First game and problems...

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Gimgamgoo

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First game and problems...

Post by Gimgamgoo » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:34 am

I missed the KS, but saw a link on one of the Traveller FB groups to a late pledge. I had enough cash at the time to get the 2 Player Starter Box, the Subsidized Merchant and the Far Trader. So I have all 4 pre-made decks.
Although I've not played many card games recently (Gates of Antares, Traveller RPG and Pathfinder RPG have stolen my time/money), I am a veteran of many old collectable card games, starting back with games like Decipher's Star Trek and Star Wars CCG, Magic the Gathering, Middle Earth CCG and 7th Sea.

The size of the rulebook for Traveller CCG was rather gobsmacking when I opened the package, but I read it through, getting as accustomed as possible to the icons and gameplay phases. My opponent is my wife and I know for most board/ccg/tabletop games with her, if game one runs smoothly, we'll keep on playing it. If it goes terribly, it'll be consigned to the shelf.

I love Traveller RPG (having played it since the early 80's) and wanted this game to go well. After reading the rules, the inserts in the extra deck boxes seemed a fantastic summary of how to play and the card structure. So we worked our way through them last night having our first game...

We decided to avoid piracy and learn the adventure completing side of the game rather than being offensive to each other.

After 3 hours playing, we halted the game. My wife was getting bored. The score at the time was me on 8 :vp , she still had 0 :vp . I dread to think how long it would take to get to 20. In fact, we'd never get to 20. We were getting close to the bottom of our captain decks, and I couldn't see a rule about re-shuffling them, so we assumed no deck and no cards in hand would mean eventual bankruptcy. Our Adventure decks were also getting close to being finished. Do these get reshuffled?

Anyway, here's a bunch of questions/problems we had...

1. When Captain decks run out, are they reshuffled from the discard pile? We assumed not.

2. When Adventure decks run out, are they reshuffled from the discard pile? If they don't, how does the game go on?

3. Lots of :contract and :complication had circle (eg :medical+) skill requirements. After 3 hours of play, we found no way to get a circle skill on any crew or found any crew with a circle skill. Any hints? Do we need KS exclusive crew to do these or buy boosters from somewhere?

4. At one point in the game all 4 adventures in play had 2 capability tokens as requirements. The Scout only makes 1. Except for 4-5 cards in it's deck to create another, is the only option to go to one adventure. Next turn abandon it and hope the next one that replaces it isn't 2 capability? You can't save tokens as they all get removed at the end of the turn.

5. In the Adventure phase when you peak at a complication and put it on an adventure, if the adventure is already full of complications, you replace one with the new card. Can this be done to replace a complication you are struggling to overcome (ie. one that is face up already)

6. All our cards are in sleeves, whilst playing it became impossible to remember whose adventure card was whose, there were piles of complications on people's adventures and we lost track of which. What's the best way to deal with this? Have one person's adventure cards in a different type of sleeve?

7. One complication my wife came across was Buccaneer, Defeat Enemy Ship (1 :av 1 :dv 1 :structure ). We weren't sure how to deal with that. Did she automatically get in the fight with that ship in her Free Trader and lose? Did she only fight it when she wanted to overcome it? In the end she couldn't overcome it, so it was yet another adventure she had to abandon and move elsewhere.

8. Is it common to spend most of the game time abandoning adventures because the complications can't be overcome?

9. We understand it's 'customizable', but we were hoping to get a game with the pre-made decks rather than having to purchase multiple sets and spend hours constructing and min/max combo hunting to be able to get a deck that plays.

10. Do people use a token ship to put next to or on the adventure they're currently pursuing.


Hopefully, some of the answers will help me out as it's going to be hard to persuade my wife to play again. (Especially since she's become addicted to Star Realms) :cry:

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Horizon Jeff

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Re: First game and problems...

Post by Horizon Jeff » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:21 am

Sorry to hear your first game met with such difficulties. Here's some answers that I hope helps:

1 and 2. You do not re-shuffle the Captain's Deck (in fact, running out usually results in Bankruptcy, or very near it), but you do reshuffle the Adventure Deck. The source for both these is on page 6 of the rulebook.

3. Every single Ship Deck has at least two ways to clear a :linkopen :complication :medical+ :linkedclose. Most of these methods will also work on :linkopen :contract :medical+ :linkedclose. I'm focusing on :complication to keep a long list from getting longer.

The solutions I've listed below are aside from the fact that the :complication requiring :medical+ each allow you to solve them with another skill ( :psionic+ in the case of Jump Phobia and :combat+ or :psionic+ for Hostile Psionic Coven), which expands the range of options even further.

I've listed them below by deck, and I've actually omitted some of the more convoluted ways to do it (generally somewhat involved combos using :heroics or :event). I've also not listed the fact that you can replace :complication on a :contract when placing a new :complication which would exceed the :complication slots of the :contract on each individual ship deck's list, but instead note it here as a core game rule.

