Thursday, September 07, 2006

Klaus Teuber

The best games of designer Klaus Teuber...

Just missed the cut:

Also nominated:

For comparison, the top six games from 2002:

Since we've been lumping some of the games together (for example, both versions of Entdecker), we gave the Apple Pickers the ability to indicate a preference for a particular version of the game.

  • With Entdecker, the Pickers were split evenly between the Goldsieber and Kosmos/Mayfair versions of the game.
  • OTOH, the Pickers markedly preferred "vanilla" Settlers over any of the expansions.



Blogger mark aka pastor guy said...

I was personally very glad to see Elasund make an appearance, as well as my personal favorites: Entdecker, Lowenherz & Settlers.

OTOH, I was (pleasantly) surprised that the Settlers Card Game ended up nominated at all - I still love the game, but it probably hasn't aged as well as some of Herr Teuber's designs.

The game that's missing is Gnadenlos! - an obscure but very enjoyable western game (complete with prospecting, poker-playing & gunfighting).

And, for the record, the older edition of Entdecker is better: less bloated, more fun. And Settlers is at it's best when played with the Historical Scenario boxes... yes, I'm looking forward to the Fall of Rome/"new Settlers game" coming out at Essen this year - thanks for asking.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Greg J. Schloesser said...

I was VERY happy with the results of this category. Although I'm personally not a fan of Adel Verplichtet (unless that is also the name for that wonderful chocolate dessert I had a few times in Germany!), I do recognize that it is a good design and well respected.

Thanks for including me in this project, Mark!

12:10 PM  
Blogger Shannon Appelcline said...

I'd generally agree with all the Teuber picks, and the historical scenarios are indeed my favorite Settlers too. Except for Alexander.

I'm a little less convinced that Elasund would be there if not for its new factor, but we'll see.

12:13 PM  
Blogger David Fair said...

I was very pleased to see Domaine in the list. I much prefer it to the longer Lowenhurts (oh yeah, i spelled that right). Nice to see that some of the other Apple Pickers agreed with me.

Thanks for letting me be a part of this Mark. I am enjoying the process and watching the evolution as well.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Tery N said...

I really don't see Elasund holding up over time, but perhaps that is just because I don't really like it.

Teuber is the designer of 2 of my favorite games - Endtecker and Adel Verpflichtet.

I've enjoyed the selection process for the Apples Project so far - it has reminded me of some oldies-but-goodies that need to see more playing time.

12:26 PM  
Blogger huzonfirst said...

Like Nick, I'm not a huge Teuber fan, but I was happy to see three of my Big Four make the list: Lowenherz (easily my favorite Teuber game), Elasund, and Domaine. Only Barbarossa missed the cut, but that was a long shot to begin with; at least it got nominated. Lowenherz and Domaine are certainly sufficiently different to warrant their individual nominations. The split between the heavier, nastier Klaus (the three games I've already mentioned) and the light Klaus (Adel and Entdecker) is interesting; only Settlers is really a middle of the road design.

I don't really see why Elasund won't hold up with time. It's a well crafted design that seems to play consistently well. Most of Herr Teuber's meatier games seemed to have aged well.

And Mark, I also like Gnadenlos, as a light, family-style game. I'd certainly rather play it than Adel and probably prefer it Entdecker. (Which reminds me, you've misspelled it as Endtecker in the posting.)

1:04 PM  
Anonymous estoote langobarden said...

I don't think it's unfair to suggest that Elasund got SOME of its support because of the newness factor. By the same token, I think some of Lowenherz's support was because of the NOSTALGIA factor. I played it again recently and its negotiation process just isn't... I don't know, just isn't quite as interesting as it ought to be for the amount of time it takes.

Since Mark put in a word for the original Entdecker, I'll put in a word for the new Entdecker: "Enjoy!"

As for the game formerly known as By Hook or By Crook, how awful a name is "Hoity Toity"? If the name actually had anything to do with the play of the game, I might be able to stand it. What a sore thumb.

It would be interesting to have a category simply to pick the top five games amongst Settlers and its spinoffs. Not only Starship Catan but Settlers of Nuremburg would get some serious consideration, I'm sure. I also have a warm spot in my heart for Anno 1503, which is not connected by name to the Settlers family but seems at least as much a Settlers-style game as does Elasund.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Kevin_Whitmore said...

I applaud the choice to restart the Apples Project with Klaus Teuber's games. Settlers of Catan was the bona fide gateway game for European/Designer games for the longest time. Nowadays other games have mostly assumed this mantle, but many of us Applepickers owe a debt to Settlers as one of our early formative experiences with European Games.

