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Simon C
United Kingdom
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After a lot of waiting, I sat down to play my first game of Seafall last night! Three work friends and I sat down to begin our campaign, and we played through the prologue (getting to 3 glory each) and then, with a brief pause to break into our Ghost Ship beers, got into the first full game.

I was very excited, having loved Pandemic Legacy and really enjoyed all the preview stuff on Plaid Hat's site - but was also nervous. I've seen various reviews - Shut Up and Sit Down's, The Dice Tower's final spoiler-free one, All The Games You Like Are Bad - which panned numerous aspects of the game and gave it overall somewhere between middling and bad reviews.

So, given my hype and my worry - I'm glad to say I loved it, and I think the others all did too. Just have to hope that stays the case for the rest of the campaign!

We were particularly taken by the twist at the end of the prologue. It's a mechanically irrelevant moment but the emotional and vicseral impact of destroying the character you've only just named and taken on as being your character for the forthcoming campaign - it surprised us all and I think was the moment we were all completely bought in.

The game was a close run affair too. I claimed the first milestone for exploring a 6-value site - and marked out just how valuable milestones were, earning a reward sticker as well as a free three glory. Everyone else immediately aligned themselves on a remaining milestone and we finished the game with all four milestones claimed, one by each player. A staisfying spread, some more variation given to each player with their rewards, and a final score of 11-11-10-10. Plus we got to open the first box...

No spoilers for that here but we're already itching to get back for Game 2. Each of us picked a different ship stat to upgrade, so we're marking ourselves out early into different approaches!

It's fair to say, based on our experience so far, that this is indeed a game with Legacy baked into its very soul. With Pandemic Legacy (my only previous experience of the format) individual games often felt basically just like Pandemic, with the Legacy taking effect at the start and end of the games only. In this, despite so much resetting for the start of next game, everything in it feels like it is part of the campaign. I came join last with my 10 points, but don't feel any aspect of having "lost" - my focus is all on going forward and working towards the long term goals.

What's really interesting about the game, though, is what it reminded me of. Which was Eldritch Horror. Not so much in terms of the theme (although some of the narrative is pointing a little in that sort of direction) but in the aspect of a semi-strategic game being constantly peppered with little narrative nuggets and a tendency to throw massive curve-balls at you that are hard or impossible to prepare for. It seems that for all its strategy/Euro-game trappings, this is most crucially an Ameritrash game focused on theme, story, and a desire to ruin your plans and test how well you can roll with the punches.

And so far, it's the absolute epitome of all of that, in my eyes. The Legacy format enables the genre in a way like nothing else could. I can't wait to play more...I just have my fingers crossed I continue to feel this way as we sail onwards.
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
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LeonardQuirm wrote:
It seems that for all its strategy/Euro-game trappings, this is most crucially an Ameritrash game focused on theme, story, and a desire to ruin your plans and test how well you can roll with the punches.


This is why I like it and I assume why a lot of the reviewers don't. Also the legacy aspect is the main draw and I feel like it was lost on those reviewers.

I knew that the game did what the designer set out to do when my brother, who mostly enjoys lighter weight games in a mostly casual manner, admitted he had been planning his strategy for the last two weeks since our last game and that he had been a bit obsessed with it. My answer was "me too!" but basically everyone expects me to be that obsessed even with non-legacy games (I've been thinking Tyrants of the Underdark non-stop for a month or two now).

I think that this game has to be considered at the campaign standpoint rather than individual game standpoint. You can get really screwed one game by a bad roll. Over the whole campaign though, that's just a blip.
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Simon C
United Kingdom
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XDarkAngelX wrote:
This is why I like it and I assume why a lot of the reviewers don't. Also the legacy aspect is the main draw and I feel like it was lost on those reviewers.


I don't think it's fair to say the legacy aspect was lost on most reviewers; most of them were explicitly positive about it, but they just felt it wasn't strong enough to overcome the issues they had with the turn-to-turn playing of the game.

I'll be interested to re-watch the reviews when I'm further through. I have huge respect for SU&SD (and probably would the other reviewers I mention if I'd watched more of them!) but I think this may just be somewhere that our tastes differ. The fact Quinns doesn't much like Eldritch Horror and I like it so much ties in with my association between it and Seafall. But it seems he isn't a fan of snippet-driven narratives (except in Tales of the Arabian Nights) and I get the impression this has come along at a time as he's been really getting into some of the classics of the resource management/trading games - so he went for that aspect and didn't enjoy it so much.

Different tastes vary! Reviewers will give their opinions and its up to consumers to know enough about themselves to know who they agree with on what. I think Seafall's a difficult one because it's so different and so new in how brand new aspects weigh up against tried-and-tested mechanisms that it's harder for reviewers and consumers to balance their similarities and differences.

As it stands, I'm glad I didn't follow Quinns' advice to just look through the game without playing it to enjoy the legacy aspects condensed. I like a slow, teasing drip-feed of hints and rumours, and so far I enjoy the turn-to-turn gameplay. Let's see how it continues...
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