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Topics - dirk2112

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Official Rules / Crop Circle questions
« on: March 04, 2016, 06:13:00 AM »
The Mayor is the one that we have struggled with the most to categorize. We've had to decide that in order for a follower to collect points for a feature he must have a "quantum" in the feature. The Mayor only has a quantum value when coupled with a pennant. All other followers carry their quantum with them. The Mayor is not able to score in any other feature but does provide a presence, and establishes ownership. For example, you cannot enter a city directly if a Mayor is already there. So there is difference between ownership and quantum. We allow the Mayor to cap a tower for example. On a Tower you don't need a quantum, just the presence of a follower - and the Mayor is a follower. He could be placed on a cloister, for example, but since he provides no quantum he would not be able to collect the points. He would block any other follower from being placed there though. The same could be said for a farm.

So when any rule says do one thing or another with a follower, for us, the Mayor, Wagon and Big Follower are included.

My wife bought me the collection of mini expansions.  I found this great post (above) by Carcking in the old forum, but I still have questions. 

1.  My son played the Crop Circle with a shield.  He said he wanted us to add a meeple to a city.  My wife ONLY had a mayor left and all of her cities already had knights.  Per rule, "It may only be deployed to a city in which there is currently no knight", leads me to believe that my wife doesn't have to play her Mayor in the city.  That seems like utter horsecrap as you can have a mayor and knight in the same city with "clever tile placement".
2.  If what Carcking said is true, a farm crop circle could force you to put a mayor, wagon, or Abbott on a farm.  Since the shepherd is not a follower, am I correct in assuming you can't force him up or down with a crop circle?  Or is he a follower in this instance like he is with the dragon?

3.  I don't have this, but in the halflings expansion there is a wild card crop circle.  Can you use that one to force meeple onto or off of a cloister?

Other Games / Takenoko
« on: March 03, 2016, 11:03:47 AM »
Takenoko is a tile placement game that has some worker placement aspects to it.  I will say this game is very visually appealing and this is a great gateway game for non-gamer females.  The object of the game is to complete 9 cards.  Cards contain 1 of 3 different functions 1) Irrigated Tile placement (maybe 3 red tiles in a row), 2) Bamboo growth (Get the gardener to grow a 4 piece tall yellow bamboo stalk), 3) Feed the panda (2 green bamboo pieces).  During your turn you roll a nice wooden dice to see what the weather will be like.  Based on that you can take various actions.  Most of the time we are hoping for the sun (which gives you 3 actions) or the "?" which lets you pick the weather.  Afterward you can do any of the following actions 1) Place a tile  2) Irrigate a tile  3) Move the gardener  4) Move the Panda or 5) Take another card.  The first player to complete 9 cards wins.  In the original rules it was easy for a player to complete 9 Panda cards and win since those are the easier to complete.  The expansion changed the rule so that you get 3 points for every set of cards (Panda, gardener, tile) you complete.  We don't have the expansion yet, but play with the updated rules.

  • Quality components
  • Great artwork
  • Easy to teach
  • A way to get the female non-gamer to play
  • Great theme
  • Inexpensive considering the components

  • Small Ticket to Ride sized cards
  • Like Catan (and apparently Splendor  :-\ ) it can feel a bit samey
  • There is a lot of luck involved in both the weather and the card drawing*
  • Check your man card at the door   ::)
*  The game lets you complete cards through other people's actions.  So if you have a card that says you get 4 points if there is a certain tile configuration on the board and someone else puts the tile down, you get credit for it.  Even if that configuration has been down all game you get credit for it.  We played a game where my wife completed her 9 cards and my son had his last turn to try to beat her score.  He rolled the die and it turned to the wind symbol which lets you take the same action twice.  He drew 2 cards and both happened to be already on the board and he won.

Other Games / Splendor
« on: March 03, 2016, 04:25:17 AM »
Splendor was a Spiels des Jahres runner up in 2014.  It lost to Camel Up.  That is all I knew about it prior to playing it.  Looking at the box doesn't really make you want to play the game.  From appearances, it looks like some sort of Bejeweled card game with poker chips.  The theme is apparently you and your opponents open jewelry stores and see who can get the most Nobles to visit your store.  That is it.... or is it?

