March 30, 2011

Participants: Jon, Nadine, Gili, Binyamin

Light game night, long game.

R-Eco

Nadine 24, Jon 5, Gili 5

Or thereabouts. Nadine just killed us. I ended with 15 positive points, but I had had to dump 10 cards. Gili hadn’t dumped at all. Nadine had dumped 3 cards.

Shipyard

Binyamin 124, Jon 98, Gili 98, Nadine 94

First play for Binyamin. Both he and Nadine took fairly long turns, especially at the beginning. Binyamin was particularly concerned with squeezing every last drop out of all six of his mission cards; can’t say it wasn’t worthwhile for him. However, the game took 3.5 hours (including explanation, which wasn’t all that long).

Binyamin really likes this type of fiddly game. I like some fiddly games, and I like this one, when it doesn’t take too long. The key factor in a fiddly game that makes it fun is if there is always something worthwhile to do. If the fiddliness is accompanied by a sense of helplessness and frustration for lack of progress, it can be dull. Also, if the fiddliness is simply imposed to make what should be straightforward into something complex and obscure, just to make it complex and obscure, it can be grating. The latter is how Nadine feels about the game.

I compare the game to Le Havre, but Binyamin liked it better then Le Havre and better even than Agricola.

I pulled nearly entirely useless blue missions; just useful enough to make me waste my time trying to eke 8 points out of them, when I would have been better off concentrating on nearly anything else. My green missions – number of ships, number of ship tiles, number of 5 tile ships – gave me 50 points, which was about average for everyone, except Binyamin who managed to get 72 points out of his missions. I built my fourth 5 tile ship on the last turn; it was only worth 2 points on its own, but boosted my missions nicely.

To play the game correctly, you really need to count your actions, which I’m generally doing around the time that I have 8 actions left.

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One thought on “March 30, 2011

  1. The game seems fiddly for no reason, though it's prbably less so as it becomes more familiar. What I don't like is what Binyamin pointed out – there's really no player interaction. Most popular roles are unavailable each turn, often there are none at all available that give money. There's nothing to do on other people's turns, and what they do doesn't affect you because you can't take the role that they took. It can be interesting to plan what to do, but not interesting enough, it feels like there's no suspense or flow to the game. There are more choices in a 3-player game, and I've only played twice. But even if we played quickly, it doesn't come close to the experience of games like Puerto Rico.

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