Saturday, May 19, 2007

Die Macher Variants and Curmudgeonry

After our game of Die Macher, I'm reminded that I personally only rate it a '7.' At least I found my variants.

Now that I've played Shogun again ... well, I just don't get it. Is this supposed to be strategic? tactical? random? I can't decide, because Shogun can't decide. Even ignoring the randomness that is the tower, it seems that quite a bit of the game is decided by the order that the actions hit (imagine how different the game would be if the final turn had all the reinforcements before battle cards). And that's not even talking about the draw for which event happens, and which winter rating shows up.

It was amusing, but that wasn't really due to the game. I rate it "Meh," or possibly "Meh-plus."

Nope, just meh.

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19 Comments:

At 6:51 PM, May 19, 2007, Blogger Jeff said...

After Brian left, Amy returned and we played 5-player La Citta. My central city got squeezed in a vice made from Rob and Chris' cities, bleeding citizens all the time. So I came in super-special last place while Rob pulled out the win. Then we let our brains cool off a bit with a couple of games of No Thanks!.

 
At 7:12 PM, May 19, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

La Citta was unexpectedly deep towards the end. For the first 3 rounds (the first half of the game), I couldn't see the 'depth'... it's je ne sais qua that's made it almost a classic.

That was until the cities started fattening up and clashing with neighbors while culture, health and education become key. I'll keep an eye out for the reprint.

Shogun? Feels like a more polished Wallenstein....which is good in my book. Won by 1 point.

Die Macher? Last place by 1 point. What a game... Mistakes are just harshly punished in this one. Hopefully will play again sometime this year.

Jeff and Amy.... thanks for hosting!

 
At 7:46 PM, May 19, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

Is this supposed to be strategic? tactical? random? Just like in real war, the answer is yes to all of the above. At least in the military history I've studied, war is all about managing chaos, and I felt Shogun captured this theme well.

Despite the naval routes, I was still able to turtle pretty effectively, which isn't necessarily a good thing about the game, though perhaps more the fault of my opponents than the game map. I'm very satisfied with the game, glad I own it, and now feel very good about throwing Wallenstein into the cue for the next math trade.

Die Macher... both times I've played it I've found semi-painful and unpleasant experience, but then hours later I find myself thinking about it and wanting to play again. I think the pain and unpleasantness may be the sensation of lazy brain cells finally getting exercised in new ways. I'd be up for playing again before I forget how to play.

 
At 8:31 PM, May 19, 2007, Blogger Jeff said...

Ben - You won't have to twist my arm to get me to play again soon, and I'm sure Amy would play again to cement the rules in her head. I think I saw someplace that Sean wanted to play, too. Perhaps a Monday night in June?

 
At 9:19 PM, May 19, 2007, Blogger Mark said...

I'm interested in trying Die Macher.

 
At 11:22 PM, May 19, 2007, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Mark and I got our second game of Liberty, a simulation of the American Revolution by CG. It's a great game.

Like many of CG's games, there's a certain rhythm that takes a little bit of getting used to. Part of the issue is that you want to do so many things all at once, but the game won't let you. You've got to force yourself to slow down, maneuver, create opportunities.

There's a great combination of strategic and tactical choices. One of the biggies is how to handle the south. There's about 10 pts, or 1/3 of the victory condition, there. The cities are spread out and thinly defended, making it tricky to handle. Another great consideration is the Atlantic sea box that lets you create threats in many places at once.

Leaders play an important role, being both powerful in combat and helping wintering a lot.

Great balance of game play and history. I'm giving this an 8, and it may well move up to a 9.

 
At 12:00 AM, May 20, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

'rhythm'.... I like that. Very true about CG's games. I think Crusader may be the epitomy of that IMO.

 
At 9:37 AM, May 20, 2007, Blogger Mark said...

Re: Liberty

All the stuff that Ted said. This game requires you to take things slow and plan carefully. I rated this game an 8.5 and I tend to be very critical believing no game deserves a 10 rating.

 
At 5:09 PM, May 20, 2007, Blogger Carlos Pena said...

I an very interested in Die Macher as everything I have ever heard about it is ultra positive (Except for Brian's Comment). What everyone usually warns about is that it is a very long game. How long did you play? Did you finish or just end it.

I would like to give it a try like Mark.

 
At 5:58 PM, May 20, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

Our game only took approximately 3-3.5 hours, though I joked at the end that due to the level of brain activity during the game it seemed like more like 4-5 hours...

 
At 6:26 PM, May 20, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

It is an intense 3 hour game... unlike what Ted asked while we were playing (whether like othe euros, it is more about mechanics than the theme), I feel like the theme works REALLY well with the mechanics (and viceversa). Case in point: when your political party controls the media, your party's public opinion is unaffected by a negative poll result.

But, the game can certainly be painfully unforgiving if you are not careful (which makes it even more interesting). I focused so much on getting everything right for my first election eventhough I knew I was not going to win it, that I completetly neglected the second one. I got '0' points for that one.

 
At 7:57 PM, May 20, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

Contra to what was said, I like Die Macher. I just think that the 2nd edition blundered a few fine points and that the balance can be improved.

[1st edition had a much more convoluted scoring system, and only four players. 2nd edition improved quite a bit on the game, but took away some of the details of first edition that I liked. Almost all of my variants come from the earlier rules.]

Three hours is about right, but in almost every game of D.M. I've ever played, (over a dozen) someone is learning. I suspect it could fall closer to 2hours if everyone had played recently, and if you didn't have the crappy 3rd edition cards lousing things up.

 
At 8:00 PM, May 20, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

I think some of the confusion is that for many BGG raters '7' means average. As you can see on my BGG profile, my average is barely above 5.

 
At 6:08 AM, May 21, 2007, Blogger Amy said...

I rated Die Macher a 7, also. I enjoyed it, but it seemed as though it could have been streamlined. Remember, a 7 on BGG is "Good game, usually willing to play."

 
At 1:17 PM, May 21, 2007, Blogger Mark said...

Rob and I played East Front II Sunday evening. It was Rob's 4-5th game and my first.

We spent some time going over the rules for my benefit and then we played the Summer '43 Kursk scenario. Intitially I was intimidated by the rulebook but after a couple of rounds I got the hang of it. The game is surprisingly easy to play. I rate this a 9.0, the highest I would rate any game.

 
At 6:44 PM, May 21, 2007, Blogger Carlos Pena said...

I really liked EastFront a lot. I have the first version, but not EF2. WOuld like to try sometime. I was told (by Rob?) that there was not too much difference between the two.

 
At 7:35 PM, May 21, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

Talk about post hijack.... hehehe

Yep, I think the differences are more 'cosmetic' than anything else. I think it does a great job at portraying the magnitude of the whole operation....all with not-overly-complex mechanics.

 
At 9:08 PM, May 21, 2007, Blogger Mark said...

Carlos: I'm always up for a game of EFII.

 
At 10:21 PM, May 21, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

Mark, let me know when you want to try Vassal.

 

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