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Subject: Why won't this work with two? rss

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Thomas
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Is it a group thing, is there an auction? What mechanics keep it from working well?
 
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Charlie Roselius
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The surfeit of resources you will have means that there is no required interaction between you two, it will just be an engine building race.

This doesn't mean you CAN'T do it, just a lot of the themes (piracy and war) will not necessarily come up in optimal 2 player play.
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Thomas
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Jozrael wrote:
The surfeit of resources you will have means that there is no required interaction between you two, it will just be an engine building race.

This doesn't mean you CAN'T do it, just a lot of the themes (piracy and war) will not necessarily come up in optimal 2 player play.


If we like multiplayer low conflict games then would this work fine?
 
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Chad Urso McDaniel
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The designer said it will work with two although playtesting was focused on 3-5 players.
 
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Becq Starforged
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JR (developer of SeaFall) paraphrased Rob (the designer) as follows:
Quote:
For what it's worth, the game can be played as a 2P game - it just becomes a race for points rather than a friction-filled competition as resources will be plentiful (Rob's words)

So basically what Charlie said.

It sounds to me as though there's nothing in the mechanics that will be broken (ie, no auctions or such), but there will just be less friction, less tension, less competition over resources or advisers, etc. Perhaps more of a puzzle than a competition? I think that the exploration aspect of the game (which is probably one of the aspects of the game that catches people's attention the most, at least at first) is unlikely to be the same, but each player will be personally engaged in more of it, rather than experiencing it third-person.

I personally think the competition of the 4-5 player version sounds appealing, but it sounds as though the 2-player version might work for you. Try it and report back how well it worked for you, perhaps?
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Fito R
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There's another thread that deals with this same question at https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1618631/really-no-way-play-... (ignore the Werewolf posts), but as others said it should work with two.

I'm not sure how much fun or how fulfilling an experience it would be, but if you enjoy simple games of buying and trading at your leisure, I imagine that's what it would look like.
 
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Thomas
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I wonder if someone could invent a dummy player that would help? Or maybe some sort of auotmata deck like in scythe? Then there could be multiple AI's
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Fito R
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
I wonder if someone could invent a dummy player that would help? Or maybe some sort of auotmata deck like in scythe? Then there could be multiple AI's

Given the huge amount of decisions involved, as well as the legacy aspect, I do not think this is feasible. I could be proven wrong, though!
Not to mention there might, in fact, be actual "board vs. player" components hidden behind sealed boxes. In a legacy game anything is possible!

In any case, when playing with less than the maximum amount of players, remember that the unused provinces still have ships, and can still be raided and accrue enmity as usual.
 
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JR Honeycutt
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Per Rob in various places, you can play it with 2, it's just not an optimal experience.

If the choice were "not playing SeaFall" or "playing SeaFall with two players" I encourage you to play it with two... but really try to get a third player.
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Thomas
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jayahre wrote:
Per Rob in various places, you can play it with 2, it's just not an optimal experience.

If the choice were "not playing SeaFall" or "playing SeaFall with two players" I encourage you to play it with two... but really try to get a third player.


But again I've not seen anyone say why? Is it not good like Dead of winter is with two because the traitor element or is it more a case of people prefer more for whatever reason? We were always told Lancaster doesn't work with two but even Rahdo disagrees and we quite liked it.
 
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JR Honeycutt
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It's the same answer as above - pacing and resource availability are both balanced for 3-5 players.

Playing with 2 players means that games will take the same amount of time but the campaign will likely last a few games longer.
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Greg
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People are telling you that it can work with 2.

Some have mentioned why it may not be as good with 2 as opposed to 3 or more.
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Thomas
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Hahma wrote:
People are telling you that it can work with 2.

Some have mentioned why it may not be as good with 2 as opposed to 3 or more.


I don't subscribe to the "better with more" philosophy because we never play with more.
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JR Honeycutt
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Hahma wrote:
People are telling you that it can work with 2.

Some have mentioned why it may not be as good with 2 as opposed to 3 or more.


I don't subscribe to the "better with more" philosophy because we never play with more.


It's about competitive balance and pacing.

Assume it takes, on average, 2 years (12 turns) for a player to reach the glory total to finish a game early in the campaign.

In a 2-player game, that means 24 player turns will have happened, around 1/4 to 1/3 of which will be actions with a permanent effect on the board (like exploration). That means in a 2-player game, 6-8 things like that will happen per game.

In a 3-player game, that's more like 9-12, scaling up to 15-20 in a 5-player game. Fortunately, there's a functional limit to the number of times this can happen (due to congestion/availability design choices) so a 5-player game sees actions "overflow" into other available action types (non-permanent effects), so that the game doesn't happen too quickly. This is what we mean by pacing.

