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skeleton warrior
Nov 12, 2016



If you like Slipways, another good recommendation is Dorfromantik.



The play is very simple. You start with a single blank hex. Each turn, you get a new hex to add to your map, which must connect hexside-to-hexside with one or more hexes on your map. Hexes can have one of six terrains on each side - blank like your starting hex, or towns, forest, fields, rails, or river. There are also lake tiles (all water/river sides) and reservoir tiles (all rail/river sides). For every hexside the new tile matches to an adjacent tile, you get 10 points.

Where it gets interesting is in keeping the game going. You start with 40 tiles. Some tiles will give you a condition when placed - towns want to have a number of houses in them, forests a certain number of trees, rivers and lakes a certain number of river/water tiles, and rails a certain length of rails; and those conditions will either be "at least" or "exactly". If you meet the condition either when played or at any further point in the game, you get a bonus set of tiles added to your supply. Likewise, if a tile has all six of its sides exactly match surrounding tiles, you get a bonus tile (in addition to the full 60 points).

So you don't have to place tiles perfectly, and sometimes it help to just have a "this area is the Land of Trash", but the more you can place, the longer your run goes and the more points you get.

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skeleton warrior
Nov 12, 2016



Oh, hey, if you’re into classic puzzle games:

Cliff Johnson has available all of his games - including The Fool’s Errand and 3 in Three, two of the best puzzle games of the 1980s - on his website for free, along with a Mac Emulator to let you play them on modern machines.

https://www.fools-errand.com/

If you want to see what old fogeys like me were doing in high school computer lab, and want to see what puzzle games were like before Myst made things like “theme” and “synergy with story” a thing, check it out. They have great puzzles and fun stories.

skeleton warrior
Nov 12, 2016



Valley of No Roads released today, and I didn't even get twenty minutes in before asking for a refund. Poorly done, poorly defined tutorial; a game board that has lots of different pieces with no help tool or mouse-over to tell you what they do (though the tutorial does!); a procedurally generated map that might randomly decide not to give you the building that gives you more pieces to keep playing.

Play Dorfromantik or The Islanders instead.

skeleton warrior
Nov 12, 2016



WhiteHowler posted:

One of my friends just gifted this to me on Steam, so I'm going to give it a try this weekend now that I'm thinking about shelving Slipways for a bit.

Any basic tips on getting started?

Start with what Setting Sun wrote. A few other pieces of advice:

* You can see the next tile you're going to place beyond the one you currently have to place. Always take the time to look at that one as well and think about where it goes, because it might drive where you put the one you're currently placing.

* Your quests on cities, rivers, rails, and fields are either "exactly" or "at least". First, always double-check that you've read it correctly, because it sucks to set up for one and then find out it's the other. Second, that means you probably want 2 clusters of each of those, so that if your new "exactly" tile can't fit onto one cluster because that cluster is too big, you can start a second cluster easily.

* Conversely, forests are always "at least" and the numbers get big. You can't keep all of your forest tiles together - you're going to have forest sides on a bunch of tiles - but you should try to make sure that if you get tiles with lots of forest on them, you're keeping it all into one big clump.

* When you get a new quest for something you already have a quest for (like fields, or cities, or such), see if it's possible to place the new tile to connect to the quest area. It should be obvious that if you're building a city to 32+ houses and you get a quest for 36+ houses, it's easier to do both of those with the same city. But even if you're building to exactly-18, adding a 36+ houses quest there is still good, because once you've hit exactly 18 you can then keep pushing for 36+ and you're already half-way there.

* You want every tile to be placed as a perfect match to all of its surrounding tiles. Your biggest issues are going to be:
- Your crappy memory of where you needed exactly that tile. Can't help you with that.
- Single-terrain tiles - like one that is entirely woods, or entirely houses. Always try to make sure you leave yourself an outward edge where a full city/forest/field/empty tile can go.
- Rails and rivers. Rails and rivers must connect, so that restricts how you can place them. My usual strategy is to use rails and rivers to blaze forward into empty space, and use the rest of the tiles to try and fill in the space around them. But be careful of boxing in areas where rails and rivers are going, and ending up not having a way to fill the space (see sub-bullet one, above).

* It's okay to create a trash area where you put tiles you hate on the assumption you won't get 60 points and the bonus tile just to stop thinking about it.

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