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    by sigmarpriest

    I just finished my 8th game with 383 points. So close to god tier...

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    by Indenture

    Le Harve ranks as a 10 in my game list.
    It is fantastic!
    One of the best games I have ever played.

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    by davypi

    tumorous wrote:

    davypi wrote:

    fair to say that Harbor is a lite version of Le Havre

    I agree with everything you wrote except this part

    At the end of the day, I think we just have to agree to disagree, but I admit that I don't think you're wrong either.

    The other kind of similarity that the two games have is resource conversion. In Le Havre you have buildings that upgrade your resources (clay to brick). Harbor also has resource conversion although, unlike Le Havre, you aren't upgrading resources; you are just converting one basic resource into another. So I think the function of the buildings in two games are also similar. The relevant point here is that if you wanted to try to convert Le Havre into a 30 minute filler game, you would likely have to remove the "resource upgrade" mechanic. (Case in point, you don't have this in Inland Port either.) The various buildings that Harbour has do a good job of mimicking Le Havre's buildings and resource conversion once you consider that upgraded resources are gone. For a filler game Harbor does a decent job of condensing many of the Le Havre's mechanics. Similarly I'd rather player Harbour than play Inland Port, but I admit this is a highly subjective opinion.

    The major sticking point in the comparison comes back to that market manipulation mechanic. Habour's gameplay relies on your ability to either predict what the market will look like when you're ready to buy or getting into the market one turn before the player to your right. Again, there is nothing like this in Le Havre at all and its a big enough shift to give the two games a very different feel. That said, if you took the market mechanic out of Harbour and had a fixed resource cost for building actions, I suspect you would agree that the game would be more like a "Le Havre lite."

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    by pfctsqr

    punkin312 wrote:

    MAJBrown22 wrote:

    Le Havre is amazing. Just go for it! :D It is definitely a more complex game in terms of decisions. It is hard not to love it!

    I found it pretty easy.

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    by lostphd

    MAJBrown22 wrote:

    I have and enjoy Harbour and I've heard it described as Tiny Epic Le Havre. It didn't take with my group however, so all my plays are solo. On the whole, Harbour is getting to be a bit too simple and I'm looking for a deeper game. Will Le Havre fit the bill?

    I've never played Harbour (now I have to look at it) but I've played over 200 games of solo Le Havre and it still is a rewarding experience. And once you get the hang of it, you can finish a solo game in under 45 minutes.

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  • 09/20/16--22:30: Le Harbwr
  • by Tony Boydell

    One of my guilty pleasures, when travelling to the northern Welsh wilds, is to sit in the dusty Conwy marina car park and scoff a KFC, listen to a podcast (this time: Billy Crystal on Marc Maron'sWTF) and watch the boats bobbing up-and-down on estuary. This idyllic (if greasy) scene is further enhanced by an evening in the company of the Snowdonia Dragons group at the nearby Golf Club and, yes, I _do_ wash my hands before touching anything!

    It was a crowded Lounge Bar on Monday and allowed Aaron, Tim and myself to slightly-selfishly take ourselves off in to a corner to luxuriate in Le Havre. It's been almost exactly FOUR YEARS since I played this 'for real' (many, many instances since on the iOS app, of course), so it was perversely delightful to be shovelling chits about and hopping one's action piece from building to building 'by hand'.

    The return of an old friend! How I have missed thee...

    I managed to grab myself a number of the key buildings that meant a steady income of food and francs from the other two: Abbatoir, Marketplace, (upgraded) Wharf, Brickworks, Shipping etc; Tim went heavy fishing/smoking and Aaron stocked up on Coke for a couple of big, lucrative sailings. No longer paralysed by the fear of 'loans', I - and Aaron - happily hocked ourselves up to the ears (we both hit NINE at one point) in order to power our greedy expansion; Tim was far more cautious and, consequently, found himself squandering actions for feeding rather than building up his Harbour empire. In the end, after an hour and forty-five (!), it was a double-action 'game end' (courtesy of one of the Special Buildings) that allowed Aaron to ship AND get his hands on the Bank for a 179-159-117 win.

