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Subject: Go away and don't come back! rss

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Daniel Munson
United States
Rushford
Minnesota
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My family and I decided that Saturday was going to be game day as we had a few new games that hadn't been played yet. First up was Redshirts. My son and I picked it up at a local comics and game store and thought it looked fun. I also happened to have just started reading John Scalzi's book of the same title. I told my boys to get their Star Trek shirts on, and they did so, each intentionally NOT choosing their red shirts.


We unwrapped the plastic and began to read the rules.
Right away I knew we were going to be in trouble. Everyone's attention wandered and more than once someone said, "What? What's that mean?" After reading the rules aloud, my wife commented, "Well, those rules get a '1' -- and that's out of 100." So maybe that a little harsh, but it's definitely how we felt.

My wife started the play by placing a mission on me and we spent the next fifteen minutes trying to figure out exactly what that meant, whether I went on the away mission right away, or waited for my turn. I think the answer was in the rules, but none of us were completely sure.

We decided to wait until my turn to actually attempt the mission (which we believe is correct). When it came time for me to go away, it turned out that I couldn't help but be successful in my mission (in this game, you want to be unsuccessful and have the red-shirt members perish on their missions) and by being successful, I had to draw and have three more away team members join my crew. Yikes!

We slowly got the hang of the game but realized, just as others have noted on BGG, that this could be a very long game as each players was generally abled enough to complete their away mission. However, for most of them, it simply meant that they had to draw extra cards. Only one other time was another mission card played that required the player to draw an extra red shirt. Want to guess who got that one? Yeah, it was me.

We decided that there really was no end in sight and so put a time limit on the game. Once that time limit was reached we completed one last round. I was able to fail in a mission, thus killing off a redshirt, but I was still loaded with an away team of six, whereas the rest of the players at the table only had three.

My youngest son, wearing 'sciences blue' had the last turn and, after a well played hand that fought off each bit of help that the rest of us played and he was not only able to kill off a redshirt, he was able to take another players' redshirt with him. As I had the most redshirts in play, he chose me.

But then the last card was played by my daughter. The card she played stated that all redshirts who died in the last round were brought back to life, and thus both my son and I retained our redshirts. Arrrrgh!

Both my boys (13 and 15) decided that they rather liked the game, once they figured out the rules. They likened it to Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot, one of their other favorites. I think my daughter, my wife, and I found it to be a bit monotonous with no real chance of winning (or losing)

We'll see how the next time goes.
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Jonathan Schwarz
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There is a new rule set tied to the release of the Deluxe edition that addresses all of these concerns. As soon as the final draft is approved, it will be posted up on BGG for all to see. If anyone would like a chance to see the current draft ahead of time, feel free to send an email to sales@weaselpants.com don't worry, we won't add you to any lists or use your email, we'll just send you the rules and wait for your feedback.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
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The Herbie Nichols Project - Dr. Cyclops' Dream
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I've tipped you in part because I enjoyed your account, and in part because you displayed good taste by posting it as a session report rather than a review. (I've just read three posts in the reviews folder whose authors should have done the same.)
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Josh Hatton
Australia
Tamworth
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I agree with so much of this report.

There are so many ambiguities in both the original and V1.5 rules. They are both poorly written in the rulebook and the instruction on the cards are poor and sometimes incomplete. So you do the boardgames thing and check the FAQ only to be confronted with pithy and useless jokes.

Then the actual run of play using the non-social rules means if you have one redshirt it is impossible for you to do anything about it.

I've never had so much trouble getting a game to work and it has so much potential.
 
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George Hannah
Canada
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I think you missed a couple of rules. When you draw, it's captain's log cards, not redshirts. I can see why the game would last a long time when you pick up new redshirts for a failed mission.

We played two games tonight with 4 players. The first game took an hour while we re-read the rules a couple of times, but the second game took just over half an hour.

Initially, trying to get the rules we were all ready to give up. But we played the first game and pretty much got the hang of it. Maybe it was a bit easier because we just bought the game, so we're using the 2013 rules. Not sure if these are v1, v1.5, or v2. There were a couple of things that we found confusing that I've cleared up on BGG, like there were cards with "play during a mission", "do not play during a mission", and blank. We were unsure what to do with the blank cards, but apparently they can be played anytime.

While I'm not completely happy with this game, mostly due to the overly complex manual, the game is not an entire bust. You can play through the game in 30-45 minutes, and it's pretty fun. Having said that, there are some other games that we haven't played enough, and we'll probably revert back to them before we get to play more games of redshirts.
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