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Subject: [Spoilers] The Province of Mainframe (Prologue and Game 1) rss

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j n
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TLDR: This game is awesome, and getting everyone a journal was a fantastic idea. Also, choose your advisors wisely.

So I finally got to start my Seafall game with a group of friends this weekend. We've been looking forward to it for a while. I know a lot of reviews seem to suggest that playing with 5 players was maybe not the best, but we were determined to give it a go.

Before we started, I got each player a journal. They proved to be a hit, as we were now using some of the downtime between turns to take notes, draw pictures, or (in my case at least) record our actions, instead of getting bored or frustrated. Also, I asked everyone earlier in the week to watch the How to Play video so that we could avoid most of the rules explanation during game 1.

Four of us arrived on time, but one player was running late. We went ahead and dealt out the title cards and I ended up as the prince, but we decided that the late player would end up with last pick of provinces just so that we could get set up and be ready, so I got to choose the green faction ("The future is filled with answers from the past") The only name I had planned going in was that one of my ships would be the "Saucy Mare", but I ended up just going full ReBoot. The Province was Mainframe, the other ship was named the SS Doyle, and my leader named Phong.

Note that from here on out I will NOT BE HIDING SPOILERS. So if the thread title wasn't enough warning, there it is.

After the final player arrived, we read our province boards aloud and then began the prologue with an entry from the Captain's Booke (no effect, just flavor text and a few reminders). By the time my turn came around, all the reachable goods had been bought and the easiest explorations already made, so I hired the CRIMSON BINOME (Renowned Soldier) and raided an island site for wood (and a bonus glory).

When my turn came back around, I hired and activated Megabyte (the convict), before realizing that I couldn't actually afford a wood-based building, so I sailed home with the SS Doyle and upgraded her with the Enduring upgrade to bring myself to 3 glory, and became the second player to name an island. Megabyte kidnapped the Crimson Binome and escape to the farthest Island, which I named Tor.

On my third (and final) turn, I didn't bother hiring an advisor and sailed off to explore Treasure Island, discovering some spice.

Before I could go again, the final Island was named and we were informed that our leaders became lost at sea (and told to destroy the cards), which caused quite a stir at the table. How would Mainframe fare without Phong?

We immediately agreed to set up for Game 1 (after swapping title cards and rearranging two players), but this time with no Fortune or Reputation. Of course another Captain's Booke entry after setup introduced heirs and gave us a choice that led to a permanent upgrade each. Dot the Adventurous had stepped up to lead Mainframe after Phong's disappearance.

We had a bit of discussion about whether we should take fortune and reputation here, and ultimately decided that we should. By the rules, Fortune/Rep should be taken during setup, but the Booke entry that gives us our new leaders doesn't happen until after setup. So at first I was insistent that we not start with any, because the Booke doesn't tell us to, but during the prologue there had already been some complaining about lack of money, and people had already been forgoing advisors on occasion, so we ultimately agreed to start with 2 each as if it came with the leader. I don't think it breaks the game either way, but we shall see.

Again being the Prince, I had few options by the time my first turn rolled around, so I hired on a young captain named Quirk (Advanced Scout), and sent him to raid Treasure Island for some spice. The CRIMSON BINOME returned to our cause and raided another site for wood. When the ships returned home, Mr. Cristopher (the Master Trader) sold the goods at a tidy profit (9 each, thanks to an event boosting the sale price even further). Using the profits, Welman (the Renowned Builder) was able to construct an Observatory (bonus glory) and upgrade the SS Doyle (this time she was Nimble). Megabyte offered his help to build a port, but then fled with Mr. Cristopher. On the final turn of year 1, Dot employed no advisors, but sent her ships to raid a silver mine for some extra cash.

Coming into year two, Dot noticed an opportunity to seize control of the game and asked Welman to build a Gun Tower (bonus glory), completing "The Continent Awakens" milestone which offered another choice of improvements - Dot decided to mark one of the build sites with a +1 glory sticker (It wasn't 100% clear if that should apply immediately, but we decided it did). This put us past the target glory for game 1 and I ended up winning, so I'll be going last again next week

For game end upgrades, I chose to improve a field. I upgraded Quirk with an extra +1 raid bonus and was able to keep him (the other players kept 3+ cost advisors).

The ending seemed a little abrupt here. One player only had three glory (she had just bought FOUR goods before I took my massive turn). Another player had 4 glory (but would have had a bunch more if his raid on a 6-defense site had succeeded for a milestone instead of sinking his ship). A third player had 5 glory, and the fourth got to 10 on her final turn. So we have a pretty big gap, but I don't think it's a game balance issue so much as a combination of luck, timing, and learning that's spreading us out. Hopefully after a few more games it'll tighten up.

So far we have only completed two of the milestones, and haven't unlocked the first chest. If the other players don't beat me to it, captain Quirk will have something to say about that!
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Matt S
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lactamaeon wrote:
TLDR: This game is awesome, and getting everyone a journal was a fantastic idea. Also, choose your advisors wisely.


As silly as it sounds I am so glad you put the TLDR on this, I saw the mountain of wonderful text and said my phone is not the place to read this.

Glad you are enjoying your time with Seafall.
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JR Honeycutt
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Glad you're having fun! A journal is a wonderful idea - if you're at BGG.Con, bring it - I'd love to see it!
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j n
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jayahre wrote:
Glad you're having fun! A journal is a wonderful idea - if you're at BGG.Con, bring it - I'd love to see it!


Unfortunately not going to be at any cons, but they're the same kind of journal that's popular in the Props & Things thread. They came in five colors (though unfortunately only 2.5 of them match the game colors).
 
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Tim Neppel
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Enjoying reading about your adventures while I await to get some more of my own in. Looking forward to reading more of your reports as our group advances into the Boxes/Games.

My session report is still pending, but reading through your and some of the other early game journeys helps pass the time while I await getting the group back together for another game. 2 weeks between Game 1 and Game 2 was torture!

I also got our groups journals to document our stories... we are all really getting into it!

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