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Tableau Builder Rumble

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17 May 2019 14:48 - 17 May 2019 14:50 #297220 by BaronDonut
Hey y'all, let's talk tableau builders! I like the genre but have traded away most of the ones I used to own--Race for the Galaxy is great but I played it to death, and I got rid of Alien Artifacts because it was a combination of slightly wonky and unsatisfying that meant it rarely got played. I have (and love) the new edition of London, but that one is a bit particular and I can't always get it to the table.

So, I'd love to hear what your favorite tableau builders are. I know Res Arcana is getting a lot of buzz, and I'm interested in 51st State (tho it seems whenever I'm ready to pull the trigger on that one it's out of print). Yr thoughts?
Last edit: 17 May 2019 14:50 by BaronDonut.
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17 May 2019 14:57 #297221 by Josh Look
Replied by Josh Look on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
I also like this genre. I hate to be that guy who picks the cool new kid on the block, but I think I gotta give my top pick to Res Arcana. Race is one of those games that ends as soon as I’m starting to get something really exciting together, and Roll avoids that at the cost of my engine never feeling focused unless I get *very* lucky. I like both games but Res feels just right in the areas the other two are lacking in.

I know 51st State gets a lot of love around here, but I kinda hated it. I tried the base game, that second set I forget the name of and the Master Set, not a one sat well with me. Awful UI and the whole thing felt like more work with less fun in comparison to what else is out there. I don’t like Imperial Settlers, either, FWIW.
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17 May 2019 15:06 #297222 by ecargo
Replied by ecargo on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
Opposite of Josh, I love Imperial Settlers. I also like 51st State: Master Set, but Imperial Settlers gets pulled off the shelf way more.

(I do agree that Alien Artifacts definitely has problems and isn't worth playing.)

Gizmos isn't bad as a much lighter tableau builder, but I'm not sure it's got that spark that makes you itch to play it.

I want to give Res Arcana a try, but I'm not really a Race/Roll fan so I'm hesitant to buy it.
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17 May 2019 15:24 #297223 by Vysetron
Replied by Vysetron on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
Love me some tableaus.

Some non-traditional picks: Innovation sort of has tableaus but it's so chaotic that I hesitate to call it one. Mottainai has you ramp up but it tends to be ludicrously fast and games can just end sometimes. Chudyk games are just kind of Chudyk games. The Networks is cut from a similar cloth, in that your tableau pieces decay constantly and you need to replace them periodically over the course of the game.

I'm one of those weirdos that prefers San Juan to RFTG. I'll happily play Race whenever but San Juan's role selection just feels better to me. The most recent edition with the packed in expansion cards added some nice variety. Way easier to teach to people too.

51st State is definitely my favorite though. If I'm going to line up a bunch of cards and convert a bunch of resources there's no game I would reach for sooner. It's my favorite game in the Portal-game-with-3-lines family. I actually don't mind Alien Artifacts and Imperial Settlers is fine, but 51st is the best of the lot. Great card variety, large ranges of ways to launch up the VP track, tons of potential for interaction, best art, the whole 9 yards. I love how fast the game ramps up (faster than the other two) while still providing the full experience of going from a cave with a box of scraps to a ludicrous ultra-efficient engine.
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17 May 2019 15:41 - 17 May 2019 16:13 #297224 by GorillaGrody
Replied by GorillaGrody on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
Here’s another vote for Res Arcana. Whenever Ish and I want to touch base but don’t have much time, an half-hour of Res Arcana can be great. It really packs a lot of interesting decisions in that amount of time. I feel like it’s strictly best as a 2-player, though.

For more players, I like London. I have the old version, not the new. It feels like the last of the uncontroversial Wallace games
Last edit: 17 May 2019 16:13 by GorillaGrody.
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17 May 2019 17:06 #297230 by Josh Look
Replied by Josh Look on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
My more players pick goes to Glory to Rome.
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17 May 2019 17:15 #297231 by Michael Barnes
It’s new, hasn’t had the test of time,
Etc. but I really think Res Arcana May be the best one I’ve ever played. It gets right down to business and unlike so many others in the genre it plays a full arc- none of that “ended abruptly when it was getting good” stuff. And it’s a total package in 30-45 minutes.

