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    by Mokey D Luffy

    I hit the Help button when I play this on iOS simply out of curiosity. In this particular game, the help button doesn't seem to have any long-term planning. Playing this game in person gives you a chance to ignore the Help button, and try to plan out for six or seven turns down the road, which is something I really like about this game. I don't know of many games where you can take what seems like a boring action, wait it out for six turns, and then hit your opponents with a pretty devastating action.

    The Help button? They constantly tell you to go to the Abattoir or Bakehouse. If you go there as often as it wants you to, you will never do well in this game.

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    by Cro1

    Wow you guys are way too picky. Really?
    It was off by 1mm or 2. Really?
    I guess you guys were one of those elementary students who used rulers to draw every single shape and form in class? Boy those people were annoying. lol.
    I could understand if it was printed off and over the punch line, but it is inside the punch line...come on guys.

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    by Cro1

    I just got the game a few days ago eager to play it but after reading these posts from Carlos, I just wanna puke all over it. I'm scared now.

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  • 08/01/14--12:07: New Image for Le Havre
  • by earliodookie

    Found these on Amazon, a neat storage solution for all the pieces. They fit on the board and in the box neatly, too.

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  • 08/01/14--12:26: New Image for Le Havre
  • by earliodookie

    Found these on Amazon, a neat storage solution for all the pieces. They fit on the board and in the box neatly, too.

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    by dndspeyside

    Can someone please let me know the correct folders to put the image files in for JLeHavre. I can get the program to boot, can get the board to appear but little more than that happens. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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    by louper

    Here's a shot of my file structure:

    In the butteries subfolder are 5 buttery files.

    In the overview are files that start with "long" and "short".

    In the rounds subfolder are RXX and RXXs, where XX goes from 01 to 20.

    In the ships subfolder are SXX and SXXs, where XX goes from 01 to 20.

    In the chits> goods folder: goodXXXXXX.png (two files for each good, one with the letter "s" at the end of the filename)

    In the supply folder: supplyX and supplyXs, where X goes from 1 to 7.

    The buildings folder contains a series of files:

    _XX and _XXs where XX goes from 0 to 31.
    0XX and 0XXs where XX goes from 01 to 46.
    B1, B2, B3, B1s, B2s, B3s
    E2010, E2010s
    GHXX and GHXXs where XX goes from 01 to 32.

    Hopefully that helps.

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    by dndspeyside

    As they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words. That screenshot did the trick. Thank you so much. You have been a great help.

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    by asd123321

    It can be a problem getting on the Shipping line building. Don't delay selling goods on ships and build more buildings instead of getting goods.

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    by btufeld

    I'd appreciate anyone's rules opinion:

    Tonight I had both the Ironworks & the Wind Farm. The Ironworks lets you "buy" a 4th Iron for 6 energy. The Wind Farm discounts 3 energy when energy is used in your Main Action. Was I correct in interpreting this to mean I could get the 4th Iron for only 3 energy? My concern was that while this was a use of energy during my Main Action, it was voluntary, unlike needing to use energy at the Wharf or Steel Mill, and therefore, not subject to the Wind Farm discount.


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    by littleboy

    Wind Farm
    (Special Building)
    [N, 12/8, -, locked]

    "The owner of the Wind Farm receives a discount of 3 energy when using energy as part of a main action."

    You can't enter this building as an action.
    Whenever you need to pay energy, as the owner of the Masons' Guild you always pay 3 energy less.
    However, the discount is on the total energy cost and not every individual one.
    As its owner, you never pay energy for ships any more.
    Also, you smoke fishes for free.
    You can bake up to 6 bread or burn up to 6 bricks for free. You only pay excess goods.
    One of your ships sells goods at the Shipping Line for free. You only pay the other ships.
    Get a 4th iron at the Ironworks for only 3 energy.
    Finally, get steel for a total of 3 energy less.

    This is a very strong building. The earlier you get it, the stronger it'll be.
    You nearly don't have to worry about energy any more.
    At least, you won't need to pay coke for Steel ships or Luxury Liners like you normally do after you've converted all of your coal to coke.
    Also, from now on, you can send 4 ships to the Shipping Line for just 1 coke.
    All in all, this building will definitely be worth the purchase, although you overpay 4 francs.

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    by thuki

    littleboy wrote:

    as the owner of the Masons' Guild

    I guess that was supposed to read Wind Farm and not Masons' Guild?

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    by gillum

    thuki wrote:

    littleboy wrote:

    as the owner of the Masons' Guild

    I guess that was supposed to read Wind Farm and not Masons' Guild?


