The Bands Meeting Back at Euphoria, Wait! It’s Our First Time and Ignorance is Bliss

Last summer at GenCon we meandered towards a room brimming with tables, volunteers and Stonemaier Games. We determined quickly that there were booked sessions to learn, play the various offerings and sold out well before, so circled the room and we were drawn to the game Euphoria, set up for the next group. The theme and retro artwork caught our attention. A cordial gentleman offered to walk us through the mechanics of the game until the schedule group arrived. To our good fortune, they were a bit tardy, and we were able to grab about twenty minutes of gameplay. At first attempt the board appeared busy and arduous to track; nevertheless we continued, and the sense of being overwhelmed was just clearing when the players arrived.
I shake my fists at the sky and scream WHY, (internally, so not to scare the folks in the room) and thank the young man and skulk away with the mental note to acquire Euphoria.

We were able to play Euphoria ten times before venturing to Ignorance is Bliss.

Our quick thoughts on Euphoria
Euphoria is won when a player places his tenth Authority marker on the board. In a given turn you either you place a worker on one of the positions on the board, or you retrieve your workers and rerolling them for the next turn. Seems straightforward? Hardly, it took a few playthroughs to get past over analyzing the multitude of options. There is an excellent balance of resource allocation, penalties tied to missed opportunities and incentives to jump from your strategy to join others constructing markets. The gameplay allows for a multitude of approaches to winning, all of which make for captivating games and favorable replayability. We found Euphoria entertaining and, the more we played and understand how the resource gathering, trading, collecting and engine building, we had deep rich experience.

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Ignorance is Bliss
Euphoria Ignorance is Bliss is the first expansion for Euphoria that includes new Recruit cards and Construction cards that replace (not add) the Euphoria cards. Stickers for the tunnels for better player balance. New Player boards for organization, which is my bag, so I was delighted to find those gems. Larger tokens for multiple resources, which are charming, however, we have yet to utilize them. The Marketplace board that offers four face up options!!!! The “New Antiques Bazaar” board for artifact cards, has one artifact at the end always free, with the others costing a commodity. This makes scoring a pair more accessible but heightens the stress because the choices are exposed.

The new Recruits cards offer Factionless recruits that have potent abilities with the symmetry of not aligning with a faction, so they don’t gain the benefits from the allegiance track. These Factionless cards at the outset seem the optimum card, but in the end, is the deficit of no allegiance worth it?  We have played with and without the Factionless Recruit, and The Nerdz were split on this subject but found the benefits intriguing. A primary focus was trying to maximize the amount or worker (dice) and found that three workers were the safe bet. Trying to keep four workers with a lack of knowledge and happy so they would not leave, would last only a round or two.

The minor rule change for the setup, the players whose faction isn’t in the majority now, start with two bonus commodities. This doesn’t seem like a significant change, but a delicate balance. The additional new rule is when using multiple dice on a turn now costs Morale for each die after the first. This makes rolling doubles less powerful but makes Morale more beneficial.

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The expansion offers Automa components and rules for solo play and for playing two player games like they’re four player games. This was our first time at playing Automa. We did have the rule book out throughout and were able to follow the symbols for the Automa turns. We can see how adding the two players can make for a more robust game; however, we found it challenging keeping track of their moves and then back to our strategies. The Automa won every time we utilized them, so we stopped because we thoroughly enjoyed the two player game and did not find it lacking.

We were very excited to get this to the table. So how did our experience compare to our expectations?
It succeeded!
The variety and amended rules really opened the game up. To be honest, playing them in succession, it felt like a new game. We played five player and two player games, and during both, we found the new rules limit the luck of dice and heighten the strategy.

Ignorance is Bliss is a big win!
It is a very satisfying and thematic experience.

 

 

https://stonemaiergames.com/

Euphoria: Ignorance Is Bliss 

Publisher: Stonemaier Games

Designer Morten Monrad Pedersen, Nick Shaw, David J. Studley
Artist Jacqui Davis
Year: 2019

Players: One to Six

Ages: 10+

Playing Time: Forty minutes to hour and a half

Genre: Euro-style Worker Placement/Area Control

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia 

Publisher: Stonemaier Games   

Designer Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone

Artist Jacqui Davis

Year: 2013

Players: Two to Six

Ages: 13+

Playing Time: An hour to hour and a half

Genre: Euro-style Worker Placement/Area Control

Nerdz Garage

SuZann Smith

Categories: TableTop Board Game Review

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