Menu

OH MY GOODS!

Reviewed by Herb Levy

OH MY GOODS! (Mayfair Games/Lookout Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; $15)

 

ohmygoodsbox

Originally published as Royal Goods, the game has hit American shores with all of the 110 cards intact but the name changed to othe more whimsical Oh My Goods!. In addition, the original rules for the game have been revised by the designer, Alexander Pfister, in recognition that what had been conceived as a light card game has been embraced by more serious gamers demanding more challenge. Pfister has kindly obliged. This review will focus on the new, second edition, rules (while still referencing the original rules as needed).

omgworker

                        Worker card

Every player starts with a worker card (male on one side, female on the other for those with a preference). The card includes an outline, in  icons, of the four phases to a round as a helpful play aid.  An assortment (how large an assortment depending on the number of players) of “assistants” is placed n the side. Assistant cards are double-sided and, when recruited, will help your worker produce goods. Finally, all players receive a card displaying a “Charburner” (a building that makes charcoal.)

 

omgcardchar

              Starting Charburner cards

Each Charburner is slightly different in its requirements for specific resources (wood, ore, grain, wool etc.) to produce additional charcoal. (In the picture above, to produce 1 charcoal, one Charburner needs 2 grain and 1 wood; the other needs 2 wool and 1 wood.) No matter how it is produced, each unit of charcoal is worth 1 gold coin. Seven cards are dealt across that card, face down, to represent each player’s initial supply of 7 units of charcoal worth 7 gold coins. There are also double-sided “assistant cards” which, when recruited, will help your worker produce goods. But the core of the game centers on the building cards that can be used in different ways and this is where the game gets interesting.

Building cards come in six different colors: from the dark blue of the Charburner to light blue, red, yellow, green and black. (These colors become significant when you try to hire assistants.) Building cards can be used in three different ways: as a resource (as shown on the left side of the card), as the building (as shown at the bottom of the card) OR, when placed face down,  as a representation of goods produced by a specific building (as with the original 7 cards dealt across a player’s Charburner).

A round of play consists of four phases: Draw new cards, Sunrise, Sunset and, Produce & Build.

omgcard3

       Shoemaker Building card  

In a rules change, to start, players may DISCARD their entire hand of cards and draw back an equal amount (Player bemoaning a poor hand can mitigate the luck of the deal in this fashion and give themselves a second chance to get the cards they need.) To those cards, all players (discarding or not) receive two cards. (No hand limit.) Now, the active player reveals SOME of the resources available for use this turn

Resources appear in the market and the market is divided into two parts: sunrise and sunset. During the sunrise part, cards are drawn, one at a time, to reveal the resources on the cards. Some cards display “half suns” found underneath the resource (as seen at left). Cards continue to be drawn until TWO half-suns are revealed. At that point, the sunrise market is closed and players are faced with choices: decide where to place your worker (and any assistants you might have) AND consider if you are going to build another building and, if so, which one.

omgcard2

      Weaving Mill Building Card

When placed beneath any building, a worker is able to produce either 2 units of production as an “orderly” worker in exchange for the stipulated resources necessary as seen on the card OR a single unit of production for 1 less resource than required if performing “sloppy”. (Workers can be moved each turn; assistants, once assigned to a building, stay where they are unless you are willing to pay 2 gold to move them.) Resources in the market may be used by ALL players to satisfy the production requirements. At the same time, a player may place, face down, one building card that may be built later in the turn. Once committed, the sundown market begins.

As with sunrise, cards are drawn from the top of the deck until two half suns are revealed. These are ADDITIONAL resources that may be used by ALL players for production purposes. If a player is still short on required resources, those resources may come from cards in hand. (Played cards are discarded.)

Once a building produces, a “chain reaction” (depicted between the chain borders at the bottom right of the building card) allows players to shift specific cards, from their hands and/or other buildings having lesser or no gold value, and transform them into units of higher gold value. (For example, using the two cards shown above, if my worker produced two units at the Weaving Mill and then, via chain reaction, I added two wool cards from my hand, I would now have four units at the Mill. Each unit is worth 3 gold. I can now turn in those four units, worth 12, and build the Shoemaker building which costs 12 and is worth, at game’s end, 4 Victory Points.) If a player is unable to come up with the necessary resources, the building does not produce at all nor are any chain reactions possible!

omgassist

                              Assistants

If unable to build the card (due to lack of funds), the building card goes back into the player’s hand. (Original rules had that card being discarded. It is bad enough that by placing a card as a possible build, it is ineligible for use as a resource, if needed, from your hand. Losing the card completely can be too severe a punishment for a relatively low level gamble of hoping for a particular resource to appear in the market. In fact, taking a chance on a needed resource appearing is a fun “push your luck” quality to the game that the original rule tended to stifle. The change is an improvement. ) OR I could recruit an assistant.

