Scott Heenan
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I received a copy of SeaFall for Christmas from a friend. He knew that I'd been enjoyed both Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and 2, so he thought this might be a fun legacy game to add to that mix.

I know from reviews I've seen here that SeaFall is, unlike Pandemic, full of mixed opinions. A lot seem to not enjoy it, but a few seemingly do.

So, those of you who've played, without spoiling anything (at least nothing major), what are some suggestions to make sure we have a good time? Is there a player count that stands out as being best (or worst)? Is there a tactic that, while perhaps valid, leads to a less enjoyable overall experience? Etc., etc.

Thanks!
 
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Darren Nakamura
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1. More players means more interaction, but also more downtime. I played with five (including at least one player prone to analysis paralysis), and sometimes I wished I had played with fewer.
2. Keep the Captain's Log handy, especially further on into the campaign. If you ever aren't sure how to progress the campaign, feel free to come here to ask. It's not always obvious.
3. Don't go in expecting a super tight skill-based strategy board game, but instead a loose, swingy, narrative ride into the unknown.
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al Cann
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+1 on Darren.

1 -- Also, don't think it's going to be like PL season 1 and/or 2. Different animals, completely.

2 -- The games are long. For my group, that was not a problem because we could leave the game set up out of the way and come back to it when we wanted to. Expect at least 2 hours per game.

3 -- The game probably won't end up being a dogfight to the finish among all game participants. This game trends toward the runaway leader, the player who seems to figure things out before the rest. But it is still an excellent experience.

4 -- Don't believe everything negative that you read, it is a solid game.
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Jim Allard
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albcann wrote:
This game trends toward the runaway leader, the player who seems to figure things out before the rest.


Don't worry about a runaway leader. We have been playing three player for some 16 games so far. At one point player A won every game for a long stretch and had a 64 pt advantage over player B and 35pt over player C - In the last 4 games we are now all essentially tied. There can be big swings in Glory earned in a game.

JimA
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Des T.
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+1 Darren

It hasn't been mentioned before, but Seafall is a cuttthroat game. Resources and objectives don't scale with players, meaning with 4+ players, they all will be contested.

If you want to play optimally, it means all players ganging up on the leader, while attempting to achieve your own objectives so you can get ahead yourself.

You can and will get backstabbed. If not by the other players, then by the game.

If you have the wrong players, Seafall can be both extremely frustrating, and end "gaming friendships".

Aside getting ganged up on when you're leading, you'll also experience that it's up to you to stop the leader again, because last place wasted all his tokens early on a pointless attack, fourth place is "a dedicated explorer" who doesn't raid and second place won't raid because it means you might beat them, this game.




So yeah, be careful what kind of players you bring to the table.
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Domenic
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Advocator wrote:
I received a copy of SeaFall for Christmas from a friend. He knew that I'd been enjoyed both Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and 2, so he thought this might be a fun legacy game to add to that mix.

I know from reviews I've seen here that SeaFall is, unlike Pandemic, full of mixed opinions. A lot seem to not enjoy it, but a few seemingly do.

So, those of you who've played, without spoiling anything (at least nothing major), what are some suggestions to make sure we have a good time? Is there a player count that stands out as being best (or worst)? Is there a tactic that, while perhaps valid, leads to a less enjoyable overall experience? Etc., etc.

Thanks!

Some gamers are really attached to playing games according to Official Rules, and really hate it when decisions have to be made by players when the rules are ambiguous. That attitude is a real problem with SeaFall, because as you unlock more rules, you'll find that their interactions, and even some of the rules individually, are ambiguous or, worse, both clear and wrong.

I'm playing it with two, and we're enjoying exploring the game, but we're also playing quite loose with the rules, putting in house rules whenever the official rules don't make sense, etc. The problem is, that since parts of the game unlock as you play, you can't get variant suggestions without also getting spoilers, which puts a lot more pressure to try to play with rules-as-written. Good luck!
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Scott Heenan
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I've been told the FAQ thread here on BGG is quite helpful for rule issues. We'll have it ready to go when we play.
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Sam R
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I’m in the same exact boat as you. Got the game as a gift for Christmas. I even made a thread asking about the best way to learn the game and got a ton of really good replies, so you can look for that and check it out.

The seafall community here is awesome. I have posted multiple times asking things as I’ve read the rulebook and within the hour I’ve gotten answers to all my questions.

One thing is for sure, this game is supposed to be savored. Even Rob Daviau states in an interview I found on YouTube that seafall is not a binge game. He doesn’t want people to play multiple sessions all at once even he said it won’t hold up. It’s a 2-3 hours game (sometimes longer if you have an AP player apparently) because you’re supposed to savor those hours playing then put the game away and come back to play in a couple of days. It’s why the game progresses at a slow pace, which many of the reviews complain about.
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George
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I found these player aids super helpful on my first plays... so much so that I ended up making my own player aids with even more info. There are several other good player aids so find one that fits your style. I find it especially helpful to have a reference when creating the dice pool for endeavors.

