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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 April 2013
I hope this review is helpful (that is my intent) but this particular game leaves me a bit cold and that may come across in the review. To be clear, many people think this game is utterly brilliant (it is one of the highest ever ranking Strategy games on BoardGameGeek)

It is a proper strategic game with some real depth and challenge to it (not that it is a heavy game by any means). Works well with 2 to 4 players but seems better suited to 2. If you are looking for a light or family game then this isn't it. But if you like thoughtful, multi path games that take less than 2 hours to complete then this is well worth a look. The basic premise is that you build and run an estate, building buildings, trading goods, develop knowledge etc

The game mechanics are very "Euro", so it is all about planning, decision making and Victory Points. The added twist is the use of dice which do add some element of luck, but there really isn't anything particularly exciting here. Rules take a little learning but again nothing too onerous

There are a lot of components, mostly of reasonable quality, though (for me) the artwork and cardboard is a little bit uninspiring. For the (modest) price it is perfectly acceptable

All in all if you have already played entry level Euro style games (like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride etc) and want a new challenge it is possibly a good choice (that is why we came to it). Other similar games to think about would be Agricola (which is rather more expensive) or Puerto Rico. If you have played other Euro style games and find them a bit soulless then it possibly isn't for you - but one thing is for sure, it is still more interesting than playing Monopoly . . .
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on 9 August 2013
There is a reason this game is currently ranked 12th on boardgamegeek. Well balanced, fun and tactical, this game is easy to enjoy right from the start.

The aim of the game is to get the most victory point after 5 "years" of the game; each year consists of 5 phases. The game lasts for approximately 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the number of players and how experienced with the game each person is. It plays 2-4 players.

The mechanics of the game are fairly straightforward. The player rolls two dice, and can carry out an action with each one. It can be used to buy tiles, place tiles, sell goods or recruit more workers. Workers can be used to alter the dice roll by +1/-1, reducing reliance on luck, whilst keeping the element there. The number will relate to which pool you can pick tiles up from, or which tiles you can place, and which goods you are allowed to sell. Workers can be picked up regardless of dice roll.

I have played mostly two player games, and the odd 4 player game, and I can honestly say it is one of my favourite games-for-2-or-more-players that works extremely well with two. My girlfriend and I are very fond of this game and find it keeps its balance very well with two, and in some ways it is much more tactical.

The only factor I would change is the card the individual player boards are made of, when unboxed it feels flimsy and disappointing, but it has endured thus far. However, when you remember the current price of the game, the quality of the card is more than reasonable compared to, for example, Agricola, with thick card for playing boards (and countless tokens) that puts it in the £50+ price bracket.

I would say this is a 5* game, brilliant for two players, brilliant with 4, and absolutely exceptional for the price.
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on 12 February 2016
Love it, love it, love it. It took a while to understand the rules but once we got the hang of them this has fast become one of my favourite games. A game between two people usually takes about an hour, but this depends on the game as the dice rolls can change quite a lot! I'd definitely recommend this game to anyone.
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on 9 October 2016
Lots of rules to remember but well laid out instructions to help you mid game.
Rewarding and well worth the effort.
Watching a you tube game overview helps to get the basic idea of the game quickly, then you can learn the more detailed aspects from the manual.
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on 17 January 2016
Blimey this game is complicated but you know what, it is totally worth the effort because after the first time it gets simpler. And once you're playing it it's great! One of those games that once you understand it you feel a bit stupid for ever being confused, but there you are. Would recommend.
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on 25 July 2016
This was my favourite game of 2014/2015 and has been played so many times that I thought I best invest in a pristine new copy when it was at such an attractive price (compared to recommended price).

I carry the original to every games event I attend (along with a few others that I love to play e.g. Power Grid and Vikings)

plays well with 2, 3 or 4, but is best with 4 IMO.
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on 11 October 2013
Love this game. There are lots of 'bits' which can make setting up a bit fiddly but it plays really well. The different board layouts are great and stops it from becoming the same game each play.

I love the fact that it plays equally well as a 2 player as it does for 3 or 4 players.

And ... it's cheap compared to others. Definitely recommend this to those who play games like Catan or Stoneage.
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on 13 August 2013
If you are looking for a Monopoly type game, this will not be for you. But if you are looking to get something more complicated than Settlers of Catan, something that is excellent with 2 players (but playes up to 4 if you are up for more playtime), something that is challenging but easy enough to teach and understand, than this is definitely your game. An excellent game, although you shouldn't expect the highest component quality (I personally would not have minded paying a bit more for better quality components - but for a game this good, I will gladly overlook this)
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on 6 January 2017
Really fantastic game. It seems to overstep some peeves that I sometimes have with euro games by keeping the score track current rather than scoring up at the very end, thus less mental arithmetic is needed throughout allowing you to concentrate on gameplay, handy for someone with a poor memory like mysel. It's also easy to see what your opponents are up to, I find some games such as 7 wonders duel (which is fantastic in other aspects) an Imperial settlers,frustrating as it is hard to see what your enemy is up to because of the size of their cards and or the text size, and thus hard to make your moves appropriately. The only aspect of this game I feel could be really improved is the theme, which is very light. However, this doesn't impact gameplay at all, it would just be nice to feel like the theme was more relevant.
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on 8 September 2014
Great game, very replayable with the different estates you can play on. We had to add some house rules after a few plays due to an over-powered pasture scoring system but now the game plays really well. The Dice can occasionally cause frustration when the numbers you need don't come up, which can mess with your strategy if playing seriously. Otherwise its easy to learn and pick up
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