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Subject: Scenario 9: Have at Thee! 'reserves' question rss

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Colin Hall-Williams
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I'm getting a little sick of how vague the Mars Attacks rules are and this appears to be another example:

Scenario 9 has a special rule 'The Sound of the Guns' - how does it work? I assume "reserves" and "reinforcements" are the same thing (the game is a pain for unnecessarily using multiple terms) and it appears that you bring them on as your two activations per turn until they are all on the board, but:

1. When you bring your reserveinforcements into play, do they use one action to enter the board, then take another action and get marked as activated, OR, do they move onto the board for free until they are all in play and then all Martian figures (including the ones just placed) become available for activation?

2. Do they effectively stall all the other Martian figures on the board, meaning that General Tor has to wait until all the previously dead grunts have activated, leaving him open to multiple attacks?

3. Is the "bottom edge" of the board the Martian player's edge?

This game seriously needs the FAQ updating, it's easy enough to play, but bloody hell do they make it difficult to be sure about the rules.

 
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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mattersmasher wrote:
I'm getting a little sick of how vague the Mars Attacks rules are and this appears to be another example:

Scenario 9 has a special rule 'The Sound of the Guns' - how does it work? I assume "reserves" and "reinforcements" are the same thing (the game is a pain for unnecessarily using multiple terms) and it appears that you bring them on as your two activations per turn until they are all on the board, but:

1. When you bring your reserveinforcements into play, do they use one action to enter the board, then take another action and get marked as activated, OR, do they move onto the board for free until they are all in play and then all Martian figures (including the ones just placed) become available for activation?

They use one of your 2 Actions available per turn. So yes technically if the human player is killing fast enough he/she can lock down the martian player forcing them to spend their actions bringing the reinforcements back onto the board. Simply put you have 2 actions as a Martian Player, if you have Units off the board you have to burn those Actions putting martians back on the board as your only action choice.
mattersmasher wrote:

2. Do they effectively stall all the other Martian figures on the board, meaning that General Tor has to wait until all the previously dead grunts have activated, leaving him open to multiple attacks?

3. Is the "bottom edge" of the board the Martian player's edge?

One of the the pages in the rulebook (I think it's the page talking about how to pick a random square) states "Bottom is from the perspective of the player in question". Edit I was wrong it is page 30 under set up
mattersmasher wrote:

This game seriously needs the FAQ updating, it's easy enough to play, but bloody hell do they make it difficult to be sure about the rules.


FAQ? Nah just better organization. The rules are all in their just not very efficiently placed.
 
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Colin Hall-Williams
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Thanks for the answers, I just want to clear this one up:
Grumsh wrote:

They use one of your 2 Actions available per turn. So yes technically if the human player is killing fast enough he/she can lock down the martian player forcing them to spend their actions bringing the reinforcements back onto the board. Simply put you have 2 actions as a Martian Player, if you have Units off the board you have to burn those Actions putting martians back on the board as your only action choice.

So bringing a Martian back into play takes up a whole action, but are they available to activate in future turns, or is that move onto the board their activation?
Grumsh wrote:

The rules are all in their just not very efficiently placed.

I'm not sure all the rules are in there, but yes, the ones that are really need rearranging. My main issue is terminology - the whole Soldier/Hero/Soldier with Heroics, or what the card stand-ups are classified as, or which term to use for scenery (walls, ruins, cover, buildings, accessories...), or how a flying saucer counts as a soldier.

It reminds me of Super Dungeon Explore - easy and intuitive with a rulebook that gets in the way!
 
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Barry Miller
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mattersmasher wrote:
...it appears that you bring them on as your two activations per turn...

Grumsh wrote:
Simply put you have 2 actions as a Martian Player, if you have Units off the board you have to burn those Actions putting martians back on the board as your only action choice.

OK, I've prided myself in being able to interpret this rulebook and thusly help answer player's questions. But now you guys have me stumped!

I haven't yet played this scenario so it's a new question. Now that I'm looking at it, I'm wondering where you're reading that bringing the "reserveinforcements" into play (BTW, I love that, Colin!) costs any actions at all? Are you going by the last sentence of the paragraph, the one that reads, "...at which point they can activate models as normal."?

