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Subject: Tough to learn? rss

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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
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I'm loving what I've seen of this game so far, seems very promising, and I like how the mechanics support the theme.

However, I have to say that the rulebook is definitely the weakest part of the game. And I don't mean the typos, incoherent sentences, or lack of any graphic design to pretty it up. I'm having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to play my first game. Perhaps the problem is with the structure of how the rules are laid out. The game could certainly benefit from either a printable playmat or a simple diagram in the rules showing a typical game layout, with slots for where all the card decks go, where to place the events, developments, etc.

Is it just me? Have others struggled to learn the game, as I am? I am sure it's going to be worth the effort, though, and I'm looking forward to my first play-through later today. I'll go check out the playthrough video I saw posted here, to see if that helps clarify things.
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David Griffin
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I don't think the manual is that bad, especially for a free game but I watched some play throughs on youTube before I played. There are a few gotchas that aren't obvious from the start but you can go read the rules forum and reviews to find out some of those and the author does seem to respond to questions now and then.

You might also look into this game's spiritual ancestor Deep Space D-6.

Also there is a link to Artscow for a playmat and printed cards and a couple of updates by other artists on these that you can print out or get made into a board. The ones on artscow are pretty nice.



I got custom dice made by Custom Dice but it was expensive. You might look around, I think there are people who do laser carved dice cheaper.
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Joseph Propati
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heruca wrote:
I'm loving what I've seen of this game so far, seems very promising, and I like how the mechanics support the theme.

However, I have to say that the rulebook is definitely the weakest part of the game. And I don't mean the typos, incoherent sentences, or lack of any graphic design to pretty it up. I'm having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to play my first game. Perhaps the problem is with the structure of how the rules are laid out. The game could certainly benefit from either a printable playmat or a simple diagram in the rules showing a typical game layout, with slots for where all the card decks go, where to place the events, developments, etc.

Is it just me? Have others struggled to learn the game, as I am? I am sure it's going to be worth the effort, though, and I'm looking forward to my first play-through later today. I'll go check out the playthrough video I saw posted here, to see if that helps clarify things.


Hello Hernan,

No it's just you. It took me awhile to figure out the mechanics and just the flow of the game. Yes the rules need a major update and I would love to see more examples "others probably also since there are a lot of posted questions regarding events and in game situations"!

Once you get the general game play down the game just flows. It took a number of games and a lot of questions but I finally got there. Check out the play through video by Adam, it's very informative.


P.S. I also do the laser engraved dice for this game.
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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
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Watching the playthrough video helped a lot.

I don't need to order any physical components, as I'll be playing this in my virtual tabletop software, on my laptop. Will post screenshots soon.
 
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David Griffin
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kingspud wrote:
heruca wrote:
I'm loving what I've seen of this game so far, seems very promising, and I like how the mechanics support the theme.

However, I have to say that the rulebook is definitely the weakest part of the game. And I don't mean the typos, incoherent sentences, or lack of any graphic design to pretty it up. I'm having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to play my first game. Perhaps the problem is with the structure of how the rules are laid out. The game could certainly benefit from either a printable playmat or a simple diagram in the rules showing a typical game layout, with slots for where all the card decks go, where to place the events, developments, etc.

Is it just me? Have others struggled to learn the game, as I am? I am sure it's going to be worth the effort, though, and I'm looking forward to my first play-through later today. I'll go check out the playthrough video I saw posted here, to see if that helps clarify things.


Hello Hernan,

No it's just you. It took me awhile to figure out the mechanics and just the flow of the game. Yes the rules need a major update and I would love to see more examples "others probably also since there are a lot of posted questions regarding events and in game situations"!

Once you get the general game play down the game just flows. It took a number of games and a lot of questions but I finally got there. Check out the play through video by Adam, it's very informative.


P.S. I also do the laser engraved dice for this game.


I would have named you but I didn't know you did dice for this game too Joseph. I've already given away 7 of your dice for DSD6 to my cousin who I gave my print and play stuff to when I bought the KS version. Glad I bought extra because there is one more friend I might make a set for.
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David Griffin
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heruca wrote:
Watching the playthrough video helped a lot.

I don't need to order any physical components, as I'll be playing this in my virtual tabletop software, on my laptop. Will post screenshots soon.


I like sitting at the playmat and playing it out in person but your way is cheaper.
 
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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
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Played my first game of this today, and got my butt kicked BADLY, despite playing on Easy mode. Mission 1, Shore Leave, sounded like it was gonna be a walk in the park. I don't think I ever made it out of orbit.

