Unboxing SeaFall by Ironwall Games

Michael Eckenfels, 17 September 2020 ~ #UnboxingDay

I’d had SeaFall on my radar for a while; I’m intrigued by age of sail type games, but there are few that really look good. Blackbeard by GMT. Merchants and Marauders by Z-Man Games. Plenty of others out there that there isn’t room to mention here. The point is, from my perspective, this looked good, despite it being a legacy game. Of course, “legacy game” meaning “you have to rip your sh*t up to play it.” Even so, in my mind, if it tells a good narrative it would be worth a purchase. But at its high price point, I just never bothered.


Fast forward to a few days ago when I saw posts that it was going for less than $11 on Amazon. Someone was cleaning out their inventory! I jumped on it, then texted a friend of mine who’s also a huge game hoarder and knows something of SeaFall.

“SeaFall is ten bucks on Amazon,” I texted. “I grabbed a copy because why not.”

“Nooooooo,” came his reply (and I got the number of o’s correct). “Still not worth it. Not even as PnP supplies.”

SeaFall is ranked 2,263 currently on BGG, with a 6.4 rating. I’ve no idea how many games BGG has in its database now, but that’s page 23 of 1,197 result pages. Both are fairly impressive, even if the commentary is not at times.

“Repetitive.” “Randomness.” “Poor explanation of rules.” “Marred by excess of game systems and poor balance.” This is but some of the detractors.

The more positive reviews call it interesting with good exploration developments and well-balanced. This is one of those games, I think, you have to form your own opinion of instead of going with the crowd. I mean, for less than $11, it seems like a steal.

click images to enlarge

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And what a hefty boi it is. This box must weigh north of five pounds.

 

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Yup, it’s SeaFall alright and not, say, Twilight Imperium 4thEdition by mistake. 🙂  The box art is pretty nice.

 

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The back of the box is loaded down with information, equaling its weight. Maybe it’s heavier from all the print on the box?

 

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Right from opening the box, boom, tons of components in your face.

 

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This first group, though, is in a large plastic bag.

 

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The game board in all its glory. You start in the land area at far left (up to five players), with what I think is one large sea area, then hexes regulating movement past that. A few known islands are in place, but what you can find there is not readily apparent. Looks like there’s at least eleven other locations hidden out there at game start.

 

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Lifting that mounted map and the plastic bag of components, even more greets the eye. There’s twelve boxes lining the inside edges, each of which are only opened at certain points of the game. Then there’s ship miniatures, dice, and plenty of other markers to represent resources.

 

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Some of the loose items in that center section include groups of cards and stickers, which are obviously going to update the game as it progresses.

 

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Opening that large plastic bag, first to greet me is what looks like a welcome page. Not a bad way to start your exposure to an involved game.

 

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Lots of counters in but one of the sheets underneath. Tons of coins and other things used to upgrade ships and other functions in the game.

 

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The back of one sheet shows some very thematic design and color schemes. Very nice so far.

 

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These are two of the possible player countries. A bit of back story is provided as well as further information to go over in the Captain’s Booke when the time comes.

 

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Player boards letting you keep track of materials, upgrades, ship skills, advisors, treasure, and other juicy items.

 

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Another country and more markers.

 

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More coins and markers!

 

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This is a sticker sheet with a lot of stuff to impact the game.

 

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More stickers, most of which here look like they deal with exploration (as it says, “Exploration Sheet”). Genius, I is!

 

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LOTS of small stickers here, which I think are representative of each of the countries included in the game.

 

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The rule book. Since this is a legacy game I’ve no idea if there are spoilers within, so I will not open this to show it here, just in case you’re thinking of picking this beast up.

 

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The “Captain’s Booke,” which has numbered paragraphs indicating events in the game. I love this kind of system, to be honest, so I’m very intrigued by this. Obviously, I am not showing any of this content here.

 

That’s it for content in the game. I can see this being an excellent narrative-driven game making for a great AAR, as some posts on BGG have indicated. Many have said it can easily be played solo multi-handed, while others say there’s no way it can be solo’d. We shall see.


Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed our recon of our recent acquisitions.
You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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Unboxing SeaFall by Ironwall Games

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