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User Info: Naye745

Naye745
4 weeks ago#361
ive played it in-person also. i actually liked it better online because it feels too sprawling for what it is in person!
it's an underwater adventure ride

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
3 weeks ago#362
63. No Thanks! (2004)

Category: Player vs Player
Genres: Bidding, push-your-luck, sequence-building
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 0
Game length: 10-15 minutes
Experience: 10-20 plays over 5-10 sessions with 4-5 players (2015-2019)
Previous ranks: 36/100 (2016), 38/80 (2018)

Summary - Your goal is to minimize points taken via cards. There's one card in the center with a number on it (3 to 35), and on your turn you either add a token if you have one (-1 point) to it to pass on it or take it and all the tokens other players dropped. However, any sequence of cards that you assemble scores only the lowest number on it (so 5-6 will score only 5, not 11).

Design - Simple and brilliant, No Thanks! distills decision-making into a binary: do I want the card or not? But a lot weighs into this: How many points are you taking right now? How likely is it to get a connecting piece with future negative points attached to it? If I have the 33 and the 32 is up for bid, should I take the 32 now, or pass and let it collect negative points from other players first? How long can I afford to do that before someone says f*** it and takes it from me? Even if it's bad for me, can I afford to give up a token right now (and risk getting stuck with an even worse number later)? With nearly a third of the deck (nine cards) removed each game, what are the odds that I'll be able to see the cards I need to build the sequence? (This is particularly painful if you're trying to decide whether to get that 19 when you've got 17 showing.)

Due to its filler weight, No Thanks! is going to have a small hole or two. It is luck-dependent. And because of its peculiar brand of player interactivity, different players may see different opportunities: if the player to your right loves snapping up cards, then you'll always be first to be offered cards, and the decisions might not be as interesting. No Thanks! plays like a 6 nimmt! type of game that needs to be iterated to have any meaningful value due to the swinginess of a single hand. And of course there's some spite; since No Thanks! is clearly non-zero-sum, it's always a question if you want to be the one to "take one for the team."

Experience - I haven't played No Thanks! a ton. I haven't played it every year I've been in the hobby, and I don't feel the urge to play it. But it's really reliable as a palette cleanser. Have positive memories of waiting for others to finish a different game with it, or ending a long game night with it, or having it be a breath of fresh air early on when I was overwhelmed with heavy games.

Future - I don't know that I need No Thanks! in my collection but with any group from 3-5, hard to see me turning down a round. There are a lot of games in a somewhat fluid tier here. While NT has rather limited potential to rise, it also wouldn't really fall other than just becoming a bit tired of it, or other games surpassing it.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
3 weeks ago#363
62. Terraforming Mars (2016)

Category: Player vs Player
Genres: Tableau-building, card-drafting, tile-laying
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 6
Game length: 90-150 minutes
Experience: 3-4 plays over 3-4 sessions with 4-5 players (2018-19); one play with expansions
Previous ranks: NR (2016), NR (2018)

Summary - Each player is a corporation tasked with making Mars more hospitable to human life: increasing oxygen level with trees, increasing the temperature, and filling the oceans. Each age consists of players receiving cards and gaining income, then taking turns performing up to two actions until they all pass out of the age. The game ends in the age when all three terraforming tracks are maxed out.

Design - Terraforming Mars is messy. Its player board is notoriously bad (forcing you to track your income potential, your money, and all your resource counts with personal tracks that are very easily disturbed). The card art isn't particularly consistent.

It's fiddly. There are a bunch of resources to keep track of and mechanics that don't always tie great together and seem to be there mainly for the theme. It's easy to get sucked up in the cards and forget about the actions that are printed on the board as well; you can always pay twenty-five dollars to build a city or something, but you can quickly forget. You have to convert your energy into heat, and it doesn't seem to add anything to the experience except rules overhead and more things that can be disrupted with a bump of the table.

It's long. While in my games people have generally terraformed Mars at a fast rate, it's an engine-builder where games are known to go ages because people are more invested in running their engines than in pushing the endgame by planting trees or raising temperature.

It's random and sometimes mean. Resources are useless without the right type of cards; many cards have different synergies that you need luck to roll into. Occasionally you'll have cards that have a take-that feature in a eurogame that really doesn't need any.

And yet... I kinda like it. It's satisfying when you do string some actions together, and it's fun to hit those bump-lines when you terraform to just the right temperature. And of course there's the theme, which is the real excuse for all the fluff. The chrome in Terraforming Mars is what justifies all the mess - each card, with all its exceptions and garbage attached to it, generally makes sense as to why it behaves the way it does. Like of course you can only have livestock once the temperature reaches a certain degree. Of course predators eat others' animals. Of course a meteor is destructive. Of course you have placement rules for oceans and cities. The theme ties everything together (except possibly the funded awards and buying the cards) and that is great.

Experience - I've played TM a few times and found it good. There's a lot of hype behind the game which eludes me, but while I've never done particularly well, there is something inherently satisfying about competently runninga complex machines. Like hey, I found a way to use this titanium! Or whatever.