Here's an early screenshot from my virtual tabletop rendition.

I've since made some changes, and will post updated screenshots when it's finalized. Need to get another test game in tomorrow.

BTW, that's supposed to be a dilithium crystal token for tracking the reserves.
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Martin Gallo
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I found the game easy to learn but hard to beat. There is a lot of risk management. I think the game can be fun, but when the luck turns really bad it is easy to shrug and start over.

There are some little rules that will take a game or two to remember - I made a player aid to help get me going. Not exhaustive but we all remember different things...
 
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Carl White
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heruca wrote:
the rulebook is definitely the weakest part of the game. And I don't mean the typos, incoherent sentences, or lack of any graphic design to pretty it up.


Ouch!

In fairness I was aware after writing the rules that while they present the "rules" (mostly), they don't necessarily make it that clear how the game flows. That was why the gameplay example was added at the end, but I guess that didn't really help enough.

As mentioned the video playthroughs that Nickydude put together are brilliant, and a really good way to get the hang of things. I also wrote a full playthrough thread with lots of photos to help folks learn the game.

I hope the barriers to entry don't put you off!

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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
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Sorry, Carl. Didn't mean to be a jerk. The rulebook just doesn't seem quite finished to me; it reads more like a draft.

I just think that a good proofread, a bit of graphic design, and a little more clarification would do wonders. The video was very useful, but not everyone will watch something that long just to have it all "click" for them.

Take my comments as constructive criticism. I'd hate for people to give this very cool game a "pass", as it clearly deserves to be played. It's a great (and frankly rather addictive) game!
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Carl White
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Don't worry, no offense taken :-) The points raised are pretty valid.

Whether I'll get a chance to review the rules any time soon is a bit dubious; time as ever is at a premium. If anyone out there fancies taking a stab you're more than welcome! Failing that I will have to try to get to it when time pressures are a little calmer.

One for the list!

 
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Jeff Sonas
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Hi Carl, thanks for creating this! I've really enjoyed the few games that I've played so far. However, I wanted to point out that there are some definite errors in the Example of Gameplay in this rules PDF, with regard to the red dice (ENG and SEC). I tried to physically run through the steps, turning over the cards and simulating the rolling of the dice as directed, and I ran into some problems:

On the second of the two turns, it says that you rolled 3 ENG and 2 SEC.

Then during the Deploy phase:
1 ENG goes to Explosive Decompression
2 ENG goes to the Mission Stage 1
1 ENG is used for Repair Hull and immediately goes to Quarters
1 SEC is left unused

Then during the Cleanup phase:
1 ENG goes to Quarters from Explosive Decompression
2 ENG goes to Quarters from Mission Stage 1
3 SEC goes to Quarters

So this really doesn't add up right:
(a) The Deploy phase uses 4 ENG even though only 3 ENG stations were filled and available
(b) The Deploy phase doesn't say what happens with the second SEC
(c) The Cleanup phase says that 3 SEC goes to quarters but there were only two
(d) Also in the Repair Hull action, it heals two (from 5 -> 7) but it should only heal one (from 5 -> 6)

Finally, I felt like the short Example of Gameplay in the rules overlooked some opportunities to illustrate some basic concepts:
(e) It could easily have included rolling ENG dice on the first turn, in order to illustrate the re-roll mechanic coming from Coolant Leak
(f) It could have stated/emphasized the left-to-right order of the Developments, at the start and then when Boosted Sensors came in, in order to illustrate how Developments move along as they are unclaimed and new ones come in
(g) It was a great opportunity to be very precise about what physically happens to dice when you do a 2:1 or use COM to change a face, i.e. do you stack them on the card, do you leave them where they are in station but change the face, etc. This overall concept has been the most challenging for me.

It looks to me like you have seized these illustration opportunities (and many more) in your big long Gameplay Example. I had been looking more for a physical (non-computer) setup, so I had printed out the rules PDF and got the cards and dice ready to learn. So when I was learning the game, I wasn't using the big long Gameplay Example yet, and in fact was not aware of it. Although your Gameplay Example likely covers all aspects of the rules, I would suggest having the rules PDF at least correct the errors, and perhaps be slightly more targeted toward illustrating as many key concepts as possible within whatever space is permitted, especially (g) above.

Thanks again for the great game!
 
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Carl White
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Thanks Jeff, that's excellent feedback, really useful. I think it's time for me to go back and revisit the rulebook :-)

 
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