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New Bedford: Rising Tide» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First play with expansion, not a fan rss

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Edward B.
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Rising Tide did not add any enjoyment to New Bedford for me and, at its worst, has the potential to detract from the base game.

That's my takeaway after trying out the expansion recently for the first time. This was a three-player game with myself, “Billy,” and “Tomas.” We are all regular gamers and had played the base game before.

To be fair, I didn't start off on a good foot as I had to review the rules more than I thought I would due to having not played the game in several months. I know it's not fair to judge the expansion on that criteria, but I want to put that out there so you can take the rest of what I say with a grain of salt.

However, right off the bat, you have to sort tiles. This took me several minutes. You have to separate tiles from the base game and the expansion into piles of 2 player buildings and 3+ player buildings and victory point buildings. Then you randomly select a set number of buildings from each set to form the buildings available for this game.

Not a huge deal, I guess, but it adds to the set up time. Now, granted, you could have your game organized so they're already sorted ahead of time.

In addition, if you're using the ship's log expansion, which I did, you add three buildings that interact with those cards.

Now, the ship log cards... these I had a problem with. But, first, the extra buildings.

I'm fine with adding more options to the game, but I don't think the extra buildings are necessary unless you play this game a ton. If you play New Bedford every week, then I would say this is more worthwhile. However, this is a game I would play maybe a few times a year. So for me, I don't see getting tired of the base buildings any time soon. And, in fact, I'd argue that there's an advantage to having the same buildings available every game as you get used to what they do and can try different strategies more readily due to familiarity with how they operate.

Anyway, the ship's log cards. These are two decks of cards. Each round, you flip the top card over on each deck and it's available to select during the whaling phase. Instead of selecting a token (whale or open ocean), you may select a card. These cards do various things. You may get one that you can keep and play at a later time, you may get one worth a victory point, you may get one you play immediately that provides a benefit or manipulates the board in some manner.

I thought the idea of this sounded really cool, but I didn't enjoy it much during play. I felt it like it added another complication that, although small, was also not needed. Also, I didn't like how you could select a card even if you had an open ocean tile. A big part of the base game was that you wanted to position your boats so you got first choice of whales and not be stuck with an empty sea tile. In addition, you really felt like the ocean was getting depleted as more and more empty tiles with fewer and fewer whales remained.

With the expansion it just felt like it wasn't as big a deal if you were left with empty ocean because you could still do something. Plus, you had to read two cards every turn to figure out what they did and some you had to analyze before understand what they did or were supposed to do.

Billy won the game partly to having caught two of the sperm whales and partly to owning a few victory point buildings. Tomas came in second and I was third.

I had an okay time, but next game I won't be using the expansion due to the increased set up and added complexity that doesn't add to the enjoyment of the game.

If you have five players or love additional options no matter what, then this could be a good addition.
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Jonathan Franklin
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I understand your point.

The starting setup is more fiddly than the non-startup one - 12 tiles without brown borders and 4 with. We do keep the three 'ships log' buildings in a separate ziploc.

The benefit of the variety is that instead of a rush every game to the same buildings, you have to evaluate them all, how they interlock, and then pick a strategy based on what is out there.
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Edward B.
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Yeah, I think the extra buildings are a fine idea if you play this regularly. For the few times a year I might play this, I don't see a lot of value. But if you're playing this every month, then it's more of a positive.

I didn't hate the expansion, but I'm not interested in bringing it out again, either.
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David Stephens
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Thanks for the review. I own the RT expansion but have yet to play it as I've only played the base game a few times; each of which I've enjoyed quite a bit. Hopefully I have a better experience with the expansion than yours.
 
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Edward B.
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Let us know how it goes. The session report have have came out more negative than intended. I didn't think it was painful or awful. It just didn't add anything to the game for me and had some detracting elements.

I'd be interested to hear someone else's opinion, though.
 
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