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Popular Rondel Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Rondel mechanic.
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Weekly Challenge #2 - Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North image
Weekly Challenge #2 - Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North [Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North]Like| 4 comments | [+]
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ReviewR0land's Rambling Reviews - Quick Shelf Review #1! [Heaven & Ale, Blackout: Hong Kong, Maracaibo, Village, Coimbra, Great Western Trail, Champions of Midgard]Like| 6 comments | [+]
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Played my fourth game of #Three Sisters with Alex Goldsmith of the Dukes of Dice and Steve "The Name Father" from our show over Zoom. (NYC - St. Louis - Louisiana -- the wonders of Zoom!)  This is a follow up to Matt Riddle & Ben Pinchback's Fleet: The Dice Game, a thinky, heavier roll'n'write if you enjoy those sorts of games.

It's coming out on Kickstarter next month, and after playing the review copy (with just a few sheets left!), I want to back and get my own copy! It is definitely crunchy but there are so many combolicious possibilities that it tickles my brain everytime I play. Plus, the "rondel" action -- instead of just picking dice like in Fleet, you pick dice and actions that are assigned to a rondel of actions behind the "farmer" meeple -- feels unique. 

You have quite a conundrum here as those are both excellent games.  I own them both and love them both. I haven't played them both enough to call myself an expert but I have some experience.

One thing to consider is that GWT has an updated version coming up.  The current Brass version is absolutely beautiful and not likely to get an update anytime soon.  So perhaps get Brass now and wait for the GWT update?

Gamewise they are different although at a similar level of crunchiness I think. 

I find it really hard to explain Brass because I personally haven't played anything quite like it.  Yes, you are building out your own network and structures but you are doing it in an environment strongly connected to other players.  You can use their resources and they can use yours.  Everything you do might help someone else so you are trying to make sure you get the most of what you do and limit how others benefit from it.  You may have an overall strategy but you are constantly reacting and acting tactically to what your opponents have done and the cards in your hand. 

GWT has a changing rondel, hand management and building, board upgrading, and definitely benefits from focusing on a strategy and hitting it hard.  You still have to be tactical but generally speaking strategy is more important in this game compared to Brass.  It has these wide variety of elements and the challenge is making it all work together as efficient as you can while taking in to account what the other players are doing.

Both games have good unofficial solo variants if that is important to you.

If I was going to rebuy them I would buy both but Brass first and then wait for the GWT update to come out later.

I have to agree on #Brass: Birmingham and feel it was a fantastic remake at a great value.  I am still very happy with #Rococo: Deluxe Edition but the remake does not compete in overall value.  

I would say a remake is great with enough time.  I think #Raiders of Scythia, while a great game and I enjoy it quite a bit, was frustrating for folks who had invested in #Raiders of the North Sea and all its expansions. 

I don't know that there are a ton of games I'd want to see a remake of.  I could see #Monopoly getting a remake and made into a euro-style game of sorts that keeps the original feel of a large rondel but with a more interactive bidding formula from turn to turn and perhaps a different win condition.

#The Game of Life could be redone in a similar fashion and crafted into something reasonably playable.

As for games that were made in the last 15 years or so...I'd love to see #Dinosaur Island get an upgrade of some sort rather than a remake.  Perhaps a "tweak" more than anything else.  I'd love to see #Friday remade with some gorgeous art done by Jakub Rozalski.

I started on this and then realized that I can use so many categories that I could probably keep my entire collection for one reason or another. :)

So I narrowed it down to my top 10 favourite mechanics from the BGA mechanics list and games I own and would keep:

Action Selection: #Scythe

Area Control: #Forbidden Stars

Coop Play: #Spirit Island

Deck Building: #Clank! In! Space!

Dice Rolling: #Big Trouble in Little China: The Game - Deluxe Edition

Network and Route Building: #Brass: Birmingham

Rondel: #Teotihuacan: City of Gods

Tableau Building: #Terraforming Mars

Tile Placement: #Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King

Worker/Dice Placement: #Village

 

 

This is great and the "ideal player count and conditions" is what triggered me to do the same with my list with those two ideals in mind.  Your process and format are fantastic!  As I read through the games we've both played I note that we have similar thoughts which drive me to look at the games I haven't played on your list and seriously reconsider some games I've been so-so on.  Doing 20 games was tough but I hammered through and here's what I came up with:

20. #Marvel Champions: The Card Game - I thought this would be a little higher and to some degree it feels a little like #Firefly: The Game which I feel is a great game, tons of fun to play, but has a sort of "niche" spot on my shelf and tends to not rank among my top tier games.  Champions is still a great game, lots of fun, and very engaging.  In trying to consider why it gets bumped down I might argue that the length of play with the ideal play number (3-4?) is fairly long.  Even a two-player game takes a decent amount of time.