The previously mentioned Captain's Log is crucial. However, there are few things we've found after box 5 that were still a little fuzzy, with no official answers (or conflicting official answers). This is no fault of Becq who has done an amazing service with the Captain's log. So be prepared to make some group rulings and move on.

We have played with 5 not especially quick players and some of the games have been quite long, 4-5 hours. It's been a lot of fun though.
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T L
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I’m half way through with a group of 5. Lack of focus by some in our group has been frustrating at times. Encourage your group to stay in the game, to plan ahead and turns quickly. It gets tough to stay with a strategy when there are 15-20 minutes between turns and lots of side conversations.

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Colin Marsh
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we played with 5 and we really had a great time. i can think of a few suggestions and in particular agree with the points Darren made early in the thread:

1. the prologue game is to learn the game but it's best if everyone reads the initial rules before playing the prologue - ask your game group to do this. additionally note that the story book (forgetting the actual name) has some instructions on the first page (inside cover maybe) - it's easy to overlook this but make sure you read them.

2. expect the prologue game (particularly with 5) to take a fair amount of time. downtime will be inevitable as you all learn the game. don't try and play the prologue plus game one in one game session. just play the prologue follow the end of prologue instructions and start fresh for game 1 of the campaign.

3. once you are past the prologue make an agreement among your group that everyone will plan their turn ahead and be ready to go when it's their turn. with 5 players i think this is essential to everyone having a good time. while the game state can change player to player if each player is assessing and changing after each turn this will speed things up considerably. if players don't do this downtime can make this game very unfun - particularly with 5.

4. the advisor forum refills after advisors are taken by players on every turn - not just at the end of the round (frequently done wrong the first game). this is another example of where players should plan ahead. all players should have a good idea of what advisor they want when it's their turn as typically only one new advisor is revealed right before they go.

5. don't get stubborn with a strategy. if it seems like a strat you picked is bad, don't double down. this is how people get frustrated and say things like - the leader get way far ahead. you can pivot 180 degrees game to game - do it if you need to.

6. the catch up mechanic helps every player not in the lead. i'll say no more to avoid spoilers but if you aren't in first place you'll have an advantage in the start of the next game. make sure you consult the captains log to understand how it works.

7. part of the balance in this game is players agreeing to collectively stop a run away leader if you have one. i think run aways are quite avoidable if you remember point 5 but if it happens, react - don't just mope.

8. expect that legacy reveals will require reading the captain's log for clarification. this is another reason to play turns fast so you can TAKE YOUR TIME when legacy rules come out.

9. don't read the comments in the captain's log. while the log itself has been careful about spoilers, the commenters have frequently not been.

10. don't play multiple games in one night. think about your strat session to session. it's quite possible to have a multi-turn plan before you start your next game - i quite enjoyed this. it's easy to get burnt out if you try to rush 2 games together.

11. if you have a rules lawyer in your group or a lot of them - this may not be the game for you. consider if you really want to try it. keep in mind if someone wants to bow out mid-game, it really upsets the general campaign so you should really be in for the long-haul or not.

good luck!!
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Several people have (wisely) advised spreading the experience out and not playing it all at once. I'd just add that if you have time for it, playing two games the same night isn't bad at all, especially with the prologue. Games do typically run long (we played with four, and averaged about 2 1/2 hours), but depending on how things fall out, especially with some of the games where key legacy events occur, you might finish one up in 30 min from time to time. I think that happened to us twice, and we jumped right back into it and had a fun time. If you can do this with the Prologue, I especially recommend it.

I also recommend a few community houserules that you can find in my review, if you're into that kind of thing
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Bill Collins
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First, there’s a lot of great thought and truth here. I agree with all the major points. Seafall is an experience.

Second, on sessions, I’m playing in a four player game and we are truly enjoying it. We’ve played three games in one day and two in another (for 5 out of 13 total sessions). The day we played three in a row we agreed that two in a row was better so I don’t think we’ll ever do three again.

Third, find a source for extra, blank stickers. At least one of you will run out once you get to using enmity a lot.

Four, after you get a couple sessions in, I recommend coming back here to ask questions, post about results, etc. As the game advances and more unlocks happen, you’ll enjoy the reveals, however there will also be more points where, as already noted, there are some ambiguities.

Fifth and last, after playing now in 13 sessions, I’ve become a fan of writing down key information that I need or think I’ll need. I have started keeping a small sheet of paper in my treasure chest with my pieces keeping notes on discovery. This will make a great deal of sense after you’ve played through several sessions.

Welcome to the world of Seafall. I’ve bought two extra copies to hopefully play it again once my group are all on an equal footing and we can play again with the benefit of really knowing the rules. Hopefully your experience is equally good.
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