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Subject: Seafaring, is this the absolute worst ability? rss

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Jamie
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I don't see the advantage of having seafaring as an ability. At the most you can realistically acquire two territories to your benefit on a four player board (after the middle lake and the upper left sea, it requires you to go across three extra territories to get the last sea territory, which would prove difficult). I can realize that with the Triton seafaring can be useful, but without that pairing I see little advantage. Has anyone found seafaring useful? Is there something that I am missing here? Maybe they have an advantage on the smaller board? I have only played with four players.
 
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Dave G
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jme198 wrote:
I don't see the advantage of having seafaring as an ability. At the most you can realistically acquire two territories to your benefit on a four player board (after the middle lake and the upper left sea, it requires you to go across three extra territories to get the last sea territory, which would prove difficult). I can realize that with the Triton seafaring can be useful, but without that pairing I see little advantage. Has anyone found seafaring useful? Is there something that I am missing here? Maybe they have an advantage on the smaller board? I have only played with four players.


Your last turn before decline, you pick up all the tokens you need to get all the way to the last sea if possible, and then you have three points in perpetuity until you decline your next race. If it's mid to late in the game and you're only planning on one more race anyway, that's potentially very valuable.
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Adam Smiles
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It's not an amazing ability, but it is far form the worst. It is a pretty solid power. The advantages are that the seas and lakes that you claim can not be taken away from you by any player, so you only ever need a single token to hold them. The second advantage is that you retain that power even in decline, so you can be sure of 2 unchallenged VPs for something like 4 or 5 turns. Obviously the later in the game, the less useful the power becomes.
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Jan B.
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When I played with Seafaring I usually only got to conquer two water regions. I think it's a pretty bad Special Power compared to others as you'll never get a "killer combo". Please note that the Tritons do NOT get an attack bonus for lakes and sea territories, only to regions that are adjacent to water ;) Does it make sense? Thematically not, but rules are rules.

So we agree that it's only useful early game and that it doesn't combine well with Races for a killer combo, which makes it quite unappealing. But there are certain situations when it makes sense to go for Seafaring. Make sure to decline with a lot of tokens and make sure to get a lasting/point scoring second race.
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Dan Schaeffer
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It's definitely a better ability in the early and mid-game, but there are plenty of circumstances where it can be very cool. Seafaring Ghouls, for instance, would be pretty good. Seafaring anything where your next race has Spirit = also good, as your sea/lake spots will stay on the board for the rest of the game. As with anything, it's situational.
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Tony Chen
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It can be an awesome power if you open the game with it.

First conquest, 2-3-3-2 from top left sea to the central lake. Redeploy 1-4-4-1, and you are already making use of it by being able to protect your only 2 land regions with stacks of 4. It's as good as 2 Heroic tokens.

On the second and third turn, you should be able to reach the bottom right sea. Abandon the 2 land regions you hold at the start of your second turn. It's worth it. Decline on the fourth turn.

That's 3 sea regions, for 6 more turns, or 18 points right there.

Of course, if you do this, you are kind of committed to a 2-race strategy. You will need your second race to be a very enduring one, such as the Skeletons, Elves, or Sorcerers.

Seafaring is like 3 Heroic tokens, that works even in decline.

Read my review on the merits of defensive play and abandoning regions.
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Dave G
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kent_bro wrote:
When I played with Seafaring I usually only got to conquer two water regions. I think it's a pretty bad Special Power compared to others as you'll never get a "killer combo". Please note that the Tritons do NOT get an attack bonus for lakes and sea territories, only to regions that are adjacent to water Does it make sense? Thematically not, but rules are rules.

So we agree that it's only useful early game and that it doesn't combine well with Races for a killer combo, which makes it quite unappealing. But there are certain situations when it makes sense to go for Seafaring. Make sure to decline with a lot of tokens and make sure to get a lasting/point scoring second race.


