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TOPIC: My group's Seafall campaign

My group's Seafall campaign 19 Nov 2016 02:27 #238818

Since at least one person is interested in the goings on in my group's Seafall campaign, I decided to split this from the review thread into its own proper thread.

I'll post overviews of each game, including spoilers (in spoiler tags), for people interested in the "surprises" and how the campaign plays out. Feel free to comment or ask questions.

Here’s general info about our specific game.
We have 5 players.
My group's naming schemes are fairly juvenile and often stupid, but we find it entertaining for the most part. My province is called Shittington, run by Hingle McCringleberry, owing the ships Neptune's Whore and The Hateful Murderer III. I think it will be fun to keep track of how many times I have had to rebuild each ship, the latter ship being the third iteration.

Another player has this for his leader:

He commands the ships The Intolerance and The Overzealous.

Sadly, I have not had the privilege of naming an island. So we have ended up with the following:

The Glory Hole
Whore Island
Cape Violation (named by Christian Eater)
Satan’s Anal Crevice
Rumpleforeskin (guy was on his way to getting drunk, which was a bad time. Not going to happen again)
And an atoll named Dahmer’s Delight (also Christian Eater. Notice a pattern?)

Naming the Advisors has been pretty fun. We go with the obvious on some, like naming The Savage “Randy,” or The Foreman “George.” Then we end up with others, such as this:



Here was my council of advisors in our most recent game (Will is one of the players):



Anyway, here are the overviews I posted in the other thread.

Prologue

The Prologue is basically just a shortened learning game. It is just to get you familiar with the basic mechanics. Nothing is permanent for this, except the changes made via explorations, which serves as kind of a base seed for the rest of the campaign.

It seemed pretty basic, but obviously it will get more complex over time. I actually enjoyed the exploration text where you get to make a decision from two choices and flip to a different entry to find out the result. It kind of reminded me of the encounters in Arkham Horror, of which I am a big fan. However the text for the milestones was just generic blah blah blah that didn't matter.

Game 1

This first game was basically the same as the Prologue, but longer and with actual milestones to try and go for. It was mostly just people going about their own business exploring and raiding the islands, with no interaction. Until the end when one player triggered the final round by getting the required number of VPs. As my last turn, I raided his homeland to try and steal the treasure he just bought worth two VPs (which he loses and I gain). I rolled exactly what I needed to steal it, putting me tied for first place with him. Then the next player raided me but didn't come close to stealing any of my stuff. Then, at the urging of the player I was tied with, the final player raided me as well but needed a perfect roll to steal the treasure for another big VP swing. He failed badly which sent his ship to rest at the bottom of my harbor. Because of certain priorities, I won the tie breaker and won the game.

It took us about 3.5 hours. I could see how some people would find it boring, but I thought it was fine. And opening the first chest at the conclusion of this game gave us a bunch of new rules, like looking for new islands and raiding other ships, which will open up the game considerably. I also didn't find the downtime to be an issue; turns go pretty quick. But I can see it possibly getting worse for some AP prone people when they have more options to agonize over.

Overall, I'm really looking forward to the next game.
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My group's Seafall campaign 19 Nov 2016 02:27 #238819

Game 2

This session felt lackluster to me. Not a lot happened after the first two turns. Now that we had the ability to raid opponents’ ships, it happened a lot. This came at the expense of exploring, which I feel is the heart of the game. At least at this point. Anyway, on the first turn, I left port and sailed my two ships in different directions. While there are many benefits from keeping your ships together, I decided to separate to try to expand my options. The player I raided the treasure from at the end of last game (Christian Eater) decided to take his revenge. He sailed out and raided one of my ships. He rolled well and sank it outright.

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

This gained me three enmity from him, which allows me to spend then to add more dice when attacking him. I considered retaliating, but decided to stay my hand, and ride out the game to the end, where they became permanent enmity on my province. This will remove that many dice (a permanent penalty) if he tries to attack my province in the future. Way more valuable in my opinion.

The next turn, another player sailed out into uncharted waters looking for a new island. He just barely succeeded in discovering one which gained him several VPs. This new island had a new exploration symbol on it that was twice as hard to explore as anything we’ve previously seen. I’m going to try to tool up my explore stat to try and get this, since I’m pretty sure it is tied to a milestone. Might take me a game or two, but I want it.

