Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hansa - Winds of Change review

As posted on the BGG
I've enjoyed playing Hansa since I discovered it - it plays quickly and while there are choice, its not a game that will cause a player to sit all night deciding on their move. When I heard there was an expansion map, I was excited, because I could see the limited replay ability of the first. At first glance, this map looks nearly the same - it not, its actually considerably different. A number of the direction arrows have been reversed, new lanes have been added and this map allows you to move against the direction of the arrow by paying double the move cost. There are also new scoring rules - the additional scoring also makes for much different considerations. The end scoring is ala Hansa Extrakarte, which after a few playings, I'm pretty sure is not all that great. In fact, the scoring seems to reward the leader more than it helps bring a player who is behind back up. Still, this is a worthy option for fans of Hansa. Its always nice to have a bit of difference in a game you enjoy.
At this time, this is a print and play - I've not seen where this has been printed yet. It is available as an option in online play at MaBiWeb.
- New map with new options is a breath of fresh air to Hansa fans.
- The Extrakarte scoring can lead to a runaway leader.
- The first time you play this map, expect to make mistakes ;)
As I said, if you want to play this, you need to print out the JPG image available here or go play online at MaBiWeb. I recommend the latter to get a feel for if you want to spend the time printing and putting together this new map.
I've downgraded my rating for this and Hansa to a 6/10. Luck drives this game far to much, and while its always been light tactical fare, the new scoring rules don't help mitigate that. If anything, I'd rate this map slightly below the original. I think the current rating (7.4) is only this high due to the newness and once that wears off, the ratings should come back down to earth.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Yeah, if I'm to play Hansa again, it won't be the Winds of Change version. I don't mind the randomness in the regular, but it's just out of control in the new version, and like you said, runaway leader is a huge issue.