Harbour (Print on demand review Copy provided by TMG – Tasty Minstrel Games)
Have you ever wanted to play Le Havre but really didn’t want to spend 2 1/2 hours? Or have to deal with all the fiddly bits you always get with a Uwe Rosenburg game? Do you want to get a beginner into a game like Le Havre but know that if you bring it out they will not only run away faster than you can explain the game but will never come back to your game night or return your calls or speak to you out of fear? Well I might have a solution for you Harbour. This game as you will notice in many other reviews is a lot like Le Havre with various resources and places to get them and ways to increase their value. What you get to skip out on is the feeding your workers and all the fiddliness. You buy buildings, sell goods and manipulate a market place all in an attempt to purchase 4 buildings worth more Victory Points than your competitors. You will start the game with a player board (4 provided in the base game and more will be possible as stretch goals on the upcoming Kickstarter Campaign). Each board gives that player a special ability; Retaining extra good, 2 extra VPs if you trigger the end of the game, extra money if you sell the good in the lowest value position and Use a building someone else is on. You start the game with 3 resources of your choice (3 of one, 2 and 1 or 1 of three different resources). The market is then randomly set up so that each resource has a different demand and value. Finally a number of building available for purchase are randomly drawn from the deck (number of players + 2) and are available for use to all the players. What ever the demand is for the resource is that max you will make from selling/shipping it. For example if Stone is in the $3 position you must have at least 3 stone to ship but you are required to ship all of that resource. If you happen to have more than the required amount you will still ship everything in your possession of that good but still only receive money for the amount required. The market is then shifted to show a reduced demand of any of the goods shipped. Here is a better explanation on how the market works than what I could provide Restocking the Market. Some buildings (marked with a Warehouse) or player abilities allow players to retain some of the good that were shipped or any excess goods. Other building bonuses include: Coins-Buy Buildings for $1 less for each coin, Top Hats-allow you to use other players building (those they started with or have purchased) without paying a one resource fee, Anchors-There are several resource collecting building that will give one resource per anchor in your possession.
As mentioned above my copy was a Print on Demand prototype version with pieces from other games sent as stand-ins so I can’t speak to final component quality but TMG has been known in the past for high quality components. Some remarks or suggestions I would make would be for the Player Boards/Starting Building to be a little larger in the final production. I know they are attempting to go with a small foot print but this would create an easier playing situation and a nicer game. The cards provided for the building cards were of a really good quality even for the PoD version. The art in my opinion is outstanding. It is whimsical and fun and puts a smile on my face when I look at it.
When one player has built their 4th building it triggers the end of the game and each other player gets one last turn. After the last turn the player with the highest VPs shown as Stars on the Building Cards wins the game.
I enjoyed this game, it had a nice Euro/Economic game feel without some of the traditional heaviness that can run some people off. My wife and I need a game to get our minds wrapped around the market but in our second game it came quite easily. My wife stated that the Market manipulation was what made the game. Use the movement to burn a fellow player out of all the money they were planning on spending right before they do by shipping goods of your own or landing moving to a building that allows you to move the market around is a major strategic portion of this game. you can win this game without being the player to end the game if you only buy large VP buildings and the player to hit 4 first only bought low VP buildings but in all of our games the person to close out the game has won but each time if the other player had snagged a building first they would have won. My suggestion is if you are looking for a lighter Euro/Economic game pick this up when it hits Kickstarter on June 15th I think you will really enjoy it.
Suggested Movie: One Crazy Summer (About some underdogs taking on the rich boys in a harbor town), Summer Rental (Again the underdogs take on the rich jerks) both are good classic comedies.
What Movie do you suggest? Let me know in the comments below.
Game Type: Euro/Economic Board Game using cards as the board
Ages: 12 and up
Size: Large Micro
Me – 8.5 (I will play this game any time someone suggests it and will occasionally ask for it myself. Good solid Euro with quick playtime of approx. 30 minutes)
My Wife – 7 (She enjoyed the art and said she would be happy to play if I asked to but would probably not ask to play it herself)
Daughter – Did not play but thought the art was fun.
AVERAGE SCORE – 7.75 If you like euros or economic games this a must buy for the footprint and time required. A great game to move a beginning gamer into this style of game.