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SeaFall» Forums » General

Subject: Weights of luck in Advisor appearance? rss

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atog n
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Just finished my prologue and first game. I felt like both games I have been screwed over by having subpar advisors showing up on my turn.

The forum line-up mechanic reminds me of Ascension. (To me, I hated that mechanics, coming from being a big fan of Dominion. I guess that's also the difference between American and Euro.) There are times you just don't want any of the advisors available while missing an advisor for the turn is semi-detrimental. But nothing makes me feel worse when I have to get a "tier C" advisors only to have a "tier A" show up right after.

And on top of that, the power level of the advisors seems to be quite diverse. The 1-2 extra gold on some advisors definitely (to me at least) does not justify how good they are.

So... what are people opinion about it? Is the game really as luck-based as I thought (I guess that's kinda homage to American-style after all? Not saying all American are luck heavy though.)? Or am I doing something wrong?


Note: This type of line up power cards purchase are quite common and usually done a lot better. The two that immediately comes to my mind are Lewis and Clark and Through The Ages, where cards appear in order and newer cards have additional added cost to them.

 
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Yes, there's a few starting advisors that are way, way better. And then there is the Convict.

But hey, if someone else buys it first, you can always raid for it, right? Choosing to buy the Foreman is choosing to put a big ol' target on your council chamber.

But in general, you're right: luck plays a pretty big role in many aspects of Seafall. You have to relax into that and treat it as part of the adventure or you'll end up extremely frustrated.
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Chad Urso McDaniel
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There is luck with how the Advisors appear from the deck and the balance of the Advisors skews even more as they are upgraded after games.

IMO the key way to deal with this is by raiding other players to steal Advisors for yourself. It does take actions, though.
 
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Will
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For my group, almost every game, the building that lets you clear the advisor offer for 1 coin is built on the first turn by somebody. Getting the right advisors is huge.
 
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Dave Martin
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Isn't there a mechanic to refresh all the advisers for a small sum or is that a building you can get?

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you're in the lead you can't keep an adviser more expensive than the ones other players chose to keep, so a 'tier C' might be all you get to keep.

Furthermore a lot of the better one won't get any better because they don't have upgrade slots on them for stickers.

But yeah the game has way more luck than I was prepared for myself so it's kind of a chore to mentally realign your mental state.
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atog n
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Hexprone wrote:
Yes, there's a few starting advisors that are way, way better. And then there is the Convict.

But hey, if someone else buys it first, you can always raid for it, right? Choosing to buy the Foreman is choosing to put a big ol' target on your council chamber.

But in general, you're right: luck plays a pretty big role in many aspects of Seafall. You have to relax into that and treat it as part of the adventure or you'll end up extremely frustrated.
That leads me to my second question... Is this game very raid heavy? From what I read so far, while trying my best to avoid spoilers, trading and exploring really don't come close to raiding. Is this just a war game in disguise?
(I gave my ship +1 explore in my first game and I am already regretting it lol ... sigh.)
 
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atog wrote:
That leads me to my second question... Is this game very raid heavy?


I don't know -- is it? That's totally up to you and the 2-4 dear friends who have your best interests at heart.

No, raiding is not the only way to win in my experience, but that's is going to vary a lot from group to group. If there are piratically-inclined players at the table, peacefully building up your economy is going to make you look pretty juicy and lead to sad events. But if everyone is raiding, there may be little for anyone to gain except the glory of the fight itself, which will only take you so far.

To be slightly more specific [light spoilers]:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Raiding may or may not be a good route to victory in individual games, but isn't important to any major game events until after a couple of the big unlocks, at which point having a decent raid score will be needed to take full advantage of some of what the explorers have discovered. Exploration is more important to advancing the game early on.


To be much more specific [heavy spoilers, really big ones, in fact just don't read this]:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Raiding has been necessary for three things so far:

1. Raiding certain tombs once tombs have been unlocked. In that case you'll need strong exploration skills before the opportunity to raid becomes available.

2. Raiding the Pirate King's hideout once it has been discovered. However, a raid-focused player may not want to do this right away, since leaving the Pirate King unconquered helps equalize enmity between people who've raided a lot and people who have been developing the islands economically.

3. Raiding the Temple of the Ancients once it has been discovered. This is huge -- one of the main keys to the endgame, but to follow it up successfully you'll also need to have a good way of earning money early in the game (losing a lot of games helps with this, which I think must have been deliberate).
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Becq Starforged
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I don't think bumping your exploration is a bad move. Exploration can be very powerful.

