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Subject: Post-Campaign thoughts (Spoilers) rss

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Ira Fay
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We just finished our campaign, and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately the other players weren't quite as excited about the game overall, but we did some things that improved their fun. Specifically, we skipped ahead around game ~11, and basically fast-forwarded 2-3 games. That was excellent for our group overall. We did the following:
- Everyone got 2 end-of-game ship upgrades
- There were 5 unclaimed tablets and 2 unclaimed relics, and 2 lost relics. We let each player get 2 extra ones (it was a 3 player game, so this dished out all remaining tablets and 1 of the lost relics. Our intention was to fast-forward the game and progress with the plot, and we knew we needed tablets to make progress, so that was great).
- We added a house rule that gave players a "Bonus Sail" token each game. It's just a single extra sail action.
- We fully shared info about the tablet code, then we unintentionally misinterpreted the rules and started reading the entries on the tomb map without taking an explore action at a tomb. This actually turned out just fine for us, since we didn't care to spend the extra actions exploring, and each person happened to find the secret of one of the statues, so it ended up balanced.
- We interrogated 12 extra advisors between game 11 and game 12.
- When game 12 was about to end and we hadn't quite discovered the final island, we fudged it and said one player found the final island, so we knew game 13 would be last.

And then the final game! I enjoyed it quite a bit. All three players were within 1 turn of closing the gates. I ended up doing it first with 4 auto-successes from a seal plus a raid of 28 dice! (5 base, 12 from Nefarious since I was emperor and horded reputation that game, +11 from Jean Luc (Soldiers Guild patron) who let me use all the raid from all of my advisors). That was a fun ending for me.

Overall, the story was enjoyable, I really liked the gameplay, and the legacy progress was excellent (with our shortcut around game 11-14). My biggest critique is rule ambiguity, but I think if you get into the spirit of the game as an RPG and let things be a little loose, or you research on BGG, that can be resolved as well.

It was an amazingly ambitious design, and I'm impressed with Rob for moving the Legacy genre forward.
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Scott Douglass
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I wish I adjusted things similar to what you did. That would have shortened my campaign by a reasonable amount, and cut out a lot of the stuff that I had the most problems with. Of course, if the rules were clearer, we probably would have ended things at least 2 games faster anyway.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
In the final game, Blake closed the portal on his second turn, and he didn't even have Nefarious because I grabbed it first (he used explore). I tried to close it, but I needed more time to prepare for it, so that did not go well.
 
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Ira Fay
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Whoa! How did he do it on his second turn?! You must have had an amazing explore advisor? I guess with 7 from ship, 1 support, 6 from advisor, plus 4 auto from relics/advisor... Rolling 14 dice to get 16 success... Seems pretty unlikely. Curious to hear the specifics! And I guess you had a portal nearby so he could make it in 2 sail actions? Kinda funny that the game ended so fast!
 
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Blake Douglass
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I got the +2 explore upgrade and moved, then moved then researched then explored (I had the appellation that let me do all 3 if I spent a bit of extra gold) So I had 9 dice from my primary ship (I had the veteran explore sticker), 1 from the support ship, 6 from my adviser, +3 successes from adviser and relic on my ship and +2-3 successes from maps + a reroll if I needed it. The upgrade meant I needed to get 17 successes in order to guarantee that I would succeed at the endeavor, as I can flip that instead of taking one damage.

I am honestly kind of surprised this hasn't happened to more groups, cause this has been the typical response whenever Scott mentions how fast the last game ended. It seems weird to me that no one else had good enough base stats / a good enough adviser to be able to do it turn 2, especially when the Nefarious upgrade exists, although Scott grabbed that up before it got to my turn the first round so I couldn't get it as I had 11 reputation tokens from character card + last game things which would have meant I could have won the game with explore OR raid, whichever I so chose.
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Ira Fay
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I think it's surprising because you have a lot of things going your way:

1) How did you afford 18 gold on turn 1 to buy the big upgrade? There aren't any handicaps in the final game, because normal title cards aren't used. It's possible to still get 18 gold (16 from fields + 3 from New Ker colony), but that leaves you with 1, which isn't enough to research + triple action next turn. Not a big deal, since you could get a 10 cost upgrade easily.

2) You have an advisor that gives +6 dice and +2 successes. In our deck, there might be 1 person that does that, and actually I don't think anyone in our whole deck could do that. You managed to have such an advisor.

3) You had the appellation that let you get an extra research (and the money to do it). Not a big deal, but perhaps a little difference.

4) Your board is setup so you could sail there in 2 turns. It would be tricky in our setup for that to be possible, mostly because we only found one Portal of the Ancients.

5) You had the veteran explore sticker.

So yes, all that is possible, and but there are a lot of things combined.

Also, with 16 dice and 5 auto-successes, you need 15 successes to take no damage, and 12 successes to guarantee not sinking, less whatever fortune you had. If you look here: http://irafay.com/seafall.php

You'll see that you have only 34% chance of getting 12 successes with that setup, but your fortune increases your chances significantly:
2: 74%
3: 88%
4: 95%
5: 99%

So part of it depends on how much fortune you had. But, if you take away a few of your benefits, it goes from "very likely" to "not so great" pretty fast.