    The other tables were still in full flow (there was a Poseidon that would go the 4 hour distance and STILL call it 2 rounds early), so we three filled up 30 mins with Sail to India:

    Everywhere is FULL!

    It was an odd game (see above) that went right down to 'no cubes left to recruit' and all of mine were either sitting on Strongholds/Churches or my VP card: 24-23-23 to Aaron, with Tim winning the tie-for-second by virtue of 'discovering' India. What a curious little thing this is.

    It was now 21:15 (and still light outside!), so Aaron's suggestion of Cosmic Encounter seemed relatively sensible; I say 'relatively' because CE can be done-and-dusted quickly OR can last 2+ hours, depending on the chosen Races and/or the belligerence/malevolence of the players!

    Not a single ship left my system...except to end up in The Warp!

    As it turned out, my selection of 'Genius' followed by an essential single-minded determination to draw cards / ignore bases saw me hitting my alternative win goal (have 20 or more cards in hand) in 45 minutes DESPITE the best efforts of the others who:
    a) kept letting me join in attacks (if we win, 'Genius' can convert my ships in to cards rather than a Base), and
    b) when attacking me, let me be the sole player of a Negotiation card in order to get a consolation draw!

    It was also fun to have Ed's time-travellers rollback my play of an 'Attack: 23' in a move to prevent my gaining four more cards...only for me to slam down an 'Attack: 40' as an alternative (pulls air, punches neighbour etc)! Ed would have his revenge in a quick round of No Thanks! to close: pulling five cards in a row to complete a run of 24 thru 31 and, with a fistful of plastic chits, a splendid minus two final score.

    As I returned to the B&B, my dusky fast-food treat came back to haunt me: a car filled with the smell of stale chicken...seasoned with a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices. Someone PLEASE open a window...*retch*

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    by Stuart Burnham

    For the first time in a couple of months I was able to make Terry's "every other Friday" evening group and this time I took Billy along with me. It was a quiet night and there were just 6 of us in attendance. It seemed like a good idea for 2 tables of 3 or else we were going to be playing Codenames and Winner's Circle all night (which is no bad thing, but we were all hoping for a little more strategy).

    Once mugs were filled and slices of cake procured Terry settled down to teach good old Snowdonia and the 3 of them spent the evening struggling with the vagaries of the Welsh weather and the untimely intrusions of the outside help that the game hires. I honestly don't know how the game went (or went down with new players) but it's pretty safe to assume that Terry won.

    The figures are lovely, but I do covet the pawns that are in Terry's first edition.

    On the other table I was teaching John and Billy Le Havre - and just a little note here to commend young Bill on just how well he grasped the concepts and underlying strategy of the game on a first play (he's coped admirably with this and Ora et Labora being chucked at him in the past few weeks. John is a very good player of games and tends to be a tough opponent who doesn't make daft mistakes and doesn't mind being thrown in at the deep end either.

    I love the way that resources can pile up to seemingly ridiculous levels in this and although you really have plans you just can't turn down that offer right there in front of you, can you? Can you? 18 fish! Seriously! You're not going to leave that are you? (I didn't)

    The game took all evening (about 2hrs 45mins including rules) but once John had his head around how the underlying mechanics worked he was making good choices and building a fleet of boats whilst amassing goods for some late game shipping. I seemed to be one step behind on the ship building carousel so switched my attention to constructing town buildings, especially the juicy Cokery and Steel Works. I did have a couple of crappy wooden boats and an iron one (pride of the fleet!) and after a mid game ship I had made enough to pay off the 4 loans that I had taken due to trying to be a bit too cute earlier in the game (this was in hindsight probably a mistake as I could've used the local Law Court to clear them instead for a couple of actions and later in I did have to make at least one really duff move due to being blocked.)

    The final scores were (probably) John on 205, myself on 176 and Billy on 133. I was scuppered by the loans and by Billy sitting on the Steel Mill fir a turn longer than I had expected. Thinking he would vacate straight away, and go build a luxury I had banked on being able to hop in there myself, use the pile of coke I had to grab 6 steel, build a steel boat and then use the Shipping Line on the final turn to sell off all my decent goods. Him not moving and instead taking a couple of Francs to ensure he could use the Bridge Over the Seine was not anticipated and left me unable to score heavily enough with my final couple of moves.