The old rules allowed a player to build AND recruit an assistant the same turn. The new rules restrict this to one OR the other. Assistants require that certain colored buildings be already built AND gold be paid.  For example, the assistant on top requires a player to have five buildings in his display in those colors AND to pay 2 gold to recruit that worker (worth 3 VPs at game’s end). The worker below only needs to have 2 red buildings in the display but requires 4 gold and is worth 2 VPs at final scoring. The original rules restricted players to having, at most 2 assistants; the revised rules have removed this limit.

At this point, all cards in the marketplace are collected and discarded and the next round begins. When one (or more players) have built their 8th building (including their Charburner), the final round is triggered.

The final round is conducted in the same manner as the previous rounds with one powerful exception. In a sharp departure from the original rules, in this round, ALL production chains are in play without the presence of a worker or assistant needed! When the dust settles, Victory Points are totaled.

To the VPs of all building and assistants, players received VPs from their gold. Players total up the value of their production in gold and receive 1 VP for each 5 gold (rounded down). The player with the highest combined total wins!Tie? The player who generated the most gold gets the victory.

In Oh My Goods!, the focus is on each individual player; there is very little interaction here save for the race to build 8 buildings or to try to recruit a particular assistant before the other players can. (No bidding for buildings, for example, and the marketplace is equally shared by all.) On that basis, the original rules for Oh My Goods! sketched out a solid and playable game. But the flaw that concerned many players was the risk/reward dynamic.

As the game was first presented, there did not seem to be a sensible reason to work so hard to build expensive buildings. Buildings requiring 12 or 15 or 21 gold, while providing the potential of converting lesser goods to significantly more valuable goods, devoured tons of resources (and cost the equivalent of 2 or 3 or 4 Victory Points in the process). If there were enough opportunities to use production chains to counterbalance these expenditures, then building them could have been justified. But those opportunities were seldom available as players found themselves unable to make those powerful production chains function more than once if at all! Too much risk for too little reward. But Pfister’s new rules change has turned this around.

By freeing up production chains in the final round (not tying them to the presence of workers and/or assistants), the engine that players strove so hard to create is guaranteed to blossom and generate significant amounts of gold and, as a result, Victory Points. The challenge, the vision, the hard work that goes into creating a chain reaction of resources is rewarded. With this relatively small change, the game is transformed and elevated from an “okay” exercise in card collecting to an exciting combination of planning and vision coming to fruition.

It is rare that a deck of cards provides such intense gameplay – but Pfister has managed to conceive an exceptional design that does just that. Oh My Goods! is – oh my – VERY VERY good! – – – – – – – Herb Levy


Have feedback? We’d love to hear from you.


