Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

Fleet: Arctic Bounty» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Epicly Gone Fishing, a 2 player session report rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
On May 3rd, 2014, my husband and I sat down to play Epic Fleet. For those who may not know, Epic Fleet is when you play Fleet with everything – base game, expansion and all promos. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I must say it is! But epicly so.

Background:
Our experience with Fleet is rather limited. We were first introduced to Fleet sometime in 2013 when a friend taught it to us. We liked it so much that we backed the Kickstarter for everything that was available. Even though we got the game a while ago, we didn’t get it to the table until last week when we played it 3 times in a row – something unheard of for us. We liked it so much, but our main complaint was that it was too short. Just as we got an engine going, the game would end. Our favorite games are euro-style games so we tend to like longer games that give us lots of strategic options. Thus our desire to try Epic Fleet to see if it would eliminate our chief complaint. And it did as the game took about 4 hours to play.

Epic Fleet Setup:
Since we’d only played it a few times before, mostly with the base game, it took us a while to set up because we went over every card as we unpacked the box. So I think it took us about a half hour to get everything shuffled and laid out. One note here, my husband is very much looking forward to getting the card shuffler in the mail. Trying to shuffle that many boat cards really hurt his hands.

Captain Kirkman:
Since Epic Fleet is designed for 3 or more players, we used Captain Kirkman. Honestly, we’re not a fan of the mechanic, but then we typically do not like games that have a fake third player to balance out the game for two players. It got pretty annoying because he would almost always bid on a license due to how his mechanic works so we both figured out that we would need to put up the license we didn’t want for auction first, just to get him out of the way. I’m not sure we’ll play with the captains again as we much prefer pitting ourselves against each other and I feel the game works just fine with two. Oh, and before I forget, since there were more than 10 rounds to Epic Fleet, we just left his marker at the max bid for the rest of the game. I’m sure we could have continued adding to his bidding ability, but considering we didn’t like him, we were fine out-bidding him in later rounds.

Bay and Dock Cards:
I must say it was a lot of fun having all the options on the board. Granted, we didn’t use all the cards, but almost every card type was utilized at some point except for the Inuit Fisherman and the Artisan Fisherman. There just wasn’t any time where those boat cards were better than what we had in our hands. The Tug Boat and Gone Fishing cards were only utilized at the beginning of the game. As the game went on past the normal 10 rounds, we had more and more cards and fish to utilize for cash and so they were not needed. The Trophies and Crabs had a big impact on the strategies we employed. I found them a rather nice guide on how to organize myself at the beginning, though one Trophy was very tough to achieve – getting 3 copies of the same license. This is due to how spread out the licenses were in the deck and there were only a few that popped up 3 times. Lastly, we also really enjoyed the variety that the Crewman introduced.

Overall Flow of Epic Fleet Gameplay:
While we definitely enjoyed playing a longer game of Fleet and being able to really get into engine building, the longer the game went, the slower it went. We felt like we needed a checklist for every phase to remind ourselves of which abilities happened when. We often forgot things and thus had to go back a few steps to do them. Granted, this will not be in an issue the more we play the game. Those who have played Fleet a lot and know the cards very well will probably not have this problem, but new players will.

Decisions also came a little slower, especially during the auction phase, as it was hard to decide which license was the best choice, either due to complimenting what you have or trying to get one away from your opponent. These decisions felt critical because it still felt like we didn’t end up with a lot of licenses. At the end of the game, I had 9 and my husband had 8. The game ended by fish running out while the license stack was still very big.

And then there was the point when we had more than 7 cards in our hands and, for the life of us, we couldn’t find a rule on hand limit. At the beginning of the game, it says to deal out one of each boat, except Charter, flip over the first licenses and then discard down to 7. But nowhere else could we find mention of a hand limit during the game. We even stopped the game to check BGG, but I couldn’t find anything in the forums or files. So we decided, since we were going epic, that we wouldn’t have a hand limit. And I must say that made auctions a lot more competitive. At one point, I could have gotten my third Char license to win the trophy, but my husband bid 25 coins for it and I couldn’t compete (not if I wanted to launch boats later in the round).

Scoring:
I have to say that the strongest license in this game was the Pacific Oyster and I was very lucky in getting a lot of Charter boats. In the end, I had 8 boats for the license and 5 of them were Charter boats. While my husband had a Pacific Oyster license too, he only had 4 boats for it and only ever got one Charter boat at the end of the game and was unable to play it.

I really ran away with the game as I got 69 fish, 4 of the 5 crabs, and 2 of the 3 trophies (most standard licenses and launch 4 different boats). My husband struggled most of the game to get boats out for the licenses he had. So the end game score was me with 153 points, my husband with 113 and Captain Kirkman with 70.

Concluding Thoughts:
I was surprised that we each only had one premium license. My husband had the King Crab and I had the Salvage Yard. When the premium licenses showed up early in the game, we weren’t able to get them and then later on, the standard licenses just had abilities we wanted. Personally, I’m glad neither of us got the Weather Authority. We don’t typically like such aggressive actions in our games and I personally felt that it was too mean of a card. My husband is fine with it in the game, but he did admit that he was happy I didn’t buy it when I had the chance. I would have really destroyed him.

By now, I’m sure many of you are wondering whether we liked this and would play it again. The answer is yes! We definitely loved the game going on for more rounds and being able to really build our engines. We know that in the future it will not take 4 hours because we’ll get more and more familiar with the cards and be able to make decisions faster. I personally think we can get it down to 2 hours, which is a good length for how involved the game is.

I do have a suggestion for those who want to play Epic Fleet, but not have it go on for quite so long. I suggest using all the Bay and Dock cards as most of them just add options. For the licenses, try double the base game setup. Use 10 standard licenses and 4 premium licenses. It’ll make the decks more concentrated and easier to get the cards you need while still lengthening the game. I definitely recommend using the Charter boats as they really help fill in the gaps. I imagine the game will still end by running out of fish rather than licenses, but it’ll depend.

As for us, this game is now a solid 9 for us. We both can’t wait to play again and yes, if we have time, it will be Epic Fleet.
9 
 Thumb up
1.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Speicher
United States
Potomac Falls
VIRGINIA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
thanks this is good to know, i'm hoping to get fleet or among the stars to the table soon, but i need to sort out their setups. I'm glad to have the fleet big box which helps with storage, and sorting things out.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jwspiker wrote:
thanks this is good to know, i'm hoping to get fleet or among the stars to the table soon, but i need to sort out their setups. I'm glad to have the fleet big box which helps with storage, and sorting things out.

Agreed, I am so glad I got the big box and we're going to print out the dividers on card stock (the dividers can be found in the file section).

We have Among the Stars, but haven't gotten around to sorting it yet - so much more to that game!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron
Austria
Vienna
flag msg tools
“It's all in the mind.” ― George Harrison
badge
Devoted Follower of the Most Holy Church of the Evil Bob. Possessed and down the road to become chaotic, evil & naughty. All hail the Evil Bob and his Stargate.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for that great session report!
Very informative ... I plan an epic game on the next opportunity. meeple
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juan Crespo
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
FYI there's no hand limit in Fleet. Nice report!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Smith
United States
Troy
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very fun read. I was able to finally use some of Arctic Bounty last weekend, and was blown away by how it changes the game (in a really good way).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarah Reed
United States
Rancho Cordova
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ron - Hope you have fun! And post your experiences, if you feel like it.

juanma99 wrote:
FYI there's no hand limit in Fleet. Nice report!

Fantastic to know!

Matt - they definitely do!
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.