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Subject: First-play impressions (Using print-on-demand test/review copy) rss

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Kevin Worth
United States
Roseville
California
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After receiving a test/review copy yesterday (THANKS TMG!!!), I sat down with 3 co-workers at lunch today to try this game out. I hadn't read the rules ahead of time, so as a group we worked our way through them, tried to answer questions, etc. Probably about 15 minutes.

One initial stumbling block- the difference between player cards and buildings is not totally clear at first. The player cards are the big ones, the building cards are the playing-card-sized ones. Initially I was laying out all the unused player cards on the table and thinking "ok I guess we ignore the goods tracks on these? and oh what are these cards for?" A stupid mistake for sure, but perhaps indicative of where some graphic examples of "what a table layout should look like" would make it totally obvious.

Gameplay seemed pretty straightforward. In the hour we had available for lunch, we played probably 5-6 turns, with all players purchasing at least one building (one player purchased a second building).

I mentioned the house rule I had seen in a forum post about how top hats could be used relatively (i.e. you only don't have to pay if you have *more* top hats than the building's owner), and the other players thought that seemed quite sensible.

To me the feel is reminiscent of Le Havre: The Inland Port but with more than two players and slightly different mechanics, which is totally a good thing, as I really enjoy that game and a slightly different take on it makes sense.

One thing we questioned was the "Unlocked by Stretch Goal" cards... we played with the 4 non-stretch player cards, but we played with all the building cards... we ended up drawing a lot of those, and afterwards we wondered if perhaps we should have started with only the "core" cards, if they might make for a simpler first game.

For the most part (I'm not sure if this was the shuffle, the card mix, or how it was intended) the buildings seemed quite expensive (mostly $9+). One player was able to buy a $6 building on turn 1 and nobody bought one for several rounds after that.

All in all it seems like a very enjoyable game, at least one of the players (in addition to myself) said he expected to back it when the Kickstarter campaign starts.

I'll try to post additional sessions/feedback over the course of this week, as my group of co-workers plays most weekdays, often with 2-3 games in the room at a time, so I may get a couple returning players and/or a couple new players over future sessions.

One major wishlist from one of the players: A complete card glossary. Even if it's just text versions of the symbols e.g. "spend 3 fish to get 5 lumber" that is very useful when you're first learning the cards, and it seems perfectly reasonable to have this instead of trying to catalog every possible symbol combination in the abstract sense.

One rules question: The Clock Tower- Can you use it to go back to the building you just came from? Technically you're still moving buildings, but we decided it seemed broken to do so. Again a quick "note, you cannot choose the building you started your turn in" note in a glossary would be perfect and avoids cluttering the card up.
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Scott Almes
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Thanks for your thoughts!

For the clocktower, it looks like we have an error on the card. You are not able to move UNTIL YOUR NEXT TURN and get that double action. So, you land on it one turn (and pay your one good), and then the next turn you move. Sorry for the confusion on that one.
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Aaron Wolfe
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Haven't gotten my review copy to the table yet, but just paging through it last night I agree that the final version should have a complete text break down of every card, even it's just a PDF on the website.
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Kevin Worth
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Scott: Thanks for the clarification, that really makes sense as the clock tower seemed WAY over-powered being able to double-use on the same turn.

Aaron: I know personally I'd print out such a PDF and keep it with the game, and at that point I'd really wish it'd be included in the rulebook so it doesn't look so janky carrying out printed-out rules clarifications for what should be a fairly compact game.
 
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Scott Almes
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ceekay wrote:
Scott: Thanks for the clarification, that really makes sense as the clock tower seemed WAY over-powered being able to double-use on the same turn.


We have the correct version of the card in Version 6 of the PnP... but we must have made some sort of goof when we updated it to color art. Our bad on that one - but we'll certainly be fixing it for the production version, no worries about that.
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Aaron Wolfe
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Kevin - I would too, but I'm all in favor of reducing what goes in the box, so they can pass the savings on to me.
 
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Ryan Tharp
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ceekay wrote:
One player was able to buy a $6 building on turn 1


I'd love to hear how that was achieved!
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