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Subject: Couple of problems we've been experiencing... rss

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Chris J Davis
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A friend and I have played through the first three scenarios now, and there's a couple of problems that have popped up and made us a little more weary of the game than we were at first. Maybe someone can help illuminate us as to where we might be going wrong (either in gameplay or perception):

Firstly, the biggest problem we have with the game is that the figures seem to move *way* too fast, basically making tactical positioning on the board almost irrelevant. What difference does it make if you hide behind an obstruction to prevent a ranged attack if your opponent can move 15 spaces in a single activation to point blank range and then attack immediately? In our first game of the first scenario, Vasquez moved from the extreme west side of the board off the east side, winning it for the NORAD team without the Salemite player being able to do anything about it. We've felt in all three scenarios so far that the figures can just move too fast in a single activation.

Secondly, a problem that we perceived in the third scenario was that ranged attack damage was pretty minimal unless you were lucky enough to draw a tile that had a ranged attack action of at least 3 on it. Twice during the scenario a figure made a ranged attack against another figure with a 1-CP action, and both times the target shrugged the damage off, even though both times the attacker rolled a decently high number of hits on the dice (and to make it even more incredulous, one time the attack was at point blank range, the second time the attack was with a grenade launcher)! The only time anyone did any decent damage was when Nick Bolter ran up to the Professor and fired a 3-4 CP ranged attack action right at him. Again, it felt as if the figures' defence ratings were too high. Surely you should still be able to cause damage with a gun even with a 1-CP action?!

It's a pity, because we both agree that the game system itself is a genius design. We just felt that there were a couple of small things that were off - essentially that the Speed and Armour ratings were too high.

Can anyone enlighten us?
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Lloyd
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Isn't interrupting (I forget what it's called, but the blind bidding that happens when someone crosses your line of sight) introduced in scenario 2 (which is as far as I got)? That should address the speed issue somewhat.
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Pete Goch
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And in the first scenario there are three choke point on the map on which you need to keep one of your salemite characters stationed: one spot on either side of the building where it narrows to one square wide and the front door. Outside of breaking through a wall one of those three squares must be passed through for Vasquez to make her escape. Since even Frank E is hard pressed to break through a wall it's a good bet. Since enemy characters can't pass through squares with enemy characters she'll be forced to melee or Frank will have to run point give you enough time to close in from behind.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I think Interrupts are introduced in the 3rd scenario (can't remember exactly). That's a big anti-sprinting thing. Armor also doesn't seem so high when you add in the more lethal weapons...

-shnar
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Chris J Davis
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
And in the first scenario there are three choke point on the map on which you need to keep one of your salemite characters stationed: one spot on either side of the building where it narrows to one square wide and the front door. Outside of breaking through a wall one of those three squares must be passed through for Vasquez to make her escape. Since even Frank E is hard pressed to break through a wall it's a good bet. Since enemy characters can't pass through squares with enemy characters she'll be forced to melee or Frank will have to run point give you enough time to close in from behind.


This is what I was doing initially, but with Vasquez on the extreme west of the map I moved one of my zombies away from the choke point (to deal with Frank who was trying to break down a wall to get out) only to find that Vasquez could move thirty spaces and immediately escape from the east side of the map.

Let me say that again: thirty spaces.

Disclaimer: I can't remember exactly, so it may have only been twenty-five, but we still both considered it to be "a fucking shit-load" and left both players a little flummoxed. Is this really how it's meant to be? The same happened in scenario 3, where Nick Bolter moved 15 spaces to put himself in point blank range of the Professor. It just seemed too much.
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Charlie Theel
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shnar wrote:
I think Interrupts are introduced in the 3rd scenario (can't remember exactly). That's a big anti-sprinting thing. Armor also doesn't seem so high when you add in the more lethal weapons...

-shnar


This. Movement is highly tactical due to bidding for Interruption. Shooting in this game is not hugely lethal but with the stronger weapons it can drop a character in 2 or 3 shooting actions.
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Pete Goch
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bleached_lizard wrote:



Let me say that again: thirty spaces.

Disclaimer: I can't remember exactly, so it may have only been twenty-five, but we still both considered it to be "a fucking shit-load" and left both players a little flummoxed. Is this really how it's meant to be? The same happened in scenario 3, where Nick Bolter moved 15 spaces to put himself in point blank range of the Professor. It just seemed too much.


