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Subject: Slow and unbalanced, how to fix? rss

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Matt H
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I've had two playthroughs so far.

First one: Base game only, first story mode scenario, took like 2.5 hours. Was kind of boring, ended with 2/3 of us dead. I don't remember many specific details, except that it took around an hour before we started hitting the mansion regularly. Still, we saw potential and wanted to make something better for next time.

Second one: I've since bought Outbreak, Nightmare and Mercenaries. We used Outbreak's first scenario with Mercenaries basic resources. Thought this would fix the pacing, but it still went really slow and took nearly two hours. Only playing Space Alert afterwards lifted our spirits. One guy drew the boss on his first explore, which basically ruined the rest of the game for him and doomed him to turn zombie. The first aid spray didn't serve the game as well as the green herb, since it was usually just out of reach for him to buy that early. One player had Rebecca Chambers (I think) with her discard-to-lower-infection skill, which pretty much broke the game, and the other survivor besides me kept drawing all the antivirus cards in the mansion, with or without using Wesker's Secret.

I want to make a scenario that will last ~1 hour and not be too luck-based. Thoughts for next time:

1: I like Outbreak mode in principle, and will probably try building around it. Also, if I had known that Zombie A's "berserker" ability referred to itself (what the hell,) I think we would've been able to kill off the third player a bit sooner.

2: Mercenaries handguns and ammo are 100% superior to base game, so I've put the old ones away in a closet. Reliable Blade is better than Combat Knife, but might need the Survival Knife put in with it for Krauser etc. Pretty sure we'll be using Green Herb over First Aid Spray every time, at least for story mode.

3: If a special weapon comes up in a resource pile, we're thinking we should move it to its own location so you can still buy the regular versions. We basically had pump shotguns denied to us for the whole midgame, and without them it was even harder to get started exploring before infection became a problem. The other weapons were too weak or too expensive.

4: Shuffle the boss into the bottom half of the mansion the first time. One player wants to remove him entirely and play to a point limit, but we feel it removes some of the flavor of the game.

5: Maybe need two kinds of trashing actions. The first player to turn zombie went with two or three Shattered Memories in his deck, and generally I couldn't seem to get my deck to the size I wanted it, despite buying Shattered Memories a few times.

6: Is Outbreak Rebecca Chambers broken, or are we just playing wrong?

Any ideas would be appreciated. I feel like another bad session will probably lose us a player.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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NoSoup4you wrote:
First one: Base game only, first story mode scenario, took like 2.5 hours. Was kind of boring, ended with 2/3 of us dead. I don't remember many specific details, except that it took around an hour before we started hitting the mansion regularly. Still, we saw potential and wanted to make something better for next time.


Sounds like you were too scared of the penalties/taking damage. Premier mansion, all you need is 40 dmg and you're kills are almost guaranteed, rake in those Decorations (Shotgun + Knife + Deadly Aim for example).

Quote:
The first aid spray didn't serve the game as well as the green herb, since it was usually just out of reach for him to buy that early.


Yeah, that's my one issue with Merc Basics, FAS costs 50 vs Green Herb for mere 20.

Quote:
One player had Rebecca Chambers (I think) with her discard-to-lower-infection skill, which pretty much broke the game, and the other survivor besides me kept drawing all the antivirus cards in the mansion, with or without using Wesker's Secret.


When you have her or I think Outbreak Jill in the game, you pretty much have to pick a setup that has By Any Means Necessary for the other players to have a chance of avoiding turning. Hence my general dislike of Outbreak Mode.

Quote:
I want to make a scenario that will last ~1 hour and not be too luck-based.


For duration, that's what it should be taking IMO, 45-60 minutes. Especially with Merc Basic Resources, your starting cards should almost be just vanishing from decks replaced by better and better cards (first turn attack with Custom Standard Sidearm + Reliable Blade for 25 dmg, Sidearm will be gone regardless, Blade too if you kill an Infected). For the latter, I'm fine with it, adds an element of uncertainty that is lacking in other deck-builders.

Quote:
5: Maybe need two kinds of trashing actions. The first player to turn zombie went with two or three Shattered Memories in his deck, and generally I couldn't seem to get my deck to the size I wanted it, despite buying Shattered Memories a few times.


