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Teaching Spirit Island

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Arcanist Lupus
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Teaching Spirit Island

Those of you who have demoed the game, how do you normally teach it?  Do you go through a round chronologically, or do you start with the Invader engine, or the Spirits' abilities?


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grysqrl
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I do something like this:

  1. Quick overview of the game concept.
  2. Elements on the map (lands, terrains, coastal vs. inland), things already on the map (invaders, dahan, blight, spirit presence)
  3. Initial victory condition
  4. Overview of turn phases and explanation of simultaneous play
  5. Explanation of spirit phase: growth (growth options, sacred sites, presence tracks), power cards (energy cost, fast/slow, targetting, fear, destroy, damage, push/gather, brief mention of defend, elements, innate powers), special rules
  6. Turn 0 explore; explain invader sources, card advance; explain build, ravage, blight, defense, loss conditions

Then start with the spirit phase of turn 1

grysqrl
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Also, are you thinking about teaching a full game, or did you want to know about the abbreviated demo? There are few setup changes and you ignore a rule or two; otherwise it plays pretty much the same as a full game (but much faster).

Arcanist Lupus
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I'm planning on teaching the full game so that I can play with friends. But I game with several different groups, so I'm going to have to teach it several times.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

grysqrl
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There is also a little mini-game where you try to predict who will ask if you can push invaders into the ocean, because someone asks almost every time.

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I seem to do it a little differently than Brian. I explain a little less: I don't explain about some of the power card effects (eg, push/gather, coastal/inland) until asked (which inevitably happens pretty quickly). The general principle of "each power targets one land" is useful to get out early. I'm looking forward to explaining the damage with those pieces that show the health more transparently. I don't explain exactly how ravage happens until it comes up.

I also wait to go into growth options until just before turn 1 is about to start.

One thing worth flagging is describing the other effects of adding blight (cascading and presence destruction) before it actually happens, although it's not a start-of-game thing.

It's worth perusing the "strategy tips" section of the rulebook, and keeping that in mind. Don't offer strategy unless asked for (perhaps implicitly), but people will often be confused about where to place Presence and where to push invaders; be ready to offer general advice on that score.

One thing that I will try next time I teach is having an extra marker that I move along the turn sequence printed on the game board. The most difficult part to grasp is the bit about invader actions, and where in the round we are; I hope an extra marker will help.

You might also try to steer players to certain spirits initially. The introductory spirits, in order from easiest to grasp to hardest, are Lightning's Swift Strike; Vital Strength of Earth; River Surges in Sunlight; and Shadows Flicker Like Flame.

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grysqrl wrote:

There is also a little mini-game where you try to predict who will ask if you can push invaders into the ocean, because someone asks almost every time.

I've not played it or read the rules yet.

Can you do this?

Arcanist Lupus
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Normally, no.  There's one specific spirit that makes it possible (Ocean's Hungry Grasp).


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Which is why I always answer that question with "No... Not right now." wink


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Rabit wrote:

Which is why I always answer that question with "No... Not right now." wink

Exactly! The wink is a critical part of it.

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One of my favourite ever games involved me as River gleefully pushing huge amounts of invaders into Ocean's waiting maw. Pretty much all I did all game, and it was beautiful.


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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I am so excited that people are as excited about this game as I am! I've taught the game at least two dozen times at this point to different groups, and this is what I've found works well for me. The important thing is to make the learning curve as gentle as possible and discover/learn rules by playing rather than trying to frontload all of the information, which the players won't retail anyway and will often find intimidating:

1) Introduce the overarching concept: "Spirit Island is a deeply strategic, fully cooperative game of worker removal. So, there's this island in the remote Pacific. Some people live on it, as do some nature spirits, and they more or less coexist. Then, one day, some other poeple show up in ships with big sails and start landing explorers, building towns and cities, blighting the land, and driving the spirits from the island. We all play as the spirits, and we have to increase our power and drive the invaders from the island. Basically, the game is playing Catan or a 4X game against us, and we have to stop it."

I do that part while setting up the map, showing them the pieces as I mention them (so when I say "explorer", I show them an explorer, etc.

2) Introduce the basics of how the spirit turns go:

"Each of us is a different spirit, and we all work very differently, but the way our turns go is broadly the same for every spirit. Once you get the hang of it, all of us will act simultaneously, but for the first round we'll step through it a bit more slowly so that you can see how it works. First, everyone flip over your spirit panel. There is a section on the back that says "Setup". Do what it says in terms of placing your wooden disks, which are called "Presence", on the map. For purposes of setup, each of us has "our board", which is the one closest to us. After setup, this doesn't matter anymore. Anyhow, once you're done with that, flip your panel back over and put the rest of your wooden disks over all of the circles with the dotted lines around them."