    Never mind.
    John proclaimed it to be "mad", Billy described it as "brilliant" and Terry (an interested spectator for the last couple of rounds) as one of his top 10 games.
    I'd agree with all 3 of those statements!

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  • 09/26/16--12:44: If board games were food...
  • by Peter Hazlewood

    What if board games were likened to items of food or meals? Here's a selection for your perusal. Of course, this is entirely subjective but today I write to entertain, not to inform.

    Le Havre

    Popcorn - So many possibilities, every experience is different.

    T.I.M.E Stories

    Pulled Pork - A slow-cooking masterpiece.


    Pringles - Once you pop...

    Power Grid

    Freshly-baked bread - A feat of scientific calculation, it never fails to impress.

    The Resistance: Avalon

    Black pudding - Spicy, and you don't know what's really going on.

    Cards Against Humanity

    Aubergine - Disgusting, say no more.

    7 Wonders

    Cous cous - Arguably the most overrated item ever.

    Star Realms

    Blue cheese - It stinks.

    Spot it!

    Pot Noodle - It's quick and nobody in their right mind would ever consume it.

    Last Will

    Chocolate-covered rice cake - Entices you in with promises of excitement, but turns out to be incredibly dry.

    What board games would you like me to evaluate next?

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  • 09/30/16--05:19: New Video for Le Havre
  • by Limon Ludico


    0 0

    by Marty Strubczewski

    I thought I was going to have a light month but I just can't stay away from playing great games. Let's get right into it!

    New to me Games:

    Le Havre - 6 Plays

    Cheating a little bit here. I picked up the iOS version of Le Havre. The board game is sold out and I wanted to try it before I got more invested. I do like being able to acquire buildings and tax others to use them. I also like that if you invest in boats it will help feed your workers but you are sacrificing other actions. Any game that presents me with fun choices is a winner in my book. While the app feels a little "samey" after 6 plays I would be happy to play it in person to see if the experience is any better.
    [BGCOLOR=#66FF99] 8/10 [/BGCOLOR]

    America - 5 Plays

    Not a fan of trivia games in general. Mainly because my trivia knowledge is very weak. But I do love that they combined trivia with some strategy elements. If you don't know the answer you can at least bet on someone that does or bet on no one. However, when an answer is well known there is some gaminess that happens. It takes away from the trivia fun when everyone is placing cubes around a state that corresponds to the right answer. But that is a minor quibble in an otherwise very well done trivia game.

    Codenames - 4 Plays

    Finally got to see what all the excitement was about. And yes it is very good. As far as party games go and social deduction mechanisms; this might be my favorite one in that crowded genre. Simple rules, simple gameplay, lots of fun. It doesn't need to get more complex than that.

    7 Wonders: Duel - 2 Plays

    Never played the original 7 wonders and now after trying this I really want to try its big brother. I love building a tableau and using production to build bigger and grander pieces. There is some "take that!" but you have to remember this is a duel styled game. Really like this one. My opponent didn't like it as much since the cards that flipped over for me were beneficial and I horded production goods causing his to be very expensive. Excited to explore this more to see if there are deeper strategies to be had. Also there is an expansion coming to spice things up.

    La Granja - 1 Play

    Looking at the components you could mistake this for being a Stefan Feld game of the same production quality as Castles of Burgundy. Which is to say the component quality is lacking and the coloring faded. But they also share the fact that they are excellent games. In La Granja, you play a game of farming point salad with a clever adoption of multi-use cards. I found the game to be quite a bit clunky and fiddly but can't help but be very intrigued by the multi-use cards. I will explore La Granja some more but I like what I see so far.
    [BGCOLOR=#66FF99] 8/10 [/BGCOLOR]

    Oldies but Goodies:

    Terra Mystica - 12 Plays

    Terra Mystica has consumed me. This is one of the best game designs ever. The genius in how everything plays off of each other to create this elegant euro just blows my mind. If you are looking for a game you can play a hundred times only to play it another hundred times this is the one. I'm still not very good at it but I am getting better and each play gives me a nugget of information I can carry into future plays. Fingers crossed that the space themed version will be just as great.

