First Impressions - Century: Eastern Wonders

I was looking for a small, light-weight game to play with the family this summer holidays, so when I saw #Century: Eastern Wonders among the short choice of the only place that sells board games near where i am, it was a no brainer, considering #Century: Spice Road is one of my family favourites.

I had read some very positive reviews about it, saying that it's slightly more complex and deeper than its older brother, so it seemed like a good choice. My main issue with Spice Road is it being too light and that the game funnels me into playing in auto-pilot, so I was expecting something differente from Eastern Wonders.

So, long story short, I bought it and came happily home with it, set it up and played a 2 player game with my daughter.

While we both had a good time playing it, we felt it was just more of the same, but layed out in a different way. You still end up with the game playing you, instead of you playing the game, but now with tiles as opposed to cards.

The outposts are a nice area control mechanism, but in a two player game I never felt like we were getting in each other's way. We started in opposite sides of the board, and we just took whatever tiles we needed without being blocked. I suppose this won't happen as often in a 3 or 4 player game.

The bonus tiles are also cool, but I don't see why would anyone go for the extra cargo or extra harvest, especially when the game seems to end so quickly (not a complain, I think the game length was perfect). Having one or two extra move bonus tiles seems like the best possible choice, so the others don't feel as powerful.

All in all it was a pleasant experience and I definitely won't turn down a game if presented to me, but I was a bit disappointed because I was expecting something else and got Spice Road but with tiles. It's like having vanilla ice cream and vanilla pudding. They look different, but at their core they're fundamentaly the same. (My daughter doesn't agree with me on this, btw. She think's there's a completely different layer of strategy in EW.)

I'm looking forward to try both games combined, as it seems the brainy, more meatier experience I was expecting, but it might end being Spice Road with cards and tiles.

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4 months ago

If you had to pick one of them which would be your favourite?

4 months ago

Spice Road is my favourite because of its simplicity, but pragmatically, if I had to recommend one, it'd be Eastern Wonders. Has more replayability, it's not that different from Spice Road and it's a bit more complex and deeper.

4 months ago

Thanks, sounds kind of similar to the various Azul games, they aren't generally different enough for me to want all three or even two but different people will enjoy different versions more/less

4 months ago

I received all three games, #Century: Spice Road, #Century: Eastern Wonders, and #Century: A New World for my birthday last fall.  Spice road is easy to teach and it gets non-gamers interested.  (We gave a copy to our Spanish exchange student as a birthday present and he was so excited to share it with his non-gamer parents.) For me and my family, each one gets a little harder and the challenges are different enough we enjoy all three.  With the board being different every time, EW has great replayability. 

We never saw the outposts as preventing other players from using the same tile as all players can build an outpost on each tile by paying the appropriate number of cubes for each existing outpost.  It does make us consider if we want the action enough to pay the cost.  We've had multiple player outposts on tiles in both 2 and 3 player games.

We haven't played any of the combinations yet as a family, but I have enjoyed playing the first two combined solo as multiple players.

4 months ago

I think any of these two games would be great introductory games for non gamers. They're so accessible and easy to teach. These are the kind of games that bring people to the hobby, and that's amazing.

I agree with you that the board layou gives you signifincately more replayability than Spice Road. 

You are right re the outposts, and I've worded my opinion poorly. I know there can be muiltiple outposts in a tile. What I meant by blocking is that sometimes you may want to build an outpost on a tile you know your opponent will need and force him/her to spend extra spices just to slow him/her down a bit. That didn't happen a lot in a 2 player game. In this game, it seems to me that most of the times you only have the spices you need to fulfill an objective and it's rare to have spares to spend on outposts. 

Owner4 months ago

#Century: Spice Road is a wonderful game and I've gotten to play it a few dozen times. I'm a bit burnt out at the moment so I've been playing other games like #PARKS, #Lions of Lydia: A Strategic Game of Ancient Prestige, and #The Whatnot Cabinet to fill that void.

4 months ago

I feel the same, but it's a game I generaly don't turn down, and it's one of my family favourites. I have #PARKS, beautiful and very interesting game and I really like it. It's a good alternative, a bit heavier (not much) than Spice Road.

You're the second person recommending Lions of Lydia, that's interesting! I'm going to check it out!

Owner4 months ago

I said the same on someone else's post, but I think you'll like #Lions of Lydia: A Strategic Game of Ancient Prestige too. Has similar feels of Century but has mechanics that are much more interesting to me.

4 months ago

Thanks for the recommendation! I've never heard of it, but I'll definitely check it out! :)

 

Supporter4 months ago

Interesting thanks for sharing! I've never actually played any games in this series. 

4 months ago

I have only played the Golem edition, but it has some very nice artwork and is a fun little engine builder, I do agree that the game does play you a little, there are only a handful of significant choices in the game as often there is clearly a card that fits best into your engine of the ones available. Still, would definitely recommend it on sale or borrowing it just to play a few times.

Supporter4 months ago

I'm not opposed to it at all, just haven't had the opportunity to try it, nor the available budget to acquire it. 

4 months ago

Agree. I think it's a game that fits in anyone's collection.

4 months ago

For sure, and a nice game for someone relatively new to the hobby to introduce engine building

4 months ago

Thank you!

I'd definitely recommend you checking out the Century series. If you're looking to a light game that's easy to teach and to get to the table, then definitely check it out. :)

4 months ago

Interesting, thanks for your thoughts! We own the Golem edition of the first game and are at least interested in picking up the second and third games.

4 months ago

I think there are expansions coming out for both the spice and golem versions, so might be worth investigating the golem expansion as it might up it's complexity to the level of the other spice games?

4 months ago

Oh yeah? I'll have to look into that

4 months ago

I am a big fan of the series and I'm not saying by any means this game is bad. It isn't. I was just expecting a different experience from Spice Road. I'll also get the third game, and I'm very curious to play them all combined.

4 months ago

Makes sense, feels like you aren't getting your money's worth if you are basically just buying the same game twice.

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