    The thread linked above may contain some errors, but it is not being updated. This geeklist is a better reference generally (here is a link for Wind Farm).

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  • 08/06/14--09:45: New Image for Le Havre
  • by punkin312

    a look at the materials mid game.

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    by binnet

    New File: Le Havre Player Mats v1 for Board Game: Le Havre

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  • 08/11/14--06:34: New Image for Le Havre
  • by punkin312

    awesome boxed used to storing the resources. perfect size.

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    by flowman

    I was very happy to see that Z-man Games has republished Le Havre, a game created by Uwe Rosenberg. The same German game designer who is famous for creating Agricola, which dethroned Puerto Rico as the number one game on in 2008. Agricola was later dethroned in 2011 by another game called Twilight Struggle. Uwe is also famous for designing other games like Caverna, Ora et Labora, Glass Road, Merkator, and Babel. Now, contrary to many gamers on Boardgamegeek, who think that Agricola is Uwe Rosenberg's best game, I think that Le Havre is by far his best game.
    Le Havre is a worker placement, resource management game about managing a dock and shipping company in Le Havre, France. I say worker placement very loosely, because most worker placement games have four to five worker tokens for each player to play with. Le Havre only gives each player one worker token, but it is how you play with this token that will determine your success or failure with this game.
    The game comes with an assortment of unique building cards, the number of which will be determined by the number of players playing the game. The more players there are, the more buildings will be added to the set up of the game. The buildings all have a unique power that can be activated by placing a worker token on it, and paying an activation cost to the bank. The buildings will be semi-randomly shuffled into three stacks and then put in order by it's technology number. This way lower level buildings will come out first and higher level buildings will come out later. Every building card comes with a resource cost that players can pay to the bank to build it, but there is also a gold cost on each building if player want to simply pay cash for it. There are eight resources in the game, seven of which are upgradeable to a better or more refined resource. For example, clay can be processed into bricks, iron can be turned into steel, coal can be turned into coke, wood can be turned into charcoal, and cattle can be processed into meat and hide. Hide itself can be processed and turned into leather. The processed good is always better than the original good, and will bring in more money on the open market. The processed goods are also needed to build the higher level buildings in the game. The big benefits of owning buildings is that every building provides victory points at the end of the game, but during the game, if you own a building you no longer have to pay an activation cost to activate it, but your opponents will have to pay you to activate your building.
    The game has a variable number of turns, based on the number of players playing. Most games will take 14 or more turns and each turn has seven rounds. After each of the seven rounds, all players will have to pay the bank a number of food or gold. This cost will go up every turn and will make the game more and more challenging as the game progresses. If players are not able to pay their food costs, they will have to take loans, and loans will cause players to lose seven points per loan at the end of the game if they are not paid off by the end of the game. Every round players will have a choice of collecting one of the eight resources, or they can use their worker token to activate a building. In this way, players will slowly build up their shipping empire, and at the end of the game, victory points and money will be combined, and the player with the most points wins the game.
    Because of the game's variable set up, and the wide number of choices that players have to make every turn, the game has an almost infinite level of re-playability. Players almost never have a turn in which they only have one obvious action to make. There are often a number of very good choices to make, and this means there are a wide number of routes to victory. Because of this wide array of choices and variable set up, players will have different strategies and ideas to try out every game. This is what will bring players back for more, game after game. Plus, there is that really satisfying feeling players get when they look at the empire they've built at the end of the game, and they say, “Yeah, I built that! Look at what I have created!” This is why I rate Le Havre as a better game than Agricola.

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    by J. M. Lopez-Cepero "CP"

    Back in the dark days of 2007, when men were men and Puerto Rico ruled supreme, a nice German fellow released a game. The nice German fellow, who had until then been succesful with much lighter games such as Bohnanza, is Uwe Rosenberg. The game, as every Geek worthy of the name knows, is Agricola.

    Over the following months, Agricola would take the gaming world by storm, going even as far as to take the coveted #1 spot in BGG. In the eyes of the public, this would also mark Uwe's change of tune - he would go on to release a lot of meaty economic games over the following years, a trend which hopefully will continue for very long. :)

    Agricola certainly has a lot going for it, but there's a humble element of the game which has always interested me. That humble element, and its fascinating evolution in Uwe's subsequent games, is the focus of today's post.

    In the beginning: Agricola

    If you asked people about what's the most salient characteristic of Agricola, you'd surely get a lot of different answers - the replayability thanks to cards, the spatial and building elements, the progressively more open action space, blocking... There's one mechanical element, however, which tends to be overlooked, but which is at the heart of the game: the accumulation spaces.