As a note, a much better upgrade with this many dice is Enduring for 10 gold, though maybe someone else got it before you.
 
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Blake Douglass
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It isn't just that I had 16 dice, I also had the relic and the tablet that turned strong successes into extra successes, which meant that for that particular endeavor every strong success was worth 3 successes. Rolling that many dice I should roll an average of 2 or 3 strong successes, which would translate into 4-6 extra successes.

In our game we had 3 or so advisers in the game that gave +5-6 to explore and another 2-3 that gave +5-6 to raid. Plus the possibility of getting the building that lets you cycle through advisers would have made it fairly easy to get a really good adviser. If I had done that it would have meant I didn't get the +2 upgrade, but with my fortune and the relic + tablet it would have still been pretty easy to get the win if I got a good adviser. I was somewhat lucky in that a good adviser did turn up for explore, and so I didn't need to get the Guild Hall and could spend the money instead on getting the +2 upgrade.

With that additional information on the site you provided I had a 63% chance to get 15 successes from 16 dice, which would have added to the auto successes I already had to make it so I didn't take any damage from the endeavor. I would have had an 86% chance of getting 12 successes for taking some damage but guaranteed not sinking. And last I had 4 fortune, so I would need 8 successes from dice (99% chance), + 4 fortune and + 5 auto successes to get 17 successes for the guaranteed win, with flipping the upgrade.

Based on the information from the site you mentioned with every strong success being 3 successes, I had a slightly better than even chance for every die to give me 1 success. This is based on rolling 16 dice and having a 53% chance of getting 16 successes.

I actually rolled fairly poorly for the final challange, rolling 1 strong success and a total of about 11, which meant I needed to use 1 fortune to guarantee that I would succeed at the endeavor.

For the money part of it, I started with a builder adviser, and I had the tablet that lets me flip a colony for free at any time and the Arados colony (I think that is how it is spelled) for 6 additional gold. This meant i had around -4 to -6 to upgrade, I don't remember which and we recycled everything already and I had 22 gold to start off.

I decided not to take enduring because I had the relic and tablet for making strong successes worth more already, and so I just decided to go for more dice instead. I didn't do the math to figure out which was strictly better in this particular situation, so I don't know for sure, but more dice did give me more chances to get strong successes which each gave me 3 successes.

We had actually found 3 of the portal places, all of them fairly far up the board. The reason we found so many is because the game didn't actually tell us when we could perform the actions we needed to do to progress the story. IF the rules had been clearer we would have finished the campaign 2-3 games earlier, in which case my chances for success would have been marginally downgraded, but not by that much.

My surprise isn't so much that no one has done it in 2 turns, it is that most people don't seem to have been able to do it by turn 3. That might not seem like a huge difference, but it would have been an increase of 50% over the number of turns I had. Also, if one person does get significantly ahead on explore or raid, they should have a relatively easy time of dealing with the final challenge, with only a defense of 20. This is especially true if someone who is good at raid manages to get the Nefarious upgrade and a halfway decent adviser for raid, which would just be compounded if that player was also the emperor, as they would have an extra 5 reputation tokens.

If the emperor gets the Nefarious upgrade, they should be getting about 10 dice from that alone, if not more, +5 from a normal fully upgraded raid ship, +1 from support ship, and lets say +4 from an adviser, that would be 20 dice even aside from any auto successes or bonuses they would get from having advisers, relics, and tablets. And I would assume they would have a decent number of fortune tokens, as they likely won an above average number of the games, and so got to make a decent number of upgrades even aside from upgrades he would get from milestones.
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Ira Fay
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relatively easy time of dealing with the final challenge, with only a defense of 20. This is especially true if someone who is good at raid manages to get the Nefarious upgrade and a halfway decent adviser for raid, which would just be compounded if that player was also the emperor, as they would have an extra 5 reputation tokens.

So if you figure:
5 from the ship
1 support ship
8 from Nefarious
3 from a "halfway decent advisor"

+2 auto-successes from advisor and/or relics
+3 fortune available

Need 15 successes, or 12 to guarantee it even after damage, using 17 dice. Chances of 12 successes is only 48%, and if that doesn't work, then you're out 8 reputation and don't really have another shot. Maybe it's worth it, but that feels risky to me.

If you have great synergy with relics and advisors, then yes, you can do it very quickly. But it also doesn't surprise me that many playgroups don't have that. And without the good synergies like you had, one extra turn isn't going to be enough, since you'll want to get multiple upgrades, you'll have to pay for them, and you'll need to find a good advisor, not just "decent."

Thanks for the discussion and sharing the details of your final game. I feel confident that I'll remember a 28 dice raid for a while...
 
