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Subject: Leveling Up, Dying... Seriously? rss

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Paul Glickman
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Hi all,

I'm strongly considering picking this up, but the leveling up and death mechanics both feel really weak to me. There were no erratas or suggestions in the expansion to change it up? Are there any highly suggested houserules?

Without having played, I can't say for certain, but I can't expect it would lead to a fun game experience to fail to level up by luck and/or die and lose all those hard earned ranks...

People who've played, just how bad is it?

Thanks!
Paul
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Martin Gallo
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Well, sometimes that is the breaks. Losing is never fun. You can always ignore character death?
 
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Paul Glickman
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Losing isn't the worry, losing progress or not getting progress through little or no fault of our own sucks. I think we'll play with "a player dying = game loss" as a rule, if that makes sense? Anyone sacrificing themselves to help a win will be super sad anyway.
 
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Thibaud Dejardin
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I don't feel concerned, because I play all missions one after another but all like standalone games. It allows me to change my team each game. But I'm mainly playing solo.
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Vasilis
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It's not so bad, don't worry. Most people that I know allow agents to gain multiple promotions during a single mission with an upper limit of "single scenario starting agent rank +1"

Use that and you won't get frustrated. Keep in mind that some final missions grant free ranks to help agents bypass bad luck rolls when trying to get to the difficult high ranks.

Hope that helps.
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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Leveling up in the campaign mode is not as random as you might think. You will be rolling for a level up more rounds than not, but each agent stops as soon as they get a success for that game. What this means is that the first two levels are almost automatic to happen once per game. The third and fourth level might take an extra game apiece or you might get lucky. The fifth level is the one that is super random. That one you might never get.

Because of the above, dying is not such a big deal. You will catch up on levels quickly. Unless you have a problem with agents dying often, in which case you will fall behind the curve.

Alternatively, you can play the missions standalone. Each one gives the starting level and gear for agents to replicate the effect of having leveled through the earlier missions. You can use those guidelines and always be on track for every mission. In fact, you will have the chance to be stronger mid-game, as playing missions by standalone rules allows for any number of level ups per mission.
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Nuno Santos
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Well its very much like xcom in the pc

You have to go in very carefully and not rambo style.

There is a known variant that you can use for leveling up, instead of only one level up you can make several level ups per mission till the rank plus one of the mission briefing.

For instance mission briefing says silver rank. You can level up until you reach gold rank (4 level ups with a rookie agent)
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Dom Hiob
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there's actually an answer to both questions, I think... now to find the thread.

I think Agent Skaak proposed two house-rules that (1) will make dying a bit less dramatic (even though dying remains very bad) and (2) will make leveling a bit less random. Here's the thread. Happy gaming!
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Paul Glickman
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Ah, thanks a lot guys! That multiple level ups per mission after dying seems like the retroactively obvious solution! Not sure how I like the pool one, that seems like it's a bit too distant from the original idea.
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Dom Hiob
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Paul G wrote:
Not sure how I like the pool one, that seems like it's a bit too distant from the original idea.


It is. I tried it in my group, though, and everyone liked it better than the original idea. And as there are plenty of options of making the game a bit harder (ranging from official game options to the Elite Alien Army pack), I guess it's fine tuning down the difficulty in ranks/making it less random. Maybe even more so, since the designers for their upcoming Sword & Sorcery went a different path with leveling (no more rolling dice).
 
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Paul Glickman
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I'm actually here from the S&S kickstarter, hungry to have a similar game to play while I wait!
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Dom Hiob
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Paul G wrote:
I'm actually here from the S&S kickstarter, hungry to have a similar game to play while I wait!


In that case: Welcome to Galaxy Defenders, agent! And yes: it's that great. In fact, GD made me back S&S without hesitation (and even though I have a bunch of Descent 2 stuff lying around half-painted and unplayed).
 
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Paul Glickman
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I'm just really disappointed I missed the kickstarter, the new agents look cool.
 
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Dom Hiob
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Paul G wrote:
I'm just really disappointed I missed the kickstarter, the new agents look cool.


