Life in winter is not easy for animals. They must take care of food and somehow survive the severe frosts. Dobry Rok tries to show us what such preparations can look like and invites us to take care of our own animal family. How was it played?
Dobry Rok is a game published in Poland by Lucrum Games. The title is intended for up to five players from the age of eight. We play the role of animals living in the Maple Valley, whose aim is to prepare for winter in the best possible way. Over the course of eight rounds, we will collect various resources and collect cards with the necessary things that will make the long and cold winter pleasant. Even a board game can be found! If, where you already see another game, you have the most accurate association – Good Year thematically winks at Everdell, but otherwise the game is completely different. We have a typical worker placement with a nice twist on displaying our workers knowing few variable values on the dice. The bones liked and hated in certain circles will determine what we can even consider from the previously selected actions. It sounds interesting, it works fine but .. it’s always a but. So is Dobry Rok a good game?
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In a few words, how do we play
The basic version of the game will last eight rounds, but we can choose the mini variant with six. This mode is recommended for the beginning of the Good Year adventure or when playing with younger players who may have problems sitting at the table for a long time. We choose house boards, set up all the pieces, and keep the resources within the players’ reach – the setup is quite fast, although a good insert would definitely be useful, because there is nothing in the box as far as the molding is concerned (at least in the standard version, which I had the opportunity to test ).
At the beginning of each round, we will reveal a new wanderer card that has special abilities that affect the gameplay. Then, each player rolls his dice and places them on his board. We perform the deployment step simultaneously. We place our employees at the action venues we choose. The order does not matter, we just have to make sure that our two figures do not occupy the same field. If all players are satisfied with their actions, we can move on to the next step.
The first player rolls the four white dice and places them on the hill. The players then take their turns in the correct order. We need to allocate six cubes (two home and white general) to the previously placed workers. Each action space requires a specific dice or a specific combination of multiple dice. If we have lesson tokens marked with slices, we can assign them together with the dice to modify the result.Wherever we have managed to match dice, we can perform the appropriate action assigned to a given field. We do this in the order we deem appropriate. For each worker who has nothing to do or decided not to perform any actions with him, we take one lesson token. Then we can play any number of pleasure cards. Each card has a resource cost, points at the end of the game, and any special effects. After playing our turn, we take our home dice and the next player can play the turn.
After the end of each round, we put the board in order. We teach a new wanderer and new forest and meadow fields. We also twist the river shield one space, creating new combinations needed to obtain resources. We discard the leftmost pleasure card and improvements, and finally pass the bug marker to the player on the left. After eight such rounds, we choose the winner.
Dobry Rok is a nice and pleasant game that attracts the eye with its theme and performance and allows you to spend a pleasant time at the board. The game is not without flaws, there is nothing to cheat, but the gameplay is so sweet and gives a feeling of great satisfaction that you can turn a blind eye for part. This is not some holy grail of board games that breaks the patterns and rediscovers something. Thematically, we have quite a blink of an eye to Ever dell, a game that is already a hit game. We have pets, we have to send our workers, and some game with cards will be found. Relax, the games may seem similar, because looking closer, these are two completely different titles. However, the game is quite interesting and has some nice moments that I liked very much. Unfortunately it wasn’t that good as a whole, although it’s also not some kind of crap that I won’t sit down for anymore. Dobry Rok is a nice and simple board game with grinding resources into points and that’s it. A bit random, a bit lengthy, but playable.