[Wait until they are done doing this stuff, and answer any questions that come up]

"As a final step of setup, the invaders are going to explore the island. That means that we flip over the top card of this pile [proceed to do so], and place an explorer in every land of this type that is adjacent either to the ocean, or a land with a building. For this first exploration, that is going to be every single [insert land type here]" 

[Put all of the explorers out, and explain why]

"Now, the turn order flows down our panels from top to bottom. First, we're each going to pick a Growth option. You can see that each of us have different 'bundles' of actions that we can choose from. Each spirit has different bundles, but the actions within those bundles are similar. 'Reclaim" means that you take all of the cards that are in your discard and put them into your hand. Since this is the first turn and you don't have anything in your discard, you probably don't want to do that this turn. Gain energy just means that you take the appropriate amount of energy tokens. Gain a power means that you draw the top four cards from either the minor or major power deck, choose one, and discard the rest. The difference between minor and major powers is that major powers are just better, but they cost more and you have to forget a power you already know in order to gain one. Don't worry; I'll explain how powers work a bit later. Finally, there is place presence. That means that you take the leftmost wooden presence disk from either of the two rows on your panel and place it on the map. The number under the arrow is the range at which you are allowed to do this. [explain range by pointing at the map] Anyhow, everyone pick a growth option!

[Answer questions while people pick growth options]

"Ok! Now, we keep going down the panel. After you've picked a growth option, gain the amount of energy equal to the biggest number uncovered in the first row on your panel. Then, play a number of cards equal to the biggest number uncovered in the second row. These cards don't do anything right away; they just sit next to your panel, and will take effect later. Before you start chosing, take a quick look at the cards in your hand; there are a few important things to know about them. In the upper left hand corner, there is a number in a circle. The number is the amount of energy you have to spend to put that card into play, and the color of the circle is either red, for 'fast powers', or blue for 'slow powers'. Going down to the middle of the card, there is a bar with some more information; the first space echoes the speed information. The rest of the bar is about targeting and ranging. You'll notice arrows with different numbers; that is the range from a land with your presence that you can target with that power. This works the same as placing presence during growth, so Range 0 is a land you are currently in, Range 1 is right next door, etc. The final space is for targeting; for most powers, this will say 'Any' land, but some powers can only target a specific land type, or a land with Dahan, etc. Finally, you'll notice some powers have a double stack of disks before the arrow. That means that they can only target from a "sacred site", which is a land with two or more of your presence. Go ahead and start picking some powers! Just to give you an idea of when they'll happen, after everyone is done picking powers, all of the fast powers will happen in any order you choose, followed by the invaders doing bad stuff, followed by slow powers"

[I then let them start to choose powers, and answer all sorts of questions as they come up, which most commonly involve "Push" and "Gather" and how many HP things have. If they ask about Fear, I just say that it is good and they want to generate as much as they can and I'll show them in a bit. I also give them tips like "you know that {insert land type here} is going to get terrible first, so you probably want to have presence near it, and if anyone has a fast power that can kill or remove an explorer from one of those lands, definitely use it!" After they have played powers, walk them through fast powers doing stuff. I only bring up elements or innate powers here if I can see that they might matter right away, and I judge that the play group is game savy enough that it won't result in information overload.]

3) Start explaining the Invaders: "Ok, now it is time for the invaders to go! First, this card slides over here and they build in the [insert land type]. This means that they put a Town or City in every [type] that already has white plastic pieces, whichever they have the fewest of already. Then, they flip over a new card and explore in the [type]! Things are about to get out of hand really quickly; next turn they are going to Ravage in the [type], build in the [type], and explore in a new place! Now we go to Slow Powers, but before we do, let me explain how Ravage works so that you can use your powers as effectively as possible. Next turn, when the Invaders ravage, they are going to do damage in every [type] where they have units. Each unit is going to do damage equal to its Hit Points (one for an explorer, two for a town, and three for a city). This damage has two effects; first, if two or more damage is ever done in a land, it blights the land. That means that we move one Blight token from this pile onto the map. If all of the blight is ever removed from the board, we lose! Blight entering a land is also extra bad because it destroys one presence for every spirit with presence in that land, so we really want to prevent blight where we have presence. In addition to blight, the Invaders to damage to Dahan, each of which has two Hit Points. However! If any Dahan survive the damage, they then strike back, dealing 2 damage each to the Invaders. That means that, if we are careful, we can use the Dahan to fight the Invaders."

