***NOTE: This edition includes the Le Grand Hameau expansion.
From the designer of the best game of 2007 (Agricola).
This is much more of a heavy "gamers" game than Agricola, however those who enjoy Agricola will certainly recognize its influence in this title. The rulebook states that this game was very much influenced by Agricola and Caylus.
In this one, players are trying to amass the greatest wealth by collecting good, constructing buildings, and then using those buildings - theirs or other players' - to their best advantage. If you use someone else's building, you'll have to pay them for the privilege, so sometimes it's worth building something that everyone will want to use. After every seven turns you'll need to feed your workers (and sometimes there's a harvest).
This game has a "short game" option, cutting the time in half and is also has a solo option. In the rulebook, it recommends that the 5-player game only be played by those that have played a few times before.
This game is awesome. Just like in Agricola, you have to collect resources to build things, and there is a feeding phase and sometimes a harvest at the end of each turn. Like Caylus, owning buildings is very useful, because people have to pay you when they use them, helping you to gain wealth and/or food. What I like about Le Havre, is that there are more rounds in which to complete your objectives than Agricola. I also like that there are different strategies you can pursue to gain the most wealth - wealth from the value of ships, buildings, and/or shipping goods. Unlike Agricola, you don't lose points for not completing each objective, and depending on which special cards come into play during the game, there are always different bonuses available to increase your total wealth at the end of the game. Very well thought out game design, and once you play the first few turns, it's super easy to understand and start developing your strategy.
One complaint though, all the little tiles that represent the various resources; placed in piles on the board, they become a mess once the game gets going. I ended up using little containers that fit neatly on each resource type's space to contain them all and keep the game a little neater. It would have also been nice if the game board was a tri-fold mounted board, instead of three separate boards that you lay out next to each other; it would prevent the boards from moving around so much. Still a great game though. 10 out of 10!
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: 2009/01/06 Time: 9:24am
This is a new game by the designer of Agricola and clearly it is in the same vein as that suberb farming game. The carry over is evident in the flexiblity of the card selection for the different buildings and the use of resources. It is a game of turn by turn progress in which it is necessarry to carefully plan ahead in order to maximise your gold gain. However if you take your eye off the food needs which escalate each turn you could be in big trouble.
There are lots of decisions to be made each turn and the interaction of building functions and bonuses keeps you on your toes.
The 2 player game is very tense and requires careful planning while the 4 player game is a little more forgiving and may be the best of all. I like the fact you do have a solo version which is a good trainer to learn the basics to teach others how to play.
Great game with replayablity. This could be the post grad level of Agricola.