I'd say you're not going to get your deck to the size you want even then barring ideal draws, just compensate via draw effects, you should still be getting 40 dmg regularly at least once per deck cycle (esp. with Deadly Aim in the setup, DA + Handgun + 2 Knives = 40 dmg).

Quote:
6: Is Outbreak Rebecca Chambers broken, or are we just playing wrong?


Once she levels up, she is pretty much immune to turning, so she will last again infection forever, she might still die to losing Max Health too much for getting knocked out. She does thus have one less thing to worry about, but she isn't guaranteed to win.

IMO (after 249 plays), the only character that needs a nerf-hammer hit is Mercenaries Barry Burton. Even he can be beat, but you really, really need to have everything go your way, nobody else can turn 1 Explore into 3-4 kills (which is just bonkers in Mercenaries setups that lack +Explore).
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Matt H
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What's so great about By Any Means Necessary? Isn't it just like Injection but you can (for some reason) make yourself a better zombie if you do turn?

Is there a list of cards with their uses/user comments online somewhere?
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Unlike Injection, no need to Trash it to reduce Infection level, so no having to spend a Buy to get it back. Better still, BAMN is +2A so you can combo that sucker with other Actions pretty freely (Injection is +1A IIRC), especially draw Actions.

"Decrease your Character's Infection Level by any amount. Then, increase your Character's Infection Level by the same amount, minus 1."

So you play one, reduce by one (thus no subsequent increase as 1-1=0), play another, reduce by one, hell, drop a third and you just dropped 3 levels of Infection (granted, probably gain back 1 for no Exploring, but still a net win of two levels).
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Dan Briand
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I'd suggest dropping the Outbreak mode and switch to using Skills. This should help speed things along as even though you potentially may not defeat the Infected, you will gain XP to unlock useful skills which will help you kill the bigger Infected that much quicker.

Raccoon City Police Department is a great action card to have in the resource pile as well. Gives you +20 Ammo (card says +2, but it's a typo) and guarantees you have a weapon in your hand.
 
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Matt H
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Figured we'd use Reload.
 
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Matt H
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So I'm playing solitaire right now, and it's a lot more fun than our last group session was! Outbreak seems well suited to solo. I have a couple questions.

If I draw Fight or Flight, is it legal to play my weapons+ammo, explore with it in my hand just in case, WIN the fight, and then still play FoF for its +2 cards? I'm guessing yes.

Do I need an action to trash Fight or Flight from my hand and escape a fight?

On a turn where I DON'T explore, can I still use ammo to power the machine pistol for its +20 gold effect? Not sure thematically how this card makes sense either way...

Say I explore with a pump shotgun and a machine pistol, and only enough ammo to power one or the other. I obviously planned on using the shotgun for its higher damage, but can I now say I fired the machine pistol and get its gold bonus?

I remember there being at least one monster that hurts you for having more ammo in the play area. Can I play just enough ammo for my guns, explore, then play the rest of my ammo and buy?

How does Flashbang work with sequential explores? E.G. can I play a 20 strength gun and a Flashbang, explore once, meet a 40 health enemy (actually I met a Reinforced Licker, so 30 health but Flashbang damage didn't count); decide not to fire upon it, saving the ammo for explore #2; negate the enemy's damage; explore again and get the same protection from <=40 health enemies still? Or does it go away after the first one is negated?
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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NoSoup4you wrote:
If I draw Fight or Flight, is it legal to play my weapons+ammo, explore with it in my hand just in case, WIN the fight, and then still play FoF for its +2 cards? I'm guessing yes.


Assuming you have an Action left. You can do Explore, Buy, Action in any order.

Quote:
On a turn where I DON'T explore, can I still use ammo to power the machine pistol for its +20 gold effect? Not sure thematically how this card makes sense either way...


No, you need to Explore using said weapon to get its effect.

Quote:
Say I explore with a pump shotgun and a machine pistol, and only enough ammo to power one or the other. I obviously planned on using the shotgun for its higher damage, but can I now say I fired the machine pistol and get its gold bonus?


