Saturday, December 12, 2015

Systems Saturday - Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia (2013)

Wendy brought her copy of Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia (2013) to the First Sunday Gameday at Lake Geneva Games this month and we managed to play two games of it, once with six players and another with five players.  We played it once before when she first bought it and I've played it in between one time at GameHole Con in early November.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
In Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, you lead a team of workers (dice) and recruits (cards) to claim ownership of the dystopian world. You will generate commodities, dig tunnels to infiltrate opposing areas, construct markets, collect artifacts, strengthen allegiances, and fulfill secret agendas.
Euphoria is a worker-placement game in which dice are your workers. The number on each die represents a worker's knowledge—that is, his level of awareness that he's in a dystopia. Worker knowledge enables various bonuses and impacts player interaction. If the collective knowledge of all of your available workers gets too high, one of them might desert you. You also have two elite recruit cards at your disposal; one has pledged allegiance to you, but the other needs some convincing. You can reveal and use the reticent recruit by reaching certain milestones in the game... or by letting other players unwittingly reach those milestones for you.
Your path to victory is paved with the sweat of your workers, the strength of your allegiances, and the tunnels you dig to infiltrate other areas of the world, but the destination is a land grab in the form of area control. You accomplish this by constructing markets that impose harsh restrictions of personal freedoms upon other players, changing the face of the game and opening new paths to victory. You can also focus on gathering artifacts from the old world, objects of leisure that are extremely rare in this utilitarian society. The dystopian elite covet these artifacts—especially matching pairs—and are willing to give you tracts of land in exchange for them.
Four distinct societies, each of them waiting for you to rewrite history. What are you willing to sacrifice to build a better dystopia?

I should have heeded my own previous advice of getting up into Icarian territory sooner rather than later as Wendy managed to exploit that strategy twice to very good effect.  I did catch a very bad break in the first game early on when I allowed my workers' intelligence to go up to level four and lost one of my two dice on my third go around.  It took quite a bit just to overcome that bit of bad luck but I still felt like I was in the game.  Maybe I was kidding myself since I had four stars left when it was done but the last three tend to come quickly, so I cannot say for sure.  Still, a very fun game that I look forward to playing again.

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