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Subject: First Game Solo Report: Agent Mercury vs. Close Encounters rss

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David Arlington
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I sat down to play my first game of Galaxy Defenders the other night. This is my report of Agent Mercury taking on Mission One of the Campaign, "Close Encounters". Since it was my first game, I played on "Easy" mode with none of the Optional Rules turned on. To be honest, I didn't catalog where, in my game, "Human View" rule would have made a difference, but I can say for sure that "Close Fight" might as well have been turned on because I never had reason to target or fight someone I wasn't engaged with, given her Melee prowess.

For the sake of the session writeup, I'm just including the Refresh step in with the Strategy step. I will say I DID get some lucky rolls in this game as you will see, but there were a couple times things went against me as well, so I think in general things evened out. But if anything, maybe fortune favored me a bit in this one.

For Agent Mercury's Device, I took Satellite Strike.

TURN 1: Strategy: N/A

Battle:
Player:
Mercury skirts the southern portion, hiding behind the hill there and staying out of all Line of Sight (LOS).
Aliens: Close Encounters card is "Activate all Spine Critters". The one Green Spine Critter on the board moves towards me, stopping one area away, center hex, now in my LOS.

Event: Alien Assault - Teleport one signal. It goes to the Hit symbol Teleport Point (TP) at the top of the map. All Signals move 3 areas closer to me. (Since I was the only player, I wasn't paying attention to "closest" or "most wounded" etc.) The one signal already on the map moves into my LOS and is another Green Spine Critter which ends on the space closest to me(since the other Critter was occupying the center hex of the area already.), but still one hex away so I'm not engaged yet. The other two signals move towards me but don't come into my LOS yet.

TURN 2: Strategy: N/A

Battle:
Player:
Mercury moves up one to engage the new Green Spine Critter in Melee combat. She rolls four red attack dice and scores 4 Hits and a Bolt that will reduce the Spine Critters Blue Defense dice to 3. Big break as the GSC does not roll ONE shield and dies! I roll one Blue defense dice for the GSC's death "power" and roll a Shield for no Damage. I take one Alien Tech token.
Aliens: Close Encounters card is "Activate all wounded aliens.". There are no wounded aliens, only a dead one, so no aliens activate.

Event: Run, Run, Run - Agents can move 1 hex. I feel emboldened by my early success and move up to engage the other Green Spine Critter. All Signals move 3 areas towards closest Teleport Point. One Signal moves back to the HIT TP, the other one comes into my LOS and is revealed to be a Blue Spine Critter. Teleport 0 Signals. Because there is only one Agent.

TURN 3: Strategy: I roll for my GD Wings Promotion (because I killed an Alien last turn). I do not roll a single one, so no promotion yet.

Battle:
Player:
Mercury engages the Green Spine Critter in Melee combat. She rolls four red attack dice and scores 5 Hits and a Bolt that will reduce the Spine Critters Blue Defense dice to 4. The GSC rolls 2 Shields on 4 dice and for the second turn in a row, I kill an Alien (5 Hits - 2 Shields = 3 Damage, enough for a Green Spine Critter death! I roll one Blue defense dice for the GSC's death "power" and roll no Shields . I take one Damage (6 life left). I take one Alien Tech token. I now have two of them. With my Action, I begin destruction of the first Teleport Point.
Aliens: Close Encounters card is "Activate all Green aliens.". There are no Green aliens left alive now, so no aliens activate.

Event: Tempest (Weather - stays in play until replaced.) - Reduce Movement by 1. All Signals move 1 areas towards Agent. Neither one comes into my LOS.Teleport 0 Signals. Because there is only one Agent.

TURN 4: Strategy: The first Teleport Point is destroyed! A Flame marker replaces it. I roll for my GD Wings and this time, I get a GD symbol and get promoted to Bronze and can take a Basic Tactic. I take Move 1 Hex.. (For two reasons. a) short term to offset the Tempest and b) long term I want to make her super fast.)