Hmm... well, there's not too many exclusives though IIRC. I wasn't there for the first KS, so I'll have to make do with the NPC versions of the first KS extra agents and some print-outs of the agent sheets. As for the ones from the second KS, I think with the exception of Niobium and Tritium (?--I always get the names wrong) they should be non-exclusive. So chances are there'll be a big agent expansion
 
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Skaak
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DomHiob wrote:
Paul G wrote:
Not sure how I like the pool one, that seems like it's a bit too distant from the original idea.


It is. I tried it in my group, though, and everyone liked it better than the original idea. And as there are plenty of options of making the game a bit harder (ranging from official game options to the Elite Alien Army pack), I guess it's fine tuning down the difficulty in ranks/making it less random. Maybe even more so, since the designers for their upcoming Sword & Sorcery went a different path with leveling (no more rolling dice).


I've since stopped using this one, myself. I liked that it offered me a little more control over the leveling up process, but since what mainly needs to be offset is the final upgrade (which requires 3 GD results) and the later missions offer a free upgrade I ended up not really needing the advantage that rolling as a pool provides.

Leveling up to standalone rank +1 is still one of my favorite house rules, though. I never play without that one.
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Paul Glickman
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Damn it, you guys have gotten me re-excited for this. Gotta go watch the Alien and Predator movies to get even more into it. Any other suggestions?
 
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Byron Campbell
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Bowmangr wrote:
It's not so bad, don't worry. Most people that I know allow agents to gain multiple promotions during a single mission with an upper limit of "single scenario starting agent rank +1"


This is the way to do it. GD is a very open system permissive of house rules and fanmade content. And nobody should feel hesitant to implement a rules change that makes the game more fun.
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Paul G wrote:
Damn it, you guys have gotten me re-excited for this. Gotta go watch the Alien and Predator movies to get even more into it. Any other suggestions?


Yes... don't watch those movies Stick w/ the originals in each franchise instead. EDIT: blush I first read it as the AvP movies...

Also, if you don't have them already look into the Legendary Encounters games, if you like card games.
 
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You may call me
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Paul G wrote:
Damn it, you guys have gotten me re-excited for this. Gotta go watch the Alien and Predator movies to get even more into it. Any other suggestions?


Yes, Starship Troopers! I think this game is more that than any other movie!

And as far as the levelling and dying, well in solo it isn't an issue of course. If you're playing the campaign with a group of people I would prepare the players to the fact that they will die. After over 25 plays, only now do I think I've gotten the subtleties to the game and can play missions without agents dying but it isn't easy. Most missions at least one agent dies. Just make sure people are aware of this. There are a few good suggestions in this thread for house rules about that though so hopefully you'll find your sweet spot.

And when it comes to levelling up, I look at as these agents are just pawns in the big war and they are expendable. Just when you have a guy levelled up high, he dies and in comes another grunt. That's just war. Agents are cannon fodder!



 
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Dom Hiob
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MrTetsuo wrote:
Paul G wrote:
Hi all,

I'm strongly considering picking this up, but the leveling up and death mechanics both feel really weak to me. There were no erratas or suggestions in the expansion to change it up? Are there any highly suggested houserules?

Without having played, I can't say for certain, but I can't expect it would lead to a fun game experience to fail to level up by luck and/or die and lose all those hard earned ranks...

People who've played, just how bad is it?

Thanks!
Paul


It's pretty bad. If you do play by the rules with perma-death, it's very easy to find yourself unable to proceed in the campaign.

I personally ignore the death mechanics and just would "reload" my last "saved game" if I completely failed a mission, or simply "revive" downed characters at the end of the mission.

All my character would level up automatically at the end of the mission.


hm, to me, that would take a lot of the tension out of the game. I'd much rather use one of the house rules from above than do "savegames" and automatic leveling. But I guess tastes differ.

Unless you play with the "real pain" option (IIRC, the one where you cannot choose an agent once he/she has been killed), I don't see how you could find yourself unable to proceed, though. And even then it shouldn't be a problem with all of the extra agents that are available.
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