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SeaFall» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Speedy Prologue rss

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Becq Starforged
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EDIT: Note that this post is not intended to be a suggested strategy or a complaint about game length. Think of it as a strategic puzzle!

One complaint I've heard from several sources is that the Prologue is too long and perhaps even dull. But when all you need is to have four of the players get to 3 glory, does it have to be long?

As a thought exercise, what's the shortest prologue you can engineer? Assume that you can stack the adviser and event decks, and that players aren't interfering with each other, but that all rolls get no better than average results (round expected successes down).

Would it be remotely realistic to expect a prologue this short? Heck, no! I would expect most plans players make to last just about until the next player takes a turn. Still, it's an interesting exercise...



Here's my answer (contains no actual spoilers; all information is available in publicized information from PHG -- but no peeking until you give it some thought):

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Eight player-turns (two full turns for four players)!

My solution:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
==========
TURN 1
Event: Smooth sailing
----------
Player 1: Use the Renowned Builder to build any 10-gold structure (no preference), then sail both ships to Island #1 [2 glory]
Player 2: Use the Renowned Soldier to sail both ships to Island #2, then raid the d2 site (roll 5d, expect 3 successes) [2 glory]
Player 3: Use the any adviser with an upgrade discount to upgrade a ship with "Cunning", then sail both ships to Island #1 [1 glory]
Player 4: Use the any adviser with an upgrade discount to upgrade a ship with "Bold", then sail both ships to Island #2 [1 glory]

==========
TURN 2
Event: any non-detrimental
----------
Player 1: Use the Local Guide to explore any d3 site on Island #1 (roll 4d with reroll, expect 3 successes), then pass [+1 glory, claim milestone #1]
Player 2: Use the Captain to explore any d3 site on Island #2 (roll 5d, expect 3 successes), then pass [+1 glory, claim milestone #2]
Player 3: Use the Madman to raid the d2 site on Island #1 (dice don't matter, spend 2 fortune to succeed), then pass [+2 glory, claim milestone #3]
Player 4: Use the Renowned Explorer to explore any d3 site on Island #2 (roll 6d, expect 4 successes), then pass [+2 glory, claim milestone #4]

==========

Three sites end up explored.

 
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JR Honeycutt
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We played the prologue with 3 players and it lasted 4 rounds. With setup, takedown, and plenty of chatting about the game and other things while we were playing, it took about 90 minutes - and that's with me deliberately going slowly so that we could draw out the drama, reading things out loud in dramatic voices, and generally hamming it up.

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Becq Starforged
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jayahre wrote:
We played the prologue with 3 players and it lasted 4 rounds. With setup, takedown, and plenty of chatting about the game and other things while we were playing, it took about 90 minutes - and that's with me deliberately going slowly so that we could draw out the drama, reading things out loud in dramatic voices, and generally hamming it up.

Just to clarify, I'm not complaining about game duration. Think of this as more of an exercise to min/max turn length. Assuming I didn't make a mistake, I think I did pretty well. (Not that that could ever happen in a real game, since it relies on particular card draws and such.)
 
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Thomas Robb
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My question would be:

Which way do you think would be the better teaching tool?

1 - to give the players a script to follow as a Prologue to see how the game works

OR

2 - teach the rules, them let players attempt the Prologue on their own

shorter or longer Prologue time is not an issue with our group . . .
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Paul Cooper
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I don't think player 3's second turn is correct,

The Madman only gains the additional glory after an endeavour at a dangerous site if you took no damage, and you can't use fortune at dangerous sites.
 
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Becq Starforged
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TheBigB00 wrote:
I don't think player 3's second turn is correct,

The Madman only gains the additional glory after an endeavour at a dangerous site if you took no damage, and you can't use fortune at dangerous sites.

True, normally -- but check out the "Cunning" ship upgrade! http://www.plaidhatgames.com/news/707
 
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Becq Starforged
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thomasrobb wrote:

My question would be:

Which way do you think would be the better teaching tool?

1 - to give the players a script to follow as a Prologue to see how the game works

OR

2 - teach the rules, them let players attempt the Prologue on their own

shorter or longer Prologue time is not an issue with our group . . .

Again, "amusing exercise", not "teaching tool". The chances of a real game making the right advisers available at the right time, let alone the players not stepping on each other, are very low. For that matter, while the odds of succeeding at the rolls are at least average, you can't really count on those, either.

That said, I would argue that as a thought exercise, this sort of strategic puzzle (as opposed to an actual strategy) actually does serve as a strong teaching tool. It gets you thinking about what sources of glory you have available, how to make the most of key leaders, and even how to combo certain upgrades and leaders -- all of which aid learning the game.

For example, I had been thinking of the Madman as a weak leader. After all, he gives a bonus to exploration and to dangerous endeavors that succeed perfectly -- but the dangerous exploration endeavors start at difficulty 5 and it seemed unlikely that you'd succeed at such an endeavor without taking damage (especially given the rather weak bonus).

However, it occurred to me that if you simply ignore his exploration bonus, and use him for raiding instead, that opens up the pre-explored difficulty 2 sites ... which are potentially available once a year for the entire campaign. Combo that with the Cunning upgrade, and you you've got a gift that keeps on giving even if the island gets buried under a pile of your enmity stickers. Once that happens, though, you might need to further combo that with fortune-related improvements for your leader to fuel your Reconquista, especially after that enmity builds up enough that you can't roll natural successes.

Could this be a useful ploy for the actual campaign? I'm not sure, but it seems to have potential for up to 4-6 glory per game (with the side benefit of some "free" goods). Not as strong as some of the Renowned advisers, but not bad.
 
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Thomas Robb
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Thank you Becq

Good reply

I will consider your thoughts

 
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Paul Cooper
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The most interesting thing about this thread is that their are 4 islands to name and in my game will be 5 players.

And I sure as hell want to name at least 1 of the islands, I am definitely keeping this to myself devil
 
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David Ferguson
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Yeah, I wish I knew ahead of time that I would gain pretty much nothing from winning the prologue. I got to name an island and lose all the upgrades and gold I had accumulated to my ships. I lost my adviser since someone saw I had only one and choose to undercut me. Also, none of the points I gained in the prologue mattered. So my 3 point lead is now nothing. If I knew ahead of time I would of maybe played different and more reckless.

I still look forward to playing the rest of the campaign.
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Paul Howard
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No-one should have an advisor after the prologue. The only things that carry over are island names, explored sites, and allocation of titles based on who "won". There's no upgrades to provinces/ships/advisors and no-one keeps an advisor. Basically you skip everything except step 7 and do that via Game rather than Campaign glory.
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Frank Pelkofer
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saintdave22 wrote:
Yeah, I wish I knew ahead of time that I would gain pretty much nothing from winning the prologue. I got to name an island and lose all the upgrades and gold I had accumulated to my ships. I lost my adviser since someone saw I had only one and choose to undercut me. Also, none of the points I gained in the prologue mattered. So my 3 point lead is now nothing. If I knew ahead of time I would of maybe played different and more reckless.

I still look forward to playing the rest of the campaign.


All of that is pretty clear from reading the "Read This First" one pager about the prologue, right? It really shouldn't have been a surprise.

(non) Spoiler alert: You're going to lose all of your gold and upgrades after every other game too.
 
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