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Subject: It's not hopeless - The Overseer can win rss

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David Scheele
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Ok I got to this game by watching the Dicetowers excellent review in their Miami Dice segment. Now with regular income and quite a few friends into boardgames, I thought it may be a good investment.
I ordered, but my vendor told me it would take a while, as I live in germany and they are currently reprinting. That was a few month ago. While I patiently twiddled my thumbs I read up on the game on BGG.
To my dismay, many people on here lamented that the game is unwinnable as Overseer. Now I've played a few games in my life and I love love love to play the bad guy in 1 vs many scenarios and am the forever-dm in our roleplaying games. So based on these reports I was actually pondering to cancel my order.

I'm glad I didn't.

I've played the game 4 times now with 4 different configurations, and in this thread I shall document my first few games. All the games happened in Mission 1, and as far as I could tell, everyone had fun. Take some time and let me tell you the story of my people.

(If you do not want a long read on all my gaming experience, scroll down to the fourth game, which is my favorite one yet.)


Game #1: 2 Players, 4 Commandos: Rifleman, Heavy, Countermeasures, Team Leader
A test game

I received my copy of the game and was pretty happy with what I got. But unfortunately I noticed I was missing one of the cardboard sheets, so I had to make my own "incredible" mockups.

I read briskly over the rules, but not too hard, I wanted to ease into it with gameplay.

I invaded the home of two of my friends and convinced them to play a round. As they were only two, they each took two commandos and selected their kits, while I build up my map and distributed my room cards. As they are not as adept in the english language, they chose what sounded kind of right and it seemed like a good mix.
I read them the storyline and they went off.
As they opened the door they were confronted with their first bloodthirsty greys and supposedly a cloud of corrosive gas, but the leader, wise that he is, discarded that trap, so they just a had a bit of shooting practise.
They repositioned themselves in the room and opened the room straight through, unveiling the A Lift, heavily guarded by two teams of greys. Maybe not in the best interest of the team, another commando also opened the door to the left in the same turn, revealing an enemy passage tile, a vent and a small grey team, from which they shot a few.
In my turn I was able to finally put out some damage, just potshots and 2 or 3 wounds, but still damage.
They quickly dispatched the greys in both rooms and then there was a split up of the team. The CMS and the Lead went to the room with the A-Lift and the heavy and rifle stayed in the first room aaaand... opened the door to the right. Which was a bad Idea I can assure you. The player who opened the door thought that maybe the office was that way, so if they found it that way they wouldn't have to walk all the way around.
But what awaited them was another enemy passage tile, a vent and an ambush, which opened the door to the last room, finally revealing the office, a small team of greys and false intel, that, as I now know, did absolutely nothing as that room has a false intel clone nest, but no way to spawn anything, as the office blocked the passage for my clones. But the crisis point was triggered.

It was around this time I noticed that revealing the office, the a lift, triggering the crisis point, attacking with same clones same target and attacking exhausted commandos gives me all kinds of bonuses.

I told my players and decided that I would use my bonuses starting next turn. Nontheless, I went at the heavy and rifleman in the first room, critically injuring the heavy, who had his enduring kit and still stood "strong" with 5 wounds decorating his body.
CMS and Lead dashed back to the first room to help out their friends.
By that time the layout looked something like this:



By the way, thanks to snar for the tile-system modules, great work man

By that time I actually thought the team would band together and go to the room with the A-Lift, quickly grabbing the data from the office and then escaping through the nearby lift as the other way would be an uphill battle with not only going up against an enemy passage tile and a vent but also having another vent and EPT in their backs. I figured wrong though as the rifleman deployed his sentry drone in the first room and then ran right into the room with the vent and enemy passage tile. i don't know if he hoped on finding some kind of deus ex machina that would help them out of this pickle, but no doubt he only found bloody claws and venting rifles.
The team decided for the heavy to protect the back with the sentrydrone and the rest storming the room with the rifleman. Sure enough, next turn the heavy went down and the sentry drone went boom. The rifleman ran back, picked up the heavy, deployed another sentrydrone, got a few wounds for his trouble, had to see his mechanical friend get blown up a second time and his heavy friend get torn to pieces.
By that time Lead and CMS were battling in the long corridor to the big room. I only needed to kill one more to win.
The rifleman, having no more business in the first room decided he should join up with his team and ran to their side, exhausting himself and taking the following position.



Needless to say, I could've killed him three times in one round in that position... but I only killed him once and won the game.

Followup thoughts:

Both teams made a lot of mistakes. The Commandos didn't really decide on a strategy beforehand, picked their kit haphazardly, opened doors when they still had problems with the situation at hand and worst of all, they split up. The few passive bonuses the lead and CMS could dish out went mostly unused.
But I also made a few mistakes. For the most part I forgot useful bonuses. I only threw black dice for half the game and when I discovered the bonuses from exhaustion, sequential clone attacks and crisis point I felt like I was playing shadowrun. My roomcard distribution wasn't the most efficient either but I was pretty content with my objective placement.
All in all a good standard "first time" game of this weight class. Both commando players seemed to be kind of into the idea.






