I recently received Red November and yesterday finally got around to playing a solo game to learn the rules.
It took me an age to get the game set up. First I had to read the rules until I got to the Setting up section, that was fine but for some reason I felt like it was taking ages to get the bits set up. The main problem was sorting out the Captains grog which meant I was sorting through the most numerous components. Maybe I was tired, but it just seemed like ages.
The basics of the game were straight forward and within a few minutes I was getting the hang of it. The three Gnomes I was running, were zooming up and down the sub and managing to control the oncoming disasters.
It seems that the game basic are easily grasped, however... there are a lot of fiddely bits. A lot of what if's. A lot of Can I do's. The rules lack an FAQ which in my opinion it is sorely in need of. When you read the text in the rulebook you can find most of the answers but they are buried in places you wouldn't look. For instance you might have a question about fire but the answer is buried in the section about water. The rules aren't long but they are as I said, fiddely.
I think a couple more plays and I'll be breezing through the game without the constant references and look-ups, but its a shame. The game looks so sweet and cute that you also want it to be easy to get into it, but alas it is not so. I bought the game hoping to play with the family, but this level of complexity means that I'm going to have to REALLY LEARN the rules. The "family" does not have patients for rules look-ups.
When I get my head around the rules and a couple of family games done I'll post a review.