Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SeaFall: Legacy Rides Again

One of my favorite games from the last few years was Risk: Legacy... here's what I wrote about it when it was my #1 new game from 2011:
I’m not sure how to extol the virtues of this wonderous Risk reboot without spoiling some of its well-hidden charms, but I’ll give it a shot.

Risk: Legacy is…
  • …a product of nearly a decade of experimenting with this classic game system. (It incorporates ideas from Risk 2210 & Risk: Black Ops to make the game shorter & yet packed with thematic touches.)
  • …an innovative board game concept – something we don’t see nearly as often as we’d like to think. (The whole “open this pack of cards when this happens” way of changing the game is brilliant.)
  • …a reminder of what was really great about my old RPG days – we’re working together to tell a story about this new world we’re fighting over. (In our case, the founding of Great Humongustan, the DEW line populated with installations left over from the Battle of the Northern Wastes… and most recently, the Cataclysm in Southern Europe.)
  • …gamer catnip. (Let me explain – each time you get to open a new packet, it feels very similar to the “rush” you get when opening a new game or game expansion. And it not only gives you the “new car smell” effect, the added stuff takes the story of the game in a new direction.)
  • …fun even for people who don’t particularly like Risk. (One of the guys in our group – the founder of Great Humongustan – is not a fan of “dudes on a map w/dice” games & esp. not a fan of Risk. Yet he’s having a grand time playing Risk: Legacy with us… and even commented the other night when he arrived after a game had started that “it was just fun watching you guys play.”)
Kudos to Rob Davaiu (the designer)… it is hitting the table EVERY week at our gaming group with people clamoring to play.

And one last thought: even after we finish the 15 game “story arc” (and someone gets to name the world), I can see this board/set being my Risk variant of choice – both to enjoy the memories/history of battles past and because the various tweaks & modifications in this game are really, really nifty. (BTW, this comes from someone who has four other versions of Risk in his collection… yes, it’s that good.)
All of which makes the public announcement yesterday of a cooperative venture between Rob Davaiu's Ironwall Games and Colby Dauch's Plaid Hat Games to publish the next Legacy game incredibly exciting! The next bit is from the official post on Plaid Hat's website:

SeaFall is a 4X game (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) set in an age of sail world that is reminiscent of our world.  In SeaFall the world is just starting to claw its way out of a dark age and has just begun to rediscover seafaring technology.  Players take on the role of a main land empire who each consult with a consortium of advisors to discover new islands, explore those islands, develop trade, send out raiding parties, take part in ship to ship combat, and more.  In fact that 'and more' may be the biggest understatement I've ever made.  Just as in Risk Legacy, SeaFall will evolve as player play it.  Players will become personally invested and the game will remember their grudges.  The narrative will swing as players open up the world.  Unlike Risk Legacy it does all of this without being tied to the Risk license and gameplay engine.  SeaFall will be a medium-heavy weight gamer's hobby game with original game play systems.  Expect the epic.  The game is slated for release in 2014.
It's in the first round of blind playtesting right now... so there won't be a great deal of detail coming out for a few months. Keep calm & carry on... and save your pennies for next year!

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