With a move of 6 and a max CP of 5 yes, her maximum move would be 30 if you take the time to find the best move order tiles and get them all assigned to her. So it's best to keep her boxed in. Leave the zombies/jack saw at the choke points and send Deeler around through the back door. Yes, Deeler. He's not completely useless, you know!
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K
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interrupt dueling is added for scenario 2, and yeah it should potentially alleviate the "character bypasses obstacles and moves into point blank range from across the map" thing. Also, a character who invests a bunch of CP into movement will have less CP for other stuff due to their maximum CP allowance, but yes, Vasquez is FAST

But honestly, the first few tutorial scenarios are just exercises IMO. There isn't much replayability there (especially first one). Stick with it I say, and I think you may find that the issues you have don't have as much impact when the objectives become more complicated than simply "run off the map." I've only played up to Scenairo 6 or so myself I think, but that's what I found.

As for lethality... armor is tough but characters can actually get wounded pretty quickly with good weapons and good rolls (which may mean critical hits against heavily armored foes), considering each team only has a few characters. I mean in the first couple scenarios it seemed like it took forever to do any real damage, but adding weapons and shooting rules seemed to reverse that for me. Just to be sure, you aren't rolling defense dice against shooting attackers are you (as in close combat)?
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Jack Smith
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The first tutorial is to teach you how to block effectively against the fastest character in the game. It is not that hard to block her at which point both players are likely to learn the hand to hand combat part to make space for her to break free. They may also learn she may be fast but is rubbish at hand to hand and Saw will slice her in two easily if he catches her.

As to your comment about ranged the characters are not supposed to be easy to kill but they do die fast enough. You are not adding to armour values by mistake are you?

There are a lot more rules to add with later scenarios which balances characters out.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I've played the first scenario 3 times. I really like it, how it's just move+melee

-shnar
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Nushura
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bleached_lizard wrote:

Let me say that again: thirty spaces.


It is not 30, it is 6 per CP you can spend. There is one tile that allows you to spend 4CP (hence 24), but that is VERY RARE. You must search for the tile, and that your opponent does not get it. On average you have 2-3 CP giving you 15-ish moves.

In any case, the amount is not a big issue. In the first scenario Vasquez hopefully appears after 3-4 rounds have passed. This means you have your zombies, jeff, etc well located. And vasquez is a glass runner. If the road is blocked she cannot expect to kill anyone. In other scenarios you can always interrupt, so it does not matter if she can even move 10000 spaces. You can interrupt as soon as she moves 1.

As for shooting...remember players in this game have 3/4 minis each. The game is not about killing your opponent minis, but managing a certain mission. If you make killing easy no one would care about the mission. Just kill 3 of your opponent minis
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James Boardgame
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Try some of the later scenarios or indeed the full game. I enjoy the tutorials, but that's all they are. The experience of the game changes substantially as each element of the rules is introduced.
 
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Nushura wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:

Let me say that again: thirty spaces.


It is not 30, it is 6 per CP you can spend. There is one tile that allows you to spend 4CP (hence 24), but that is VERY RARE. You must search for the tile, and that your opponent does not get it. On average you have 2-3 CP giving you 15-ish moves.

In any case, the amount is not a big issue. In the first scenario Vasquez hopefully appears after 3-4 rounds have passed. This means you have your zombies, jeff, etc well located. And vasquez is a glass runner. If the road is blocked she cannot expect to kill anyone. In other scenarios you can always interrupt, so it does not matter if she can even move 10000 spaces. You can interrupt as soon as she moves 1.

As for shooting...remember players in this game have 3/4 minis each. The game is not about killing your opponent minis, but managing a certain mission. If you make killing easy no one would care about the mission. Just kill 3 of your opponent minis


Yes, one of the reasons I like the game is it is more than just killing. Our SAGS games have been bloody but there was a lot of non combat activity going on too.
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michael dorazio
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What others have said. Interruption is hugely balancing. And ER is a lot about hand management. You set your characters up for giant, many cp actions. It's easier to do this with the "combine" rules, of course, but you don't usually want to shoot with 1 cp.
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Marty Kane
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Echoing what others have said about continuing through the scenarios - judging the game on the fist couple is literally like judging a game after reading the first 25% of its rule book.




Nushura wrote:
It is not 30, it is 6 per CP you can spend. There is one tile that allows you to spend 4CP (hence 24), but that is VERY RARE. You must search for the tile, and that your opponent does not get it. On average you have 2-3 CP giving you 15-ish moves.



