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    by kvenosdel

    Poorly.

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    by beardandglasses

    I found the "How to Play" Podcast on this to be a very helpful introduction.

    http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamepodcastepisode/65684/episo...

    Although, in some episodes when he does his silly accents, it can get quite annoying. As I recall, this one is pretty normal.

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    by ldsdbomber

    Ryans podcasts are awesome and you should check them out. Check out also Pontons awesome guide to buildings and JohnRayJrs awesome review.


    dont be afraid to take loans, its not Agricola, fannying around taking small amounts of food for the harvest is usually a bad idea. I almost always take several loans throughout the game, remember even if you have 6 or 8 loans in front of you you only pay 1 interest total, and when you repay them you pay 5 francs compared to the 4 you received. Its very rare to be able to do well without taking advantage of loans.

    getting an early wooden ship is good, consider the food output it creates and what that also saves you in actions/money. A lot of good players will build high value buidings early (e.g. sawmill), then SELL them (you only get halfprice) and then BUY the wooden ship (no need for an action since you can buy it at any time if its there). It seems like a lot to pay but over the course of the game it more than pays for itself.
    Oh, and one of the steel ships, you will see which one, is a very nice one to buy as its value is fairly close to purchase price, and the boost in food (but mainly increased shipping capacity, and removing that ship from the pile to thwart someone about to visit the wharf) is great. Nothing better than building a ship, and being able to buy another ship and seeing your opponents dismay when he realises there are no higher capacity ships left for him until next round, if at all.

    Looking at the special buildings (via marketplace visit) can be key to seeing ideas for how to maximise your strategy, you get to switch the top two cards if you like, but just knowing whats coming will really be useful.

    Controlling entry points to key buildings will help you, remember if you own a building, and sit your worker in it, no one else can use it if you keep taking resources, not only that but you can then sell it later, and then use it again, potentially blocking it unless another player buys it on their turn.

    Theres one resource thats very efficient at point creation. I wont spoilt it by saying which but just try it out. The balance between building (collecting resources and building stuff) and shipping is different at different player counts, and also the order of the building stacks. Obviously if the shipping line and wharf are buried, shipping is going to be delayed. Access to steel can likewise vary depending on where it is, and coal of course.

    Getting a pair of cows and a grain early will help you produce free food quickly, note that cows have value to be shipped as they are but give more food when cooked, whereas grain is more valuable as bread both for food and for shipping.

    Think not just about the value of taking specific piles of goods, but try to predict chains of actions by your opponents, just taking a specific resource, or building ahead of them, or even blocking them can throw a huge wrench in their plans, so its also good to have some flexibility in case someone does that to you!

    Especially at the end, you really need to try to maximise your last game action plus the "final action" at the end, whether you're shipping or building the liners etc. Unless you have the buildings that use it, leftover resources are wasted.

    Controlling the key buildings that also cost to go in is great, not only do you avoid paying to go in them if you own it, but others will pay you every time they want to use it, things like the wharf, shipping line, the coal and steel buildings, construction firm etc.

    getting cards with the green hammer symbols (and fish) can assist you in getting extra resources from ... you'll work it out. Cards with the house symbol allow you to get more and more from the marketplace, but be wary of building the marketplace and then having the other players jump in it so you never get the goods yourself

    Cash is always good, remmeber if you buy a building, in most cases you get the same value at the end of the game, so if you can afford it, buying a building doesnt "cost" you anything, and in addition might get you income from others using it, plus you can guarantee using it, even if you have to sell it later (though then you lose half its value). As I said, building stuff that costs like a wood and a clay but sells for 10+ coins can be a big boost in the early game.

    You can manipulate the loans, as you can only take 1 if you use up all your food in stock and still dont have enough, but if you are 4 food short, you will have to take a loan and have no cash left over. If you make it so you only have 1 food short, you must take a loan, but now you get the 3 coins in hand, which can be useful

    always try to be efficient, if you look at the cokery, then obviously its better to pile up 10 or 15 coal and go there once then take 3 or 4 coal there 3 or 4 times. Same output, different number of actions. Of course, you will find everyone else doing that too, and thus access to it is blocked, and you might end up getting your coke boost too late to be able to use it effectively.