19. #Root - I finally got to play a three-player game the other night and the magic of this game came through for me.  I can see this moving up my list over time with more plays.  The "gotcha" aspect of this game is would keep it from being much higher as I tend to gravitate away from such games.  That Root makes this list at all is a testament to how much fun it is.

18. #Castles of Mad King Ludwig - has been in my collection for several years now and remains a staple.  4 players is the best to play with but the other player counts are well balanced and there is a solo option as well.  The market arrangement at the beginning of each round is one of my favorite aspects to this game.  

17. #Terraforming Mars - this was a tough one.  I enjoy this game and it remains an engaging experience when it hits the table.  The solo on this is quite fun as well.  It's been a while since I've played but still makes the top 20 with solid mechanics and gameplay.

16. #Everdell - this was a very very challenging game to place!  I'm not sure if it's the long setup or a slight untightness in gameplay that keep it from being higher.  I don't often have ideal options to play and there are a few "gotcha" cards that drive it down slightly.  The components and art are off the charts and this is one of the few heavier games my entire family will play.

15. #Viscounts of the West Kingdom - is a game that could rise as time goes on.  I taught Becky and she did well on her first game (beating me of course) and this might end up passing #Paladins of the West Kingdom at some point.  This is a deck-building game with lots of crunchy mechanics.

14. #Teotihuacan: City of Gods - was another challenge to rank as I have fewer plays but it has a very engaging rondel and the player interaction on the board is fun and the theme is well balanced with the mechanics.  This is a well-designed game.  The solo mode is quite nice.  If there is a knock on this game it might be the extra setup with dice when you have less than 4 players.  

13. #Tapestry - is very fun with one of the longest setups of any game I have (competing with Everdell) but the components and gameplay are creative and a five-player game is perhaps the most engaging.  I am looking forward to getting #Tapestry: Plans and Ploys and seeing how much that adds to the game.

12.  #PARKS - I wasn't 100% sure this would make the top 20 but with the #PARKS: Nightfall Expansion it moves up past other games and is a relaxing and enjoyable game that feels like a walk in the park.  The art is beautiful and the player interactions are easy going.

11. #Anachrony - Wow...I thought this would be higher but the setup probably shifts it down slightly.  Still, it has a fantastic time travel aspect, great engine building, and asynchronous player boards, make this an awesome game to play.  The solo mode is fun as well.  Takes up quite a bit of space.

10. #Paladins of the West Kingdom - gets the edge into the top 10.  Everything said was spot on.  The solo version is very well designed.

9. #Rococo: Deluxe Edition - I wasn't sure where this would land but it edged out Paladins as I liked the 5 player count and the art and gameplay I felt were the slightest bit better.  It too has a great automa.

8. #Maracaibo - I would not have thought this would have made my top 10 last year but I find myself wanting to play this more and I think a 4 player count with the campaign mode makes this a tantalizing game to play.  The colonialism theme could be a little edgy for some folks but doesn't standout as a focus and the theme is more set in an era than encouraging poor behaviors through gameplay.  

7. #Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island - this is another game I didn't think would make the top 10 but it is a great game with a very hard solo experience.  With four players this game is engaging and incredible to play and I think was years ahead of it's time when it came out with combined components, theme, and mechanics.

6. #Heaven & Ale I had to juggle to decide if this would beat out Robinson Crusoe and decided Heaven and Ale gets the edge.  Excellent euro-game that hits the mark on time, strategy, and intriguing player interaction around the rondel.

5. #Wingspan - is just great at 5 players and remains an amazing game with beautiful art, interactive gameplay, and still gets more plays than any other game in our home.  The solo mode is quite good as well.

4. #Clans of Caledonia - is a great economic resource management game with a nice tight game time and mechanics.  I could probably play this one over and over again using the different clans.

3. #Gloomhaven - such a great game and dollar for dollar you'll be hard-pressed to find a game that gives you more bang for your buck.  Solo or with others this is an amazing game.

