Sunday, August 4, 2013

Die macher : an oldie but a goodie!

So colorful no?

So, Die Macher. I have heard of this and at times been tempted to buy it for myself and see what all the hype is about. I was quite glad to be able to get a game in last weekend when Bill brought it over.
So what's a game about German politics like? Well for a game that is quite old (first iteration was 1986 I think) it holds up surprisingly well. Rules explaining can be quite a chore because of the 10+ phases during a round of the game (there are 7 in the game) but once you played the first 2 rounds you should be able to get a good grasp of the game and it will flow smoothly. 
Overall I do enjoy the game and will not mind playing it again. There's so many things I like about the game. Its surprisingly thematic and every little part of the game does make thematic sense. The board is functional and while I do wish it contains more information but I guess it may provide for a very cluttered board. Its quite smart how they make use of 4 boards to function for 7 rounds (3 of the boards will be used twice in a game) because I can imagine having a big board will be tedious. The inclinations used for your party and the districts is very straight forward and still quite relevant in today's context and can make for fun story telling. My party which is supposed to be the communist party liked EVERYTHING hhaha. I did not change much during the game and generally I was as unlike a communist party as I can be. The art though could have been improved to make it easier to tell across the table what's happening. 4 main issues I had with the game was the length of gameplay, how it seems best with 5 players and the need for keeping track of scores using the paper provided. The last issue is how the last round is just a scoring election and you cannot do anything much to manipulate it so you have to spend some effort in previous rounds to manipulate it a little to be in a good position when round 7 occurs.
For my 1st round I decided to side with Bill and we won a 50 point district easily. Later on in the games, I started to feel getting left out because of the initial scorings I did but I still managed to have a few points here and there. I also was slightly more corrupted than the rest and had quite a lot of money to bid on polls and to increase my points whenever I can. Speaking about money, it seems that in our game we had way too much money to spend and since money is not for scoring, we all ended up paying way too high for the last 2 polls. The final scores because of my media cubes gave me quite a boost. End game scoring I had 322, Bill had 320 and Dion had 319 (top 3) so we were pretty close.
If you manage to find a copy, do give it a go if you can find 5 players to spend about 4 hours. It is quite fun and you won't even feel that 4 hours have passed. Do take note though that its not a game that gives chances and if you are out of the game early on maybe through lousy cards or mistakes, there is no catch up mechanism and if you spend 4 hours being last and knowing you are last, it can suck. So while I do like the game and won't hesitate to play it, I am not too sure I can bring it out often enough to warrant a buy. Try it before you buy!

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