of enhancing the game!



Game-play

I really enjoy the game-play of Batavia, especially because it feels like it's very different from anything I've ever played before! I'd like to think I've played quite a few different euro games in my time, including all the "staples" like Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, Puerto Rico, Notre Dame, Agricola, and many others. Worker placement games, set collecting, auction games - I'm familiar with most of these, and yet the gameplay of Batavia seems to defy classification and be in a category of its own. It's strangely different in a way that's hard to explain, and this gives it some immediate appeal, because you don't get a sense that it's a game that duplicates something that's already in your collection.

Some of the strengths of gameplay are the variety of ways to end points. That's nothing new for a eurogame, of course, but in Batavia there's especially a good tension between trying to get in-game points by trading post tiles from a variety of shipping companies, as well as end-game points by trading post tiles that will earn you majorities with certain commodities works well. The auction mechanic to determine starting player is especially outstanding, although I recognize that this is not entirely innovative.

If there is a criticism with respect to the game play, it would be the thin connection with the theme, and the fact that it's not the easiest game to teach. It's not a complicated game, in fact, I'd regard Batavia as more of a family game then a deep gamers game in terms of weight. But because of the interesting way that the mechanics work, you almost need to see the game in play, and how everything fits together, in order to wrap your head around how it works. So it's not a game like Ticket to Ride that you can expect to teach people easily and have immediate success, since new players are more likely to "get" how it works only halfway into the game. On the other hand, it is accessible to families, and it has enough intriguing elements of gameplay to make it enjoyable for gamers, as a medium weight game. If you're looking for a game that's weighted between games like Thebes and Stone Age, then Batavia could make a good choice. It doesn't quite have the gamers depth of games like Notre Dame, but it certainly offers more than lighter family fare like Elfenland or Alhambra.

I also like the fact that this game has a strong element of interaction, without any "take that!" nastiness. Euro games with this kind of healthy interaction are particularly appealing to me. It also plays quickly (under an hour), and scales well from three to five players.

Components

I can't say enough about the quality of the components. There's really no downside here - great artwork, nice wooden bits, good colours - great quality all-round!

Summary

Strengths:
● great components and fantastic artwork
● very interesting mechanics, different
● quick game play
● good interaction
● easy rules
● very balanced (different ways of scoring)

Weaknesses:
● theme doesn't seem to fit mechanics
● not easy to teach, need to see entire game working together



What do others think?

The jury is still out on Batavia, since it's still a fairly new game, but here are a few comments to give you an idea of why some people like what they see:

"Quite a bit going on in this gem of a game. I think the auctions and varying intersection of set collections are what makes the game great." - Jason Leveille
"I liked this game - some neat ideas wrapped up in a one hour package, and the Queen production is glorious. Reminded me of many games, but had its own character. Recommended." - Doug Adams
"This is a nice change of pace from the typical auction and commodities game." - Jeff Hinrickson
"It took a couple of games for this to click, but now that it has, it feels great." - Steve Kearon
"Great game. Very balanced scoring system." - Robert Kuster
"The game itself is solid, giving you a lot to think about on a turn, and a lot going on around you. Nicely done." - David Fair
"This redo of Moderne Zeiten has very nice components and another pasted on theme. It's a straight up Euro with some bidding and set collection." - Walt Mulder
"The comments about the theme being weak are valid - but as a game it works and plays quickly." - Gerry Standerline
"Incredible art." - Tim Harrison
"Extremely beautiful graphics, this is a feast for the eyes. I know that the game idea itself is just about average or mildly above it. Still, after each play of this game, I felt so good about having played it that it scares me. This is pure boardgame satisfaction for me." - Richard Mesaric
"It's very well produced with nice components. A good family euro game." - Paulo Soledade
"One of the more creative games I have seen. A lot of different strategies to receive victory points but yet it is fairly easy to play." - Matt Hiske
"Fun and has more tactical decisions that first appears but is still a very light game." - thoia




The final word

Is Batavia for you? As always, that's going to be a matter of taste, but one of the strengths of Batavia is that it has something about it that gives it a unique flavour. It's not going to be an outstanding or innovative or deep gamers game by any means, and it wouldn't be fair to judge it as such. It will primarily appeal to people who are looking for a good medium/light-medium weight game that can be played in under an hour, that isn't too brain burning and yet still allows good tactical decision making, and has high production value and solid interaction. Since these are precisely the elements that many gamers on BGG are looking for, the good ship Batavia might just be well worth taking a closer look!



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The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596
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Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
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We will meet at the Hour of Scampering.
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Dude, you pretty much sold me.
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Ph’nglui mglw’nfah Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!
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Just played this on Saturday and found it quite enjoyable and not at all complicated, although I agree it takes a whole game to 'get' how everything fits together. Nice review, as always!
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Henrik Lantz
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Very nice to see Batavia getting some more exposure. Haven't played it, but one of the designers (Dan Glimne) is Swedish, so of course I am pleased that the game gets a positive review like this. Certainly looks interesting to me.
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Matt Hiske
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WOW, Nice Review Ender. You always have the best reviews. I do enjoy this game a lot and yes you can include my quotes anytime.
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Randolph Bookman
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THANK YOU FOR FINALLY REVIEWING THIS!!!

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Rick Kimmel
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Dammit, Ender. Everytime you review a game it goes on my want list. You're killing my budget!
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Jacob Lee
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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This review is so thorough . . . it leaves no room for me to comment. But I'll try anyway. I especially like your section on comparing it to the old version.
I want to see a review like this for Le Havre!
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Mik Svellov
Denmark
Copenhagen N
EU
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Very nice review!
Let me add that I have actually gone through the trouble of adapting Moderne Zeiten to the new rules, but the shorter (and fixed) game track still made the original version inferior to the new!
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Jérôme
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Because Moderne Zeiten is lurking on my shelves, this review coaught my eye. I'm happy I read it, because this is one of the best and thorough reviews I've ever seen on BGG.
You haven't sold me though, but raised my interest to play MZ once again
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Captain Spaulding
United States
California
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Fantastic review, thanks!
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Robèr Boonmann
Netherlands
Geldrop
Noord-Brabant
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I only knew the game by name.
But when I saw it on holiday for a reduced price in a toyshop in Hillrød (Danmark), I bought it blind.
Off course it was the Scandinavian version, so I had to read the rules in Danish 6 times, with dictionary, for I had no internet acces.
Last weekend we played it and it was a very nice experience.
This awsome review quite well discribes my feelings about this beautifull game too.

So even the 50% reduced price (eur 27) wasn't very cheap, it wasn't a bad buy at all.

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Peter Van de Voorde
Belgium
Schoonaarde (Dendermonde)
Oost-Vlaanderen
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Have a Dikke Knuffel (A Big Hug for you non dutch speaking people :) )
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Stepping out on the road is a dangerous business. You have to keep your feet under you, or before you know it you'll be swept off to who knows where!
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Thanks for this great review.

Now I'm extremely glad that I bought this game for only 12,50 euros
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Franco Ramorino
Chile
Santiago
RM
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Great review,
thanks ... you totally sold me the game ... in fact i bought it yesterday, after i read this review ... i will play it tomorrow (hope)... )
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Tim Roberts
United Kingdom
Colwyn Bay
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Great review Ender - thanks for taking the time to compile it.

I've seen this game on sale recently so I'll definitely be checking it out.
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