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Tyler Tinsley
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Seafall is great.

Great does not always mean "good". Such as "The Great Depression" or "Alexander the great". SeaFall is great in every meaning of the word.

I'm sure there are games that do any one thing better than seafall does. There are better eurogames, better conquest games, and even better legacy games, but I have not seen any game that does all the things SeaFall does. Some reviews say this is negative. I happen to love it, so it's clearly a matter of taste. I don't get to game all that often so getting so many things in one box is good.

If you want a game that will fully engage your heart and mind and have at least two friends, I say welcome aboard!

After three games my friends and I are in great anticipation of the next game. Our experience has been incredibly positive. The player who is falling behind (due to not that great of decision making) is grousing a bit. I have to say the game is doing it's best to handicap the players based on their relative strengths. Failing players get proportional resource bonuses at the start of the game. Winning players get small permanent bonuses that generally make the game more complicated for them or require action to get the most use from. The game actually attacks the leading players quite often and disincentivizes them from attacking weaker players.

Our general criticisms is that in this stage of the game the milestone cards feel like they score too many points and the game feels like it ends prematurely.

BUT!

This is actually a feature in most games. Games generally do best when they leave the players wanting more rather than exhausting all fun and possibility with each play. My favorite example is roleplaying games. they don't tell players when to stop so sessions go on forever until no one wants to play ever again.

However this is a careful balance and I think seafall just barely misses the mark. If the game ends too soon the players leave feeling frustrated. and while I think the player who wins has played enough in each session to feel satisfied, players behind not only lose but do not get to see their plan climax.

In our last game we tried a simple house rule that we are thinking of keeping. Instead of ending the game when one player reaches the score target we end when two players have reached the target. (our game has three players) this prevents a single run away victory from ending the game for everyone.

Other options I'm thinking of include

-Players are only allowed to score a single milestone per game after the prolog.

-Milestones are all worth -1 point that is printed on them.

My advice if you pick up the game is to have all players watch the "Watch it played" video and have at least one player who reads the rulebook. the rulebook is a serviceable reference but a terrible teaching aid.

Also make it an event. wear period hats, use a naval saber to open the secret boxes, use a Sextant as the current player token. figure out who has the best penmanship and let them be the game's calligrapher.
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James Webb
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I'm glad that you're enjoying the game so far, but I have a couple of comments that I'd be interested in your response to.

Firstly, isn't the nature of Legacy games such that it could be misleading to give the verdict 'Great!' after only three games? I enjoyed Pandemic Legacy at first, but as the games went on, the Legacy aspect began to create some problems for me.

Secondly, I feel like having to introduce house rules after three games isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. Do you mean that Seafall is a 'great experience' rather than a 'great game'?
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Gustav Weberup
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revgiblet wrote:
Do you mean that Seafall is a 'great experience' rather than a 'great game'?

That's the same thing, most people rate games on the experience they give, not how well made they are.
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Tyler Tinsley
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I mean a whole lot of things when I say "Great" that's why I put quotation marks around Great.

Personally I'm loving it and I think it's a very good game. But our group has some major disparities in player skill. While the game uses its legacy nature to great effect to balance player skill with handicaps. were this not a legacy game it would in fact be worse and something we would likely never play again without those handicaps.

It still leads to a problem where one player can end the game well before the other players have a chance to catch up or even suss out what a winning strategy looks like.

The other things I mean by great is that it is a huge endeavor (15-20 2+hour games) and a game of critical importance. It's made me feel things no other board game has. Some of these things are not the traditional "fun" but the sort of engagement one has from horror movies or making a real mistakes or the headspace of being the ruler of an empire. but there is plenty of game "fun" in there too.

There is nothing like SeaFall in all the world. So I'm quite willing to let a few things slide in order to experience it. You have to accept a few cuts when you want to live on the bleeding edge.
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James Webb
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Webbe wrote:
revgiblet wrote:
Do you mean that Seafall is a 'great experience' rather than a 'great game'?

That's the same thing, most people rate games on the experience they give, not how well made they are.


Not necessarily.

I'd say that Pandemic Legacy is a great experience, but it's not a great game. I may be in a minority to make that distinction, but being in a minority doesn't bother me.
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Gustav Weberup
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revgiblet wrote:
Webbe wrote:
revgiblet wrote:
Do you mean that Seafall is a 'great experience' rather than a 'great game'?

That's the same thing, most people rate games on the experience they give, not how well made they are.


Not necessarily.

I'd say that Pandemic Legacy is a great experience, but it's not a great game. I may be in a minority to make that distinction, but being in a minority doesn't bother me.

