Clans of Caledonia

上个月去欧洲玩的时候在一个桌游店看到在推荐这个苏格兰风格的经营类游戏,说是2017年的佳作之一。大概看了下有养羊养牛还有酿威士忌,似乎是个农场主类的游戏。今天开了两局,感觉还不错。

个人感觉这游戏最大的特点是交互性很强。经营类游戏玩起来的场面经常是大家各忙各的,不怎么管别家在干什么。新手尤其如此,自己的还没折腾清楚呢,哪顾得上怎么打压对手。但Clans of Caledonia里面设计的交互点如此之多,使得即使刚上手也不得不在计划自己发展的同时考虑和对手之间的互动。选择Export Contract有竞争,买卖资源会影响市场价格,在地图上放工人的时候贴着对手的放置有neighbor bonus可以打折买资源,还有最终算分的进口资源稀有度会大大影响分值。这些都使得玩家需要关注对手的行动和局势,而不能只是闷头自己制定计划发展。可以说交互性之强是我玩过的经营类游戏里面的翘楚了。

另外值得一提的是这游戏虽然规则不算太繁复,但策略相当复杂,我玩了两盘之后还是有点点不明就里的感觉。很多经营类游戏的阶段性目标很明确,比如农场主那就是不要饿死和不要负分,再比如勃艮第城堡基本就是尽快填满小区域来获得早期加分。但Clans of Caledonia前期感觉目标非常开放,似乎做什么都行,很难看清早期的一些决策到几轮之后能有多大的收益。也可能只是我玩的还不够多。

总的来说属于力荐的级别,尤其是对于喜欢较复杂的经营类游戏的人。

最近玩的不少的另一个游戏Terraforming Mars也是力荐。这个是卡牌为主,规则熟悉之后很直截了当,combo的感觉很爽,游戏的加速感很好有那种前期束手束脚后期改天换地(literally)的感觉。改造火星的科幻背景也挺燃的。

 

Pandemic Legacy Season 2

以前写过这个“只能玩一次的桌游”的第一部,2017年出了第二部买了一直还没玩。过去一周终于拿出来把它玩穿了。依然是强烈推荐。作为一个桌游,最后一小时我居然玩出了在枪林弹雨中逃出生天的紧张感。真的是不可错过的佳作。

大部分不剧透的介绍上一篇里面都写了。这次大致的模式还是一样,12个月,每个月最多玩两局。剧情层层推进,不停有新要素加进来改变规则。打开秘密文件和盒子总是很有惊喜。玩到最后相当紧张刺激,十几个小时的浸入体验使角色和任务都变得代入感超强。

有了上次的经验之后知道了这游戏玩的就是这一次性的体验,不太可能重玩。于是这次看到让销毁的牌都会很爽快的撕掉,奇妙的快感。

以下剧透

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Scythe

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Scythe是今年备受期的一款桌游。火爆到八月份发售的时候到处都断货,原价80多的游戏在eBay上卖到200多一份。好在现在已经慢慢到处都有货了。我在九月份的时候运气不错的买到一套之后开了几次,现在感觉还在熟悉当中没有很深的理解。不过眼看就年底了也不妨一写。

这个游戏的主题十分吸引人:英雄,机甲(有模型的哦!),六角格地图,建筑加战斗。名字“镰刀”取了既是耕作工具又是战斗武器之意。实际玩起来会感到这个游戏设计的很精巧,糅合了各种流行桌游的元素,河流分隔的六角形地图和英雄能力很像Terra Mystica,建筑板和升级系统有点像Eclipse,工人放置,靠达成目标数结束游戏等机制也都似曾相识。总的来说并没有特别创新的系统,但是整个游戏的完成度非常高,系统各方面都打磨得很好,地图、卡牌和模型也都制作得十分精美。习惯这类桌游的玩家玩起来很快就能上手并且理解系统各方面之间的联系,并且有种欲罢不能的感觉。综合来看不愧是今年最受期待的桌游。

这游戏现在最多支持五个人但地图上已经留出了空位可以容纳以后扩展到七人。游戏规则说实话还是比较复杂的,给新人讲一遍需要一小时左右,并且第一次玩的时候很容易搞错规则。。如果玩过相似的游戏的话接受起来会快一些。新手局一场游戏的时间大约在3-4小时。战斗方面可以很和平也可以很激烈。虽然不会直接“打死”对方的单位但是能抢资源。各种偷袭卡位什么的搞太狠了真的会让人掀桌。。所以不是太建议两人玩。多人合纵连横互相制衡会好玩一些。系统方面取分的路线很多,我现在还远远没有尝试过能想到的各种打法。游戏的随机因素体现在民族和建筑板的组合,邻座玩家的路线,目标卡,战斗卡和encounter这几方面,还算比较多的,不过还在我觉得比较合适的范围内。

