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SeaFall» Forums » General

Subject: My group likes the game - a lot. (only 2 games in) rss

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Matthew Arnold
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I am not quite sure what people were expecting, or if our excitement was appropriately curbed before playing, but after nearly dreading the prologue, my group enjoyed Seafall a ton. So much so that we jumped straight into the second game, and are planning our evenings accordingly.

First off, the prologue is more or less a tutorial, sure. But the components are lovely, the gist of the game is a blast, and the legacy elements are far more interesting than anything in Risk or Pandemic.

I never cared about my characters in Pandemic. The scars and relationships never left an impact. Also we were easily able to switch between them every game and use whatever was most "gameplay essential". Yet, there is a twist at the end of the prologue that made us all jump for joy. It went from a sort of dull but not unfun 40 minute tutorial, into "I care about my character and this world more than anything."

The first game opens up with raiding, a better understanding of what to do, and milestones that create clear strategies for victory. And it took about 80 minutes.

So 2 rounds of the game in just about 2 hours. A small evolving 4X game with legacy elements. I don't know what else to say so far, but we had a blast. Maybe we will get bored by game 6 like others, but right now we are loving it.

We are playing with 3 players btw, and that might be the best player count.

ONE possible suggestion or theory here. Even during the first game it became very clear - this game is MEAN. And maybe, just maybe, the love of pandemic legacy is going to be a big problem going into this game. Not because people were expecting Pandemic, or didnt think they were getting into a 4X sailing game. I think because, Pandemic is everyone working together and evolving as a team. Seafall, if you don't play mean, is probably going to be boring. This is a game where you want to play to make your opponent miserable. I want to feel OP after the first game and make my friend wonder if its already too late to win. And I think some people may not like that sort of competition, or may not even be in the mindset to play it that way. And I can imagine it would be much more boring.
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Becq Starforged
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What do you mean by "playing mean"? Hate-drafting advisors? Hate-buying goods? Hate ... uh, exploring? (Not sure how that would work, exactly...) Province raiding? All of the above? Something else?

Quote:
Maybe we will get bored by game 6 like others, but right now we are loving it.

There actually seems to be a common thread in reviews that the first several games are slow (if not outright boring) but that the game improves (possibly dramatically) as unlocks occur. You (and several other reviews) indicate that even the first game, before any unlocks, was "a blast". Can you offer any guesses about what it was in the early games that you felt was fun (without spoilers, or with marked spoilers)? (Or was it just the opportunity to be mean?)

Quote:
Yet, there is a twist at the end of the prologue that made us all jump for joy. It went from a sort of dull but not unfun 40 minute tutorial, into "I care about my character and this world more than anything."

This is almost exactly the opposite to the reaction I've heard from others, including those who otherwise love the game. A more typical response was "The game was dull/ok/amazing but despite that, I really hate what they did at the end of the prologue." Could you offer some elaboration (probably in spoiler tags) to give us idea why your group felt different?

Thanks!
 
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JR Honeycutt
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I've wondered quite a bit if some of the negative response has been from folks who generally dislike heavy attacking in games. I love the game for that reason - constant tension of wondering how to grab the things you want without overextending yourself. In some ways it's the same tension as Scythe - the threat of being attacked curtails you in meaningful ways, but only if folks are actually willing to attack you (and you them).
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Becq Starforged
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jayahre wrote:
I've wondered quite a bit if some of the negative response has been from folks who generally dislike heavy attacking in games. I love the game for that reason - constant tension of wondering how to grab the things you want without overextending yourself. In some ways it's the same tension as Scythe - the threat of being attacked curtails you in meaningful ways, but only if folks are actually willing to attack you (and you them).

I suspect that's part of it. My theory is that many of the less positive reviews are by people who LOVED Pandemic Legacy and were hoping for more of the same. But SeaFall is a heavier, longer, heavily competitive game (with PvP), whereas Pandemic is a lighter, shorter, cooperative game. They are completely different games, and it shouldn't be surprising that someone looking for one may not find what they're looking for in the other.
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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tgcleric wrote:

We are playing with 3 players btw, and that might be the best player count.