"Finally, we need to worry about how we can win. Right now, the win condition is to kill all of the invaders. However, as we generate Fear, we move tokens from here to here on the board. Once all of the Fear tokens are in the bottom section, we earn a fear card, which generates a minor positive effect before the Invaders act. It also moves us down the Fear pile, which gets us easier and easier win conditions as we go. Ok, on to Slow Powers!"

[I then help them through slow powers, helping them focus on important places and answering questions]

"Ok, everyone discard all of the cards you have in play, and pick a growth option!"

[They start picking. This time, it is very likely someone will chose to gain powers. When they do, explain that chosing them based on elements makes a lot of sense, and explain how elements work. This is also a good time to explain each of the special powers. I let them start to be more simultaneous the second time through, helping people who are having more trouble deciding what to do. By the second time through, I have one or more of them place pieces for Explore and Build, and I show them how Ravage works. After the second play through, most groups have it down with only occasional questions.]

 

 

Anyhow, that's what I do! I don't know if that is helpful or not, but it works for me!


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Thanks for the detailed script, Paul! It's great to see what you do, and I like the "learning by doing" approach. You do that more than I do, which looks to be great.

Some questions:

Do you not use the Power Progression Cards? That surprised me a little.

You seem to be sliding the cards at a different time than I do. (You slide the cards just before the invaders act, rather than just after they act.) This has the same overall effect, but wasn't how I've been doing it. Do you find your players get confused about what the invaders are about to do next?

You presumably tell players to "just pick something" when picking the growth options, since at the time they're picking that they haven't really seen enough information to be able to choose, right? I would guess you allow the players to retcon and change their growth option when they start figuring out what powers to use?

Do you join and play in the game yourself?

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When learning a game, it drives me nuts if the instructions don't start with how the game is won/lost. Without that, I don't have a framework to start hanging everything else I'm learning.


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

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arenson9 wrote:

When learning a game, it drives me nuts if the instructions don't start with how the game is won/lost. Without that, I don't have a framework to start hanging everything else I'm learning.

I used to teach more like what Paul does, but I got several people with the same complaint. Loss conditions don't make sense until later, but I try to front-load your goal as much as possible.

Also several grumpy River players who mostly got wiped out on the second turn because they didn't understand where to place their presence to remain safe when the invaders Ravage.

And most groups wouldn't let the elements go - they had to know what they did before turn 1.

So, I drifted toward a more full explanation (which is still relatively fast and gets the players going without having to listen to rules for too long). That said, do whatever you find works best. If the players get the feel of the game and have a good time, how you get there is up to you.

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grysqrl wrote:
And most groups wouldn't let the elements go - they had to know what they did before turn 1.
I do tend to explain the elements before turn 1, but in general I'm always happy to explain anything that someone asks about. I don't think about it as front-loading if it's responsive to a question. (I also always need to explain that the air symbol is a feather.)
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I'm up there in the goal oriented category.  Fortunately, Spirit Island has very intuitive goals.  "Remove the Invaders from the island.  The more fear you cause, the fewer invaders you need to remove."  Everything else can be explained later.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

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@Andy

If anyone asks, I point it out really quickly. Basically I say "You win if you destroy all the white plastic pieces. As the game goes on, the win condition gets easier and easier; I'll explain how that happens in a bit"

@dpt

Do you not use the Power Progression Cards?

Nope. I think they are only useful if you have players with major analysis paralysis. Otherwise, they are more overhead to explain then they are worth.

You seem to be sliding the cards at a different time than I do. Do you find your players get confused about what the invaders are about to do next?

I run what is happening enough, including clarifying every turn for the first half or so of the game, that I seldom run into confusion. The timing of the sliding isn't super important; this method is just what works for me.

You presumably tell players to "just pick something" when picking the growth options, since at the time they're picking that they haven't really seen enough information to be able to choose, right? I would guess you allow the players to retcon and change their growth option when they start figuring out what powers to use?

Sort of. I heavily steer them toward placing presence, explaining that that will help them power up faster. I also let them do a bit of retconning if that will make the game more fun for them.

Do you join and play in the game yourself?