Game #2: 1 Player, 3 Commandos: Heavy, Rifleman, Recon
A 1v1 of equals

A few days later I was able to reel in one of my best friends to play. I wanted to get a 1v3 or even 1v4 going but unfortunately people agreed to come and shortly told us they couldn't manage so my buddy came over alone so we could test out the 1v1 capabilities of the game.
Strategic wise we are on equal footing I would say, with him maybe having a slight edge. We both play a lot of videogames and a major part of them are strategical and tactical in nature, namely x-com veterans and Supreme Commander players, so I expected an equal experience in Level 7. He's also on equal footing in english language so we could dicuss a few rulings, he knew what his kit cards were doing and did not have to rely on my explanations, being able to read up on them himself if he wanted.

This time I also documented the game a bit better, having made photos of the kits he used.

- Recon went with Pointman, Spotter, Hard Target and a Med Pack from the common pile.

- Rifleman went with very annoying ventrats, an advanced medpack, marksmanship and the really powerful M501. Now, if you are counting, yes that is 7 points, so he technically cheated. But his marksmanship only works with his basic ranged weapon so it's all good

- Heavy was a Steadfast, Enduring, Advanced Armor with Servos toting Armorpiercing mean machine.

So a quite passive-ability-team.

I read him the story, explained to him the mission, with goals, objectives and bonuses I will get and explained the basic rules as we moved. He got the hang of them on the fly pretty quickly.

The first room held a flanking party and a cloud of corrosive gas that blocked immediate access to the left and straight through room. Going slowly and taking defensive position in the starting room, he holed up and wanted to wait me out, interruptable guns aimed in the direction of my innocent greys, expecting to puncha few holes in them as they come running. Instead his team got a helmet full of rubble, dishing out a few first wounds.

Crawling out of the first room he dispatched of my friends and then, not wanting to give me the pleasure of dishing out free wounds, went right and opened the door.
I learned my lesson from the first game and thus the intel on this room was faulty, as well as a recon partol, waiting in the now hud-scrambling darkness of this room.
Edging ever closer into the room he fought against swarm after swarm of grey, storming out of the EPT, having trouble dispatching them efficiently, what with all the dice discarding and whatnot. To top it all off, another load of rubble descended from the crumbly ceiling, further hindering their march.

After finally besting the room of electric terror, which took him several rounds and a few wounds he set his sight on the main room, opening the door, facing an empty room, with a single vent in the middle, a chilly office and hearing another door opening in the distance, revealing the A-Lift, a 6 man team of greys and triggering the crisis point, with one swift motion.
Picture of the situation (roughly):



The plan was to quickly storm the office, power through the wall of enemies and escaping swiftly through the nearby lift... I think I heard this somewhere before. The rifleman turned around, hit the ground and picked off a few trailblazers in the EMI room of doom. The other two took cover looking to the left and primed their guns, waiting for the enemy storm. Unfortunately for him he exhausted his rifleman, he was prone, and my clone reinforcements just refreshed.



With a few quick hits and a frenzy mixed in, Miller was no more.

The other two went on, sprinting to the office, activating the mission objective (*storytime reading here*) and defending from newly spawning clones in the room and my mini squad advancing on them from the elevator room.
Both commandos wounded he legs it for the elevator. His heavy runs first, meeting no opposition and reaching the elevator on his last breath. He is out of the game. Rifleman begins to dash as I yell "Interrupt" and take one final pot shot at the speeding commando, hitting and downing him, winning me the game as there is no one left to pick him up and me inflicting the final wound would be certain come next turn.




Followup thoughts:
This was a very close game, coming down to a single roll deciding over commando or overseer win. We both had a better grasp on the rules but I actually made a mistake and only added black dice as the exhaustion bonus. Still it didn't affect gameplay much as he watched his exhaustion quite efficiently.
I got a bit more efficient in explaining the rules and had a bit more fun outthinking the commandos this time. He seemed into the game, had enough to do and liked the tactical control.



Game #3: 3 Player, 3 Commandos: Team Leader, Rifleman, Recon
An OP for every player

Three new players, two of which are not too good with their english. I decided beforehand I liked the game enough to start pimpin' and so I began translating the storytexts to german (up and including partytime, will upload when finished). Two guys one girl this time.
I explained the premise, and started the storytime, but the girl and one guy rather wanted to fool around on my couch than listen. An act of spite, just to annoy me and yes, it annoyed me greatly.