Of Klaus's other games I am a HUGE fan of "Semi-New" Entdecker. The original edition of Entdecker is greatly improved by importing the Manu variant; & the use of the gold die, and map edge bounties from the new set. Mark Johnson has a great article on Boardgamegeek outlining how to use these ideas from the Kosmos edition of Entdecker with the original Goldsieber release.

As for the rest, I'm a fan of Domaine, Lowenherz, and Elasund. Adel Verpflichtet falls flat for me, but it is innocuous.

Thanks to Mark for including me as an Applepicker. I'm enjoying it!

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan Degann said...

Count me in the group that prefers the New Entdecker. The old one is somehow portrayed as lighter. Shorter, yes, but less fun because of the emphasis on closing off islands. It makes the game more abstract and brain-burny. The New Entdecker feels more like a game of exploration and control whereas the Old One feels more like a geometry exercize.

I'm also in an apparent minority of people who did not vote for Elasund. I respect the game - it is very well designed, but also lacking in excitement. All of the high scoring bombs in the game involve trashing your opponents. Your own growth is slow and incremental - painfully so.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

Kevin already pointed out that my preferred way to play Entdecker is the old games with some of the new rules. But I've also played the well-known Manu variant recently, and even the plain, old original with no face-up tiles for players. It's all good.

Since I use several rules from the new game, you can imagine that I like that pretty well, too. Just not the hut scoring and use of scouts--don't care for those at all.

(For the record, I'm a big fan of the 2-player Entdecker-lite called Oceania . . . though the original can be played 2-player easily, too.)

Even though I don't get to play it that often anymore, Settlers still brings a smile to my face. It's not just nostalgia--the game length, light & interactive gameplay, and healthy dose of luck are all qualities I still appreciate in games.

I'm sorry Drunter & Druber didn't quite make the cut. It's silly fun, too, and a good choice with kids & more casual gamers.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Chris Farrell said...

It's hard to go too far wrong picking 5 Teuber games; he's pretty reliable and has done quite a few classics.

Still, this lot does show up some of the difficulties with the process that will recur (I do not say "problems" because that would over-state the fact; making some of these judgement calls about what games fall into what categories and what games to lump together is fraught with difficulty). Cities & Knights was lumped into the Settlers category, while Domaine and Lowenherz got separate entires. I can see it, but it still seems a little arbitrary - Cities & Knights is at least as different from Settlers as Domaine is from Lowenherz. The original Lowenherz is a fine game, but I'm pretty sure its ranking is fueled in a non-trivial part by nostalgia; I'd have been much happier if those games hadn't consumed two slots so we could let in one of the Catan card games or Barbarossa (for the record, I feel Domaine is much superior to Lowenherz).

I was surprised that the Settlers Card Game didn't make it. Unlike Mark, I do not think the SCG has aged poorly and I still think it is amongst the finest work Teuber has done, and it's one of only a handful of mid-to-late 90's games that still gets regular play around here. Apparently it's still popular enough that 10 years later new expansions are still being made.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

No real problems, although I haven't personally witnessed a game of Entdecker since the year it came out. I feel like Pauline Kael in '72. How did it make the finals?

I mean, people must play it, since it got re-released ...

2:33 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

As for the Settler's Card Game, I put myself into the sizable group who never saw the appeal in the first place. Interestingly, I rather like Starship Catan (although I haven't played much).

2:35 PM  
Blogger Shannon Appelcline said...

I generally agree with the sentiment that Lowenherz & Domaine shouldn't have been separated, and I suspect that a lot of the love for Lowenherz is pure nolstalgia. Domaine is a darned fine game.

And I also never saw the interest in the Catan 2-player game. The couple of times I tried to play it, it was very slow and dragged tremendously, taking way too long in the end.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

I'm just shocked that there's something to like in Starship Catan. I sure couldn't find anything.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Erik Arneson said...

I voted for Barbarossa and Drunter und Druber (in place of Domaine and Lowenherz), but I think that Teuber is such a strong designer that any of the five nominated games could have been on this list and there would be no reason to argue.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

I'll chime in to say that I too am happy with the list in general. I was very surprised to see that both Domaine and Lowenherz made the list though. I thought they would split the vote and neither would make it.

I'm also surprised that the Settlers Card Game did not make the list.

Erik said it best in his comments about Teuber being a strong designer and I would have been pleased with just about any permutation of results.