Only if that will bring the total up to 3. Otherwise no.

@grysqrl

Also several grumpy River players who mostly got wiped out on the second turn because they didn't understand where to place their presence to remain safe when the invaders Ravage.

I'm always helpful to guide players during initial presence placement so that they don't get screwed. I say things like "Its probably a good idea to spread across the island as much as possible, and also be within range of [land type] but not in [land type] since you know that'll get bad first."


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

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I'm very much a top-down learner myself. I've had too many games taught to me where the teacher launches straight into what you can do on your turn and how you do it, and I've had to stop them and ask "why exactly are we doing this?"

Not only is it difficult to internalise rules without the context of the "framework" Andy mentioned (ever seen that set of instructions which seems really arbitrary and hard to remember unless you are actually told it's for doing laundry?), I find I have to go back and learn the rules again through that new lens, because rules almost always have different significance when you see how they fit into the whole game.

(Simple SotM example: Absolute Zero's base power confuses almost everyone until they see his modules/etc.)

I try very hard to start my teaching script with something like, "This is [game title] where we [theme]. You win by [points, killing opponent, finishing this building, whatever] (and lose by [losing conditions])."

 

For Spirit Island, after the generic "who are we and what are we trying to do here anyway?" explanation I like to talk about the invader cycle in broad terms because I think that's such an important part of the framework to hang the rest of the game on. I certainly think a lot of the player powers (pushing and gathering and defending and such) make much more sense with context. "Here's what the invaders are going to do, and here's why it's bad. And here's what we can do to try to stop it."


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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Paul wrote:

If anyone asks, I point it out really quickly. Basically I say "You win if you destroy all the white plastic pieces. As the game goes on, the win condition gets easier and easier; I'll explain how that happens in a bit"

 

FWIW, I recommend you say it before waiting for people to ask -- save them from having to interupt you immediately or suffer through the frustration of trying to learn w/out understanding the end goal.  I suppose other people might learn differently. Seems hard to believe. Like, I'm only half joking about that.


Hi. My name's Andy. Feel free to call me Andy, since, ya know, that's my name. (he/him/his)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If not now, when? If I am for myself alone, what am I? -- Hillel

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In my personal experience, most people pick things up the fastest if I launch into the action rather than giving a lecture on all of the rules. There is a lot of tuning out/glancing at phones that happens if explanations go for more than a minute or two without the players actually doing something, and that goes for learning any game. There are definitely people who learn differently, but that technique works well for me for the preponderance of convention attendees. That said, if I notice a given group learning best in a slightly different way, I always adjust my teaching to suit!


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Paul wrote:

In my personal experience, most people pick things up the fastest if I launch into the action rather than giving a lecture on all of the rules. There is a lot of tuning out/glancing at phones that happens if explanations go for more than a minute or two without the players actually doing something, and that goes for learning any game. There are definitely people who learn differently, but that technique works well for me for the preponderance of convention attendees. That said, if I notice a given group learning best in a slightly different way, I always adjust my teaching to suit!

Interesting how we have different experiences! I don't find that players tune out during my rules dump - my biggest "problem" is people asking questions about things I haven't gotten to yet and distracting me from my "script" (nothing quite so rigid as an actual script, but I like to explain stuff in a particular order and being pushed out of that by answering a question about something that's for later means I forget stuff).

Some games I like to get players to do stuff during the explanation, doing an example turn where we're just getting used to the mechanics and we'll reset and start the game properly after that.

(Unfortunately my games club has the one guy who gets all "If you told me that rule earlier I'd have played completely differently," if I explain stuff only when it becomes relevant. Double unfortunately, he combines this with "Enough rules, let's just play!")


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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@Paul - I like a lot of the language you use and will probably steal some of it. :)

@Andy - Yeah, I always give at least the basic victory condition somewhere early - perhaps as an ending to the setting overview, even.

While historically I've sketched the structure of each round before drilling into detail ("First, you Grow - you get more powerful. Then you'll play some of your Power Cards. Fast Powers happen before the Invaders take their turn, Slow ones happen after the Invaders go. Then you start a new round."), I've been thinking as of late that that might not be neccessary, or possibly even helpful. (Particularly if the player aid card with round structure is sitting face-up next to the spirit mat, in which case veteran gamers looking for structure can just glance at it.)