Beowulf
a. Zett Usraich has :medical+
b. :heroics Personal Intervention to resolve the :complication (requires a crew with at least :admin- . In this particular deck, Ganidiirsi Dirgushii and George Zamepiimaakha)
c. If the :complication is Jump Phobia, :heroics Reap the Whirlwind to resolve a Space :complication (requires a crew with :starops+ . In this particular deck, Jim Thorne)

Type S Scout
a. :event Calling in a Marker to get rid of any :complication .
b. :gear Cognition wafer on any crew with a :medical- , to increase that crew's skill to :medical+ (in this particular deck, Aminah Darzi, M.D.)


Empress Marava
a. Doctor Wishik has :medical+
b. :event Data Mining Consultant to gain an :medical+ token.
c. Playing the :event Crash Course on any crew with :medical- (in this particular deck, Ta'Nal of Adari).
d. Using the Empress Marava's ability to turn in any three Resource Tokens for any other Resource Token


Subsidized Merchant
a. Playing the :event Crash Course on any crew with :medical- (in this deck, Ta'Nal of Adari)
b. Play Twists and Turns to replace the :complication with a new one.
These solutions did not include cards like the :event Overextended or the :event Misdirection, both of which in some cases will fit the bill.

Additionally, you didn't mention owning Aliens of the Imperium, but if you did own it, there's another crew solution.

Aliens of the Imperium
Doc Ozi can gain :medical+ from his own crew ability.

4. Sometimes it will happen that the :contract selection is unfortunate, but the Scout deck natively has a number of options to get additional capability tokens:

:connection Frontier Shipping Co.
:connection Yuryehke, Aslan Trader
:event Bwap Advisors
:upgrade LSP Multi-Phased Array
:upgrade Modular Hold

And I didn't include any convoluted methods to gain more, though there are some combos if you look carefully.

Additionally, it has the :connection Tibor to clear :contract slots.

5. Yes! That's one of the built-in methods to clear a troublesome :complication . It's obviously not ideal, but it's an option.

6. The convention we use is to place :complication on the side of the :contract facing the captain who played the :complication.

7. Like any other :complication, the enemy ship is only encountered if the captain elects to attempt the :complication.

8. Not in our experience. It may happen from time to time, especially if the captains are able to effectively block each other. But in your particular case, I'm guessing it has more to do with unfamiliarity with the game and possibly the idiosyncrasies of the pre-constructed decks.

9. While the ship decks are intended to have a baseline functionality, at the end of the day, it is assumed that players will be making their own decks. I don't think any constructed deck title releases starter sets with the intention that they will remain unaltered.

10. In our experience, they just put their ship card near the :contract.

Hope these at least help a little!

We know not every game is going to be for everyone. Some people are going to love it, some people are going to hate it, but we hope that for most people, they find it's a worthy addition to their collection.

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Re: First game and problems...

Post by Admrobbo » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:45 am

Hi, thanks for your post. Sorry your first experience was not a great one.

Others will also respond, however I wanted to try to address some of your queries....

1. Captains decks are not reshuffled as once your deck has run out, and you have no cards in hand and incur an expense, you cannot pay it and are therefore bankrupt and lose.

2. Yes. If your adventure deck runs out, it is reshuffled to form a new draw pile.

3. I have reviewed the cards in the scout and beowolf starter decks and agree no appear to hace crew have expert medical.

However Zett Usraich in Beowolf deck does, although I think the yellow circle around the icon is not clear.

However I also revisited all the adventure cards and did not find any that required that as a need to resolve the main part of a contract. Please feel free to share the card with me if I've missed it.

However, That expert skill is required to resolve some of optional sub plots on some of the contracts.

I just wanted to check whether you were waiting until you could resolve the main contract AND all subplots before scoring the contract? This is not necessary.

Apologies if not, just wanted to check.

To score the contract you only need to be able to resolve the main criteria on the card, being the conditions on the top row without the question mark icon.

If you succeed in resolving the main condition, you then get chance to resolve any, none or all of any subplots on that contract. These give you bonus victory points but you don't t have to resolve these to score the card.

There are other card combos that can resolve this also.

4. This was tricky and can happen. There are cards in the deck that can add others but of course you need them to come out of your deck so you can play them.

When building a deck this is a key step to ensure you have adventure cards that link well with your ship and other cards such as crew etc.

There are lots of adventure cards that have just one icon that the scout can resolve, being a passenger or a scout capability.

Your choices here would be to abandon that contract and pursue another or wait till you get the right combo of cards to gain the required capability or skill.

The reason there are four contracts in the two player game is to minimise this from occurring.

In my many games, it happened rarely.

5. Absolutely. It is a way of ditching a complication that is in your way, or a way of making your opponents life more difficult.

6. We get round this by using different coloured sleeve backs for each player.

Another way is to place complications that came from your deck, on your side of that contract. Your opponent does the same. That way it is clear from which player those complications came. The set up example in the rule book shoes tjis method.

7. Buccanner is a pain ! The scout is better suited as it has 1 to hit, but you are right that the trader has none at the start.

This can be pumped up using event cards which give temporary enhancements, also of course the ships can be enhanced with ship upgrades.

