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Dead of Winter: The Long Night» Forums » General

Subject: Raxxon - Makes the game too easy? rss

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Matt K
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So, my friends and I tried out our first round with the new game, and decided to give the Raxxon module a try, expecting it to make things even more intense and scary.

Instead... we never got jumped by any special zombies, and the items we got from Raxxon just completely seemed to break the game. I've been trying to figure out whether or not we were doing something wrong.

The first issue, is the special zombies. As it was, we had a five person group. The number of dice needed for the 'containment code' doesn't seem to scale based on players (unlike most other aspects of the game), so with five people, giving up two dice a round was not much of a cost, and we never ran into any difficulties with not having the correct dice available. I can see the dice being a much more difficult cost if you have a smaller group, but as it was, it seemed basically automatic that we'd give up two dice each turn and never have the special zombies spawn. Were we missing something? Should we just add a house rule to require extra action dice for the containment code when playing with more players?

The second issue is the equipment at Raxxon. I get that the risk of exposure is a big deal. But in our case, we had Blue as a starting party member, and after his first search, he got the Drone which gets free items out of the deck without a search action. Suddenly, we were getting several items a round, each one of which seemed to completely break the game. The Mine Launcher, the Pulse Cannon, the Shield Barrier - suddenly we could wipe all zombies from any location with ease, move around without danger, and not worry about zombies spawning on top of us. I think Blue also got a book or pill that provided full healing to a character each round.

In order to get that, we had to risk about 4 exposure roles, which only did a couple points of damage (which was healed up without much difficulty). Did we just get really lucky with the items we got?

I saw a suggestion in another thread that, when searching for Raxxon, one should roll for exposure for every card drawn (including extras for Blue / Blueprints / Noise / Drones / etc), as opposed to just once per search. That doesn't seem to match what the rules suggest, but does seem like a possible house rule to make it a more risky proposition. Has anyone had similar experiences with the Raxxon gear, or have any ideas for keeping the power of the items in check?
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Dave Roper
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We had the same issue in a 3 person game. We didn't lose a single survivor and completed the hard side of the objective with no issues.

Starting with Blue makes everything way easier too. I saw it suggested somewhere to leave him out of the starting survivors so he would only appear from his crossroads card. That might limit the cards being taken from the raxxon deck a little bit.

I was thinking of house ruling that the raxxon deck could only be searched if no special zombies were on the board. That way it would force people to kill the special zombies to get access to the better items. Although that would have done nothing in your game I guess.

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Stuart Boston
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I've come to the conclusion that TLN is much easier played stand alone vs the original DoW.

A large portion of the characters that come with the expansion have bandit/raxxon specific traits that help out a lot with dealing with the new modules.

Therefore, I think that to increase the difficulty, I would mix in some of the original characters to water down the abilities a little.
 
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Kristo Vaher
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I don't have the game with me, what does the drone card do?
 
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Kristo Vaher
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Also, Raxxon does scale in my opinion, since you need to have a survivor at Raxxon in order to use dice to contain them and only your dice. This will mean that you will have less dice for your own actions and secret goals. It's not from the pool of all players.
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Kristo Vaher
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I am going to tweak Raxxon rules though and have the containment code vote only for players who have survivors at Raxxon. It makes no thematic sense for other players to decide what happens there.
 
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Brian Heath

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Slashdoctor wrote:
I don't have the game with me, what does the drone card do?




Here you go!
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Brian Heath

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I played a 3 player game without Blue and didn't necessarily run into this. Even with the additional starting characters in 3 player, we only had the correct dice for the containment code once.

That said, letting the special zombies in didn't seem to impact us very much. We were playing the Tribute mission, so there were only three zombies that came out during play before the game ended.
 
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Kristo Vaher
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Every search at Raxxon requiring exposure dice and containment being possible only by characters at Raxxon is pretty balanced in my opinion. Drone is good to pick what you need, but you still need to roll.

Yes,you can get lucky with Raxxon. But if you make sure you follow the above rules, then getting lucky is pretty rare.

