July 30, 2014 at 10:05 am #6476
Hello quasi-empty room!
I’m playing Android (the board game, not the card game) for the first time this week and was wondering how long should I expect it to take. We’re playing two players (yes, I know it should be at least three) and my friend will have to teach me.
So, how long has it taken for you?July 30, 2014 at 10:17 am #6477
Ahh, it won’t be empty for long! Welcome to the club, and congratulations on being the first member of the new forums.
Unfortunately I’ve only played Android once, and it was a long, long experience. First, with all due modesty, I highly recommend my summary sheets. But your first play will take a while to muddle through, and you’ll probably be there for a good 4 hours, if not more. It also depends on whether everyone reads out their cards or not, which in a theme-heavy game like this is almost essential.
Hopefully the game speeds up a lot as everyone gets to know it, but it’s always going to be a long session I think.
I wish I’d got the chance to play it more but it’s in storage at the moment. Let us know how it goes!July 30, 2014 at 10:25 am #6480
This is what I expected.
Oh and don’t worry. I use your summary cards every chance I get. They are absolutely magical. MAGICAL I SAY.July 30, 2014 at 10:32 am #6483
You’re obviously a man of taste and distinction! 🙂July 31, 2014 at 12:58 pm #6611
Funny you posted this when you did. I actually looked up this game, just today, after finally purchasing Netrunner last night. Curious to know how it goes for you. Please keep us updated.July 31, 2014 at 1:50 pm #6613
A guy on Boardgamegeek actually re-wrote the entire rules in quite a comprehensive fashion, frustrated with the thing that many players find annoying – that you’re not exactly finding a murderer so much as pinnng a murder on someone. I always wanted to try out their variant. It’s called The Director’s Cut.October 7, 2014 at 12:29 am #7519
The game is thematic and engaging however too long and brain-burny for my liking.
The art and concept were/are fantastic, but I had to trade the game in as the game length would pretty much stop any opportunity to play.October 7, 2014 at 8:28 am #7522
Has anyone every tried that Director’s Cut version?November 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm #7821
I have to say that Android (the board game) is one of the most thematic, immersive and incredible board games ever created. I think the mechanics and game play are ingenious and it’s one of the most under-appreciated games out there. I don’t think I will ever trade or sell my copy because it has such impressive components and captivating characters and story lines. Even the rulebook is beautiful!
Most folks don’t understand that 95% of the enjoyment of the game requires reading a large amount of text in order to get involved in the story enough to care about the characters and what happens to them. Lots of people don’t have patience for that. In this game, it requires you to follow the current plot of your own character as well as the plots of the other characters being played. Since it’s a different game every time (with different plot trees), that’s an important thing to understand. If it’s a player’s first time with the game, this can be quite overwhelming. That’s why I think it’s best to introduce new players to the game by only playing through one “week” per game session. Maybe split it up and play the second “week” during a different game session or after a nice lunch break.
More importantly, before the game starts, every player needs to spend the time reading their character’s back story and all the plot cards (with all the outcomes). Maybe even skimming through their light cards to see what things they can aim for. Remind them that plots are color coded and light/dark cards will match the colors of the plots. It might also help if the owner of the game has thoroughly read the back story of the Android universe in the rule book (including the small areas of fluff text), and shared the theme and backdrop with everyone in order to set the stage. Players can then go around the table summarize their character’s back story for the rest of the group (just like you would do at the start of an RPG campaign). This should give new players a good solid starting point.
I have actually enjoyed playing the game solo (with 3 characters), even using the normal rules. This helps you get to know the characters really well and it’s similar to a choose your own adventure story. When playing solo, I only draw and play dark cards on the character to the left of the active character. Since all evidence is turned face down, you still won’t know which character had the correct hunch until the end of the solo game! But remember, it’s possible for players to still win the game even if their hunch proves wrong!
One big comment I have to make regarding the “framing” of a suspect instead of proving them guilty. You have to understand that this game experience is built around players being an omnipotent storytelling “creator”. You are not actually playing the character, you are more like some unseen force of fate or destiny that causes the character to go down a certain path (their plot), and at the same time you are affecting the fate of all the other characters in the game. Think about it. Could Raymond Flint (the character, not the player) actually have any way of causing Floyd to experience a bad event (via a dark card)? This would be impossible, especially if it has to do with Floyd’s plot that Raymond knows nothing about. That’s why you have to constantly remind yourself that you are not playing a character, you are only influencing what happens to him or her in the overall story.
You are basically a co-screenwriter of a sprawling epic movie. And with that omnipotent power of insight about all characters in the story, you are making plot decisions organically in real-time. Looking at it in this way you can also easily see that the evidence discovery and placement can be abstracted. The game doesn’t describe what the evidence was or how it is connected to a suspect. You can assume that all those tedious details have been figured out by the character. All you are doing is playing the role of “fate” trying to match up the evidence to the characters hunch. So I see it as a storytelling responsibility and not a “frame” job.
I’m sure alot of people will not agree with me on this, but I believe that is the spirit of what the game designer was trying to achieve. Most gamers like to take on the role of the character they are playing, but that just doesn’t work in this game. You have to approach it with a completely different mindset. And once you do, a whole new world of possibilities and awesomeness of this Android universe come pouring out. If you can just shift your mindset a bit, and show the other players the how to do the same, the entire group will truly enjoy this game and become fully immersed and invested.November 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm #7823
Excellent post ShadowClipse. It’s a game that has always intrigued me, though I haven’t yet had the opportunity to play it with the right players (players that will immerse themselves in the theme in the way you suggest). I wish I had it with me at the moment. Your comment about playing fate or a screenwriter is really interesting and probably right on the money. They probably should have emphasised this more when it was first released.
I’d love to get your take on the ‘Director’s Cut’ version. Thought about trying it out?November 6, 2014 at 2:05 pm #7824
I have downloaded and briefly looked at the “Director’s Cut” version. Let’s be clear for any future readers of this post. The “Director’s Cut” is an alternate home-brewed rules document made by a gamer who was dissatisfied with the rules that came with the game. I’m willing to bet he didn’t change his mindset about how to approach the game as I have already suggested. The document can be found on BoardGameGeek under the files section of the Android game listing.
So for me, based on how I described the spirit of the game and the game designer’s original intentions, the “Director’s Cut” shifts everything out of the focus that I have described in my previous post. I just don’t think it would be the same game if you try to force yourself to take on the role of the character and place evidence like you would do when finding a clue in Mansions of Madness. The game just wasn’t designed to work that way. For some people, they might really like it if they aren’t able to wrap their head around being a “screenwriter”. For me I probably wont ever play the game that way because I have been enlightened and come to fully realize what the game was designed to be (see the above post). 🙂
However, I too would be interested to see what others thought after playing these alternate rules. I would want to hear how they think it compares after playing a normal rules game using the mindset I suggest.
Unihead, as far as you having all your best games in storage (including Android), I think you really need to do something about that! Ask an old friend or relative to ship you over a crate of your games!! Also, I agree with you. FFG should have made things more clear in the rule book and marketing of the game. They should have explained that you are are taking on the role of a storytelling force. But since they didn’t, everyone got confused and gave up on the game, leaving an incredible gem of a game on the shelf!November 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm #7825
I agree, I do! But unfortunately the storage isn’t accessible, for cost reasons – the deal is it’s all packed up until it can be shipped over in one big lot. That’s not only expensive, but since we are renting and dependent on the whims of landlords just now, it’s not a good idea to get all that stuff (a house full of stuff) back yet as we don’t want to lug it all around with us. So Android remains packed away in the dark for now!
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