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T.I.M.E Stories: Expedition: Endurance» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Bullet point highlights and brief review rss

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Ludovic Roy
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I had the chance to play the French version yesterday and our group of 4 finished after 3 runs, just missing it in our 2nd run. Here's a bullet point summary of the expansion, using acronyms and assuming the readers have played all previous expansions...

Acronyms:
TSA - Asylum
TMC - The Marcy Case
POD - A Prophecy of Dragons
UTM - Under the Mask

Summary (no story spoilers):

- The artwork is outstanding, my favourite of the series so far. It's similar to UTM, it's bright and colourful. I'd rank them EE, UTM, TSA, APOD, TMC. One note about the art is that there's some TEXT in the art which wasn't translated in all versions, so it's English. Shouldn't affect game-play though as it's not important information.

- In terms of length, it's comparable to Marcy Case. Finishing on the 2nd run is a possibility without exploring everything, but likely in 3 runs. Certainly shorter than TSA. POD isn't a good comparison as it's very short but most people would spend plenty of time in it as there are so many paths.

- The theme is quite nice throughout the game although it moves in a surprising direction to some users not familiar to the sub-theme. The sub-theme will be loved by some and hated by others. For those who want to know about the sub-theme, well it's not as obvious as TMC where you learn it's about it in the starting location (in that case, zombie infection), there are clues regarding the sub-theme in the iconography and the character abilities. Any fan of the sub-theme will pick it up. It'll be more and more detailed as the game goes on, ultimately be omnipresent in all images of every card. The sub-theme is
Spoiler (click to reveal)
lovecraftian horror


- The path is pretty linear although there are some branches heading to the same location, and some time wasting locations and/or cards. Similar to most stories so far in that respect, nothing like POD which was an all roads lead to Rome type.

- It's very light in puzzles. No long term puzzle requiring logic and many clues (like TSA), there are a bunch of clues that can help in terms of saving time, knowing where to go, etc. However those clues aren't helping much towards end game (like filtering tests subjects in TMC). The scenario is very much a test-based experience with many fights and ability tests.

- The receptacles are well balanced and fun. There are 6 which allows for some changes between runs. I found that their ability were quite strong and may have made some tests and encounters a bit too easy, but this may be the intent.

--

OK time for more details about it. Many adventures so far have introduced a new mechanic. TMC introduced a random event deck on the codex spaces, POD had the black hidden deck for end game, had RPG-like items and shops, and a side scroller-like path for some location. UTM has the change of receptacles gaining new abilities. All of that really good stuff. What does EE bring? No story spoilers. Click to read the title I gave the mechanic, and click again to hear more about the mechanic itself.

First new mechanic
Spoiler (click to reveal)
"intel only run"
Don't players do an intel gathering run on their initial run in every every adventure? Technically yes although it may lead to a win with lots of luck making perfect choices and rolls. No story spoiler ahead only explaining the mechanic.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
This isn't possible in EE. I won't spoil the reason why in the story but the first run in EE cannot lead to a win. It's only intel gathering. It's still a good time, there are clues to find which will guide you towards making good choices in subsequent runs. Pay attention!


Second new mechanic
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Cards kept secret
Spoiler (click to reveal)
EE will have some cards which have to be kept secret from other players. In other cases, revealing cards content may have negative outcome to some players. This is limited and quite thematic.


Third new mechanic
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Potential variant on dead (in limbo) players
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Usually a dead receptacle just moves their player piece a few Time Units lower and waits to get back. This can occur in EE just like in other expansions, and in other cases with a variant. At some point a deck will be available for potential dead players which will have some impact on their coming back and/or other players


--

So is it good? Yes it's solid. It's my second favourite expansion so far. I'd rank in this order in terms of enjoyment: TSA, UTM, EE, TMC, POD. I love the artwork and although I'm not a great fan of the sub-theme, I still like it. The use of the 1st new mechanic makes the first run really interesting and understanding of the event satisfying. The receptacles are very nice, I really enjoy the ability to make tweaks on the team and being able to choose from a group of more than 4. They are different enough to require sending specific people for specific tasks. It is a bit test heavy and lacks puzzles, however due to the nature of the abilities, tests don't all feel like combat. And for the lack of puzzles, well I find that with the presence of the (sub)theme which extends throughout the game and adds new mechanics, it'll keep most players interested and make the experience immersive.
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Alec Chapman
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I spotted it and already have played them, but maybe bold the "assuming you've played all previous expansions" bit, since there are so many bits of info on them that people may stumble across by accident?
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Pete K
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Tric Trac has 14 reviews up now and French, with a wide range of highs and lows, but many people are mentioning how short this one is, how it ends abruptly, etc. Did you feel that in this one?

Wondering how the new mechanics will work out here + in the future. Based on what I know it'll be something some groups like more than others.
 
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Ludovic Roy
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skizzy00 wrote:
Tric Trac has 14 reviews up now and French, with a wide range of highs and lows, but many people are mentioning how short this one is, how it ends abruptly, etc. Did you feel that in this one?

Wondering how the new mechanics will work out here + in the future. Based on what I know it'll be something some groups like more than others.


Short? I suppose so, it's not that short. It can be done in 2 runs, we almost made it, but were maybe 5-10 TU short and could have done it with a bit of luck and investigate a bit less, it it's more likely a 3 run affair.

Ends abruptly? I didn't feel that so much. I understand why some feel this way but considering the natural progression of the events, I could see the end coming up a few locations ahead of time, more than some other expansions, so no issue from me.
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Kristo Vaher
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I am slightly confused about:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Fenrir the dog? What does 'you cannot read' mean? They cannot read cards?
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Ludovic Roy
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Joe says...Be nice today!
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Slashdoctor wrote:
I am slightly confused about:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Fenrir the dog? What does 'you cannot read' mean? They cannot read cards?


This is how we decided to do it...

Spoiler (click to reveal)
So Fenrir can't go crazy hence has no Will Power or Mental Health, also can't perform intelligence tests or lock picking (words may not match as I'm translating from French)

To us the "can't read" meant that...

1- Fenrir could either read the card and only do the tests or actions he had skills for (like take an element, do skill tests that aren't the above) and not be able to tell other players anything about it unless it was about the element found.

2- Or he could only look at the art work and not be able to do anything else so literally not read the card

We went with option 1.
 
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Mihai Ungureanu
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we also went with option 1.
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Jeremiah Wood
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
1) There are location based hints that reading will be a be part of certain spaces in the Kennel and the Captain's Cabin. So it gives him slight nudges that those are not the places on the Panorama that he wants to be.

2) There is a specific chain of item cards that requires reading.
He can't do that.

I haven't found anything else that affects him.

I also have to take any opportunity to warn people not to play as Fenrir.

Personal Opinion #1:
His 'benefit' of not going Insane is actually only helpful if everyone else in the party is actively trying to go nutters.
Otherwise, depriving yourself of Insanity cards takes away some of the best parts of the experience.
If you want to do something different as a group and TRY to delve into madness, someone needs to be Fenrir to balance things out, unless you don't care about achieving a Mission Successful ending that run.

Personal Opinion #2:
Fenrir also only has a 1 in Instinct, which seems odd for a Dog that can't make lock picking checks or any Intellect checks in a test heavy, low Combat scenario.
I would have made his Instinct at least 2, no more than 3, to be more productive in the few test he can actually be a part of.

These two opinions make me especially not want to play as Fenrir unless you have a 4 player game!
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