    Keep at it, its a great game, and fun trying out different things like extreme loans strategies, piling up on a single resource, lots of small early shipping, using special building combos, building loads of buildings


    I am far from an expert, so don't be a slave to any advice here though!

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    by appleb

    I was at 401 games today and I took a pic of the new box.


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    by simmmons27

    http://zmangames.com/product-details.php?id=1384
    ZMan finally acknowledges its existence, too.

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    by lostphd

    appleb wrote:

    I was at 401 games today and I took a pic of the new box.


    Thanks. And as anyone who knows the old Australian edition can testify, that is a different box. I'd be curious to know if the contents and components differ at all.

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    by NinjaMike

    lostphd wrote:

    appleb wrote:

    I was at 401 games today and I took a pic of the new box.


    Thanks. And as anyone who knows the old Australian edition can testify, that is a different box. I'd be curious to know if the contents and components differ at all.


    I purchased the new Z-man copy and I have no complaints about the components. I have no basis of comparison from the other editions, though.

    The components are of similar quality to my Z-man edition of Agricola.

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    by honeybunnie8

    3 of the 4 image packs are empty when I un-rar them. I tried the German version as well and they are empty too.

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    by bignn

    Hello,
    i have downloaded all the files neccessary and unpacket them. Game is running, but whne i try to unpack the 2,3, and 4 Images packages in german or english i get a message, that the files are corrupt.

    is anybody out there who hase those files running and can send me them or can i download them anywhere.

    thanks

    br marcus

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    by Ponton

    Then the download has failed and you should try again.

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    by Ponton

    You can't open the individual rat files. Opening .part1.rar opens them all at once as they form a single entity. Hence, you either should have all the necessary image files or one or more of your downloads has failed and you should try again.

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    by johnclark

    Having played Le Havre several times and Ora et Labora a few times now, I feel like I can make a comparison.

    Both are good games. I like Ora et Labora and will play it again. I just like Le Havre more and will explain why. Maybe this might help you decide if you need to get Ora if you already have Le Havre, or vice-versa. I am going to assume that you know at least one of the two games – there are a lot of similarities.

    1.Thematic integrity. I don’t know why, but thematic integrity matters to me. It really annoys me that a central part of the mechanics of Dominant Species involves glaciers which somehow can choose which way to move. Most people don’t seem to care at all about that, but I do. I don’t mind if that kind of thing is part of a silly filler game, but in a serious strategy game it matters. Le Havre has a brilliant mechanic of the ships delivering the goods to the docks, and the players go and pick them up. Elegant and conceptually sound. Le Havre has a similar mechanic, with the wheel playing the same role. In fact, the wheel thing is better than the ships because you don’t have to pick up the fiddly little chits and move them to the docks. On the other hand the wheel thing is more abstract – there is something about the physical ‘delivery’ of the goods which makes me more involved in the game. I actually feel like I am on the docks picking up the deliveries. Its what Richard Donner calls “verisimilitude’ – a connection between the game and reality, not in every detail, but at crucial points. Le Havre has it. Ora does not. More specifically, my ‘glacier’ annoyance in Ora is the forests. If someone ‘harvests’ their forest, collecting an amount of wood according to where the wood is on the wheel, then my forest produces less wood????? Huh? You see, this is where the docks mechanic in Le Havre is so lovely. It does not translate over to ‘owned’ resources, like forests, because they ‘grow’ independently of each over. As I said earlier, you probably don’t find that a problem at all – “its just a game, get over it”. But games do have themes, and for most of us we like themes and thematic integrity matters – perhaps it matter more to me than to you. This is not to say that Le Havre is perfect – the fact that smoking a fish gives you money even though you did not sell it (apparently from a government subsidy) is pretty dumb, but that’s a side bit of the mechanics, not a central part.

