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Subject: Using the dashboard (and other questions) rss

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Paul Agapow
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After playing through my first game of OPL7 as the Overseer, I'm unclear about the use of the dashboard. Which is to say, I read the rules thoroughly but when it got to the actual game, some things were ambiguous. So, have I got this right?

* A dashboard slot that is empty (has no tokens in it) is ready for use. That is, the Overseer can pay adrenaline into it to activate and use that ability.

* BUT some abilities are labelled "committed" with an associated cost. This is the exception - by paying the committed cost, the Overseer can activate these abilities if there are still adrenaline tokens in there.

* Some abilities are labelled "interrupt". Does the Overseer pay into these slots during the Commando turn to use them then and immediately?

* The sequence of the Overseer using their dashboard goes refresh / spawn / activate / discard down to 10. So, all slots that spawn enemies have to be paid for before any of them are used / moved? That is, you can't spawn and move then spawn and move? And when do the abilities that don't spawn get activated, e.g. the cave-in slot, the one that makes a figure move faster

* Some abilities say "spawn up to two". Does this mean using the slot gives you up to two or you can pay twice to get two?

And various other questions:

* When the rules refer to "clones", this means only the enemies with "clone" in their name?

* In mission 1, the players are looking to get the data and then have at least half the team escape via the elevator. When one team member gets the data, then all of them have it instantly? I ask because the Commandos in my game did a logical thing: as soon as they'd discovered the room with the data, one Commando did a suicide run into the room to grab it while the others immediately turned and ran for the lift. The sole Commando gets the data and is swarmed by clones but it doesn't matter - the majority of the team is far away and safe.

* Since you can change facing freely before or after any action, it seems the only time it matters is outside of your turn for interrupt actions.

* Adjacent and hostile figures can choose whether to fight with ranged or melee attacks? This questions arose when a crackshot Commando was swarmed by Rogue Clones and fought them off with his gun. Which seems a touch unthematic.
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Henry Clark
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1) Correct - an empty Dashboard slot is Ready to use. Place the required amount of Adrenaline tokens in the "well" in the card to activate the ability.

2) If a Dashboard ability has a committed cost, you can pay that cost directly to the bank (not the ability's well) to use the ability again.

3) Interrupts can be used while the Commandos are activating - this isn't necessarily their phase though, as you could interrupt an interrupt - the general rules for Interrupts are in the Glossary section at the end of the rule book.

4) Correct - Do all spawns, then move enemies once all spawning is done. Use other Dashboard abilities at any time during the Overseer's phase (apart from Interrupts).

5) Spawn up to 2 means using that ability Spawns between 0 and 2 clones.

6) Yes, Clones all have the "Clone" Rule on their cards. All enemies are either "Clones", "Ghin" or "Hybrids".

7) Technically yes - once you've found the data, the team can exit. Fluffwise, consider they are in constant radio communication, and the information they are looking for is the location of Cronos's Vault, which could be easily communicated. Gamewise, its supposed to be a fairly easy mission for the Commandos, but feel free to tweek the mission to make it harder (indeed the "Hard Mode" requires all the commandos to escape, meaning the suicide run is impossible).

8) It matters slightly during your own turn, as your LOS would be fixed during an action, so you'd need to be able to see both targets of an attack that shot 2 clones for example. Generally though, its more important for interrupts (which are extremely important for the Commandos in my opinion).

9) Yes, you can make ranged attacks while adjacent to an enemy. Some Enemies are easier to hit with certain types of attack, and some abilities only effect one or the other, and some stances improve melee while making ranged attacks worse, so there can be reasons to use one or the other (generally though, the Recon Commando is the only one who wants to use melee a lot)...
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Wartopia Wartopia
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* A dashboard slot that is empty (has no tokens in it) is ready for use. That is, the Overseer can pay adrenaline into it to activate and use that ability.

- Yes.


* BUT some abilities are labelled "committed" with an associated cost. This is the exception - by paying the committed cost, the Overseer can activate these abilities if there are still adrenaline tokens in there.

- Yes, but there's also one more exception. Some abilities do NOT have a committed cost. These are ones that can only be used during the dashboard phase, which syncs with your other question on sequence below.


* Some abilities are labelled "interrupt". Does the Overseer pay into these slots during the Commando turn to use them then and immediately?

- That's how we've been playing it.


* The sequence of the Overseer using their dashboard goes refresh / spawn / activate / discard down to 10. So, all slots that spawn enemies have to be paid for before any of them are used / moved? That is, you can't spawn and move then spawn and move? And when do the abilities that don't spawn get activated, e.g. the cave-in slot, the one that makes a figure move faster

- During the dashboard phase you can use any of the abilities. At other times in the game you can only use abilities that specifically allow use outside the dashboard phase such as those listed as interrupts. At least that's how we play it.


