Author Topic: Splendor  (Read 6804 times)

Offline dirk2112

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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

Pros:
  • 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

Cons:
  • 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. 

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=2497.0

Offline Paul

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 04:57:37 AM »
We tried this last year at a convention and I bought it the very same day.

As mentioned, it's very easy to learn. What makes the game great is the fun aspect while able to be social and not having to juggle and planning the game all too much in order to win. Great for those light game days where people just aren't "staminated" for war games and such.

Although the game is for up to 4 players, we did play a 6 player game using only one copy and it worked out rather well, save the high cost cards that where nearly unobtainable.

The weight of the markers I'm sure was all in good intent but felt they could have been made lighter to allow the game to be more mobile.
  So far, the promo expansions only have, upon writing this post, new Nobles but no new rules.

Definately recommending this!
World record holder for a single game of Carcassonne using 10 007 tiles!

Offline dirk2112

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 05:11:22 AM »
Being the 4th player is bad.  I can't imagine being 5th or 6th.

Glad you like it!
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 05:15:58 AM by dirk2112 »

Offline Paul

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 05:16:09 AM »
Being the 4th player is bad.  I can't imagine a 5th and 6th.

Are you referring to that the game immediately ends when reaching 15 points?

Offline dirk2112

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 05:34:31 AM »
The game doesn't end when someone gets 15 points.  If player 2 gets 15 points, player 3 and 4 get one more turn to try and outscore player 2.

The problem with being player 4 is you are at the mercy of the other 3 players.  When the game starts player 1 basically gets the first choice of the 4 cheapest cards available as he/she will be able to acquire the purchase price the fastest.  Player 2 can go for the second best card available and will get first dibs on the card flipped after Player 1's purchase.  Player 3 will probably see what player 1 and 2 are going for and can plan to get the 3rd best card.  If the 3rd best card is too expensive, he/she can reserve one of the other cards and basically throw off player 1 or 2.  All this has happened before player 4's turn.  On the second turn, regardless of player 4's plan, there may not be enough gems left to do anything. 

This is just my experience with the people I have played with.  Your group may be totally different. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 05:40:19 AM by dirk2112 »

Offline Khonnor

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2016, 08:08:55 AM »
I played this game for the first time about a year ago and really liked it.

Got a copy for myself and purchased some upgrade promos, like translucent gem tiles that were only given out during tournaments and a very nice playmat. And ofcourse the 5 extra nobles (4 tournament nobles and 1 from the advent calendar).

However, think we haven't played this in 4 months or so. If you play it often in a short while, it gets a little samey and boring imo.

Offline ooh_jim

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2016, 08:34:06 AM »
I have the android app but wasn't enamoured enough to go find a hard copy. Perhaps if one shows up fairly cheap second hand somewhere I may consider it.

The ai is fairly good on the android version. I'd say I reached around 50% victory rate before getting hooked on the Catan app.


Offline jungleboy

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 09:44:25 AM »
I looked at a review of Splendor and decided that games like Jaipur and Biblios looked better in the same category. I'm big on theme even if a game is not thematic so the jewellery store doesn't really do it for me.

And not to hijack the thread, but...

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've been considering getting Lanterns, mostly because it looks very junglegirl-friendly (being described as almost meditation, and with the Chinese theme). As a tile-laying game, it obviously isn't as deep strategically as Carcassonne or even Cacao, but it seems like it would be a pleasant game to play with non-gamers, with a nice theme and nice artwork. Can you elaborate some more on why you didn't like it?

Offline dirk2112

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2016, 10:31:37 AM »

I've been considering getting Lanterns, mostly because it looks very junglegirl-friendly (being described as almost meditation, and with the Chinese theme). As a tile-laying game, it obviously isn't as deep strategically as Carcassonne or even Cacao, but it seems like it would be a pleasant game to play with non-gamers, with a nice theme and nice artwork. Can you elaborate some more on why you didn't like it?

Have you played Takenoko yet?  That is my wife's favorite game.  I was going to put a review out for it here in a few days, but I can probably hammer one out today.  Anyway both are Asian themed tile placement games where you get points for completing cards.  In Lanterns the strategy is to line up your tiles to get the cards you need without giving anyone else cards they need.  That is it...   There is a bit more to Takenoko and it is a prettier game IMHO.    Had we played Lanterns before Takenoko, we may have liked it more. 

Offline franks

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2016, 06:01:21 PM »
Splendor is one of our favourite games with one of the highest play counts.

We are in at 123 games mostly (but not all) 2 players where we see very little advantage to the first player.

I would also highly recommend the app. There is an extra and interesting solo mode that would keep one occupied for hours.
Franks

Wanna play Carc? Can we add just one more expansion?

Offline toastytoast

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2016, 01:44:32 AM »
Just chipping in with my love for Splendor too!

It's great, easy to explain the rules (my wife's family love it) and you can easily stick the contents in a small lunchbox (that box is huuuuuge!) and bring it with you on holiday :)

Offline ooh_jim

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2016, 05:26:44 AM »
I looked at a review of Splendor and decided that games like Jaipur and Biblios looked better in the same category.

I've not played Biblios, but certainly find Jaipur much more fun than Splendor.

Offline Rich_The_Fish

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2016, 01:37:40 PM »
I haven't got the game but do play the Android app quite a bit. I mainly just play against the AI, but Lukey-Dukey and I have started playing 2P pass and play quite regularly recently. It can get a little bit samey, but the challenges and goals add a bit of variety. Not sure I'd buy the game, as there are others I'd probably rather get such as Small World and 7th Wonder duel, although have been meaning to look at Jaipur too.

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2016, 02:01:45 PM »
I've not played Biblios, but certainly find Jaipur much more fun than Splendor.

I just played Biblios tonight for the first time. It's a filler and it's very easy to explain but it looks like it has some depth to it and while it's not thematic, I love the theme anyway, so it's a great couples game to play on a quiet evening. I lost to my wife (always a good thing!) by one point and I definitely saw in hindsight how I could have made some better moves several times throughout the game. We might get to play a 3-player game on Sunday (depending on whether or not I can convince my wife to play Medina).
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 02:12:58 PM by jungleboy »

Offline Decar

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Re: Splendor
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2016, 12:36:54 PM »
@jungleboy - Lanterns is coming to iOS soon!


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