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

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Kevin Worth
United States
Roseville
California
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Following up to my "First-play" post, I tried playing again yesterday, this time with myself and one other returning player, and two players that hadn't tried it yet.

This time the rules explanation was much quicker, as I didn't have to read/refer to anything myself, just point out the different features of the boards and cards and explain the mechanics. I'm not sure if there is a preferred/recommended order of explanation, but it felt like I was jumping around a bit between explaining symbols, how the market works, and how you ship/buy.

Myself and the returning player realized a turn or so into it (because I had a character whose power was to be able to take one of any resource AND buy a building) that you can only purchase a building if you are on a space that has a building/$ icon! When we played the first time we thought the icons on our character boards were just to get an extra $ to buy things, but that if you had the money, you could buy from anywhere.

In the approximately 60 minutes we had (maybe slightly more), we still didn't get through a full game before we had to call it. I attribute some of this to the fact that we had two new players, who felt like taking in the information/translating the symbols for 7 cards on the board at a time seemed like a lot. In particular one of them can be prone to AP and he looked like he felt a little overwhelmed by the number of choices. The two of us that had played before seemed to go much quicker and tried to help the AP-prone player by pointing out that most of the time there were probably only 2-3 options he would actually want to pick.

In the time that we had, 3 of the 4 players had two buildings (the fourth having one). From what I can tell, though, the game looks like it would tend to accelerate later on as there are more building choices, coin icons, warehouses, etc. I suspect the time estimates could be something like 15 mins per experienced player (so 30m for 2p, 60m for 4p), with it bumping to 20 mins per new player (40m for 2p, 80m for 4p).

Hoping to get in a 2p round with the wife this weekend.

Edit: Going to include my subsequent play comments here since I think the bigger difference is between first and subsequent plays.
 
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Kevin Worth
United States
Roseville
California
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Re: Send-play impressions (Using print-on-demand test/review copy)
Third session impressions (myself and another who have played twice, one that's played once, and one newbie)

This time with some comments on balance with 4p...

Tax Office (building) and Travel Agent (character) seem relatively overpowered (at least in a four-player game).

Market rearrangement cards seem to be of little value in a 4p game- the market rarely looks the same when it get back to your turn.

We still only made it to about 2 buildings per player after an hour of playtime, this time with somewhat experienced players who didn't take that long on their turns. I'm upping my estimate for 4p up to about 90 minutes.

It seems like there is a really slow ramp, particularly early-game for buying your first building. After that it seems like it would pick up a bit, but we never manage to find out. I'm not sure if our shuffles have just yielded expensive cards or what.

Any thoughts on adjusting the income/cost ratio? I'm thinking something like sell n for $n+1 (i.e. sell 2 for $3, 3 for $4, 4 for $5, 5 for $6). Currently at the 1 for 1 minimum/value it seems like you usually have to sell three resources to afford a building, or all four for an expensive one.
 
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Seth Jaffee
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Tucson
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Re: Send-play impressions (Using print-on-demand test/review copy)
ceekay wrote:
Any thoughts on adjusting the income/cost ratio? I'm thinking something like sell n for $n+1 (i.e. sell 2 for $3, 3 for $4, 4 for $5, 5 for $6). Currently at the 1 for 1 minimum/value it seems like you usually have to sell three resources to afford a building, or all four for an expensive one.

This doesn't sound right... the game is about collecting several units of the same good (preferably the good that is worth 4 or 5).
 
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Kevin Worth
United States
Roseville
California
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Quote:
This doesn't sound right


Seth did you mean my suggestion on adjustment or the statement about selling 3-4 goods for a building?

Assuming you meant the latter; yes that's what I would have expected (the game focusing on selling several of the same good, hopefully at a high price), and would think selling 1-2 goods for a building or 2-3 for an expensive one seemed good, but right now buying anything but a cheap ($6) building (especially in a 4p game) feels like aligning the planets between having the goods, the market being in the right shape, desirable buildings being to purchase on the table, and then going to a building where you can do a buy.

Unless money is cumulative (it's not, right??), something feels like it needs a tweak to bring it closer to the quick-and-light feel that I'd expect from a game like this (unless it wants to be of a longer-and-heavier variety, I'm only guessing based on the 30 minute play time estimate)
 
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Kevin Worth
United States
Roseville
California
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Fourth play session update: We finally finished a 4p game (in just over an hour)!

Two of us that had played all 4 sessions, one that had played 1-2 times, and one new player.

The game definitely accelerated as it went on, but we also looked at the initial card mix and said "this is not going to be fun", and drew 7 new ones.

I think having a "suggested starting cards" list (or lists) could really help, as the first 1-2 buildings each player purchases are going to affect the flow of the early game.
 
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