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Subject: MegaBearsFan review of Sails of Glory rss

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Grade Jason
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I started playing Sails of glory about a month ago, and recently posted a review of it to my personal blog: http://www.megabearsfan.net/post/2015/11/15/Sails-of-Glory-b...

Keep in mind that this review comes from someone who has not played Wings of Glory or any other age of sail board / miniature games. So I'm coming into this mostly fresh (with only Star Wars: X-Wing providing any point of comparison).

A brief summary of the review:
+ The modular ruleset provides flexibility and caters to players of varying ages, skill levels, preferences, and time constraints. It does, however, make the rulebook a little cumbersome and difficult to navigate sometimes. It's like having three board games in one!

+ Elegant design that provides nearly simulation-level depth without the need for spreadsheets, pencils, or calculators.

+ Simultaneous actions keeps the pace of the game flowing smoothly for all players.

+ I much prefer the use of damage tokens as opposed to relying on die rolls. The fact that damage tokens are removed from play when used acts to normalize damage over the course of the game.

- Chain and grape shot feel very underwhelming.

- The game's greatest weakness is its components. Ship models look great, and seem durable to me, but the insert cards are difficult to remove from the base since there's no way to push them out from behind. The ship models themselves also interfere with all the measurements for line-of-sight and so forth, and it's very hard to make these measurements and maneuver without tampering with the ships and shifting their positions. I've also already started to see some bending in the line-of-sight rulers and ship log frames.

- Wish the box had included individual compartments for the different damage tokens, which would have alleviated the need for bags (with the limited space in the box) or having to sort them before every game.

Feel free to read the full review and leave any feedback or comments!
Thanks, and happy sailing!
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Andrea Angiolino
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Thanks for the deep review and for the nice comments!

MegaBearsFan wrote:
the insert cards are difficult to remove from the base since there's no way to push them out from behind.


This can be true, but it is also true that this is not done often. Maybe never. And the reason is...

MegaBearsFan wrote:
I am a bit confused by why Ares bothered to include the alternate ship stats on the backsides of the inserts. The subtle differences between the alternate ships is so minor that it has virtually no effect on gameplay, and there isn't enough tradeoff between the various stats for one version of the ship to feel more or less useful for a particular strategy or scenario than the other.


This was decided with the needs of gamers in mind.
30 years ago, I used to attend the yearly national boardgame conventions in Northern Italy, in the cities of Verona and Modena. Often my friends did not come with me and asked me eagerly what I played, sometimes they came and tested new games with me or on their own. In any case, one year I was back and told about Cry Havoc - three or four copies were bought by friends of mine. Next year it was the turn of Axis & Allies. Everybody wanted to own his own copy of these games, but having more than one in our circle of friends was a waste - one was more than enough to play.

Remembering this, when we published the card game Wings of War: Famous Aces (the father of all the airplane, starship and sailship games of this family) I optimized game materials so to have 4 maneuvre decks, but at least 4 plane cards for each of them. In this way, even if in your circle of friends you owned 4 copies of the same box, this was not pointless - you could fly each deck with a different plane card and so fly 16 different planes at the same time. Scalability being one of the main goal of these systems - consider that in Wings of War/Glory, as well as in Sails of Glory, all players move at the same time and there is no downtime at all. While a 42 miniatures X-Wing match can need more than 6 hours, since initiative has been introduced, a 100 planes Wings of Glory game can be played in just one hour. This even brought to the wonderfully silly and impressive competition to play The Largest Wings of War/Glory Game ever.

Double sided ships have mainly the same purpose. If you buy a set and your frend another, you can feature 4 ships using one side of the ship cards and the opponent 4 different ones using the other side. You can then play 8 different ships, with no duplicates - each one with her name and her historically inspired statistics. Same for the additional packs. Probably you will not have much desire to reopen bases and swap to the opposite side, since each model represent two ships of the same or equivalent class and often of the same years, that play overall the same. More than allowing you to use different game statistics, a possibility that is always open to you if you want, this is to allow you to use two identical models at the same time in case you have them at hand. In larger and larger battles that have been played with Sails of Glory too.

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Grade Jason
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angiolillo wrote:
Thanks for the deep review and for the nice comments!

MegaBearsFan wrote:
the insert cards are difficult to remove from the base since there's no way to push them out from behind.


This can be true, but it is also true that this is not done often. Maybe never. And the reason is...

MegaBearsFan wrote:
I am a bit confused by why Ares bothered to include the alternate ship stats on the backsides of the inserts. The subtle differences between the alternate ships is so minor that it has virtually no effect on gameplay, and there isn't enough tradeoff between the various stats for one version of the ship to feel more or less useful for a particular strategy or scenario than the other.


Touche

angiolillo wrote:
This was decided with the needs of gamers in mind.
30 years ago, I used to attend the yearly national boardgame conventions in Northern Italy, in the cities of Verona or Modena. Often my friends did not come with me and asked me eagerly what I played, sometimes they came and tested new games with me or on theyir own. In any case, one year I was back and told about Cry Havoc - three or four copies were bought by friends of mine. Next year it was the turn of Axis & Allies. Everybody wanted to own his own copy, but having more than one in our circle of friends was a waste - one was more than enough to play.

Remembering this, when we published the card game Wings of War: Famous Aces (the father of all the airplane, starship and sailship games of this family) I optimized game materials so to have 4 maneuvre decks, but at least 4 plane cards for each of them. In this way, even if in your circle of friends you owned 4 copies of the same box, this was not pointless - you could fly each deck with a different plane card and so fly 16 planes at the same time. Scalability being one of the main goal of these systems - consider that in Wings of War/Glory, as well as in Sails of Glory, all players move at the same time and there is no downtime at all. While a 42 miniatures X-Wing match can need more than 6 hours, since initiative has been intriduced, a 100 planes Wings of Glory game can be played in just one hour. This even brought to the wonderfully silly and impressive competition to play The Largest Wings of War/Glory Game ever.

Double sided ships have mainly the same purpose. If you buy a set and your frend another, you can feature 4 ships using one side of the ship cards and the opponent 4 different ones using the other side. You can then play 8 different ships, with no duplicates - each one with her name and her historically inspired statistics. Same for the additional packs. Probably you will not have much desire to reopen bases and swap to the opposite side, since each model represent two ships of the same or equivalent class and often of the same years. More than allowing you to use different game statistics, a possibility that is always open to you if you want, this is to allow you to use two identical models at the same time in case you have them at hand. In larger and larger battles that have been played with Sails of Glory too.



Excellent point. I only had access to the single copy of the game for the review, so I hadn't really considered that. I guess that's just one more way that the game is flexible and scalable to the players that play it

I have since picked up a few expansion ships, so I'm hoping to have a chance to play some larger engagements soon.
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Kaufschtick
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Sails of Glory, I love it, awesome game. Andrea's response was better than the opening post! Good stuff!
 
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