Without any piracy in your first game, I expect you didn't worry about enhancing your ships attacks and defense capabilities.

To overcome this complication you just need to be able to defeat it at the moment you try to resolve that complication during the reolution phase, either by having enhanced your ships attack and defence in the earlier phases or rounds, or by using appropriate event cards at that moment.

8. This is not typical and I wonder if you were trying to resolve the contract and all subplots before treating it as resolved?

Abandoning contracts does happen a number of times as they will become difficult to resokve at times, especially if your opponent keeps adding complications they know you will struggle to overcome!

Each card can, as you stated, only have a max number of complications as shown on the contract card, and swapping out complications with newly drawn ones can help get rid of troublesome complications.

Choosing when to persist and when to bail out of a contract is a key decision in the game.

9. I have found that mostly the starter decks are enough to have many fun games.

Adding in extra carss adds additional strategy, however I confirm that I have played many games through playtesting and since using just the starter decks and most games have been fun and close.

Most of our games take about 1 hour to 1.5 hours to play once all familiar.

10. This is a good question. We use a simple coloured counter from another game which we place on the contract we are pursuing so it's clear.

I use a different coloured counter for each player that matches the colour of the card sleeve backs for that player

This seems to work.

We would like to use official traveller space ship miniatures instead. Maybe one day !

I hope the above comments are of some help.

Cheers, Mark
Last edited by Admrobbo on Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gimgamgoo

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Re: First game and problems...

Post by Gimgamgoo » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:18 am

Thanks for the replies.
I wasn't attempting to downplay the quality of the game, just my experience from a first time point of view. I think the learning curve for the game is massive - but hey, we all know what the traveller rpg is like. All the icons to learn and the way things are stated on the cards started to become more familiar by the time we stopped playing. However, I'm sure once we've learnt the rules, we'll hit the next massive learning curve of strategies to use during the game.
I think my wife was bored as 3 hours is longer than her usual (non rpg) gaming times and she was a little depressed with it as she was still on 0 :vp
I suppose, next time we play through, we'll be more aware of the use of some of the cards and less likely to throw them away for just :ev

Although all the Captain decks are in the same type of sleeves, I may just put the adventure cards in different coloured backs so we can keep them seperated.

One last question I forgot in my original list, was;

If abandoning a :contract with a :credit1 :abandonment , if it has a :complication with a - :credit1 :abandonment does that mean you could abandon it for free?

Looking forward to all the KS backers getting their packages and the online store opening so I can get myself the Aliens of the Imperium and Trouble at the Mains sets.

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Horizon Jeff

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Re: First game and problems...

Post by Horizon Jeff » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 am

Correct, in that case the :contract can be abandoned for free.

Also, recall that you can go straight from one :contract to another in the Adventure Phase, so potentially you don't even lose any time by abandoning one you can't do.

And we appreciate all constructive feedback, as yours was. In some instances, maybe the difficulties are due to unfamiliarity, but in other cases, the game just isn't going to be someone's cup of tea. Obviously we hope that isn't the case, but the reality is it will be for some.

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Re: First game and problems...

Post by Gimgamgoo » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:17 am

Horizon Jeff wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 am

And we appreciate all constructive feedback, as yours was. In some instances, maybe the difficulties are due to unfamiliarity
To be fair, I think that is the case.
There were a lot of cards we wondered what on earth they even meant or did, but by the end of the game session, we wished we'd not just used them for :ev
I think the next play through we do will go smoother, unless we bring piracy into it :evil: :infamy
Another way we may try, is to reduce the win conditions to 10 :vp as we learn it, to shorten the game length to closer to an hour, although this will benefit the player that gets a lucky batch of starting cards.

Thanks again for all your help and advice.

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Re: First game and problems...

Post by Horizon Jeff » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:25 am

You may also want to try the first solo scenario. I know other people have used it as a way to learn the game, and honestly it's not very hard until you start to add challenges.

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Re: First game and problems...

Post by Horizon Jeff » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:49 pm

I think we've discovered another reason why you thought you couldn't get :medical+ icons. Apparently almost all crew cards were misprinted, and the crew skill icons in the crew skill slots section of the cards (though strangely, not the text boxes, and no other card type) were printed without borders.

We just posted an update on this and other printing issues on the Kickstarter Campaign.

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Re: First game and problems...

Post by Gimgamgoo » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:23 am

Horizon Jeff wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:49 pm
I think we've discovered another reason why you thought you couldn't get :medical+ icons. Apparently almost all crew cards were misprinted, and the crew skill icons in the crew skill slots section of the cards (though strangely, not the text boxes, and no other card type) were printed without borders.

We just posted an update on this and other printing issues on the Kickstarter Campaign.
Thanks. I'd just been reading the update and came here to say that might have been part of the problem with the skill levels. I'm now assuming that some of the crew have circle skills. We'd been reading all of them as hexagon skills as we couldn't see a clear gold circle around them.

Here's hoping it get's sorted out and fixed. Despite the problems, I'm looking forward to another game - just damn these 70 hour working weeks getting in the way. :cry:

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