SeaFall: A Legacy Game
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- For 3-5 Players
- 90-120 minute playing time
- High replay value
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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SeaFall is a 4X game (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) set in an "age of sail" world reminiscent of our world. In SeaFall, the world is starting to claw its way out of a dark age and has begun to rediscover seafaring technology. Players take on the role of a mainland empire that consults with a consortium of advisors to discover new islands, explore those islands, develop trade, send out raiding parties, take part in ship-to-ship combat, and more. SeaFall evolves as the game is played, setting their grudges into the history of the game and building a different narrative at every table as players open up the world.
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|Item Dimensions||3 x 12 x 15.5 in||4.19 x 1.16 x 5.74 in||4.19 x 1.16 x 5.74 in||5.51 x 1.96 x 5.51 in||0.75 x 4.12 x 5.62 in||2 x 2 x 2 in|
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Downside is that it is VERY rules intensive. Not for a casual gamer really. Also, the rules are poorly written, so you will have to reference corrections online. Definitely going to benefit from a second edition of the game.
We've been averaging a game a week. 2 of us are really looking forward to the next game, one wants to get the next game but is in no rush, and the last hates the game and feels like every game is a chore.
The legacy aspect that brought me in is still keeping me heavily interested. Knowing there are still things in the game that will be new to our group with the next couple of plays is exciting for me. The story isn't wonderful, but it's the twists that I enjoy experiencing (or seeing my competition agonize over).
I will say the 3 of us that feel positive about the game tend to be more analytical, and enjoy studying all the details of games, trying to min/max as best as we know how. The fourth is more of the "eh" type of player, and is easily satisfied with no progress, while getting bored when things start to get a little complicated.
Would I recommend this to someone? Honestly, that depend on the gamer. It's definitely not for everyone, especially if you tend to be a more casual/laid-back gamer. Each game is 1.5+ hrs and you need a consistent group of players. But the legacy aspect still hasn't worn off for me and keeps me engaged as opposed to Sorry, where I draw a card and mentally check out after my first turn.
Since starting SeaFall, our board game collection has expanded to include:
Settlers of Catan
Descent 2e The Long Road and Shadows of NerekHall
Pandemic Legacy (We'll be starting this when we finish SeaFall)
The rules are complex for sure, but it's doable if you take your time and your group is ok with consulting the book/BGG periodically.
Just a disclaimer: in the group we play with, I am the only girl, and while I can do games that require strategy (like Lords of Waterdeep), I get bored with games that take too long. My husband is the kind of guy who likes Risk and Axis and Allies, which I refuse to play.
We tried to prepare ourselves for what we heard was a pretty complicated rulebook by watching videos online that explain gameplay. I highly recommend you check out a video before purchasing this game. The one I watched was about 45 minutes long, and my eyes glazed over about halfway through. It's a lot of rules. Luckily, there is a prologue phase to help you learn the rules. Except, it still took us a couple hours to figure out what we were doing. If you look up SeaFall on boardgamegeek, you can find a cheat sheet for the rules which helps some. Eventually, we felt like we got the gist of it and were ready to play the first round.
SPOILER ALERT: I was most excited in this game to explore and name things and create my own little story of my provence. I was very disappointed at the end of the prologue when I had to destroy my character and make a new one. Don't get too attached to that first character.
Ok, so on to game play. Basically, you sail around in your little ships exploring and raiding. Every time you do an endeavor, you have to roll dice. This is honestly the hardest part of the game for me to wrap my head around. You have to use the stats of your ship plus any advisor cards plus the garrison plus the defense of the whatever you're going for and calculate the amount of dice you get to roll. Does it need to be this complicated? The guys do not seem to have a problem with this, but I hate it. I find it needlessly confusing. I usually end up forgetting to add or subtract a die somewhere and have to go back and fix it. It is also really hard to get enough dice to do anything. Maybe later in the game it will be easier, but for now, I barely have enough to do anything.
The other part of this game that I hate is that it seems impossible to build up any kind of resources. You are so limited in how much money you can make and how many supplies you can get. I don't feel like I can accomplish anything. I actually got so frustrated in the first couple of games that I decided to just go explore the uncharted waters and not even try to win anymore.
To be fair, the guys enjoy figuring this all out and are having a lot more fun with the game than I am. They are hitting milestones and building up their provences much better than I am. I think that they really enjoy the game a lot, so I keep playing to see where it goes. I do wonder if it would be better with four or five players to help move things along, or if that would just slow it down more with more time between turns.
My last complaint about the game is that the same person keeps winning, and every time he wins he gets a permanent upgrade to his provence while the losers only get a very small bonus at the start of the next game. We are only going into the fourth round, so I'm not sure if this will balance out later in the game, but I hope it does because it seems a little unfair. The rich keep getting richer while the poor get poorer...
Bottom line, if you are a fan of strategy games that require a lot of thinking, calculating, and planning, this is a great game for you. If you, like me, like strategy games but also want them to move fairly quickly, don't play this.