If that's the sentence you're using to say that bringing on reinforcements costs an action, that is certainly very vague indeed, and I gotta agree with Colin. Yes, that sentence infers what you're saying, but it's a very weak inference. But having said that, and after re-reading that entire paragraph with that inference in mind, it does make a little more sense. So I can understand Mike, how you came to that conclusion.

mattersmasher wrote:
3. Is the "bottom edge" of the board the Martian player's edge?

Yes, the edges of the board are always considered from the active player's POV. To help out Michael, the page he was searching for is pg 14. And to put in a shameless plug, this is included in my player's aid.


To change gears a tad, Colin's underlying point about how this rulebook is lacking is still very valid. Michael, I gotta respectfully offer a counter-opinion to yours. The rules are not all in there. Just a browsing of the many rules questions in these forums, or all the unanswered questions that are posted on Jake's blog/FAQ - whatever it is - go to show that the rulebook needs a little more meat. Many of the questions have been asked by me and are still unanswered and are NOT in the rulebook.

This is a brilliant game which does a great job of blending board gaming and miniatures gaming. Entering that territory alone sort of implies that the rules won't be as simple as the rulebook wants to make them seem. And the aforementioned questions demonstrate that.


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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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Barry I know you are fairly active in the Mars Attacks forums and I am sure a lot of people owe you thanks for that.

I haven't been following the threads too closely I just know I see your name in many threads. Hey its Snoopy and he rocks how can I miss it, RIP Mr. Schultz.

Anyways, I didn't have too much trouble with the rules but I say that as someone who had to dissect the heck out of them to do the tutorial and game play videos. Of course I might have rules wrong but I cannot recall anything mind numbing beyond the ridiculous card errors (quick which card is impossible to use due to the wrong star/head symbol on it /facepalm).

I wrote up notes when I was learning the game so maybe that helped because like i said the rulebook organization was pretty lackluster.
 
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Colin Hall-Williams
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We have the following things to go on:

P31 describes Deploying models (placing them into a square on the board) and Scenario 9 also tells you to deploy reserves. It implies that you deploy a model as one of your two actions until you've deployed them all (possibly over several turns) at which time you can begin activating models.

Scenario 9 specifically has it that the reserves enter the board, which again is an extra term which could mean either movement, or placement!

This is different from Scenario 1 in which the human troops move onto the board, presumably at the cost of one of the model's actions i.e. move onto the board and then move, or shoot.

The other thing we have is the "Reinforcements Arrive!" card which is mercifully specific in how it works and possibly clarifies Scenario 1. The question I have is whether Scenarios 1 and 9 are supposed to work the same way (i.e. the way the card describes) as one standard rule for bringing models (back) into play would make sense.
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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Preface I am not Jake Thornton and I know he is pretty adamant about only answering questions on his blog quirkworthy.com. I say this to emphasize anything you get from anyone here on BGG is conjecture to be sure.

My interpretation, moving a unit onto the board is an activation of said model. It also uses up one of the actions for said model.

The reason I think this way is because of Page 6, 7, and page 32. Again I freely admit I am wrong and welcome any interjection to the contrary.

Basically the verbage "If they have more than 2 reinforcements they must continue to bring them on each turn". Is what makes me lean towards it is an activation and since it is an activation, it is moving, and since it is moving, the model can then only move or shoot for its second action.

Remember the games definition for Rounds versus Turns.

Double/triple/quadruple edit: I think the rules from page 30 are the ones that will determine "bottom" and once that is decided bottom is the side with the line of red squares. I get this from
Quote:

After the terrain is in place, the Martian player
gets to choose which way round to play. Looking
at the map for your scenario, decide which one
of the four sides of the board will count as the
one at the top of the map. Set up everything
based on that.

I know it's a confusing rulebook.
 
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Barry Miller
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Grumsh wrote:
Anyways, I didn't have too much trouble with the rules but I say that as someone who had to dissect the heck out of them to do the tutorial and game play videos. Of course I might have rules wrong but I cannot recall anything mind numbing beyond the ridiculous card errors (quick which card is impossible to use due to the wrong star/head symbol on it /facepalm).

