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Subject: You gotta be kidding me? This is a rulebook??? rss

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MGAC California
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Could someone post...in very simple layman's terms...how to play this game? What to do when? And all that?

The rulebook(s) read like someone vomited words into a bowl, and then threw it all on a glass window to see how it would sort itself out.

Honestly...
 
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Nico
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This game has two rulebooks. One is a little bit uncommon but I think both explain the game very well.

I'm not sure what you understood and what you want to know.
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ZdadrDeM wrote:
This game has two rulebooks. One is a little bit uncommon but I think both explain the game very well.

I'm not sure what you understood and what you want to know.


For starters....how to play.

Seriously...I can't make hide nor hair of the rulebook. It reads like it was originally written in another language and poorly translated to English.

For example...after the board is set up.....

Do what first?

Do what second?

Do what third?

That sort of thing.
 
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Andrew MacLeod
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Don't use the rulebook, which is really only meant as a kind of appendix. Use the "How to be a Space Explorer in Ten Easy Lessons" book, or whatever it's called.
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Also...where is the 'game' part?

I put a CD in and play it. The track is 10 minutes long. It starts with some sort of enemy detected"...

...then what? The CD keeps playing a pre-recorded track?

Is the game on rails? Is there a 'go left and do A' you win or 'go right and do B' you lose part?

Is it 2-4 players sitting around a table listening to spaceship sounds?

If everyone fumbles every single thing they do...the pre-recorded story still proceeds to the pre-recorded ending.

I'm a little slow on the uptake today. Help a gaming brother out.
 
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Andrew MacLeod
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Read the manual, not the rulebook.
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Drew1365 wrote:
In a sense, it's a programming game like RoboRally.

It's done in two phases.

First, you play it while listening to cues from the CD, and using your cards to program your moves and actions. (Move or Push Button.)

When that time is done, then you go back and execute all those actions as you programmed them to see if you actually did what you thought you did.

For the early, easy scenarios, we usually don't have much of a problem pulling them off.

The harder scenarios usually end up with someone in the wrong place at the wrong time, pushing buttons to fire lasers, only to find that someone forgot to transfer energy around, and stuff like that.

But yeah, you play through it twice. Once, programming as you go. Then essentially executing your program to see if you pulled it off.

It's pretty cool once you get the hang of it.


Thank you. That gives me a clearer idea. I appreciate it.
 
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Nico
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Space Alert has one of the best Rulebooks in the Boardgame world, at least for me and if you are into light hearted written rulebooks. Also, pretty sure that the way Space alert did it, inspired FFG to do the "Get started" and "Manual" rule book splits.

Anyway, here is the game in a nutshell:

First Phase: The Ship Board and miniatures doesn't matter for the purpose of this Phase, at all. Use it to communicate or don't your choice. The only thing that matters is what everyone has "programmed" in his board "the one with the 1, 2, 3 in different colors". First Phase is timed, via a cd track. The CD track tells you what event happened, and a card draw determines what exactly happend, so its not on rails. There are no real turns, everyone does everything. As long as you have programmed moves on your player board, you did this phase correctly. Again, this phase is chaos, its frantic and only the 1, 2, 3 boards matter for the second phase. The CD just tells when to skip to the next player board, when communication is not allowed (static noise) when you can trade cards or take new ones and ofc when threats appear on the terror tracks.

Second phase: The board, if used, is reset. And now the other board with the weird icons is followed step by step and every one flips their "Programmed" cards on their 1, 2, 3 boards and you follow along what happened via the flight. I like to refere to the second phase as the "blackbox" or "flight recorder" phase. You have absolutely no choices in this phase (afair) you only check what had actually happened and if you and the ship survived.

This is the basic idea of the game, now read that Rookie book, its fun and explain everything quiet well.

have fun!
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I truly thank you guys for the explanations. While your responses did clear up the game play a bit...I think it's not the game for me. After printing out and reading the rule books, and watching videos on Youtube on game play...I'm convinced even more so.

