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Subject: 2 x New Bedford solo play (and more coming) rss

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Kristian Petersen
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Over the weekend I played two rounds of solo New Bedford, me against one of the captains.

First Stubb beat me 25-20 after grabbing 8 outta 12 buildings, including The Mansion and The Municipal Office, and me only hauling in smaller whales.

Then I thought I had the upper hand against Flask, only until I reread the FAQ and got reminded, that captains buy sold whales. That changed my 29-20 win to a 29-29 draw (yes, it’s was foolish to drag in 4(!) bowheads and a right whale to shore without the money to lay them).

Great game - the captains work well and the (un)luck factor in their actions is countered by them not needing ressources to build and lay whales. And it's easily played in 30 minutes or so.

But the two sessions also raised a couple of questions.

1) If a captain reaches a limit, whether it is whaling or building, and the corresponding action gets rolled, what happens? Nothing or does he work his way down the Captains Order until he reaches something he can actually claim?

2) Wouldn’t it be fair to count the General Store as a money generation tile? Three out of four captains have two Money-headings, and in many cases, during my to games, did this heading run into dead ends – and it is a money generator?

And a final thing, maybe just for future editions, the captains all have buildings from ‘High Tide’ on their Orders/Building Plans, without it being mentioned in the rules that they are from an expansion. I have the expansion, but if I had bought just the base game and saw ‘Bakery’ or ‘Perfumery’ mentioned, but no tiles or other info in the rulebook, I would find it quite confusing.

Now, I will see if a run against Starbuck will bring whales’n’victory!
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Nat Levan
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Sounds like two great games!

1) You got it right. The captain basically behaves as if the needed action spaces are all blocked. Something I'll probably clarify in the future is whether captains can continue to go to sea when they hit their whale limit. The current intent is that they can go to sea and simply have to sell extra whales when they return.

2) I skipped the General Store because players rarely use it. If it were a way of making money, the Captains would go there all the time instead of blocking more useful spaces, typically resources. As more money buildings get built, the Captains transition from taking resources to collecting money, which mirrors the typical player progression.

That's good advice to include a note in the solo game explaining the buildings.
Good luck against Starbuck!
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Kristian Petersen
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Thanks for the reply, Nat - looking forward to hearing your (expanded) thoughts about the captains.

And I did the promised round against Starbuck, and it was tight!

But it ended with a first New Bedford win over a cardboard captain: 23-22!

Both Starbuck and me launched two ships during the game. I brought home 4 Right Whales, 3 Bowheads and 1 Sperm Whale in total – with money enough to pay lay for all of them. Starbuck landed 5 Right Whales and 3 Bowheads.

Starbuck build the Wharf, the Lighthouse (which he used frequently early in the game, as there were no ’Money’-buildings down), Seaman’s Bethel and the Municipal Office.

I expanded the town with the Bank, the Mansion and The Counting House.

Good and tight game – and the first joy of an opponent having two ships alone out at sea, and three ’open sea’-tokens being drawn from the bag – mwahaha!

Question that popped up: Under Prepare & Launch it is stated, that Starbuck can only have ”1 prepared ship at a time”. Does this include ships at sea – so he can only have one active ship on the whaling board or is a ship, once launched not considered ”prepared” anymore, so he can have one prepared at the dock yards + one out at sea?

Now there is nothing left to do, but face the grim Ahab – and maybe grab a three or four player game with the group tomorrow.
 
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Nat Levan
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"Prepared" does not include ships at sea. So once Starbuck launches, he can prepare a second one.
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Kristian Petersen
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Sivilized wrote:
"Prepared" does not include ships at sea. So once Starbuck launches, he can prepare a second one.


Cool. That is also how I played it out.
 
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Nat Levan
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That rule is basically using the common meanings of the words, but I can definitely see how that can be misinterpreted, so it's worth clarifying in future printings.
Cheers!
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Kristian Petersen
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After a 3-player visit to New Bedford this weekend (result: 27/23/19 points) I took a solo round against Ahab and it ended with another victory. 23-19.

Old ’hab didn’t send out any ships until round 9, but then he managed to haul in 3 bowheads and a single sperm whale, from his positions far from shore.
I launched my first ship in round 2, and ended up landing a sperm whale and 8(!) right whales, which was great combined with my Counting House, one of the three buildings I raised in New Bedford. The other two being the Lumber Mill and the Mansion.

Ahab build the Bank, the Seaman’s Bethel, the Wharf and the Dry Docks.

His Most/Combo-order didn’t do much, as neither of us really put up that many resource building, but he sure spend a lot of tokens occupying the Bank. If he had gotten ships out earlier, I think I might have been in trouble.

Still an interesting and well-running solo-game. Good stuff.
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