Runner up would probably be RFTG. Lehmann is the master of this kind of game.

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17 May 2019 17:25 #297233 by boothwah
Replied by boothwah on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
I like Roll, because its light and quick. Its either a filler for us or we play a series, best aggregate score over three ot something.

I like Imperial Settlers bestest, though.

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17 May 2019 18:31 #297236 by mc
Replied by mc on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
My favourites are Pax Porfiriana, because the tableau element is particularly fragile, and Glory to Rome, I guess for the same kind of reason (it's not the same kind of fragility, but it's got that thing where what you build into your tableau might become useless depending on what else happens). There's a lot of other reasons why I like both games though.

I've played Imperial Settlers a bit. The reviews I read on it said, be careful, this game can get mean, but there wasn't anywhere near as much tableau interference as I had hoped.

I played Macao recently, and, yeah. At the other end of the scale from where I like my tableau to be, with its random of assortment of brown personalities/shops with actions that translate into - get extra cube - trade one cube - get 1 VP - actions and personalities that you could completely redistribute without making a difference to any thematic tie-in.
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17 May 2019 19:10 #297238 by DukeofChutney
If i look at what i keep buying or think of buying this might be my favourite genre, even though i tell myself its DOAMs.

Pax Renaissance is probably top cookie for me. I like Profirana alot, but this is quicker and easier in play, and actually more of a true builder rather than take that. I bought London 2nd ed because it looked pretty but have not yet played it. I have San Juan, which I also prefer to Race, I used to own Fleet, which i liked more than it deserved. Glory to Rome is my preferred Chudyk.

I have played 51st state, i was neither wowed nor offended by it.
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17 May 2019 19:20 #297239 by Ah_Pook
Replied by Ah_Pook on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
Through The Ages is my favorite game, so I guess it's my favorite tableau builder too.

I really want to try Kashgar, though the opportunity hasn't presented itself. Res Arcana too.

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17 May 2019 19:56 #297240 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
San Juan: Great, but maybe played out. I like it more than RFTG.

RFTG: Stupid learning curve on all the little symbols, so playing with a new person is awful. I don't really like the role selection in this -- being able to block people is better than trying to predict what other people will do so you can tag along for the ride.

Through the Ages: I don't really think of this as a tableau builder because of all the other little bits and bobs, but it probably qualifies. I can't imagine ever playing this again in person now that the app is out. The app is perfect. The physical game is intolerably long.

The Bloody Inn: Fantastic theme, super fun. Has options for both a long game and a short game (adjusting the size of the deck); long game is much more fun -- the game is so punishing and actions are so tight that the short game ends while you still feel like you're spinning your wheels.

Innovation: Eh, I dunno. Too much junk flying all over the place, feels more like a "do some stuff and see who wins" rather than building a grand strategy. I'm sure Eugene would tell me I'm missing the elegance and subtlety.

High hopes for Res Arcana, but y'know.... we'll see.

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17 May 2019 21:22 #297241 by DukeofChutney
Innovation has quite a bit of strategy 2 player, but 3 it quickly becomes a shot in the dark as the likely hood of drawing key cards drops massively. 2 player you can opt to sprint through time and score big at the end, or try and build a points engine early. You can also realistically hunt for certain combos. 3 player the odds of getting cards you need is lower and the other players actions throw everything off. I still enjoy 3 or 4 player games but its more just for the ride.
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17 May 2019 21:26 #297242 by san il defanso
Innovation and Through the Ages get my vote as well. I do really want to try Res Arcana.

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17 May 2019 21:44 - 17 May 2019 22:01 #297243 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Tableau Builder Rumble
I think you guys are talking about the right stuff. To me, the real fine line between tableau builders is making tableaus vulnerable but not TOO smash the leader vulnerable. I'd probably go Pax Ren here too.

For the multiplayer solitaire versions I'd go Roll for the Galaxy.

I like this genre a lot.
Last edit: 17 May 2019 22:01 by Gary Sax.
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