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Subject: Impressions from a play session at Origins rss

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Hassan Lopez
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This definitely isn't a review, so please don't take it that way. I didn't Kickstart Posthuman but I was interested in the campaign and thought the gameplay looked intriguing. Since I was at Origins, I signed up for a play session and got to try it out with 4 other players.

Sean (Mr. B) taught us the game and served as an excellent and enthusiastic gamemaster. It was definitely valuable having someone there to walk us through the first several turns, since there's a fair amount to learn in this game. We played for 2 hours, which was enough to learn the game and for several of us to accumulate a couple journey points. No one got a scar, and as such, no one was close to becoming a mutant. After a couple hours, the group stopped playing, gave some feedback to Sean, and went our separate ways.

Thoughts on my play, in no particular order:

1. The story-telling aspect of this game is very strong. There's a lot of card-text and the characters and encounters have a lot of flavor. It definitely feels like a role-playing boardgame. If you like games like Arkham/Eldritch Horror (including the reading of text, the die rolling, skill checks, the lengthy play-time, etc.), I think you will like this game. There is enormous opportunity to mold and equip your character in unique and interesting ways.

2. The down-time can be brutal. There's not much player interaction, except for trading - which we didn't do any of in our brief session. I wouldn't play this with 5-6 players. Heck, I don't think I would play this with more than 3. 2 might be the sweet-spot, since then the other player can always be rolling the dice against you in combat encounters. But if you have to wait for 3-5 other players to resolve all their encounters and combats before your turn comes around again, it can be dull.

3. The combat system is OK. It's a little obtuse with a fair amount of symbology and text-checking. There's a difference between rolling a hit vs. rolling damage. I did enjoy how different enemies had different special abilities that made combat feel varied. Getting netted, knocked down, etc. I think there's some depth to this system, but it didn't feel particularly streamlined.

4. This is a race game, where you're trying to get to a certain number of journey points before anyone else. So it's very much about risk vs. reward. Taking risks so that you can level faster, but also potentially jump into a situation you can't handle. That part is fun. But I was disappointed by the general feeling that I was on an entirely separate adventure as everybody else. My map is 100% separate from other players. This really reduced the immersion factor for me. I'd rather play a race-style adventure game where everyone's on the same map and can potentially interact with each other when they share the same location.

Thanks again to Sean for teaching us this game and a big congrats on such a successful Kickstarter.
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Steven Gong
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Thanks for the insight. I'm looking forward to trying it out.
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You may call me
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Very interesting info. Thanks. I didn't back the KS although I was on the fence up until the very last minute.

The reason I didn't KS the game is your number 2 and 4. It just looked like multiplayer solitaire and for an immersive thematic game I want to be interacting with the other players.

I will still follow this game closely when it comes out but at least I feel better about not backing it for now. whistle
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Steven
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The fact that you mention "brief" when speaking about a 2 hrs session is scary to me (mainly because a typical full game with 5 players should be around 2.5 hrs). Since you had someone explaining, I figured it would not have taken much longer to get the ball rolling, but I might be crazy. The other thing that saddens me is after what should be almost a full game, no had a scar. I had hoped mutating would play a larger role in the game, thus increasing interaction. I was really excited about this one on KS, but was short on money at the time so I passed. That said, after reading this I am kind of glad I could not back. I will keep an eye on it and look into more in-depth reviews once its released, but this one is sliding off my must have list atm. Lets hope things change because the concept looks great.
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Hassan Lopez
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To clarify: we didn't even get close to finishing this game. We had 2-3 journey points each, and we hadn't started the level 2 encounters. So I'm sure scars play a larger role in a full game. BUT, it was a little exhausting to see how little progress we'd made after an hour-and-a-half. I think a full play session with 5-6 would easily take 3-5 hours. In a game like Arkham Horror, I can tolerate that because of the cooperative nature of the experience - but this felt a little too much like 5 solitaire games going on at the same time. Having said all that, I feel like I only touched the surface of this game during our brief time with it. There's certainly a lot of game here, and I suspect it's going to be a very satisfying solo or 2-player experience for a lot of people.

fubarbox wrote:
The fact that you mention "brief" when speaking about a 2 hrs session is scary to me (mainly because a typical full game with 5 players should be around 2.5 hrs). Since you had someone explaining, I figured it would not have taken much longer to get the ball rolling, but I might be crazy. The other thing that saddens me is after what should be almost a full game, no had a scar. I had hoped mutating would play a larger role in the game, thus increasing interaction. I was really excited about this one on KS, but was short on money at the time so I passed. That said, after reading this I am kind of glad I could not back. I will keep an eye on it and look into more in-depth reviews once its released, but this one is sliding off my must have list atm. Lets hope things change because the concept looks great.
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Steven
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Thanks for the clarification. The time is still what troubles me most and why I will likely pass on the game unless something changes at launch. On the KS its said that the game is 30 mins per player. Your game seems to show that it will be much longer, even if its not a learning game (I know yours was a learning game, but you did have someone who knows the game well to teach you so not sure how to really judge it). I really appreciate you sharing your experience !

severian73 wrote:
To clarify: we didn't even get close to finishing this game. We had 2-3 journey points each, and we hadn't started the level 2 encounters. So I'm sure scars play a larger role in a full game. BUT, it was a little exhausting to see how little progress we'd made after an hour-and-a-half. I think a full play session with 5-6 would easily take 3-5 hours. In a game like Arkham Horror, I can tolerate that because of the cooperative nature of the experience - but this felt a little too much like 5 solitaire games going on at the same time. Having said all that, I feel like I only touched the surface of this game during our brief time with it. There's certainly a lot of game here, and I suspect it's going to be a very satisfying solo or 2-player experience for a lot of people.

fubarbox wrote:
The fact that you mention "brief" when speaking about a 2 hrs session is scary to me (mainly because a typical full game with 5 players should be around 2.5 hrs). Since you had someone explaining, I figured it would not have taken much longer to get the ball rolling, but I might be crazy. The other thing that saddens me is after what should be almost a full game, no had a scar. I had hoped mutating would play a larger role in the game, thus increasing interaction. I was really excited about this one on KS, but was short on money at the time so I passed. That said, after reading this I am kind of glad I could not back. I will keep an eye on it and look into more in-depth reviews once its released, but this one is sliding off my must have list atm. Lets hope things change because the concept looks great.
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Eric
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Game sounds like a blast. Double glad I backed it.

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Miguel Pacheco
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I have to admit as a backer this is a bit alarming. I bought it primarily for 6 player, but if its going to take 6 hours to play that's not going to work.

I'd love to hear from the designers if this playtime is an anomaly or if its at all feasible to wrap up a 6 player game in say....3 to 4 hours.
 
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Piston Broke
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Having played the game three or four times, my experiences have been quite different. I also think that with 3 or 4 the mutation route for the last player adds a lot to the experience. There is a lot of symbols and combat does take a bit of sorting but the game played quite quick.
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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Nagoya wrote:
Having played the game three or four times, my experiences have been quite different. I also think that with 3 or 4 the mutation route for the last player adds a lot to the experience. There is a lot of symbols and combat does take a bit of sorting but the game played quite quick.

Yes I think playing it for the first time isn't really representative, time-wise. All first few game sessions take a lot longer because people have to read the rulebook a lot. I think you can make a fair judgement only after say 3-5 sessions.
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Simon Lewis
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I've just played my first game, and with 3 players it took over 4 hours. I think time would definitely be shorter once we are familiar but it is nothing like the 1/2 per player claimed on the box.

We sawe lots of scars, however. In fact we all became mutants.
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