"1) Announce that you are Exploring
2) Move any weapons that your character will be using from your hand to your play area. Each weapon can only be used once, unless an effect states otherwise (CH-002 level 2 ability)
3) Pay the ammo requirement on the weapons you moved in step 2. To do this, you should have played ammunition cards/action cards/etc prior to step 1 to generate ammo. Designate the amount of ammo each weapon your character is using. That ammo is consumed once you move to step 4.
4) Total up the amount of damage your character is dealing by adding in the following order: Weapon damage, Character damage, any existential effects.
5) If any weapons being used have effects or any effects that occur when your character explores occur at this moment, in any order you wish.
6) Reveal the top card of the mansion.
7) If the top card of the mansion has a “when revealed” effect, apply that effect." (FAQ, p. 3)

So you'll either have Shotgun or Machine Pistol out if you only have 40 ammo available, can't play both. You've picked your weapon(s) long before you flip the top card (apart from Premier Ada and Alliance Carlos IIRC).

Quote:
I remember there being at least one monster that hurts you for having more ammo in the play area. Can I play just enough ammo for my guns, explore, then play the rest of my ammo and buy?


Sure.

Quote:
How does Flashbang work with sequential explores? E.G. can I play a 20 strength gun and a Flashbang, explore once, meet a 40 health enemy (actually I met a Reinforced Licker, so 30 health but Flashbang damage didn't count); decide not to fire upon it, saving the ammo for explore #2; negate the enemy's damage; explore again and get the same protection from <=40 health enemies still? Or does it go away after the first one is negated?


Not sure what you mean by "decide not to fire upon it". See above, ammo for the gun is already spent before you flip the mansion deck card (steup 4 vs step 6). As per the Master FAQ, Flashbang does seem to last the entire round:

"Q: Does this Weapon's effect last for every Explore during that turn?
A: Yes it does." (p. 26)
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Matt H
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Alright, looks like I was wrong on a couple of things there. One more question that just came up, does Wesker's Secret let you move the top 4 cards to the bottom of the mansion, even if none of them are an Antivirus?

EDIT: Nevermind, found the FAQ myself. Still wondering if Fight or Flight can be trashed from my hand without an action, but I'm gonna go with yes since it doesn't enter the play area...
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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I'd say so, only playing an Action costs an Action.
 
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Matt H
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ALSO wondering if Fight or Flight prevents enemy effects from going off when I move them to the bottom, e.g. I just drew the Outbreak boss and FoF'd him, wondering whether to raise my infection level.

I think the enemy effect is supposed to go off before it gets moved, per the "infected beats uninfected if they share a timing" rule, but this is more complicated in the case of the boss. His effect is "if not defeated, add infection, then shuffle him into the deck." But I can't shuffle him into the deck and then move him to the bottom. On the other hand, "if not defeated" happens after damage is calculated, which theoretically must happen later than when he's revealed. So I dunno, I guess I'll just move him to the bottom.
 
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Matt H
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Solo sessions results:

Mode: Outbreak
Character: Josh Stone (can pull weapon from discard when full health)
Piles used:

Ammo 10/20/30
Green herb
Reliable blade
Custom standard sidearm
Pump-action shotgun/auto shotgun
Machine pistol/gangster gun
Six shooter
Grenade
Flashbang
Fight or flight
By any means necessary
Injection
Wesker's secret
Shattered memories
The merchant
Power of the T-virus
Deadly Aim

Most of the game was pretty cool, but eventually I reached a point where I had killed everything in the mansion but the boss, the antiviruses and the unkillable nurse zombie. I knew the boss was on the top of the deck, and I just sat there forever trying to draw the one or two perfect hands that could do enough damage to kill him. I had gotten 90 at one point, but I miscounted and it was the last normal zombie. After awhile I just said FUCK IT, I win. 90 health is way too much. Even before I had gotten to that point, the game was running pretty long. Most gaming groups wouldn't be that patient. I'm thinking of doing it so you shuffle the boss into the bottom half, and when he comes up, that's the last turn of the game. If the player kills him, they automatically win, otherwise points are totaled up after the encounter. His health should probably be 80 or even 70 also, unless you're just expected to use the rocket launcher or something. The odds are so low of having 90 damage on the exact turn that he shows up.
 
