Alcohol Enhanced Session Report
Maybe its the libations talking, but I really enjoyed the dry economic games I played yesterday.
Tinner’s Trail is a typical Wallace economic game. Not really, you can’t take loans. TT mixes auctions and action points with the “Whoever has spent the least AP goes next.” There’s a random element in how much copper/tin/water each mine has, but unless you bid blind on an un-surveyed mine it’s more a random setup. Takes a turn to wrap your head around, or maybe one turn per margarita. Anyway, you spend money improving and mining, but then need to transfer your money to VPs as fast as possible (since the conversion ratio falls during the game).
OK, I guess Glen More isn’t really an economic game. Perhaps an engine building game. And alcohol themed. Anyway, I’ve played this before and I still think its a fine design I like in small doses.
Furstenfeld, which hasn’t really been on anyone’s radar, was a pleasant surprise. It’s a mix between an economic engine and a deck-management game. All of my (witty) complaints about game balance were addressed when I realized we were playing the basic game and the advanced game gives you quite a bit more control in your initial setup. (And for all my complaining about the Building Crane card, which I didn’t see until the end of my first time through the deck, I still finished my palace on the same turn as the winner, losing the money tiebreak). After reading Ender’s Review (and related articles), I think I definitely need to try this again.
Basically, you have 6 spaces (3 empty, 1 to produce barley, hops and stream water). You sell goods to the breweries to buy new buildings. Your goal is to build your palace, which doesn’t do anything. Each turn, you draw 3 cards, can build two of them, and discard down to one (bottom of the deck). You can overbuild a lot (not discarding the card), but once you build a palace part, that lot is done and mostly useless. And, of course, the price for Palace’s constantly increases. (In the advanced game, each palace goes on a specific lot, which we did play). The market mechanism seems fine, and we have the Friedemann style turn order shenanigans, but it’s really about deck management and “How fast do you switch from economic growth to slapping down palaces.” It works well as a game of chicken.