    Image courtesy mcjohnsons @ BGG

    Agricola has a lot of action spaces which accumulate resources - instead of giving a fixed reward, the reward you get is, in essence, related to how long the space has gone unoccupied. This is a wonderful mechanic, mostly in two ways. The first one is that it's self-balancing, which, in a game with so many moving pieces, makes perfect sense: even if a given space is not sufficiently attractive at the moment, it will eventually be as resources start piling up there.

    The second great thing about accumulation spaces is that they reward timing: you want to wait a bit to get as many resources as you can, but if you wait too long, somebody else will snatch that juicy pile from under your nose. As a corollary, it also makes it attractive to take such a space even if you are not that interested in the resource, just to prevent an opponent from taking a huge pile next turn.

    So it's easy to see that the inherent tension these spaces create, coupled with the scarcity which governs every Agricola game (you can never reach everything you want and actions are very valuable), make them an integral part of the Agricola experience.

    However, they do have a drawback: their upkeep is quite fiddly, particularly towards the end of the game, as more spaces become available - it takes a while, and it also takes some focus to avoid double-filling or neglecting some of them.

    Thus starts Uwe's quest to reproduce the positive parts of the accumulation spaces while keeping the fiddliness at a minimum. The first step in that evolution is Le Havre.

    Going small: Le Havre

    A possible solution to the fiddly upkeep between rounds is simply to split it - instead of a long replenish phase, replenish spaces one at a time. Of course, it would take forever for the resources to grow back if you waited until the end of the round, so the natural moment for the partial replenishing to happen is just before each player's action. This is what is done in Le Havre.

    Image courtesy Flashly @ BGG

    Le Havre has a 7-space "year track", with (almost) each space in the year track indicating 2 goods. Whenever a player has to take an action, she first moves his marker to the next unoccupied space in the track and adds 1 resource of the correct type to the corresponding spaces. Then she takes the action - either pick up all of a single good in a given space, or visit a building - and the turn is over.

    A key difference between LH and Agricola is that the number of accumulation spaces does not vary during the game. This allows Uwe to get away with having a fixed track.

    On the other hand, the way the track works introduces a number of interesting effects. If you are counting on a particular resource being replenished, you might have to wait a few actions, since by the time your next action comes up the corresponding space on the track may not have been yet visited. In a way, this mimics the several-actions-between-replenishments cadence of Agricola. You can also calculate whether you will be the first to pick up a freshly replenished resource and plan accordingly.

    Also, the track is 7 spaces long, and there's a harvest of sorts after the end of the track is reached (ie. every 7 actions). 7 is a prime number, so you'll get 'short' years in which you'll not get as many actions as other players - again, something you have to carefully plan around. For example, the fourth player in a 4p game will only get a single action in the first year - after the third player takes his second action, seven actions will have been taken and the track will have reached its end. But then, she will be first in the following year, which ensures getting two actions during the year and sometimes gives other perks.

    So in Le Havre, Uwe progressed in two directions: first, simplifying the needed upkeep; second, intimately tying the resource replenishment into the game 'clock', as the track takes care of both replenishment and the game pacing.

    The main drawback of the LH solution is that, as long as the track is fixed, it can only work if the amount of accumulation spaces remains constant. A possible solution would be adding extra pieces to the track - either making it longer, which smells fiddly, or having more replenishments happen for a given action, which risks unbalancing it in favor of players who happen to land on the "extra" spaces more than the others.

    Going big: Ora et Labora

    While the Le Havre solution is fantastic, it's clear that it's not as general as the one in Agricola. In particular, it's desirable to have an option which reproduces the full replenishment of many resources between turns, instead of the "quantum" nature of LH. The next stop in the evolution of the accumulation spaces is a stroke of genius: the rondel of Ora et Labora.

    Image courtesy kilroy_locke @ BGG

    The rondel mechanic of Ora et Labora has been lauded, and rightfully so. It elegantly solves the fiddly upkeep problem - turn the wheel, and everything is updated. It has some added advantages, too. Spaces being too unattractive with a single resource? Change the wheel and bam - spaces go from 0 to 2 in the first rotation. New resources appear mid-game? Add a new marker to the wheel. And it also has some Le Havre in it too - just like the track in LH, the rondel doubles as the game clock. Mechanically, it's one of the most elegant solutions I have seen, up there with the Tzolk'in wheel.