Michael, I haven't had the time yet to watch your videos, but I certainly will! In the meantime, I appreciate what you're saying. And on the whole I must agree with your assessment. Unfortunately I let myself get hung-up even over the little stuff. (It's my military upbringing to ensure that both the big things and the little things are fixed, for if the little things aren't, they'll make a mess down the road). And that's the same way I look at game play. I can overlook a little thing here or there, but several at the same time end-up affecting the enjoyment of the game.

All of the following are covered in other threads, but I can't seem to find answers in the rulebook (and this thread certainly is not a place to discuss them), but for instance:
- Does Covering Fire work against Gen Tor? (He's not a soldier which the rule says CF only works against, he's a hero)
- Does either side claim a victory point for a model killed by an event card?
- When a Human player moves a civilian instead of one of his other models, does it count as an activation for the other model?
- And Colin's point about heroes/models/heroic points/soldiers has been discussed infinitely in these forums, and we think we got it and have moved on, but we're all still waiting for Jake to chime in with confirmation.
- The rules say that only a solid wall (3x3) blocks movement. But they also say that a model can't jump over a wall section that is taller than a model. The broken window sections are taller than a model, so do they block movement as well?
I'm glad that Jake answered the question regarding whether or not playing a card in order to achieve a bonus roll also counts as playing a card as one of the two activation actions. He said it does. I'm glad he clarified that, because the rules do NOT.

Whew... sorry for that... got carried away! On a very good note however, writing the above forced me to go back through all those old posts where I discovered that you're more right than I. Now that I've both stepped away from the rulebook for a while, and have a few games under my belt, I'm revisiting those old questions with a fresh perspective. Thusly I'll have to go back and answer some of my own questions, the threads of which have been withering away since the summer! So I have you to thank for making me realize that a lot of those old questions are covered in the rulebook after all... but just not in an obvious way.

Which brings me to the above list. Those questions still stand. And you're correct that they aren't showstoppers by any means. But if you were to play a game where three or four of those questions arose, it would certainly detract from the enjoyment of the game.





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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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I almost hesitate to answer because I don't have the rulebooks in front of me but many of these questions were questions I had to ask before I made the Videos. Good news I have the answers, Bad news I cannot specifically tell you where in the rulebook they are answered.

If I recall correctly you were pretty active over on Jake's blog trying to get him to visit BGG to answer questions with very little luck.
bgm1961 wrote:

Grumsh wrote:
Anyways, I didn't have too much trouble with the rules but I say that as someone who had to dissect the heck out of them to do the tutorial and game play videos. Of course I might have rules wrong but I cannot recall anything mind numbing beyond the ridiculous card errors (quick which card is impossible to use due to the wrong star/head symbol on it /facepalm).

Michael, I haven't had the time yet to watch your videos, but I certainly will! In the meantime, I appreciate what you're saying. And on the whole I must agree with your assessment. Unfortunately I let myself get hung-up even over the little stuff. (It's my military upbringing to ensure that both the big things and the little things are fixed, for if the little things aren't, they'll make a mess down the road). And that's the same way I look at game play. I can overlook a little thing here or there, but several at the same time end-up affecting the enjoyment of the game.

All of the following are covered in other threads, but I can't seem to find answers in the rulebook (and this thread certainly is not a place to discuss them), but for instance:
- Does Covering Fire work against Gen Tor? (He's not a soldier which the rule says CF only works against, he's a hero)

General Tor is just too overconfident to be rattled by puny gun fire. So no he doesn't get affected by Covering Fire (the Skill).
bgm1961 wrote:

- Does either side claim a victory point for a model killed by an event card?

Yes, I remember this very question because when I was learning the rules a couple scenarios became unwinnable if you had 1 bad event card so this is one I had to have answered myself.
bgm1961 wrote:

- When a Human player moves a civilian instead of one of his other models, does it count as an activation for the other model?

Use up one of your 2 available actions yes, cause one of your models to be marked activated (as in this model yelled at the civilian to get the heck out of the way), no.

bgm1961 wrote:

- And Colin's point about heroes/models/heroic points/soldiers has been discussed infinitely in these forums, and we think we got it and have moved on, but we're all still waiting for Jake to chime in with confirmation.
- The rules say that only a solid wall (3x3) blocks movement. But they also say that a model can't jump over a wall section that is taller than a model. The broken window sections are taller than a model, so do they block movement as well?