2. #Viticulture: Essential Edition - this is a game that shines under the ideal conditions.  Worker-placement with some engine-building, this game is so much fun and the race to 25 points is engaging.

1. #Scythe - gets the top spot.  It checks all the boxes that a game can check for me and with 6-7 players is off the charts fun.  When I first bought this game I thought it would be moderately fun.  After multiple game nights now this game is the bar to beat.  

 

Games that might challenge for spots next year: #The Gallerist depending on set up and how brain-smashing the interlocking mechanics feel.  The solo might factor in as well. #Brass: Birmingham could sneak in there after a few game nights. #Raiders of Scythia feels like a game that could push for a 10-20 range spot. #Obsession feels like it has the best possibility to get into the top 10.  I can see it making a move this year for sure.

Love me some#Maracaibo. Multiuse cards. Large rondel. Multiple paths to score points. A cool legacy style story. It's got a lot going for it. I'll be doing a review for this one soon. Spoiler alert: highly recommended. 

I never played #Great Western Trail but have #Maracaibo and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  Judging by the diversity of your collection I'd be surprised if you didn't like it.  It's a rondel style game with a variation of worker placement in which you will place assistance at various sites on the board and take more efficient actions.  Amid this, you explore, gain influence among the three represented nations and work toward obtaining end-game prestige points.

Well, that is a terrible description, to be honest, but I do enjoy the game and find myself wanting to play it more.  Even though it's not worker placement (I do love worker placement) it has that great feel of trying to figure out how to make the most of your cards and actions and ship upgrades to come out with the most end game points ahead of others.  There is also a great campaign mode with a storyline that changes the game each round as opposed to each game.

If I have a knock on this game it's that the components are so-so as compared to other games with similar price points and I might be spoiled on Stonemaier games which tend to knock it out of the park.  That being said I did upgrade the coins to some fun pirate looking coins I bought two batches of from Amazon ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0821QY292/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B0821QY292&pd_rd_w=4Urrf&pf_rd_p=7d37a48b-2b1a-4373-8c1a-bdcc5da66be9&pd_rd_wg=qHtqR&pf_rd_r=KE361W6GS1SF6VCE7ZZ8&pd_rd_r=8c1523e1-5d21-43fe-bcaa-bb5d54d3f1fb&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEySzJSN0ZOMkNHMDA3JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTU5MjMwRUtESFBQNjYzUzhLJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA4NzUzMTAzR0UwQVhSQ1Y1S1BCJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfZGV0YWlsJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ== ) which make the game even more fun.

I would say the solo play is pretty good as well.  I have played through half the campaign with solo play and had a blast.  

Same designer and some of the same general ideas. Noiva Luna you win by getting rid of your tokens and it has a rondel draft. Sagani has points you earn and tokens are a resource you don't want to run out of with a standard row draft.

I've only played #Architects of the West Kingdom and am hoping to get to #Paladins of the West Kingdom this week. I THINK this is how I'd feel, based on everything I know from my "research" (each of these games have been on my radar for an acquisition at least at some point in the last months haha)

Solo: #Architects of the West Kingdom or #Viscounts of the West Kingdom. Haven't tried Paladins yet but I'm intimidated by the sprawled out boards, cards, and everything else. I prefer games with relatively low setup time so at first glance, I don't think Paladins will come out that often. Also, #Raiders of the North Sea also requires the random seeding of the resources. Doesn't seem too bad though. But more than the negatives, I really like the solo mode of Architects. Helena AI is challenging to play against, the pacing of the gameplay works well for solo, the virtue track adds a nice bonus to the puzzly decision making, and involves only a limited number of components. Viscounts also seems promising and I'll be checking out a playthrough video at some point.

2p with my wife: I think I'd give this to either #Raiders of the North Sea or #Viscounts of the West Kingdom. I like the simple brilliance of placing or taking off a worker. We typically like games with one strong hook for a mechanic, and I feel like Raiders has that. Viscounts might work for us too but I honestly don't know too much about it. I am very interested in having a great game with a rondel though

Interesting, the more I think about these games, the more similar they feel in a sense. They both are essentially rondels with multiple paths to victory, Teo is more cyclical so at times you have all 8 actions available, while with MAracaibo you are more limited in what you choose on the Rondel. interesting.

I know you mentioned how intuitive the solo variants are, but how intuitive was learning and playing the game from your perspective as the player?