Raiding is also a potentially strong factor in the game. Your game may have frequent raids, or not, but the *threat* of raiding needs to be considered when you choose your action. Having a pile of gold is asking to get robbed, for example.

But enmity is an extremely important limitation to raiding. You can't raid once you've run out of tokens, so that limits raiding some. And the more you raid, then more of your enmity tokens become enmity stickers, which makes raiding *much* more difficult in future games. Our raid-heavy player is hated by most islands, which makes not only makes raiding much harder, it also makes trade worthless, too.

The designers intended raiding to be more of a tactical thing, where you raid for a specific purpose, not just for glory or LOLs. So it's not really a "wargame", but conflict is a core element. If you've played Scythe, there are some similarities there.
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Will
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atog wrote:
That leads me to my second question... Is this game very raid heavy? From what I read so far, while trying my best to avoid spoilers, trading and exploring really don't come close to raiding. Is this just a war game in disguise?
(I gave my ship +1 explore in my first game and I am already regretting it lol ... sigh.)

In our 3 player game, I think we have raided each other maybe 3 times total over 11 games. And those times were only to keep the leader in check.

If you're worried about your decision: On my ships, I upgraded in this order (big ship is bold, small ship is italics):
Spoiler (click to reveal)
explore, explore, explore, sail, sail, sail, sail, sail, hold, hold, raid.
And I don't regret it at all.
But there might be a lot less conflict in my game, so I wouldn't follow that exactly.
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Becq Starforged
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My group found that (trivial strategy spoiler)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Keeping ships together was often a significant benefit (like a free +1 die to practically everything, and you can't do actions with both ships anyway), so we all bumped the slow big ship up to Sail 3 by the second (or third, tops) upgrade.

I imagine there are good reasons for doing differently.
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atog n
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Thanks for all the helpful replies. I did not read any spoiler just ftr.
 
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N O
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Just want to chime in, I basically won the last two games we played (Games 8 & 9) with only exploration and a few upgrades to pick up the last few points. I think I have raided a total of 3 or 4 times out of all 9 games.
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Becq Starforged
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I don't think I've raided at all yet (six games). Not because I was deliberately avoiding it, but because I always had something else to do that was a priority.

Wait, no -- I did raid another player to grab an advisor I needed in order to complete a milestone. So once, I guess.
 
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Ian Liddle
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We've encountered some bottlenecks to exploration, once the easier islands are discovered and easier sites are explored. Certainly, if everyone in our group was focused on exploration, it would get exhausted quickly.

Trading without raiding is rather limited by the cubes available; even with just 3 players we tend to deplete nearly all of the Winter production within 1 or 2 rounds.

Raiding, on the other hand, doesn't get exhausted nearly as easily: Every site ever explored can be raided for glory and resources. With the right advisors and upgrades, enmity consequences can be mitigated or overcome.

That being said, we haven't done much raiding of each other because our group is not very smite-tolerant: I'd prefer to finish the campaign than ending it prematurely via ragequit. I could see pursuing a viable strategy involving primarily NPC-raiding with very rare tactical PvP on the point leader, but juicy underdogs are definitely a trap.

So I'd say the mechanics might be more lenient towards violence, but you're never railroaded.


In regards to end of game ship upgrades, I tend to favor flexibility, so increasing my range and keeping my ships together for the extra support die was first priority, (sail 4 for both) then increasing hold... and now I'm stuck between upgrading raid and explore. I'm leaning more towards the latter. Since my ships are fairly equal otherwise, I figure the little ship can be my explorer, and the big one can be the raider since it's got the head start in that stat anyways.
 
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razordaze wrote:
We've encountered some bottlenecks to exploration, once the easier islands are discovered and easier sites are explored. Certainly, if everyone in our group was focused on exploration, it would get exhausted quickly.


Many sites, once they've been explored, can only be bought from or raided afterwards. But is it ever possible to explore the same location twice, discovering further secrets the second time?

If it were, then that would increase the importance of the exploration skill.
 
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Will
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Hexprone wrote:
razordaze wrote:
We've encountered some bottlenecks to exploration, once the easier islands are discovered and easier sites are explored. Certainly, if everyone in our group was focused on exploration, it would get exhausted quickly.


Many sites, once they've been explored, can only be bought from or raided afterwards. But is it ever possible to explore the same location twice, discovering further secrets the second time?

If it were, then that would increase the importance of the exploration skill.


No matter how that question is answered, it would be very spoilery. I wouldn't worry about that and just play the game.
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