So...I have one copy, still in shrink, up for grabs on EBay.

Thank you folks again.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/282133990622
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Just as a matter of interest how did you manage to play the CD but still keep the game in shrink?


RB
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Paul Grogan
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As others have said, the rulebook is not meant to be the first thing you read. In fact, you probably dont need it at all for the first 8 training missions.

The training manual is what should be read first, and yeah, that manual is one of the best "rulebooks" ever written. I can say that even though I work for CGE because I had nothing to do with it - but I appreciated it as a work of genius. Clearly laid out, very informative and funny. Learning this game from the manual was one of the best, if not the best game learning experience I've ever had.
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MGAC wrote:

So...I have one copy, still in shrink, up for grabs on EBay.


I don't get why you print out and read the rulebook and watch videos on youtube AFTER buying the game and then deciding it's not for you.
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ZdadrDeM wrote:
MGAC wrote:

So...I have one copy, still in shrink, up for grabs on EBay.


I don't get why you print out and read the rulebook and watch videos on youtube AFTER buying the game and then deciding it's not for you.


I don't care what you think. But thank you for participating.
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PaulGrogan wrote:
As others have said, the rulebook is not meant to be the first thing you read. In fact, you probably dont need it at all for the first 8 training missions.

The training manual is what should be read first, and yeah, that manual is one of the best "rulebooks" ever written. I can say that even though I work for CGE because I had nothing to do with it - but I appreciated it as a work of genius. Clearly laid out, very informative and funny. Learning this game from the manual was one of the best, if not the best game learning experience I've ever had.


Seriously?

I'll give it another read-through and see if I'm missing something. I want to like this game.
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roodbird wrote:
Just as a matter of interest how did you manage to play the CD but still keep the game in shrink?


RB


It's all online. I picked the game up on someone else's recommendation. We like games like Escape: Curse of the Temple, and I thought we'd like this one. Watching vids of people playing the game (specifically Team Hypercube) made the game look like a hot mess.

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MGAC wrote:
roodbird wrote:
Just as a matter of interest how did you manage to play the CD but still keep the game in shrink?


RB


It's all online. I picked the game up on someone else's recommendation. We like games like Escape: Curse of the Temple, and I thought we'd like this one. Watching vids of people playing the game (specifically Team Hypercube) made the game look like a hot mess.



Be warned, though: while Escape is (in many ways) a simplified version of Space Alert, there are huge differences, not least of which being the necessity of good luck in the former, while the latter is more of making sure your timing (and cards) is played right.
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amacleod wrote:
MGAC wrote:
roodbird wrote:
Just as a matter of interest how did you manage to play the CD but still keep the game in shrink?


RB


It's all online. I picked the game up on someone else's recommendation. We like games like Escape: Curse of the Temple, and I thought we'd like this one. Watching vids of people playing the game (specifically Team Hypercube) made the game look like a hot mess.



Be warned, though: while Escape is (in many ways) a simplified version of Space Alert, there are huge differences, not least of which being the necessity of good luck in the former, while the latter is more of making sure your timing (and cards) is played right.


You are absolutely correct! I have been mulling this over in my mind since yesterday and I think it's all starting to 'click'. I think I see how the game flows and what is done when, etc.

Still a little foggy...but I think I'm starting to see it. Separating the Action phase and the Resolution phase is what did it.
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Thank you folks for your replies.

After further consideration, I think maybe I was a bit harsh on the game. I've been reading the 'how to play' manual, rather than the 'rulebook' and it does seem clearer.

I see the 'programming' mechanism in the real-time phase, and the scoring in the resolution phase. At first, I thought all of this was done in one big real-time turn. Now I see how it's done.

In a very simple comparison, it's Escape...with a rehash/scoring phase after it.

I'm happy to say...I was mostly wrong in my initial judgement of the game.
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MGAC wrote:
roodbird wrote:
Just as a matter of interest how did you manage to play the CD but still keep the game in shrink?


