Ring Side Report- Board Review of Rococo

Product– Rococo

Producer-Eagle games

Set-up/Play/Clean-Up-30-40/player (2-5 players)

Price-~$60 at http://smile.amazon.com/Rococo-Rokoko/dp/B00GYB6R7O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404149257&sr=8-1&keywords=Rococo

TL; DR-A crazy mix of mechanics that work well! 90%

 

Basics– Let’s get ready to roc(k)! In Rococo, you play a business that makes clothing for the nobles of Louis XV court as you vie for the most prestige during one of the numerous balls.  I’m going to do a simple summary, but this game has LOTS of different game mechanics.  Each turn you select three different workers from your worker deck.  These workers come in three different types: master, journeyman, and apprentice.  The remaining cards from your deck are set aside, and you have to choose next turn’s cards/actions from those.  The different workers can do different things.  Masters can do everything, while journeymen can’t hire new people and apprentices can’t make dresses, hire people, or take the first player marker.  Then, with your hand of three cards you go around the board selecting different actions with no limit to the number of times the same action can be performed.  These actions are: become the first player, buy silk/thread/linen, make a dress, hire a new employee, send employees to the king for a monetary reward, and fund decoration at the ball for points.  After taking an action, most worker cards have a second action that they get to perform as a free action like shopping again or making dresses without a type of silk.  When you make a dress, you have to spend the type of silk it requires as well as thread and/or lace.  After, you can place the dress in one of five rooms in the ball or sell the dress for money.  Each round, new workers, resources, and dresses come out and you receive a few coins to fund more dresses.  After the seventh round, you score points.  Points are scored based on each dress, decorating the hall, having the most and second most dresses in each of the five halls, having dresses in all the halls, and other card effects.  The person with the most points is the best dress maker at this ball.

 

Theme– The theme is pretty strong in this one and it ties pretty well with what the mechanics are.  Yes, you make dresses, but all the steps in making that dress come across pretty well.  And the fact that your lowliest workers can’t make the fancy dresses makes this seem more real than you would originally think.  I won’t lie, as this game doesn’t have a perfectly integrated theme as I don’t feel like I’m sewing a dress when I make a dress.  But, I do feel like I’m making something.  The board makes this feel like a ball and you can feel the fight develop between the players as they out maneuver one another to get the dresses to the right places for the most prestige. 4/5

 

Mechanics– There is WAY too much going on in this game, but MAN does it work.  This game is like if you took all your favorite games from the last few years, put them in a blender, and it the heavy grind button.  This game could have failed so badly on the launch pad, but the people who put this together know what they were doing.  All the different mechanics work so well together.  There is a lot going on, but it’s all moving in the right direction.  And, it’s easy to quickly get a grasp of! 5/5

 

Instructions- The instructions have a lot of ground to cover trying to explain the full concepts I briefly explained before.  That said, the instructions do it well.  For such a complicated game the rule book is only FOUR double sided pages!  Well done!  5/5

 

Execution– I like the parts of this game, with a few minor reservations.  The components are nice.  I love thick cardboard.  The dresses come with a nice bag to randomize them, but why wasn’t there a nice bad for the cloth?  It’s hard to shuffle cardboard stacks, so give me a different bag!  Also the box comes with some plastic bags, but not quite enough to separate all the parts.  And, the box is a lighter grade cardboard then the tokens, so it’s kind of flimsy.  Those are minor concerns as the game in general is well put together.   4/5

 

Summary– I played this game at Origins because I had an extra ticket and I wanted to get my fifth card for a discount on a different game by this company.  Man, am I glad I sat down and played this game even though the theme put me off at first.  It is an amazing game that just “works”.  It’s like bees-scientifically they shouldn’t have been able to fly until we found out recently how they did.   This game features lots of differing mechanics that should clutter up a game and render it an unplayable mess, but the game mechanics all work so well together.  That, to me, is one of the more amazing things I’ve seen in a while.  This is a really smart game.  If you love hard thinking board game, then give this one a try. 90 %

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4 thoughts on “Ring Side Report- Board Review of Rococo

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, Ill try to get the hang of it!

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