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Hit Z Road» Forums » General

Subject: Melee with no adrenaline is very risky rss

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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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So I was out of gas, out of adrenaline but still had some ammo and there were five survivors versus five zombies.

The ranged combat went well, four zombies down.

Now on to hand to hand. Five survivors versus a single zombie. What could go wrong?

It did not end well, I rolled two kills so that was good, but three hits on people. Remember that bit about how the group was out of adrenaline? So that one zombie took out three of my survivors before we could put it down soblue

Having a adequate supply of resources is important.
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Todd Fast
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Ouch! Your experience is one reason why I feel mitigation other than adrenaline is reasonable in this design. For one zombie to be able to take out 60% of your capacity in a single roll is just too swingy and too frustrating to players. I don't see it as terribly thematic either.

I've proposed in another thread a possible cap on bites per roll, say 1 bite max per zombie per roll. Anyone have any feedback or other ideas?

 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Unless you are using red dice, adrenaline always mitigates loss of survivors. Similarly, ammo decreases the expected number of melee rounds (and thus the potential number of deaths). Capping the number of deaths would devalue resources; running out of resources should lead to a swift death. Getting more survivors is designed to make zombies more dangerous; having lots of people is a bad strategy.

Thematically, there are always lots of zombies but a certain number that are blocking your way. Damage to you is capped by the number of survivors you have since the hordes get in each other's way.
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Todd Fast
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Hey Michael, I know you have a good grasp of the game so interesting discussion. I agree capping deaths (per roll, not per combat) devalues resources, but intentionally so, and in a mild and thematically consistent way. After all, each of my survivors can only kill one zombie per die roll--why should a shambling corpse do better?

The resources are so extremely tight that even though in theory adrenaline could've mitigated the OP's situation, practically it's unlikely that you'd have 3 or even 2 adrenaline to spend without crippling your ability to bid or to get the end-game bonus, or even to finish the game.

Also, I'm not sure I'd agree that having many survivors is a "bad" strategy. After all, there is the potential upside of rolling well also, and having a cushion of multiple expendable survivors is one way to mitigate bad rolls.

Maybe it's more that spending adrenaline is potentially a bad strategy; as I think about it here in the abstract, maybe the proper strategy is to almost never spend adrenaline to save survivors. Above some critical threshold, it'd be better to use those tokens for something else.
 
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Guilly Berto
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We have played 5 games 3 player, and twice someone has been completely screwed by the dice. Consider there were 15 attempts at playing the game, I don't consider this to be all to bad. My group all started as dice war gamers though (40k, risk, axis), so having dice swing a game completely on a bad roll is something we are willing to live with. Especially in a 45 minute game where you can mitigate the rolls. We did have one guy in one of those games who was a euro gamer, and he happened to be one of the two instances where a couple bad rolls lost the game. He was infuriated. It does seem thematic though, after all you never know what is going to happen with you go melee with some zombies
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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glax wrote:
Hey Michael, I know you have a good grasp of the game so interesting discussion. I agree capping deaths (per roll, not per combat) devalues resources, but intentionally so, and in a mild and thematically consistent way. After all, each of my survivors can only kill one zombie per die roll--why should a shambling corpse do better?


If you have adrenaline, you can kill two zombies with a single roll. Here are the expectations:

No adrenaline black die: 1/6 survivor kill, 1/3 zombie kill => zombies die twice as fast as survivors
Use adrenaline only to prevent deaths: 0/6 survivor kill, 1/3 zombie kill, 1/6 use adrenaline
All adrenaline all the time: 0/6 survivor kill, 2/3 zombie kill, 1/2 use adrenaline

Without adrenaline, 6 survivors going after 6 zombies are looking at 3-4 rounds of melee and maybe 3 survivor deaths. Don't let this happen to you.

Using adrenaline only to keep survivors alive, 3 rounds of melee and 3 adrenaline. With just one survivor it is 18 rounds of melee and 3 adrenaline....

If you use adrenaline all the time, 6 survivors take 2 rounds of melee and uses 4 adrenaline since the second round of shooting is probably only against 2 zombies. One guy takes 9 rounds and 4 or 5 adrenaline.

Looking at just these typical numbers, something really important is lost. When there are lots of dice, variance happens. Sometimes you get lots of kills that you can't use (no more zombies) and other times you roll extra skulls (which implies fewer kills, less adrenaline to apply to increasing kills that round and more rounds of combat). If you have just one guy, you can just roll one die and pay to keep him alive; when you get an opportunity kill that will take out the last zombie you make a risk decision. Any time you roll more dice than you need to kill off the remaining zombies you are risking getting skulls.

Back to my theme suggestion. Assume there are unlimited zombies but only enough space for one zombie to attack each of your survivors. Your goal is to get through a small group of zombies so you can avoid the horde. If there were really only a few zombies then it wouldn't count as an event -- you would just be assumed to kill them or ignore them if they didn't have strength of numbers while blocking something that you cared about.

glax wrote:
The resources are so extremely tight that even though in theory adrenaline could've mitigated the OP's situation, practically it's unlikely that you'd have 3 or even 2 adrenaline to spend without crippling your ability to bid or to get the end-game bonus, or even to finish the game.


This depends on how you play, as people can end up with a lot of one resource. However, you are assuming that people get to scoring VPs -- ending by elimination is a normal result. Collecting VPs depletes your resources and leaves you open to being outbid when you can't afford to take some of the paths.

glax wrote:
Also, I'm not sure I'd agree that having many survivors is a "bad" strategy. After all, there is the potential upside of rolling well also, and having a cushion of multiple expendable survivors is one way to mitigate bad rolls.

Maybe it's more that spending adrenaline is potentially a bad strategy; as I think about it here in the abstract, maybe the proper strategy is to almost never spend adrenaline to save survivors. Above some critical threshold, it'd be better to use those tokens for something else.


It is better to get survivors after suffering a loss rather than before. When you are up against red dice then having more survivors is useful because your death rate will go down. Spend adrenaline on opportunity kills rarely (but more often with red dice). Survivors are only useful against events and red dice (plus VPs for most at the end, of course).
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