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Subject: Stupid Game 4 (Box 2+3 unlocked) [spoilers tagged] rss

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Eric Penn
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Our group played through Pandemic Legacy with five players - we had our normal group of four, but whenever one player couldn't make a session, we had a dedicated "filler" player who would rotate in and out. It was with this dedicated group of five that we are playing Seafall.

Note this is a continuation of our playthrough. Links to the prior session report are
first session
second session

We unlocked the second chest at the end of our third game, and the third chest during this session. This report will include spoilers, but I will do my best to tag any information that would affect decisions of first-time players. Unfortunately, because the strategies of the winning player would give away a lot of this, there will likely be less information than spoiler in this post.

Our players, in order from lowest to highest scores at the outset of the game:
- The “efficient” Lord, who, up until now, had been scraping by mostly raiding islands. He has not achieved a single milestone to date, and his plans are routinely thwarted by other players one turn earlier. Often neglects that the rules prevent him from achieving what he intended. On more than one occasion has been completely successful in his endeavors, only to find that they provide absolutely zero benefit – for example, raiding an island when his holds were already full, or attacking another player who has nothing to plunder.
- The Baron, who, has been a clear contender in our prior games, consistently holding third place, and only was pushed down to his current status by the meteoric rise of the Merchant.
- The Merchant, who despite his title will be known by this honorific in all of my future reports. He was playing as the Count in this game, having sprung up from the lowly Lord role to only a mere three Honor from the lead in a single game!
- The Duke (me) who was tied for the lead, but elected to NOT sit in the Prince chair.
- The Prince, who along with the Baron and myself, were treating the game as an exploration game.

Going into this game, it was pretty well understood that
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the Merchant was going to win, and win big. Two of the milestones that were unlocked in box 2 (colonies) related directly to gold and arbitrage, and our Merchant was uniquely equipped to play that role. As expected, during the session, he ended up claiming the first milestone (sell 30+ gold of items in a single turn) on turn 3. Only a mere three turns later he had his second milestone (60+ gold in the vault). After that it was a simple matter of buying a couple of treasures (which he could easily afford) and the game was ended.


More interestingly though, was the leftover “unlock” milestone from box 1
Spoiler (click to reveal)
to explore a Tomb. Prior to the start of the game, I had looked at the numbers and did not see any way for this to happen. We assumed that the “skull” symbols were tombs, and the lowest value “skull” was an 11 exploration. With an exploration value of 4 on our best ships, plus one more from a supporting ship, that was still less than half of the requirement, so it seemed unlikely to happen. What I did not know at the start was that the Baron had an Advisor that granted a massive +7 to exploration endeavors. 4 plus 7, plus support, plus a couple of fortune tokens and it was certainly within reach!


This led to our first “war”.

The Prince, Duke and Baron all had vessels fast enough and skilled enough to make the attempt. The only island that had a valid site was Buttseam Island (so named due to its location on the gameboard fold), located six hexes out of the harbor. The Baron took advantage of a +2 Sail event on the first turn to park his fastest ship on that locale. The Duke did not make a play for the milestone, still (erroneously) thinking it was unobtainable. The Prince launched an all-out attack on the Baron’s homeland. The attack was eminently successful, and the Renowned Explorer “Gordon” was captured by the Prince. The Prince used his Advisor to lower the enmity granted, but the damage was still done. The Baron was not going to accomplish the goal this turn.

On the next turn, the Baron retaliated. Since his fastest ship was far at sea and he was ill equipped for a strong attack, he made his best attempt, and was successful in rescuing Gordon from the Evil Prince’s castle. Still, this had cost him a turn. Mere moments later, having recalculated the odds, the Duke turned an equally malignant eye towards the Baron and kidnapped poor Gordon. (I thought it was pretty much a 50/50 ploy that I would keep him since I had already upgraded by home garrison a bit. As luck would have it, the ploy was unsuccessful.) Once again, the Baron’s warship sailed into port and raided the Council Chambers, returning Gordon to his original home.

We had to re-review the enmity rules several times over the course of this adventure, making sure that the proper tokens were handed out and placed correctly. (In retrospect, I believe we neglected to account for the pre-existing enmity stickers on our home ports – something we will need to watch for as we move forward.)

EDIT: We still got it wrong, see comments below.

Amusingly enough, the Prince took advantage of the lag time to send his fastest ship to Buttseam and plopped down no fewer than three Research cards. Between the bonuses on those cards and potential triggered effects, I estimated he had about a 65% chance of success. Not as good as having Gordon, but certainly within the realm of possibility.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
He had two +2 successes from research cards, plus at least one “reroll” card, and a small stack of fortune tokens to use. I’m not 100% sure exactly how it worked out (going from memory here) but he basically needed to roll five dice and get all five with some flavor of success. Amazingly, despite all of the angst and worry, the very first throw of the dice showed five straight successes!


This led to the unlocking of Box 3. This was a bit confusing to us as both of the prior boxes did not unlock until the end of the game. We reviewed the Captain’s Booke entries for the prior unlocks and saw that they had text to imply that those boxes were to be opened at the end of the game. This one did not. After several minutes of searching FAQs and online research, we decided to open the box immediately. Once again, this should have been caught in playtesting and/or proofreading of the rules! If the intent was to open the box immediately, it should say so in the Captain’s Booke entry!!!