Unfortunately I neither recorded their kit nor do I remember too well how the mission went. What I do remember is that the girl focussed 90% of her attention on her smartphone and taking photos for facebook, her commando basically getting moved by the guy on the sofa, and the guy on the sofa putting most of his efforts on annoying me, not ingame but just directly.
Which is, as a whole unfortunate, but the remaining guy eat the game UP. By the following day he had scanned BGG and the rest of the net for content of this game, which I'm quite sure he has never done for a boardgame, or any game maybe even.
What I remember from the game itself is that this time I went all out on the caveins. I had the same setup as last time, but they had no problem besting the EMI room because of the Team Leader aura bonuses. They also sticked together and healed like crazy, which in turn left me with few openings. Once they triggered the crisis point I managed to down the Recon twice, but ultimately they got the data from the office (yes, the couch urging me to skip the story bit) and escaped through the nearby elevator.



Followup thoughts:

Whelp, I still enjoyed this game, even though I think I will never play it again with the players on the couch because of... obvious reasons.
The last guy though was really into it and couldn't wait to play it again, so there is that. Yes, I know, people might say I forgot most about this game because it was the first I lost, but I don't think so.



Game #4: 4 Player, 4 Commandos: Team Leader, Countermeasures, Heavy, Recon
A full team, assembled

So here we go, the real deal, a full team. The enthusiast from the last game, my tactician friend and two more buds who are into strategy. The enthusiast changed from Recon to Heavy, tactician took the role of team leader and the other two took CMS and Recon. So now we have two guys who know the game (Enthusiast read up on a few rules that interested him and also enjoyed a few making-of videos appearently) and two newbies. The game is still set up so I can detail the kits again.

- Countermeasures was quite the Blur of a Disruptor, but he dished out Accuracy and Guidance

- Heavy went Armor Piercing Rounds, Advanced Armor Upgrade, Strafing Fire and Napalm Grenades. A quite solid setup I'd say.

- Lead packed Anti-Ghin Grenades and was fully aware of the Situation and prepared some one-liners to get his colleagues to open fire and duck down.

- Miller sharpened his knife up some, trained his senses to not stub his little toe while opening doors, took special karate training against attacking falling rocks and was good at hiding

(Note the unnerving absence of any kind of medkits)

This time I had a bit of a different setup. As the mötley crüe threw open the first door they were greeted with an evil looking floorgrate and the hiss of another doorway opening. Behind the second door was another goat though, 4 weird weapons heating up and two pair of claws sharpening audibly, with more waiting in the darkness behind.



Something like that, not completely accurate though.
The Lead this time knew to better not open more doors than necessary. So bravely he commanded his team to go forward and shoot a way though while courageously keeping the heavy by his side to use as a shield if necessary.
They worked their way (slowly I have to say and this will get important shortly) through the spawnhappy vent room and went against the small army waiting for them, hindering my minions advance with clouds of gas. Miller sliced and diced as if his life depended on it.
Annoyingly the Lead an the Heavy sticked together like a butt to a bucket, Lead always choosing the Commanding stance, effectively becoming immune with a huge meatshield protecting him. I had to throw more damage their way than the heavy could tank if I wanted to break that combo... and so I did.



Sending the heavy down was quite a bit of work but it was a step in the right direction.
The next turn the wise and benevolent Lead picked up the commando and dished out a few burstfires, then saw the blood flying as the Team-Samurai went in. Unfortunately for the Lead, his shield robbed away and he was left in the open, exhausted. Something like this:



Sure enough, I put the hurt on team Lead, but couldn't kill him yet as they neither triggered the crisis point nor the 8th round had begun... but it was already the 7th round. With only two rooms open. Actually just one as the second one was an ambush.
A round later my restriction bolts went off and Lead has been saluting from the afterlife ever since.



(He began reading the rules, on my wish too, to see if I made any mistakes. He couldn't find any but got wide eyes when he saw which minions I had in store for them in the future.)

The CMS, now awared the title of the lead, gave entirely new orders. The general tone now was "Get shit done" and instead of confusing their resident Mack-the-knife with contradicting orders like "Kill those grey over there", the new, true leader went with a simple "Kill".

They opened the door to the next room and found the office waiting for them, as well as another vent. Quickly they stormed in (and heavy finally got the hang of how to pull the pin on those funny cylinders he had strapped to him the whole time), secured the documents (Storytime ensued of course but it was a tad bit too chill in tone for what already happened in the game) and went on their way back. In the meantime the crisis point forced me to open doors, so to spare them the extra rounds and wounds I revealed the A-Lift right next to their starting zone. Always give your enemies hope, or they will fight more viciously - Sun Tzu
By the way, the room contained a cloud of corrosive gas and 3 melee greys. We don't want to make things too easy, do we?

