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Subject: Why is this rated so heavily? It looks rather simple. Also, can't wait for my copy! rss

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Justin Gortner
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Hi all!

Just wanted to share my general excitement for getting the game! And also generate a fun discussion about the weight of the game. I would love some thoughts and opinions from those who have played.

I have watched Tom Vassal's video instruction and read through the rules. Am I missing something rules wise? Isn't this a turn?

1 Pick one of the 8 actions
2 Pay a colored cube (or black + coins)
3 Carry out action

And all of the actions seem quick and easy as well ...

Place, upgrade or remove a ship
Take a card, a gold or 2 navigation tokens
Sell goods
Retrieve cubes

And the only thing that pauses the game is scoring on the map or ship advancement. I am not even sure where I see how people could AP that much.

Anyhow, this will be my first M. Wallace game! I played Brass a long while back and thought it was a little too dry. But I have always respected him. I am hoping this game comes across to my group as a medium weight game.

Anyhow, I'd love your opinions!



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Chris
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Slightly less so recently, but over the years his games have been heavy from the interacive gameplay and not the rules.

I generally say a big rule book with lots of things to learn would often be a wide game, more than a deep one. Martins games like Princes of the Renaissance and Struggle of Empires have very short rule books, very very simple mechanics, but very deep gameplay from what happens when you apply those rules to a group of people and bits of cardboard.

Ships isn't so deep as those games, but I think it's broadly on a par with Brass, but in a different way. It's when you get to the point of deciding if you're placing the warship or merchant and the world of options opens up and you realise you're grinning out loud at the chain of events and consequences that unfold depending on what you do.

but you CAN play it in yourhead in "easy" mode. And lose horribily.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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jgortner wrote:
I am hoping this game comes across to my group as a medium weight game.
You would hope wrong. I might even go as far as to say that got the wrong Wallace game. This is proving to be a game which has seasoned gamers scratching their heads what to make of it—looks are in this case quite deceiving.

If you want medium weight, try Last Train to Wensleydale, Tinners' Trail or Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. Tyros is medium too, but given my dislike for it I am hesitant to recommend it. There are probably more in Wallace's oeuvre whose weight is medium (London? Age of Industry? Toledo?) but as I have never played those titles so can say nothing more.
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Darrell Hanning
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Your description of a turn is also incorrect, as each player will have 2 or more actions, not 1. And there are several things to consider, prior to deciding what is the best order in which to take them.
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MC Crispy
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jgortner wrote:
Hi all!

Just wanted to share my general excitement for getting the game! And also generate a fun discussion about the weight of the game. I would love some thoughts and opinions from those who have played.

I have watched Tom Vassal's video instruction and read through the rules. Am I missing something rules wise? Isn't this a turn?

1 Pick one of the 8 actions
2 Pay a colored cube (or black + coins)
3 Carry out action

And all of the actions seem quick and easy as well ...

Place, upgrade or remove a ship
Take a card, a gold or 2 navigation tokens
Sell goods
Retrieve cubes

And the only thing that pauses the game is scoring on the map or ship advancement. I am not even sure where I see how people could AP that much.

Anyhow, this will be my first M. Wallace game! I played Brass a long while back and thought it was a little too dry. But I have always respected him. I am hoping this game comes across to my group as a medium weight game.

Anyhow, I'd love your opinions!



Ah, the classic Reductio ad absurdum school of analysis. Love it. You could make the same statement about pretty much every game that exists. Games aren't about the individual types of thing that you can do, but about how they interact and about how big your decision space is. It's not necessarily about moving parts or complexity of action (as it is in some heavy games).

The challenge with Ships is that every action that you take has multiple ways in which you could take that action and multiple interlinked actions. Let's take "sell goods" easy, right? But which good(s) to sell? You sell as few as one or as many as you have - and everywhere in-between. But you have to store the Gold somewhere. All of it, or be prepared to convert it at 2:1 for VP (a piss-poor conversion rate that'll never win you the game). So you need to clear space in your Bank. So now you have to build some Ships so you can place tokens on the board - but they have to be disks, so you have to use Warships and now you need that Food you were about to sell...



That's why it's a heavier game.
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Justin Gortner
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DarrellKH wrote:
Your description of a turn is also incorrect, as each player will have 2 or more actions, not 1. And there are several things to consider, prior to deciding what is the best order in which to take them.
Can you elaborate on how players get 2 or more actions? Particularly the "or more" part?

mccrispy wrote:
That's why it's a heavier game.
I am thinking I may have phrased my thread a bit incorrectly. I loath games that are fiddily with a large number of rules and/or complex rules.

