Friday, November 18, 2005

#2: Euphrat & Tigris

I (Mark) have to be honest - this is a game I don't particularly like... but I have incredible respect for the design. And realize that I'm in the minority - Euphrat & Tigris is considered by many to be Knizia's masterpiece. But don't mind me... listen to what these fans have to say.

Stephen Glenn: "I have a feeling this will wind up #2 on this list, which is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Euphrat & Tigris never fails to amaze me. Each and every time I play it I learn something new, either regarding the design or some new, potential strategy. A sublime gaming experience."

Pat Korner: "The game that scales the best from 2 to 4 players that I've seen. A 2 player game is every bit as tense and good as a 3 player game, and a 4 player game is also great. Reiner Knizia's in top form here, with lots of mechanics in play that all positively reinforce each other instead of becoming fiddly and confusing."

Frank Hamrick: "This was my first German game, and has been at the top of my ratings from my first play in 1998. An absolute classic. Tile laying with angst that provides a wargame like feel. (This one has all of the criteria/biases I enjoy most in a game.)"

Joe Huber: "The rise and fall of civilizations in a mere 30 minutes." [Stephen: That's HuberSpeed (tm), of course.]

Larry Levy: "I used to rate this one higher, but I grew a little disenchanted with the effect that the tile draw can have on the game's outcome. Still, this is a brilliant design, with an almost unparalleled scope for strategy. Only a genius like Knizia could come up with an idea as simple, but as effective, as the celebrated "best of the worst" scoring system. Like Puerto Rico, this can be analyzed extensively or enjoyed by restricting one's thinking to the game at hand. I'm not sure I can think of any German game whose appearance was anticipated so much and which was delayed so long (well, not from a professional publisher - 7 Ages clearly wins the "longest wait" prize). E&T didn't appear until over a year after it was supposed to hit the presses, while Knizia and Hans im Gluck honed the design. The relief when the game finally appeared that it was well worth the wait may have had much to do with the instant acceptance of what is after all a very difficult game. I think other games have also benefited from this kind of anticipation (including Puerto Rico, Age of Steam, and Citadels), but none of them had anything like the kind of wait E&T had."

Joshua Miller: "Although there is a good dose of luck, the scope for richly-textured strategic and tactical play is astounding. The feel of the game matches its theme almost perfectly."



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