So in a 2-player game, it may take 3 games to get 2 games worth of permanent effect. It's certainly possible that changes in scarcity might affect the curvature of actions spends (if this concept comes across clearly, I'm struggling to explain without drawing it out), but I think the gamma of this effect would be like... -0.2?

I.e. you will do more permanent-effect-inducing things with fewer players due to increased availability, but the rate at which that increases is fairly small as a function of the additional available actions at reduced player counts.
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JR Honeycutt
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Another way to say this is that you can do more in 2p games, but the game may take longer as a result.
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michael c
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From what I'm reading in this thread, I think I'd enjoy Seafall as a 2 player game more than I'd enjoy it with more. Previously, this was not really on my radar as a game that I'd want to pick up, but perhaps it will work for me after all.
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Michael Weber
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
jayahre wrote:
Per Rob in various places, you can play it with 2, it's just not an optimal experience.

If the choice were "not playing SeaFall" or "playing SeaFall with two players" I encourage you to play it with two... but really try to get a third player.


But again I've not seen anyone say why? Is it not good like Dead of winter is with two because the traitor element or is it more a case of people prefer more for whatever reason? We were always told Lancaster doesn't work with two but even Rahdo disagrees and we quite liked it.


As others stated here, you CAN play it with two players, just like the designer said in a thread mentioned by a user above. The thread is just five threads under yours. Here is what the designer has to say:

RobDaviau wrote:
Basically what he said other than the last part. In a two-player game, there will be little need for players to raid each other. This may be fine for your group. It will be more of an engine building race with a few tactical raids/skirmishes.

This might be great for your group or you may miss the piratey/war themes in the game.


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Thomas
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megamawax wrote:
From what I'm reading in this thread, I think I'd enjoy Seafall as a 2 player game more than I'd enjoy it with more. Previously, this was not really on my radar as a game that I'd want to pick up, but perhaps it will work for me after all.


Yeah I don't understand why they didn't actually test it with two and scale it as such. IT's not like there is auctions, negotiation or other things that tend to not work with two.

I was hoping the designer could help out and give us some ideas to make the game work better for those that want to try it. Like maybe taking out some resources, blocking spaces, removing cards... something.
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Guilly Berto
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
megamawax wrote:
From what I'm reading in this thread, I think I'd enjoy Seafall as a 2 player game more than I'd enjoy it with more. Previously, this was not really on my radar as a game that I'd want to pick up, but perhaps it will work for me after all.


Yeah I don't understand why they didn't actually test it with two and scale it as such. IT's not like there is auctions, negotiation or other things that tend to not work with two.

I was hoping the designer could help out and give us some ideas to make the game work better for those that want to try it. Like maybe taking out some resources, blocking spaces, removing cards... something.
p

Maybe he learned his lesson from Risk Legacy. At 3 players the game is pure crap, yet that is an advertised player count. It never should have been advertised as a 3 player game. Perhaps this game is just not good with 2. Dead of Winter is an example of a game they tried to scale down to 2, and at that count it is a shadow of the experience it is at 4-5. There are hundreds of games I would rather play at 2.

After reading this thread it looks like you're just intent on rebutting every reason that someone posts. Why dont you just buy the game and try it for yourself since it appears no one is going to convince you otherwise.
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Thomas
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Guillyberto wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
megamawax wrote:
From what I'm reading in this thread, I think I'd enjoy Seafall as a 2 player game more than I'd enjoy it with more. Previously, this was not really on my radar as a game that I'd want to pick up, but perhaps it will work for me after all.


Yeah I don't understand why they didn't actually test it with two and scale it as such. IT's not like there is auctions, negotiation or other things that tend to not work with two.

I was hoping the designer could help out and give us some ideas to make the game work better for those that want to try it. Like maybe taking out some resources, blocking spaces, removing cards... something.
p

Maybe he learned his lesson from Risk Legacy. At 3 players the game is pure crap, yet that is an advertised player count. It never should have been advertised as a 3 player game. Perhaps this game is just not good with 2. Dead of Winter is an example of a game they tried to scale down to 2, and at that count it is a shadow of the experience it is at 4-5. There are hundreds of games I would rather play at 2.

After reading this thread it looks like you're just intent on rebutting every reason that someone posts. Why dont you just buy the game and try it for yourself since it appears no one is going to convince you otherwise.


Because no one has given anything really specific it's been all subjective, like "I enjoy swimming with more people because it's more fun". Well what if you want the pool to yourself or mate then that may not be the case.

