Monday, February 27, 2012

Lost in Translation

I don't know if it was the fact the game was originally written in German, the fact that only the game's owner had ever played it before, or the fact that he attempted to explain every rule in minutiae before beginning play; but either way by the time we began playing Goa, I hadn't a clue what the point of the game was any more, let alone what I had to do.

It's one of those Eurogames, that is to say it's obsessed with trading and building rather than conflict, and there are several legitimate routes to victory.  This plus a limited translation and far too many things to remember  made it frustratingly difficult to play at first, and for at least three or four turns I had no clue what I was doing.

Towards the end of the game I had grasped the basics though, and even formulated a strategy, I was able to generate a large population more readily than the other players and so concentrated on founding new colonies, indeed I was the only player to establish the maximum four colonies.  Others, including not surprisingly the game owner, had tighter plans from the start, and so I was unsurprised to find I only came third out of four players.

The game had merits, but is unlikely to be a favourite for me, and like Settlers of Catan, it's one I wouldn't recommend to casual gamers.

And not one I'd choose to play again; I might prefer to stick my fingers in the light sockets for the evening.


  1. So ia one of those long, painful, inexplicable Euros, rather than the good ones?

    Have you played Agricola? Similarly hard to explain well, with one of the dullest imaginable themes - farming - but is actually an excellent little Euro.

  2. But did you like it? (After all, you might enjoy sticking your fingers in light sockets).

    -- Jeff

  3. Electrocution certainly leaves fewer scars than a bad gaming experience.

  4. Phyllion; I have played Agricola once and it seemed ok. Personal Eurofaves are Alhambra, Le Harve and Puerto Rico.

    Goa, no, not a fun game really.

  5. I have played Catan and Puerto Rico. They were ok but for me Catan is over rated - I can't say why but it feels bland and leaves me cold. I have to admit there is a part of me that likes things that go bang or twang in my games.

    Puerto Rico at least had the dark humour of putting your little brown ahem "labourers" to work.

    Actually - the triangle trade would be an interesting "Black" Euro game. Sugar, guns and slaves and the impact of their trade on the world is far more interesting and thought provoking than linking hexagons together with little plastic roads.