    Of course, not everything can be elegantly emulated with the rondel - the added flexibility has its drawbacks. While you could conceivably convert Agricola to a rondel (something which can't be said of the Le Havre track), it would be imperfect in a number of ways, mostly because in Agricola there are many spaces which provide the same resource (would have to be tracked with separate markers) and/or provide multiples of it (would have to use multipliers in the markers, or 2x/3x independent rondels).

    What happens here is that Ora moves resource replenishment from being tied to particular spaces in the board to a more abstract, "market" economy of sorts, in which you get a number of resources dictated by the market regardless of how you go about it, and all goods have the same rate of replenishment once exhausted. In Agricola, having "slow" and "fast" replenishing spaces (eg. 3-wood and 1-wood) helps ensure that there's a minimum supply of the basic resources. The Ora equivalent is the 0->2 increase in the first rotation (for 3p and 4p games), as well as the "joker" marker.

    Going crazy: Le Havre: The Inland Port

    You can still take the Ora rondel one step further. Up until now, the markers represent goods types, and the numbers represent amount of goods - so if you take a wood in the 7 space, you get 7 wood. Straightforward, right? Let's now say that each marker is, instead, an action marker - the wood marker means "Take 1 wood" - and that the numbers in the rondel represent the amount of times you take that action. This makes no difference for resource grabbing, but opens up a huge amount of possibilities if you tie other options, such as transforming or scoring resources, into the rondel.

    Le Havre: The Inland Port does just that, profiting from the fact that the Ora rondel can use an infinite variety of "goods" just by having a single marker for each. In LH:TIP, the "markers" are buildings, which allow you to get or transform resources, and their position on the rondel marks how many times you may benefit from their action. It's akin to the Le Havre transformation buildings, with the difference that the amount of times you may transform resources is now limited by the rondel (ie. by how long it has been since the last usage of the building). Add a very elegant warehouse which abstracts away the difference between refined and basic goods in Le Havre and the ability to use your opponent's buildings for 1 franc, and you get a Le Havre-Ora hybrid which plays brilliantly.

    Image courtesy saksi @ BGG

    I'm pretty excited at the perspective of a "big" game using this mechanic, perhaps with a shared rondel for all buildings - I hope Uwe has something up his sleeve in this regard!

    Going sideways: Glass Road

    As a brief digression, I'd like to mention Glass Road, since it's an interesting example of how having a cool toy to play with (the Ora rondel, in this case) may give rise to new applications for it.

    Image courtesy punkin312 @ BGG

    At first glance, the Glass Road rondels are kind of opposite in nature to Ora et Labora - they are individual for each player, and they track the amount of resources each player has, rather than the ones available for the taking. But there's a deep connection between them, other than the obvious fact that they have been created by the same mind.

    Why does Glass Road use rondels instead of any other way to track resources? Because Ora et Labora-like rondels are exceptionally good at one thing: changing the 'zero' in a scale. In particular, the Glass Road rondels excel at a transformation which is at the core of the game: simultaneously removing 1 of a set of resources and giving 1 of another resource to the player. And they do because the "consume 1 each of these 5 resources" part is very elegantly solved with a single rotation, much like the "add 1 to every resource during upkeep" is elegantly solved by the original Ora rondel.

    In conclusion

    Game design is an art, and all arts have their own language. In game design, the mechanical elements are a big part of that language - they are like words, which may make up mundane prose (for most of us) or masterpieces (for the Shakespeares of the board gaming world, such as Uwe, Stefan Feld or others).

    And, just like a "real" language, it's alive. We have seen how a single mechanical element can evolve and mutate, becoming a generalized powerhouse (such as in The Inland Port) or giving birth to something which, by virtue of "selective pressure", is now disconnected from its original function (Glass Road) while being still traceable to its roots.

    Of course, there's always a chance that Uwe, or anybody else, would have been able to come up with the TIP or GR mechanics without all the previous groundwork. But building and expanding upon previous elements is a huge part of board game design - you usually want a game to have both familiar elements and some differences which give it a personality of its own. These differences, in turn, become known by the overall board gaming community, are now available for others to build upon, and will, hopefully, inspire even better and more innovative works down the line.

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    by falenheld

    I've just finished my first Le Havre solo!
    It was so smooth and fun!
    I got 212 points, and was happy about my score.
    Then I found out here that it's a poor score.....
    Well.... I got to play again tomorrow, then ;)

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    by klbush

    It's a fine score by me, my best is only 280ish, after several trys. First game was only 180 or so. first game is spent thinking about the rules as much as the game itself.

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