Christian Eater saw the bounty received from discovering an island so he sailed out to try to find one himself. The farther out you go, the harder they are to find. He failed spectacularly and his ship sank.

After this, it was just a lot of raiding other players’ ships and selling goods for gold. The boring part. I stayed out of it. I like the exploring aspect, so I concentrated on that. But since the only sites left to explore are the difficult ones, I didn’t make much headway, and therefore I fell behind in the VP race. My last turn of the game, I gave one last push to explore the last mystery site at The Glory Hole. I rolled really well and succeeded. I found a dock, the first in the game so far. Exciting (not really, but I was happy).

I ended up in last place, although I was only one point behind the next player, so not too bad. Once again we had a full reversal of place finishes. As the previous winner, I finished last, and the winner of this game finished in last place in the previous game. Hopefully it doesn’t become a pattern of this with the middle players always stuck in the middle.

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
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My group's Seafall campaign 19 Nov 2016 11:27 #238824

Do you have any guesses as to how differently two campaigns might play out?
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My group's Seafall campaign 19 Nov 2016 21:25 #238829

hotseatgames wrote:
Do you have any guesses as to how differently two campaigns might play out?

From the stuff I've seen so far, the big changes will all be the same, but the timing on when they happen can be different. Since the milestones are what drive the changes in the game, it all depends on when you fulfill them. But I suspect they probably get fulfilled around the same time for everyone, because they are worth a bunch of VPs, so several people will probably be going for them as soon as they can. Discovering new islands might vary a bit more, since they get harder to find the farther out you go. Also, when you discover a new island, you randomly choose one of several "layouts."

The first 4 islands are set at the beginning, but will what each island contains will vary from campaign to campaign, since you are basically choosing a random encounter of a certain type each time you successfully explore a site. The type of good (colored blocks) in each space will vary from one campaign to another. For example, two of our islands look like this:


(See all the permanent blue enmity? Christian Eater got a little rowdy at The Glory Hole, so now he's no longer welcome there.)

Anyone else's would look different.

tl;dr - The stuff that varies is superficial, and I suspect the big stuff will more or less happen at the same time for everyone, give or take a session.
Last Edit: 19 Nov 2016 21:26 by Disgustipater.
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My group's Seafall campaign 02 Mar 2017 23:14 #244762

Note: At this point, I’m going to assume that anyone still following this doesn’t mind spoilers, so I’m not going to bother hiding them. If I am wrong about this, let me know and I will fix it.

It turns out that getting 5 people together consistently is pretty difficult. Game 2 was in November. Game 3 was the beginning of February, and one player couldn’t make it. Luckily his brother filled in for him. And Game 4 was yesterday. Same player also couldn’t make it, so his brother filled in again. And then a different player cancelled at the last minute so we played without him. What a pain in the ass.
When I played Pandemic Legacy, it was with my wife and another couple, which was really easy to coordinate. As I lamented before, this is going to take forever.

Game 3

This game started out like the others, everyone just getting some basic goods and taxing for some money. Alex immediately bought a Hold upgrade to carry more goods. I sailed out to open waters to explore for a new island. I crushed that roll with the help of a trusty advisor that boosted my Explore ability. I named the new island “Trump Playa Island & Casino.”

Those undead pirates showed up again but Christian Eater fought them off. Then he went after me and raided my ship for the wood in my hold (that I stole from some natives).

James used several structures he built and a merchant advisor to sell some goods for a ton of gold to fulfill one of the Milestones (earn 30+ gold by selling goods).

The following round the event card that came out was a pirate attack. This card sucks. Pirates attack the player with the most gold at the end of the round. They roll 9 dice, and unless they get no successes (1/3rd chance on a D6), they steal all your gold. Then the card goes back into the event deck. It only gets torn up if they roll zero successes. It really fucks up your plans, especially if you are trying to get one of the current Milestones, which is to have 60+ gold. They stole all of Travis’ gold. Weak.