I guess I am pleased to hear that there is lots of strategy here. But gosh the rules seem so straightforward, no? When I play a game I love leaving the rulebook on the table and staying immersed. And I just don't see anything here that would leave me needing to pick up the rules to clarify things.

When I can pull out a game 2 months or more after having played it last, and remember most - if not all - of the rules, I am a happy camper.
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James Clarke
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jgortner wrote:
Can you elaborate on how players get 2 or more actions? Particularly the "or more" part?
At the beginning of your turn you put two of your colour cubes into your action box, and you might get a new black cube or two depending upon the era. You then spend these cubes on actions, one after the other. So providing you had the 2 colour cubes available set aside at the start of your turn, you will do at least 2 actions on your turn.

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Maarten D. de Jong
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jgortner wrote:
But gosh the rules seem so straightforward, no?
They are, although you'll need the help of some of the earlier discussions for a few darker corners of the rules.
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Chris
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jgortner wrote:
I guess I am pleased to hear that there is lots of strategy here. But gosh the rules seem so straightforward, no? When I play a game I love leaving the rulebook on the table and staying immersed. And I just don't see anything here that would leave me needing to pick up the rules to clarify things.
Yes that's broadly the case. essentially you've a tree of events to flow through when placing ships, but each branch of the tree is logical and easy to remember.
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Morten K
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Chris is very right in his description of it.

It might not be his most medium weight game (for that, I'd go with London which is a very very good game) but the amount of rules make it as easily accessible as if it was one. It is not only the amount of choices and their effect that gives the game depth though, it's also the question of timing. It means everything.
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MC Crispy
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jgortner wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
That's why it's a heavier game.
I am thinking I may have phrased my thread a bit incorrectly. I loath games that are fiddily with a large number of rules and/or complex rules.
Right, so rules complexity isn't the only thing that contributes to a game's weight. The rules are indeed pretty straightforward - it's no ASL or Arkham Horror. As I said before, the weight is in the choices that you make - look at Go: rated 4.0, but a pretty simple ruleset (1. place a stone, 2. there is no "2").
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Justin Gortner
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mccrispy wrote:
jgortner wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
That's why it's a heavier game.
I am thinking I may have phrased my thread a bit incorrectly. I loath games that are fiddily with a large number of rules and/or complex rules.
Right, so rules complexity isn't the only thing that contributes to a game's weight. The rules are indeed pretty straightforward - it's no ASL or Arkham Horror. As I said before, the weight is in the choices that you make - look at Go: rated 4.0, but a pretty simple ruleset (1. place a stone, 2. there is no "2").
Right. My understanding of weight in the context of this site has been appropriately adjusted!

Although now I think their should be another score to account for rules complexity.
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Kolby Reddish
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jgortner wrote:


I am thinking I may have phrased my thread a bit incorrectly. I loath games that are fiddily with a large number of rules and/or complex rules.
This isn't the hallmark of Martins games. The hallmark of Martins games, as I always describe it, is that they are subtle. While the game mechanisms may be relatively simple in his games, you usually have no idea how well you're doing. For me, it's about three quarters of the way through my first game that it clicks and I only start to grasp what I should have been doing to be successful.

If you like the sound of that, you'll like Ships (and Brass and London).
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Jacob Lee
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Thumb up for starting a good discussion.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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jgortner wrote:
Right. My understanding of weight in the context of this site has been appropriately adjusted!
'Weight' is an odd amalgam of the length of the rulebook, the style in which it is written, the depth of gameplay, the amount of required bookkeeping while playing, the ease of learning the game, and the targetted age range. Given the raw number it says basically nothing; and if you know more about the game you don't really need the number either.

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Although now I think their should be another score to account for rules complexity.
Asking other gamers is by far the best and most accurate way to find out about these quantities. As such I am opposed against adding another score, mainly to drive the point home that numbers cannot and will not ever tell the entire story whereas humans can and will (sometimes meeple ).
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Chris
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I was finally reading through the rules to The Princes of Florence the other night. Now that's some simple rules...

Actions:
- buy a tile
- auction aa different type of tile
- make two players roll a die
- pass

Take above actions in turn until all the actionable tiles are gone
Score points
Get money

Repeat above 3 times.

That's it... Doddle....right. Right......?
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MC Crispy
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
I was finally reading through the rules to The Princes of Florence the other night. Now that's some simple rules...

