$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 74.03

5,067 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
31.9% of Goal | 28 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Dirigible Disaster» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Easy mode isn't so easy! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
I.M. Fried

Dist of Columbia
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
As a Kickstarter backer, I received my copy of Dirigible Disasters a few days ago. As I was intrigued by the combination of a cooperative game with the pressure of a countdown time constraint, I was looking forward to testing this out.

I brought my new box to a small game night gathering at a friend's house and after some pizza, we played twice - the first game with 4 players, the second game with 5.

The concept behind this game is that while riding on the maiden voyage of the dirigible, all of the players are working together in trying to put out pending crises as they spread. The game board consists of three levels of the dirigible, each level with 4 rooms. During set-up and after each 60 second round, various colored cubes, representing different types of crises are randomly placed in the aircraft's rooms (fire, panic, wandering passengers, and steam loss... cogs are another problem that are added for the standard game, but we didn't play that level). The method for doing this is clever... first you roll the 6-sided event dice... each a different color to represent a different crisis. You then place the number of cubes corresponding to the number on the related event die. Thus, If the red fire die is rolled as 3, then 3 red cubes are placed around the dirigible randomly usung a 12-sided room die. The event dice are placed in the Tracker Board with their rolls preserved, as the numbers rolled are also used to determine whether players are successful in removing crises.

After reading the rules and setting up, we all discussed the strategy for each player (where to move, which crisis to focus on)before flipping over the 60 second sand timer and starting a round. Once the timer is flipped, the starting player either moves their player token to an adjacent room, or he/she tries to get rid of one of the cubes representing a pending crisis. Cube removal is accomplished by a player shouting the crisis they wish to remove (Fire! Passenger! Panic! Steam! Pressure!) and then rolling the action die. If the number rolled is equal to, or less than, the number originally rolled on that cube color's event die, then the cube may be removed and the pending crisis is lessened. If the roll is greater, then nothing happens and the action die is quickly passed to (or grabbed by) the next player.

The play is frantic and there is dexterity (moving, rolling, passing, removing) in trying to take your action and pass the die as fast as possible. There is definitely a lot of luck involved, as trying to get the right rolls always does. There is also strategy... where to move players in the dirigible and on which crises to focus attention. But the combination is definitely fun overall.

As you probably can imagine, the first game we played included a lot of figuring out exactly how to work together in the one minute time-span... Just trying to pass/take the dice can lead to losing valuable seconds. As someone would shout "move!" to move their token to the next room, sometimes they would forget to hand over the action die so the next player could roll.

Between 60 second rounds we would discuss ways to make our rounds more efficient. For example, we decided that after successful rolls we would just push targeted cubes off the closest side of the board without worrying about them until the round was over. As a cooperative game we would cheer quickly when someone was succesful in removing a crisis cube, but the time constraint had us mostly focusing on our own actions. When a round was over we then could look at the board as a whole and see how successful, or unsuccessful, we were.

The goal is to last 10 rounds. If either the steam monitor reaches zero, or any type of crisis cube stash is emptied out, the players immediately lose the game. If they are able to last all 10 rounds with crises minimized, then the dirigible lands safely and the players win.

The first game with 4 players resulted in us making it to the 6th round before running out of passenger cubes. In the second game with 5 players we lasted 5 rounds until we ran out of steam power. Both games from the third round on were all about which crisis was most pressing to conquer before it would be the cause of us losing before the next round.

Everyone playing really enjoyed the game. It was frustrating, however, as we never felt we had a chance at surviving all 10 rounds. We were talking about how long it would be before we could get good enough so that we could move on to the Standard game, let alone the Advanced version. But we had fun figuring out strategies, both in terms of which crises to prioritize and ways to make the one minute rounds more efficient. By the second game everyone was standing up during the rounds as the tension and need for speed made sitting down while playing too stressful.

A few observations:

1. The mechanic of having the event dice act as both the crisis spreader and crisis resolver is very clever. When rolling you want a low number, as you want to place as few new cubes on the playing board as possible - the more cubes, the more crises to resolve. However, the lower number also makes it harder to remove cubes as your roll has to be equal or lower than that same number for the cube to be removed. So while rolling a 1 on the steam die is great at first, it also means that during a round, you have to roll a 1, and nothing else, to remove a steam cube. We found that we liked rolling 3s on the event dice... low enough that a crisis would spread only moderately, but high enough that we could probably remove some of those cubes during a round.

2. More players means covering more of the dirigible, but then it takes longer for the action die to make its way around to focus on problem areas. We loved having the extra player in the second game to cover another room, but we each got about 1/2 a turn less overall each round, making it harder to clear a room. It is a debatable question as to whether it is better with 4 or 5 players. As of now I probably wouldn't want to play with fewer than 4. Too much dirigible to cover.