Other than that, and frontloading a bit about lands/terrains (the latter of which is needed for players to do their initial Presence placement), I mostly follow a similar progression to Paul. I do tend to heavily adapt how much frontloading I do based on the players' affect; there's usually a perceptible difference between "tuning out", "nearing buffer overflow but still engaged" and "focusing but absorbing it readily", both in how the players look and in how they respond to "any questions so far?"

I do use the Power Progressions whenever possible; I find they cut game length, prevent a few situations that are uncommon but can make for bad game experiences, and work against a certain flavor of early-game bewilderment. "These (tap stack) are Powers you can get later." and "When you gain a new Power Card, you get the next one from your stack." are all that need be said about them up-front. (I save the explanation of how Power draws normally work for the end of the game.)

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@Eric

At Origins, Matthew (our new Inventory Manager, who loves Spirit Island) was running demos with the power progressions and really liked using them as well.


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

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It was great seeing Matthew running demos. He was still excited by it at the end of the convention. He said he hadn't had a chance to play a non demo game, I hope he gets a chance soon.

I can not get used to the way he and you (Paul) advance invader cards, though!

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Are there any common mistakes to watch out for?


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

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The two most common points of confusion I run into are probably:

  1. The assumption that putting Dahan and Invaders in the same land will get them to fight, despite the fact that the land type isn't showing under any of the invader actions.
  2. General issues with how push/gather powers work. Often, they want the power's range to be how far they can push/gather things, when push/gather only ever allow you to move things to/from lands adjacent to the land targetted by the power.
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Another common confusion is wanting to place out 3 presence, rather than a single presence at range 3. This gets corrected immediately. But every time it comes up, I wrack my brain as to how the graphic design could have been better, and fail.

The overarching difficulty is understanding how the Invader actions work: when the cards slide, what they're going to do next, etc.

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The introductory spirits, in order from easiest to grasp to hardest, are Lightning's Swift Strike; Vital Strength of Earth; River Surges in Sunlight; and Shadows Flicker Like Flame.

 

If teaching a 2 or 3 player game which spirits from the recommended starting ones should be used? Easiest to hardest? (drop shadows in 3 player, and then River in 2)

 

Also of all the spirits are they all able to play solo or are there some that are significantly better than others?

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I usually try to teach a 3-player game. It's a little faster than the 4-player game, it's the best looking map, and it has more opportunities for player interaction than a 2-player game. If I'm teaching two other people, I'll play the third spirit. In either a 2- or 3-player game, I let them choose between Lightning's Swift Strike, Vital Strength fo Earth, and River Surges in Sunlight - I don't think you need to pre-emptively remove a spirit in a 2-player game. Easier and harder, among those three, I find depends most on a person's play style; some spirits just make more sense to some players.

I haven't played a ton of solo games, so I can't comment much on how each spirit fares alone. I've won a solo game with each spirit (including Ocean and Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares), so it can be done. I suspect any of the three mentioned above can do decently well given capable hands and some luck.

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@grysqrl

I completely agree about the 3 player games!


“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” ~Obi-Wan Kenobi

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What makes Shadows the odd spirit out?


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

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Shadows' powers are less direct than the other three. While a seasoned player will recognize the value of generating a lot of fear, a brand new player might get frustrated by a lack of ways to deal directly with invader threats.

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I've probably played more solo games than anyone else (including Eric). All spirits are perfectly playable solo, and can regularly win many games. There are some spirit/adversary combinations where you will definitely have a tough time; for instance, Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds (who focuses on preventing Explorers) versus Kingdom of Britain (who can build without explorers).

I was starting to write up detailed notes, but then decided that it's more fun to discover these things yourself. Suffice it to say that they all work. Some of the spirits are a little over- or under-powered in solo games, in ways that surprised me.

 

dpt
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grysqrl wrote:
Shadows' powers are less direct than the other three. While a seasoned player will recognize the value of generating a lot of fear, a brand new player might get frustrated by a lack of ways to deal directly with invader threats.
Matt (the GtG inventory manager) was framing Shadow as a support character. I think that sets expectations approximately right, although it does actually have reasonable direct effects.
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I played in one or two of playtesting games at London meets, erm, aaaages ago, and I played Shadow because  thought it sounded cool - creepy scary shadows of darkness and doom and stuff that creep up on people and attempt to murderise them, it just attracts my interest immediately >:D. I seem to recall that the Shadow took a while to build up in power/abilities but then I was just wrecking them with uber Fear abilities and stuff and it was very cool :D. So just because it's described as the most complicated of the spirits (I didn't try any of the others myself so can't really compare them) doesn't mean a new player wouldn't enjoy playing it. I mean, I'm sure there are people out there who would happily get stick into Ab'Zero in a first game of Sentinels ;).


