Machi Koro Harbor Expansion : invest in the waterfront

Two weeks ago I reviewed the core game of Machi Koro. In that review I said that one of the issues with the base game is the static market, and that the expansions changed this for the better. I have the Deluxe edition of the game which includes both the Harbor Expansion, which we will look at here today, but also Millionaire’s Row which introduces another feature but sticks with the new market that Harbor (it hurts to spell it like that btw) introduced. So, if you have never played Machi Koro before I suggest taking a look at the original post, because I will not go through basic gameplay here today. This will only be a look at the Harbor Expansion and how it changes the gameplay for the better. So let’s jump straight in shall we?

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Diary of a playtester

As you know, a game takes a long time to get to that beautiful piece you bring to the table. And many many versions of the game have come and gone before that – from flimsy notes to sturdy almost finished components. And all along the way playtesters have been needed. From partners in crime and family, to friends, to the greater public. Newbies and seasoned gamers, and of course gamers with all possible tastes. You have to be able to find your target group!

As a reviewer and gamer I will happily playtest a game. Since I’m rather new in the community, and live in a somewhat remote country, I haven’t exactly had many opportunities. Usually playtesting also requires the tester in question to print their own copy of the latest prototype and go from there. And that is always tricky. Now I do have a father with some connections, but I can’t ask him to print deck after deck of cards you know? But during spring I signed up to playtest a game by a Swedish publisher (and I think I should be receiving the finished copy once they get it out on the actual market) and it was good fun bringing it to my student game group and trying to figure out what worked and didn’t. And just recently I stumbled upon a small game that was in the public playtest phase and just looked so darling that I had to give it a go. So I thought, why not start another little thing on the blog. Not a review or a highlight or musings on a specific game topic, but a kind of diary. Or maybe this is just another type of musings? Anyway, let me tell you a little about the two different playtests…

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Machi Koro : build that city!

I quite like the unpredictability of dice. And I love the feeling of dice in my hands. Last week we looked at a game all about the dice, this week we’ll reduce the number of dice and up the number of cards. Because this week we have all become mayors of our own small Japanese town, and it’s our job to make it the best town it can be. Machi Koro is a so called engine builder where we as mayors will acquire new establishments for our respective towns, and race the others to first finish certain landmarks that will really put your town on the map. So plow that wheat field and fire up the bakery, because it’s time to play Machi Koro…

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Roll For It! : an addictive dice rolling game

I really enjoy dice rolling. And I’m sure a lot of you do too. What I also really love is a good filler. It’s important to have some fun quick games in your collection that you can bring to the table when there’s not much time, or while you wait for people to arrive, or simply when you want something easy. For my birthday this year I got the game Roll For It! and it turned out to be exactly such a game. It’s a push your luck dice chucking game that you can’t seem to just play once. Every time I’ve brought it to the table we’ve gone “Again!” and just started over. It’s something about that combination of luck (and bad luck), dice, and ease. It’s so addictive!

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Aquädukt : steal water from your neighbour

Sometimes you buy a game pretty much blindly, based on a recommendation or the art or something else. And sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. I bought a set of three used games based on a recommendation, and one of them was Aquädukt. In this instance it did work out. If you have looked at other posts on the blog you can probably figure out that I lean way more towards eurogames than american style. And this is very much a euro game. A light one, but 100% euro for sure. You’re in ancient Rome, building a new sprawling city in the beautiful countryside. But as all good Romans know, a house is not worth anything unless it’s provided with water. So as you build your houses you have to make sure the city’s aqueducts reach your house, but not your enemy’s. Ready to get your hands dirty and your feet wet? Let’s get going!

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