In general, when considering the evaluation of this game, two different profiles of players should be presented. Those more family-oriented looking for a board game for the weekend to play with kids will be delighted. The rules are simple and accessible, but they give you a lot of room for combining. This is not a typical family game with banal rules. The kids will get it all right, while the adults will not be bored either. We know what we want to have, we know where we can get it, so we send our pets there. In general, here I would like to say that our workers are some of the most adorable figurines I have recently encountered in board games. From the point of view of a more advanced player, the game is simply too simple and too random. I put the Good Year as a loose game after Barrage – maybe it was an unfortunate moment, but after the game was over, I did not see the delight on my faces.Our people are sent somewhat blind, so how many actions we manage to launch basically does not depend on us, but on a blind, often perverse fate. We know two dice, but it is often a drop in the ocean of needs. It’s good that we have some influence and the ability to modify the results, but still a bad throw can cancel the entire round and throw us out of the competition for winning. Nevertheless, the mechanism itself is quite interesting and works great in practice. The thrill is there, anticipating the possible minimum of the most necessary movement also occurs, so it works quite nicely.
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Another interesting moment is resolving actions. We have a pool of dice and people placed, so we play our mini solitaire from the available options. Here, with these six, I will take stones, but boy, I will block this meadow. Or maybe it’s better to send these two dice here and collect such a reward, because thanks to that I will buy myself a card. Breaking down the best path from the pool of available options is the coolest moment in the game. There is no point in assuming that we will be able to do everything we planned, placing our pawns. It all comes down to points, of course, so we choose what brings us the most points.
When we have dice, it is known that there can be a randomness problem. It happens that the dice do not fit our concept in any way and we will not do much, but we have a brilliant theme that will help us do something, but win. The game offers slices, i.e. result modifiers, which make us get something out of a hopeless situation, but we need to have them at the right moment.
The game is largely about making points from our resources. Light, easy and pleasant we will exchange the obtained tokens, most often for cards, because these will give us the greatest increase in points. The cards have some small interactions, but some collection of sets is unlikely to be here. In games with thinkers, you can observe the phenomenon of using the mechanic of the weight of each resource versus the number of points he will give us. Family players will not even pay attention to it, but a group of veterans with whom I have played several games analyzed each card before buying and estimated the profitability of spending each of the acquired resources. If it amuses someone, that’s great, but I preferred to look at great pictures or the highest number of points, and not count the percentage of return of a stone or a book. You can have fun like that, but Good Year is probably not such a complex game that you have to act like that.
Dobry Rok is a very replayable title that has a lot of ideas that affect the variability of each game. First, let’s take pleasure cards, which we have quite a pile of. I also liked the action cards we draw every round. It is true that we will always get the same set, but the order may be different.All this makes the game not as banal as it may seem and allows you to discover something new in the next games.
What did I not like about the game? Despite its charm, the game can discourage you with the waiting for your turn and the length of the game. If our turn is taking place, everything is pretty cool and enjoyable, but from the opponent’s point of view a little drama is going on. We have six dice – it takes a while to figure out what we want to do and launch the action. Okay, you can think about your move, but before our turn comes, we may have completely different cards to choose from and our concept will collapse. There is practically no interaction in the game, so you can get bored. Of course, it all depends on the composition and the number of thinkers at the table, but for a fairly simple family game, we will wait a bit for our turn.
It was perfect for me to play with a smaller team – two people are perfect, three are the max. Anything above is a high risk of automatic rebounding from this game. On the other hand, we have a lot of effects that give us something if another player stands on our card. How to use it when there are few players? It is a bit contradictory to the game’s assumptions and looks pale. In my opinion, the gameplay takes too long considering what it offers. Adding to this problems with waiting for their move, not everyone can stay at the table for these two hours (with a larger team, if everything is going smoothly).
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Dobry Rok is quite a nice game, good to start with a board game hobby. If you are bored of playing Ticket or the Stone Age, Good Year may be another nice title on your way. It will work better for people who are less popular or are looking for a nice, colorful title to play with kids. It is random, but just launching an action gives you room to figure it out and choose the best from the available pool of possibilities. A lot of downtime between other players’ turns means that the game is much better played with a smaller team. Everything looks fairly correct, the game is nice, but unfortunately there is no greater madness.
Maybe you’ll be interested in our review of Frisky Unicorns?
Good Year at a good price you can buy here ..