Summer 2016 GA Report Articles

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy BETWEEN TWO CITIES (Stonemaier Games, 3 to 7 with 1 and 2  player variants], ages 8 and up, about 25 minutes; $35) Ever since Antoine Bauza rediscovered and re-implemented the game mechanism of card drafting (and made a monster hit by using it in his game 7 Wonders), card drafting has become more and more popular in recent game designs. But ...
Read More
Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue BLOOD RAGE (Cool Mini or Not, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 60-90 minutes; $79.99) I really like most of Eric M. Lang's designs and of those Blood Rage is the game I prefer. Tense, deep, with different paths to victory in an outstanding presentation. It is a typical "American" game, with intense interaction but a really low ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy CASTLES OF BURGUNDY: THE CARD GAME (Ravensburger/Alea, 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 30-60 minutes; $13.50) If you've been paying attention to a lot of the successful board games published over recent years, you might have noticed a trend. It seems that profitable board games will give rise to card game versions of themselves. Castles of Burgundy is such a ...
Read More
Reviewed by Pevans CVLizations (Granna, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 45 minutes; $35) The title of the latest game from Granna is a play on their earlier game, CV, from a couple of years ago. CVLizations, designed by Jan Zalewski, comes in the same size box as the earlier game and has similar artwork and design. There the similarities cease. The game’s ...
Read More
Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser DOMUS DOMINI (Franjos, 2 to 6 players, ages 12 and up, 90-120 minutes; $54.99)   In Domus Domini, designed by Heinz-Georg Tiemann, the monastery in Cluny is in trouble. It has been neglected for decades and is currently in dire straits. The new abbot has called upon surrounding monasteries to come to the aid of this venerable institution. Failing to heed ...
Read More
(UN) CONVENTION (AL) I don't know about you but, for me, United States presidential elections are fascinating. This year, the race to capture the highest office in the land has taken on some strange and bizarre twists and turns. All of it coalesces at the Republican and Democratic conventions held in the summer to anoint each party's standard bearer for the election this November. We've ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy ESCAPE THE ROOM: MYSTERY AT STARGAZER'S MANOR (ThinkFun, 3 to 8 players, ages 10 and up, 90-120 minutes; $21.99) Suppose you found yourself trapped in a room with no apparent way out, armed only with your intellect? This is the situation that has become something of a phenomenon in the "real world" as these sorts of situations have evolved from digital ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy KILL DOCTOR LUCKY: DELUXE 19.5tH ANNIVERSARY EDITION (Cheapass Games, 2 to 8 players, ages 12 and up, 20-40 minutes; $40) In the world we live in, the craving for something new is a powerful and often irresistible force. This applies to games as well as many gamers virtually salivate over the promise of the next new game to appear on the ...
Read More
[Note: Nick Sauer, designer of Looting Atlantis, has been a contributor to Gamers Alliance Report, including content for our Sid Sackson Tribute issue as well as reviews, the last appearing in the Fall 2010 issue.] Reviewed by Herb Levy LOOTING ATLANTIS (Shoot Again Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 30 minutes; $40) The legendary land of Atlantis has been the subject of ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy MYSTIC VALE (Alderac Entertainment Group, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 45 minutes; $44.95) Over 20 years ago, a game called Magic, the Gathering appeared (Winter 1994 Gamers Alliance Report) which introduced the idea of "trading and collectible card games". Years later, that basic idea was taken to a new place with a game called Dominion (featured in the Winter ...
Read More
Reviewed by Chris Kovac NIPPON (What's Your Game?, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $60) Nippon is a two to four player point engine building game with worker placement and tile laying elements designed by Nuno Sentiero and Paulo Soledado. The game has a very light them of industrialization in Japan during the early 1900’s ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy OH MY GOODS! (Mayfair Games/Lookout Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; $15) Originally published as Royal Goods, the game has hit American shores with all of the 110 cards intact but the name changed to othe more whimsical Oh My Goods!. In addition, the original rules for the game have been revised by the designer, Alexander ...
Read More
Reviewed by Pevans PELOPENNES CARD GAME (Irongames, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 45-60 minutes; €17.99) I really enjoyed Bernd Eisenstein’s Peloponnes (Winter 2010 Gamers Alliance Report) when it first appeared from his imprint, Irongames, in 2009. It’s a clever, entertaining game of developing an Ancient Greek city-state. I was thus intrigued by the arrival of his Peloponnes Card Game last year, essentially a card ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy SUSHI-GO PARTY! (Gamewright, 2 to 8 players, ages 8 and up, about 30 minutes; $21.99) It seems like only yesterday (actually it was last year in the Spring 2015 issue of Gamers Alliance Report) that we reviewed a very cute card drafting game designed by Phil Walker-Harding called Sushi-Go!. But nothing makes for good times like getting more and more people ...
Read More
Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore TIN GOOSE (Rio Grande Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 120 minutes; $59.99) Tin Goose, designed by Matt Calkins (Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan) is about building an airline business at the dawn of commercial aviation in the USA.   It is a handsome game, coming in a large square box. Opening the box, you will find a ...
Read More
Reviewed by Joe Huber WINGS FOR THE BARON (Victory Point Games, 3 to 5 players [with a solitaire variant], ages 13 and up, 45 minutes; $49.99) As with many gamers, I very much enjoy attending game conventions. But my criteria for attending conventions isn’t based upon locality, or cost but on who I’ll get to see there. This might naturally push me towards large conventions ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy WORLD'S FAIR 1893 (Renegade Games/Foxtrot, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 40 minutes; $40) As the Industrial Revolution began to change life on this planet, science and its promise of wondrous things to come captured the imagination of the world. That excitement encouraged people around the globe to exhibit tomorrow's wonders. These conclaves of future possibilities were known as ...
Read More

 

 

If you enjoy games, then Gamers Alliance is right for you!