This weekend was my first time playing Orleans as a 2 player game. We got started sort of slowly, but we still managed to squeak a game out in just over an hour. This game is really satisfying in that you feel like you can take a ton of actions by the end of the game. There are definitely numerous strategies that will take you to victory. Even though it is a Euro Game with no real story elements, I really feel a bit like a medieval noble as I recruit characters and determine how my fief is going to develop.
Meeple Source upgrade pack
The Meeple Source upgrade for the kickstarter ran about $90. The upgrade included all of the different classes of characters that a player can recruit during the game. The upgrade did not include any pieces for the Craftsman tech upgrades, the goods, or the citizens that are worth victory points at the end of the game.
Those meeples included had a very nice paint job and all had a regular shape so that you can’t feel the difference in the bag. I thought that the shape of the meeples might bother me compared to the discs that were supposed to be used with the game. The other slight negative about these pieces is that the starting pieces are not marked in any way. You have to mark them yourselves. I took just about 2-3 minutes with some of my miniatures paints to mark the bottom of the feet of all the starting pieces with the proper color. This meant the pretty art on the front and back of the pieces was not disrupted by some ugly hand done strips of paint.
I also took some old copper, silver, and gold coins from a LARP that I used to play and used them for the coins for Orleans. The tactile feel of metal coins for this game really ramps up the theme. I could not even imagine playing this game cardboard coins. The sound they make as they clank is great.
I set out the goal of trying to replicate the kickstarter deluxe edition so that I could experience this game as I did when I played a friend’s copy at a convention. I just couldn’t believe the massive amount of money people were selling the game for for that edition. I couldn’t find one for under 185 dollars. Well, after supplying my own coins and getting the amazing meeple pieces, I’m still not done meeting the upgrades of the deluxe edition. I’ve already spent almost 150 to get it to that point. I don’t regret it at all. The meeples are really amazing and the coins that I added are quite good. This leads me to the conclusion that instead of tracking down rare copies of some games, if you get a lot of premium components, you can use them to upgrade all your games. I use these metal coins for every game that I can, and it makes the games so much better.