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Subject: First Impressions after a 3-player game rss

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Michael Taylor
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*********************
So, first, a disclaimer. We planned on starting them game at 7:00pm Saturday night, knowing the advertised play time of 2 hours would be substantially more due to never playing and only one of us familiar with the rules. After a late arrival and chit chat, we didn't open the box to begin setup until after 9:00, so around 2:00am we called it quits with about 3 more rounds to go.
*********************

Misc. ramblings of my first play through:

Setup
A bit more work than other games I'm used to. I understand the reasoning why, as the game conditions will be different every time.

The rulebook says to make ALL of the boards accessible to everybody, this is difficult to do on my table even with three players. There was no issue of me playing the "banker" role for the person who couldn't reach some of the general supply and the Worker Assignment board.

The baggies the game came with work fine.

Components/Design
Very good quality, thick cardboard and wooden bits. I had everything punched before first play and was surprised for some reason, even though I own 5 other Minion Games games and they are all of excellent quality.

The graphic design and layout make sense to me. I loved the little reminders printed on boards, and the cards with rule reminders on them. The updates to the look/feel from The Manhattan Project to this were obviously well thought out. Bravo to the designer.

Play
Be ready for your turn or the game will be dragging. Since you are only placing one or two workers, taking several minutes is torture. I know your move may be blocked by somebody that just went before you, but C'mon.

There were some Worker Retrieval turns that took 10 minutes. This was our first game, so we let some stuff slide, like allowing the player to go back in time to retrieve in a different order so they have the benefit they needed if they messed up.

Could be prone to AP. Know your group and who this will work with. Too many decisions for some people.

Very thematic, and I loved it. One of the players was Soviet Union and their special ability was using their politicians as spies, we all cracked up because that user used the bejeezus out of that ability. The other player was North Korea. He somehow ended up with a ton of nukes and generals, but had only one politician struggling to move up on the Third World track to deploy those things. I was China and had the most workers and factories, but struggled with using my ability to place a third worker because I couldn't spare the $1.

Overall


Besides the length, which I know will drastically shorten with experience, this is a great, great game. Everything made sense thematically, there was a lot of options, good interaction between players, and a constant threat when there wasn't interaction. I will play this any time somebody asks, and will suggest it any other time.
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Jonathan Barth
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Worker retrieval seems to be the hangup for my group as well. Especially when you have 10+ workers out on the boards.
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Michael Taylor
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jbarth09 wrote:
Worker retrieval seems to be the hangup for my group as well. Especially when you have 10+ workers out on the boards.


Yeah, the later in the game the longer it took. At some point we all had 10+ workers and whoa boy. I think around turns 20/21/22 we had all synced up for retrieval, 30 minutes later with the scoring event, let's get back to it
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Brandon Tibbetts
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I'm glad you enjoyed the game even though the time on your first playthrough was really off the charts! Since this was the major issue here, I thought I'd share some tips for moving the game along quickly. These will help on your turn, but also on other players' turns if you can offer some assistance.

Worker Placement:

As you said, it's only making 2 placements... so "come on!" lol. But while sometimes it's just a genuinely hard decision (this is what the game was designed for after all), other times with new players, it's just not knowing the full range of possible options or which of these options are clearly more valuable at a given time than others. Here are some ways to help out a new player who is struggling with these.

- Do you want to build a building? (If necessary remind them what buildings do). Point out for them how much money they have... if they have a lot then they will likely want to buy a building, if they don't have much money then perhaps they'd want to skip construction this turn.

- Remind them that they can make 2 placements. In general, the areas for placements are (1) the worker assignment board, (2) your own buildings with laborers, (3) your opponents buildings with spies or anybody's 3rd world nation with politicians. Point to each area as you remind a player when they are struggling.

- Point out a few areas for placement that you think are the best possibilities, and let them decide from those. (e.g. "you don't have any policitians, look the $1+politician eduacation space is available"). Also, rule out options that are of little or no use (e.g. "proliferation is useless for you since you don't have any ICBM silos").