Alex, with his ship with the upgraded hold, snagged the last good he needed to build a colony on Whore Island. You need six goods to start a colony, and the base stats of the ships is only two goods per ship, so you need the upgrade (at this point) to carry enough. The colony has a place for a structure (gives some bonus), has its own warehouse to store goods so you don’t have to sail all the way back home to unload them, it generates gold during the harvest phase, and a unique-ish special ability. The special ability of this particular one gave him +4 gold when taxing, and considering taxing normally only gives you 3 gold, that’s pretty damn good. Building a colony also gives you 3 VPs. This pretty much triggered the end of the game.

Game 4

Alex's colony from last game seemed to be paying him dividends, so I decided I'd try to establish one as well. I immediately sailed to the Glory Hole and bought some wood. This wood would give me a discount when buying a +2 Hold upgrade. I needed to grab it early before the other players were able to buy them, as there are only two.
It was a good turn to spend my gold since the event card for the round was the stupid pirate raiders. This card came out twice this game. James forgot about it and raided a mine for gold and then got attacked by the pirates and lost everything.

At this point, I sailed out to grab enough goods to for a colony.

Normally, during the upkeep phase, the colony will get one of the goods the island produces, but if it also has a mine, you can take some gold instead. Alex made his colony on one of the two islands with a mine, so I was going to go for the other one. But as it turns out, having a colony that generates its own goods that it can store, makes it really easy to get enough goods for more colonies. Alex managed to get enough and sailed over to Trump Playa before I could get there. Christian Eater tried to convince me to raid his ships to stop him from getting Colony #2. But my Raid stats were low, and I had a hold full of cargo I spent all game collecting. I wasn't about to probably sink my ship to try and stop him. So I went to the Glory Hole and established the colony of Crapstone. I chose the ability that give my ships +3 movement points when I sail from that island. Which works out great, because I can go there on Turn 1, and then sail almost all the way across the board the following turn, giving me plenty of options.

Alex established his new colony on Trump Playa called "Jersey Mike's Pawn & Loan."

One of the Milestones unlocks a new chest with a Kraken symbol on it. You fulfill it by taking a research action to draw research cards, which have charts and maps on them, which just give you bonuses to exploring. One card in that deck lets you explore with the Strange Chart to unlock the Kraken box. I focused on that and cycled through that deck until I found it. I can’t activate it until there are four colonies on the board, which will definitely be next game. I’m looking forward to opening that box.

Nothing much of note happened with anyone else this game.

Alex ended up winning, but I wasn’t far behind. The other players had middling scores. Alex is now in the overall lead, with me in second, and James in third.

During the end of the game, I thought I might go for another colony next game. But then I saw that the other two players used their end of game upgrade to up their Hold value, so they can now both carry enough goods to start a colony without buying upgrades. I figured they would both be going after it hard, so I'd go back to exploring. I'm going to focus on research in order to get some more bonuses to exploring. One of the Milestones is to find the Tomb of the Ancients. We don’t know what that means, but I’m guessing it is one of the unusually high value sites that have shown up on the new islands. I might fall behind on VPs since I will be doing a lot of research actions, and those don't generate VPs, but I don't care. I want to open this game up some more and see what's out there. Next game is scheduled for two weeks from now. We'll see if that actually happens.
Last Edit: 02 Mar 2017 23:20 by Disgustipater.
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My group's Seafall campaign 03 Mar 2017 10:35 #244770

I appreciate these updates, but mostly as a cautionary tale against legacy games. At this point, the only thing that could make me interested in buying would be if a subsequent session featured the discovery of R'lyeh and a confrontation with Cthulhu.
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My group's Seafall campaign 03 Mar 2017 11:05 #244774

I'm hoping for that as well. The last 3 games have been pretty slow to progress.
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My group's Seafall campaign 03 Mar 2017 11:44 #244776

I don't want to read anything too closely, as I'm going into the third session of SeaFall with four others (My DreadBall league minus one).
Regarding Legacy games: I'm still on board.
- SeaFall has a lot of gaming to go. The first two sessions may have been slow burns, but on the other hand, everyone is getting a handle on how to maneuver their ships and optimize turns. Execution of various strategies are beginning to develop.
- I'm not as crazy for Pandemic Legacy, but that's primarily because I didn't care for regular Pandemic. It's been a fun experience for the wife and I (she enjoys it), but it's not nearly as compelling as...
- Risk Legacy. This title has been one of my all time favorite gaming experiences. If any F:ATtie has a group of five committed gamers for a 13-15 game campaign - you'd be pressed to find a more rewarding DOAM throw down.
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My group's Seafall campaign 03 Mar 2017 11:48 #244777