Battle:
Player:
Mercury moves four hexes (reduced from 5 because of the weather) towards the Death TP using her Movement and burns her Move 1 hex Tactic as her Action to get next to it. As she moves, she comes into LOS of the last unrevealed signal which turns out to be the second Blue Xeno Beta. For her Combat, she takes a shot with her sidearm at the Blue Spine Critter 1 area away. She rolls 2 Hits, no Bolts and the BSC rolls 2 Shields so no Damage is done.
Aliens: Close Encounters card is "Activate all Xeno Betas.". Since Mercury is not engaged, the two Blue Xeno Betas do not have LOS on her and move one area closer to her and do nothing else (no wounds on either to Regenerate).

Event: Special Event A - Restore one Tactic. I flip back up my Move 1 Hex tactic that I had just used. Green Xeno Alpha appears on furthest Teleport Point from Agent.. It goes to the HIT TP at the top of the map.

TURN 5: Strategy: N/A.

Battle:
Player:
Mercury first uses her Action to begin destruction of the second Teleport Point, thereby guaranteeing at least a Partially Accomlished victory condition. She then uses Movement to move 4 towards the Bolt TP. She is in LOS of one of the Blue Xeno Betas and the Blue Spine Critter (both 1 area away) but since she is not engaged, she is not in LOS for the second BXB or the Green Xeno Alpha. Finally, she takes a shot again in Combat at the BSC (which was behind her now, so I guess this is one place where the Human View option would have made things more difficult.) She rolls 1 Hit plus a Bolt for 2 Hits. BSC gets two Blue defense dice and rolls 1 Shield for 1 Damage.
Aliens: Close Encounters card is "Green Xeno Alpha activates.". Since Mercury is not engaged, the GXA does not have LOS on her and moves one area closer to her and does nothing else. No Aliens on the board are within one area of the GXA when it starts its move so it ends up alone in its new Area.

Event: Alien Plans - Discard one Ammo. Mercury has no ammo to discard. Signals move.. There are currently no Signals on the board to move. One Signal teleports. It goes to the HIT TP that the Green Xeno Alpha just vacated.

TURN 6: Strategy: Second Teleport Point is destroyed. Mercury is guaranteed at least a Partially Accomplished victory.

Battle:
Player:
Mercury first uses her Movement to move 4 spaces to move adjacent to the Bolt Teleport Point, running right past the Blue Xeno Beta in the center hex of the Area in between the Area she started in and the Area where she ends. She uses her Action to begin destruction of the third Teleport Point. Only one more to go! Lastly, she uses her Combat to shoot at the BXB, but rolls no Hits.
Aliens: Close Encounters card is "Activate all Blue Aliens.". That would be the two Xeno Betas and the one Spine Critter. And here is where I use the rule in the rulebook about the player controlling the Aliens being able to decide which order to activate them in to my best advantage. I activate the closest Blue Xeno Beta which will fire its Blaster at me and then retreat one Area away (to be a 2 Range). It fires and I luck out and it does not roll a single Hit! and then moves away. Next I activate the Blue Spine Critter which moves 2 Areas towards me and ends up in the center hex that the BXB has just vacated. i.e. not adjacent to me and hence Mercury is not engaged. If I had activated them in the reverse order, the BSC would have found the center hex occupied and moved to a hex next to me that would have put me in an engagement and stripped me of my Stealth ability. The final BXB can't see me yet so moves 1 Area closer and ends up in a hex adjacent to me (since the BSC is in the center hex) and I am engaged (but with an Alien with no Melee attack).

Event: Clear Sky - Weather clears. No more penalty to Movement. Signals move 1 Area towards Agent.. That brings the Signal from the HIT TP to the Area next to me where I have LOS and I reveal it to be the 2nd and final Blue Spine Critter.

TURN 7: Strategy: The Bolt Teleport Point is destroyed and I only have one to go to achieve a complete victory. The only problem is I am now surrounded by Aliens and visible to all as I am engaged with the Blue Xeno Beta.

