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Old 16-06-2014, 18:05   #1
Torf
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Harbour - Kickstarter from Tasty Minstrel Games (Now funded)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...rt?ref=sidebar

Lovely looking worker placement game for 2-4 players, aged 10+

There is a print and play version available (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...NPlay%20v6.pdf) which I've not sorted out yet, but will do shortly.

$26 is roughly £15 at the moment, so a good price point for a game that's getting excellent reviews. Will suit our post-saturday and sunday lunch gaming requirements perfectly (sub hour, and 2-3 players).

Looking forward to this one, but should point out that expected ship date isn't until March 2015 (!).

There is an early backer reward of some card sleeves to protect the buildings - this runs til later today (US time)

Edit - All early backer rewards (of card sleeves) are long gone, but you might find some become available if someone cancels their reward. Current estimated shipping is December 2014 which is a lot earlier than originally forecast.

Edit - Now successfully funded by over 6000 backers.

Last edited by Torf; 04-09-2014 at 19:40.
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Old 16-06-2014, 20:49   #2
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Ok, I'm in with the early backer pledge. Let me know how you get one with the print and play version.
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:00   #3
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[BOARDGAME] : Harbour - Kickstarter from Tasty Minstrel Games

Will do. I'll put a review up in the next week or so once we've played a few games this weekend. Should enable people to decide whether to jump in or not before 17 July.
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Old 16-06-2014, 21:03   #4
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Yup, I've pledged now but will decide later once I've checked the page and links out properly whether or not to stay committed.
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Old 16-06-2014, 22:01   #5
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I haven't tried any worker placement games yet; have to say I really can't see masses of appeal, they seem more like you're tweaking a maths formula than playing a game. Are they generally fun to play?
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Old 16-06-2014, 22:05   #6
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[BOARDGAME] : Harbour - Kickstarter from Tasty Minstrel Games

Generally, yes. They need balance (so you aren't always being stitched up!) and scalability so they play well with a range of numbers.

The better ones (Agricola is superb) have tons of depth whilst allowing newer players to find their feet and strategies within a couple of games.
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Old 28-06-2014, 12:34   #7
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Print and play review

This is based on 2 two-player games, with my ten year old son, and the print and play version which you can download from the Kickstarter page referenced above.

We used some cubes and counters from Carolus Magnus which proved to be spot on in size. You need n+1 lots of four cubes for an n player game, and n player tokens.

In terms of the printing bits, the majority of the cards are in black and white, so I just used some white card, and cut them up with a guillotine.

The cards feature about half the line drawn artwork, so would be suitable for some colouring in if you have any willing kids in the house. I would also recommend colouring in the coin/anchor symbols to at least make these a little more recognisable.



Game dynamics

Each player have a board for their character (with individual abilities) and this also tracks their goods.

Players take turns to move their counter to a building, and then take that buildings action, usually to either swap or collect resources, mess with the goods market, or build another building.

There's a pool of buildings available for purchase (that replenish after a building is bought) and play continues until one player has four buildings - then everyone else gets one more turn (unlike Ticket to Ride, the player who triggered the last turn doesn't get another go!).

This game features a neat market hook which changes the value (and number that can be sold) of the different goods types depending on recent sales, or actions other players have taken using one of the buildings. Whenever there's a building purchased, the market reshuffles which can handily stitch up the next person to play who's been planning to sell on his Stone for $5 in the next go. This frustration (or glee) leads to most of the interactions and discussion as the game continues.

Theme / packaging / bits

I've got a lot of anticipation for the finished article of this game, the print and play shows a lot of promise, and the artwork going up on the Kickstarter page looks lovely.

Hopefully the components will be of good quality, the card quality upgrade has already been unlocked and there's talk of a super stretch goal of a bigger box / meeples arriving - this would take $500k+ (and they're just over $100k at present).

For around £15 delivered to the UK, it looks good value in my view. The finished package will also be small enough to throw into the holiday carry-on bag, which is always a good sign (San Juan / Perudo are normally first in the bag).

Gameplay

I'll update this in due course, as we get a few more plays in, and I also expect my review to change when I get the chance to play with 3 or 4 players.

Turns tend to rattle on quite quickly once players get the hang of it, and at first it can appear to be quite slow. Getting enough resources to be able to buy can be frustratingly slow at the beginning, but this is normally because players are just taking too much time thinking! We just encouraged each other to get on with it, and make snap decisions. Overthinking definitely makes this game stagnate, so attempting to encourage quick play by working this into the theme ... "The ships are coming soon", "Fish sells out quickly in the morning" helped to keep us both on our toes. Worth considering for when you're teaching the game

There are 32 building cards (of which you might see around 10-12 in any one two-player game) so a good variety is on offer. It also leaves the door open for future expansions.

There are some cards which have descriptions which are a little confusing. However, I see this as a real benefit of the significant playtest through Kickstarter and Print and Play. Players (like us) are encouraged to feed back and refine, and I see that one improvement that my son suggested has already been implemented. The resource trackers on the player boards are quite close together, and if you look at the KS page (under the "The colorful cast of characters" header, you'll see that this has been changed to provide one large square for each resource level, and you move your tracking cube up or down depending on whether you're gaining or losing resource. (I'd change this further by having one row of 1-6 rather than 654 on the top row, and 123 on the bottom).

The Shipbuilders Union (shown below) is one such card that we found confusing.