You can sort of see why it's actually a good idea to build a legacy game atop an already finished game or a well crusted and established genre. The base has to be good enough for the early games to be worthwhile.
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My group's Seafall campaign 03 Mar 2017 11:50 #244778

drewcula wrote:
Execution of various strategies are beginning to develop.

Yeah, each player seems to have focused on specific strategies. I like to Explore, Will likes to raid, James likes to build and get cash monies, etc.

drewcula wrote:
- Risk Legacy. This title has been one of my all time favorite gaming experiences. If any F:ATtie has a group of five committed gamers for a 13-15 game campaign - you'd be pressed to find a more rewarding DOAM throw down.

I picked this up a few months ago and I'm really looking forward to getting it going at some point
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My group's Seafall campaign 03 Mar 2017 11:56 #244779

Just to be clear, I am still really looking forward to how this game progresses, it's just been a bit slow to start, which I am okay with.

I'm especially interested in a tiny back of the box note that says \\batteries included. I really want it to be a little vibrating Kraken that wanders the board, in the style of those old vibrating football games (but not really).//
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My group's Seafall campaign 23 Mar 2017 22:30 #245576

​After two last minute no-shows last week, we tried again last night. Again we only had 4 players, as the one who keeps missing games apparently can't really play on the regular night, so we'll have to figure out if we can change nights, or just drop him.

Big spoilers ahead. And players are starting to turn on this game.

As mentioned in my last entry, my goal this game was to spend some time researching to gain enough bonuses to successfully explore one of those skull icon sites to (most likely) find a Tomb of the Ancients. An advisor that gives you a bunch of bonuses for researching showed up in the opening turn, which was perfect. Unfortunately, Travis went first and bought him. Travis is the other guy who is kind of doing exploring, but he isn't very good at it; he just meanders around without any strategy (from my perspective anyway). His first action was to buy an upgrade to his ship that gave him an explore bonus, bastard. On my turn, I researched, and got a card that made it easier to explore skull icon sites, which is perfect.

The next round, Travis sailed out to one of the two skull sites and decided to explore it. Of course he succeeds by rolling really well. And of course it is a Tomb. He gets the Milestone for finding a tomb, and I was pissed. I was planning for that, getting everything ready, and he just stumbles his way into it. HE DIDN'T DESERVE IT. I was bitter. A little farther into the game I realized that he had been upgrading his ship for exploring like I had, had a good advisor for exploring like I had, and didn't stumble into shit. He completed it just like I would have. I was just being shitty. I think it came out of the issue that there are only a few milestones to go for, so losing out on one while you are in the middle of trying to achieve it kind of leaves you in a position of, "Well, now what do I do?"
In any case, this unlocked a new chest that contained a bunch of stuff for Tombs to now be in the game. Special treasures to find, new damage cards called Curses (more on that later), and a different type of "map" for exploring the tombs. It also unlocked a new milestone for exploring a tomb and taking no damage, which gave me a new goal that aligned with what I was already doing. Too bad Travis was already a step or two ahead of me and completed that one on his next turn. He was now at like 10 VPs while everyone else had 1 or 2.

James' goal this game was to get a colony, since he was so close to it last game before getting shut out right at the end. Unfortunately, the Tombs got opened on Turn 2, adding Curse cards to the damage deck. These are just like damage cards for your ship, but a lot worse, as it turns out. He raided for some goods, took 1 damage, and drew one of the curse cards. It forced him to sail through Dangerous Waters every time he moved, or suffer damage. Being that there are only two of those spaces on the far side of the board, he couldn't really fulfill that. The following turn he took a damage from this, and drew another curse, this one forcing him to dump a resource from his ship's hold every time he moved. This pretty much fucked him for the rest of the game, considering he was trying to get a bunch of goods to establish a colony. At this point it was better for him to deliberately sink his ship to get rid of the curses than to try and fulfill the special requirements to get rid of them. Perhaps a poor design decision.
After the tomb discovery milestone was robbed from me, I at least got to discover the other unopened tomb. I got some nice resources and a bunch of damage for my trouble. Spend the rest of the time sailing back home to repair.

