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Subject: Anyone got house rules to address the "swinginess" of (possible Box 3 spoilers)? rss

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Austin Johnston
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Hi all,

I've been reading a lot of (spoiler-free) reviews of Seafall during the down-time between my group's games. A very common complaint, as I'm sure you all are aware
Spoiler (click to reveal)
is that tomb raids can be very "swingy." For instance,
last night we discovered our first tomb entrance. I was the first to explore the inside of the tomb and did so without taking damage. I claimed the "From Darkness Unscathed" milestone and 4 glory, plus the one from the successful endeavor, and the tomb itself gave 4 more glory. I know from reading reviews that this is a common issue, with some tombs giving a bunch of glory and others giving no bonuses.


Since this is a Legacy game and we probably won't play it again, and since this has been an issue for SO many people, I'm wondering what we might be able to do about it. Has anyone come up with house rules to address the problem? The main issue to me seems to be not the actual points themselves, but the tendency for large point jackpots to end games unexpectedly early, since you can't carry buildings, upgrades, goods, money, treasure, etc. over to the next game, and some strategies require several turns to complete.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
In our game, for example, a guy was one turn away from building a colony when I won the game. From what I've read, this is not an uncommon occurrence.


My instinct, based on where we are in the game and what I've read here, would be to suggest lengthening the game for one additional turn after someone hits the glory target, which might give players a bit more time to wind up their affairs and score a few additional points. Maybe cap it so that no one can exceed the glory target (so the player that hit it first can't score any additional points, and other players can't score more than the player who actually won the game). But I have no idea what implications any change would have on subsequent developments in the game.

Thoughts?
 
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Darren Nakamura
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A common house rule that gets thrown around is the "half-rounded-up" rule. Where you take all glory rewards and alter them to be half, rounded up.

Box 3
Spoiler (click to reveal)
So for a successful Tomb exploration that results in a tablet or a relic, you would get three glory instead of five. One for the successful explore and two for getting a really good thing out of a tomb.


This rule also has the effect of lengthening games by a few turns, so people are more likely to finish things they're working on in addition to being less likely to be caught off guard by an unexpected, game-ending glory spike.

To deal with the "game suddenly ending" problem, another house rule has been proposed to "cash out" your stuff at the end. Sell off any goods you control at a rate of 3 gold per good, then spend your final gold on a Treasure. This is paltry compared to founding a new colony, but it's better than the nothing you get under the current rules.
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Chris Boote
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One suggestion my group had was that the games ends in the WINTER after someone reaches the target

This may, however, exacerbate the situation if some can explore three or four more times, but at least the traders/builders/colonisers would get their stuff done
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Austin Johnston
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Chrisboote wrote:
One suggestion my group had was that the games ends in the WINTER after someone reaches the target

This may, however, exacerbate the situation if some can explore three or four more times, but at least the traders/builders/colonisers would get their stuff done


This is an interesting idea. Honestly I like it a lot. I assume you keep scoring until the final winter? In my game I think I won on turn 7, so this would've kept the game going for another 5 turns. Which seems extreme, but not necessarily bad. Hmm.
 
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Des T.
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horsepire wrote:
Chrisboote wrote:
One suggestion my group had was that the games ends in the WINTER after someone reaches the target

This may, however, exacerbate the situation if some can explore three or four more times, but at least the traders/builders/colonisers would get their stuff done


This is an interesting idea. Honestly I like it a lot. I assume you keep scoring until the final winter? In my game I think I won on turn 7, so this would've kept the game going for another 5 turns. Which seems extreme, but not necessarily bad. Hmm.


It would certainly give players an option to swing the points back in the right direction a bit. In some rare cases, they might even be able to snag a win back, but it'd also make the game a very tense half hour to hour longer.
 
