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Subject: Event Cards seem extra brutal rss

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Jeff Fike
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I have both Uboat (2nd edition) which I played first and Gato leader.

I took a shot at Gato, 1942 mission and found that of the 5 submarines I deployed, 4 of them were stressed so bad, they were either shaken or unfit.

Why?

Simply from drawing 4 event cards (the outcome of moving two spaces on the board).


I never fought or contacted an enemy ship, I merely drew a card.

One of the 4 sank (due to an event card) and I ignored it because it was my first game and didn't want it to happen.

Drawing cards and having bad things happen to you is Candyland level gaming. I cannot mitigate these cards, I cannot employ strategy or cunning to overcome them. They just happen and they are brutal. Way more than UBOAT leader was and way more than any other DVG experience. Getting sunk simply from drawing a card (and associated dice roll) is awful. Mind you, I wasn't sunk because I took heavy hits...the card literally tells me: "sunk" simply from rolling bad.


When I play this game, I want my challenge to be when I encounter ships. Not when I draw event cards.

I don't mind an event card that makes my next encounter more challenging (Radar no longer works, etc.) but I want the focus of my gameplay to be on the encounters. On sinking those freighters/carriers and avoiding the escorts. I want the cat and mouse to be where my heart and mind is focused.

Instead, it is ruined by event cards. The event cards are more brutal than a destroyer...or 3 of them. That isn't right. It feels ugly.

How do I fix it? The scenarios were balanced with these brutal cards in mind. It is easy to say, "I'll just use the UBOAT event deck" but then you are possibly going to have an easy go at the game. I would have preferred that the difficulty lied in the encounters, and not the events.

To spin this differently. TAL- The thrill of that game is getting into a zone, figuring out how to take out the AA and your targets and getting out before it gets too hot. The event cards would sometimes say the AA gets +1 range or do things to make it more difficult, but the thrill and the focus was on the mission.

Not in Gato Leader. The mission is a cakewalk compared to the event cards.

On average, my subs are taking 6 stress after drawing four event cards. A green sub can only handle 4 before becoming shaken. Sometimes I get much more than 6.

When doing a mission, a sub gets 1 stress (just for comparison). That is a big difference. It is not balanced in my viewpoint.
 
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Paul Dodds
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I'm not saying this is right or wrong as I'm starting to see some issues with this game, but I believe the purpose of the Event Deck is to stop you sitting at sea and cherry picking you targets. It forces you to engage contacts because you will eventually pick up a lot of stress if you stay at sea for too long.

Also, using Green subs is just not worthwhile. It's much more effective to use a smaller number of subs with higher quality crews. They have higher Stress thresholds and their nicer TS modifiers give you a much better chance of picking off Escorts, and once the Escorts are gone the merchant ships are at your mercy and the VPs rack up. They also have higher Evasion modifiers to avoid the nasty sinking events. And a lot of them have Cool.
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Jeff Fike
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Kyuss wrote:
I'm not saying this is right or wrong as I'm starting to see some issues with this game, but I believe the purpose of the Event Deck is to stop you sitting at sea and cherry picking you targets. It forces you to engage contacts because you will eventually pick up a lot of stress if you stay at sea for too long.

Also, using Green subs is just not worthwhile. It's much more effective to use a smaller number of subs with higher quality crews. They have higher Stress thresholds and their nicer TS modifiers give you a much better chance of picking off Escorts, and once the Escorts are gone the merchant ships are at your mercy and the VPs rack up. They also have higher Evasion modifiers to avoid the nasty sinking events. And a lot of them have Cool.


Even if you cherry pick, you have to take the 1 stress to decline to engage the convoy. Just turn that into 3 stress and accomplish the same effect.

I fully understand and appreciate your suggested adjustments for dealing with it...and you admitted you weren't saying it was right or wrong...it just doesn't feel as "fun" as it could be. That was my general gripe.

I'm still playing and with green subs, I just need to stay at Pearl harbor zone and not venture far out. The Forward Bases do help. They stay in existence for as long as the torpedoes are there. Although, since this topic is complaining about the cards, there is one that destroys the FOB as well!
 
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Bob T
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Same problem here. I've had way more Subs sunk by Events than by enemy ships. On top of that my home is haunted by a Dicetergeist (a poltergeist that manipulates die rolls) which makes the Events even worse.

Perfect example- I draw "Tokyo Rose" 1-2 times per game and not once have I rolled an even number. That's about a dozen times the card has come up over numerous games and every single time the die roll is odd (odds are 1/4096 of that many odd numbers in a row) I just roll as a formality when I draw that card- I put the 2 Stress token on the sub before rolling because it will come up odd.

