1. Chris Ingersoll

    I’m not sure how much of it was suboptimal strategy and how much of it was repeatedly getting shafted by just about every type of card I drew, but Vinticulture did not make a solid first impression on me.

    I note you didn’t mention what I was doing during the game, which was repeatedly drawing cards at odds with what I was doing. My first action was to use a visitor to erect both a Trellis and a Water Tower (or whatever) for two VP (one since I took the VP start position). I then proceeded to draw two or three one-value vine cards that required neither. Gee, thanks.

    And really that was the story of my game. Every time I tried something, the cards I drew wouldn’t allow it. I drew very few red grapes… and a bunch of orders for Sparkling Wine. I drew guests that wanted me to sell grapes when I wanted to turn them into wine. And so on.

    I admit that some of my strategic choices might have contributed to this (being behind in the worker race for much of the early game certainly didn’t help) but I feel my real mistake was either not knowing the approximate contents of the various decks or not drawing the cards first and then trying to make them happen. Although given what I was actually drawing I’m not sure that would have been possible.

    I would be up for another game to test things a bit more, but I’m certainly in no rush.

  2. Chris Norwood

    Yeah, I didn’t talk about your approach because I didn’t really know what it was.  I figured it was something along the lines of what you just said, and I seem to remember you exclaiming when you actually managed to draw a decent vine card at one point. 

    Since there is so much card drawing in the game, I could definitely see that sort of thing happening with some regularity.  Mismatch between vine and wine order cards could be an issue, and I also think that there was some definite disparity in the usefulness of the Visitor cards as well. 

    And on the other side of that same coin, I was actually very fortunate in how my vine cards lined up, since I managed to get by with just having irrigation (and no trellis) for most of the game due to drawing cards that either needed neither or just needed irrigation.  So from an efficiency perspective, I was definitely helped by my card draw.

    One suggestion that I had after playing the prototype was to actually have a vine market that would have 3-5 cards face-up for drawing (like in Ticket to Ride or something like that), which really makes more sense thematically (I mean, how many of us go to Lowe’s or a nursery and just blindly buy whatever plant is the next one in line?).  And similarly, you could also have a Wine Order market as well, where you could draft from a line-up maybe in a Small World sort of way, where you’d have to pay Lira to skip over a card you didn’t want.

    Both of these would also add some level of time and complexity to the game, though, so I could see how they might distract from what Jamey and Alan wanted the game to be.

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