Dead of winter doesn't work with two because there is a traitor mechanic and removing it takes away from the game. I agree that should never have been advertised as a 2+ game.

Rob was quoted in a recent video (the CSI one I believe) stating this game might work with two. I thought that was odd. It sounds like they never bothered to test it, and that is a shame. If Stonemeijer can come up with an Automata deck that makes Scythe work with two not sure why this couldn't have happened with this game.
 
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Ben Martell
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Guillyberto wrote:
LunarSoundDesign wrote:
megamawax wrote:
From what I'm reading in this thread, I think I'd enjoy Seafall as a 2 player game more than I'd enjoy it with more. Previously, this was not really on my radar as a game that I'd want to pick up, but perhaps it will work for me after all.


Yeah I don't understand why they didn't actually test it with two and scale it as such. IT's not like there is auctions, negotiation or other things that tend to not work with two.

I was hoping the designer could help out and give us some ideas to make the game work better for those that want to try it. Like maybe taking out some resources, blocking spaces, removing cards... something.
p

Maybe he learned his lesson from Risk Legacy. At 3 players the game is pure crap, yet that is an advertised player count. It never should have been advertised as a 3 player game. Perhaps this game is just not good with 2. Dead of Winter is an example of a game they tried to scale down to 2, and at that count it is a shadow of the experience it is at 4-5. There are hundreds of games I would rather play at 2.

After reading this thread it looks like you're just intent on rebutting every reason that someone posts. Why dont you just buy the game and try it for yourself since it appears no one is going to convince you otherwise.


Because no one has given anything really specific it's been all subjective, like "I enjoy swimming with more people because it's more fun". Well what if you want the pool to yourself or mate then that may not be the case.

Dead of winter doesn't work with two because there is a traitor mechanic and removing it takes away from the game. I agree that should never have been advertised as a 2+ game.

Rob was quoted in a recent video (the CSI one I believe) stating this game might work with two. I thought that was odd. It sounds like they never bothered to test it, and that is a shame. If Stonemeijer can come up with an Automata deck that makes Scythe work with two not sure why this couldn't have happened with this game.


The game took years to make and balance. Playing with 2 players feels a lot different, and isn't the game the designer was trying to make.

It's noones job to convince you with objective arguments not to play it with two, nor is it the designers job to design variants of the game because you want them.

People have been trying to be helpful for you, so it's not much fun for them to have their help criticised as subjective. What else would it be? You have the game developer giving you answers. Most people haven't got the game yet. I'm sure some threads will pop up in time from people playing with 2 to describe their experience, maybe you should wait until then to see what they think before buying?
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Andrew Pillow
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
If Stonemeijer can come up with an Automata deck that makes Scythe work with two not sure why this couldn't have happened with this game.


Scythe and other non-legacy games don't have lasting consequences based on the AI choosing an action that the players can't control. No one wants to miss searching the deck for story because the AI took action. No one wants the world to be changed in a way that completely mucks up the world for everyone just because the AI was programmed for a certain way to interact with events and didn't see the proper world state.

Also the AI's rules in game 1 would be completely different from game 15 otherwise the AI wouldn't be challenging enough. No one wants the AI to either avoid visiting the later islands or spend the first few games spending turns sailing around the far left hand side of the board for no reason.

As for a normal 2 player game, the thread above has given why it might be a bad idea, but as with all games, as long as you have fun that's the main thing.
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michael c
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Some games require more than 2 players and can't be played with just 2 without basically redesigning the game. Some games are meant to be played 3+ but can technically be played at 2, though the game loses a lot and barely works. Other games work equally well at 2 as they do 3+, and the game feels pretty much the same regardless. And then you have the games that feel very different at 2 compared to higher player counts, but each end of the spectrum serves different audiences equally well.

So, I guess the question is, what kind of game is Seafall? Is it a game that depends almost entirely on player interaction for its entertainment value, or is it as interesting to interact with what the game gives you as it is to interact with the other players? The game is probably too new to really answers these questions yet, but I'm sure there will be people out there that will get this to play 2-player and will report back.

I personally like exploration and engine building and interacting with NPCs. However, I don't find PvP combat particularly interesting. So, if most of the meat of the game depends on direct conflict and there's not enough there to spend a couple hours each session primarily interacting with the game and only indirectly affecting the other players, I'm not likely to enjoy this game. However, if there's plenty to do without focusing on raiding your fellow players, this might be an interesting 2 player game that would appeal to a certain audience that would rather focus their time on exploring and optimizing versus focusing their time on other players.

