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Subject: first play Oh dear rss

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fish face
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Well, I'd been quite excited to play this and got it to the table last week. Things started badly when I mentioned in the rules explanation that we needed a Captain and communications officer - everyone instantly argued about who that was to be, despite not knowing what they were.Eventually I managed to get everyone to shut up, and we ran through the basics.

Then we played the first two training missions, having settled everyone down. Oh dear. I now know why people say some groups are better suited to some types of games, and this did not go down well at all. No-one knew what they were doing in the planning phase, and when we got blasted to bits, no one found it funny, just anticlimatic. When one person froze and laid out all their cards to read (B, B, B, B, B, B, B) no one found that funny. When someone pressed button A and nothing happened, no one found that funny. Everyone was distinctly a)overwhlemed by the planning phase and working out what's going on and b) underwhelmed by the resolution phase.

It just didn't rev anyone's engine. A shame it didn't work out, but I don't think there is any chance of this one coming back to the table, so ebay here we come.

Given the reponse to this game, I think my group just doesn't care much for a) chaos, b) the time pressure and c) a resolution phase in which all you do is watch.

I think on this basis, my unwrapped copy of Galaxy Trucker will join Space Alert as I just don't think they will like it.

I am the person in the group that buys the games and decides what to play, and this is the first one that has been a big miss. Shame, as it seemed like a good idea and I'd like to give it another go, but I don't think the others will be persuaded.
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Paul Grogan
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A real shame, but yeah, it sounds like your group isn't suited to it.
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Rafael Grote
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I'm really sorry to hear that. If possible, I would invite you to come over to my gamegroup for playing it. It's my favourite game, but then again, I like the chaos and pressure and adrenaline kick that starts as soon as I press play.

I guess it's really a very polarised game. I have played it with at least 10 to 15 different people; some loved it, some didn't like it at all and would have preferred to play Carcassonne or similar. They didn't find access to the mechanics or the theme and the result was that they didn't interact anymore and just resigned asking what to play. But thats a thing you do not have time for in this game, everybody needs to be involved.

Maybe you could get some other people than the ones you usually play with into it. You seem to be the person that could enjoy it.

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flyingfish wrote:
A shame it didn't work out, but I don't think there is any chance of this one coming back to the table, so ebay here we come.

Yeah, if you gave it two tries, it sounds like it won't work out. Good luck on ebay! (If they still have those prohibitions against "human trafficking" or whatever, maybe a BGG trade would be a better way to get a new group?)
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David Horm
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I had a very similar experience. I got Pandemic because one of the reviews commented that they had fun while still losing. Then I picked up Space Alert because somebody said the same thing. Half of my gaming group doesn't like the game, so it's never gotten back on to the table and I can't form an opinion on it yet. But I think it has to do with training new people properly. You don't have fun when there's a lot of pressure and you don't know what you're suppose to do. Next time I introduce this game, the first game will be without time pressure. I also got Ghost Stories because it fell into the have-fun-while-still-losing category, but this game that game is very brutal and not as fun right now. All of these games require lots of practice before getting good at it, and I'm trying discover why Pandemic was successful, whereas the other games weren't.

But if you're looking for real-time games, then Escape: The Curse of the Temple has been successful for us right out of the box.
 
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STEPHANOS KOLOVOS
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Same thing happened to me...and i was really dissapointed, not for the game ,because i feel that it has a nice flavour of co-op and nice innovated ideas,that make this game worth a lot...but the basic rule is the right group of persons to join our opinion.
I will not give up,there will be a bright day for this fine boardgame,in other case i am glad that i know now that people ,like you guys, enjoy it but you didn't find yet the right group for playing it.

ps Major fault of me ,was that i didn t learn the rules well...
 
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Rafael Grote
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davidhorm wrote:
I'm trying discover why Pandemic was successful, whereas the other games weren't.


I guess part of it is related to having all the time you want for Pandemic, while SpaceAlert is time limited. It's stress to a certain extenct and probably something people do not want during their freetime for relaxation.
 
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David Horm
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Thaine wrote:
davidhorm wrote:
I'm trying discover why Pandemic was successful, whereas the other games weren't.


I guess part of it is related to having all the time you want for Pandemic, while SpaceAlert is time limited. It's stress to a certain extenct and probably something people do not want during their freetime for relaxation.


But we enjoy playing Escape which is real-time. We aren't liking Ghost Story which is turn-by-turn.
 
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Marlene Thornstrom
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flyingfish wrote:
When one person froze and laid out all their cards to read (B, B, B, B, B, B, B) no one found that funny.