Maybe that's the issue. I know some people who detested Dead of Winter because they exclusively played 5 players, where the shorter game length at 3 and 4 players really make it shine (though if I do PBF I prefer 5 players, and the greater turn length is not as much of an issue at that point anyway).

It seems to me each extra player adds up 20-30 minutes of play time, which in itself might be enough to take it from a medium-light delight to a slow plowing boring thing...
 
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ŁṲÎS̈
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Good stuff, tgcleric. Please keep us updated on your progress.

I was a huge fan of risk legacy, but only played the 1st game of pandemic legacy. My group likes competitive games far more than co-op. Hoping we have as much fun as you're having so far.
 
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David desJardins
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I can see the advantages of playing with 3. We've been playing with 4 and our play times are much longer (we are slow players, to be sure).
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Matthew Arnold
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Becq wrote:
What do you mean by "playing mean"? Hate-drafting advisors? Hate-buying goods? Hate ... uh, exploring? (Not sure how that would work, exactly...) Province raiding? All of the above? Something else?

Thanks!


Not so much Hate drafting, or indirect stuff like that. Though that is definitely mean. No, I mean straight up sinking ships and raiding pronvinces. Realizing someone will get a milestone for building structures, and both players raiding their province, stealing their money, and destroying two structures.

That essentially destroyed the player. Some people will hate that. Me, I LOVE that stuff. That is everything I game for. Because it creates a meta. You compete, you create grudges, you create alliances. No one is going to "team up" forever, cause in the end everyone is in it for themselves.

I also love games that you are essentially just seeing who played the puzzle better. I have no problem with that. But I also love games where you destroy people, and then pay for it later. Its why I still play Commander Mode in Magic the Gathering, even though I sold all my cards.

In terms of hearing people don't like that first twist... it sort of makes sense to me. I guess that will be a good indicator. I get the sort of... for a lack of better term... OCD tendencies of board gamers. And not wanting to be challenged, but indulged. You get evolve YOUR character how YOU want. You dont like people or the game messing with you. Seafall sort of says "F You" and your expectation of keeping... (trying not to spoil) things exactly how you like it. The game itself is MEAN to promote and express the idea of you should play. Things get taken away from you. Deal with it.

It is far more interesting than anything that happened in Pandemic. Its one thing for new diseases or mechanics to come out. Its another for a game to just take away something from you. I hope it does it more often.

- matt
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Tilou
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Very interesting. I loved Risk Legacy, didn't care for Pandemic Legacy. Seafall just made it back on my shopping list arrrh
 
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David desJardins
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tgcleric wrote:
Realizing someone will get a milestone for building structures, and both players raiding their province, stealing their money, and destroying two structures.


When you raid a province, you can raid one site. You can raze a structure, or plunder the vault, but not both. Maybe you're playing wrong?

It's not that bad to be raided. You lose a modest amount, but it's only typically around a turn's worth of progress, and you get enmity which is useful. Unless you're really setting up a position where you absolutely are depending on not being raided---which then makes it your choice, and part of the strategy.
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Matthew Arnold
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DaviddesJ wrote:
tgcleric wrote:
Realizing someone will get a milestone for building structures, and both players raiding their province, stealing their money, and destroying two structures.


When you raid a province, you can raid one site. You can raze a structure, or plunder the vault, but not both. Maybe you're playing wrong?

It's not that bad to be raided. You lose a modest amount, but it's only typically around a turn's worth of progress, and you get enmity which is useful. Unless you're really setting up a position where you absolutely are depending on not being raided---which then makes it your choice, and part of the strategy.


No, we only raid one site. But if more than person raids you at once, it can be devastating.
 
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David desJardins
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tgcleric wrote:
No, we only raid one site. But if more than person raids you at once, it can be devastating.


Still, your posting claimed that raids by two opponents would destroy two structures and steal your gold, which is not possible. Maybe just a typo.

