Ok, so the verdict is out... it's a 5. I don't believe the game is broken, nor the draft part of the game. As much as I would like to take all the 'right' cards to play, the drafting proces just will not allow it. Therefore you will always have to adjust to some sort of sub-optimal hand to play your game with, and that makes for an ok game. Having said that; it's kind of boring to know in advance what cards you simply 'must' pick in order to have a decent chance at winning. And if you happen to be Mc Cain it won't help to know that YOU WILL lose that Fundraiser at some point in the game...
Edit: just finished another game that took waaaay to long. I couldn't build up a decent deck because all 'draw'cards seem to fall together with all the other good cards and my opponent just had to many go negatives and demographics. So we ended up drawing out a game that took us more than an hour before my opponent simply gave up. It's just not interesting.
What can be bad, sometimes is also good. With the drafting 1 out of 3 you are sometimes forced to make a choice out of 2 lesser Evils. It helps to keep the game fresh, but I must stress that this game needs to be under 60 minutes before it could start to shine. Right now we were at 70 minutes. Still too long
Again the forece of the draw helps keep things interesting but at 70 min a play and all to hope for is ineffiency of drawing cards, does not help in making a game worth your efforts. Still, you can be challenged when the game doesn't give you the right deck indeed.
Nice filler!I just had to upgrade this game. Immediately after finishing one round of play, you want to set up a next. That's the mark of a good game. Much more strategy then one might think! All games of one night are logged as one game
Update: after my 9th game I have seen it. This is it. Nothing more, nothing less to discover. Nice little game but not worth an 8 anymore.
A Long time favourite, which I seldom get to play. Most people find it chaotic. Others say the game has balance issues, or kingmaker, kingbasher problems. All of that has not been a problem for me to date. Although that could be because I simply can't find enough opponents to stick with the game for a longer period. The flags on ships and in ports can be chaotic sometimes, but overall, it's a really good transportation aka wargame. With all those (better) games at my disposal, I don't think this is one I'm 'usually' willing to play, per the BGG scoring. It's still fun and quite challenging, so a 6 is on the spot for now.
Update 2015-04: this one has had it's best days. It's time to move on. We played with a variant rule set and some people were complaining that the game had no real interactivity going on at all. Which was true, even though we were playing with the rule that doesn't allow you to sell for cash at your own ports. This did not lead to any interaction of any sorts what so ever. Which was really a shame as it did away with even the smooth "daisy chaining" your routes efficiently without replacing it with something better.
As it stands the game just doesn't hold up. Even with the mix of variant rules borrowed from the 2nd edition and from the community. The variant rules will be posted in the variant section.
Recently played it again. I think it has begun to show its age. Since hits are (mostly) only on a roll of 1, it has huge swings of luck to it. Perhaps I'll try it once more with an increased hit roll, but that might do the game more damage then good since the point of the whole game is that you only have a few forces to move around. So what bugs me the mos, I guess, is that luck on the roll out ways most of the strategic thinking.
Interesting entry level war game. Rules are some 4 pages, which is nothing too complex. Oversight is easy to maintain, although choices are still abundant and complex!