One thing that I really appreciate is the variety in Teuber's games. Take away the myriad of Settlers variations and there is an amazing amount of breadth to his games with little overlap in design.

Thanks Mark for letting me take part in this very enjoyable project!

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thought that both Domaine and Lowenherz both made the list. Both good games. Both nearly the same game. Both on the list. Hmmmm

8:44 PM  
Blogger Mikko Saari said...

I'm actually left fairly cold by Teuber games. I kind of like some of them, but that's about it. Elasund is nice, but nothing special if there's more than two players. Settlers - vanilla, I've never been much of an expansion gamer - is nice, occasionally. Settlers Card Game is actually pretty nifty, but so darn long that I'll probably never play it (San Juan scratches the same itch, pretty much, and is a lot faster). Domaine is the best, probably, but I've become less and less fond of it... And what comes to Entdecker, neither version interests me much.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Nick Danger said...

I forget, if we are part of the pickers process are we allowed to wager on the results?

5:58 AM  
Blogger mark aka pastor guy said...

Anonymous said...
Am I the only one who thought that both Domaine and Lowenherz both made the list. Both good games. Both nearly the same game. Both on the list. Hmmmm

Interestingly, there were some folks who voted for both games in their final 5.

While I see the similarities, I think they scratch substantially different places.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forget, if we are part of the pickers process are we allowed to wager on the results?

Not if you're caught doing so - it will result in a lifetime ban from Baseball, a ban from the Hall of Fame, and a marked decrease in the value of your baseball cards.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous kurt adam said...

Remove Elasund (since I still haven't gotten around to trying it) and Lowenherz (since I voted for Domaine and didn't feel that the games should be separated), then add Barbarossa (which I dearly love) and Starship Catan (which I feel takes a lot of the goodness from the Settlers card game and wraps it up with other...uh....goodness) and you'd have my list.

Herr Teuber definitely has definitely done a lot of games I enjoy. I probably should replay Drunter und Druber sometime soon since it's been a long while and the positive comments here have re-sparked my interest.

8:33 AM  
Blogger huzonfirst said...

For some reason, a number of folks are assuming the votes for Lowenherz are based on nostalgia. Not surprisingly, all of these people don't much care for the game. I gotta say, I have no idea where this notion is coming from. I mean, it's not the sort of game one feels nostalgic about. Games like Heimlich & Co., Adel, maybe even original Settlers, I could see. But Lowenherz is less than a decade old and isn't the sort of game one moons over. It's just a darn fine game, easily Teuber's best (IMO, of course), and VERY nasty! I played it for the first time in 2000 (three years after its release) and continue to play it regularly. So no nostalgic pining from me--I just think it's a great game!

8:41 AM  
Blogger Marc Gilutin said...

Many of the folks I play with on Wednesday nights are big Vanilla Settlers (wasn't that a Ben & Jerry flavor?)fans. Me? Not so much.

So I was glad to see the choices you guys made. As a relative newb,I have yet to play Lowenherz.
And I see Elasund remaining on the table for a long time to come.
Hoity Toity plays 6, which is a very good thing but it's more fun to mangle the pronunciation of "Adel Verplichtet".
Keep up the good work!

9:01 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

I too am surprised by anyone thinking that Lowenherz would be nominated because of a nostalgia factor. First of all, I didn't realize anyone was nostalgic about it. Secondly, I voted for it simply because it's a great game! Nasty? Yep. Tense? You bet!

Now, if someone said that Adel Verplichtet made the list because of nostalgia, I would agree. Let's face it, the game is OK, but not great when put up against today's games.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous josh miller said...

I just wanted to offer a counterpoint to the lack of enthusiasm about Adel Verpflichtet / Hoity Toity. It's far and away my favorite from Teuber's catalogue, and the only one that keeps me coming back again and again.

If I didn't play any Teuber games over the next four or five years, the only one I'm certain I would miss is Adel Verpflichtet. I might also miss Starship Catan, my favorite of the Catan-related games.

Beyond those two, there are a number of Teuber's games that I'd say I "like," but none of them are particularly exciting to me: Gnadenlos, Settlers, Entdecker (prefer the new one), Domaine (but not Löwenherz), Elasund, Drunter und Drüber, and even the bizarre forgotten Vernissage are all games I'll happily play but rarely suggest.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous kurt adam said...

I'm also a big fan of Adel Verpflichtet (that other name doesn't exist as far as I'm concerned ;) ) and Vernissage. Not a lot of people seem to know it, but I enjoy it quite a bit (as well as the other TM release that features some of the same characters - Knock Out).

4:03 PM  

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