I haven't played with Raxxon much yet, but Blue didn't impact it much. It's a scary place, as it takes two dice away from you to contain the mess at that place.
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Kristo Vaher
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Roshz wrote:
Slashdoctor wrote:
I don't have the game with me, what does the drone card do?




Here you go!


Thank you! I wanted to check if it says anything about eliminating exposure die roll. It doesn't, so it's okay.
 
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Des Brophy
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It wouldn't make you roll for exposure. It isn't a search action. Its a reveal action and you keep one. Like the firefighters ability.
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Kristo Vaher
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stranglebat wrote:
It wouldn't make you roll for exposure. It isn't a search action. Its a reveal action and you keep one. Like the firefighters ability.


Ah true. This plus free food for colony every round is pretty overpowered in some occasions.
 
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Ian Allen
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Quote:
The number of dice needed for the 'containment code' doesn't seem to scale based on players (unlike most other aspects of the game), so with five people, giving up two dice a round was not much of a cost, and we never ran into any difficulties with not having the correct dice available. I can see the dice being a much more difficult cost if you have a smaller group, but as it was, it seemed basically automatic that we'd give up two dice each turn and never have the special zombies spawn. Were we missing something?


Quote:
Every search at Raxxon requiring exposure dice and containment being possible only by characters at Raxxon is pretty balanced in my opinion.


RAXXON seemed too easy when I played with a group of 5 as well, but upon watching the Watch it Played Video and also seeing the reponses here - I realize that I made the same mistake as the OP ...

We were just adding dice for containment from anyone that had them.

We missed that you have to send that person to the Raxxon location in order to place containment dice.

Next time we play, I believe that will make things a good bit more difficult.

 
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Todd France
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Sure, the Roxxon items are pretty broken, but I'm not yet sure that's the case for the module. let's assume for a second that you never search at Roxxon, because you don't want to risk the exposure roll. You still can't ignore it completely. You have to invest one or two characters to the location, and spend 2 actions per turn to prevent the special zombie outbreaks. And if you don't get the right rolls, you may have to shuttle Survivors in and out of Roxxon to keep the zombies contained, leading to more exposure rolls.

Or, if you elect not to prevent the outbreaks, you have to be prepared for an extra zombie or 2 to drop at any location on the board, so now a single Survivor at a location is fortifying for 3 zombies each turn, or hoping against a bad die roll. And they're awful if you have to actually deal with them once they're on the board. Did you see there's one that only dies on a 1 in 6 chance, and outright kills the attacker 2/3 of the time?

So, by putting Roxxon on the board you're requiring a tremendous amount of resources to be dedicated to it. Sure, they're balanced, or some argue overbalanced, by the item deck, but every time you look at that deck you're rolling that exposure die. You can go back to the base game forums to read all of the threads about how the randomness of that die ruined the game for them, and the responses that smart play tries to prevent the rolling of that die as much as possible. But now the tool they've given you to keep up with all the new difficulties requires a roll of that de every time you want to make use of it. Sure, if you never roll the bite everything seems rosy, but when the tooth does come up, it's likely to ruin your day.

Oh, and Sparky just got even better...
 
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Kristo Vaher
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I guess the problem is that Raxxon is okay if you follow the rules UNTIL you get Drone cheat code. If you get Drone early, you can farm Raxxon item deck for whatever items you may need.

I asked Plaid Hat and the designer on Twitter if it is intentional that you can use Drone to farm Raxxon, but git no replies.

Otherwise Drone is good for all other decks. But there is NO POINT not to use Drone only for Raxxon once you have it.

It seems like designer oversight.
 
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Matt K
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Thanks for all the responses! It does sound like the containment code is more relevant with smaller groups, and that is also may have just been luck on our part that we always had the right numbers (we did play it correctly that only characters at Raxxon could donate their dice - it just happened that we had several players camp characters there with that in mind, especially once we got the Shield Barrier that prevents any zombies from spawning.)

It does sound like the combination of the Drone, and Blue, and similar 'bonus search' effects were a key part of the issue. I definitely think we will try it again without Blue in the party, and see how that plays out.
 
