Yesterday, I managed to dive into a little bit of both my 'bargain ninja finds', Euphoria and Blackout Hong Kong. Tonight, it was time to learn the Automa for Euphoria and REALLY dive in.
I'll be honest - it was a much better 'dive in' than this poor guy. 🤣
Let's start with the board...
I mentioned in my last post that this is a more abstract looking game than I typically am drawn to. But honestly, VERY quickly it all began to look different. In typical iconography fashion, a jumbled intimidating board quickly became a "new language" so to speak and now I get it! 😀 The Euphorian City can be found on the left side of the board, within it's golden walls. Outside this place of luxury are where the other three factions live; Subteran's (bottom), Wastelanders (right) and the Icarans (top). You can also see three tunnels which allow any faction to utilize / dig to gain resources or artifacts. However, once I tunnel is fully dug out, that faction has access to a quick refill of resources (for example once the Euphorian tunnel is dug out, they can access 3-water resources from sending just one worker into the tunnel). So once a tunnel is dug, if one of your active recruits is part of that faction, you can access that tunnel's resources that no other faction can. Cool!
I only realized tonight that the expansion actually comes with player mats as well. Simply a place to see your knowledge and morale levels, house your remaining allegiance tokens, commodities, resources and workers. Awesome!
Now onto the Automa...
In true Stonemaier fashion, the Automa is excellent in my opinion. Easy iconography to learn and very smooth to run. The Euphoria Automa runs very similar to Tapestry's. Meaning in addition to using the cards shown above for the Automa's turns, you play against two Automa opponents (a 3-player game) when playing solo.
I think JW may have commented that this is "actually a good Stonemaier game" because of the custom dice. 🤣 For you dice lovers out there, there's plenty of dice rolls in this game as your dice are your workers. The number on the die represents the amount of knowledge that worker has. Your collective knowledge levels can work against you though, so it really is about balancing the number of workers and keeper their knowledge levels low to moderate to ensure they don't get too wise and take off!
I really love the mechanics with the dice in Euphoria. In particular when you retrieve your workers, you re-roll each time which changes your collective knowledge of your workers. If you get "bumped" (by an opponent or by your own choice), you also re-roll the worker die.
Here's a bit into the game. I have to say though, aside from losing to the White Automa, I was really confused why the game was taking so long! 🤔 Sure I had to read the Automa rulebook (which isn't long) and of course I had to dive into the rulebooks to check on things as I went along, but it still wasn't making sense why the game was SO LONG??? On the box it says 60min. From my Stonemaier love and collection, I know that typically most of their games are 45-60min solo for sure. I was a bit confused, but kept pushing on - though it was getting tense.
In Euphoria, there's no VPs. First player to place all 10-Allegiance tokens (stars) wins!
2 hours in (technically probably 90min of play time), I realized WHY the game was going so long... I missed a rule in the Automa rulebook. Oops! In my defense, it's not in the best place OR overly noticeable when you're reading through everything and learning how the Automa runs. The rule that differes for the Automa has to do with placing Allegiance tokens on the territories. Notice in the picture above, there's a star-looking space that says "Subterran Territory" for example - When all these spaces are taken in a typical game, you can still use the markets to bump the allegiance track for that faction, but you just wouldn't be able to place an allegiance token since the territory spaces are all full. The Automa (however) can STILL PLACE STARS even when the territory is full. No wonder it was taking so long! 🤣 I quickly realized that the White Automa had one probably 20ish minutes earlier for sure. 🤣
Overall I really didn't know what to expect from Euphoria. I love most (but not all) Stonemaier games and the theme had me intrigued. Otherwise, I wasn't sure what I'd be getting into. But in true Stonemaier fashion, they made me a fan of this game after just my first play!! 😀 I'm excited to dive in more and I'm absolutely so happy to have it in my collection.