Mississippi Queen: The Black Rose
original German edition
Your Price: $85.00
(Worth 8,500 Funagain Points!)
from 4 customer reviews
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The inenvitable expansion for the Game of the Year 1997, Mississippi Queen. Now 2-6 players can get into the action with one player always being the Buccaneer on Black Rose. The expansion includes 2 Paddle Steamers, 6 River-sections (including shallow waters) and a Coal Barge usable as a blockading ship.
Experience new challenges to navigating the Mississippi! Can you maneuver around the sand bars and floating logs that lie in your path and avoid attacks by The "Black Rose"?
Resupply your coal or manage your resources and save the time required to stop for more--the choice is yours and the race will go to the captain who makes the right choices!
Typically the winner of the annual Spiel des Jahres award is a family game, appealing more to casual gamers and family gamers, and only of secondary value to more hardcore gamers. There have been exceptions to this rule, of course, but most winners have been somewhat lighter fare.
Mississippi Queen fell squarely into the lighter fare camp. When it won, it was rather roundly dismissed by strategy gamers as a pretty bit of fluff. With the release of the Black Rose expansion however, the game moved into the realm of a strategy game worthy of note by players wanting a deeper gaming experience.
The game still follows the same basic path, or river, as its basic form. A river is created one tile at a time and the players attempt to be the first to navigate it to its end, having picked up two passengers along the way.
The few new rules make all the differnce. The ability to replenish coal along the way is of huge impact on the game. A player may now gamble on using their coal to jet out ahead of the pack, hoping to locate a fuel depot at the right time.
The Black Rose itself is a loose cannon, so to speak, since it is controlled by the player in last place. Use of the Rose can easily put another player in the unenviable posion of last place, meaning they now control the black ship.
The various new hazards also make for a much more interesting game. Logs slow a player, while sand bars can beach a player, possibly putting them out of the game.
Finally, the chance to play a team of ships, two paddlewheelers working in tandem, adds a very fun and very different element to the game.
Anyone playing Mississippi Queen without the benefit of the Black Rose is surely missing out on half the fun. Highly recommended.
I thinks it's difficult to review an expansion, because there are several criteria, and reviewers can disagree on the relative weights of those criteria. Some expansions add complexity to the original game, while others may just add 'chrome.' Some can turn a mediocre original design into a winner, and a few expansions have actually detracted from the original game by adding poorly written or poorly playtested rules. And all expansions must be considered for their fun-factor: do they enhance the fun of the original? Does the expansion breath new life into the original?
While Black Rose doesn't add significant complexity to the award-winning Mississippi Queen, it also doesn't detract from it. Black Rose certainly adds some 'chrome' with the new tiles and rules, and, of course, that little black sidewheeler we've dubbed Rosie. Based on over 15 plays in our groups, Black Rose definitely enhances the fun, and those who have played it don't want to play Mississippi Queen without it.
So, I'm going to rate Black Rose with 4-stars, like Mississippi Queen, and highly recommend it to all fans of the original.
The Black Rose is one of those expansions that add just a few rules to the basic game, and not much else. As such I would recommend it mostly to those who liked the original Mississippi Queen a lot.
The most important new rules are those that allow a player to control two boats instead of one, and the Black Rose itself - a boat that is controlled by the player in last place. Both of these additions help to solve the problem with the base game of one runaway player getting an unbeatable lead.
Most of the other optional rules - this expansion is nothing but optional rules from which you select the ones you want to play on a game-by-game basis - add small interesting aspects to the game, without changing the overall feel of it.
I don't play Mississippi Queen much, but when I do I always include at least one of the parts from The Black Rose. The basic game seems just a little too . . . basic otherwise.
In the basic game of Mississippi Queen, you will have to carefully manage your limited supply of coal to change speed and direction at just the right moments in this race of paddle steamers along the Mississippi. You'll pick up a few Southern belles along the way before crossing the finish line, but chivalry is not the theme of this game. You can try shoving opponents off course or forcing them onto a sandbar. The Black Rose Expansion version is even more vicious; it is designed for up to six players divided into two or three teams, and features obstacle tiles and a pirate ship controlled by the trailing player.
Black Rose is an expansion for Gold Sieber's Mississippi Queen game of steamboat racing. The contents include a couple of extra steamers, some new river tiles and one little card per player on which to keep their passengers. In more detail, here's what you get for your money.
Tiles with Sandbanks
The first of two hazards to be encountered as you wend your way down the river. Landing on one of these drops your speed instantly to 1 and prevents you from changing direction. A good tactic, therefore, is to push an opponent onto one of these, particularly if he's facing in such a direction so as not to be able to move off.
Tiles with Logs
The second hazard simply slows you down by 1 speed for each log hex you negotiate your way through.
Tiles with Coal Mines
On some islands can now be found coal mines. Your supply of coal can be replenished back to 6 simply by stopping at one of these as you would when picking up a passenger. In practice we found these quite useful and were certainly much more willing to expend coal in fancy manoeuvres than previously.
The Black Rose
Possibly the best part of this expansion is the inclusion of the Black Rose herself, an additional steamer to be used by whichever player is currently last to play (i.e. the furthest back). The Black Rose plays exactly as a normal steamer with the exception that she may perform one coal-using manoeuvre per turn. Basically she can either accelerate by 2 OR decelerate by 2 OR perform an additional turn, but not any combination thereof. Not that this is too much of a limitation as the Rose chugs merrily off at speed, blocking here, ramming there and creating mayhem wherever she goes. Great fun though the result may be that all players now concentrate on picking up passengers sooner rather than later, so that they end up at the back and control the Rose.
There are now enough steamers to allow players to race more than one. As with the Black Rose, you could use one to ram your other but the biggest rule change is that you can now pass coal from one steamer to the other if they are cruising along next to each other. General tactics here seem to be speeding off with one of your boats and holding back with the other as a blocker. Good fun and a worthy addition.
And that's it, some additions that can be used in any combination, you just pick the ones you want. My group rates the eponymous Black Rose very highly, and uses the coal mines & sandbanks but, for some reason, dislikes the logs. Obviously the extra river tiles make the race take longer, as does the potential scrum of 6 boats steaming along so you may choose to remove a few tiles to speed things up. In summary, there's nothing too drastic here to make the game radically different -- just more of the same and plenty of fun.