As they stood in the small sideroom to the big room I dropped the sky on them once to deplete them of their precious, precious movement points as they tried to just run back into the elevator and win the mission. Unfortunately for them, I could still spawn nearly every round and soon enough the CMS bit the bloodsplattered dust.



(And yes, as a matter of fact, we are playing on a door.)


Followup thoughts:

Now this was really fun. I could use a wide array of abilities and even though they forgot some of theirs a few times, the commandos put their kits to good use. If they would've packed two or more medkits I'm sure this would've turned the other way. And don't come telling me I didn't warn them. They told me their kit and I told them they lack medkits. They went anyway. MVP this time was definitely Miller as he killed 20 something greys with what I imagine his knife, bare hands and a vicious attitude. The Lead on the other hand also set a record in my games, as most wounds sustained, with something like 8, healing himself on and off.
As far as I could tell, everybody was into the game and had fun and it was kind of close again. The game will surely hit the table again soon.






I hope someone took the time to read though all that and maybe got some entertainment out of it. My sunday is gone for sure
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Richard Jackson
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Very nice. Read it all and enjoyed every bit. Thanks!
 
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Jeff Paul
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Great write up. How long did each match take?
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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DaveS wrote:



By the way, thanks to snar for the tile-system modules, great work man

That deserves some

As an aside, don't forget that all Commandos can simply heal themselves 1 wound for 2 Adrenaline, so sometimes the health kits seem unnecessary (other than the Rifleman's who rolls a red die instead of a black die).

But fantastic to see you played the same quest 4 times and still enjoyed it! One of the best things about L7OP is that there is no "hidden information" in a quest, and yet it still retains a sense of exploration via Room Cards and Door Markers. Such a great game.

-shnar
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David Scheele
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gentry202 wrote:
Very nice. Read it all and enjoyed every bit. Thanks!

Thanks for reading it all

TnT! wrote:
Great write up. How long did each match take?

The first took rather long. I'd say 4 hours because we learned as we went.
The other ones around 2 - 3 hours I think.

shnar wrote:

That deserves some

As an aside, don't forget that all Commandos can simply heal themselves 1 wound for 2 Adrenaline, so sometimes the health kits seem unnecessary (other than the Rifleman's who rolls a red die instead of a black die).

But fantastic to see you played the same quest 4 times and still enjoyed it! One of the best things about L7OP is that there is no "hidden information" in a quest, and yet it still retains a sense of exploration via Room Cards and Door Markers. Such a great game.

-shnar


Thank you I would've given you some for the tilesystem itself, but I'm not "in the economy" so to speak :S

Yes my players knew that. And the Team Leader used that like crazy in my last game. Thus 8 - 10 sustained wounds in one match. But it takes up so much adrenaline a medkit would definitely be a better choice. the guy who played leader in the last game told me from next time out, rifleman + adv medkit is his way

And yeah I really liked the games. The room-cards give you awesome replayability even for multiple playthroughs and as long as I think I have a fighting chance (and based on my 3 out of 4 wins in the "tutorial" mission I think I have one ) I will continue to pump up this game.
Really really like it.
 
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Kris V.
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Fun write-up to read on a Friday when I am simply not focused at work! I was cracking-up picturing a scene where an excited Overseer is having to moderate a game where half the commandos are making out on the couch - not the kind of gettin' freaky you had in mind, huh?

At any rate, can you send me the tile-system module that schnar made? I could ask him, but he's busy and has got four kids to feed! (Wow, that reference is perfect on so many levels - pats self on back). My email is krisvenema@gmail.com

My wife and I have played through Mission 1, three times, with her playing the Disco Dancers kissand myself as Overseer goo, but we still keep missing some things due to our noobishness - to both this game in particular and most board games in general - and fact that we are usually tired from work. I am thinking we might do yet another round of Mission 1, but switching roles so that we can learn it even better. Then, once we reaaaaaaaally understand all the rules, we can move forward. I want to be sure that, no matter who wins, there is not question about the legitimacy of said win. It would be nice if we could find some players in Colorado (Denver West, Golden, Evergreen, Lakewood, etc.) as it would be much more fun (unless said players spend their adrenaline gettin' freaky on the couch).

 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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The TileSystem and L7OP TileSet plugin can be downloaded in the game's file section here: Level 7 [Omega Protocol] TileSet for TileSystem application

-shnar
 
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David Scheele
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Mountain Slayer wrote:
Fun write-up to read on a Friday when I am simply not focused at work! I was cracking-up picturing a scene where an excited Overseer is having to moderate a game where half the commandos are making out on the couch - not the kind of gettin' freaky you had in mind, huh?


Well, 3 commandos, 2 were "fooling around", the "enthusiast" wasn't one of them. And he is the boyfriend of the girl. So I'm pretty sure it would've been inappropiate if the two "made out" on the couch

Thank you for reading!
 
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