Future - It might be worth a few more goes to see if I can actually get any better at evaluating the cards (which seems to be the most important decision point of the game) and just to fill in Mars again. TM is probably a bit high on my list for what I've played of it; however, it could easily justify this ranking or go higher if I were to get a good engine going or to find more of what others love about it.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: KommunistKoala

KommunistKoala
3 weeks ago#364
One of my favorites RIP
does anyone even read this

User Info: Great_Paul

Great_Paul
3 weeks ago#365
At game night last night I overheard somebody say that 3 is the best player count for Terraforming Mars. I corrected them and informed them that 0 is actually the best player count.
Bear Bro
So, confirmed Santa's #1 helper is a squirrel.

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
3 weeks ago#366
KommunistKoala posted...
One of my favorites RIP

my primary gaming mates right now are a couple who own TM, and it's possibly their single favorite game that they've played 2p. i haven't played TM with them in months, so maybe i should request it soon!

what are your favorite aspects of it?
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
3 weeks ago#367
61. Pret a Porter (2010)

Category: Player vs Player
Genres: Tableau-building, economic, set collection, worker placement
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 5
Game length: 90-150 minutes
Experience: 2 plays or 2 sessions with 3 players (2019)
Previous ranks: NR (2016), NR (2018)

Summary - Each player is an aspiring fashion mogul competing over one year in four quarterly fashion shows over number of outfits, demonstrated quality, PR points, and trend points. Each quarter consists of three months: two worker placement rounds and the fashion show, with a payday (monetary cost) after each months. During the worker placement phase, players can build a tableau of buildings/contracts/workers that can increase efficiency but raise monthly costs; get outfit ideas (i.e. draw cards); or purchase materials used to create those outfits.

Design - Hey, it's one of the first worker placement games to hit the rankings. Worker placement is a nice mechanic for indirect interaction - during any given round, you want to take a certain set of actions, but you need to prioritize them because other players may occupy some of your spots first. In a game like Pret where you're building your company's engine and collecting design ideas hat all fit a certain suit, prioritizing the actions you want any given year is very important.

The best parts about Pret: a unique theme, economic tightness changing with your engine, and the focus on the shows. I really like the fashion theme - Rococo is the only other tailoring game I've played, and I didn't like it much. Then there's the economic aspect - generally, most rounds of Pret, you're spending your way down or increasing your salary, making planning tough but payouts really satisfying when you're finally able to refill your bank account. And most interestingly, I like the fashion shows - you're judged based on how many of each category you're accrued relative to other players. This forces everyone to compete indirectly each time, so while it affects basically nothing else about the game, there's incentive to go after that PR specialist or to buy expensive threads even if the spot to buy cheap threads is open.

One area where Pret may suffer a bit is with saturation of rules and especially of the board state. While it is perfectly sensible to compete over the number of outfits of a line you can produce, the other three areas of competition - Quality, PR, and Trendiness - leave something to be desired. While it's thematic that you'd compete over them, they are simply tokens. Quality at least you get from buying more expensive (but otherwise identical) cloth, which makes sense. PR and Trendiness on the other hand seem to come mainly from cards. And there are twelve cards to read per season, which is an absolute ton of information to try to evaluate. That becomes visually noisy and hard to parse.

Add that to feeding after every worker placement round and a design decision to have action resolution in a separate phase from placement, and you have a recipe for slowing the game down. I think being one quarter shorter, given it's an economic snowball, wouldn't have been the worst thing for Pret.

Experience - I really liked Pret both times I played it. That said, winning can introduce a big bias, and I might have broken the game the second time - no one denied me a few buildings that turned into a massive snowball. Not having to worry about economic tightness really frees up the engine in Pret in a way that might not be great for the game, unless everyone can do it.

Future - Might be kinda hard to get to the table. I had originally considered buying it myself, but weight is a bit of an issue, and I'm not sure if the primary gaming partner loved getting pasted. Oops. I think on a per-play enjoyment average, it might beat two of the worker placement games above it, so further plays could help it rise or settle it into its rank here.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: Great_Paul

Great_Paul
3 weeks ago#368
I played it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I liked it a lot, but yeah it was definitely heavy and had lots of number crunching. I definitely want to try it again soon now that I have a better idea what I'm doing.
Bear Bro
So, confirmed Santa's #1 helper is a squirrel.

User Info: th3l3fty

th3l3fty
3 weeks ago#369
the best player count for Terraforming Mars is any count that allows you to play tbqh

SeabassDebeste posted...
The theme ties everything together (except possibly the funded awards and buying the cards)

buying cards is buying the rights to develop the technology

awards, though... I've got nothing
thelefty for analysis crew 2008 imo -transience
I have a third degree burn in flame-o-nomics -Sir Chris

User Info: ChaosTonyV4

ChaosTonyV4
3 weeks ago#370
Terraforming Mars sounds cool, I just started watching the Expanse last week, and it’s got me really thinking about space stuff
Phantom Dust.
"I'll just wait for time to prove me right again." - Vlado
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