The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Hansa Followup

Two more games of Oh sorry, the name put me to sleep. I’m still enjoying this, but some points (that I haven’t seen raised anywhere).

There’s some “Craftsman panic” in the chits. The first three chits aren’t bad, but some of the later chits rock. Often they go to the next person available (through “Move 3, Add 1, Claim.” (or Move 2, add 1, claim, for people with 3 actions). Assuming you put the chit on the 4 distance spot. But often a player will simply put it next to a city he owns, for the VP.  I ran the chits hard in my 3rd game, and everyone snapped them up fairly aggressively in the fourth game.  Considering that many of the chits are an extra turn (either directly, via actions, or by the free upgrade, which normally costs 1 turn) and score pretty well (assuming you get 6+ chits), if you can also score a city or extend your route it’s automatic. Perhaps we’re missing something, but the chits appear too good, and I dislike the “Next player gets it” that often occurs. It turns the game into more of a crapshoot than I’d like. (Player to me left gets a chit and puts down …. sneak into a city. No problem. Player to my right gets a chit and puts down + 4 Actions! Hurrah! But if you reverse the random draw, then it’s a big swing between my and my CHO).

Our games start with a big fight over the action space, but I’m not sure that taking the quick upgrade for discs/movement isn’t the way to go. Displaced Discs earn an extra placement, and being able to move 3 lets you quickly claim any area that’s suddenly open. I’m not sure it’s worth more than the action, but it seems like it’s worth more than fighting for the action.

Finally, while groupthink is certainly an issue, I’m not sure if the “Slow game” can really work if any player (like yours truly) starts pushing the fast game. I had a close scare in 5 player with one player just claiming cities (or extra actions). A bit of luck (and 2 blunders) let me pull out the draw, but just getting cubes on the board, grabbing chits, and scoring a VP whenever possible works well.

I wonder if skipping earning your first action to simply place a cube in the action city (or disc city) might not speed the game up even more. Sure, you lose an action, but you probably gain 4-8 VP over the course of the game…seems fair. The game where I claimed both sides of the Sophie (disc) upgrade was brutal.

In short, I don’t think the fast vs slow strategies are evenly balanced. If anyone goes for a fast game, you have to switch to that mode.

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Written by taogaming

May 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Posted in Specific Games

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  1. Some of the chits are quite good but it’s never been an automatic decision for me when they become available. Usually I have my cubes in certain places for a reason (upgrading actions, blocking someone, or preparing to build in a city), so I’m giving up that opportunity when I move my cubes unless they were just recently displaced in spots that don’t help me. Even if I’m getting an extra turn with the chit, it may not be worth it to remove my cubes in spots that I need since someone else could move in afterwards and cramp my end game plan. The game feels seventy five percent tactical to me so I think you are right about the slow/fast game point. Players do need to adjust their long-term strategies and hamper those who are playing for the short game.

    Eric

    May 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm

  2. [...] a comment » Two more games of Hansa, and now I’m comfortable stating that Tokens need to be nerfed. I’m (relatively) happy [...]


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