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Author Topic: Oracle of Delphi (and other games)  (Read 1128 times)

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Oracle of Delphi (and other games)
« on: January 30, 2017, 02:49:55 pm »

Went to a local board game convention this past week, spent all Thursday evening through Sunday evening playing non-stop board games.

Ok, so I actually stopped for sleep on Thursday and Friday nights. But not Saturday night; that was literally non-stop.

Anyway, of all the things (old and new) that I played, I was pretty enamored with Oracle of Delphi; played it 3 times. It's Stephen Feld's newest game, and for those of you who don't like Feld because you don't like point salad...

It's a Feld game with no victory points!!

See you get "prestige points" instead; totally different! Ok, no, I'm kidding, there literally are no points; no score.

The game is a race to complete 12 tasks before your opponents. Felt like Temporum in that way. So it's still a Feld game, and you can tell if you know his stuff. It takes some mechanics from Castles of Burgundy in terms of dice usage and action selection. But it's definitely not just a clone of anything.

So it has a variable map/board setup that gives a lot of different options. Not just like Catan where you change which type of hex goes where; but the actual shape/layout is varied and random. You could have a game where the map is a long skinny corridor if you wanted. The basic idea is that you are sailing around this world, fighting monsters, picking up and delivering goods; discovering new islands, etc. Somewhat minimal player interaction; though by taking a good you are depriving your opponents of that good.

Other games I played include a bunch of Dominion games that went from about 2:30am until 6:00am on Saturday night. A mix of Base (2nd), Intrigue (2nd), and Empires. Each game had a Landmark, and I lost or tied instead of won 3 out of 4 games due to not paying enough attention to it. Landmarks are important.

I also finally learned/played Merchants of Venus. It was the original edition from way back when; I hear that the newer publishing messes a lot of stuff up. It was fun, but long.

Check out my F.DS extension for Chrome! Card links; Dominion icons, and maybe more!

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Re: Oracle of Delphi (and other games)
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2017, 04:04:21 pm »

This is sort of a delayed response, but I've been playing a lot of Oracle lately and I really dig it.

Stefan Feld games are totally my thing anyway, so this isn't really surprising, but I also like race games a lot and I think there's a lot to like about Feld's take on them.  It still has his usual puzzle-y gameplay, with a million different options, and a heavy emphasis on efficiency and optimization.  The race aspect of it keeps everything driving forward, and also helps the general feeling of competition despite being mostly non-interactive.

I've mostly played it with 2, although the 4-player round I had was excellent, and really tightens up the competition for cubes/monsters/statue spots.  And despite all the randomness in the dice rolls, injury cards, random monster fights, and hidden islands, the game feels like it generally rewards skillful play, and the luck elements will largely balance themselves out over the course the 12 tasks.  I've won nearly every game so far and (not to boast!) I feel like I've deserved it.  The variable board is also really neat and can make the tightness of options feel a lot different depending on the setup.

For whatever reason, it feels like this one has kind of gone largely overlooked, especially among the bigger Feld hits of recent times, and I think it's a shame.  It's one of the most solid games I've gotten to play from 2016 so far.
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