    Terraforming Mars - 1 Play

    Probably one of the best games to come out this year. Every card is unique and provides a fresh experience with each play. I love the puzzle of deciding which cards to keep and how to combo them together to create a terraforming engine. I do think the game is a tad too long. At a certain point, engines get very strong and if you don't end the game you will fall behind fast. This game is best played with 2 or 3 players. 4 can get very crowded and downtime will become an issue. Give this one a try!
    [BGCOLOR=#66FF99] 8/10 [/BGCOLOR]

    Race for the Galaxy - 3 Plays

    I didn't realize how rusty I was until I got crushed 3 games in a row but a player I just thought how to play. I was trying to get too fancy with my engine and was outplayed. Great game and added a new fan to the Race for the Galaxy cult.

    Kingsburg - 1 Play

    It's been several plays now where the dice have been utterly bad. I even included all the expansion elements to see if there were any additional dice mitigation options to be found. What I found is that dice mitigation is very limited. You pretty much have to live by your dice rolls. My once infatuation with the game has dropped quite a bit. I want more options when I get bad rolls. I want to feel like I have more control over my destiny. Marco Polo does a better job with handling poor rolls and thus has replaced Kingsburg for me. I will continue play it but if I have the option I will be choosing Voyages of Marco Polo instead.
    [BGCOLOR=#009999]9/10[/BGCOLOR] --> [BGCOLOR=#66FF99]8/10[/BGCOLOR]

    Dixit - 2 Plays

    Always a big hit with the wife and casual friends. We have hilarious moments where everyone is crying tears of laughter. Dixit is a 1 trick pony and it does it well. Best abstract party game in existence.

    Champions of Midgard - 1 Play

    The more I play Champions the more I appreciate it for what it is. This really is one of the best AmeriThrashy worker placement games. The dice combat is a ton of fun. You are engaged the whole game and excitingly watch other players fight close odds against monsters across the sea. Not everything will go your way and you need to balance your odds and strategize for future turns. Such an easy game to suggest and everyone enjoys it.

    Russian Railroads - 1 Play

    Played the German Edition solo. I scored around 350 points which is below average for me. I was trying out some thing strategies and felt very rusty. Can't wait for another live play of this sooner rather than later.

    Tiny Epic Galaxies - 1 Play

    Solo play against normal AI. Crushed it 21-6. Curious to see what the expansion will bring to enrich the solo experience.

    Steampunk Rally - 1 Play

    Very close finish with Marie Curie pulling out by 1 space for the win. I love dice manipulation games and combining it with some clever drafting and racing makes for a really fun game. I tried teaching this to a new group and found that it's not as easy to teach as I had expected. The gameplay is simple but some of the concepts and rules takes an effort to explain.

    Awaiting arrival:
    Legendary Encounters: Aliens Expansion - November 2016
    Manhattan Project: Energy Empire - October 2016
    Clank! - October 2016
    Orleans: Invasion - October 2016
    Xenoshyft: Dreadmire - October 2016
    Cry Havoc - October 2016
    Tuscany: Essential Edition - October 2016
    Scythe: Invaders from Afar - December 2016
    Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star - March 2017
    Near and Far - May 2017

    New to me games on my shelf:
    Castles of Mad King Ludwig

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  • 10/01/16--02:14: £3.90
  • by Tony Boydell

    After the enforced White Lion 'lay off' of the last fortnight, the 30th September heralded our return to pub-located, celebrate-the-weekend gaming. Not content with just making and enjoying alternative arrangements, we've been steadily winding ourselves up in a miniature whirlwind of anxiety, pessimism and indignant rage. Mind you, Boffo didn't help things much with his calling e-mail on Wednesday:

    "I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be our last visit to our 6-year home..."

