Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Libertalia» Forums » General

Subject: Aaaarrrrgh! Hated this game! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Tom Fagrell
msg tools
Every once in a while there is that game that everyone loves, and you just cannot figure out why. Libertalia is gorgeous to look at, but with our game group the game just didn't go over well at all. In fact, most of us felt that the game was close to unplayable. For a couple of reasons.

1) Nine cards that all do different things + six tricks that have different rewards + all the other players. That, to me, was way too much to keep in your head and break down and make any kind of sense of. For all of us it was just information overload. We were all sitting there with AP and the turns just dragged on. For us the game took 2,5 hours.

2) As a former ccg:er I was looking for different combinations and synergies between the cards and couldn't really find any strong ones. This may explain why there is only one post in the strategy board for this game. The game was far too shallow and chaotic to warrant how utterly complicated and convoluted it is.

3) No catch up mechanics. Going into the third campaign, one player was thirty points ahead of the runner up. You still have one third of the game to play and there is just no question who is going to win. If they had made every campaign worth more than the one before it would have been more exciting.

The reason that I didn't write a whole review for this game is that we only played it two times. But that is enough for me to not want to play this game ever again. A game this light should not be this hard to get into.

Or maybe someone could explain to me (and my group) what I'm missing.

Cheers!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Bradshaw
United Kingdom
Newcastle Upon Tyne
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
OK, well Libertalia is far from being my favourite game, so I'm not some zealot fan-boy springing to it's defence! I'm not sure I'll even play it again, but it is an "OK" game I think, and maybe it's more about good old fashioned "fun", than deep strategy and card synergies etc. That's not to say you don't have agonizing choices to make, working out who is going to play what character and so on, but 2.5 hours? I would suggest that IF you try it again - and I guess you're unlikely to! - you set a time limit and insist the game is speeded up - just ENJOY the narrative these characters provide and don't get too bogged down in trying to win, initially anyway.

Then, IF the game has any potential for you, you will probably have learned the cards quite well and might wish to spend a little more time on strategy and so on. As I say - far from being my favourite game - but I'd be slightly surprised that anyone would have an intense dislike for it!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Fagrell
msg tools
Yea, I guess the people in my group have a problem with just letting things go and play. I mean, the information is there in the cards and it feels like is possible to figure out an optimal plays and responses it just takes too much effort and time to do that. One player got so frustrated with it all that in the second game he played the top of the deck every turn. He did NOT finish last. (Now, granted, that kind of behaviour does not make the game fun for anyone, so that may have had an impact on our overall enjoyment)

I compare it to Citadels where you have nine roles to choose from in the entire game and it is often clear what the optimal play is for every player. Creating this tense atmosphere where you know that I know that you know that I know ... That just isn't there in Libertalia. And it could have been, because the ideas behind the game are quite interesting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moose Detective
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
Than Sense
badge
Is it a moose that became a detective ? Or a detective who searches for moose?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
9 cards played over 6 days with different rewards leads to a LOT of thought on day 1, and possibly even day 2. But days 3-5 should be pretty straight forward as your options lessen and you see what other people have done and day 6 should be automatic. On top of that, everyone is playing simultaneously.

2.5 hours is insane. A game on BoardGameArena only takes 15-25 minutes. Sure, the computer saves you 15-20 minutes of dealing cards and moving pieces but still that's well within the 45 minute listed time. 2.5 hours means that you guys had turns longer than a 10 minute first turn, 5 minute second and third turn, 4 minute fourth and fifth turns and 2 minute final turn.. that would have been 30 minutes per round and still only 90 minutes. And even if you add another 30 minutes for "I've never seen these cards before and I'm going to read all of them twice every turn" that might happen in a 1st game... that's STILL not 2.5 hours.

There are quite a few synergies in Libertalia. The puzzle isn't so much using a Voodoo Witch after all your characters got killed or using a Bartender early. Most of those become obvious after a few plays. There's also the puzzle of the synergies of the cards and the treasures. And most importantly, its knowing when you can get away with them, just like with Citadels.

Libertalia and Citadels are games where you have to understand that there is no perfect move. Because other players will always out-think you or out-think themselves (which in turn screws over your perfect play). Puzzling it out for over 10+ minutes is insane.

I'm also baffled how you could be puzzling things out that long and only one person was succeeding.