* When the rules refer to "clones", this means only the enemies with "clone" in their name?

- That's our understanding.


* In mission 1, the players are looking to get the data and then have at least half the team escape via the elevator. When one team member gets the data, then all of them have it instantly? I ask because the Commandos in my game did a logical thing: as soon as they'd discovered the room with the data, one Commando did a suicide run into the room to grab it while the others immediately turned and ran for the lift. The sole Commando gets the data and is swarmed by clones but it doesn't matter - the majority of the team is far away and safe.

- Good question. There's a round flag marker included with the game. Based on reading some of the other missions we agreed that the flag marker represents a "mobile objective". The mission 1 briefing indicates that you're looking for information in the office. We assumed that since PP included the flag marker there must be a reason for it. So we placed the marker on that commandos card to indicate he was carrying it and needed to move it to the lift. This meant the other troops needed to escort him to the exit. There's also the "trade" action which we assume means he could also hand off the flag to another commando. In other words, it works like capture the flag in any video game. To win you need to exit the guys off the lift and the guy with the flag/data needs to exit too.


* Adjacent and hostile figures can choose whether to fight with ranged or melee attacks? This questions arose when a crackshot Commando was swarmed by Rogue Clones and fought them off with his gun. Which seems a touch unthematic.

- we just assumed that being adjacent meant melee attack but IIRC the rules state you get to select the weapon you're going to use. It could be like that movie Zulu in which one of the officers mows down Zulus using his pistol as they swarm him.
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FearLord wrote:


7) Technically yes - once you've found the data, the team can exit. Fluffwise, consider they are in constant radio communication, and the information they are looking for is the location of Cronos's Vault, which could be easily communicated. Gamewise, its supposed to be a fairly easy mission for the Commandos, but feel free to tweek the mission to make it harder (indeed the "Hard Mode" requires all the commandos to escape, meaning the suicide run is impossible).


Then what is the objective marker for? In the absence of the need to exit with objectives such as the office files we can't figure out what that marker us used for. Would it only be for other missions?

In any case we had fun using the flag as a mobile objective in mission 1. It certainly made that mission more interesting for the commandos! :-)
 
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Henry Clark
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Wartopia wrote:

Then what is the objective marker for? In the absence of the need to exit with objectives such as the office files we can't figure out what that marker us used for. Would it only be for other missions?

In any case we had fun using the flag as a mobile objective in mission 1. It certainly made that mission more interesting for the commandos! :-)


In that mission, you take the Objective Marker purely to show that the information has been found. The requirements for winning the mission don't require the Commando with the Marker to escape - just half the commandos. Its worth noting that there are multiple tokens / markers included with the game that are not used for any missions (Pass Keys, Reject Swarms, etc).

That said, I'd recommend people to adjust the mission to make it tougher on repeated plays, and that would certainly be one way to do it (and a fairly sensible one at that!) - I may even use it with my group when we play on Saturday, as they're all experienced gamers and I can see them just leaving one guy to die...

The hard mode for the mission requires all commandos to survive, which is even harder though.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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FearLord wrote:
7) Technically yes - once you've found the data, the team can exit. Fluffwise, consider they are in constant radio communication, and the information they are looking for is the location of Cronos's Vault, which could be easily communicated. Gamewise, its supposed to be a fairly easy mission for the Commandos, but feel free to tweek the mission to make it harder (indeed the "Hard Mode" requires all the commandos to escape, meaning the suicide run is impossible).

Plus Suicide Run is just lame! What self respecting commando would leave his comrade behind like that?!?

A lot of commandos have synergistic abilities (bonuses if within X range), so sticking together is generally a good idea, and makes it a lot easier on the commandos.

-shnar
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FearLord wrote:
Wartopia wrote:

Then what is the objective marker for? In the absence of the need to exit with objectives such as the office files we can't figure out what that marker us used for. Would it only be for other missions?

In any case we had fun using the flag as a mobile objective in mission 1. It certainly made that mission more interesting for the commandos! :-)


In that mission, you take the Objective Marker purely to show that the information has been found. The requirements for winning the mission don't require the Commando with the Marker to escape - just half the commandos. Its worth noting that there are multiple tokens / markers included with the game that are not used for any missions (Pass Keys, Reject Swarms, etc).

That said, I'd recommend people to adjust the mission to make it tougher on repeated plays, and that would certainly be one way to do it (and a fairly sensible one at that!) - I may even use it with my group when we play on Saturday, as they're all experienced gamers and I can see them just leaving one guy to die...

The hard mode for the mission requires all commandos to survive, which is even harder though.


Thanks for the clarification!

It's interesting that my sons enthusiastically embraced the idea that the commandos needed to carry the objective to the lift. That does seem more in character with the commando ethos (leave no man behind) and was certainly more interesting.

