Seafall Campaign: Games 12-15

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.

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Seafall Campaign: Game 11

Before we played game 11, we went back and discussed enmity distribution that happened in game 11 and lead me to believe I was relatively safe from my adversaries.

Oh man, how do I describe this game without spoilers? Since we opened up two chests in the previous game, there was naturally a big difference in how things happened to play out. With new unlocks around the board, particularly the one from the Octopus chest, strategies of players all changed a bit. As a result, I was able to settle back into my old strategy as nobody was deliberately trying to stop me.

My strategy was to play the roll of the explorer, and it was going reasonably well. I was able to pick up an upgrade that helped out, and also used the Navigator, who proved to be quite helpful in exploring. Sadly, through no fault of my own, one of my ships sank due to an event card. Even in hindsight, I don’t believe there was anything I could’ve done to prevent that. The harder part is that my other ship also wound up sinking. That one, however, could’ve been prevented. I played a calculated risk and it really didn’t pay off for me.

Sam turned out to have a good game though and took the win. His last turn, he might have been able to perform a major milestone unlock, but we were really pressed for time, so instead he attacked me for a few final extra points.

And though that’s fairly vague, I think that’s about all I can say without spoiling things.

Trust me, there’s going to be far more in the spoilers below…

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Seafall Campaign: Game 10

I’m a little late to the game on this post, as we’ve actually had two sessions of Seafall since my last blog post. In the first, I was awakened to a couple of surprises. The first was, as we had learned from our previous game, that not all of the contents we had been keeping obfuscated were intended to be treated that way. I can’t talk about it too much for fear of spoilers, but suffice it to say that Sean had discovered that things were supposed to be in the open, and I had been sandbagging. That lead to Sam playing the role of spoiler and attacking me to gain that particular item.

That wasn’t a surprise though. Back games 5 & 6, Sam painted a target on my back and it was evident that he was going to start attacking me.  The thing is, he hit a lull for games 7-9, before coming back with a vengeance. Realistically, the game’s enmity mechanic really limits the amount of attacking that one player can do throughout the course of a game though.

What I didn’t expect though was that he conspired with Sean to both plot against me. Sean isn’t the force for attacking that Sam is (though I suppose with the proper advisors and upgrades, he could be). Instead, he waged financial war against me–buying the various upgrades that he figured I wanted (ie. the ones I had been purchasing in previous games).

Their strategy worked to some degree. By the fifth turn, I was in the back of the pack as far as points go. The thing is, when playing in first place, you can’t depend upon the same strategy game after game. I’ve learned to be flexible, so when they had taken my preferred buildings, I opted to go another route: exploring.

That left me to a relatively slow start, but things picked up quickly. By the second winter, I had jumped up to the rest of the pack, and after that, I had taken the lead. In fact, I was within range to win the game completely by the first turn after winter, but Sam was going after me and was in a position that he could assault my port if things went awry. Rather than pushing it, I played it safe and had to wait two more turns for him to get out of position. Unfortunately, that meant that Derek had a chance to catch up.

Actually, he didn’t do much catching up in those two turns. I fiddled around, getting myself lined up, and Derek inched closer. When Sam moved away from my port, I snatched the points to win–but didn’t see Derek having an absolutely astounding turn. He wound up discovering an island, earning a milestone, and buying a large treasure with money he had earned earlier in the day. That scored him a whopping 14 points and pushed him over the top. Heck, he had to roll over on the point track to actually accrue all of those in a single game.

After that, Sean and Sam both went and they each looked for ways to attack me and take me down in points (they weren’t concerned about how to score points themselves, but rather how to make me lose by more). Both were out of position though, so there wasn’t anything they could do.

We only played one game that day because of a Star Wars tournament that some guys had to go to so we wrapped things up quickly. There was a fairly large factor we overlooked at this point though. More on that in the spoiler section below.

STOP HERE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ SPOILERS:

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Seafall Campaign: Games 8 & 9

This week in Seafall I decided to strategize.

It’s not like I go into the game with zero strategy. I’ve been in the lead since the first game, so there’s got to be a little more than dumb luck involved, right?

My strategy to this point is two fold:

  1. Go for anything that gives me an advantage in future games. Stickers are permanent upgrades on the board that will persist throughout the campaign. This means I should try to win each game (not a super secret strategy) and also that I should try to get whatever unlocks I can. Of course, there are some random explorations and such that give stickers as well, but you can’t count on those, so they just come up when they do.
    Although that does lend some credit to doing exploration more…I also went pretty heavy on… well, without spoilers, I can’t say. Let’s just say there’s a twist that comes out in the first couple of chests that allows you to basically have access to easy glory in future games. That’s not particularly the intent, but that’s the way I saw it, so I committed fairly heavily to those.
  2.  Adapt to the mission at hand. As the Prince, I’m forced to go last every game. That means I can’t count on the good advisors being available, or the right ship upgrades being there for me. As a result, I need to remain flexible. If I see an option left open, I go for it. I generally haven’t competed in areas for others. If a couple of people are exploring–I don’t fight them for it, and instead go a different route.

One thing I haven’t really done is pre-planning. I’ve had some vague insights as to what I was planning to do in future games based upon the resources I had and the twists that had been revealed–but I’ve never really put a lot of thought into how I’d play the first couple of turns–and that is probably a mistake.

I know that Sam basically won game five because he had planned out at least the first couple of turns (it really sounds like he had a pretty solid plan for the entire game)–and he took a commanding lead in that particular game. So maybe I need to focus a little more.

So that’s what I set out to doing.  Only, there are so many options and variations on what could happen, that I became overloaded.  I planned out a couple of strategies that involved either taxing or building on the first turn, but neither was optimal unless I could somehow start with additional cash.  I could do that by winning a game (and thereby upgrading a field) or finding a way to get access to a mine early in the game.  So that was my plan…

This is the part where the spoilers start.

Don’t continue reading unless you want to see spoilers…

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Seafall Campaign: Game 7

We postponed a week in the Seafall campaign due to a funeral, but we picked up where we left off this past weekend.

As always, I’m going to try to eliminate spoilers from this post (at least before the jump), so bear with me if things are a little vague.

In my last post, I had mentioned that we had discovered a new unlock. I won’t go into details about what it was, but I will say that my interacting with it, wound up with me earning 9 glory in a single turn. This was because I got 4 (effectively 5) for interacting with it because I passed the test, and then another 4 for completing one of the board state objectives. That made it difficult for others to keep up with me, and lead to me winning the game.

Sean pointed out that the games won to date are:

  1. Rob
  2. Sam
  3. Albert (surprise from behind)
  4. Rob
  5. Sam
  6. Albert (surprise from behind)
  7. Rob

So clearly, it’s Sam’s turn to win next week. Typically we’ve been trying to play two games per day, but we didn’t get in a second one because someone had to leave early. Them’s the breaks though, so that’s not a big deal.

Speaking of Sam, I mentioned last time that he attacked me in order to try to keep my in check. It didn’t have much success, but I figured that I was bound to face more of that this time, but it surprisingly never happened. I can’t say as to whether that was a fluke or not though. I guess we’ll find out next week?

I did find myself thinking, for the first time, this week about what it will be like to end the campaign. Don’t get me wrong: I’m definitely enjoying this, but I’m ok with it ending as well. That’s kind of an unusual stance for me, as I normally want to extend things out past when they’re fun. Something about this game is different though.

Well, to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s the game, or the fact that playing it so routinely has basically killed the friday night games. I’m sure that plays into it as well.

Ok, on to the spoiler stuff!

Stop here if you don’t want any spoilers.

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