There are catch-up mechanics in Libertalia, a lot of them. But just like the robber doesn't help you overcome a 9-3 deficit in Settlers of Catan, a 30 point lead is pretty huge and you can't expect the game to let you catch up from that. This isn't Mario Kart. Libertalia has numerous cards and treasures that can target another player. Anyone with a huge lead should be getting any useful character sworded or shot or otherwise removed from their den. Getting 3 treasure maps is worth 12 points, and while difficult and not always an option, it is the ultimate catch-up play. But all of these things need to be incorporated the entire game. See someone picking up a few chests? or putting a 10 point character in their den that is going to survive? Immediately start targeting their other actions.

I think most players would hate any game if the game took over 3x as long as it should have. I really don't like to fall back on this when there's a negative review/comment to a game but... you played the game wrong. Playing the 45 minute for 2.5 hours and blaming the game is a crime. If i played another game while slowly being eaten alive by piranhas, would it be the game's fault?



13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Fagrell
msg tools
"This isn't Mario Kart"
I love that! I get this, but the game could have easily built in a scaling of value from campaign 1 to 3. Treasure maps aren't really a catch up mechanic since they are just as available and viable to the player who is winning.

Anyway, 5-10 minutes per card was what this guy took to play. It was awful. Especially since he beat the crap out of the rest of us. Playing it wrong? I don't know ... Maybe. I just have no desire to find out now.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shawn Garbett
United States
Nashville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Will Provide Statistics for Data
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ommo wrote:
1) Nine cards that all do different things + six tricks that have different rewards + all the other players. That, to me, was way too much to keep in your head and break down and make any kind of sense of.


It's 26-dimensional rock-paper-sissors. There's one player in our group who can run all the combinations, he always wins if he's present. My wife, says she can figure out what I'm going to play, and always plays one ahead of me. I keep getting my scurvy butt kicked regularly in this game. However, I still love it. I like Agricola for the similar reasons, but it's more like a puzzle box.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
bort
Australia
Brisbane
Qld
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ommo wrote:
the game could have easily built in a scaling of value from campaign 1 to 3


So, each player could do the same thing and win the same number of treasures in each round, but the guy who managed to do it in the last round would score more?

Ommo wrote:

Treasure maps aren't really a catch up mechanic since they are just as available and viable to the player who is winning.


But if the campaigns scaled up in value - they are also just as viable for the player who is winning as well, arent they?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stefan Brunell
Canada
Bromont
Quebec
flag msg tools
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just based on the time you played, it's surely not for your group. It can happen for any game and for any group. Even with maximum players it's rarely more than an hour for us. A huge part of the game is to think what other players will play, there's more combination with what others will do than only with your cards.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin Hiltz
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I happen to love this game, and so does my group. The first day of each campaign is usually the longest turn as you try to take in what lies ahead, but it becomes 2nd nature after your first full game. You see some red tokens, you play cautiously, all treasure? Play hard. This is a game that truly requires one campaign for things to click into place for newcomers. There really shouldn't be that much analysis paralysis here, it's a game where you have to accept that things will never go as planned, especially as the number of players increases. But that's part of the fun, seeing the chaos that ensues on the ship each day. Oh that darn Brute and his devious mechanic!

As for synergy, there's a lot of it if you look at the 30 cards in total, but there are campaigns where there isn't much to be found. Try using your mutineer early and close out with the voodoo witch. Or use your carpenter and follow it up with the french officer. Again, these strategies aren't always present, but there is a lot of interplay like that in the deck. Another bit synergy happens within cards that are the same, but taking into consideration their tie breakers and which cards are better to have a lower tie breaker vs. a higher.

As for catch up, I've been in last place for the 1st and 2nd campaigns to eventually take the game in the 3rd. Usually the reason I falter to start is because I'm hoarding my stronger cards for later, which usually throws people off and trumps them later.

I'm also curious if maybe there's something missing with how you're teaching the game to your group that leads them to take so long. I usually let people know that they do indeed have to accept the randomness of the game and that generally helps people throw their worries away.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Chapman
United Kingdom
Aberdeen
flag msg tools
Oh, alright - except for Codenames
badge
No, this is NOT my bloody "fursona"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ommo wrote:
1) Nine cards that all do different things + six tricks that have different rewards + all the other players. That, to me, was way too much to keep in your head and break down and make any kind of sense of. For all of us it was just information overload. We were all sitting there with AP and the turns just dragged on. For us the game took 2,5 hours.

2) As a former ccg:er I was looking for different combinations and synergies between the cards and couldn't really find any strong ones. This may explain why there is only one post in the strategy board for this game. The game was far too shallow and chaotic to warrant how utterly complicated and convoluted it is.