RB


Watching vids of people playing the game (specifically Team Hypercube) made the game look like a hot mess.



I like team hypercube, spesifically the Betrayal at House on the Hill play throughs, I got in to 2 minutes of their Space Alert play through and said No.

No im not watching this and No im not buying this.

It put me off the game for about a year, I managed to pick one up in a trade for a game I never played any more so saw no harm if i didnt like it

Even though I have only played solo, me playing all 4 players at once (mayhem)

and I loved it, THC didnt do the game justice at all.

Hope you enjoy it now youve figured the rules.
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While I agree that the rulebook is a good, entertaining read, I do not consider it a good rulebook. The reason is that whenever I want to look up a rule it takes me ages to find that information. For instance, I wanted to check what happens with unconscious player characters. This information is deeply hidden in a long text description on threat cards. The section is not highlighted and it took me five minutes to find it which is annoying, in particular since a game only lasts 15 minutes.
However, I like that they introduce the concept of the game in various stages, from test run to full mission.
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Ben Kyo
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quaoar10 wrote:
While I agree that the rulebook is a good, entertaining read, I do not consider it a good rulebook. The reason is that whenever I want to look up a rule it takes me ages to find that information. For instance, I wanted to check what happens with unconscious player characters. This information is deeply hidden in a long text description on threat cards. The section is not highlighted and it took me five minutes to find it which is annoying, in particular since a game only lasts 15 minutes.
However, I like that they introduce the concept of the game in various stages, from test run to full mission.

Are you using the handbook as a rules reference? That would be backwards.

It is where I'd expect it to be, under 3.4 Threat Actions, highlighted under the sub-heading (All players, players in that station, etc.) are knocked out. Since being knocked out is something that can only happen according to an action by a threat, it couldn't really be anywhere else in the rulebook.
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Benkyo wrote:
quaoar10 wrote:
While I agree that the rulebook is a good, entertaining read, I do not consider it a good rulebook. The reason is that whenever I want to look up a rule it takes me ages to find that information. For instance, I wanted to check what happens with unconscious player characters. This information is deeply hidden in a long text description on threat cards. The section is not highlighted and it took me five minutes to find it which is annoying, in particular since a game only lasts 15 minutes.
However, I like that they introduce the concept of the game in various stages, from test run to full mission.

Are you using the handbook as a rules reference? That would be backwards.

It is where I'd expect it to be, under 3.4 Threat Actions, highlighted under the sub-heading (All players, players in that station, etc.) are knocked out. Since being knocked out is something that can only happen according to an action by a threat, it couldn't really be anywhere else in the rulebook.


Correct on all points: but it's still a nightmare to find!

Having said that, the occasional chaos of the rules doesn't prevent Space Alert from being the best game I've ever played!
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@Ben

You are right, I've overlooked it there. The reason was that someone asked me what the consequences of being unconscious are - without referring to the threat cards. So I tried to find it in the manual without making that connection. So yes, my fault, but still: there's other rulebooks for games of similar complexity which I find much more accessible than this one (Trickerion to name one example). But tastes differ and the game itself I do like a lot.
 
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Just fell on this thread, I think it was obvious OP had ignored/missed the learning manual! If someone started with the rulebook, oh boy things would definitely be much trickier to pick up.

OP, whether solo (as a puzzler in a way) or with a group, this game is quite something. Make sure you pick a group (so be 4 players) and then go through the learning manual IN STEP and IN ORDER, don't try to play smart and skip or say "this is too easy".

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isthar wrote:
Just fell on this thread, I think it was obvious OP had ignored/missed the learning manual! If someone started with the rulebook, oh boy things would definitely be much trickier to pick up.

OP, whether solo (as a puzzler in a way) or with a group, this game is quite something. Make sure you pick a group (so be 4 players) and then go through the learning manual IN STEP and IN ORDER, don't try to play smart and skip or say "this is too easy".



Yes. This.

The jury is still out, but I'm more interested to try out the game.
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