We had to keep reminding each other of the various special abilities for each character, but this will iron itself out through repeat plays.

The finish of each of our 2 games was tight. Tighter than we expected actually, and with victory points (VPs) only coming from the buildings (no bonuses that I could see), and visible at all times to all players it is quite an open game. However, with the 'final turn' I would expect a four player game to throw up some surprises!

Summary

We liked it. It's a neat compact resource management game, and a really good introduction to worker placement strategy games such as my favourite Agricola. Those weightier Euro-games may be too much to use as an intro, but this plays well enough (and is interesting enough) as a Starter before introducing non-gamers to some Main courses.

The ability to derail your opponents strategies through influencing the market is a positive, and I wasn't able to considerably outstmart my son like I can with Le Havre and Agricola. I like this as it makes the game a fairer experience (in the eyes of novice players) but might be seen as a shortcoming if playing with four experienced gamers.

If you're wondering whether it's worth backing, then I'd say it would be a worthwhile addition to your games library.

It's a nice tight game, quite quick to play (so good for after Sunday lunch, or with the late night whiskey after a good games session) and the ability to use this as a gateway game means there are enough occasions to bring it out and keep a wide range of players interested for me.

Another measure I always use is whether players immediately want another go after a game finishes. This happened with Harbour, and shows that there's enough involving strategy to keep players interested.

All in all, I am looking forward to this landing on my doorstep, and the printed version (my first attempt at this!) will be getting at least another few goes before next year when the game arrives.

Hope this helps, and do post if you end up backing the game on Kickstarter.

Any questions, I'd be happy to answer based on my limited experience thus far!

Last edited by Torf; 28-06-2014 at 12:55.
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Old 28-06-2014, 13:20   #8
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Great review. As I mentioned in the other thread, I barely skimmed the Kickstarter campaign page for this, but backed it regardless on your recommendation. After reading this I'm pleased I did so.

Nice job with the cards too. I haven't the patience to faff about with print and play games myself. I might just about be adventurous enough to try Coin Age one day, thats about it!
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Old 28-06-2014, 13:41   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torf View Post
The finished package will also be small enough to throw into the holiday carry-on bag, which is always a good sign (San Juan / Perudo are normally first in the bag).
This reminded me that I never did get around to picking up San Juan, but this appears to be yet another title that is currently out of print. Looks like I'll stick with the iOS version I've had unplayed for the last couple of years or so, as tempting as that £157.43 copy currently on Amazon may be.
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Last edited by Steve Jackson; 28-06-2014 at 15:29.
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Old 28-06-2014, 13:53   #10
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[BOARDGAME] : Harbour - Kickstarter from Tasty Minstrel Games

£157?!? Wow.

San Juan is a cracker, but that's an unbelievable price. I love that it's such a deep and involving game in a tiny package. Perfect mini version of Puerto Rico.
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Old 28-06-2014, 13:58   #11
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I won't bother asking if you want to part with your copy then! As you said, it sounds perfect for taking on holiday. As it stands then I'll be taking Hanabi, No Thanks!, Coup and Citadels this year then.
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Old 28-06-2014, 14:03   #12
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[BOARDGAME] : Harbour - Kickstarter from Tasty Minstrel Games

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Old 30-06-2014, 14:48   #13
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A couple of issues I address in the review above have been taken account of within the Kickstarter.

Firstly, there are some hidden goal VP cards which will give you additional VPs at the end of the game when you collect a certain amount of one good. This bonus is hidden from other players, so will help add an element of final round strategy which in my view was much needed. Without this, it will be reasonably clear going into the final adding up who's won the game.



Secondly, they've added in a 'family game' version which removes the player specific advantages. This is useful as an introduction / tutorial game to teach new players the rules without distractions. Once they've grasped the core mechanic, flip over the player boards for game number 2 with a little more spice. Neat idea.

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Old 30-06-2014, 15:11   #14
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Was monitoring this and waiting till nearer the end before I pledged but just checked and 2 of the earlybird sets have come back up after being sold out. Thought it would be rude if I didn't back it now
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Old 07-07-2014, 20:22   #15
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[BOARDGAME] : Harbour - Kickstarter from Tasty Minstrel Games

Played another couple of games at the weekend and used some of the other buildings. Played a lot quicker than the first games, and we were also finding it very amusing to stitch up the market for the other player. Providing you embrace the antagonistic potential for market abuse, we think this is a solid game in PnP so we're very much looking forward to the full package.
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Old 15-07-2014, 18:14   #16
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The Kickstarter for this is closing in 34 hours, so get those orders in. For around £15 delivered, it's shaping up to be a very neat game indeed.

There is a very good 30sec video of the dynamic market price mechanic, and this is where much of the interaction in my games have been. Buggering up the market price (by legitimate or nefarious means!) for others is a nice little twist.
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Old 15-07-2014, 19:14   #17
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Thanks for the reminder. Almost forgot to back this, which would have been a shame given my love for worker placement games.
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Old 16-07-2014, 18:44   #18
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Couldn't resist! An Early Bird slot opened up, so for £15 delivered, I couldn't say no to that, so I went ahead and ordered

Looks like a very interesting and fun game
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Old 16-07-2014, 18:53   #19
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[BOARDGAME] : Harbour - Kickstarter from Tasty Minstrel Games (Ends 9am Thursday)

Good stuff
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Old 16-07-2014, 22:29   #20
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Thanks for the headsup - managed to stick my order in earlier.
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