Actions:
- buy a tile
- auction aa different type of tile
- make two players roll a die
- pass

Take above actions in turn until all the actionable tiles are gone
Score points
Get money

Repeat above 3 times.

That's it... Doddle....right. Right......?
Kudos for using one of my favourite games for illustration. Totes awesome! (and yes, it's one of those squirly games where reading the rules cold really doesn't help)
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Chris
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mccrispy wrote:
TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
I was finally reading through the rules to The Princes of Florence the other night. Now that's some simple rules...

Actions:
- buy a tile
- auction aa different type of tile
- make two players roll a die
- pass

Take above actions in turn until all the actionable tiles are gone
Score points
Get money

Repeat above 3 times.

That's it... Doddle....right. Right......?
Kudos for using one of my favourite games for illustration. Totes awesome! (and yes, it's one of those squirly games where reading the rules cold really doesn't help)
oops, wrong game... Did you notice too? Meant Princes of the Renaissance :s
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MC Crispy
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TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
TheRocketSurgeon wrote:
I was finally reading through the rules to The Princes of Florence the other night. Now that's some simple rules...

Actions:
- buy a tile
- auction aa different type of tile
- make two players roll a die
- pass

Take above actions in turn until all the actionable tiles are gone
Score points
Get money

Repeat above 3 times.

That's it... Doddle....right. Right......?
Kudos for using one of my favourite games for illustration. Totes awesome! (and yes, it's one of those squirly games where reading the rules cold really doesn't help)
oops, wrong game... Did you notice too? Meant Princes of the Renaissance :s
Been a long time since I played, but couldn't remember the dice - I just let it slide 'cos my memory is shot. I was about to also give a nod to PotR, then I realised I was confusing it with another non-MW game: The Republic of Rome. What it is to lose your memory. shake
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Graham Dean
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Highland Cow wrote:
jgortner wrote:
Can you elaborate on how players get 2 or more actions? Particularly the "or more" part?
At the beginning of your turn you put two of your colour cubes into your action box, and you might get a new black cube or two depending upon the era. You then spend these cubes on actions, one after the other. So providing you had the 2 colour cubes available set aside at the start of your turn, you will do at least 2 actions on your turn.
I *think* that it's possible to save unused black action cubes for later rounds if you want. This would create the option of stockpiling cubes for later rounds.

Black action cubes are taken from the pool to your action box, and if you don't use them they get taken to the cube storgae area (whatever it's called). Then on future turns you can use action cubes from your action box, or black action cubes from the action box or storage area.

I think that's right. Can anyone confirm? Our group got that wrong.
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Chris
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Uncle G wrote:
Highland Cow wrote:
jgortner wrote:
Can you elaborate on how players get 2 or more actions? Particularly the "or more" part?
At the beginning of your turn you put two of your colour cubes into your action box, and you might get a new black cube or two depending upon the era. You then spend these cubes on actions, one after the other. So providing you had the 2 colour cubes available set aside at the start of your turn, you will do at least 2 actions on your turn.
I *think* that it's possible to save unused black action cubes for later rounds if you want. This would create the option of stockpiling cubes for later rounds.

Black action cubes are taken from the pool to your action box, and if you don't use them they get taken to the cube storgae area (whatever it's called). Then on future turns you can use action cubes from your action box, or black action cubes from the action box or storage area.

I think that's right. Can anyone confirm? Our group got that wrong.
Yes, they're storable, but one time use, ratehr than non storable and rotating round like the coloured cubes.
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James Clarke
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Yes, you can save up your black cubes. You keep the ones you don't use. You can use as many black cubes as you want/can on your turn.
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Graham Dean
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That's what I thought.

That would create the possibility of saving up your black action cubes in order to generate a really massive scoring opportunity at the end of the game, or to end the game when other players were not expecting it. What do people think? Does that sound plausible?
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Uncle G wrote:
What do people think? Does that sound plausible?
You will have limited your own action potential considerably during the game, the implications of which are quite unclear. Personally I would opt for flexibility throughout.
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cymric wrote:
Uncle G wrote:
What do people think? Does that sound plausible?
You will have limited your own action potential considerably during the game, the implications of which are quite unclear. Personally I would opt for flexibility throughout.
Yes, I suspect that - as in so many things - a balanced approach is best Likely this will mean judicious use of early- and mid-game free actions to ensure that you can best time your actions and position yourself for a good end-game, while ensuring that you have sufficient cubes to achieve that endgame. The devil, as in all Wallace games, will be in the detail.
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