Google

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Oddville

| April 4th 2016 | 
Thanks for checking out my blog. I have a new, much better looking version of this review here: http://www.boardgamebarker.com/blog/2015/12/28/oddville

Never have I ever seen such an odd collection of people in a single game, there are some real characters alright. Oddville to me is a whirlpool of randomness, borrowing mechanics and rules from this game and that combining them into a city building fusion that feels so familiar. This could have been themed as a more serious Euro and it would probably be ranked much higher, instead it is plastered in ridiculousness. Does it work? Flawlessly. Here's a bit about how to play, how the game did with my gaming group, what I like best about it and who I think would most enjoy Oddville.

Objective:

Your goal is to be the player with the most points when the game ends. The game ends when someone has placed their 6th building inside the city.



Setup:
1. Each player takes the worker meeples and worker cards of his/her colour
2. Shuffle and turn over 6 of the building cards and place them in a single line.

3. Place the village square in the center of the table

How to play:

On your turn you have 2 choices, play a Worker Placement Card or Spend Resources to Develop Oddville.

This is the weakest worker card, your options are
limited but he is still useful despite his sad appearance
Worker Placement Cards:

Each player has the same 4 worker cards and must either play them all before they are returned or pay to have them returned early. Each worker can perform one of three actions.

1. Give you the amount of gold coins listed on the card (Maximum of 5)
2. Allow you to place a worker onto the resource board to pay for the construction of future buildings
3. Let you purchase or take one of the 6 face up building cards depending on its corresponding cost
You are allowed to place a worker on any
resource space with this worker card, however
you must pay all coin costs required by the
corresponding space on the resource board


Resource Board:

The Resource board was a little bit tricky at first, there are unlimited number of spots for each resource, however depending on when you place your worker on a certain space they will either be free, 1 coin or 2 coins.
You always place workers and take them off (spend them) from the lowest value space on the resource board. The first
player to place a worker obtains the resource for free, the next two spaces cost 1 coin and then there are an infinite
number of resources available for two coins.


Buildings for Sale:

There are always 6 buildings face up for sale laid out in a line. When one is purchased slide the remaining cards to the left and add a new building card to the far right hand side of the line of buildings. The cost of the building depends on which Worker Card you are using to buy it, some buildings can be made free by using a more valuable Worker Card but a couple of the rightmost will always cost coins. Once you have purchased a building for coins you do not add it to Oddville but simply place it with your supply of available workers and worker cards until you have the resources and action to construct it.
In this example, the Yellow player claims the 3rd building in the row for free because in the worker card played the 3rd building card is shown green (free), if the player wanted to buy the 4th building in the row with the same worker card it would cost 1 coin, and then 2 coins for the next, continuing to increase by 1 until the last card in the row. After the card is purchased, the remaining cards slide to the left and a new card is turned over in the '6th' position.


Recovering Played Worker Cards:

This is a very key mechanic that adds a layer of subtle strategy to Oddville, if at the beginning of your turn you have no available Worker Cards to play you simply pick all 4 back up again and proceed as normal, however if you would like to pick 1 card back up early you must pay 1 coin and can then proceed with your turn. Deciding when to best use your less powerful Worker Cards and when to recover the most powerful can completely change a game around. 

Develop Oddville:

At the bottom of each Building Card there are pictures of different resources, in order to place a Building Card from your possession into the city of Oddville you must pay each resource shown. Then based on the symbols in the top right corner you will get a reward that serves as a bonus to help finish more buildings. The symbols shown in the top left corner along with where you construct the building in Oddville depict the amount of points the building is worth at the end of the game. After you have placed a building and are happy with where it is located, place a worker on it, collect the rewards from the newly placed building and all adjacent buildings that are connected via a road, now end your turn.

When the red and purple player constructed their buildings they were connected to the town square by a road, this allowed them to rearrange 1 worker on the resource board to any space, they also get their building's reward, a worker onto a 'crystal' space for purple plus a guild member, the red player would get a coin and a guild member. When the blue player constructs his building, no reward can be claimed from the adjacent red building since they are not connected by road. The shields in the upper left corner are victory points and under the shield are any extra victory conditions, for example the blue and yellow score additional points for each building in the row and the red building is equal to the sum of all adjacent buildings.


One of the key rewards are Guild Members who provide you with a bonus as long as you control them and victory points at the end of the game if you managed to hang on to them. If you are required to take a guild member and none are left to take then ALL PLAYERS including yourself must return their members of that guild, shuffle them and then draw 1.
Just look at the ridiculousness! Oddville is inhabited by some strange folks indeed..my favourite is the bottom right.


How did I like Oddville? 

I rather enjoyed it, it was a very interesting combination of mechanics, It feels something along the levels of Lords of Waterdeep and I can't quite pin where the city placement mechanic feels borrowed from, but I definitely recognize the style from a different game. I ended up pleasantly surprised with how good of a game Oddville was, the Guild characters look hilarious but I think were a little imbalanced eg: (The one that lets you build every time someone else builds for only 2 coins). Some of the building cards don't work as well with 2 players, as a 4 player game Oddville is great, takes much less time than games with similar levels of choices, I found the timing with a 3 or 4 player game is just right but with 2 I found it ended too quickly. Oddville may not have any 'unique' mechanics but I have never seen a game fuse so many mechanics together, specifically I really like how you score points / construct the city is really awesome with a worker placement game and instead of being able to unlock more workers as you near the climax you will have less to utilize which I found helped to keep scores closer together. 

How did my gaming group like Oddville?

Unfortunately most people in my regular gaming group do not share my enthusiasm quite as much and I don't think it will hit my table too often. For being a game made up almost entirely of cards, Oddville takes up quite the bit of space. Our gaming table is small so games that expand as you play don't do too well since for whatever reason the edge of the table seems to be a magnet. Other than the required space and thirst to learn and play new games no one had objections to Oddville, thankfully a table solution is in the near future.

Who Will Enjoy Oddville?

Family Gamers: There isn't an adult theme although I think some of the guild members might give your children nightmares. Although Oddville isn't the most complicated game it does have a "layers" too it and although I think a family could work through a game I am not sure if younger kids would be able to pick up on the strategy that easily.

Casual Gamers: This is a hard spot for me, usually I recommend games that might be slightly "harder" because usually I find that they captivate attention better since they offer more choices and strategy. However, as I mentioned above my group of casual gamers was not thrilled by Oddville. In my eyes it offers everything appealing about a casual game, so why didn't it work? Not sure, but I would still recommend Oddville.

Gamer Gamers: Oddville offers lots of choice, especially once you realize how powerful picking up a used worker card can be. There are tons of routes to victory and lots of ways to block people, my favourite is locking down the resource board early on. I think games that have a place as you build type of city offer a lot of in depth gaming, although there are some balancing issues Oddville has still provided hours and hours of entertainment.

3 comments :

  1. Is there a change in the rules ? In the French version, we can't build over the starting card.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have limited playing room and whenever we play following that rule we end up running off the table, also found it offers more interesting strategies. One of the only house rules we use.

      Delete
  2. This is such an interesting blog. You are very knowledgeable about this subject. Please check out my site.
    Poker Strategy

    ReplyDelete