Walls main purpose is to provide cover from fire and secondary purpose is to restrict movement. Only a wall that is 3X3 impedes movement.
bgm1961 wrote:

I'm glad that Jake answered the question regarding whether or not playing a card in order to achieve a bonus roll also counts as playing a card as one of the two activation actions. He said it does. I'm glad he clarified that, because the rules do NOT.

The wording on this was so darn wonky I am not surprised more people were not tripped up by this.
bgm1961 wrote:


Whew... sorry for that... got carried away! On a very good note however, writing the above forced me to go back through all those old posts where I discovered that you're more right than I. Now that I've both stepped away from the rulebook for a while, and have a few games under my belt, I'm revisiting those old questions with a fresh perspective. Thusly I'll have to go back and answer some of my own questions, the threads of which have been withering away since the summer! So I have you to thank for making me realize that a lot of those old questions are covered in the rulebook after all... but just not in an obvious way.

Which brings me to the above list. Those questions still stand. And you're correct that they aren't showstoppers by any means. But if you were to play a game where three or four of those questions arose, it would certainly detract from the enjoyment of the game.

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Barry Miller
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Michael,

I appreciate you providing what certainly sounds like very reasonable answers to those questions! As it'd be nice to put a bow tie on them with a source, and considering that they're all presented in other threads, this is what I'm proposing...

Sometime in the next week or two, I'll go back through all the early threads, as I said, and will do a little maintenance. I'll "close" those which we ourselves have come to realize the answer since then, (or better yet, which Jake has actually answered). And for any which are still outstanding, I'll clean them up. The above questions would fall into the "still outstanding" category. But since you've been able to provide an answer, they won't be "outstanding" for long.

So if those questions can be closed with either a source or a justification, in their respective threads, that'd be great! I'll send you a PM when I've got everything cleaned up and ready for that "Bow Tie". Let me know what you think of this plan.



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Matt Gilbert
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If you have Martians off the board, you must use activations to move them onto the board each turn until you have none left. At this point you can activate your remaining models as normal.

So if you had 3 Martians as reserves/reinforcements, you would have to:

Turn 1: Activate 2 reserve Martians and move them onto the board
Turn 2: Activate the final reserve Martian and then either activate another Martian or play a card
Turn: Proceed as normal.

Obviously if you activate a Martian to bring them onto the board, you need to it as activated.

So yes, if you have lots of them, it will delay you being able to activate other models that are already on the board.
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Matt Gilbert
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Barry - get all the unanswered questions together and then email them to me (mattjgilbert at yahoo dot co dot uk)

Any I cannot answer myself I'll try and contact Jake to discuss them with him.

He's been very busy with Dungeon Saga deadlines for the last few months and is still working on it.
 
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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bgm1961 wrote:

Michael,

I appreciate you providing what certainly sounds like very reasonable answers to those questions! As it'd be nice to put a bow tie on them with a source, and considering that they're all presented in other threads, this is what I'm proposing...

Sometime in the next week or two, I'll go back through all the early threads, as I said, and will do a little maintenance. I'll "close" those which we ourselves have come to realize the answer since then, (or better yet, which Jake has actually answered). And for any which are still outstanding, I'll clean them up. The above questions would fall into the "still outstanding" category. But since you've been able to provide an answer, they won't be "outstanding" for long.

So if those questions can be closed with either a source or a justification, in their respective threads, that'd be great! I'll send you a PM when I've got everything cleaned up and ready for that "Bow Tie". Let me know what you think of this plan.





If you do all that I think Mantic owes you credits in the second edition rulebook!

PS: I am a horrible resource right now. My current project is updating 2D6.org with more modern plugins from Wordpress which involves reading a 850 page how to guide. I am so behind on emails and editing videos right now sadly.
 
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Barry Miller
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Grumsh wrote:
I am so behind on emails and editing videos right now sadly.
I hear you! I'm in the same boat - that's why I loosely said, "in the next week or two"!

And for Matt also, I'll let you know when I'm done. I'm also slowly cobbling together another player's aid for the expansions.

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