Oh man, seriously? If I had been playing I would have died laughing at that! laugh

Maybe you need to prime your group before playing. And by prime, I mean get them drunk while watching Galaxy Quest. Or find another group of friends to play with; perhaps people who aren't serious board gamers, but are more likely to laugh at themselves or everything going to hell in the game.
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Marlene Thornstrom
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davidhorm wrote:
All of these games require lots of practice before getting good at it, and I'm trying discover why Pandemic was successful, whereas the other games weren't.


Escape and Pandemic are straightforward. With Escape, even with almost all the modules and extra gems, it's pretty clear what the next move for everyone should be. With Pandemic - especially with there being no time constraint - anyone can easily see a cluster of 3 cube cities in Asia and realize they have to scoot over to treat some disease, or know that if they have 4 cards of a color they should try to get the last one from someone else.

Space Alert requires holding and processing information for a few turns of gameplay at a time in your head. (Perhaps other groups are quick and organized enough to update their game boards on a turn by turn basis to accurately reflect the game state; I'm not) With a time constraint. That's hard!

I'm curious about how you taught your group, or if you all learned it together for the first time. For my first game, the captain (who had played before, but by no means was an expert) evaluated the threats and figured out we needed people in the upper and lower red zones to fire simultaneously on turn X to destroy the threat. So our job was just to look at our cards and figure out if we had what was required to perform one of those things.

It eased us into the game by doing something simple, then once that was learned, we could start evaluating threats ourselves. It was also fun to find out the captain had miscalculated when a ship got into range for fire and we ended up hoping that it wouldn't blow us up as it moved down the trajectory. laugh
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Sean West
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Thanks for the post. Interesting to see everyone's experiences.

I have had this game sitting on the shelf for weeks, maybe months, afraid to introduce it to any of the people I play games with. I think I would love it but I'm afraid the chaos will be overwhelming for them. No one else I play with is quite as in to games as I am so unless I can really capture their attention and make it fun, rather than disheartening work, it's not going to go down well.

One of these days though, I'm going to have to get my nerve up and pull it out on a game night.
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bort
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Its hard to find a group that enjoys this. It can be such a tense game, and then you have a soundtrack telling you to hurry, hurry, HURRY!

;-)

Its not everyones cup of tea.
 
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Greg
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Marlene: We update our game board turn by turn during the planning, then at the end place bets on how similar what we've got on the table will be to the real final state of the game

OP: Sad times, I do find introducing this to a new group to be something I do carefully. A lot of it is about setting expectations, I try to persuade everyone that we are definately going to die and if they don't want to play knowing that I know it's not the game for them (If they do, then they don't feel too much pressure to not die and if they win they feel amazing. Though first time groups rarely win.)
 
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Marlene Thornstrom
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x_equals_speed wrote:
Marlene: We update our game board turn by turn during the planning, then at the end place bets on how similar what we've got on the table will be to the real final state of the game


I will have to try that. There just seems to be too much of a time crunch to synchronize that with everyone. I guess that's part of the challenge of the game.
 
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Greg
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Synchornisation is where it tends to go wrong for us Normally we can manage coordinated fire and not sharing lifts okay, but it can go wrong at the power step.

We tend to be pretty good at paying attention to power transfers and not consuming power before it's in a reactor, but sometimes someone will snaffle an extra power from the left or right reactor before a transfer and won't realise that they should've deducted it from the middle reactor not the side one.

The other mistake that sometimes occurs is that someone moves a cube off the computer to simulate a mouse wiggle, verbally agrees to swap wiggling duties with another player and doesn't put the cube back on. The other player gets caught up in something else (like reading a new threat card) and when they look at the board again they think it's already happened.

Or someone just plays left and moves their model right

But that's all part of the game
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Robert Stewart
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flyingfish wrote:
Given the reponse to this game, I think my group just doesn't care much for a) chaos, b) the time pressure and c) a resolution phase in which all you do is watch.

I think on this basis, my unwrapped copy of Galaxy Trucker will join Space Alert as I just don't think they will like it.


I realise this is a bit late, but Galaxy Trucker is different enough from Space Alert that it might still be worth a try - you still get some of the chaos, but there's not really any time pressure (unless players work at generating it) and there are some decisions to make during the resolution phase, though there is an element of just being along for the ride for much of it.

It sounds like the playgroup is pretty controlling and competitive, so Galaxy Trucker might not get much traction - it is possible to beat other players at it, but only by being better at preparing for and handling the unpredictable rather than by more obvious skills...
 
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