Battle:
Player:
I debated what to do here. I thought about the Evade action (using up both my Combat and Action), but if I failed (40% chance of success), I'm probably in deep doo doo. No matter what activates for the Aliens, something is going to get to me. Instead, Mercury decides it's time to call in the Satellite Strike on the Area next to me containing the wounded Blue Spine Critter and the Blue Xeno Beta that is engaging me (from a different Area). This would use my Action and still allow me my Combat in case the strike alone isn't enough to take out the BXB. I roll 8 Red Dice and get 7 Hits but not a single Bolt! The BSC rolls 7 Blue dice and rolls only one Shield. The BSC is dead and since I am not adjacent, I don't take any Spine damage upon its passing. The BXB has Energy Shielded Armor that reduces the 7 Hits to 6 Hits and rolls 6 Blue dice. The BXB rolls 2 Shields, so it still takes 4 Hits which is enough to kill it. I don't even need to use my Combat. I take an Alien Tech Token. I have 3 now. One more for Reinforcements. I use my Movement to move 2 hexes closer to the newest Blue Spine Critter. This a) does not engage me with the BSC. b) Moves me 2 areas away from the remaining BXB so I go Stealth on it again and c) takes me out of LOS of the Green Xeno Alpha. I'm also withing striking/running distance of the last Teleport Point now. I use my Combat to take a shot at the BSC with my sidearm, but I don't roll any Hits.
Aliens: Close Encounters card is "Activate All Aliens Assigned to the Alpha Agent." Umm, since that would be ME, it's just like "Activate ALL Aliens"! Once again, I use the order of activating the Aliens to preserve my Stealth as long as possible. First, the Blue Xeno Beta moves 1 area closer (no wounds to Regenerate). The Green Xeno Alpha moves 1 area closer. THEN I activate the Blue Spine Critter which moves 1 hex to engage me and attacks with its Jaws. It rolls 3 Red dice for 2 Hits and a Bolt for a total of 3 Hits. I roll 3 Blue dice and get 2 Shields and no Bolts, so I end up taking one Damage and I am down to 5 Health remaining. AND I'm now visible to the BXB. (The GXA is behind the hill out of LOS.)

Event: EMP Storm - Agents and Aliens can't use Bolt abilities until the next Event Phase. Teleport 0 Signals. Because there's only one Agent.

TURN 8: Strategy: Even though I killed an Alien last round (two of them, in fact), I am planning on playing the Campaign, so no GD Wings roll since I already got my one promotion for this Mission.

Battle:
Player:
My thinking about whether to use Evade or not happens again, only this time with all the Aliens having the Bolt powers incapacitated for the Round, it makes more sense to try it. If I fail, none of them will get use of adding extra damage or subtracting Shields if they attack me. (Of course, there goes my special Armor power as well, but it hasn't been any use to me so far anyway.) I use my Combat + Action and roll the Blue die and SHIELD! I get away! I immediately disengage from the Blue Spine Critter and use all 5 Movement to run around to the back side of the hill (once again, running right past a confusged Blue Xeno Beta!). That puts me out of LOS of the BSC AND the Green Xeno Alpha (but still in LOS of the BXB who is only 1 Area away now).
Aliens: Close Encounters card is "Activate All Aliens." Well, that was certainly a fortuitous time to "Get Out of Dodge" after all, as it were. For the second turn in a row, they're all coming after me and for a third time, I use my choice of Activation order to my best benefit. The Blue Xeno Beta shoots at me with his Blaster and moves one Area away from me (vacating the center hex for the Blue Spine Critter advancing 2 areas towards me - but now not able to engage me). The Blaster shot gets 2 Hits on 3 Red dice and I roll NO Shields on 3 Blue dice. I take 2 Damage and am now down to 3 Life left. Finally, the Green Xeno Alpha moves one Area closer to me. (It never reached me because I kept ducking around either side of the hill and it kept going where it was closest at the time.)

Event: First, I remove the "EMP Storm" Event from the previous turn. They Are Here! - Reveal Signals. None to reveal. Move Signals. None to move. If there are NO Signals, Teleport 3 Signals. POOP! Three of the last four signals all teleport of the HIT Teleport Point I need to destroy. There are two Green Xeno Betas who still have not shown up, so I know at least what two of the Signals are going to be.

