Read part 1 here: First play - impressions & feedback
Yesterday we have had our second play of Shipwrights
. Again, we were a group of four people
, the same constellation like last week. We are a group that is playing mostly games that are released by German publishers like Hans im Glück, Kosmos, Queen Games etc. Two of us consider themselves experienced players and game collectors, that includes me.
Since we all knew the rules and mechanics of Shipwrights, we were able to start right away without any further questions. This is important to mention, because in the end you'll hear how long it took us to finish the game.We agreed to play with a house rule
, since the game tends to be pretty aggressive and often enough players may have a hand of three cards that is totally useless to them. Psychologically that's not ideal in a game, it just feels bad, like a missed chance. Some users, including me, have made suggestions how to house rule in the first thread
.Here is how we played it.
In addition to the standard rules, we introduced one extra action:
Once per day (afternoon phase), a player may discard one of his cards to gain +1 gold or play one card face down onto one of his ships, buildings, tools or craftsmen to protect this one card from any sort of attack for the following turn. Just like the Watchmen this card will be discarded when it's that players turn again. Other than the Watchmen this card does not protect the whole set, just the one card it is placed on.
The game went over lots of rounds
, way more than the last time. Everyone was doing better building ships, gaining resources and managing the gold reserve. I noticed that other than during the first play, we were all using the different townsfolk characters more effectively
. With the result that players were able to steal/trade more effectively, which brought each of us nearer to get where we wanted.But...
and that is in the nature of the game, most efforts of building or collecting the right craftsmen required to build ships, where disturbed if not made impossible by the many aggressive, attacking actions by the Assassin and other unfriendly townsfolk characters. So just like in a friendly euro game everyone was trying to build something, which then got destroyed. I made a big mistake
when I placed two craftsmen of the same type and blocked my free slots by that. I did it, because after all that happened before, I was pretty sure someone would be stealing or destroying one of these craftsmen. In the end it didn't happen and I had all my craftsmen slots blocked till the end of the game. The second mistake I made
was that I forgot I had the Watchman active when a player raided me. She took a precious craftsman and I didn't realize that I was protected. (She didn't do it on purpose, we both overlooked the Watchman.)
Slowly we all managed to build more and more ships and buildings, way more than during the first play where only one of us had buildings. Other than in the first game, which did end pretty soon, this one went on for three hours. Yes, that's right, we played for 180 Minutes
. The box says 50-70 minutes. The reason why it happened, is that we all knew exactly what to do and we all were building head to head and at the same time destroying at whoever was leading. So no one was able to finish early.The game ended with
1st player 14 VP
, 2nd player 13 VP
, 3rd player 10 VP
, 4th player 8 VP
. I lost.
It was good to see that everyone built more than during the first play. Part of the long playing time was caused by players 'thinking' too much. They did think during the morning phase and again during the afternoon phase. Which isn't really necessary because once you picked your cards during the morning phase, you already know what you have planned for the afternoon phase. No need to plan it a second time.FeedbackPlayers once again liked the game
, one even put it to her wish list. Everyone thought that it was too long
but no one felt like they had lost precious time this evening. No one felt like the game is unbalanced, just tough and a bit unfair, if certain people focus too much on attacking the same victim again and again.Feedback on houserules
I personally didn't think the house rule changed the game or its outcome much. Which is probably a good sign, since a tweak never should be too powerful or a game changer. All of us used the action of protecting a single card or receiving one gold for a discarded card more than once. It may well be that the single card protection did prevent attacks, but it is hard to tell. The +1 gold felt good, didn't make a big change though. All in all my gaming group told me that the house rule made for a better gaming experience, be it for psychological reasons only.Final thoughts
Taking the artwork and component quality into consideration and the fact that the designer is a nice guy and responsive, I'll give this a 7/10
, maybe even a 8/10 considering the tweaks. I backed this game during the Kickstarter campaign, if I had bought it in a shop without further social interaction in its community cosmos, I'd give it a 6/10 or 7/10 max.