Friday 24 November 2023

Completing Dorfromantik

Younger daughter Chen Rui and I have "completed" Dorfromantik, after playing 10 games. "Completed" as in we have unlocked all the game components and rules. We actually did that at the end of Game 9. We played Game 10 with all components in play. The campaign doesn't end there. There is no end, technically. It's just that there won't be new components to unlock. 

Spoiler alert! Photos and descriptions below include content which is only available from Game 2 onwards. If you want to fully experience the component unlocking yourself, you may not want to read on. You can read the spoiler-free blog post here. I don't think spoilers will affect your enjoyment much though. 

I found the early games of Dorfromantik unexciting. Most of the time it's better to draw mission tiles. However as more and more special tiles are added, the decision on which tile type to draw becomes trickier. There are many special tiles which you will hope to be able to draw earlier, especially before completing your missions, because they can double the points of your missions. It is no longer straight-forward, and that's a good thing. 

Some new tiles make the game more challenging, e.g. the one with both train tracks and a river (see photo above). More challenge = more fun and satisfaction. There are many ways to score points, and it's not easy to keep track of them all. You often have to prioritise and be ready to sacrifice some. 

When Chen Rui and I became more familiar with the tile mix, we planned around what we knew would be coming. E.g. if a certain tile had not come out, we knew we could play our current tile this way, because that tile which was coming would help us to complete this particular terrain type. 

The balloon is a fun special tile. Whenever you play a tile next to the balloon, you have the option of moving the balloon onto the new tile. When the game ends, the balloon scores points based on how far it is from its starting tile. 

When you play a regular tile, you have the option of placing a heart on it. The heart scores 1pt for each edge where the terrain matches that of the adjacent tile. This example above is a perfect 6 points. Three edges are villages, two are train tracks, and the last one is a plain. Train track and river edges must match. If they don't you can't even place the new tile. However villages, wheatfields, forests and plains need not match. 

So many missions! 

In this particular game, the balloon went quite far. When we drew a useless tile, we used it to make the balloon go further. 2pts is not a lot but it is something. 

The map can become quite oddly-shaped. 

That building at the centre is the train station. If the tracks it is connected to terminate at the other end as well, you score 1pt per tile. 

This fog tile was the last component we unlocked. It is a joker, and that's a powerful ability. You can treat any of the edges as any terrain type you like. At this point in the game we were building a river, and we used the fog tile to extend it. There is a drawing of a river on the fog tile itself. We oriented it to look like it was actually extending our real river. It wasn't necessary, but it was fun. Thematic! 

The longest river scores points. In this game, we prepared to have this long river terminated by the harbour when we drew it (that special tile at the top right). This meant we scored the river twice, once for being the longest river, and then again for the harbour's power. A river connected to the harbour, if terminated at the other end, scores 1pt per tile. 

The railroad tracks connected to the train station is pretty long too. 

At the bottom right there is a special tile - the shepherd. All sheep connected to the shepherd score points. In this particular game we managed to get many sheep close to the shepherd. He scored 16 points! It was cool to make a donut from rivers too. It didn't score points, but it was photo-worthy. 

This is Chen Rui and my record after having played 10 games of Dorfromantik. This is the campaign sheet you use for tracking progress and unlocking components. When we played our 10th game, we were able to exceed the highest rank of 400 points. That was why we felt contented and we were happy to reset and return the game to Han, to let new players start their own journey. 

1 comment:

Zoe said...

Finishing Dorfromantik was truly a satisfying challenge! The intricate landscapes and strategic tile placements kept me hooked. On another note, considering the precision of Dorfromantik, it reminded me of the precision in Ultrasonic rhinoplasty. Both involve careful craftsmanship, whether building dream landscapes or refining facial features. Cheers to the artistry in games and the finesse in modern cosmetic procedures!