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Deep Space D-6» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Halcyon ship – 10 games rss

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Clay Berry
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Halcyon ship – 10 games

This was the first ship I tried out of the box. Had to read forums immediately for rules clarifications, but ok once started. First game took about 1 hour. Note here for all games I did the final “ship” (6 special cards – was not obvious to me) at the end. Also, I did not remove any cards to speed up game, nor did I remove any “Don’t Panic!” cards (to make the game harder). I also had the Infirmary card on the easy side (send to change face).

Initial thoughts:
Overall once I understood the mechanics (and a few rules) I felt the game had a nice thematic touch, fun graphics, small footprint, and good flow.

Here you can see my recorded plays and notes:
Game #
1 – bad luck died before end
2 – made it to end ok, died quickly
3 – made it to end easily – died quickly
4 – unlucky, died early
5 – win
6 – win
7 – going on easily, then died suddenly before end
8 – win
9 – win
10 – win

So, what was the difference between early losses and later wins? A few things I think. Early on I focused on shields and didn’t care too much about scanner dies being locked. Later I made sure I had as many dice (scanner recall using medics) and cleared infirmary (again medics), especially as threat deck was running out.

The key here as others have pointed out is surviving the initial boss attack, then taking out the Attack Matrix and Missile Array as fast as possible.

Timing:
After the first 2 games, the mechanics take over and it’s really just blitz dice rolling, with few true (non-obvious) decisions. Each game then was < 30 minutes.



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Jason Clarke
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mecheng_analyst wrote:
Also, I did not remove any cards to speed up game, nor did I remove any “Don’t Panic!” cards (to make the game harder). I also had the Infirmary card on the easy side (send to change face).

...

Timing:
After the first 2 games, the mechanics take over and it’s really just blitz dice rolling, with few true (non-obvious) decisions. Each game then was < 30 minutes.



While, admittedly I've been playing the PnP copy and expect my KS copy in the mail today, I am having trouble understanding why you haven't removed any "Don't Panic" cards?

With the game set on the easiest setting, the decisions should be relatively obvious as you have plenty of time to heal and take out the bad guys.

It is when you remove those "Don't Panic" cards and get battered to hell with more enemies on their way, your dice are locked up in the scanners or infirmary, where decisions are found. You must choose between trying to repair your hull, recover your dice or make a stand before another enemy barrage strikes.

 
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Clay Berry
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livevyne wrote:
mecheng_analyst wrote:
Also, I did not remove any cards to speed up game, nor did I remove any “Don’t Panic!” cards (to make the game harder). I also had the Infirmary card on the easy side (send to change face).

...

Timing:
After the first 2 games, the mechanics take over and it’s really just blitz dice rolling, with few true (non-obvious) decisions. Each game then was < 30 minutes.



While, admittedly I've been playing the PnP copy and expect my KS copy in the mail today, I am having trouble understanding why you haven't removed any "Don't Panic" cards?

With the game set on the easiest setting, the decisions should be relatively obvious as you have plenty of time to heal and take out the bad guys.

It is when you remove those "Don't Panic" cards and get battered to hell with more enemies on their way, your dice are locked up in the scanners or infirmary, where decisions are found. You must choose between trying to repair your hull, recover your dice or make a stand before another enemy barrage strikes.



That's a good point, and perhaps that would be interesting. Though I don't it's all that changing, as they are only 6 Don't Panic cards in the game out of many, many cards.

Even if it did make it somewhat more interesting, some of the time, would it be worth it? I'm not sure. Right now I've gotten game time down to under 30 minutes, yet that still feels too long for what it is.

Maybe I'll try a few more games without them and report back though. Hopefully you can post some of your sessions as well so others can learn too. Thanks!
 
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Clay Berry
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mecheng_analyst wrote:
livevyne wrote:
mecheng_analyst wrote:
Also, I did not remove any cards to speed up game, nor did I remove any “Don’t Panic!” cards (to make the game harder). I also had the Infirmary card on the easy side (send to change face).

...

Timing:
After the first 2 games, the mechanics take over and it’s really just blitz dice rolling, with few true (non-obvious) decisions. Each game then was < 30 minutes.



While, admittedly I've been playing the PnP copy and expect my KS copy in the mail today, I am having trouble understanding why you haven't removed any "Don't Panic" cards?

With the game set on the easiest setting, the decisions should be relatively obvious as you have plenty of time to heal and take out the bad guys.

It is when you remove those "Don't Panic" cards and get battered to hell with more enemies on their way, your dice are locked up in the scanners or infirmary, where decisions are found. You must choose between trying to repair your hull, recover your dice or make a stand before another enemy barrage strikes.



That's a good point, and perhaps that would be interesting. Though I don't it's all that changing, as they are only 6 Don't Panic cards in the game out of many, many cards.

Even if it did make it somewhat more interesting, some of the time, would it be worth it? I'm not sure. Right now I've gotten game time down to under 30 minutes, yet that still feels too long for what it is.

Maybe I'll try a few more games without them and report back though. Hopefully you can post some of your sessions as well so others can learn too. Thanks!


Ok, a few more games, this time, removed all Don’t Panic cards. Kept Infirmary on Easy.
Halcyon
Game #
1 – lost early – bad die rolls
2 – made to end easily, then lost – 2-6-6
3 – made it to end, but couldn’t clear everything, lost due to Solar Winds.
4 – died early - bad die rolls
5 - died early - bad die rolls. And I’m not kidding, I rolled like 2 silver (scanners) every turn. And blue / commanders (which while useful, are inefficient).
6 – died late. Good and bad rolls evened out.

So here we see win % goes down from 50 to 0. Clearly the Don’t Panic removal affects the game in not allowing one to recover fast enough. Some games had more effect than others, die randomness still dominates. So then, does this lead to more / better / interesting decisions?

I think I found in almost each game above exactly 1 time where I was faced with an interesting choice. This wasn’t more because the die rolls didn’t really allow for choices. Thus to me the removal makes the game harder to win, but the play through is not really different. It’s of course possible that I just suck at the game or have bad tactics. Either way, the end result is the same for me anyway.

Switched over to AG-8
Game #
1 – Lost at end - Only got 2 red and 1 orange before everything locked. Cloaked Threats as last card and then I rolled a 2. Almost survived, but alas, no.
2 – Lost at end – got 4 dice locked up early. Only got 1 red and 1 orange. All unlucky rolls. Played next 10 minutes out. Got to end, rolled 6-3-6. Ha
3 - Won - got 2 red, 1 orange, 1 purple early then last 2 dice locked mid-game. Solar Winds still up late in the game but finally triggered. Cloaked Threats still alive! Got darn lucky on end dice rolls.

The AG-8 already has few enough decisions, but by taking out the Don’t Panics, you’re more likely to lock dice to internal threats, which makes for even less decisions.

Small sample size and author bias, but seems to me removing Don't Panics makes game harder without playing any differently. Perhaps different die roll combinations lead to more interesting decisions, but this is not controllable and didn't seem to happen for me much.



 
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