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Dan Briand
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NoSoup4you wrote:
ALSO wondering if Fight or Flight prevents enemy effects from going off when I move them to the bottom, e.g. I just drew the Outbreak boss and FoF'd him, wondering whether to raise my infection level.

I think the enemy effect is supposed to go off before it gets moved, per the "infected beats uninfected if they share a timing" rule, but this is more complicated in the case of the boss. His effect is "if not defeated, add infection, then shuffle him into the deck." But I can't shuffle him into the deck and then move him to the bottom. On the other hand, "if not defeated" happens after damage is calculated, which theoretically must happen later than when he's revealed. So I dunno, I guess I'll just move him to the bottom.


Fight or Flight says:
When an Infected is Revealed, you can Trash this card from your Hand. In that case, if that Infected has more Health then the Exploring Character, move that Infected to the bottom of the Mansion.

If we look at the Rulebook on page 15, it states:
If an Infected is Revealed and it has an effect, apply it when the effect says so. If a non-Infected and an Infected effect share the same timing, the Infected effect must be applied first. (you got this part right)

So, if the Infected's effect is triggered by "When this Infected is revealed", then you must apply it before the Infected can trigger Fight or Flight's effect. An Infected must be revealed to even prompt the player to play Fight or Flight anyway.

Now, with all of that being said, I remember reading somewhere in the Master FAQ that says that FoF does not trigger the "if not defeated" effect because you didn't actually engage in combat with it (Flight option). I just couldn't find the exact text in there this morning.

Thematically, this makes sense to me and is how I would rule it.

So, "When Revealed" triggers, but "if defeated/not defeated" wouldn't trigger.
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Rauli Kettunen
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SpidermanGeek wrote:
Now, with all of that being said, I remember reading somewhere in the Master FAQ that says that FoF does not trigger the "if not defeated" effect because you didn't actually engage in combat with it (Flight option). I just couldn't find the exact text in there this morning.


There is no ruling for Fight or Flight in the Master FAQ anywhere.

As to 90 Health being too much, looking at the setup of Actions:

Fight or flight
By any means necessary
Injection
Wesker's secret
Shattered memories
The merchant
Power of the T-virus
Deadly Aim

BAMN, Injection and Wesker's Secret, no need to have all three IMO, either the first one or the latter pair. Not fan of The Merchant or Power of the T-Virus, especially in the same setup. Reload + Deadly Aim is a solid vanilla combo. Reload especially is arguably the best Action in the game, it just helps get the most out of your hands so much more often (Reload a gun you used last turn, buy a gun then Reload, +2A, options are plentiful). It's pretty much always the first stack to run out, in a 2-player 3/2, with three 2/2/1 splits into decks. There is little deck/discard pile manipulation that you would get from Reload, Umbrella Corporation; Injection's ability just doesn't cover it quite as effectively.
 
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Dan Briand
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Dam the Man wrote:
There is no ruling for Fight or Flight in the Master FAQ anywhere.


Well, I guess that explains why I couldn't find it. Lol.
 
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Matt H
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I'm assuming a 4 player game might require multiple forms of infection control, though.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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NoSoup4you wrote:
I'm assuming a 4 player game might require multiple forms of infection control, though.


True, though if you're wanting quicker games, include none, it should be over in about 30 minutes with three players turning Infected .

Honestly, I'd "grind" Premier mansion and setups until you get the feel and hang of the game down. I say Premier as it is the most predictable mansion (The Cult from Mercenaries is another, only Red Executioner has more than 30 Health), having only 2 Infected with more than 40 Health and generally the pre-made setups from Premier (for Story Mode at least) have solid set of weapons and actions. Maybe throw in Skills if you feel like it. But with a mansion for which you can figure out the odds rather easily, it would help the players see how and where they can take risks in exploring, while also giving them a mini-goal of sorts, work towards getting that 40 dmg first, once they reach that plateau with reasonably success, start working towards that 90 dmg level for taking on the boss. With 4, depending on how the Shotgun stack shuffles, some will likely have to settle for Assault Machine Gun, it's not ideal, but paired with Deadly Aim, it'll still get you to 40 dmg easy enough, just lacking that +Explore.
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