Worker Retrieval:

When someone becomes familiar with the game, you'll never see a 10 minute retrieval from them (wow! 10 minutes!). The order is what can be difficult for a new player here. Here's how you can help:

- For many placements, order is irrelevant. These are the ones that simply produce something (without any effect from technology). Do those first. You can even do these FOR someone else on their turn, as there is no decision that comes into it.

- For many other placements, it's pretty clear that you'd want to do them first. Sometimes you want to do education before recruiting, so it puts an available laborer back into the supply to then be recruited. Activate Research Facilities before other buildings, since technology levels may affect the capabilities of other buildings. Activate Reactors before Factories, since you can use the nukes you get from Reactors when you produce Subs and Bombers from your Factories.

- Finally, make sure the limit worker token is in the correct place on your worker track. It helps you know if you've located and retrieved all your workers or not. If you think it might be in the wrong place, you can resort to counting all 15 your workers (or someone else's to help them.) If retrieval is complete they should only be in 1 of 2 locations: the worker track and the General Supply. Most common place for an "overlooked" worker: 3rd World Nation.

I hope these help! I promise you that once your group becomes well versed in TMP2:MtM, that the only thing that will stop you from getting the game done in 2 - 2.5 hours will be good old fashioned genuine AP, bathroom breaks, pizza deliveries and table talk!
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Max Jamelli
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7 hours and you still had rounds left?

That's beyond AP I think. I played a 2P game (did not start the scoring track on 5 like was suggested) and granted 2 will be shorter, but we were just learning too and we backtracked a couple times after figuring things out - and we only went 2.5 hours.
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Michael Taylor
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sigtaulefty wrote:
7 hours and you still had rounds left?


We planned to start at 7:00 but it was actually after 9:00. We are a slow bunch any ways, so even is we are fully familiar with a game we are just there to appreciate the company, not to burn through a game. If the playtime is 2 hrs we plan on 3.

I do think this game taking this group 3 hours will be the average, which I think is just fine, especially for a game this immersive.
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Michael Taylor
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schmanthony wrote:
I'm glad you enjoyed the game even though the time on your first playthrough was really off the charts! Since this was the major issue here, I thought I'd share some tips for moving the game along quickly. These will help on your turn, but also on other players' turns if you can offer some assistance.

Worker Placement:

As you said, it's only making 2 placements... so "come on!" lol. But while sometimes it's just a genuinely hard decision (this is what the game was designed for after all), other times with new players, it's just not knowing the full range of possible options or which of these options are clearly more valuable at a given time than others. Here are some ways to help out a new player who is struggling with these.

- Do you want to build a building? (If necessary remind them what buildings do). Point out for them how much money they have... if they have a lot then they will likely want to buy a building, if they don't have much money then perhaps they'd want to skip construction this turn.

- Remind them that they can make 2 placements. In general, the areas for placements are (1) the worker assignment board, (2) your own buildings with laborers, (3) your opponents buildings with spies or anybody's 3rd world nation with politicians. Point to each area as you remind a player when they are struggling.

- Point out a few areas for placement that you think are the best possibilities, and let them decide from those. (e.g. "you don't have any policitians, look the $1+politician eduacation space is available"). Also, rule out options that are of little or no use (e.g. "proliferation is useless for you since you don't have any ICBM silos").

Worker Retrieval:

When someone becomes familiar with the game, you'll never see a 10 minute retrieval from them (wow! 10 minutes!). The order is what can be difficult for a new player here. Here's how you can help:

- For many placements, order is irrelevant. These are the ones that simply produce something (without any effect from technology). Do those first. You can even do these FOR someone else on their turn, as there is no decision that comes into it.

- For many other placements, it's pretty clear that you'd want to do them first. Sometimes you want to do education before recruiting, so it puts an available laborer back into the supply to then be recruited. Activate Research Facilities before other buildings, since technology levels may affect the capabilities of other buildings. Activate Reactors before Factories, since you can use the nukes you get from Reactors when you produce Subs and Bombers from your Factories.