I do agree that being attacked by multiple opponents at once makes things worse. I kind of wish there were some mechanism where the enmity from one opponent's raid made it harder for the next opponent to also raid you.
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jayahre wrote:
I've wondered quite a bit if some of the negative response has been from folks who generally dislike heavy attacking in games.

I think it's just reached a level of unattainable expectations:

1. It's following Pandemic Legacy, BGG's #1 game of all time. Tough act to follow.
2. Hype-wise, Colby said on the PHG podcast (I'm paraphrasing): "...SeaFall might be the most ambitious game of all time". Hyperbolic?

When you combine that with a premium price point and middling reviews from The Dice Tower, a growing negative sentiment isn't a surprise.
 
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Huuuze wrote:
jayahre wrote:
I've wondered quite a bit if some of the negative response has been from folks who generally dislike heavy attacking in games.

I think it's just reached a level of unattainable expectations:

1. It's following Pandemic Legacy, BGG's #1 game of all time. Tough act to follow.
2. Hype-wise, Colby said on the PHG podcast (I'm paraphrasing): "...SeaFall might be the most ambitious game of all time". Hyperbolic?

When you combine that with a premium price point and middling reviews from The Dice Tower, a growing negative sentiment isn't a surprise.

It's also had several years for those expectations to build, without much to counter them during all that time.
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Jeff M
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Huuuze wrote:
...

...and middling reviews from The Dice Tower, ......


And the "Shut Up and Sit Down" and "All the games you like are bad" reviews.
In the last "The Dice Tower" review (SeaFall review #3) they raise the interesting question, basically, who is the games target audience?
Seems like Euro gamers will be turned off by the randomness of the dice and player conflict, Ameritrash gamers by the slow narrative and plodding engine building/pick up and deliver nature of the game, players who don't enjoy long games by the length. There seems to be a very narrow niche of gamers who this game will appeal to.



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Jeff M
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DaviddesJ wrote:
tgcleric wrote:
No, we only raid one site. But if more than person raids you at once, it can be devastating.


Still, your posting claimed that raids by two opponents would destroy two structures and steal your gold, which is not possible. Maybe just a typo.

....


Maybe they found a "house rule" that quickens the pace of the early game? I would have thought the game designers would have looked at this during development/play testing and made the conscious choice to not go that direction.
Wonder how it will affect the game later.
 
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Becq Starforged
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Lowden025 wrote:
And the "Shut Up and Sit Down" and "All the games you like are bad" reviews.
In the last "The Dice Tower" review (SeaFall review #3) they raise the interesting question, basically, who is the games target audience?
Seems like Euro gamers will be turned off by the randomness of the dice and player conflict, Ameritrash gamers by the slow narrative and plodding engine building/pick up and deliver nature of the game, players who don't enjoy long games by the length. There seems to be a very narrow niche of gamers who this game will appeal to.

Isn't that only true if any particular gamer is only allowed to enjoy Ameritrash OR Euro and short OR long games (but not both of either pair)?

I grew up on games like Risk, Axis and Allies, WH40K, etc, so I have no aversion to dice (especially not SeaFall dice with their 2/3-ish success chance). Much more recently, I've played Euro games heavily, so I'm not adverse to Euro-ish delivery games. I wish I had more opportunities to play games like Twilight Imperium and Civilization (the board game that came before the computer games and successor board games), so that should address the game length question. Oh, and I'll throw in that I backed 7th Continent based on my love for choose-your-own-adventures as a kid, so that covers the Captain's Booke angle.

Still haven't had the opportunity to play it yet (damn customs!), but it still seems like the game is tailored for me. Am I that rare?
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Jeff M
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Becq wrote:
..Am I that rare?


If SeaFall is a game that is right up your alley, I think you may be.
Time will tell.
 
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Becq wrote:
Lowden025 wrote:
And the "Shut Up and Sit Down" and "All the games you like are bad" reviews.
In the last "The Dice Tower" review (SeaFall review #3) they raise the interesting question, basically, who is the games target audience?
Seems like Euro gamers will be turned off by the randomness of the dice and player conflict, Ameritrash gamers by the slow narrative and plodding engine building/pick up and deliver nature of the game, players who don't enjoy long games by the length. There seems to be a very narrow niche of gamers who this game will appeal to.

