Jake Fernandez
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Thought game would be somewhere closer to 7.3.. I've been snooping around the site long enough to know anything below that means some people have been giving the game low votes and thus pulls it down..

Any idea why that is? This game looks like a grand slam to me. Variable player powers, great components, interesting movement mechanic, conflict from the different types of ships.. what gives? Is the replayability poor? Or it doesn't play as fun as it looks?
 
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Brad103
United States
Skaneateles
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My first guess would be the Variable Player Powers. Some are arguable more powerful than the others, and with a set of those above average powers you can do pretty well. I've never really had an issue with this, but I've read about it in other posts, and knowing the cards, I can see how it could very well be, given the right combination. One remedy of this could be to keep your upgrade cards face down, upgrades would be blindly selected so any possible game breaking combos wouldnt emerge as soon as it could otherwise.

I enjoy the game though (rated it an 8). The artwork is really nice (colorful beautiful board) and the pick up and deliver mechanic is pretty straight forward. There is combat but it's instant and common, no one can really dominate the combat, it's just another step of the game. Ships sink every round. I like that because if gives you some action, but doesn't hinder you too much. For a light weight great looking pirate game, it fits the bill for me. arrrh
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Derek Thompson
United States
Marion
Indiana
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Honestly, I think this game is amazing and is by far the most overlooked Space Cowboys title.

The only thing I can think is that it fills a weird niche - it's got lots of text and variable player powers for fans of games like Magic and Cosmic Encounter, but it's definitely designed to be a light-conflict family style game. It's probably a bit too much text for younger kids, and perhaps not "adult" enough theme/style-wise for some older games. If you have kids that are like 11-13, though, maybe that would be good? I've only played with adults and have loved it every time, though. Seriously, amazing game.
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d Michel
United States
Oregon
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You can get repeatedly hammered with attacks to the point where everytime your ship comes back on the board you get sunk and sent back off again. Depends on the group you play with, some folks will share the love to give you a chance to get back in the game others will just see you as a convenient target and more points. The game can be miserable if you are on the constant receiving end of attacks.
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Kenny Johnson
United States
Torrance
California
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dearolddad wrote:
You can get repeatedly hammered with attacks to the point where everytime your ship comes back on the board you get sunk and sent back off again. Depends on the group you play with, some folks will share the love to give you a chance to get back in the game others will just see you as a convenient target and more points. The game can be miserable if you are on the constant receiving end of attacks.


Can't say I've ever seen that happen...

My only complaint is that there seems to be a bit of a runaway leader problem -- though I think this can be mitigated by teaming up on the leader instead... which maybe isn't ideal either.

But for me, it's such a light and fun game, I don't care too much about potential balance or runaway leader issues... And even if there is a sense of a person getting too far ahead, I never felt like I didn't want to try to catch up and beat them...

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Don Lynch
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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Rated it an '8', but the biggest weakness is the repetitive nature and the poor balance of the cards you purchase. Less of a problem when you just play for fun.

Game could really use a small expansion to increase the number of the improvement cards and maybe add a fifth player.
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Randy Espinoza
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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The game is lots of fun.

The one problem with it is that it is pretty much a 4 player only game (with 3 players the map is "too open", and the game is not as much fun). Also, it is not really that strategic and many gamers might not value the gameplay highly enough for that reason.

You play this game if you have 4 players and want to spend 1 hour going after each other. It is fun.
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Jake Fernandez
Philippines
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I'm reading a lot of balance issues here. Doesn't everybody have equal access to these card combos?

So this is a game where spite is very high and happens almost every round yes? In that sense, this plays and feels a lot like Survive? Lots of table talk, begging and negotiating?
 
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Dirk Rieberghs
Belgium
Turnhout
-- Maak uw keuze --
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The biggest issues this game has is that it's playable with only 3 or 4 players and 4 is much much better then 3 because of rhe interaction you tot with each other. Another problem is the luck of drawing the right cards at the right moment. At the start you get 4 Starting cards and they give you powers during the game, they aren't that good balanced but I don't find that ennoying. During the game you can take action cards and if you tot a few good ones on your hand it can make a difference.
One good advice when you're playing this : Don't take it too serious, enjoy, laugh, and attack each other, it's a great game !!!
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Mark Turner
United Kingdom
Farnham
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I never found the card balance to be a major issue. They all have ther uses, and if one looks too strong, players can focus down that person.

For what it is, this is a great game.
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Brad103
United States
Skaneateles
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kennyj wrote:
dearolddad wrote:
You can get repeatedly hammered with attacks to the point where everytime your ship comes back on the board you get sunk and sent back off again. Depends on the group you play with, some folks will share the love to give you a chance to get back in the game others will just see you as a convenient target and more points. The game can be miserable if you are on the constant receiving end of attacks.


Can't say I've ever seen that happen...

My only complaint is that there seems to be a bit of a runaway leader problem -- though I think this can be mitigated by teaming up on the leader instead... which maybe isn't ideal either.

