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Subject: Red November, too easy? rss

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John Smith
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I've done a lot of searching and reading threads about Red November. But I have a question.

I just played through a game of Red November (revised edition)with my kid and we got through it pretty easily. We played two gnomes each. I'm sure I didn't miss anything in regards to the rules (though the rule book is a little scattered-brained).

The events that happened seemed to be mostly blocked hatches. We ignored most of those, and concentrated on stopping the Disaster Tracks and Timed Destruction Events. We also stopped the floods and fires, for the most part. And we avoided getting drinking the grog.

Near the end of the game, the sub was half on fire, flooded, and had blocked hatches, but we still won.

The game was fun, and the kid was engaged, but I'm thinking maybe the game should be harder to win? Perhaps it's just the luck of the cards?
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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It is a very random game, so it may have just been the luck of the cards (and dice, if you were spending less than the maximum time on your tasks, and succeeding). I haven't played with 4 gnomes, so I don't know exactly how easy/hard it should be at that level.

You did remember to add to the oxygen track with each new fire, right?

Were all your blocked hatches all off to the side so you still had access to all the important areas?
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John Smith
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You did remember to add to the oxygen track with each new fire, right?

whoops.

I like the game, but I've never read such a scatterbrained rule book! But I have only myself to blame.

Thanks for pointing that out.
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Alvin C
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peakhope wrote:
You did remember to add to the oxygen track with each new fire, right?

In fact, you add to the oxygen track even if you roll a location already on fire. The only exception is if the location is flooded (yay!)
 
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Mike Fox
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I have the first edition, and the rules for it are definitely too wordy and need to be more streamlined. In general, though, it's a difficult but fun game if you stick to the rules. It's difficult enough that it feels good to beat it IMHO, but not so difficult that it's an "epic win" or anything like that.
 
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Daniel Sundström
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I have played this game three times now in two sessions and I can really tell that this is a random game. The first two games I played was with two other people and we could not make it to the forty minute mark on the Time Track, meaning we died both times just barley twenty minutes in to the game. The last time I played, we were four gnomes and everything went very well for about half an hur in-game, but with 25 minutes left on the Time Track, three gnomes had been drinking grog, rushing in to a room on fire (the same room I might add), trying to put the fire out but not succedding, passing out and then burn to death. Two minutes later, the missiles went off and the fourth gnome perished.
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John Smith
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Thanks again to everyone for the clarifications.

We played another game last weekend and this time I got all the rules right (easy game, but the rulebook is a disorganized mess). And I did a slight homerules variation and put the kraken in the deck, but gave my son an aqualung so we could deal with the threat if it happened. "Here ya go, kid. You'll need this because the kraken could happen at any time". He was hooked.

Anyway, the sub blew up due to a timed destruction even on the missile room in the first few minutes of the game. I made a gamble and blew us up.

We decided to keep playing past that event and see how the rest of the game turned out.

We had fires break out in the equipment room, and then it kept spreading to the rooms around the equipment room. No one had fire extinguishers or grog, and we couldn't get to the equipment room because of the fires! And then floods broke out in the other rooms. So we wound up waiting until the timer hit a draw item card and eventually one of us got an extinguisher... only to fail in our attempt to put out the fire!

And then the kraken was unleashed! The boy had fun with that one as he swam outside the sub and dealt that.

We made it through the game and NEVER manged to get those equipment room fires put out.We had to limp along on the stuff we had.

Conclusion: a very fun game and my 11 year-old was ENGAGED throughout the game. I'll take that as a win because over at his mom's house he's addicted to video games and other mindlessness. Over at my house, it's board games only, and books. So when my son is here, we concentrate on things that engage his mind.

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Aaron Bohm
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Yes, as a general rule all gnomes aboard this sub die very violently every game.

Another typical rule skipped is to make sure you are adding time when you take time to do a task/adding to the roll and that you make sure to draw disaster cards for each event.

As far as fire, remember that the captain's cabin always has grog. You can also put out fires through clever use of doors and water.
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John Smith
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When a new fire breaks out, you increase the oxygen track by one.
So when you put out a fire, do you reduce the oxygen track by one?
 
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Steve Duff
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JohnSmithX wrote:
When a new fire breaks out, you increase the oxygen track by one.
So when you put out a fire, do you reduce the oxygen track by one?


Nope. That oxygen is gone, it doesn't magically come back just because the fire is now out.
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John Smith
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
JohnSmithX wrote:
When a new fire breaks out, you increase the oxygen track by one.
So when you put out a fire, do you reduce the oxygen track by one?


