Hayley Margules Arden
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I LOVED IT. SO worth the wait, SUCH a good weekend. I'm so happy.

There is some serious plot here. Way better integrated with the mechanics than in Season 1, and it's really gutwrenching. Some people have commented already that the game seems much better constructed. I agree with that for sure, which tells me that, in this case, the more money from the acquisition really, really helped. I'm so happy that Matt and Rob were able to make (what seems to be) exactly what they wanted. I loved every part of it. I'm so, so happy.

It's so interesting to me the ways in which some of the upgrades seem to be good in some general way, but then later, some of them are really useful in other, additional ways you couldn't have seen coming. I WON'T SAY WHAT OR HOW, it's just a comment and an observation.

The plot really starts to pick up around August or September, depending on how and when you do certain things, but November and December seem relatively set as a block of two months when the final things have to get done.

Spoilers for November and December, individually marked.
Spoiler (click to reveal)


Spoilers for the start of November:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Achieving the Plan takes some coordination. Once the plan is complete,and the first person goes to Lake Baikal:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
HOLY. Y'ALL. I felt it when my character took that injection. That was the character I'd been using since January. It was such a fitting end. So fitting. My heart was pounding for an hour afterwards, like it was real.


Spoilers for reading the card at the start of December
Spoiler (click to reveal)
One of the other characters stayed in Johannesburg, to be there when my character came to deliver the cure and sacrifice herself. We were building the narrative through the mechanics at the same time that the game did a phenomenal job of giving us the tools to make that happen.








This game was such a great example of the use of mechanics as metaphor. I hope that Rob and Matt are extremely proud of themselves. They deserve to be. This game was amazing, and I can't wait for Season 3.

Will probably edit as more thoughts come to mind.
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Travis Merkle
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I’m about to start August, and I have loved it so far. I was a bit discouraged during the first few months (things felt HARD), but the difficulty has leveled out. I’m excited to see what is left to come, as I am expecting some crazy developments soon.
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Hayley Margules Arden
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TradenMyr wrote:
I’m about to start August, and I have loved it so far. I was a bit discouraged during the first few months (things felt HARD), but the difficulty has leveled out. I’m excited to see what is left to come, as I am expecting some crazy developments soon.


I'm sure it's possible to win November and December on the first tries (we actually did win November on the first try) but again, those two months together are kind of consolidated re: "the things that have to get done". It'll make sense when you get there. December seems like it would be really, really hard to win on the first try, there's so much involved schematically. We were also really, really careful earlier in the game around a certain mechanic that meant one thing earlier and means in December that you might not even be able to succeed (keeping vague), but depending on some choices people may have made throughout the rest of the game, it might be literally and actually impossible.

Anyway, by November and December, the game really changes. We didn't think the game was that hard until about June (I commented about this in another thread, I'll repost what I wrote in another comment in a sec), but every month after that, it was really, really close. But we didn't lose a single game until the second half of the year.

EDIT: Here's my post from that other thread:
Quote:
We're on October. We've only lost once (I just put the box away, but I think it was June, possibly July), and we had our first Forsaken city this past month (September). I don't think it's a lot easier, but I think it's a different kind of difficulty. In a lot of ways, you do have to think differently. There's a lot more running around, and your plan has to change quickly some times. The spirit of the game is the same, but allow yourselves to think holistically about what's going on. I know this is really vague, but I don't want to have to spoiler tag, and you're probably not as far as we are anyway.

My partner wants to add: "we've had a lot more "close" games in season two, but when things are going wrong, it feels easier to control them until the past few months for us (Hayley's note: August and September, which we still won). There's a lot more to keep track of, but not at the beginning."

 
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Hayley Margules Arden
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Someone PM'd me this question

Quote:
Hi Hayley!
I've just saw your thread, can you share some more thoughts on Season 2?
You loved it, but was it from the first month, or I have to wait till September when, you say, plot thickens, to enjoy the game?
What about the physical components, do they justify the higher cost compared to season 1?
Are you able to play some version of the game after December?

thanks for the answers!


And gave me permission to share it here with my response!

Quote:
Hi! Sorry, I should have clarified--we loved the game from the start. I don't think we would have stayed home on Friday and played the entire weekend if it was a slog. To me, it's the same game as always, at least in spirit. From the start, your mandatory objective is to build three supply centers, which takes five cards each. That's the new "cure the three non-CoDA diseases" from season 1. Containing the spread works differently, but again, it's all the same in spirit. Reconning is a new mechanic, but a welcome one. Once you recon,

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Connecting the cities is also new, but I really, really liked that, it added a new level of personalization to the map.



Overall, we really liked the whole thing. I definitely think the cost is justified. It's better made, in my opinion. Do you remember the search mechanic from Season one, and how it was on a flimsy card with a cardboard bullseye? This time, you have substantive, well-made components for everything. No cardboard. That being said, I probably would have paid for the game if it were $200, because my partner and I play it together, we get hours of endless enjoyment from it, and then we're talking about it forever. We still talk about Season 1. And, to be honest, we have an escape room hobby, and that's ~$30 each for one hour of play. We played 14 games of Season 2. At $80, that's $3 per person per hour (rounded up), and I definitely think it's worth it, so that's the context to me saying it's worth the price increase.

I would need to look back at the board again re: playing again after December. We finished at like 2 AM. But my thought is that you could probably redo the final task, which I'm not going to spoil. It actually takes a lot of coordination and time, so that's probably super doable. One aspect of it wouldn't be doable, but the crux of the task could stay the same. I just feel like the story ends on a particular note that's hard to replicate? But I don't know, we all know how "Titanic" ends, and we watch it anyway. Up to you. That's probably an option. It's nothing like the several options available to you when you finish Seafall, but it's a much better game than Seafall in every way.

Feel free to ask anything else! If my partner has thoughts, I'll send them.

HEM
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Graeme Edgeler
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We've just played March, which involved us reconning

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Cairo


This seems quite big, some I'm wondering which month others have done that in.

Have been loving it, so far, though!
 
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M Colonel
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Now that you've finished, how would you rate replayablity as a 'standard' game? Would you pull it or Season 1 out for a 'standard' game?
 
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Hayley Margules Arden
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quadparty wrote:
We've just played March, which involved us reconning

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Cairo


This seems quite big, some I'm wondering which month others have done that in.

Have been loving it, so far, though!


We played the campaign so quickly that we don't really remember what we did when that specifically, but we definitely didn't recon there before March. I think it was probably April or June (I somehow remember that it wasn't May).

I'm glad you're also enjoying it! I can't wait for others to finish, so we can all talk about the plot.
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Hayley Margules Arden
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5479Matt wrote:
Now that you've finished, how would you rate replayablity as a 'standard' game? Would you pull it or Season 1 out for a 'standard' game?


NO SPOILERS FOR MECHANICS PAST JANUARY
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We actually didn't end up connecting every city to the grid, I think two or three were left off, so playing a standard season 2 game, I would just keep those cards out of the deck. That being said, I think I would rather play season 2, because it's different, and it's more personalized, since you chart the connections between cities. I really like that this board feels like mine, moreso than for season 1.

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Maureen Hagen
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Hello!

We are so excited for ours to arrive tomorrow! We have some ideas for replayability and I'm wondering if you might be able to measure the game board for us???

Thanks in advance!
MH
 
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Hayley Margules Arden
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We're actually visiting my parents right now, so we don't have access to the game board! I'm sure someone else here would be willing to help you. If they can't, we'll be back home Saturday, and I will get you the dimensions then.
 
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Maureen Hagen
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Thanks! Hopefully will have it by then. Have a great holiday!
 
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