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Sebastiaan Kuijs
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I played 4 game now with the new expansion 3 we won and all thnx too the op weapons at raxxon.
In the 4 games 10 superzombies got spawned in total we havent had to fight them 1 time
But in exchange the weapons helpt us win the games.
Did they even playtest raxxon ?
I really feel its broken.
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Todd France
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Skuijs wrote:
I played 4 game now with the new expansion 3 we won and all thnx too the op weapons at raxxon.

How many searches? How many teeth?
 
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Sebastiaan Kuijs
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2 teeth and 5 searches the items are so powerfull you only need 1 or 2
And everyone says exposure dice is so bad but its only 1/12 to be killed other stuff is easy to heal.

They one game we lost we lost do to other locating being overrun and one player added a stipulation to the main mission.
Other wise that would have been a win.
 
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Henrik Schmidt
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Ouch. Seems they did not test Raxxon very well. I hope for some official fixes as I try to avoid house rules.
 
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Kristo Vaher
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LarkinVB wrote:
Ouch. Seems they did not test Raxxon very well. I hope for some official fixes as I try to avoid house rules.


Raxxon is fine. If it didn't have nice things that it has, no one would go there. It's a risk vs reward that is happening there.

Raxxon IS balanced, you can get hosed as easily as get lucky.

Only issue is Drone card. For some reason, Drone card becomes a cheat code for milking Raxxon item deck and I have NO IDEA why they didn't limit it.

I've seen designers and Plaid Hat being asked for clarifications, but they haven't given any.
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Jacky Blue
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Slashdoctor wrote:
Raxxon is fine. If it didn't have nice things that it has, no one would go there. It's a risk vs reward that is happening there.


So far I have to agree with this. Raxxon seems to soak up survivors and dice if you engage with it, which takes the attention away from issues at hand. Any items found need to make up this attention as well as the risk in order for it to be worthwhile. Last game we played we hardly touched Raxxon as there was too much else to do (in a long game!) but then we play with all modules.

Need a few more games to be sure though, and we have yet to score the drone.
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Ian Allen
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Jacky Blue Note wrote:
Slashdoctor wrote:
Raxxon is fine. If it didn't have nice things that it has, no one would go there. It's a risk vs reward that is happening there.


So far I have to agree with this. Raxxon seems to soak up survivors and dice if you engage with it, which takes the attention away from issues at hand. Any items found need to make up this attention as well as the risk in order for it to be worthwhile. Last game we played we hardly touched Raxxon as there was too much else to do (in a long game!) but then we play with all modules.

Need a few more games to be sure though, and we have yet to score the drone.


This was our experience as well after 1 play with everything.
But we were playing it wrong and didn't realize you had to physically BE at Raxxon to contribute those control dice.
We barely won.
One person got a pill I forget which one, but it wasn't game changing. I think they got the bad effect.
One person got the Teleporter gun. It was ok, but mostly just annoying - waiting on that player to figure out who and where he was going to teleport.
We only let 1 big zombie out - I forget which one, but it sat in a location and that loc filled up with zombies and we mostly just left it alone. It was a bit anti-climactic.

From one play it doesn't seem too unbalanced, cause like they said - we had to spend dice (and should have been spending some movements) to keep the bad zombies at bay.

Didn't see the drone.
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D M
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Have to agree. The drone is way too powerful if it can search the raxxon deck. I'm probably just gonna house rule that you can't use the drone on raxxon.
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Sebastiaan Kuijs
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Im working on a campaign and im house ruling raxxon like this

Raxxon :

1 : Only 1 player can drop off dice at raxxon
2: The only player that can search at raxxon is the player that put there dice as containment code
3 : If a Superzombie is spawn at the same location as a survior it triggers a attack against the survivor (if there are more then one you pick the one with the lowest influence).
4 : Place the grenade launchers in the raxxon deck that are in the police station deck (and the fuelcard in the police station.
5 : Raxxon items can't be used at the raxxon location.

I rather have it harder then the way it is now.
 
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