Funny. For me Pandemic Legacy is a well made game and I can understand why others like it. For me it's not that good though (I dislike cooperative games with open information and will only play them solo) so I think it's a sub par game/experience.
 
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Thomas Robb
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It would seem to me that if you let two players reach the Glory Point total that would end the game, then the 3rd player would be unhappy because they just needed a turn or two more to fulfill their plan?

Plus, that would make the 20+ points totals in later games that much longer.

Isn't the game long enough now with an average of 15 plays to win?

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Dean Rogers
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I agree that Seafall is a really good game. It provides players with a wide open world of discovery. The options, while not limitless, are numerous enough that replay ability seems more likely than say, Pandemic Legacy. My group has not finished our playthrough yet, but are well over halfway done and we are thinking about playing it again from the beginning.
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Matt Random
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As someone who is a lot deeper in the game, don't make any house rules please. The game only gets better as time goes and without spoiling things I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the things the game has in store for you.

Also I would suggest not worrying about overall points for a while, as you will find a lot of places here the whole campaign is at least 15 sessions, probably more for most groups which means you have plenty of time to catch up as things are revealed.

Edit: To echo the poster above me. I am already playing a 2nd campaign and planning on buying a 3rd copy to play with only people who have finished the game. It is fantastic and anyone who bought it, but isn't finishing it is missing out
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Tyler Tinsley
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I will take your advice
 
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TJ
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I'd also agree in not house-ruling milestones. They may seem over-powered in the early game, but there are a lot of other things introduced in the campaign that offer scoring opportunities.
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Ian M
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I would agree. My group just did our 3rd game last night, and for the first three games we were clearing out almost every milestone that was on the board, and the game JUST hit a point where only one milestone was scored in the whole game, because the rest of them are going to require a lot more preparation/buildup/searching.

I wanted to go for a trade strategy, and I have been lagging way behind, with a glory total of like...12 so far, our leader who had won both previous games was at like...23 I think?

We had the first island explored last game, and all of the four original islands were fully stocked with goods now, and I got getting three bonuses, since I was 11 points behind.

I was able to snag a milestone
Spoiler (click to reveal)
for selling and getting 30+ gold in one turn
and
Spoiler (click to reveal)
built a colony
which snagged me 8 glory total, then I got 6 from buildings and upgrades and treasure, part of which happened because I got a super handy advisor first turn that gave
Spoiler (click to reveal)
hefty -4 discounts to both build and upgrade, and allowed a turn-end advisor hire as well at a -2 discount
and I did both on my first turn.

I was starting to feel super handicapped, but after those two games, and the initial explore/raid rush that I wasn't really participating in, my trading empire is finally beginning to flourish, and I more than doubled my glory total in one game.
 
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Becq Starforged
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Trade can be powerful, but it takes time to build up. Exploration can sometime (prologue-level spoilers) [o]be an easy path to glory, if you get lucky and/or are equipped to make good use out of whatever stuff you find./[o] So it comes down to a race, them against your growing engine.

There are factors that play into this. Perhaps the most important is milestones: these will have a strong influence on which strategies are dominant at any point in the campaign. Consider that a large chunk of your glory came from a milestone. Without that milestone, how did you score stack up?

Other influences include resource availability and distance. For an explorer, the primary "resource" is exploration sites. As those sites are used up, the explorer has to go further and further to get to the next site. At the same time, the explorer has provided the trader with more and more of his resources close by, which makes that a great time to be a trader. Enjoy this while it lasts, because eventually the frontier will keep getting pushed, and because of the goods placement rules, those nearby islands will become barren, so you will also need to travel further to trade.

Its an interesting game, and I'm enjoying watching the world develop...
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Dan Lokemoen
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revgiblet wrote:
I'm glad that you're enjoying the game so far, but I have a couple of comments that I'd be interested in your response to.

Firstly, isn't the nature of Legacy games such that it could be misleading to give the verdict 'Great!' after only three games? I enjoyed Pandemic Legacy at first, but as the games went on, the Legacy aspect began to create some problems for me.

Secondly, I feel like having to introduce house rules after three games isn't exactly a ringing endorsement. Do you mean that Seafall is a 'great experience' rather than a 'great game'?

He answered your second question in the second sentence of the review. Why respond to something that you didn't even read?
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Justin L
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SomeoneRandom wrote:
As someone who is a lot deeper in the game, don't make any house rules please.


My group made one house rule - whoever is seated on whatever corner of the board is responsible for managing that deck/goods pile/dice pool/glory points etc etc.

The only thing we've had trouble with so far is the Advisor Forum/upgrade cards. We tried having our further players take a cell phone picture but it changes often enough that isn't the best option.
 
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