Hmm, this is an interesting distinction. We have been playing it (perhaps wrongly) that you can assign more CP to a move action than the number shown on the order tile. This is because the rules say

Rules, p. 8 wrote:
CP may be spent on Move order sections that already contain CP counters.


Which I interpreted to mean you could always assign more CP to a move section, no matter what. But it seems a strict reading of the rules would indicate that this is only an exception to the rule about not re-using a section of an order tile that was already used, and the number on the tile still acts as a maximum. I'm curious how other people interpret "The Move Order Exception"
 
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Chris J Davis
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Halfinger wrote:


As to your comment about ranged the characters are not supposed to be easy to kill but they do die fast enough. You are not adding to armour values by mistake are you?



No, we are only rolling dice for the defender in close quarters combat.
 
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Nushura wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:

Let me say that again: thirty spaces.


It is not 30, it is 6 per CP you can spend. There is one tile that allows you to spend 4CP (hence 24), but that is VERY RARE.


In my last game, I had a tile that allowed me to spend 5 CP (in a 3-2 split).
 
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Chris J Davis
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mekane wrote:
Echoing what others have said about continuing through the scenarios - judging the game on the fist couple is literally like judging a game after reading the first 25% of its rule book.




Nushura wrote:
It is not 30, it is 6 per CP you can spend. There is one tile that allows you to spend 4CP (hence 24), but that is VERY RARE. You must search for the tile, and that your opponent does not get it. On average you have 2-3 CP giving you 15-ish moves.



Hmm, this is an interesting distinction. We have been playing it (perhaps wrongly) that you can assign more CP to a move action than the number shown on the order tile. This is because the rules say

Rules, p. 8 wrote:
CP may be spent on Move order sections that already contain CP counters.


Which I interpreted to mean you could always assign more CP to a move section, no matter what. But it seems a strict reading of the rules would indicate that this is only an exception to the rule about not re-using a section of an order tile that was already used, and the number on the tile still acts as a maximum. I'm curious how other people interpret "The Move Order Exception"


No. This rule just means that if you have a 3CP Move action section on an order tile (for instance), and you spend 1CP on it, you can later still spend the remaining 2CPs in that same section, which is something you normally can't do with other types of actions.
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Chris J Davis
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By the way, one other thing we found strange that I forgot to mention: we found the fact that you could only interrupt the first time a figure enters your LoS a bit odd, as we had the situation come up where a figure entered another's LoS, left it again, then re-entered LoS in the same activation. We both felt that the second time they entered LoS an interruption should be allowed to occur. This was because it was more advantageous for the interrupting player to interrupt once the other player was closer (i.e, to attack).

Has this been FAQ'd at all? Or is it really only the first time a figure enters LoS? It seems the intention of the rule is to prevent players from just interrupting whenever the hell they feel like it, and that the rule could be interpreted as "when a figure first enters LoS" (as opposed to "the first time a figure enters LoS").

Lastly, if an activated figure starts in LoS, but their first space of movement takes them out of LoS, and they then re-enter LoS, does this count as "the first time they have entered LoS", or does the fact that they begun their activation in LoS count as "the first time they entered LoS"?

(And yes, I understand that you can interrupt when a figure is activated within LoS, but that's not my question).
 
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Pete Goch
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Nushura wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:

Let me say that again: thirty spaces.


It is not 30, it is 6 per CP you can spend. There is one tile that allows you to spend 4CP (hence 24), but that is VERY RARE. You must search for the tile, and that your opponent does not get it. On average you have 2-3 CP giving you 15-ish moves.



You can assign multiple Order Tiles over multiple Activation rounds and then execute a single merged move order for up to 5 CP and move 30 spaces on a single order.


//edit//

Yeah, just double checked and it's even given as an example of a merged move order in the rulebook!

Quote:
Example: With the Order tiles and CP shown, Vasquez could
merge all three Move orders, executing a single Merged
Move order of 5 CP providing up to 30 Movement points.
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Peter Van den Broeck
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Quote:
Has this been FAQ'd at all? Or is it really only the first time a figure enters LoS? It seems the intention of the rule is to prevent players from just interrupting whenever the hell they feel like it, and that the rule could be interpreted as "when a figure first enters LoS" (as opposed to "the first time a figure enters LoS").

It is "the first time that he enters LoS".