Isn't that only true if any particular gamer is only allowed to enjoy Ameritrash OR Euro and short OR long games (but not both of either pair)?

I grew up on games like Risk, Axis and Allies, WH40K, etc, so I have no aversion to dice (especially not SeaFall dice with their 2/3-ish success chance). Much more recently, I've played Euro games heavily, so I'm not adverse to Euro-ish delivery games. I wish I had more opportunities to play games like Twilight Imperium and Civilization (the board game that came before the computer games and successor board games), so that should address the game length question. Oh, and I'll throw in that I backed 7th Continent based on my love for choose-your-own-adventures as a kid, so that covers the Captain's Booke angle.

Still haven't had the opportunity to play it yet (damn customs!), but it still seems like the game is tailored for me. Am I that rare?

I think my group will like it too. Aside from Pandemic Legacy being a huge hit, they also love Argent: The Consortium which is a big mess of Ameritrash chrome and conflict plus Euro worker placement and engine building. And for this group a game length of 2+ hours is a success, not a failure.
 
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David desJardins
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Becq wrote:
Still haven't had the opportunity to play it yet (damn customs!), but it still seems like the game is tailored for me. Am I that rare?


No, but it's important to some people to portray you as such.
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Becq Starforged
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DaviddesJ wrote:
tgcleric wrote:
No, we only raid one site. But if more than person raids you at once, it can be devastating.


Still, your posting claimed that raids by two opponents would destroy two structures and steal your gold, which is not possible. Maybe just a typo.

I do agree that being attacked by multiple opponents at once makes things worse. I kind of wish there were some mechanism where the enmity from one opponent's raid made it harder for the next opponent to also raid you.

Could also be that there were multiple raids by at least one of the opponents. Both opponents raided to blow up structures, then one followed up with a treasury raid "just to be sure".

Sounds like they take the view that "there's no such thing as overkill"...
 
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Thomas Robb
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I am anxious to see how my play group handles this game

My group plays TI3 and really likes it so long games are not a problem

The real reason this game will be interesting for our play group, however, is that they have no idea about the hype - they don't go to BGG, etc. They count on me to teach them the games, then they play

so what will they think just by playing without all these threads to read?



 
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Matthew Arnold
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Becq wrote:
DaviddesJ wrote:
tgcleric wrote:
No, we only raid one site. But if more than person raids you at once, it can be devastating.


Still, your posting claimed that raids by two opponents would destroy two structures and steal your gold, which is not possible. Maybe just a typo.

I do agree that being attacked by multiple opponents at once makes things worse. I kind of wish there were some mechanism where the enmity from one opponent's raid made it harder for the next opponent to also raid you.

Could also be that there were multiple raids by at least one of the opponents. Both opponents raided to blow up structures, then one followed up with a treasury raid "just to be sure".

Sounds like they take the view that "there's no such thing as overkill"...


You can't do the same action twice. It was over the course of 2 rounds. One round we both hit the his structures. Then I wanted some of his money.
 
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David desJardins
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tgcleric wrote:
You can't do the same action twice. It was over the course of 2 rounds. One round we both hit the his structures. Then I wanted some of his money.


You can do that, but the second raid is much harder because you lose 3 dice for the enmity from the first raid. And now he's got 6 enmity from you, probably several of those will become permanent. It seems a big cost for a few gold.
 
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Matthew Arnold
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Not if that gold stops him from buying the treasure that wins the game, and that its still a successful endeavor giving me a glory. Again, this was for the final end state moment where grabbing that last milestone wins the game. Also, we have had over 30 or 40 before. A raid to get 15-20 gold in one action is no small thing.

I feel like from what I hear on reviews its people playing their own little eurogame and whoever goes fastest with glory wins. Where as I would bet stopping people from getting glory or milestones or money is just as valid if not probably a more valid strategy as time goes on. But I will see as I keep playing.
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