I do like how they changed up the exploring mechanic when exploring tombs. Travis explored the one he opened, and it gave him the option to spend some wood to build a ladder to reach a pile of gold, so he came away with a shitload of money.

Nearing the end of the game, Alex bought enough goods to start his 3rd colony. He managed to do this on the final round, as Travis hit the VP threshold that turn. With a fourth colony now on the table, I could finally use my Strange Map to find the special island and unlock the kraken chest. The island I found turned out to be a pre-named island called Patmos, where the true Emperor of the Seas reigns.



As you can see from the picture, it also has more than double the spaces for permanent enmity. That's because the Emperor doesn't take kindly to our colonizing endeavors, and each player was forced to place permanent enmity stickers on Patmos equal to the number of colonies you have, plus the number of other islands where you have enmity. For most of us, this was two or three. For Alex, who had three colonies, ended up with seven. And to top it off, Patmos has its own colony that, until it is conquered, requires you to use the level of enmity you have on Patmos for every other island. So for Alex, that meant that from now on, instead of being able to buy goods for 3 gold each, they would cost him 10. Pretty bad considering you sell them for 6 gold. Also, raids were virtually impossible for him now as well. The kicker to this is that there were two milestones that push you toward getting a bunch of colonies. Specifically one that says, "Have 3 active colonies." So the game points you in a direction, and once you get there, laughs at you and calls you stupid for doing it. Since I was last to place enmity, and all the boxes were full, I covered 2 of Alex's stickers so he would be a little less fucked.
At this point, everyone was a bit taken aback by what just happened. The introduction of Patmos is going to slow the game down a lot, which is kind of the opposite of what we think should be happening.

Alex commented that since he can't get goods or even raid for goods, he is now forced to play a game (i.e. strategy) that he doesn't want to play, which is shitty. James commented about how punishing everything seems to be now. His entire game was sidelined due to a single die roll and that single card draw. Those curses seem way too harsh, and we basically doubled the size of the damage deck when we added them, so they will be seen frequently. He feels overall that it is too easy to be hamstrung, leaving you without much to do.

As for myself, I don't like the effect on the game that Patmos appears to have. I'm not sure what the point of making everything harder is, when it is already difficult to do anything meaningful over the course of a single game. I guess it is supposed to give us some kind of threat to work against, but this looks to be too much. It really dampened my enthusiasm for the game. I'd like to see what is in the last two unopened chests, but I think once we see that, I'm fine with abandoning this game.
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My group's Seafall campaign 24 Mar 2017 14:56 #245594

I was just thinking that perhaps that Patmos effect is a type of catch-up mechanism - Alex was in the lead with his three colonies, now he's nerfed until the others figure out how to beat the current overall event.

Trying to avoid the "rich get richer" effect in a long campaign game can't be easy.
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Last Edit: 24 Mar 2017 14:57 by Columbob.
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My group's Seafall campaign 24 Mar 2017 15:15 #245595

It's tough, though, if it feels bad and arbitrary.
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My group's Seafall campaign 24 Mar 2017 20:10 #245597

There are several catch-up mechanics that already exist:

- The turn order is from last to first.
- Ties are broken by the lower player
- At the beginning of each game, the top 3 players have to give out enmity to the lower players.
- At the beginning of each game, you get a choice of gold, fortune, or reputation, for each 5 points (or fraction thereof) you are behind the leader.

Travis started with a bunch of gold because he was last, and it helped him quite a bit, as he was able to buy an upgrade first turn.

Will, who has been missing games, is our resident raider, so I imagine with him back, he'd start hitting Alex hard to stop him from collecting up all the goods he can hold and cashing out. The rest of us are too busy trying to achieve our own goals to go attack him.

Here's our game progress so far:

Last Edit: 24 Mar 2017 20:10 by Disgustipater.
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