Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion Review

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Your city has grown and has benefited greatly from the investments you’ve made. However, to stay on for an additional term as mayor you have to step up your game. Machi Koro: Harbor expansion brings bigger, better and more luxurious buildings. That’s what the people want. So get of your feet and go work for your money!

Overview

What do you get for your money?

73 Cards and the rules.

How do you play the game?

The Harbor expansion comes with new establishments that you can buy and build. You can see some of them in de slide-show below.

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These new establishments don’t really change the rules. The addition of two new landmarks, the harbor and the airport, and the new starting building, the city hall, does. Now you have to build six landmarks to win the game and that lengthens the game. It now takes about forty-five minuets to play Machi Koro.

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The city hall gives you a coin when you have no money just before you want to build a building.

The new way to set-up the game is the most important addition of this expansion. In the base-game the market consisted of fifteen stacks of establishment cards, every game the same cards. With the addition of all these new establishment cards, they decided to change the way you set up the game. Now you have to shuffle all the establishment cards together and place them as a draw stack in the middle of the table. Then you draw cards, until you have ten unique stacks. So if you draw a cards that’s already on the table, you place that card on one of the existing stacks.

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Every time a player buys the last cards of a stack you draw new cards until there are ten stacks again.

Review

Nederlandse-vlag

Gameplay

This expansion solves some ‘problems’ I had with the game. The new setup makes the game more dynamic and less predictable, which is good. You now have the make the most of the cards that are for sale, make up your own strategy instead of using the designedly made card combinations. This does mean that there’s more to think about, but I do not thinks it makes the game more difficult to teach or play.

The new establishment cards all add new possibilities to earn money, but because there are only ten unique establishments that are for sale you wont get overwhelmed with choices to be made.

The addition of the new starting card is also a good decision. The town hall makes sure that you always have some money to spend. Then there has to be a cheap building  you can buy, of course.

The only thing I like less about this expansion is the addition of the two Landmarks. Then I don’t talk about the cards themselves, they are fine, but the extra playtime they bring. It doesn’t seem much, fifteen minutes, but it might be just enough for the game to outstay its welcome.

Flavour and Theme

The expansion doesn’t change anything about his. Same old, same old.

Looks

The game looks the same too; colourful and cheerful.

Quality of the  components

Same quality, just more stuff to but in the box.

Fun

Does this expansion make the game more fun? Yes, I like the game much more now. I would give it somewhere between a six and a seven, but to give it the benefit of the doubt I gave it a seven. With that grade I would also like to emphasise the fact that I think the Harbor expansion is an obligatory expansion. It gives you a lot more options, which is fun, and the variable market makes sure that the game doesn’t play out in the same pattern every game, which is more fun too.

The only thing you have to be aware of when you add this expansion is that it can take a little longer to play and I’m not sure if this game needs that extra quarter of an hour.

So, OK, I have to say that I was not a fan of this game when I only played the base-game, but now, the more I played the base game plus the expansion, I think that I can lure a lot of people into gaming with Machi Koro.

More people who play games means more fun for me too, so it’s a keeper for me.

 

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