I played everything in Prototype 2. I read the rulebook several times. I read the Ship Book. I keep track of comments on ISS Vanguard sections of Gamefound, Facebook and Board Game Geek forums. I carefully played the Tutorial and first Ship Book (kind of like Ship Phase tutorial).
So I was ready.
And boy, this first planet is exercising my brain. And mind you … that is a VERY GOOD THING! Once you have lived seven decades they tell you to exercise your brain. Well … I think ISS Vanguard is an ideal way to do just that!
And boy (did I say that already? I forget:) did Awaken Realms do a good job of putting the pressure on you right from the get go after the tutorial. I waited a bit hoping someone would come to play the game with me, but no such luck. So, I loaded up my lander and selected my Away Team (all four sections) and was off. Fortunately I had a safe landing without losing anything.
Then I looked at the situation on the planet. Hmmmm.
I should have run a stopwatch to time how long it took me to get through the first round (ie, each section took one turn). I think it was well over an hour (probably an hour and thirty minutes)! UPDATE: However, literally half of that time (or more) was spent double checking things in the rulebook AND writing on my cards (see bottom of this article)… so 45 minutes for the first round:
Tonight maybe I will use an online stopwatch to see how long my rounds (one turn for each section) take!
Now … I will tell you how my first round on Pellucid went without giving any spoilers (as long as you don’t look closely at the photo and read the text)!
I set up my table hoping someone would join me in the game:
I think my first round went very well. It took a bit of thinking (yes, I said first “round” not first “game”). Since all crewmembers were in the same Sector, they could assist each other with a die and a card (either or both). I can see that the danger die is going to be in my rolls way, way too often though. But I cleared the “no exit” situation and succeeded in the Special Action in that first Sector PLUS got all the crewmembers safely to their next Sectors… kind of safely… just two crew got injured – hmmm … maybe that is not very safely? At least I was able to get rid of one injury die! And Sectors is plural because I decided to split the team up into two groups of two crewmembers each. After just one round this is what my game looks like (if you haven’t played Pellucid yet, do not look closely at the text, just the general layout on how many dice, section cards and equipment cards were used / spent / discarded plus how I split up my team:)
I adjusted the game layout on my table for SOLO play … originally it was set up hoping that someone would join me in the game! You can compare how the game looks after I slid playmats around so I could view them all from my chair (and adjusted the game board to not be angled).
Then I played ONE ROUND (each Section took one turn so far).
I am going to look at the situation again tonight and start with Round Two! Looks like I will need to figure out if I should go risky (rolling the danger die) or chance running out of supplies (by spending a die to move). One other accomplishment … After just one Round I already have a second (optional) mission!
The Danger Die icons have a small (actually TINY) letter in the middle. That letter is so small that I needed a magnifying glass to read it PLUS an LED bright white flashlight so it could be clearly seen. Even with that, there were some cards where I could not determine if the letter was an F or an E because the black tiny letter touched the black icon inner lines. So, what I was doing was figuring out just WHAT the letter was, then I took a silver gel pen and wrote that letter on the card itself so I wouldn’t have to keep pulling out my magnifying glass and flashlight each time I looked at it.
90 minutes for 1 round? No wonder you can’t find folk to play lol. Seriously, good luck in your adventure!