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Subject: Seating order strictness rss

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JonGetsGames
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The rulebook shows an order for the different roles to be sitting at a table, but never actually says "Players must sit in this order" so it could be taken as a suggestion as well.

The order does feel like it will matter, but I'm curious if the game was designed with a strict interpretation of this in mind. Having a First Mate between the Captain and the Engineer is annoying because it's hard for the Captain to see the engineering board, and this may be intentional. The bigger issue is that the First Mate has the lightest load, so having them sit next to the radio operator in order to help them deduce the enemies location would be nice, though again maybe it's TOO nice.

I'm curious about your opinions on this, obviously it's an easy house rule and as long as both teams are doing the same thing it likely doesn't matter.
 
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Dan
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Wisconsin Rapids
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You say the First Mate's role is the lightest, but in reality it can be just as important as the Captain's. The Captain calls all the shots, but the First Mate (sitting between the Captain & Engineer) is responsible for coordinating with the Engineer and being that primary source of contact between the Eng and Captain. Thematically, the First Mate is 2nd in Command. He's the Captain's "right hand man", literally.

Communication is a main mechanic in this game and the team who works together and communicates the best will win more times than not. I think the First Mate really needs to be sitting in the proper for the game to work the way it was designed.

It certainly feels that it's by design the Engineer is sitting on the end. This is to prevent the Captain from micromanaging the Engineer too much.
Having a Captain that is micromanaging too much might make the game less fun for your teammates and cheapen the role of the First Mate. He'll feel less than useful if he's sitting down on the end.
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Brodie
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KC
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The best First Mate I ever had as Captain just handled everything Engineering-side for me. I told him, "keep my weapons hot," and he took care of the rest with Engineering. Occasionally he'd whisper back, "we need to go East if you want sensors up," or similar suggestions, but he basically took the load off my shoulders so I could coordinate more closely with Radio. I could see a swapped situation, where the First Mate works with Radio for better torp/mines while the Captain coordinates course with Engineering to keep the systems active. Maybe I'll try that out next game.
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JonGetsGames
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Great replies, my only experience being Captain had me pretty much leaning forward and unfortunately micromanaging the engineer the whole time. I didn't feel great about it, especially in retrospect, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time since all the info I needed was there. Next time I play I'll try to emphasize communication and may even try to make a snooping houserule of not looking past the console immediately to your right and left so that the First Mate role stays relevant. In a 3p team game this all goes out the window I suppose, but the Captain will be less able to micromanage the engineer due to having to handle the First Mate board as well.

Interesting stuff.
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Brad

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We play in the order shown in the rulebook. I think it's important that the roles mirror eachother between the yellow and blue sides so that the people that need to interact can (captains, engineers).

I find that the way it's setup in the book is optimal. Systems on one side and radio on the other side of the captain. There's a lot of information that needs to be shared on the team and using the first mate to relay that info to the engineer works really well.

If you sit like it's shown in the rulebook, your role is displayed on the divider in front of you. I think that's a really cool touch.
 
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Thomas Patrick
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In the setup section of the rule book it says, " Each team sits on a different side of the central screens, with players sitting in the order shown in the diagram," so I think the seating order is pretty set.
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Andrew Walmsley
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In a 6 player game, wouldn't it make more sense to have the radio operator in the middle of the captain and engineer? This way the captain and engineer will have to communicate more so they know where they stand. If the engineer sits next to the captain then the captain will just look at the engineers sheet and there's no need to say anything, thus making the game rather quiet and less talky? Has anybody tried this, and did you find that it worked better/worse with regards to getting people talking and working as part of a team? I'm talking exclusively as a 6 player game here.
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Brian Denning
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The way i was going to play actually had the teams set up the other way; instead of all being side by side, the Captain and First Mate would be on one side, with Radio across from Captain, and Engineer accept from First Mate. The divider would be to the Captain's right/Radio's left, and the other team would be set up the same way there. So the Radio is next to the opposing Captain, and everyone can hear everyone on their team.

E_R|C_F
F_C|R_E
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Dwight Stone
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So I just played my 11th and 12th game today and for the first time something clicked....
If you sit like this:

EFCR
RCFE

Then when the captain says a heading all of the people that need to listen are sitting to his right(both on your team and the other). That way you don't have to make an effort to say it so both distinct groups(FE and R) can hear because saying it so one group can hear works for both.

It also keeps the order the same as in the rules, it just flips instead of mirrors the other team.

(now for what it's worth we were actually playing a 6 player game with the Engineer taking on the First Mate role. I know that's not what's listed, but it made sense when teaching and seemed to work pretty well. And that made our seating order:
(EF)(C)(R)
(R)(C)(FE)
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