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

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I'm Never Playing Arboretum Again

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12 Aug 2021 00:00 #325494 by DavidNorris
Tending the garden
Ever thought about giving it all up?
Retiring early,...

As a reviewer, I make sure to play a game 3 or more times before a review. This depends on the game, as heavier games take a lot more plays before I'm comfortable enough to say I've seen all their nooks and crannies.

With Arboretum, I've played it once, and I'm never playing it again.

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12 Aug 2021 12:14 #325495 by Ah_Pook
I don't find it meaner than any other popular 2p card game... Your Lost Cities, Battle Line, Jaipur etc etc. Id you draw a card your opponent wants you don't discard it unless you're forced to. If you can deny your opponent points you do it. It's the nature of this kind of game. It's probably less pointed in a multiplayer game, but this never really seemed like a game to play multiplayer imo.

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12 Aug 2021 13:21 #325504 by Shellhead
Those foil cards are pretty, but slightly sabotage the setting of the game. I personally do not associate trees with shiny metal.
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12 Aug 2021 13:24 #325505 by Matt Thrower
Haha, I absolutely love the shiny rainbow foils. I think they're glorious, shimmering with a brand new palette from every angle. In fact I'm kind of bemused as to why folk don't like them, even tho I'm obviously in a minority.

The foils are the only reason I got the game. And I fully agree with your assessment, with an added dose of irritation at memory and sequential maths. So they're also the only reason I keep my copy.

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12 Aug 2021 16:41 #325517 by Greg Aleknevicus

Ah_Pook wrote: I don't find it meaner than any other popular 2p card game... Your Lost Cities...

But in Lost Cities you can't actually hurt the other player, you can only decline to help them. You're not tearing down something they've built. This is significant and the primary reason why it works so well for more casual players.

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12 Aug 2021 17:32 #325522 by Not Sure
I'm a little confused. In your rules overview you said:

You will call out the species one at a time, then only the player who reveals the highest numbered sum of cards of that species from their hand gets to score the points for the species.


Bolding is mine. Your examples are like:

When I played with my wife, and saw she had a 1-5 path of Tulip Poplar, with the 6 of Tulip Poplar in the discard pile, and I just drew the 8 of Tulip Poplar.


Is it "high card" or "sum"? Because that would have made your choice a lot easier, as 8 won't beat 1+2+3+4+5=15 by any measure.

But if it's "high card", then making runs but being scooped by a single "ace"-equivalent seems like a horrible way to score a game. I can't see any incentive to doing that. Might as well just collect 8s in your hand until the end.

I feel like I'm missing something.

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12 Aug 2021 18:40 #325523 by mc
Yeah, it's the sum of cards in your hand, I'm pretty sure. But they don't score themselves - they just determine who gets the points for that suit.

If Dave's mrs had a run of 1-5 in her hand of 7 cards, yeah, it would beat out Dave's 8, and she would get to score that suit - only, she then probably wouldn't have any of that suit on the table to actually score.

And I guess that's the bit that Dave has bounced off here - an arbitrary top deck can be held at little cost and just ruin someone else.

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12 Aug 2021 20:56 #325528 by Whoshim

Not Sure wrote: I'm a little confused. In your rules overview you said:

You will call out the species one at a time, then only the player who reveals the highest numbered sum of cards of that species from their hand gets to score the points for the species.


Bolding is mine. Your examples are like:

When I played with my wife, and saw she had a 1-5 path of Tulip Poplar, with the 6 of Tulip Poplar in the discard pile, and I just drew the 8 of Tulip Poplar.


Is it "high card" or "sum"? Because that would have made your choice a lot easier, as 8 won't beat 1+2+3+4+5=15 by any measure.

But if it's "high card", then making runs but being scooped by a single "ace"-equivalent seems like a horrible way to score a game. I can't see any incentive to doing that. Might as well just collect 8s in your hand until the end.

I feel like I'm missing something.


I haven't played (I only read the article and this thread), but it looks like the highest sum in the hand wins the ability to score that type, which means, to avoid being beaten by an 8 from the opponent, one would want to have, say, a 4 and a 5 in hand. I feel like it would be possible to play around the opponent top-decking a card.

The example from the article (playing out a 1-6 of Cassias and keeping a 7 in hand) seems to be an example of poor play. If my plan can be disrupted by "opponent draws the 8", then my plan is pretty shaky.

I will have to look more into this game, as it seems like the kind of game I would like. :D
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12 Aug 2021 21:22 #325529 by Frohike
If you're squeamish about what goes down with 2-p Azul (with someone who knows what they're doing), you will totally detest this game.
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12 Aug 2021 22:12 #325532 by Ah_Pook

Greg Aleknevicus wrote:

Ah_Pook wrote: I don't find it meaner than any other popular 2p card game... Your Lost Cities...

But in Lost Cities you can't actually hurt the other player, you can only decline to help them. You're not tearing down something they've built. This is significant and the primary reason why it works so well for more casual players.


they have almost the exact same hand pressure of holding cards your opponent needs until you are forced to discard them in furtherance of your own goals. the hand pressure is exaggerated in Arboretum because you also want to hold cards to burn your opponents scoring opportunities, and the scoring and whatnot is more elaborate in Arboretum, but they give me an extremely similar vibe in play.
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13 Aug 2021 12:18 #325545 by Davidjc
If a player is still holding a 1 in hand for the right to score at the end of the round, then the 8 of the same suite in hand is worth 0. In the example above, you might hold the 1 back for a few rounds to see if the 8 comes out - any holding to an 8 can reduce your options. But yeah, it is a mean game.

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14 Aug 2021 17:13 #325594 by Not Sure
Ah, so you have to hold something back in your hand in order to score what's been played on the table.

If you hold a high card, you can nullify someone else's scoring, but you still score what you have of that type (usually 0). I get it now.

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16 Aug 2021 09:59 - 16 Aug 2021 09:59 #325635 by Sagrilarus
I think my two issues with this (in this particular game at any rate) is 1) it's very easy to completely surprise someone with a Nope action, because you have cards they cannot have knowledge of; and 2) I get the rug pulled out from under me at work on a regular basis, so this is another piece of potential frustration at the end of the day. I appreciate not everybody is affected by that second one, but when you deal with people that have their own fiefdoms and don't like sharing, this mechanic becomes really tedious really quickly.

Even a random Nope is preferable to one where someone is sitting in wait, confident because of a high card or two that they can just switch off your scoring. A face down dummy hand as the blocking mechanism, or a random card draw for everyone at the end where people got to pull a couple of cards to add to their hand just for this phase could be effective at mitigating the incentive to play to block. My plays of this are limited, but it just seems too strong an option to me. And if you've got that guy in your group, this hands him a whole lot of F-You mojo to work with.
Last edit: 16 Aug 2021 09:59 by Sagrilarus.
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17 Aug 2021 14:39 #325702 by Davidjc
Apart from maybe your first game, i doubt you will be surprised by a random 'nope'. All the cards are used, and you will have a good idea about what is remaining and what isn't in your hand. You will be trying to make the option for someone to get rid of their 8 early as their least-worst option, or perhaps make it harder for someone to mine for their best option. The tension for a player is trying to work out what is their least worst option in terms of their discard. I must admit that i would play this as a two player game - i very much prefer three or four player.

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17 Aug 2021 14:40 #325703 by Davidjc
sorry, would not play this as a two player.

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