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VOC! Founding the Dutch East Indies Company» Forums » Sessions

Subject: VOC! - short for Voice Out Cry! rss

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Mike Jones
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So, I bought this a while back cause it just sounded strange.

This is the third time I've played it.

We sat down to play; Charles, Neil, Angelica, Mike and myself. Only Neil and I had played it before. (Neil's experience was at a con at 2 in the morning).

I explained the game. And when talking about navigating, I did ask that we don't spend to much time talking about what commands everyone wants when. The last time we played it took a long time to play, because everyone wanted to plan out the entire route before starting.

So, we set off playing.

During the first 'To East and Back phase', someone cut it very close to a coast. But, I said 'it's a friendly game, we don't have to argue about something that's on the line'. Boy was I wrong.

Shortly after that, I was giving commands. The Captain was going right into an island and we needed to go west to avoid it. But, I yelled out east and he turned right into part of the island we needed to miss. Mike just started going off "I don't understand why you did that to me!" It was as if I had put a knife in his back and he didn't believe that it could have been a mistake.

Angelica on the other hand kept confusing her East from her West when being the Captain. Several times someone would yell East and she turn West right into an Island. So, one a voyage she did this again. I yelled East and she turned West. This time she didn't hit an island though and kept going. So, I needed her to turn East. Her having just turned the opposite direction on the last command, I figured I'd out think her and yell the opposite. This time, however, she paused and thought for 30-45 seconds and turned the direction I actually called 'right into the island'

The first few turns were filled with crashes, so we weren't picking up a lot and sure weren't taking them back. So, 3 contracts had already been discarded to Amsterdam before the first contract was actually filled.

Near the middle of the game, we still had not been very successful at picking up things and delivering them to market. We have finally gotten a full ship that include TWO peppers. The first peppers to be obtained. There were even a couple contracts out with peppers. Another boat had just gotten back with commodities from the west. So, if we got back with ours, we would have been able to fill 3 of the 4 contracts. As long as we didn't fill the big 17 point one. Well I could fill the 17 point by myself, so they demanded payment from me or the captain was going to sail into land and sink the ship. (He was alone, but with a fairly good shot at home). I didn't have any money, so couldn't pay him. Also, I pointed out that I wasn't the only one that could fill the 17 and my better bet was negociating for the 2 pepper 10 contract. If I would have gone for the 17, It probably would have been bid down to 3-5 points. Also, I was worried about how many contracts were going into Amsterdam, so figured we'd be better knocking out three contracts. (the other commodities on the ship could have filled other contracts with trades). But, without money or any hope of making money, they decided to sink the boat. SOOOOO, frustrating. I really didn't understand giving up all those contracts and ability bargain, because one other person MIGHT be able to fill one contract (I might add, the only one on that ship that hadn't filled a contracts was me, THEY HAD MONEY)

Only one contract got filled that round and there weren't any more ships at sea with needed commodities. So, for the next three turns we just got to watch contracts go to Amsterdam.

Nearing the end of the game, we were getting a ship back to port. The ship was going well and just needed an slight correction to the East. So, Mike yelled out West forcing the ship right into the island. Being the jerk I am, I said "I don't understand why you did that". Which of course drew "I didn't mean to!". "aaahhhh so now you understand"

The VOC! card came up quickly after that. In the end only a total of 5-6 contracts were filled. Yet, Amsterdam had 7-8. The score almost didn't matter with Amsterdam having over 50 points; there was no way anyone could win, so we all lost. I didn't even get one contract filled. Neil and Charles were the only ones that got any real money, but even those two combined wasn't more the Amsterdam.

So, it ended up a frustrating game, they all took the game way to serious, which in the end made us all lose in more ways then one. Although, we didn't plot and play every sail phase so the game went a lot quicker.

Also, we were playing basic first edition rules. I do see that there are corrections to the rules. One of which would have meant the cards would not have gone into Amsterdam as quickly. But, in this case it wouldn't have mattered.

Edit Spelling.
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Wade Broadhead
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I have been eyeing this. So you did not have a good experience and would not play again? Would ou be eager to play with someone who was more predisposed to the game?
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Mike Jones
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The first two games were a lot of fun!

The first one was played by 5. We were into the shipping and the trading/gaing money was secondary. We had a lot of fun.

The second was late at night at a con and with only 4 players. We had fun, but I wouldn't recommend that. It took way to long. Partly because we planned to much and partly because it was so late. I also, think it works much better with 5 players. Also, we got more into the screw each other in the filling of contracts part. So, it did turn ugly once.

This session was ok, I do think I need to play it with people that play it for fun and not to win. The funny thing is, I tend not to like party games. So, my friends started calling this a party game to annoy me. But, they are right, it's what it should be.

I'll play again. Maybe even with the same people. But, will have to go into it with the mindset that they are going to take it serious. Everyone jsut wanted to take it too serious, which then also rubbed off on me I guess.

5 players who want to have fun shipping is best. It's ultimately a coop game.

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Charles Smith
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Okay, yeah I am sorry that I crashed the boat... now that I have played through a game and had a chance to think back on it, I would have tried to make it back.

I actually liked this much more than I thought. The reason I was kind of worried about it, was that I thought that if you wrecked the boat, everyone dies.

In retrospect I can see a strategy to this game.

But in the end, I still think that you should have offered to split the card with me if we made it back... I was playing a negotiation game there, but like I said, even though at the time I thought I was making a good game decision, I am sorry that I wrecked the boat.
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Charles Smith
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Just to clarify, Wade, if you get this game and teach it. The players have to realize that the game goes much quicker than it seems. While we were playing I felt like I had much more time. Basically this is because the boats don't come back to port that often. But the game is really flying by.

Since I didn't understand that (not that Mike didn't explain the mechanisms, but at the time I made the choice to crash the boat, I figured we would easily make it back to port 3 or 4 more times), I thought that I could wreck the boat and only hurt Mike. It turns out that we didn't make that boat back to port the rest of the game.

Now that I have played, I want to go back and play again with the sense of urgency. I still feel like this is a bit of a party game, in that if you take it too seriously, it will be frustrating, but I do feel understand the need to play this as a coop.
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Mike Jones
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czrdup wrote:
Okay, yeah I am sorry that I crashed the boat... now that I have played through a game and had a chance to think back on it, I would have tried to make it back.

I actually liked this much more than I thought. The reason I was kind of worried about it, was that I thought that if you wrecked the boat, everyone dies.

In retrospect I can see a strategy to this game.

But in the end, I still think that you should have offered to split the card with me if we made it back... I was playing a negotiation game there, but like I said, even though at the time I thought I was making a good game decision, I am sorry that I wrecked the boat.


Problem was Neil was in position to take it with Angelica too, so I don't think I would have gotten it anyway. So, I had nothing to bargin with. So, any deal I wouold have made would have been a lie (in my black and white thinking).
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