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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

Viscounts of the West Kingdom Review

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11 Mar 2021 00:00 #320381 by adamr
First we had Architects, which was a bit like a...

Viscounts, the third and final installment in Garphill Games' West Kingdom trilogy is here, picking up the baton from Paladins, and running in a different direction. Rondels and deck-building in the same game? Be still my beating heart!

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11 Mar 2021 13:26 #320390 by Shellhead
Viscounts is like a laundry list of things that I dislike in games, but the AI opponents on the flip side of the player mats is a brilliant idea.

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11 Mar 2021 15:05 #320401 by adamr
Tawantinsuyu does a similar thing, the automa is on the back of the player aid mats.

What is it you don't like in games, that this seems to tick all the boxes of? :)

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11 Mar 2021 15:25 #320402 by Josh Look
It's a modern Euro. Too much F:AT carry over around here still.

This is one the list of games I'm anxious to try once I can see friends again. I've found all of their games interesting at the very least, but Raiders of the North Sea and Circadians are the only 2 I've liked enough to hold on to. I enjoyed Paladins but at 2 hours, it's wasn't going to see regular play around here.

Architects is the only one I've outright disliked, and even then, I still found it interesting.

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11 Mar 2021 15:29 #320403 by Shellhead
1. heavy euros
2. excessive open information, which often leads to analysis paralysis
3. victory point salad
4. deck building
5. rondels
6. games with a pre-set number of turns
7. meeples

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11 Mar 2021 15:44 #320404 by adamr
Fair enough on a lot of those, personal preference is personal preference after all.

Two things maybe worth pointing out though are that the rondel mechanism is different to a traditional one. You do move around a board, but how far you go and what actions you do are entirely up to you. If you had the resources, you could build a building every turn. So I wouldn't let a dislike of rondels put you off.

The other bit is around number of turns. One of the things I specifically liked and made a point of in the review is that there isn't a set number of rounds in the game. Players drive the end-game.

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11 Mar 2021 15:50 #320406 by Shellhead

adamr wrote: The other bit is around number of turns. One of the things I specifically liked and made a point of in the review is that there isn't a set number of rounds in the game. Players drive the end-game.


I misread that part in the review. That makes it better that the duration is an element that is subject to player manipulation.

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11 Mar 2021 16:00 #320407 by adamr

Josh Look wrote: It's a modern Euro. Too much F:AT carry over around here still.

This is one the list of games I'm anxious to try once I can see friends again. I've found all of their games interesting at the very least, but Raiders of the North Sea and Circadians are the only 2 I've liked enough to hold on to. I enjoyed Paladins but at 2 hours, it's wasn't going to see regular play around here.

Architects is the only one I've outright disliked, and even then, I still found it interesting.

I haven't played any of the North Sea trilogy yet, although I think if I get any, it'll be Raiders. Generally speaking, I like the heavier side in a game. Raiders of Scythia looks interesting though, and Hadrian's Wall is due soon too.

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11 Mar 2021 16:24 #320408 by ubarose
I don't like heavy Euros because they use the same part of my brain that is all worn out at the end of the work day. I wonder if Shellhead and I both have that, since both our jobs are all about math, logic and algorithms. Like right now it's 4pm, and just adding 17+8 gives me a stabbing pain in my left eye. I have to be about 3 or 4 days into vacation before heavy euros begin to look like they might be appealing. This series does look pretty, so maybe at the tail end of a vacation I might get around to trying it.
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11 Mar 2021 16:49 #320410 by jason10mm
On the list of soloable heavy euros, where does this fall? Heavier than Feast for Odin?

Now that i have space to leave games set up and the kids won't scavenge them for barbie accessories or impromptu catapult ammo i wouldn't mind having something like this set up as an alternative to a night of tv/vidja games.

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11 Mar 2021 16:50 #320411 by Jackwraith
The only one I've been able to try is Raiders and I liked it, since I thought it was an unusual take on the well-worn worker placement mechanic. But my Euro-loving girlfriend didn't care for it so, yeah, personal preference is still the dominant factor in most game choices, I would think. I wanted to try the rest of the series, but no one around here has taken a shine to them.

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11 Mar 2021 17:01 #320413 by adamr

jason10mm wrote: On the list of soloable heavy euros, where does this fall? Heavier than Feast for Odin?

Now that i have space to leave games set up and the kids won't scavenge them for barbie accessories or impromptu catapult ammo i wouldn't mind having something like this set up as an alternative to a night of tv/vidja games.

It's a very different beast to FFO. Odin does that thing where there are a hundred different things you could do (like lots of Uwe's), whereas Viscounts is about finding the best combinations of a much smaller set of choices.

The other thing to remember is that Uwe's games are beat your own score, whereas this is win/lose vs an automa. I actually wrote a piece about this just today!

Garphill make really, really good automa opponents. If it were me picking one from each pile, I'd choose Nusfjord and Viscounts (would probably just edge out Paladins because of the different AIs)
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11 Mar 2021 17:06 #320414 by adamr

ubarose wrote: I don't like heavy Euros because they use the same part of my brain that is all worn out at the end of the work day. I wonder if Shellhead and I both have that, since both our jobs are all about math, logic and algorithms. Like right now it's 4pm, and just adding 17+8 gives me a stabbing pain in my left eye. I have to be about 3 or 4 days into vacation before heavy euros begin to look like they might be appealing. This series does look pretty, so maybe at the tail end of a vacation I might get around to trying it.

I spend most of my day doing similar (writing solutions, API integrations, automation scripts etc), but I find it hard to switch off. For me, the heavy games keep my brain engaged (which I like), while not thinking about work (which I don't like). I totally get where you're coming from though, I sold Spirit Island because it practically gave me anxiety over optimising moves!
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11 Mar 2021 22:25 #320423 by jason10mm

adamr wrote: It's a very different beast to FFO. Odin does that thing where there are a hundred different things you could do (like lots of Uwe's), whereas Viscounts is about finding the best combinations of a much smaller set of choices.

The other thing to remember is that Uwe's games are beat your own score, whereas this is win/lose vs an automa. I actually wrote a piece about this just today!


Thanks, that is helpful. A game where the ending is "look at this table and see where your score ranks on a chart" isn't very satisfying, even in otherwise really good solo games like Nemo. Beating a robo player is better for me.

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12 Mar 2021 07:01 - 12 Mar 2021 07:10 #320436 by Josh Look
I'll still play Uwe games solo because I still enjoy the puzzle, but yeah, the ending is never satisfying.

I really love FFO solo. Not having an AI and instead having your previous round be the obstacle is less to deal with and kinda neat.

Thanks for bringing more Euro coverage to the site, BTW. I've enjoyed your work so far.
Last edit: 12 Mar 2021 07:10 by Josh Look.
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