Turns 9 and 10: I decide there is just no way in the next two turns, I will be able to clear a clear space next to the last Teleport Point and end up next to it, WITH an Action and NOT Engaged. Could I try it, with 3 Life left and go on a suicide run? I am not playing with the "Real Pain" option, but even without that, if you die in a Mission, you lose all rank and go back to Copper rank when you are playing the Campaign. I decide to accept my Partially Accomplished victory and preserve my life and my Bronze promotion and just RUN to the other end of the map. There will literally be no way (unless I turned up some funky Event card - which I didn't) for a not engaged Agent Mercury to get caught in the last two turns. And she didn't.

I DID decide to pass through the Blue Armory point on the way and picked up the Marine's Improved Sidearm, the Eagle II, to bring back to Headquarters.

TURN 11: Strategy: Game OVER! Partially Accomplished victory!

Overall, I had a TON of fun playing out this game and can't wait for the next Mission. Agent Mercury will be bringing Agent Chromium (so he can use his new gun!) and maybe one more Agent. I haven't decided.

I had a few rules questions but I found all my answers here and there weren't as many as maybe I was expecting and I am pretty sure I played everything right in this Mission. If anyone spots any errors I did, please let me know!

Hope you all enjoy!
Dave
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Vasilis
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Great writeup!

It also showcases the importance of the EVADE action, which I'm starting to think it's very underrated.
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Karl
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I think there are at least two errors in that description.

#1 in turn 6 the alien should have come into close combat with the agent as aliens always relocate in the target area if this enables them to get into close combat.

#2 sattelite strike only happens AFTER activating the aliens, so they could have fled in the meantime.
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kilrah wrote:
I think there are at least two errors in that description.

#1 in turn 6 the alien should have come into close combat with the agent as aliens always relocate in the target area if this enables them to get into close combat.

#2 sattelite strike only happens AFTER activating the aliens, so they could have fled in the meantime.


Both points are correct, though I only noticed that the satellite strike was mistimed. But yes, Simone has clarified that aliens will always choose to base an agent if it is possible, even if that means the alien's next activation is just to run away.
 
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David Arlington
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kilrah wrote:
I think there are at least two errors in that description.

#1 in turn 6 the alien should have come into close combat with the agent as aliens always relocate in the target area if this enables them to get into close combat.

#2 sattelite strike only happens AFTER activating the aliens, so they could have fled in the meantime.


Thanks for the feedback! One of the reasons I wanted to go into detail was to see if I had missed anything. But not too bad for a first game I think! And since it looks like I was good up until the Battle Phase in turn 6 AFTER I had destroyed the first two Teleport Points, I can still sleep at night peacefully accepting my Partially Accomplished victory!

1) Yes, I didn't really look closely at the text on Satellite Strike to see it happens at the END of the Battle Phase. So, to make sure I have it right, how it works is this?

I use an Action during my part of the Battle Phase to announce I am using the Satellite Strike Device and choose a target Area within range and not enclosed. Then at the END of the Battle Phase after all the aliens have done their activations, THEN I roll the dice and hope some aliens are still in that area. Correct now?

2) I see now in the Rule Book that "At the end of its movement, an alien may redeploy to any HEX in the destination Area, to end its movement adjacent to Agents." I think for some reason, I just associated the bullet right above that, that talks about where they go if the center hex is occupied to this bullet as well. Like they only redeployed if the center hex was full.

So noted for the next game on both counts!

Thanks again!
Dave
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Alain Marti
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Regarding the satelite strike: keep in mind, it is resolved at the very end of the battle phase. Playing more than one agent could mean that there are more than one alien activations inbetween. Proper timing of the satelite strike is not very easy, but it is easiest, when the Infiltrator is the very last agent to activate.

Very nice session report
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Karl
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murks666 wrote:
Playing more than one agent could mean that there are more than one alien activations inbetween. Proper timing of the satelite strike is not very easy, but it is easiest, when the Infiltrator is the very last agent to activate.


This. Played it wrong for like ages. (together with missing that the Hulk always spends one ammo for attacking). One other possible tactic is to aim the satellite strike at the area of another agent (if friendly fire is off), especially if he is surrounded by spine critters. They won't run away and you get a sure hit.
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