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Just to be clear, Shadows Flicker Like Flame is way easier to use in a first game than Absolute Zero...  I would compare Absolute Zero more to Bringers of Dreams and Nightmares, where again it looks totally impossible to a new player.

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I can't tell you guys how much I'm looking forward to finding out what Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares actually does.  That's the one spirit we have seen neither hide nor hair of in anything.  (Even before the more recent Spirit expos for Rampant Growth, Thunderspeaker, and Shadows, they showed up in the runthrough videos and in Shadows' case the Print 'n play.  But we haven't seen anything of Bringer's mechanics.  I'm betting he does lots of fear, though)


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dpt
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Arcanist Lupus wrote:
I'm betting he does lots of fear, though
Bit of an understatement, there...
Eric R
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grysqrl wrote:

Shadows' powers are less direct than the other three. While a seasoned player will recognize the value of generating a lot of fear, a brand new player might get frustrated by a lack of ways to deal directly with invader threats.

Yes, this. If you chart out a game's progression, it'll often be true that Fear proved critical in helping keep the Invaders under control during midgame, but there's enough indirection between "I did Fear" and "We earned a Fear card" (as well as the temporal gap between "We earned a Fear card" and "Something good happened") that new players may not attribute the extra success to their own action. And, eg, the ability to cheaply turn a City into a Town is only indirectly useful in board control... though it's fantastic for actually winning the game once you hit Terror Level 3 (and Shadows' constant Fear helps reach TL3).

Also, the first level of Shadows' innate (gather an Explorer) is fantastic if you know how to use it effectively, and available on Turn 1 if the player so chooses, but first-time players may not make much use of it for the first 3-4 turns because they're (understandably) still internalizing how the Invaders act or viewing Innates as "nice bonuses you might get" rather than something as important as a Power Card. It can make a big cumulative difference in how much the board gets overwhelmed by mid-game.

But Shadows is still definitely better for learning the game than Thunderspeaker, Ocean's Hungry Grasp, or Bringer of Dreams & Nightmares, and probably better than A Spread of Rampant Green, which has to deal with "when should I let my Presence be destroyed?" tradeoffs and combining damage to take down towns/cities. (Also, Rampant Green gets other players' Presence out faster, which isn't something I like in a teaching game.)

(Making good, thematic low-complexity Spirits that still have interesting depth is much harder than making higher-complexity spirits.)

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Eric R wrote:
But Shadows is still definitely better for learning the game than Thunderspeaker, Ocean's Hungry Grasp, or Bringer of Dreams & Nightmares, and probably better than A Spread of Rampant Green, which has to deal with "when should I let my Presence be destroyed?" tradeoffs and combining damage to take down towns/cities. (Also, Rampant Green gets other players' Presence out faster, which isn't something I like in a teaching game.)(Making good, thematic low-complexity Spirits that still have interesting depth is much harder than making higher-complexity spirits.)

Also, the four intro spirits have much simpler growth options, and no elements in their presence tracks.


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dpt
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Rampant Green also has a two-part Growth, which complicates the initial explanations slightly.

EDIT: Ninja'ed!

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Hmm, I don't recognise any of these names outside of the original four - they must've been added in later. I think I recall seeing mention of another one called "Slumbering Serpent" or something, but I don't think it was available at the time I was involved in the one or two games I played. Still, I'm glad there are more spirits - lots more things to do, then! :D Looking forward to whenever Spirit Island comes out so I can get hold of it myself...vaguely recall that I took part in a group buy for it...


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Ameena wrote:
...vaguely recall that I took part in a group buy for it...
You are indeed!

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1440371/uk-group-buy

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Ah cool, yeah I thought that was the case. Wasn't sure if I was getting mixed up with Oblivaeon or something - so many >G Kickstarters for so many cool things! :D


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much0gust0
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Hey, are the rules online somewhere? I know the PnP files had a rules file, but is there a finalized pdf I can peruse while waiting for it to ship? Was surprised not to find one on BGG this late in production...

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I don't believe any final rule book is a available online.  


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dpt wrote:

 

Ameena wrote:
...vaguely recall that I took part in a group buy for it...

 

You are indeed!https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1440371/uk-group-buy

 

Yes indeed, and still very much alive and kicking!