    Determined to go out with some spectacle - should it come to that - I packed the visually-appealing trio of The Networks, Le Havre (Becky said she wanted to try this again) and - natch - the table-bowing, eye-assaulting gorgeousness that is Scythe. Everything seemed cheerful enough in the Bar and was (about) half-full of 'normal' peeps; our favoured fireside spot was occupied by some glamorous grannies sipping glasses of house red and the alt-diningroom was ripped up in the middle of refurbishment. This meant we were relegated to that odd little greasy upstairs room and my stomach sank as I narrowly avoided slipping and chinning myself on the precariously-thin stairs: poor lighting, table-settings to undo, sticky tables and so on...

    ...but no! By the collected earwax of St Francis of Assisi, the pokey little dust-dungeon had been cleared out, given a wipe over with a soapy cloth AND most of the broken/5 watt bulbs had been replaced! And there was even a long line of shoved-together tables for our gaming pleasure!

    Gentleman's Relish: Phil, Jobbers, Garibaldi, Boffo and Byll

    Immediately buoyed by this wholly unexpected turn of events (and tables), I deposited my weighty cargo and bounced downstairs to get me bevvy:

    New Barmaid: Are you being served?

    Me: No. Could I please have a pint of pineapple juice and lemonade? (pushing to boat out as we seem to have something to celebrate)

    (about a minute passes as the new barmaid has trouble finding the pineapple juice; she then proceeds to make the MASSIVE rookie error of putting the juice in to the glass FIRST and then adding the fizzy lemonade: this causes a deep foam to form which means time-consuming settleage and overspill are needed to decant the full pint. As any fule kno, you put the lemonade in first and drop the juice in at the end)

    New Barmaid: (shovelling sweet foam with a cocktail mixer) That'll be three pounds and ninety pence, please -

    (there is short pause, no more than a second passes, before I hand over four pound coins. In that space, in my mind, I have screamed in outrage, railed against society and it's ills and vowed never to buy a juice&fizzy again. Boffo's regular pint of alcoholic beer was cheaper than that and, three weeks ago, the same drink had cost me £3)


    There is a running joke about Brit gamers that suggests we're either real ale swigging beardies or lily-livered sippers of lime cordial & soda; the reason for this is that the UK pricing of any - and every - thing else is fucking ludicrous! It comes to a strange pass when, in an age of responsible alcohol consumption and sober driving, it's cheaper to get a round of beer/lager than it is to get something non-alcoholic: it's a piss-funting disgrace, I tell you.

    Anyway...time was a-wasting so, with a mound of pork scratchings so large that it suggested some kind of porcine road traffic accident and consequent salvage, we split in to two threes and got playin'.

    Phil and myself introduce Jobbers to Scythe

    Jobbers got off to a slow, shaky start and began mumbling in frustration at a seeming lack of progress (compared to my own quick-fire mech building and oil-fuelled upgrading); he soon picked up speed, however, and found himself able to submarine through the lake systems and mine through the tunnel systems with ease: popping up wherever he felt to have a cheeky 'pick two' (his ability) encounter or seed some more commonfolk in the fields. Phil, who drew the 'I can win as many fights as I like for Stars' faction wrapped himself in knots trying to finish a non-combat achievement which gave far too much time for me and Jobbers to tool up and clank our way to significantly bigger scores! In a very satisfying climax, I laid out the final four of my six stars in two consecutive turns to end the game.

    Endgame: cleared of encumbrances for a 55-42-20 win.

    Aside: during the game itself, a genteel old lady popped in to see us - curious about all the big bags and boxes - and remarked that Sycthe looked a bit like Dungeons & Dragons! This was, perhaps, the first time in the Club's history that a 'real person' hadn't mentioned to the bloody 'M' word: the times they were a-changin' indeed or, at least, tonight they were).

    The others had finished Troyes and were now up to their necks in fine sand with Jenseits von Theben, so we needed to find something to occupy the next 30 minutes or so:

    6 nimmt!

    This kind of tricksy card-play stuff is so 'in' Jobbers' wheelhouse that there's no room for the bloomin' wheel; Phil and I simply hung on for dear life playing a side game of 'Devil take the hindmost' as the result was never in any doubt. We closed with a coming together for Codenames but I didn't get the chance to Spymaster because:
    a) we (Boffo, Jobbers and I) were 2-0 up already, and
    b) it was bang-on 11PM and we didn't want to overstay our welcome.