3) No catch up mechanics. Going into the third campaign, one player was thirty points ahead of the runner up. You still have one third of the game to play and there is just no question who is going to win. If they had made every campaign worth more than the one before it would have been more exciting.

The reason that I didn't write a whole review for this game is that we only played it two times. But that is enough for me to not want to play this game ever again. A game this light should not be this hard to get into.

Or maybe someone could explain to me (and my group) what I'm missing.

Cheers!


1) As people have said, two and a half hours for Libertalia is absurd. I've played it four or five times, each time with two to four new players, and it's never taken over an hour. If you're all insane min/maxers who insist on planning out every remaining day of the week to the letter every day then it could take that long, I suppose, but that isn't a flaw in the game.

Generally speaking, your strategy revolves around two factors: the booty tile you want, and the tile you will get if you draw last. That tells you what position you need to be in the draw and which character you should play - for example, you don't want to play Carpenter or Preacher on a day where the last pick might be an Officer.

2) If you couldn't find any synergies in this game, then you're not looking very hard. Carpenter/French Officer, Surgeon/Parrot, Spanish Governor/Voodoo Witch and Spanish Spy/Topman are all solid.

3) I don't know why people think that in a game of three rounds, the person who wins two of them by a large margin should be able to lose the game.

It's also possible to overtake a 30-point lead in Week 3 - not easy, but possible.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ommo wrote:
Every once in a while there is that game that everyone loves, and you just cannot figure out why. Libertalia is gorgeous to look at, but with our game group the game just didn't go over well at all. In fact, most of us felt that the game was close to unplayable. For a couple of reasons.
Not to nitpick, but 3 reasons isn't exactly "a couple"

Ommo wrote:
1) Nine cards that all do different things + six tricks that have different rewards + all the other players. That, to me, was way too much to keep in your head and break down and make any kind of sense of. For all of us it was just information overload. We were all sitting there with AP and the turns just dragged on. For us the game took 2,5 hours.
Some games get more bogged down by AP than others, but this really still sounds like a group issue, not the game. In my games thus far, the game took no more than 1 hour 30 minutes, but that includes teaching time. If you have people who can, as another poster mentioned, map out all 26 choose 6 combinations, and then multiply that by 3 rounds... more score to them. However, if they can't do it within a reasonable time frame (say no more than 15s per character selection + the total down time available), then that exceeds the etiquette of most game groups. That needs to stop.

Fair warning, DO NOT PLAY CITADELS WITH YOUR GROUP! 7p to 8p games take 2 to 3 hours. 5p to 6p games can take 1 to 2 hours! Unfortunately, the game's even lighter than Libertalia, so it has the perception that the game is dragging on longer than it should.


Ommo wrote:
2) As a former ccg:er I was looking for different combinations and synergies between the cards and couldn't really find any strong ones. This may explain why there is only one post in the strategy board for this game. The game was far too shallow and chaotic to warrant how utterly complicated and convoluted it is.
Eh... try your hand at Race For The Galaxy or Dominion?

That aside, there are combinations as mentioned by Jedit. There are also combinations like countering someone's monkey with a Merchant to turn in 2 curses that were passed to you into $2 instead of taking -$6 in pts. And you just mentioned in #1 that the game's taking too long, and how there are too many options there are. This still doesn't strike me as one of those games where there isn't enough combos and synergies, while still being THAT overwhelming.


Ommo wrote:
3) No catch up mechanics. Going into the third campaign, one player was thirty points ahead of the runner up. You still have one third of the game to play and there is just no question who is going to win. If they had made every campaign worth more than the one before it would have been more exciting.
That can backfire, as someone who did good the campaigns before now can get shafted by having later rounds mean more. As annoying as it may be for others, this seems to be a game where you need to be on your game the whole time, not rely on a luckier streak later on. AFAIK, a great week wouldn't make up for 2 lousy weeks vs. another player who on average did slightly above average per week.

Again, if the game didn't take 2.5 hours for your group, this sort of "leader issue" would be MUCH LESS pronounced.

Ommo wrote:
The reason that I didn't write a whole review for this game is that we only played it two times. But that is enough for me to not want to play this game ever again. A game this light should not be this hard to get into.

Or maybe someone could explain to me (and my group) what I'm missing.

Cheers!
Speed up the playtime definitely! I like this game and would definitely play it again, but it would wear out its welcome at 2.5 hours for me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.