3. The Easy mode is Hard! Even by the second game when we felt a bit more comfortable with the die passing and cube flicking, we were always panicking. Not that this is necessarily bad, as it was fun to try and see how long we could hold off disaster... but we were wondering whether we would ever get so good as to want to move to the Standard level. The third round on we all felt like we were constantly having to put more fingers into the dike, and were just waiting until there were no more fingers to fill the proverbial leaks.

Again, this was a very fun game. The pressure of time really adds an element of tension and need for speed. It is more than a filler game, even though a lot of luck is involved, as the strategy discussions between rounds definitely led to interesting debates. Kids would,probably get better at the dexterity aspect pretty quickly. But simple things, such as remembering to shout out the type of your target cube, can cause both frustration and laughs.

My gaming friends have already decided that Dirigible Disasters will be the first game out at our next session.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Letzring

Rochester
New York
msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
I am so glad that you have been having fun with the game! Keep at it and I am sure that you will advance to Standard mode before you know it!

Another thing to note: Although we have recommended times for the real-time round, if you decide that the one minute limit is too difficult, feel free to use a timer on your phone and adjust it to say a minute and 15 seconds.

Best of luck to you and thank you for supporting us!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Grek
United States
New Jersey
flag msg tools
designer
mb
Really solid write up! I'm glad you all had a fun/frantic time. While the game did get tougher as we went through, I think the nice thing is an smart phone timer to give some extra time like publisher Dan said can be a simple change that can give a bit more time while not compromising the general feel of the game. I look forward to hearing about your first win!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cord Slatton-Valle
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Our game groups agrees with your write up completely, easy mode is quite challenging but the game is very fun! We played with 2 player (with 1 minute rounds instead of 45 seconds) twice and 1x with 4 players and enjoyed it greatly each time even though we lost.

We talked about ways to optimize our time use and I ended up standing up and ordering a travel version of the game Trouble that I can take the popomatic die out of and use it for Dirigible Disaster to keep the die rollable but not flying off the table and easier to pass.
3 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Letzring

Rochester
New York
msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
that is an amazing idea, the pop-o-matic is brilliant! we will keep that in mind for future endeavors!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
I.M. Fried

Dist of Columbia
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
That is a cool idea with the Trouble pop-o-matic for the die, though passing the action die in turn is part of the challenge. I just put a Double-Six die into the box for use next time to see whether that cuts down on dice rolling off tables.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Letzring

Rochester
New York
msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
This is absolutely correct. Some people asked if we could put more dice in the box and I commented that part of the action is passing the "turn indicator" or the action die. Though if made the right size, the pop-o-matic could be made readily passable!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cord Slatton-Valle
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
yeah, we initially started by using an die for each player and realized it was not following the rules and spirit of the game and made it too easy as passing was part of the actual gameplay, hence coming up with the idea to use a popomatic. You can buy them direct from hasbro for 4.99 for the travel and 9.99 for the full size with free shipping. Then you still have something to pass to signal the player's turn ending but the die cannot get rolled off the table or spin for a super long time or hit the cubes on the board and cause chaos (all things we had happen in our games so far and think avoiding in the future is preferable ).

Glad the popomatic idea is a hit!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Riva
Maryland
flag msg tools

    We played twice last night, first time on the easy mode with three and the second time on the hard mode with five. We had a blackout in room seven at the start on the second game, not a particularly advantageous way to begin!

    But we managed to dig ourselves out of the hole and win. We won both games. We could tighten the time, but we may add an extra cube or two the next time we play.

    I'm not a big fan of this type of game and I'm wary about Kickstarter games in general, but I really enjoyed the play. A very nice game.

             S.


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Letzring

Rochester
New York
msg tools
designer
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
This is the first game of this type that I really am a fan of as well, which is what prompted me to consider publishing it in the first place. It really felt unlike anything I had played before. I am glad I could dispell your initial hesitation to kickstarter. I think there are a lot of hidden gems out there, it's just about being able to sort through the immense sea of games on there to find the ones that are right for you. Thanks for posting about your experience!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
No_Way301
Canada
flag msg tools
I played 2 games tonight at normal difficulty level and 3 players. In the first one we got destroyed by fire way too much double popping at the 3 rounds...The second one, each one took a floor and at most every round we had only 1 or 2 cubes left on the board. Even if we rolled the highest number on every die for the final landing it couldn't be possible to lose because we didn't lose any cube. I can't say it was fairly easy, we had our part of chance but Zombie '15 prepared ourselves for this kind of game (as Fuse). We will move to the Hard Difficulty level next time. The player count is the best to cover but 4 should be the sweet spot i think just to make enough talk and losing enough time to feel the emotion
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.