100% disagree here....the Triton/Seafaring combo can be a monster--once you hold the middle lake, all the surrounding regions are adjacent to you, and you get a bonus to conquer any of them rather than having to work your way around the ring.
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Jan B.
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Ok, that's obviously true. I like this thread as there are some good advices already how to benefit from the Seafaring ability.
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Nolan Lichti
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Let's not forget the obvious, they can be a huge shortcut that will never be occupied by anyone else.

All but the two-player board have 2 magic regions boarding the lake. Seafaring Wizards would love this.

The 4- and 5-player boards give this same advantage to the lowly Dwarves with 3 and 2 mining regions (respectfully) bordering the lake.

Everyone else's borders expand with respect to you.

It's not spectacular, but it certainly isn't worthless. You might still think it's the worst ability, but I would argue that it's not far-and-beyond worse than anything else.

 
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Jamie
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asmiles wrote:
It's not an amazing ability, but it is far form the worst. It is a pretty solid power. The advantages are that the seas and lakes that you claim can not be taken away from you by any player, so you only ever need a single token to hold them. The second advantage is that you retain that power even in decline, so you can be sure of 2 unchallenged VPs for something like 4 or 5 turns. Obviously the later in the game, the less useful the power becomes.


What would you suggest is the worst ability?
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Andrew Wood
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I just lost a 5 - player game due to a Seafaring Ghoul/Swamp Halfing combo. The ghouls basically cleared a path with good sized stacks of Ghouls with the Halflings following. At one point he had 5 swamp regions. And I remember in one turn he managed to grab 21 points in a single round. I have only played 3 games but that is the highest single round score I have seen so far (final score 115 which also happens to be the higest final score I personally have seen).
 
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mojo shivers
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I came one point of winning a 4-player game with Seafaring Amazons. I basically spread enough to conquer both seas and the lake and then just held court with my other Amazons to maintain control over four more areas, including one mountain, to net 6-7 points with Amazons alone.

The way I look at it is that any token in a sea or lake is just as good as having a hero or burrow token on it. The difference is there's a potential to have 3 of these spots and you retain these spots even after decline. In my opinion, that puts it on par, if not more than, with Heroic, which is one of the above-average powers in the game.
 
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Chris Ingersoll
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drunkenKOALA wrote:
Of course, if you do this, you are kind of committed to a 2-race strategy. You will need your second race to be a very enduring one, such as the Skeletons, Elves, or Sorcerers.


On the subject of the enchanters, I have seen Seafaring Sorcerers in action. It's frightening. You'd be surprised how many regions are adjacent to those seas and lake...
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Mike T
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For me, it's probably merchant, but not because it's a useless ability ... Rather, it is a drag on armies.

Early on, not bad, most races will get 7 or 8 armies, good for 4 cleared territories. Later in the games, you are lucky to get 3 as you have to roll for the last armies.

I especially hate it for the dwarves. They should have gotten Underworld or Trader or something instead of the mining IMO.
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Jamie
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I want to thank everyone for their advice about this topic. A few nights ago I was in a four player game and I used the opportunity to use Seafaring Sorcerers. I started the game with them and was able to stretch across the board and possess all the water territories in about 5 turns and of course causing damage along the way. After that I picked up swamp Ferries, or Elfs, and finished the game out with only the two races. The Sorcerers were netting 9 gold when they first went into decline so I think I did very well with them. I never netted less than 5 gold for them. I also think I benefited from my opponents concentrating on one another and I got through the game somewhat unscathed. I ended up winning with 105 gold and the next opponent had around 91, I think. So it was a successful game and I have a new respect for seafaring.
 
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Chris Ranger
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Just got this game and it looks great. We started a game but did not get very far, plan to continue it next chance we get. I picked up Underground Ghouls which I think will work pretty good, but I over looked the free (first position) race being Seafaring Halflings which I made the error of assuming wasn't all that great an ability. Wow was I wrong, what a nice combo 5 untouchable locations right off the start since the halfling can start in two different regions allowing them to get close to if not next to all of the lakes. This also left all of the reinforcements protecting the only territory that was not untouchable. Just thought I'd bring this up as food for thought.
 