希望年底假期期间能多开几局,哈哈。

只能玩一次的桌游

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几周前去BGG看了眼排行榜突然看到了一个叫Pandemic Legacy的新游戏直接排到了第一名。立刻调查了一下,发现这是个“一次性桌游”,设计来就是只玩一次的,地图上城市沦陷是往上贴纸,各种秘密卡片和文件是在游戏中随着剧情发展才能打开,而人物死掉的话直接把人物卡撕掉。虽然调查了半天我都没搞清楚这个游戏到底能玩多久,但还是果断入手了毕竟也就50$而已。然后我和xw花了两个周末通关,总共大约玩了20多小时吧。第一天上手连续玩了10小时,确实很好玩。

这游戏第一盘很像经典合作游戏Pandemic(瘟疫危机),但随着剧情发展很快就会变得不一样。整个游戏玩下来要玩12~24盘,每盘视熟练程度和讨论的热烈程度耗时应该在40分钟到2小时不等。对于这游戏的机制和设计什么的也没法太多评论,因为会剧透。。个人感觉做得很不错。中间开各种隐藏要素的感觉非常紧张刺激。

建议不要考虑重复利用一套游戏的可能性。一方面游戏设计的玩法就很难让你重复利用那些配件;另一方面这游戏的一大吸引在于那些隐藏要素,被剧透了就没悬念了,同理玩过了一遍之后短期内也不太会有动力回去重玩。

这游戏支持2~4人,找人开局的话建议找到比较稳定的一组人。每盘游戏增减玩家是可以的,但代入感会少一些。一直固定的同伴玩下来的感觉真有点像美剧。另外,两个人操作三个角色这种玩法不推荐。。会很乱。而且加一个角色个人感觉会让游戏更难而不是更容易。

最后,这游戏的规则还是相当复杂的。。有些地方很tricky,偶尔也有看起来设计得不那么合理的地方。我们中间有一些盘玩错了两个挺重要的规则。但这游戏也没有回头路,错了也就错了。。强烈建议参考BGG上这篇分段防剧透的FAQ

 

Caverna: The Cave Farmers

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Just realized I haven’t blogged about “Caverna: The Cave Farmers” yet, the  heaviest board game I’ve bought so far, literally. By Amazon it weights 7.8 pounds. It took me more than 20 minutes just to punch out all the tokens.

Caverna is basically an “Agricola 2.0”. If you’ve played Agricola before, you can easily find lots of similarities in Caverna. Fixed number of rounds, sowing vegetables and harvesting crops, feeding animals and turning your farm to a zoo, and of course, feeding your family and struggling on the line of starving. Hence, it’s pretty easy for Agricola players to learn Caverna despite the length of the rule book.

But after a few plays I noticed there were some obvious differences between Caverna and Agricola, which actually made a veteran Agricola player like me feel weird. It was not until almost 10 games that I started getting the hang of it.

The first impression of Caverna was everything goes faster, twice faster. In Agricola the game gets more and more going on later in the game, the Caverna the “game accelerating trajectory” is even more dramatic. For example, Slash and Burn (build a field and sow) is an end-game “power move” in Agricola, but in Caverna it’s available from the beginning. In Caverna, a high-level dwarf doing a 4-loot expedition feels like he can single-handedly turn the farm over in one day, which gives you an exciting feeling that is rarely found in Agricola. On this point, I like Caverna better.

Another great part of Caverna is it increased the strategy diversity. In Agricola almost every game and everyone aims for the same main route: building rooms and adding family members. The strategy variety in Agricola greatly depends on the career/development cards. In Caverna because of the introduction of Expedition and the general increase of action capabilities, the value of an action can be much more dramatically different, so a smaller family size is not necessarily a huge disadvantage, in some cases it could even be an advantage (your higher-level dwarf can act earlier). Scoring changes for family members also reduced the importance of having more family members. Considering a few other scoring and rule changes, I feel Caverna really enables more feasible strategies in the base framework of the game, instead of relying on a huge set of random cards.

Using a fixed set of Furnishing Tiles to replace career/development cards is a bold design. Agricola’s great replayability mainly comes from the random cards, which is a double-edge sword. A strong hand or just one or two combos can sometimes give a player unfair advantages in a game; and new players usually cannot figure out their cards well that either slow down the game or make their winning chance very dim. Therefore I definitely welcome a try for a more transparent and balanced mechanism to provide similar replayability. So far I have mixed feelings about Caverna’s Furnishing Tiles. They’re public information so when a new player is confused you can easily explain. However they don’t seem to be very well balanced as far as I can see. There are obviously strong tiles and almost useless ones. Maybe I haven’t experimented enough strategies to see more usefulness from some cards. Anyway it’s still better to have all Furnishing Tiles in a public market so any player can buy, so the imbalance introduced by drawing is eliminated.

Overall I recommend this game to people who like Agricola and would like to experience something similar and new. Have the expectation that you might be confused for a few games and won’t immediately enjoy it even if you know Agricola well. It’s a real v2.0, not a v1.1.