Nope. That oxygen is gone, it doesn't magically come back just because the fire is now out.


Ah, so the ONLY time you can successfully reset the oxygen track is when you successfully fix the oxygen pumps during a timed event. Makes sense.

thanks again, everyone.
 
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Martin Lange
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I think you can also fix the oxygen pumps without having an active timed event.
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Martin Lange
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Until now, I personally have made the experience that the game is quite easy, at least with the original rules, and until now I have not read of anything in discussions leading me to the assumption I would have missed anything. I also play it that a door between high and low water cannot be opened (somewhat unclear in the rules).

I'm a bit surprised that many people think the game's so hard. Of course, on some occasions I certainly have been a bit lucky with the cards, but not extremly lucky. Basically my strategy always has been to only take a chance if really needed, and spend as many minutes as needed for a task to ensure it succeeds 100%, if possible. Then, ignore most blocked hatches, except the ones which are really needed to be open. Also, do not pump down water if not really needed, because of what was written earlier with the fire having no effect in these rooms. There is a risk of course with all these places getting high water then, but there are some rooms which you can afford to ignore almost completely. And finally, only drink grog if really needed.
This way, many events have no or only a mild effect one me.

I also think that the kraken should have a better chance to get into the game, I only saw it once in 5 games or so I think.

Altogether, I think I need to add some house rules to make it more interesting. Or find out I indeed am missing something :).
 
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Martin Lange
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I should add that I have played everything from 3 to 6 gnomes.
 
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Martin Lange
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I have downloaded the Java version of the game created by someone, because people said that this is a good way to see whether you have correct understanding of the rules. Turns out my opinions match with everything the program does. I did 2 games. The first one I actually lost, so at last :) (quite early though, this time very unlucky with the cards, early timed event and no fire extinguishers), but the second one went exactly the way I have already become used to it: The strategy of keeping many rooms under water pays out in terms of a lot of fire cards having no effect, easy win in the end. There is one risk though: If you get the underwater card when already having many rooms with low water, you are really in trouble. In that second game, this card came as the very last one. So have I been lucky again?

I see how you can lose this game, but with my strategy I guess I will win with a high percentage. Anyhow, there have been other people in this forum stating the game is too easy and proposed various rules to make it harder. I guess I have to try them, the Java version also has an option for "greater challenge".
 
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Martin Lange
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Actually I realized that "greater challenge" is an official option of the game itself. I still won the game with it, although this time I took some more risks. For the boardgame, I think the idea of drawing an initial number of cards is a good one to make it more difficult, this is not included in the "greater challenge" option of the Java version (only "remove the respite cards for the second deck run" I think).
 
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Chris Funk
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JohnSmithX wrote:
Thanks again to everyone for the clarifications.

We played another game last weekend and this time I got all the rules right (easy game, but the rulebook is a disorganized mess). And I did a slight homerules variation and put the kraken in the deck, but gave my son an aqualung so we could deal with the threat if it happened. "Here ya go, kid. You'll need this because the kraken could happen at any time". He was hooked.

Anyway, the sub blew up due to a timed destruction even on the missile room in the first few minutes of the game. I made a gamble and blew us up.

We decided to keep playing past that event and see how the rest of the game turned out.

We had fires break out in the equipment room, and then it kept spreading to the rooms around the equipment room. No one had fire extinguishers or grog, and we couldn't get to the equipment room because of the fires! And then floods broke out in the other rooms. So we wound up waiting until the timer hit a draw item card and eventually one of us got an extinguisher... only to fail in our attempt to put out the fire!

And then the kraken was unleashed! The boy had fun with that one as he swam outside the sub and dealt that.

We made it through the game and NEVER manged to get those equipment room fires put out.We had to limp along on the stuff we had.

Conclusion: a very fun game and my 11 year-old was ENGAGED throughout the game. I'll take that as a win because over at his mom's house he's addicted to video games and other mindlessness. Over at my house, it's board games only, and books. So when my son is here, we concentrate on things that engage his mind.



I'm a huge proponent of boardgaming and it's benefits on child development.

My son is hooked on Ninjago, Green Lantern, and Tron. So we try and take breaks and play a game that he can try and play, being only 4. Obstgarten is the current fave he can play with no help but he's getting better. Come 4 more years from now, you can bet yer butt it'll be family game night and the electronics get shut off.
 
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