- Finally, make sure the limit worker token is in the correct place on your worker track. It helps you know if you've located and retrieved all your workers or not. If you think it might be in the wrong place, you can resort to counting all 15 your workers (or someone else's to help them.) If retrieval is complete they should only be in 1 of 2 locations: the worker track and the General Supply. Most common place for an "overlooked" worker: 3rd World Nation.

I hope these help! I promise you that once your group becomes well versed in TMP2:MtM, that the only thing that will stop you from getting the game done in 2 - 2.5 hours will be good old fashioned genuine AP, bathroom breaks, pizza deliveries and table talk!


Thanks for the information! I do think we'll be using this information in the future. A lot of it I understood and used as I was way more familiar with the game. Like I said, I'm not too worried about the time this first game took. This group is like that on all first play throughs. We are all very analytical and try to fully understand every aspect of the game during our first play. We know its a problem but we are okay with it
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James Mathe
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Also, keep in mind that in this game (like Energy Empire) it is not typical to need all your workers like most WP games. In fact, you can win by forcing more pull-backs which move the game along faster. If everyone has a horde of workers and never pulls back before they use them all, then the game will drag on a bit. There are very strategic times to pull back and to force scoring and such... don't be afraid to do that before you use all your workers.
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Michael Taylor
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RPGShop wrote:
Also, keep in mind that in this game (like Energy Empire) it is not typical to need all your workers like most WP games. In fact, you can win by forcing more pull-backs which move the game along faster. If everyone has a horde of workers and never pulls back before they use them all, then the game will drag on a bit. There are very strategic times to pull back and to force scoring and such... don't be afraid to do that before you use all your workers.


Yep, I was able to pull that off twice to trigger scoring events. The plan worked perfectly as it allowed me to do a sub sweep with rid my waters of 18 (18!) nukes and upped my ABM defense to account for all the bombers in my airspace.
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/|\ Roland /|\
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RPGShop wrote:
Also, keep in mind that in this game (like Energy Empire) it is not typical to need all your workers like most WP games. In fact, you can win by forcing more pull-backs which move the game along faster. If everyone has a horde of workers and never pulls back before they use them all, then the game will drag on a bit. There are very strategic times to pull back and to force scoring and such... don't be afraid to do that before you use all your workers.

Yeah haven't played my M2M yet, but that tactic definitely works in EE, and I can imagine the the same for M2M
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Max Jamelli
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RPGShop wrote:
Also, keep in mind that in this game (like Energy Empire) it is not typical to need all your workers like most WP games. In fact, you can win by forcing more pull-backs which move the game along faster. If everyone has a horde of workers and never pulls back before they use them all, then the game will drag on a bit. There are very strategic times to pull back and to force scoring and such... don't be afraid to do that before you use all your workers.


Yep - my opponent did this to me RIGHT BEFORE I was going to get 2 extra ICBM's to go over him in scoring.

angry
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Brandon Tibbetts
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It can be YUGE to force a scoring event, especially when you're deploying subs. There's a once-per-game opportunity for that one, so look out for it!

Note: With 3-5 players, forcing the End Game event doesn't work like the 4 in-game events, since everyone else at the table gets 1 final turn afterwards.
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Jay Caracappa
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schmanthony wrote:
Note: With 3-5 players, forcing the End Game event doesn't work like the 4 in-game events, since everyone else at the table gets 1 final turn afterwards.


Oops, I missed this. Didn't realize there was a final go-round after someone triggers the end-game.

Question to that effect: If a retrieval is done after the round marker hits the end, does it keep moving thus rewarding the retriever either a nuke or $1 depending on what it lands on?
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Brandon Tibbetts
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JpC812 wrote:
[q="schmanthony"]Question to that effect: If a retrieval is done after the round marker hits the end, does it keep moving thus rewarding the retriever either a nuke or $1 depending on what it lands on?


That's an excellent question! It definitely belongs in the FAQ.

Yes, after final scoring is triggered by someone else, you will advance the round marker and get your $1 or 1 nuke bonus if you retrieve workers on your final turn. It's just like any other turn.

If that bonus is a nuke, it just might be the one you need to score a few extra points for the win!

If it's $1, it's entirely useless
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