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Colin Marsh
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i would not have the game continue once the glory target is reached. i certainly wouldn't do that until the next winter - that seems crazy to me. the vast majority of our games have ended either on turn 7 or 8. playing 5 more rounds would almost double the game.

as for the issue of planning and not reaching a goal i think that's part of the game and honestly I don't think it's that hard to predict. there will be a big swing at some point and you shouldn't count on the game going beyond turn 7. sure you don't know when exactly the big swing will come but

spoilers...
Spoiler (click to reveal)


when multiple players are continually exploring tombs you know a windfall is coming, you just don't know who will get it. i think players should pretty quickly figure out that your plan needs to be possible to execute in 7 rounds.


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Darren Nakamura
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colinmarsh wrote:
the vast majority of our games have ended either on turn 7 or 8. playing 5 more rounds would almost double the game.


It sure would, and it would bring the game to the 12-15 rounds it was originally intended to run at. I've had the thought of a house rule to play to a certain number of rounds rather than to a certain glory total. Not sure where I'd set it; 12 seems to make sense, but upping it to 13 would give an even greater bump to all the underpowered "gain X during winter" stuff.
 
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Simon C
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The issue with simply running the game longer is that the players who get extreme rewards for certain things may just end up getting more extreme rewards, and doubling up. Some aspects may not work - players may not be able repeat their successes due to damage or one-off investments - but I think it'd be safer to go with reducing the glory or cash-out methods.
 
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Becq
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My suggestions:
1) Cut all glory awards in half, rounded up, *except* for Treasure. Do this per award, so if you successfully explore (1 glory) and the Booke entry awards you 1 glory, your total will still be 2 glory, because each award is halved and rounded separately. This doesn't change most mundane rewards (a structure is still worth 1 glory, for example).
2) Change the end game sequence as follows. When the game ends, each player converts any goods he owns (in a warehouse, on a boat, etc) into gold at 3 gold per good. Then each player gains glory as if buying the best possible single treasure with that gold (even if treasures of that type are sold out). The result is the final glory tallies, and *can* impact who won the game.
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Dave T
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We played with cashing out goods to gold (3 each) and then letting each player do a single treasure buy and/or single build action. It worked well for us.
 
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Chris Boote
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DeS_Tructive wrote:
...it'd also make the game a very tense half hour to hour longer.


I think that might be a good thing
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Colin Marsh
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Becq wrote:
My suggestions:
1) Cut all glory awards in half, rounded up, *except* for Treasure. Do this per award, so if you successfully explore (1 glory) and the Booke entry awards you 1 glory, your total will still be 2 glory, because each award is halved and rounded separately. This doesn't change most mundane rewards (a structure is still worth 1 glory, for example).
2) Change the end game sequence as follows. When the game ends, each player converts any goods he owns (in a warehouse, on a boat, etc) into gold at 3 gold per good. Then each player gains glory as if buying the best possible single treasure with that gold (even if treasures of that type are sold out). The result is the final glory tallies, and *can* impact who won the game.


i can understand this as a catch-up mechanic but denying the winner the win because they executed a faster plan than others seems too much. i would think whoever won the game should still get the end of game bonus. i would also say the treasure should be there since this would favor players with less game glory if you did it in turn order.
 
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Chris Willott
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Rather than go all extreme and going to a full new winter -- why not just give every player one more turn? That way, no-one is surprised by the end of the game - everyone has a chance to do something with their extra stuff, but you don't have to come up with a whole new system of cashing out end-game.
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Becq
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Willottica wrote:
Rather than go all extreme and going to a full new winter -- why not just give every player one more turn? That way, no-one is surprised by the end of the game - everyone has a chance to do something with their extra stuff, but you don't have to come up with a whole new system of cashing out end-game.

You could do that, but that would only "solve" the problem for players who only needed one more turn. Players who only needed two more turns would be the new players who needed one more turn. And the player who ended the game (and presumably needs no more turns) might be left with little to do, putting them at a disadvantage. This is not to say that you couldn't play that way; I'm just saying it only changes the problem, rather than solving it.

The treasure buy-out option doesn't really solve it either, by the way. But it does provide a mechanism by which to take a snapshot of the current game state, and convert any otherwise-useless resources into score (glory) in a way that any number of extra turns can't do.

Bottom line: either option is a house rule; players should discuss the options with their table and decide which option works for them -- if any!
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