    2.Ora et Labora has a space-ial aspect and Le Havre does not. Princes of Florence is a good game, but I hate the Tetris-style placement of buildings. Its artificial, gamey part of the game designed to general ‘agonising decisions’ blah blah blah. I have the same feelings about Ora et Labora, although not as strongly. I can see the thematic rationale for the building placement thing. I just find it tedious. Le Havre provides easily enough planning ahead stuff without adding Tetris as well.

    3.Ora et Labora has tiny cards and text. Maybe this does not matter for you young folk out there, but my eyes are not as good any more and Ora’s text and icons are just too small. Its not as bad as the breathtakingly awful graphic design of Legendary (the otherwise fun Marvel deckbuilding game), but its just too much hard work seeing what the hell the buildings do. Le Havre’s cards have small text too, but the white cards and better colour choices make it a whole lot easier to see.

    4.Ora et Labora has too many bits. Those wonders, reliquaries, books etc etc etc. Not necessary. Le Havre has a lot of bits too, but not that much. I also don’t find that the France and Ireland options really change the game much, although I wait to be corrected (‘no way man, the game is TOTALLY different’). I suspect that these options are more to do with marketing to Anglo/European audiences. In the end, Le Havre does not have that many buildings to build. You can play three or four times and pretty much be across them (and then you can start to work out a strategy). Ora et Labora seems to be saying to Le Havre, "you're a good game, but you need MORE multiple paths to victory! You can't have too many paths to victory! More paths! More!" Well, yes you can have too many of those blessed 'multiple paths to victory', and Ora is a case in point.

    5.Ora et Labora has the same setup every time. The same buildings are available at the same time every game. Le Havre has variation – the ships come in differently each time and the buildings too. The variation is subtle – a but like the plantation flop in Puerto Rico – but it makes a difference and that is interesting. Ora substitutes that subtle variation with shear quantity of buildings. I prefer Le Havre. I know some people love the fact that the game has zero random elements – apparently on the (mistaken) assumption that if the game has no random elements then it has no luck and the most skilled player will win. Its just not true. Anyway, Le Havre has no random elements beyond the starting setup, so that should satisfy the no luck crowd as well.

    6.There seems to be less player interaction in Ora et Labora. Maybe this is just my group. I find that my games of Le Havre involve a lot of constantly looking at what other players have built and using their stuff. In Ora I spend most of my time starting at my own board, partly doing mental Tetris gymnastics but partly working out my own sequence of moves which usually don’t require using other player’s buildings. In Le Havre I really am forced to use other buildings a lot. In Ora I can get by pretty well on my own, only using the other buildings occasionally.

    As I said at the start, I like Ora et Labora. Its different enough from Le Havre to be a materially different experience. My preference is still Le Havre (and I like both better than Agricola).

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    by catmando

    I am Staying Away from Ora, then. I have just started playing LeH and it is Way many bits and buildings so far.

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    by catmando

    The prime number effect is a elegant bit of the game design.

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    by johnclark

    catmando wrote:

    I am Staying Away from Ora, then. I have just started playing LeH and it is Way many bits and buildings so far.


    Yeah, its overwhelming at first, but remarkably manageable after a few games. My issue with Ora is that the additional bits don't seem to serve any purpose other than to create yet more 'multiple paths to victory' and more min/maxing analysis paralysis.

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    by QBert80

    Nice summary. Your feelings about the two games mesh well with mine (although I'm happy to play both). I like in particular the way Le Havre handles having umpteen buildings: put most of them in a deck of "special" buildings and only use a few of them each time you play.

    I do like the spatial aspect of Ora, but you're right that it contributes to the multiplayer solitaire feel of the game. The key buildings in Le Havre (Wharves, Colliery, Shipping Line) feel much more important than the key buildings in Ora (I can't even think what those are right now!) so the race to be able to use them when you need them is a palpable tension that just isn't there in Ora.

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    by HuginnGreiling

    Re: Building tetris and bits galore—stay away from Antiquity, then. :p

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    by johnclark

    HuginnGreiling wrote:

    Re: Building tetris and bits galore—stay away from Antiquity, then. :p


    Thanks for the tip - I was quite keen to play it but now not so sure.

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    by HuginnGreiling

    This picture of my last game should tell you all you need to know in that regard:


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