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Recollect Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
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× WELCOME TO TRASHDOME!

This is part of a series of bloody matches to the death. Show support for your favorite game so it will do better in the fight. You can support it by writing why you think its the better game and more importantly by betting (i.e. voting for) it. Please make it clear for when I check the bets later. You have until Friday when I tally the bets and declare the winner. I will reserve my bet for any tie-breakers.

Although you should be familiar with both games, there is no rule that says you have to have played both of them. The only rule in Trashdome is this;

Two games enter! One game leaves!

Trashdome: El Grande vs Tigris And Euphrates

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15 Nov 2022 13:42 #336818 by sornars
Both games released in the mid 90s. Both designed by Germans. Both long out of print but available on BGA (which is where I've played most of my matches).

How do you like your area control:
Tiles vs cubes?
Player screens vs the castillo?
The slow build up to conflict or the constant poking of each other in the eye?

All questions for which we seek answers in the Trashdome.
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15 Nov 2022 13:48 - 15 Nov 2022 14:30 #336819 by sornars
I'll kick us off with a vote for El Grande.

I think the hand management of Tigris and Euphrates is a bit of a weak point in the game. I play T&E in a zen like fashion because at best all you can do is your best move in the moment. It's hard to know what your opponents have in hand and sometimes you'll just lose after discarding 4 tiles in an improbable upset. This leads to some frustration. I enjoy the mobility and how you can set up your presence anywhere but I have found that getting board wiped probably means your game is over. You can survive losing some leaders but not all of them.

Edit: Talking about T&E without mentioning the brilliant scoring system is borderline criminal. It’s good and creates the right incentives for bold plays at the end of the game.

El Grande has a better pacing. I enjoy the constant feeling of squabbling rather than the crescendos and diminuendos of T&E. I like the mix of hidden information better (although async and perfect information kind of takes away some of the mystique) as more is public but the all important castillo is hidden. I also like the toy factor of the castillo much more than the monuments of T&E. I think some of the action cards are not great but you being able to bid to avoid them is what makes the game fun. I'm also much better at El Grande which has certainly swayed my vote in favour.

El Grande: 1
Tigris & Euphrates: 0
Last edit: 15 Nov 2022 14:30 by sornars.
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15 Nov 2022 14:47 #336820 by Msample
Not familiar with either game, but just wanted to say I'd love to see more Trash Domes.
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15 Nov 2022 15:00 #336822 by sornars

Msample wrote: Not familiar with either game, but just wanted to say I'd love to see more Trash Domes.


Me too! I’ll try and think of some more to queue up. The hardest part is that modern gaming is so fragmented; even here it’s unlikely more than 5 of us have played the same new releases at the same time so we need to go with older titles.

re: the topic at hand; jump on BGA and try to change that as both games are excellent!
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15 Nov 2022 17:43 #336823 by Erik Twice
YES, MORE TRASH DOME!!

I'm going to vote for Tigris and Euphrates. Both are great games, but I've never had much of a connection to El Grande. It always came across as rather plain to me, despite its chaos, wonderful turn system and pleasant interaction. It is a rock solid foundation of area control, but that never attracted me as much as the mixture of Go and Acquire that is Tigris & Euphrates. To me, Knizia's classic has a much stronger personality, a larger presence and a more unique set of problems to solve. Sure, it has that thing where you attack with 4 tiles in hand and lose because your opponent just happened to draw the perfect defense, but I'm willing to tolerate it.

I love the Castillo, but not the memorization it involves. For me it's just tiring to keep random numbers in my head and I would rather keep it open. It's weird, because I find this is one of the most common issues with Knizia's games but I actually don't mind the hidden scores of Tigris & Euphrates. It just doesn't seem relevant.
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15 Nov 2022 20:49 #336827 by Dr. Mabuse
T and E for me. It uses the closest equivalent to dice or a combat result table in a Euro without using either. I love the everything about this game. Like Erik, I can't keep figures in my head in EG. I've played it a handful of times but never left a game wanting to play it again.
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16 Nov 2022 01:16 #336828 by san il defanso
Ughhh, I'd choose both if I could.

El Grande is easily one of the most influential Euro designs of the last 30 years, in that it basically re-interpreted Risk-style multiplayer games in a Euro format. There are few five-player experiences that are more enjoyable to me, and I think it probably casts the longer shadow on the hobby, since it did win the SdJ and has inspired a whole lot of lookalikes.

T&E is a true original. It has often been decried as being totally abstract (something El Grande gets too), but I think it actually gets the rise and fall of kingdoms in Mesopotamia absolutely right. It's also the more dramatic game I think, though El Grande can certainly hold its own there. Finally I think that T&E has only ever been imitated even a little by Knizia himself, which shows exactly what a design achievement it was. (Incidentally a lot of Knizia games fall into this category. If it was so easy to imitate games like T&E, Taj Mahal, Modern Art, LotR, etc., more people would probably do it.)

But I have to choose one, so...

Tigris & Euphrates will get my vote. It's the more singular design, and I think it's just a touch more dynamic. I also am more fascinated by what it does thematically, which seems like a weird conversation with these games, but here we are.
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16 Nov 2022 02:13 #336831 by SuperflyPete
El Grande is without peer. It’s really not even fair.
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16 Nov 2022 05:43 #336832 by Greg Aleknevicus
Tigris is a fantastic game and I love the challenges it presents to you, but it's very luck-based. Given its weight, this should doom it, but somehow I'm able to overlook this serious flaw. Every time I've played, it's been interesting.

El Grande is the better game but lacks the excitement of Tigris. It's so procedural and feels like an exercise in min-maxing your score. Still love it though.
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16 Nov 2022 06:10 #336833 by Legomancer
Jesus man why not just ask me which of my eyes I like better.
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16 Nov 2022 06:16 #336836 by Jexik
I still haven’t played T&E so I’ll abstain. Nice watching the comments though.

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16 Nov 2022 10:44 #336847 by sornars
Fence sitters will lose both of their eyes if they cannot choose; this is the Trashdome!

Current standings:
El Grande: 2
T&E: 3

A close contest but there's still time to choose the champion of Euro style combat.

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16 Nov 2022 10:48 - 16 Nov 2022 10:49 #336849 by Sagrilarus
El Grande. It's a pressure cooker play, invites massive table talk and social positioning, and doesn't have Tigris & Euphrates' earthquake moments that are there to "fix" the problem with someone rightfully being in the lead.

Knizia creates games. Kramer completes games.
Last edit: 16 Nov 2022 10:49 by Sagrilarus.
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16 Nov 2022 11:29 #336851 by Jexik

sornars wrote: Fence sitters will lose both of their eyes if they cannot choose; this is the Trashdome!


Fine. El Grande because it’s highly influential. Eric Lang has practically made a career riffing on it, and I mean this in the nicest way possible; he’s basically openly admitted it. It’s genre-defining and still holds up 27 years later.

Seminal beats singular today I think.
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16 Nov 2022 14:15 #336859 by Gregarius
Tigris & Euphrates

This is an outstanding pairing for TrashDome!

Both games provide epic narratives during the course of play. Both include luck and skill and bluffing in interesting ways.

For me, the deciding factor was the number of options for creative play. If you're struggling in EG, there are a few options, mostly limited by what cards are available. If you're behind (or think you are) in T&E, there are just so many different things you can do to change the board state. Not to mention just scrapping your entire hand and starting fresh.
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