Has anyone won mission 1 as overseer? Last night was the closest we came to that. That's a great facet of the game: it has that "one more try" quality to it.
 
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Henry Clark
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Agreed - in ideal circumstances, the Commandos wouldn't want to sacrifice one of their number on the first mission. Theoretically though, it might even be worth it in Campaign mode - the sacrificed Commando would start the next game downed, but could be healed pretty quick for little risk...

Arguably, the Commandos don't need to do this however - this mission is hard for the Overseer to win against a well made team of Commandos - you only have clones, and they all cost an adrenaline to activate for the whole game (later missions can make activating clones "free" at various points), so using their numbers are hard.

The Commandos can also kill a lot of clones per turn between abilities like Napalm Grenades and the M105. Bigger Commando teams compound the problem, as part of the balance for 4 and 5 Commando games is healing a wound to all enemies each round (which obviously has no effect when all enemies only have a single wound).

That said, I think it should be possible to win as the Overseer (and will be attempting to do so on Saturday!).

My plan is to have the Lift in the left hand room (11A) with the Corrosive Gas room stack. I'll form the cloud so that the Commandos will have to move into it in order to reach the exit - that means they'll need at least 2 health in order to escape.

The first room will have the Vent and the Ambush so that I'll be able to spawn clones near to the exit. The ambush I'll use to open up the lower right hand room, which will contain the faulty intel to allow a clone build up protected by EMI. The Office will be in the top right corner with the other Vent.

If the Commandos choose to go the open way and back that way, I open the top door and bring the 6 clones down into the first room, trying to mass for their escape attempt. If they go that way, I use the EMI passage and the first vent to try and mass clones on that side.

I'll use the Short Circuit door on the lift - the Commandos can either open it early and take damage, or (ideally?) open it last and cause an additional wound to one of them before going through the gas. First door will be jammed and the one straight up from it will be locked for maximum early game slow down.

End game is to try and mass clone in the way and pick on commandos until they go down and then kill them (as the Crisis point should have triggered). Only need to take down half of them and a mass of clones can put the wounds out when they need to... If they sacrifice one to get the office, that means only 2 more needed for a full team, but only 1 for a 3-4 man team...

We'll see if it works soon!
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Paul Agapow
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FearLord wrote:
Bigger Commando teams compound the problem, as part of the balance for 4 and 5 Commando games is healing a wound to all enemies each round (which obviously has no effect when all enemies only have a single wound).


I observed this too - balance in Mission 1 is a little questionable. Actually, I think the Commando number-balancing in the whole game is a bit ad hoc.

Quote:
Gas room stack. I'll form the cloud so that the Commandos will have to move into it in order to reach the exit - that means they'll need at least 2 health in order to escape.


I tried something like this. The Commandos pulled out a one-use ability (I forget the name) which allowed them to ignore one Room card. Can't blame them - it was a good use of the ability.
 
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Henry Clark
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outlier wrote:

I observed this too - balance in Mission 1 is a little questionable. Actually, I think the Commando number-balancing in the whole game is a bit ad hoc.


I'm not too worried about this to be honest - the Adrenaline system means that the more Commandos there are, the more the Overseer can do... The healing is a fairly minor part of the balancing, but it will certainly help out in some of the later missions...

Some of the later missions look pretty hard for the Commandos in my opinion - Mission 5 for example - if they haven't won by the Crisis Point, I really don't see how they can win - the first Warrior Clone the Overseer activates will kill the Lab Tech and that's game...
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Wartopia wrote:
Has anyone won mission 1 as overseer? Last night was the closest we came to that. That's a great facet of the game: it has that "one more try" quality to it.

I haven't played the other missions, but my guess is the first one is easier for the commandos. Most of these 1vMany games, the first scenario tends to be easier for the 'many' group.

Having said that, even if it's easier for the commandos, if you're playing campaign mode then even whittling them down is good for the Overseer

-shnar
 
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Celia Engle
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I didn't down any of them playing as the Overseer, against a Lead/Countermeasures/Recon team. However, in the future, my plans include having the A-lift near the entrance, immediately exposed via ambush and covered with gas and a vent. Place the office opposite corner. Run harassment all the time, see if I can't pick off any.

We do use modified campaign (All survivors lose 2 wounds, the group gains kit points equal to survivors and assign no more than 1 to a commando, and killed commandos return as Downed next mission. They all also have a stat mod based on their Escape character for plot reasons), though.

(I take my role more as DM, though - I don't care if I lose, as long as everyone's having fun. I got a huge charge out of the panic face they made when the fear hunters spawned on mission 2.)
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Steven Wood
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Played mission one with a pair from my Deathwatch group. First big boy game ever they broke it pretty badly. I allowed them to run all 5 commandos, between their kit anything usable on level 1 was a minor annoyance.
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