But also the first time he comes adjacent... So if you expect that the character comes to melee battle, it is better to let him approach... Or bluf in the first duel (when he enters LoS) and make sure your opponent looses more CP then you...
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Yes, you can do all 5 actions in one activation for a move, spread across multiple tiles. Basically lay a tile and activate but spending no CPs, then after all your other chars activate, lay another tile, if you have 5 total moves between the two tiles, you can spend the 5 CPs on all the moves. Movement is the only ability that lets you spend CP on different Tiles in the same activation.

In a SAGS game, this is relatively rare. First off, there are not many 'racing' scenarios like that where you'd want to move that far. Secondly, you have more than just one or two characters. Thirdly, there are interrupts. Fourthly it requires a not so common tile setup. Fifthly, it requires skipping a few activations, which is broadcasting to your opponent what you're planning. Sixthly, I think the only char that can do this is Vasquez (I could be wrong, going off memory). A lot of these rare situations happen in the 1st Scenario, so you'll see it there, but in most of the other games, you just don't see it that often if ever.

-shnar
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Chris, stick with this game. I'd echo what others have said about dueling for interruption adding a tactical consideration (sure, you might move adjacent, but the other guy might get first shot!) and the first 3 scenarios being primarily teaching exercises.

When I teach ER, I play the first scenario to cover the core concepts then jump to scenario 4. I find that scenario 4 is where the game reaches a critical mass of rules to give players a true taste of what it's about. Floor tiles are in play as well as weapons; I can't recall at the moment but I think every icon save the search is in play. Plus, I find scenario 4 such a blast to play; I've had some epic stories with that one.

I don't think you'll ever find that doing a 1 CP shot is good for anything but nicking a wounded character; you want to save those 3 CP tiles for a good, solid shot. In any case, I've never noticed a problem with it.

I hope you continue on as the scenarios get very interesting from 4 onward.

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mekane wrote:
Echoing what others have said about continuing through the scenarios - judging the game on the fist couple is literally like judging a game after reading the first 25% of its rule book.




Nushura wrote:
It is not 30, it is 6 per CP you can spend. There is one tile that allows you to spend 4CP (hence 24), but that is VERY RARE. You must search for the tile, and that your opponent does not get it. On average you have 2-3 CP giving you 15-ish moves.



Hmm, this is an interesting distinction. We have been playing it (perhaps wrongly) that you can assign more CP to a move action than the number shown on the order tile. This is because the rules say

Rules, p. 8 wrote:
CP may be spent on Move order sections that already contain CP counters.


Which I interpreted to mean you could always assign more CP to a move section, no matter what. But it seems a strict reading of the rules would indicate that this is only an exception to the rule about not re-using a section of an order tile that was already used, and the number on the tile still acts as a maximum. I'm curious how other people interpret "The Move Order Exception"


The exception means you can add to a move order where CP has already been spent. The maximum still applies as nothing says it does not. The logic behind this means you can easily move, do something, then move again assuming you are not at the limit for that move order. If this were not the case there would not be tiles with two move orders on them and no numbers either. From memory I think there is an example that shows this. To do otherwise breaks the game I think.
 
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bleached_lizard wrote:
By the way, one other thing we found strange that I forgot to mention: we found the fact that you could only interrupt the first time a figure enters your LoS a bit odd, as we had the situation come up where a figure entered another's LoS, left it again, then re-entered LoS in the same activation. We both felt that the second time they entered LoS an interruption should be allowed to occur. This was because it was more advantageous for the interrupting player to interrupt once the other player was closer (i.e, to attack).

Has this been FAQ'd at all? Or is it really only the first time a figure enters LoS? It seems the intention of the rule is to prevent players from just interrupting whenever the hell they feel like it, and that the rule could be interpreted as "when a figure first enters LoS" (as opposed to "the first time a figure enters LoS").

Lastly, if an activated figure starts in LoS, but their first space of movement takes them out of LoS, and they then re-enter LoS, does this count as "the first time they have entered LoS", or does the fact that they begun their activation in LoS count as "the first time they entered LoS"?

(And yes, I understand that you can interrupt when a figure is activated within LoS, but that's not my question). :P :)


I think the LOS interrupt is designed to stop people slowing the game. There is another quirk. If you fail to ask for an interrupt the first time a LOS event happens you can't ask later even for a different condition. You can though if you had asked and lost. This can lead to mind games. You can ask, lose deliberately (by just betting the minimum one CP) but then your opponent may waste CP's to win. You then ask again when a new condition arises with a much better chance of winning or wasting even more of your opponents CP's. In practise we like the certainty the interrupt rules give as it helps planning.
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