But for me, it's such a light and fun game, I don't care too much about potential balance or runaway leader issues... And even if there is a sense of a person getting too far ahead, I never felt like I didn't want to try to catch up and beat them...



I've never seen someone get constantly attacked before, round after round. As everyone is moving the Navy it likely won't be hanging out at your Pirate ship that long. Likewise, the pirates attacking your merchants likely wont hang around you long since navy would possibly be near. And Pirates can't attack when they have cargo on them. I think the combat is quick and fun, and not that detrimental.

I agree with you, its a light fun game, can't take it too seriously, even if I see someone roaring out ahead of the rest it's fun to try to take them down, or try to catch up with your drawn card abilities.

Also, although the game plays 3/4 players (and 4 is the better number). The game has a few 2 player variants that play really well (i prefer the unofficial one). 2 player is a more strategic game, can get a bit of AP playing it (which makes it a great though!). Both variants have all ships on the board keeping the map full of ships.
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Ben G
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
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dearolddad wrote:
You can get repeatedly hammered with attacks to the point where everytime your ship comes back on the board you get sunk and sent back off again. Depends on the group you play with, some folks will share the love to give you a chance to get back in the game others will just see you as a convenient target and more points. The game can be miserable if you are on the constant receiving end of attacks.


If you have, for lack of a better term, "mean-spirited" people in your group this game can be miserable. I play with a group of guys where it quickly becomes 2 vs 2 or 2 vs 1 with a bystander, sometimes even 3 vs 1. This game is particularly bad about making sure there's incentive to spread out your attacks.
 
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David Damerell
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OlympicCough wrote:
If you have, for lack of a better term, "mean-spirited" people in your group this game can be miserable. I play with a group of guys where it quickly becomes 2 vs 2 or 2 vs 1 with a bystander, sometimes even 3 vs 1. This game is particularly bad about making sure there's incentive to spread out your attacks.


I'm not convinced. Spread out attacks, no. But if you have a choice you should attack the leader.
 
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WD Yoga
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I like this game. I play this with my son and we use the variant which allows each player to control two colours. IIRC this was proposed by Grey Elephant Gaming. This makes the map more tight and we have fun sinking each other ship!
 
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Ben G
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damerell wrote:
OlympicCough wrote:
If you have, for lack of a better term, "mean-spirited" people in your group this game can be miserable. I play with a group of guys where it quickly becomes 2 vs 2 or 2 vs 1 with a bystander, sometimes even 3 vs 1. This game is particularly bad about making sure there's incentive to spread out your attacks.


I'm not convinced. Spread out attacks, no. But if you have a choice you should attack the leader.


Exactly, they are essentially playing sub-optimal just to target a specific person. You can argue that there isn't much you can do about that and you'd be mostly right. However, other games sometimes penalize you for targeting the same player over and over or give you more incentive to spread out your attacks.
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Mark Turner
United Kingdom
Farnham
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OlympicCough wrote:
dearolddad wrote:
You can get repeatedly hammered with attacks to the point where everytime your ship comes back on the board you get sunk and sent back off again. Depends on the group you play with, some folks will share the love to give you a chance to get back in the game others will just see you as a convenient target and more points. The game can be miserable if you are on the constant receiving end of attacks.


If you have, for lack of a better term, "mean-spirited" people in your group this game can be miserable. I play with a group of guys where it quickly becomes 2 vs 2 or 2 vs 1 with a bystander, sometimes even 3 vs 1. This game is particularly bad about making sure there's incentive to spread out your attacks.


This is the case with pretty much every game.

If someone wants to play sub optimally in order to harass one other player, there's never much you can do.
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Tomello Visello
United States
Reston
Virginia
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dyeyk2000 wrote:
I've been snooping around the site long enough to know anything below that means some people have been giving the game low votes and thus pulls it down..

You might enjoy looking at the STATS module on the game's main page for a visual perspective on the ratings distribution.

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Dave S.
United States
Des Moines
Iowa
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A lot of people have already highlighted a few criticisms of the game so I won't reiterate those. I've only had a chance to play it twice so far, and my most recent time was with my monthly game group.

We play everything from light filler games, to heavy strategy games so we mix things up and have different interests. I brought this out to play for play like a pirate day, and the feedback that I received from the group after the game was, "Wow, why don't we play this more?"

So in short, it was a success for us. It played quick enough that as long as you don't take it too seriously you'll have a good time.
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Eric Matthews
United States
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Yeah I think what it really comes down to is the fact that many people on BGG, especially those who rate every game they play (many don't) take their games very seriously. It's not a serious game; and the balance isn't perfect, and that is often very important to BGG'ers ratings.

Another factor is the subjectiveness in how people rate games. I think anything above a 7 is a very good game.

Eric
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Martin Larouche
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
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Melting souls with cuteness since 2007
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It's a light-hearted game. Those never get ranked highly on BGG, where the main demographics prefer the more complex and deep games (on average, there are dxceptions like King of Tokyo).

This is about on par with Survive escape from Atlantis. It's as "mean", as simple and as quick...

If you dig that kind of game, it's awesome.
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