In the end, we opened it, and added the materials to our ongoing game, shuffling all of the affected decks. This led to another question, one we have not resolved (yet):
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Do the “curses” card get mixed into the “damage” card deck, or are they treated separately? We mixed them in and shuffled, but it would be easy to create a separate stack for curses if that is the way it intended.


While the “Gordon War” was underway, the Merchant was quietly winning the game. We essentially only had two more turns before the game ended. The Lord player ended up founding our first (and so far ONLY) colony taking him from a very distant fifth place to only one point in arrears of the pack. In fact, if not for a couple of clever uses of goods and Advisors by the Duke (netting him 4 Honor in only two turns) that single colony would have propelled the Lord out of the trailing position!

When the final tally was made, the Merchant had a significant lead over every other player, and will be our new Prince (next game). Despite already being in the lowest position, the Lord fell a bit further behind (but not much!). The Baron, played well but was not able to pass the Duke, keeping his same overall position. The Prince and the Duke, who went into the game tied for the lead, both were pushed down one seat, and the Prince pulled ahead by two points.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I don’t see the Merchant player as being able to hold on to his lead for much longer. He was artificially handed this game due to having a total of 8 Glory (out of 14) handed to him from milestones.
The remaining milestones on the board are not eminently achievable – although I said the same thing about the unlock that happened this game too, so maybe they are! – so I expect that the next game or two will be much like our second game meeting: “development” games that allow each player’s strategies to develop. I expect that as heaps of gold and treasures start to accumulate in our Merchant’s vault, he will find himself a more and more juicy target. Particularly for players who have been focusing on raiding!
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j n
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Re: Game 4 (Box 2+3 unlocked) [spoilers tagged]
TheRealStupid wrote:
This led to our first “war”.

...

The Prince launched an all-out attack on the Baron’s homeland. The attack was eminently successful, and the Renowned Explorer “Gordon” was captured by the Prince. The Prince used his Advisor to lower the enmity granted, but the damage was still done. The Baron was not going to accomplish the goal this turn.


Was this lowered to zero enmity? If any enmity was placed, it should have been placed on the Council Room.

TheRealStupid wrote:
Mere moments later, having recalculated the odds, the Duke turned an equally malignant eye towards the Baron and kidnapped poor Gordon. (I thought it was pretty much a 50/50 ploy that I would keep him since I had already upgraded by home garrison a bit.) As luck would have it, the ploy was unsuccessful. Once again, the Baron’s warship sailed into a players port and raided the Advisor Room, returning Gordon to his home.


If there was an enmity on the Baron's Council Room, it is not able to be raided again (until Winter, when the tokens move to the At War section). (Though honestly, your way sounds pretty fun :)

Also,

Spoiler (click to reveal)
You got the curses right. Shuffle them into the damage deck. Endeavors are now both riskier (because curses are harder to repair) and easier (because your ship might have 2 curses and 2 normal damage without sinking).


Thanks for the report!
 
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DJ Johnson
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Re: Game 4 (Box 2+3 unlocked) [spoilers tagged]
I had been worried about that myself! The advisor used lowered it to a single enmity, for the record. That would have meant the Baron's council room was an invalid target for the Duke. Ruh roh. Glad that an infinite shuffling of advisors shouldn't be possible, but the Baron got the shaft on that one. The game showed him some love later, but it was very much the game for the men of peace and vision rather than war and the frontier.
 
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Eric Penn
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Re: Game 4 (Box 2+3 unlocked) [spoilers tagged]
lactamaeon wrote:
TheRealStupid wrote:
This led to our first “war”.

...

The Prince launched an all-out attack on the Baron’s homeland. The attack was eminently successful, and the Renowned Explorer “Gordon” was captured by the Prince. The Prince used his Advisor to lower the enmity granted, but the damage was still done. The Baron was not going to accomplish the goal this turn.


Was this lowered to zero enmity? If any enmity was placed, it should have been placed on the Council Room.

TheRealStupid wrote:
Mere moments later, having recalculated the odds, the Duke turned an equally malignant eye towards the Baron and kidnapped poor Gordon. (I thought it was pretty much a 50/50 ploy that I would keep him since I had already upgraded by home garrison a bit.) As luck would have it, the ploy was unsuccessful. Once again, the Baron’s warship sailed into a players port and raided the Advisor Room, returning Gordon to his home.


If there was an enmity on the Baron's Council Room, it is not able to be raided again (until Winter, when the tokens move to the At War section). (Though honestly, your way sounds pretty fun


In retrospect, that does make sense. After all when a player raids an island site, they place a token there and no one else can raid that same site until the following winter. Seems like would have been a similar situation where the left-over enmity from the Prince would have made the council chamber un-raidable until winter.

Personally, I blame the Baron because he was just putting ALL the raid tokens in his "at war" box immediately. Another argument for better bookkeeping at the table!
 
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Becq Starforged
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Re: Game 4 (Box 2+3 unlocked) [spoilers tagged]
By the way, when you already have your opponent's tokens in your at war box when you attack them, you might find yourself in a situation where you can "pay for" your raid using only his tokens, since you spend those before spending your own. In that case, it is possible that you place none of your own tokens (possibly in combination with effects that lower enmity cost), which means that the raid site *isn't* locked.
 
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