Sorry for the lack of updates. Last Friday I got this new game, which I’ve been playing almost non-stop since. It’s called Die Wahnvorstellung. I can’t do the typical ‘Geek link, as it’s not yet listed there — it’s so new. The edition I have is hand made by the designer, but I hear he is currently working on a deal with either Hans im Glück or Alea. It’s designed by this new designer called Jürgen Lüge — you probably haven’t heard of him, but you sure will!
So, I got this game from German friends of mine, who told me it’s the best board game ever, period. I first thought that was just hype, but after four days and about 30 or so games of it (and it isn’t a short game, it takes about two hours to finish after you’ve learned it!), I think I can agree.
Die Wahnvorstellung‘s mechanics are so cool. I thought Die Macher was a great mixture of the best mechanics in German games, but this one is even better. There’s auctions, action points, roles, area control, exploration… Almost anything you could want, and it works like charm. All the mechanics are connected very smoothly and the game is surprisingly easy to learn. It’s not an easy filler, sure, but there’s the same clean logicalness in it as one can find in Die Macher. It’s easy to understand how it works.
But the difficult part is in the strategies… make no mistake, Die Wahnvorstellung is a deep game. Deeper than Puerto Rico, deeper than Euphrat & Tigris. You’ll learn the initial strategies during the first game, but understanding all the finer details takes a lot more time. After the 30 games I’ve played I’ve found out some quite clever tactics and tricks, but I still haven’t figured out even an almost optimal strategy. So there’s lots of replay potential. It also might mean Die Wahnvorstellung isn’t that good a game for casual players. But it can be played on a more casual level, I just don’t think it’ll do justice for this great game.
What about the theme, then? Well, it’s actually quite well done for a German game. Die Wahnvorstellung is about ancient history: players are great lords in the ancient Assyria. It’s a battle for prestige and status, and the players have lots of options in their hands. The designer-made version is of course more functional than beautiful, but I’ve seen some pictures of the stuff Franz Vohwinkel has done for the game. They’re just early drafts, but if the final product is anything like that, it’s going to be pretty!
But this is all I have time to write now — I must go continue playing the game! I’ll write a more detailed review later, with a better explanation of the rules and all, but now I just want to keep on playing. My friends are starting a game without me if I don’t stop writing this, and I don’t want that to happen!