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Subject: A little journey to Ridback Bay rss

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Will Moller
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Lincoln
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I had the delightful opportunity to demo a game of Fleet during a monthly game night in Seward, Nebraska this past weekend. How did it go? Let's go to the extended replay!

This was the first visit for all of our novice fisher-folk, 3 in total. They could hardly recognize a fishing pole, but perhaps a little time in Ridback Bay would separate the greenhooks from salty dogs. It started off simple enough. The players were given the ground rules, had their opening strategies (2 Lobsters?! Ooooh, shiny!), and the fishermen-to-be gave each other the ceremonial nod of the head.

It was evident the early strategy was to take things slowly, conserving cards. The players had some lobsters and tuna amongst themselves, but frequently up to two fishermen were purchasing no licenses. Then suddenly the only options for everyone were a shrimp license, always a nice item to have, or TWO Fishermen's Pubs. The non-pub license became coveted for several rounds, and before I knew what was happening, the bidding on a cod license reached 9$! Well, this would not do, so every round whoever could literally bid the highest value out of their hand did so. It was very exciting.

The toughest part of it all was not seeing a single Processing Vessel license until past the halfway point of the game. Once they appeared, the aggressive processing I've come to expect just wasn't there. Knowingly sacrificing 4-5 points per round when everyone was holding loads of cards anyway just wasn't worth it.

There was a noticeable hesitation to launch and captaining boats throught this game. And really, that's understandable, because boats are leaky these days and captains are more entitled than ever. No one tells ME where to drop my lines! It's pretty hard to justify hiring such personalities. The most captains under one employer was 6.

By the end, several premium licenses were purchased for upwards of $14 dollars, there was a palpable sense of oneupsmanship in these salty dogs. The final scores were close, but the victor squeaked it out by the end with two crab license purchases in the final two rounds and sneaking a 1-point victory over a bewildered opponent! Maybe she should have processed a few more fish?...

Everyone had a great time and may yet come back for some extra experience in the arctic north and all of the bounty it can provide.

*edited for clarification and additional flavor text*
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Montgomery Van
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Fantastic session report, mospinach; thanks for sharing!

I've owned Fleet since about mid '13, but just got around to playing it last night with my wife. We were holding off for Arctic Bounty's two player variant, as the base game auction mechanic made me a bit nervous with two players.

Always late to the party, I finally understand why this game is so well regarded. We had a blast.

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Will Moller
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Well thanks! My first session report. It's a lovely game, and the 2-player variant with Arctic Bounty is really good, though I haven't played it since the final version was established. I don't have much experience with the Bay or Dock cards yet either, but they really make things interesting. The possibilities for variation are very strong in this game.

Someday I'll whip out an Epic Fleet session. I wonder how long that will take to play out...
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Ben Pinchback
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Leonard
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Fantastic report! I love the tension in your auctions. Cod for $9 is totally reasonable based on the game. The highest I've ever seen a base license go for was cod for $15. That was insane. Hope u love all the new content out!
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