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Dave G
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Darkspell wrote:
Just got this game and it looks great. We started a game but did not get very far, plan to continue it next chance we get. I picked up Underground Ghouls which I think will work pretty good, but I over looked the free (first position) race being Seafaring Halflings which I made the error of assuming wasn't all that great an ability. Wow was I wrong, what a nice combo 5 untouchable locations right off the start since the halfling can start in two different regions allowing them to get close to if not next to all of the lakes. This also left all of the reinforcements protecting the only territory that was not untouchable. Just thought I'd bring this up as food for thought.


Either I've been playing this wrong, or you are...the Halflings can start on the board anywhere, but their second territory must be adjacent to the first following all the normal rules. (Unless they're Flying, obviously.)
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Trey Chambers
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I won my first game ever of Small World vs. veteran opponents by abusing Seafaring Amazons and then declining them. I scored 15+ points every round except the first 2.

Far from the worst.
 
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Patrick Wiles
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Seafaring Priestesses, yep, the untouchable Ivory Tower.
 
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Jfkoski
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Seafaring:
1) It gives you two (maybe 3) untouchable areas. If you go in decline you still have them, unlike halfling holes.
2) From a sea or a lake you are now adjacent to all its coastal and lake- front areas.

PS: the worst is Cursed, from the expansion. From the main, its situational, game by game and board to board.

PSS: just played with Seafaring Priestesses from turn 1. They built their tower in the sea on turn 2, so got 8pts/turn for the rest of the game!
 
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Christopher Cobb
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Sandal_Thong wrote:


PSS: just played with Seafaring Priestesses from turn 1. They built their tower in the sea on turn 2, so got 8pts/turn for the rest of the game!



This exact situation just happened in our game on Saturday. I was thinking there had to be something to keep this from happening, but could find nothing. Is this really legit? If you start the game this way you are nearly unstoppable.
 
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Dan Schaeffer
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Fodder76 wrote:
Sandal_Thong wrote:


PSS: just played with Seafaring Priestesses from turn 1. They built their tower in the sea on turn 2, so got 8pts/turn for the rest of the game!



This exact situation just happened in our game on Saturday. I was thinking there had to be something to keep this from happening, but could find nothing. Is this really legit? If you start the game this way you are nearly unstoppable.


The only way to stop this from happening is to read the rules.

The Priestesses' Ivory Tower in decline consists of one token for each Region they occupy when they go into decline. So unless the Priestesses in your game got into 8 regions by Turn 2 -- impossible, as Seafaring Priestesses have only 9 units -- then you played it wrong.

The best case for the Seafaring Priestesses is, I believe, 4 Regions on Turn 1, including a Sea. If nobody takes away any of those Regions, then the Priestesses can decline on Turn 2 and have a 4-point tower ni the Sea. That's not bad, and can be really good if the player then gets a Spirit race; otherwise as soon as his next race declines, the declined Priestesses' tower goes away.
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Jim bo
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Golux13 wrote:
The best case for the Seafaring Priestesses is, I believe, 4 Regions on Turn 1, including a Sea.

5 if you include the leaders expansion.
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Steve Ripberger
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-People have a tendency to use the lake as a buffer. Unlike the edge of the board you can't have people bring in a new race or do crazy abandonment plays from the lake. Thus, it's usually safe to leave single tokens adjacent to it as long as they're surrounded by stronger stuff. Seafaring can exploit this. For example, say two of the other players have tried this buffer. Seafaring Sorcerers gives you two free territories and extra tokens if you can make it to the lake.

-The large sea is adjacent to a lot of territories, especially in a 5 player game. As Sandal_Thong pointed out, taking it gives you access to all of them at once when they otherwise wouldn't be connected at all. In this way its kind of a poor-man's Flying.

I mean, sure... Flying is objectively better at both of these things, but sometimes Seafaring Sorcerers pop up instead of Flying Sorcerers. Considering both makes it twice as likely you'll get something like this at the right time.

In that way I think it's fine if some powers are objectively better than others-- that, and the skipping tax. The longer nobody wants something, you know.
 
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