Another Perfect Example: (Not Event-Card related) On the dud roll when one Torpedo may circle around and hit you if you roll a 1, in my last game I rolled a "1" for this- eight times in a row!!! AND I'M USING A DICE TOWER!!!

Don't know if my phone has enough memory to record video of a full game, but I've been meaning to capture this on video for a while now.
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Dan Beckler
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Thoth Amon wrote:

Another Perfect Example: (Not Event-Card related) On the dud roll when one Torpedo may circle around and hit you if you roll a 1, in my last game I rolled a "1" for this- eight times in a row!!! AND I'M USING A DICE TOWER!!!


Maybe THAT'S what a "Rusty Venture" is... just saw your geek badge and had to throw that out there.

My copy just arrived over the weekend and I burped the box for the first time last night. Hoping to get some play in by the weekend, so that I may comment on the event cards. In the back of my head, without having played it again, I know quite a few US subs were lost in the Pacific (usually in transit) due to "causes unknown" and that these event cards are modeling that in a way. Again, I hope to have a better-formed thought on this in the next couple days.
 
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Ryan
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My copy of Gato still hasn't arrived and I've never played U Boat Leader. But as a guy who esteems Silent War as his favorite or nearly favorite game and who enjoys Silent Victory: U.S. Submarines in the Pacific, 1941-45 I also enjoy the stats behind WWII submarine history.

The casualty figures for the US submarine force in WWII are about 20% killed for personnel and 20% of the subs being lost for any reason.

From a historical simulation point of view (which I know this game is not a simulation), I am curious about the loss rate players are seeing. And from a gameplay perspective, I am curious, based off this thread, if the mechanisms for inflicting losses seems unfair or unenjoyable.
 
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Nick Bos
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Event cards have always been my gripe with DVG games. They might simulate some realistic situation, but drawing a card and randomly dying (or winning) is not my idea of fun.

Also with Hornet Leader for example. You spend about half an hour planning your mission in detail. Suddenly you draw a card which adds a lot of enemies to the map, or gets rid of some of your weapons. To me those things aren't fun at all, and I'm still debating with myself how to house-rule them. Maybe something like 'draw three, discard one you reaaaally don't like, and randomly take one of the other two'. This probably decreases the difficulty of the game, but also the frustrations. Or maybe just go through them at some point and remove the frustrating ones.

Silent Victory can also be extremely random (ALL of my captains died due to minefields), but there at least you didn't spend 30 minutes planning everything out in great detail, so the randomness is much easier to digest. It just fits better in that game.
 
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Paul Dodds
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schmoo34 wrote:
Even if you cherry pick, you have to take the 1 stress to decline to engage the convoy. Just turn that into 3 stress and accomplish the same effect.


That's not correct. You draw the Contact card and decide on Retreat during the Contact Phase (see page 15). If you retreat you skip straight to the Post Contact Phase. In the Post Contact Phase you only add stress to submarines "that participated in the Combat Resolution Phase." By retreating you didn't enter the Combat Resolution Phase, thus no stress is added.
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Jeff Fike
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Kyuss wrote:
schmoo34 wrote:
Even if you cherry pick, you have to take the 1 stress to decline to engage the convoy. Just turn that into 3 stress and accomplish the same effect.


That's not correct. You draw the Contact card and decide on Retreat during the Contact Phase (see page 15). If you retreat you skip straight to the Post Contact Phase. In the Post Contact Phase you only add stress to submarines "that participated in the Combat Resolution Phase." By retreating you didn't enter the Combat Resolution Phase, thus no stress is added.


Thank you for that clarification.
 
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Dan
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I agree the event cards can be brutal, especially an unlucky combination. The problem is that if you played entirely without them, you'd likely get at least a GOOD campaign result every-time. Play a few campaigns and you'll see different outcomes. Sometimes you'll manage a GREAT result and other times you'll manage only a MODERATE.

Try playing 2 player, where you each control 2 or 3 boats. you both want to win, but you can keep a tonnage score between you to add a competitive element. You may smile when your team-mate picks up yet another enemy aircraft card.

 
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Jerome Quelin
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Just did my first game, and indeed events are brutal. Started with 4 submarines, one sunk due to events, the other arrived on its target zone with 16 stress points - had to return to base.

The other 2 managed well: one scored 16 VP while the other (who started its combat with 7 stress points on a 8 max before being unfit) scored 7 VP. Total 23-3 (1 sunk) = 20 VP, adequate result (1942 Pearl Harbour, short campaign).

Overall, it was fun but indeed events feel too brutal. Have you found a solution to this?

Jérôme
 
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