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Subject: Question on just reading the rules - runaway leader issue? rss

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Shawn Isenhart
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Having only read the rules once, I'm slightly concerned about a runaway leader issue. It looks like the winner of each game gets an improvement that the other players don't. That seems like the sort of thing that would snowball into one player having more glory and more ability to get more glory. Admittedly, I haven't been reading the reviews, since I don't want to risk spoiling something, so maybe this has already been addressed elsewhere.

I'm planning on playing this with my kids. If they lose a game or two, I'm worried they might feel like they won't ever have a chance to win. Is this something I should start trying to correct now, is it not as bad as I fear, or will the legacy effect make this problem go away?
 
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Victor Aldridge
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Having been a runaway leader in our first non-Prologue session, while I got an additional improvement, the game also gave everyone else a slight advantage over me in other ways. There are many levels of balance. We wondered the same thing at first and were pleasantly surprised. Granted, we haven't played much, so whether it works remains to be seen, but the mechanisms are there.
 
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J Kaemmer
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There are quite a few ways the game favors those that are behind (some you need to unlock).

The biggest problem for us was that some of the players didn' GET the game yet and were disadvantaging themselves, the win bonuses should not make as big of a difference as we saw in in scores. Playstyle factored far more into it than small bonuses here and there.

My wife turned a distant last place spot with all of the rubberband mechanics in olay and boom. Made up for a a near 30 point deficit. She won a game on turn 5 crushing us despite (because) never EVER winning before.
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Gary G
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How old are your kids?

You could just 'guide' them through the adventure instead of playing cutthroat with them?
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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The fact you have to keep a lower cost advisor is way more significant short term. Access to quality advisors seems to me to be the main way to win. Playing early in the turn order is also a significant advantage.
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Shawn Isenhart
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reshurc wrote:
How old are your kids?

You could just 'guide' them through the adventure instead of playing cutthroat with them?


Eight and ten. We probably won't play cutthroat with them, because that just isn't our style. But they want to make their own decisions and have a chance of success. I couldn't guide them too much or they would feel like they weren't playing the game.

But it sounds like the key problem I was worried about isn't an issue. Great!
 
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Becq
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ShawnI wrote:
Eight and ten. We probably won't play cutthroat with them, because that just isn't our style. But they want to make their own decisions and have a chance of success. I couldn't guide them too much or they would feel like they weren't playing the game.

But it sounds like the key problem I was worried about isn't an issue. Great!

You know your kids better than I do, but I would be inclined to say that SeaFall is too heavy a game for 8-10 year olds -- even if you "don't play cutthroat". As you're looking over the rules, make a note of the many blank spots that get filled in later. That is, the rules do become more complex than they are at the start.

One non-spoiler aspect of the game that I'll stress is that endeavors might prove frustrating to your children. I can calculate the odds and figure out how many dice I should use, and can accept when bad luck strikes. But I'd be concerned with kids underestimating the difficulty of a particular endeavor, then become frustrated when their ship sinks and they have to waste several actions repairing then sailing back to where they were to try again. Overestimating the difficulty can also be a problem -- if they use up their best advisor on a simple endeavor, that will but them at a disadvantage that could become frustrating.

As I said before, you know your kids better than I do. But I wanted to give you some food for thought before you start in on the game. After all, the second-hand value of a slightly-used legacy game is unlikely to be great...
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