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Blake Douglass
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You rounded down significantly from my original estimates. For one thing you are putting upgrades on advisers after each game, so it would not surprise me if there were multiple good raid advisers that gave 5+ dice. In our game we actually had at least 3 that gave +6, and we didn't have one that gave +8 only because I deliberately upgraded that adviser with a different upgrade to make it not as overpowered. Getting +2 successes from society advisers and the +1 from relics it would be easy to get 3-5 successes from that, you have 1-2 relics, and get 1-2 society members that aren't even relevant to the endeavor, but give those bonuses. This would add a total of between 3 and 6 successes on turn 3. This is assuming a relatively low number of relics, the person with the most relics in our game had 4. I only had 1 relic, but it was a very good relic for what I was trying to do.

Relics have to be on a ship, which means it is not unreasonable for someone to raid another person's ship to gain a relic that would be really good for them, even if they don't sink the ship afterwards. Especially if someone else gets the good raid relic, and the person that is good at raid wants to grab it for themselves. Plus that relic is so good for raids that it seems extremely likely that the person that had the relic would be decently set up for a raid endeavor.

For fortune tokens, everyone in our game had a minimum of 3 fortune, and most of us had 4 at the start of a game. One of the good raid advisers in our campaign also gave +2 fortune tokens when he became the active adviser. If you had the money and were willing to dig for him, you could get the extra 2 fortune tokens and +6 dice to the endeavor. Even if you had not upgraded him, he would still have given +3 dice and +2 fortune tokens.

So if we take the conservative estimates I gave, that would be 3 fortune, +3 successes from advisers and relics, for the sake of argument lets take your 8 dice from reputation, 5 dice from the main ship, 1 from the support ship, and 4 dice from the active adviser. This would mean 18 dice with a need to get 11 successes. That is a 78% chance to get a guaranteed win and 89% chance to get a not quite guaranteed, but still likely win.

Even if we take your estimates but substitute a +4 adviser giving 18 dice, it gives a 61% chance of getting 12 successes in order to guarantee success. There is a 78% chance of getting 11 successes, which has a chance of not succeeding, as you need to take 3 damage total from the damage deck, which could be curses or regular damage.

Even if they had fewer dice, but had the tablet or the relic to make strong successes count as 2 successes, lets say they are rolling 16 dice instead, but have one of those. They would have a 74% chance of getting 12 successes, for a guaranteed win, and an 85% chance of getting 11 successes for a not quite as likely win.

Lets take your numbers, but add the tablet or relic to that and see what happens. Rolling 17 dice where every strong success is worth 2 successes, and you need to roll 12 to guarantee success, you have an 83% chance of at least 12 and winning with a 90% chance of getting 11 successes with a pretty high probability of winning. I would take those odds.

The final challenge, however, was not just a raid endeavor, it was raid or explore. If someone had managed to collect a ton of maps that they didn't use, like if they had a bunch of maps but the entire board had been explored and so it just sat there, they could easily get +3-6 successes from those alone. This is kind of what happened to me. I had about 3 extra maps at the start of that game, and it could have easily been more.

As a side note we actually considered advisers that gave less than +4 to an endeavor not a good adviser. +4 was alright, +5 was decent, +6 was good, and anything above that was taken so that no one else could get it whenever it came up.
 
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Scott Douglass
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Maybe if you get to the final challenge in relatively few games, particularly at higher player counts, your scenario would be more likely, but with 3 I think someone at the table should find it pretty easy.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
There are quite a few things that can make that endeavor easier:

The veteran sticker allows a base stat of 7.

The relevant tablet and relic each make strong successes count once more, whether for raid or explore. If you have both, your expectation value on 1 die is 1 success.

For the emperor, Nefarious should add a minimum of +8 dice, but I would expect more like +10.

If you don't get Nefarious, you can still get a weaker upgrade on your way out.

An explore endeavor can stack maps for rerolls and bonus successes, and you can build them up over multiple games.

I expect everyone to have at least 4 fortune tokens base by this stage. Is this unreasonable with more players?

A strong raid/explore advisor should give +5 minimum. +3-4 is worth taking, but not the kind of thing I try to keep between games unless it will specifically allow me to deny the winner the ability to keep an advisor.

The Temple is hard to build turn 1 (I can see ways to do it, but it requires a much more specific setup than other methods of completing the challenge turn 2, at least without compensation), but if you can build it, the portal is trivial to close.

It's not that any one of these individually gives you a good chance (except the Temple), but if one player has 3+ of these it should be pretty reasonable to try on turn 2 if they can get there (Portal + veteran sail and/or +3 sail colony).

In our campaign, we had a raid advisor that gave +6 raid and 2 fortune tokens, which is roughly a third of what you need to do the endeavor by himself.
 
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Ira Fay
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Just to confirm, you only get the 2 auto successes from a society member if they are your active advisor when doing the endeavor. Our best advisors were +5, and +4 was good, with +3 being decent. Of the best advisors, many ended up not being society members.

It sounds like we're basically on the same page, though. In a campaign where it's common to have society member advisors at +6 raid/explore, and I can see why the final endeavor would seem doable very quickly.

Thanks for the good conversation!
 
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