For example, the crayon rail games are pretty much multiplayer solitaire games, and I very much enjoy playing them 2-player. However, I can imagine that others would find them very boring.
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Jeff Connell
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Pure and simple, it was designed for 3-5. Nothing nefarious here, that's just the way it is. If it was meant to be played with 2, it would be on the box. No reason to complicate it.
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LunarSoundDesign wrote:
Rob was quoted in a recent video (the CSI one I believe) stating this game might work with two. I thought that was odd. It sounds like they never bothered to test it, and that is a shame. If Stonemeijer can come up with an Automata deck that makes Scythe work with two not sure why this couldn't have happened with this game.


Here you go:

EDIT: Moved to here

-------------------
SeaFall Automa v1.0

Note: This is not a Scythe-style automa that you play against. It will not make for a good solo game. What it will do is take the existing two-player game (which is allegedly playable as is) and tighten up the resources somewhat by simulating two additional players. No permanent changes are made to the automa faction(s), so if real players want to join in later in the campaign, simply stop using the automa and follow the rules for adding players. If the third player drops out, the automa can be used from that point on as described below; ignore any stickers relating to the factions that aren't playing.

Setup:

The automa is used from game 1 onward (not the prologue). The only components the automa needs are enmity tokens (use tokens for the faction not used by either player, specific color is irrelevant). All other components (ships, province boards, etc) can be left in the box. The automa does not use title cards.

Winter Phase:

Ignore the automa for purposes of the astrolabe. The automa does not harvest. If there are any automa enmity tokens on the board, remove them (they will not cause permanent enmity or affect further raids).

General rules:

The automa does not perform province raids, nor can his province(s) be raided. The automa's ships are not moved around the map. The automa does not score glory or claim milestones. The automa *does* perform island raids, exploration, building, and trade. Any items that are "discarded to the box" by the automa are not used for the remainder of the game, but will be available the following game as normal. The automa does not participate in the end-game sequence, including distribution of title cards or placement of permanent enmity.

After each player completes his turn (ie, twice per round), perform an automa turn as follows. The player who just finished his turn performs the steps.

1. Advisers/Treasure Phase

Roll a d6. If the roll is *greater than* the current year, the automa buys an adviser (select one randomly). If the roll is *less than* the current year number, the automa buys a treasure (select one randomly). If the roll is equal to the current year, the automa does neither. Discard (don't destroy) any bought advisers or treasures to the box.

2. Action Phase

Roll a d6. Based on the die roll, the automa player performs an action as follows:

1: Trader. The automa buys goods from the island nearest to the province end of the map that has them. If there is only one cube available on the island, the automa buys it; if there are two or more cubes the automa buys two. Roll randomly to decide which goods are bought, if necessary, and discard (to the supply) any cubes bought by the automa. If there are no goods available on any island, the automa does nothing this turn.

2: Builder. Roll another d6. On a 1-2, the automa build a structure. On a 3-5, the automa builds a ship upgrade. On a 6, the automa build both. For each item built, determine the least expensive item(s) of the indicated type, and randomly select an item from those items at that price. The automa is assumed to be able to afford the item; there is no need to track gold. Put any chosen structures or upgrades back in the box, they will not be available for the remainder of this game (but will be available the following game). If there are no items of the designated type (ie, no structures of any price, if a 1-2 was rolled), the automa does nothing this turn.

3: Explore. The automa explores an unexplored site with the lowest available difficulty (regardless of whether it's dangerous or not). If several sites are tied for the lowest difficulty, the automa chooses the one closest to the province side of the board. The exploration is assumed to succeed; roll randomly to make any necessary decisions. If there are no unexplored sites, the automa does nothing this turn. (The automa doesn't research.) Ignore any instructions that cause stickers or other permanent changes to the automa's province/ships/etc, but place exploration stickers on the island as directed.

4: Raid. The automa raids an explored island site with the lowest available difficulty (regardless of whether it's dangerous or not), ignoring any sites already raided by any player this year. If several sites are tied for the lowest difficulty, the automa chooses the one closest to the province side of the board. The raid is assumed to succeed; place an enmity token (of a color not used by players) on the raided site.

5-6: Sailing. The automa does nothing this turn. It can be assumed to be sailing to the next island, repairing ships, taxing, selling goods, failing an endeavor, or other actions that don't affect the board.

----------------------

Any thoughts? Ideas to improve it? (Note that I'm deliberately trying to make it as simple as possible, so try to keep additional complexity to an absolute minimum. The only real goal here is to create a mechanism for "using up" resources. Note that I didn't do anything with research for now, because (a) I know very little about it, and (b) I'm concerned that some of the research cards might be important to have in the hands of an active player, for purposes of exploring the deep ocean.

If response is positive, I'll look into formalizing this and adding it to the files section.
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