Awesome game. We got a four-player session of Die Macher to the table yesterday. On BGG this is rated as one of the heaviest Euro games (current rating: 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5)...and it is considered a classic and well regarded. So, we had to get the game to the table. The game was first published in 1986 (but we were playing Valley Games edition from 2006).
We assembled at my house at 9AM Saturday morning and set the boards up. We enjoyed munchies and mimosas and coffee of course. One key factor in our enjoyment of playing board games is the camaraderie and social interaction! And, being from New Orleans then food and drink is important in all we do together!
In advance of this session, Edward had assumed the responsibility of reading the rules and preparing to teach the rest of us, but, we each watched the excellent "Board Games with Scott" video to prime our learning. [Editor's note: Thank you Scott!, Awesome job on the video!]. When we got everything set up, we went over the rules and clarifications and everyone grasped it pretty well and pretty quickly. We went through a list of variants published by some Die Macher players (thanks Iorwerth!), but after considering each one, we decided to play the rules as published. Remember, this is the Valley Games edition, so there are a couple of rules changes from the original. Once we settled on that, we actually played one practice turn so that we could each experience the activities before going at if for real. This was a really smart thing to do. Everyone established a comfort level for what was to come.
So, after the time spent socializing, eating, setting up and going through things thoroughly, we started the game about 11:15AM. The game took us 3.5 hours as we wrapped up about 2:45PM. Everyone agreed that the game play was fantastic and engaging, and are excited to play again soon. Some other friends came over at 3PM and we played other games! Yay!
So, we collected some thoughts about the game and wanted to toss a few out here. So, here they are anonymously and randomly noted!
- Rules are straightforward, the complexity comes from the depth they create.
- Practicing that first turn was a real benefit to us all.
- We loved the "square tomatoes".
- "Media Control" is a great mechanic.
- We're not fans of random stuff in serious games. But, these dice are weighted and we did not feel like they had a big impact on the game at all.
- Playing ahead onto the future elections is cool.
- Each player choosing their starting arrangement is cool.
- We didn't like that the seventh election just happens, we'd love to be able to manipulate it, but you just have to plan for it. If we could manipulate it all resources could come to bear and that would not be too good.
- We didn't like that the last opinion poll could just go to the player with the most cash, since money is worth nothing.
- We didn't like that the graphic art for the industry and nuclear power cards is too similar, caused a couple problems.
- We're likely to blend in a variant or two as we play more to see how they play.
We're going to play Die Macher again both on Tuesday night and on Saturday morning of the coming week. Soon, the game will be featured in our podcast, but we want to have multiple plays under our belts before waxing about the game. So, stay tuned, more to come. So, be sure to keep an ear out for the upcoming podcast about this game!