It’s been a while since I’ve written about Seafall, and that’s largely to do with the fact that we just haven’t played it ages.
Part of that is because of the holidays at the end of last month and trying to schedule time with people on vacation proved difficult–but it also has to do with the notion that the game had fallen out of favor.
In truth, I’ve also omitted a complete playing session from the write-ups (so I’ll cram that into this post now).
The last time we played (sometime in the middle of December), we had come to grips with the thought that the campaign was rapidly coming to a close. We had just barely discovered the final “wave” map, and had unlocked a variety of other options that would give us a chance at finding the end of the world, but even then, 30 successes seemed ridiculous. If we loaded all of the upgrades onto a single player and let them try, we figured we could count on maybe 17 guaranteed successes. That still meant you’d have enough dice (and successes) to muster 13 more. Possible, sure, but not great odds.
Yeah, I know that you could potentially use multiple “wave” charts, but how realistic is it to achieve many of those during the course of a game?
So, I brought up the conversation that, given what we knew about the game, we would probably need to come up with a point in time to just end things. After all, if one person had all of the ideal upgrades and then only had a chance to win the game, what would happen if we were all squabbling over the upgrades? Surely, nobody would win. I was fine with playing a few more games if they wanted, but I didn’t care to drag it on forever. Let’s pick a goal, complete that, and then end the campaign.
Clearly, fatigue had set in with me.
I wasn’t the only one. I was growing weary of having multiple people single me out as the threat and then assaulting me the entire game. My thought was that it wasn’t fun for me to host the game, feed my friends, have them come over and just punch me in the face for the afternoon. I just didn’t enjoy it enough. I went along with it for a few weeks, and even suggested an alternative that I thought would be amicably accepted in the form of a penalty against me (hint: it wasn’t well received).
But others too were ready to end the campaign. Sam was frustrated with the various rules we’d gotten wrong over the game, and figured that our misplays wound up giving an unfair advantage to some players. He’s not wrong, for sure, but playing with different rules to me (as long as they were consistent) made for a fair game–if a different game than the designer intended.
So, we met again in January to wrap things up. During our last December game, Sean managed to steal some charts from other players, which set him up to be the one to win the final game. So, when we met at the table in January, I was in position to aid him in doing so. He went first and bought all of the best upgrades, and I, over the course of the next few turns, managed to stack the adviser deck in his favor so he could get all of the ones he wanted.
Between those things, he managed to get to the point where he needed to only roll four successes on eight dice. I don’t know how to easily calculate that, but my guess is that’s still about an 11% chance (as there’s about 11% chance of rolling zero successes on two dice). I’m guessing that’s not remotely accurate, but I’m just underscoring there is a possibility. It’s not a red endeavor though, and he had enough fortune tokens, so it’s really a moot point.
And that wound up ending the campaign. Sorry for the anti-climactic ending, but there are too many spoilers to say much more than that.
Keep reading if you’re OK with spoilers.