    We still have a home, then, but it continues to feel somewhat precarious.

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  • 10/05/16--07:48: Pop-ratings
  • 0 0

    by Loonens

    Hi all,

    Tonight i'm starting my first solo game. Its all clear, but I only have one question:

    Is it correct that I place my boat on every next spot when I end my turn? Or do I skip 1 or 2 places to simulate other players?

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    by grant5

    Loonens wrote:

    Hi all,

    Tonight i'm starting my first solo game. Its all clear, but I only have one question:

    Is it correct that I place my boat on every next spot when I end my turn? Or do I skip 1 or 2 places to simulate other players?

    Use very spot. Don't skip.

    Edit: moving your boat to the next tile and adding goods to the offers is the first thing you do on your turn.

    0 0
  • 10/05/16--16:23: New Image for Le Havre
  • by Loonens

    <div>Starting my first Le Havre solo game!</div>

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  • 10/07/16--04:33: Moonlighting (again)
  • by Tony Boydell

    Back in May - when the UK was part of Europe and our citizens embraced people of all colour, religions and sexualities with tolerance, love and forebearance - it was announced that one of my favourite games of 2015 - Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King - had been nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres: how utterly delightful!

    However, within a couple of hours of the news, a message from Hanno Girke (@Lookout Games, aka The Great Mr G) popped up in my Facebook feed:

    The Great Mr G: I fear that we have to come up with some kind of "Isle-of-Skye" deck for Agricola.

    Me: Perhaps some new tiles instead eg. A Caverna tile (mountain), an Agricola tile (plains), Le Havre (coastal), Costa Rica (jungle animals count as sheep or cows), Snowdonia (mountain piece with a railway on) and more?

    Naturally, immediately, I went off and doodled some initial thoughts and came back with this (via the miracle of "image uploads"!):

    This met with his instant approval and he sent me over to the inimitable Mr Klemens Franz to 'show him as well'. Thus was it left and several weeks later Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King won Kennerspiel des Jahres and, once again, FBM went 'bloop-beep':

    The Astonishing Mr F: OK ... I got the order (from Mr Hanno who thinks he could talk Altenburger into printing them before Essen) to make your Isle of Skye tiles ... (by) Monday. Could you write down the special features...and could you think of a 6th one? There is an existing punch-tool for 6 tiles. Colonists probably?

    Never one to eschew the opportunity to ride on someone else's coat-tails / stand on the shoulders of giants, I fired up the laptop graphics package and mocked my merry little heart out. This Spiel, as part of the Lookout Games magazine (and maybe elsewhere after the show - don't know, sorry), you will be able to pick up a little cardboard sheet of the six promo tiles:

    Agricola: Counts as a closed pasture itself; gives 1 pt per pair of cow/sheep at game end and 1 pt per closed pasture area.

    Snowdonia: Provides 1 Barrels income...and it's got a lake nearby AND a train!

    Le Havre: has sea-themed stuff and provides 1 Barrel income until rounds 3+, when it provides an additional income

    Caverna: The Cave Farmers: provides a point at game end (2 if surrounded) BUT it's nowhere near as good a tile as the Agricola one. *ahem*

    The Colonists: provides better icons in the late game (it's like it's growing from a village to a city, or something! If you get it early, you FLIP IT on Round 4 otherwise just put it on the Round 4+ side.

    Costa Rica: Another 'flips in game' tile, this provides one closed JUNGLE area (so it scores for those 'completed area' tiles non-specifically!); it also provides more animals for scoring at game end.

    P.S. In case you're worried, Alexander Pfister and Andreas Pelikan approve!

    0 0

    by theericbooth

    Thematically, who are we feeding and why are they more hungry after each round? That's all.

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    by bigloo33

    theericbooth wrote:

    Thematically, who are we feeding and why are they more hungry after each round? That's all.

    Basically your abstracted "workers". I suppose the food burden grows, because that virtual workforce grows as you obtain more boats/buildings.

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    by mazmaz

    And even if you workforce doesn't grow that much, inflation does. :D

    0 0

    by theericbooth

    Loving these answers. Thank you.

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