A few weeks ago we were playing game demos at one of the local stores.  After being bored to death playing another popular game (Lanterns), we had about 45 minutes left so we needed a quick game to try.  I picked the box up and told my family that this game was runner up to Camel Up (a game my son loves).  My wife was most interested in playing the game as she loves bejeweled.  As we were setting the game up (which is very quick), the nearby Star Wars miniature gamers stopped to tell us that Splendor was awesome.  Usually those folks can't be bothered from measuring the distances between their command ships, but they honestly seemed to love this little game.  We read the rules, set it up, played, and boxed it back up in under 45 minutes.  I think that might be a record for us.   My son won as he figured out a good early strategy was to hog all of the emeralds  ::).  I was surprised at how fun the game was.  My wife said that she really enjoyed it too.  What was surprising was that my son also loved it and not just because he won.  He said something along the lines of, "We need to get this game.  Do you think Amazon has it?"  Yes yelling "Amazon" in a brick or mortar store is not the best thing to do.  We explained to him that we had fun trying the games in the store, so paying more wasn't really a big deal and we should support local businesses.   

Time for Pros and Cons

  • Fun (I can't explain to you why I like this game and I doubt anyone else can either... it is just fun)
  • Fast
  • Easy to learn
  • Box holds contents very well
  • Little gems would have been better, but the poker chips work really well.  They have some weight to them

  • First player has slight advantage.
  • If playing 4 players, the last player has a big disadvantage
  • The nobles aren't listed anywhere (if you know anyone off the top of your head from my picture besides Henry VIII, kudos to you)

After playing this and Camel Up a few dozen times, I feel as though this is the better game.  The reason I feel that this lost to Camel Up is on theme.  Camel Up has a great theme whereas this game's theme almost prevented me from trying it.  Who wants to run a jewelry store?  After awhile though, you get used to the theme.  We find ourselves saying things like, "Yeah you won, but whose store did Mary Stuart, Catherine de' Medici, and Machiavelli visit?" 

Other notes:  There was a 4 nobles expansion for this game that can be found on Ebay for $$.  We don't have it, but it doesn't appear to add much to the game so I don't think I will bother unless I can get it for $5 or less. 

Other Games / New York 1901
« on: March 01, 2016, 04:51:52 AM »
New York 1901 is another game my family loves.  The rules are very simple and the setup is very easy.  You can spend your turn increasing your real estate to build massive structures or prevent your opponent from doing so. 

  • Nice components and building artwork
  • Fun easy gameplay
  • Sim City feel
  • Building placement has a sort of Tetris feel
  • Fun to decide what buildings to keep and which to demolish
  • Family won't need to play Monopoly ever again
  • New York is the theme of too many games
  • Not enough street value cards to give enough variety
  • Small original ticket to ride sized cards
  • There was a small expansion, but it sold out within hours and Ebay resellers want way too much for it.

Other Games / Ticket to Ride UK and PA
« on: February 26, 2016, 12:51:09 PM »
Ticket to Ride is probably the game we play the most.  We have the USA, Europe, India + Switzerland, and now the UK and Pennsylvania map. 

I have to say this expansion is both awesome and terrible.   

The UK map has a technology aspect of it that makes the locomotives too important.  In most ticket to ride games, people pull cards from the visible choices.  That never happens in UK because everyone is pulling from the deck hoping for more locomotives.  Also, the technologies just weight the game down.  It is really no fun IMHO.  That being said, the map is BEAUTIFUL.  It is almost as pretty as India.

The Pennsylvania map is UGLY.  They forgot the legend and forgot to put in a card for the person who scored the most tickets.  The stock gimmick in this map is FANTASTIC.  My son's strategy is to forgo destinations and go after stocks.  My wife goes after a ton of destination and doesn't concentrate on stocks too much.  I am somewhere in between.  All 3 of us have won at different times with very different strategies.   We play this one the most with India being our second favorite.   

Anyone else give it a go?

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