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Subject: Thoughts after our first game. rss

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Troy Nichols
United States
Vacaville
California
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In after thought of finishing our first game of Hands of the Sea.

My friend and I believed that we had to struggle through the rules more than we should have or wanted to. The game was not that difficult in hindsight, but slogging thru the rules which I thought could have been clearer in many sections was tiresome and created a page turning experience for our first game.

This is my opinion and I am trying to be objectively honest which is difficult as some subjectivity will unintentionally spill out. My friend and I are experienced wargamers and perusing thru rules of various lengths and complexity is no stranger to us. But I think of many hybrid euro gamers looking to expand their repertoire of gaming and then get derailed by the rules in a system they are unfamiliar with.

This is by all means not meant to throw fiery darts at the designer or discourage him. A designer who has lovingly and with dedication worked hard and published a really good game in my opinion. A labor of love if you really think about about it in terms of time commitment and what he received for his work.

Just concerned with the rules as is in places where it was not clear or had to search for important rules -- especially for playing the game for the first time. Our baptism of fire into the system so to speak. I am sure that many will disagree with my findings. And that is ok

What was notable right away was that it was interesting that a player was able to select his cards to draft into his active deck instead of the usual deck building mechanism of only being able to select cards available at random draws.

Overall, hands in the Sea is a keeper and will see many more plays. My desire in all of this posting is how can we make the game more better and easier to start up and firing on all cylinders.

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Ash Jones
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Somewhat misleading title; not many thoughts on the game besides a view on the rulebook that you already posted.
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John Van Wagoner
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Bluffton
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my game hasn't arrived yet (this week though), but my thoughts would be that if the game is good enough to warrant the effort...some creative BGG'er will create a great player aid and post it here...

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Troy Nichols
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My hope as well... shorten the learning curve to playing the game. Otherwise it is a good game with a great amount of tension -- the 5 or 6 card hand does not allow you with a broad stroke to do everything you want to do
 
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Daniel Berger
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tntpiper wrote:
My hope as well... shorten the learning curve to playing the game. Otherwise it is a good game with a great amount of tension -- the 5 or 6 card hand does not allow you with a broad stroke to do everything you want to do

The game is not that complex, but the rulebook is a bit long since there are a lot of actions and I have to explain them all in detail. Individually none of the actions are difficult, however.

Once you have the mechanics down, all you really need is the player aid that comes with the game.
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Tim P.
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Thousand Oaks
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After playing HITS with an experienced A Few Acres of Snow we found that learning this game was quite straight forward. HITS added to the mechanics and was not a big change wrt game mechanics. Game strategy was another idea, but that is something we would experiment with and learn over time.

FYI: This file Hands in the Sea Player Aid is helpful if you have played A Few Acres of Snow before.

As a prep for teaching Hands in the Sea, I yesterday taught A Few Acres of Snow to an experienced gamer. In the second game he got it, and things worked better wrt the mechanics and getting the cards flowing. I could sense his frustration in the first game, as he got used to the options the cards gave him, and he developed ways to make the cards work for him, I had forget that period of frustration that I initially had, after playing the game a bunch of times I naturally looked for ways to achieve my game goals and manage the cards.

Thinking about it last night, if I came in cold, this is not an easy game to learn. This has no reflection on the game itself, but it's an unusual set of mechanisms if you have not played this type before. Without my experience in playing and reaching AFAOS, I would have had problems with my first game too.

This is not a hard game, but it is also not an easy game. There are a lot of actions and knowing what actions you need, and what ones you can actually carry out can be initially daunting.

Stick with it lads, it will be worth it.

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David G. Cox Esq.
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Novoknight wrote:
Somewhat misleading title; not many thoughts on the game besides a view on the rulebook that you already posted.


But he is being "honestly objective."

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David Bartholomew

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Ohio
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oi_you_nutter wrote:
After playing HITS with an experienced A Few Acres of Snow we found that learning this game was quite straight forward. HITS added to the mechanics and was not a big change wrt game mechanics. Game strategy was another idea, but that is something we would experiment with and learn over time.

FYI: This file Hands in the Sea Player Aid is helpful if you have played A Few Acres of Snow before.

As a prep for teaching Hands in the Sea, I yesterday taught A Few Acres of Snow to an experienced gamer. In the second game he got it, and things worked better wrt the mechanics and getting the cards flowing. I could sense his frustration in the first game, as he got used to the options the cards gave him, and he developed ways to make the cards work for him, I had forget that period of frustration that I initially had, after playing the game a bunch of times I naturally looked for ways to achieve my game goals and manage the cards.

Thinking about it last night, if I came in cold, this is not an easy game to learn. This has no reflection on the game itself, but it's an unusual set of mechanisms if you have not played this type before. Without my experience in playing and reaching AFAOS, I would have had problems with my first game too.

This is not a hard game, but it is also not an easy game. There are a lot of actions and knowing what actions you need, and what ones you can actually carry out can be initially daunting.

Stick with it lads, it will be worth it.



+1 to this! A Few Acres is one of mine and my wife's favorite games, but it took probably 5 or 6 games before we were really comfortable with what all the options were. Glad we stuck with it!! I expect Hands will be similar and hopefully even more rewarding at the end
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