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Subject: Unreasonably difficult? rss

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Ryan Scott
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I've played about five games of Shadowrun: Crossfire so far -- all with two runners (2 roles + 1 extra nuyen each), using the Crossfire scenario. I haven't even remotely been able to make it past the second wave.

I'm 99.9% sure I'm doing everything correctly, rules-wise -- properly minding the Crossfire level, not drawing Crossfire cards for the first two turns, healing my runners as I clear waves. I've double- and triple-checked the rules, to make sure I'm not missing anything blindingly obvious. It FEELS like I am, but as far as I can tell, I don't seem to be.

So, that said: Is it just me, or is this game unreasonably difficult (and/or not properly balanced for two characters)? Mind you, I'm used to playing ruthless co-ops (some of my favorites are Ghost Stories and Space Hulk: Death Angel), so harsh difficulty is not unusual to me. But this feels borderline impossible... it seems like I should at least be able to make it to the final wave through careful play.
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Oliver Koenig
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Fuerth
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It took me more than 10 games to win the first one! This is how it should be. First figure out a game, THEN start winning:-)

If you are at a loss you could watch one of the videos of the designers, helped me a lot!

One thing I'll give you, 2 runners the crossroads card CAN come out in an evil way to screw you, just abort ..

The will be a point when you'll start winning all of a sudden.
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Georg D.
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Mechaniac wrote:
If you are at a loss you could watch one of the videos of the designers, helped me a lot!


Here is a link for a 2 player game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9aONrLcHxY

(They will never win an Oscar for best camera but watching the game is quite interesting.)
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Michael Brettell
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I feel your pain. Just picked this game up myself, and having the same problems as you.

Other people on the Solitaire Games on Your Table - December 2016 have mentioned that playing with 4 runners is slightly easier and also more interesting, so I'm going to give that a go.
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Daily Grind
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This has been discussed a lot and the common reply is that the Shadowrun: Crossfire – High Caliber Ops does a great job at slightly correcting the difficulty curve in the base set by offering better market cards, including 2 hybrid roles which work better for 2 players, and including an easier first mission. I bought them both together (on bgg recommendation) so have only played with it included, but I found the difficulty to be manageable with HCO included.

FWIW, I play primarily solo with 2 characters.
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Bob Bobson
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Double check that you are playing cards/dealing damage correctly, as this makes a BIG difference in difficulty. All cards played on an obstacle have their damage symbols go into a single pool that can be applied in any order to clear the damage track of that obstacle.

This isn't clear in the rules, but was confirmed by the developers and makes a huge difference. Don't worry about what order you play the cards (90% of the time), just add up all the damage and apply it to the obstacle.

Also, less of an issue in a 2-player game, but knowing that you can play cards even if their damage doesn't effect an obstacle can make or break a turn. This could allow you to buy a spell from the black market, or even draw cards at the end of a turn.

Hope this helped, and good luck; it gets easier the longer you play.
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Brock Poulsen
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You also might try the Extraction mission instead of Crossfire.
 
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Tom Eklund
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4 runners is better than 2 at the beginning. After you get your first upgrades, the game will become a little bit easier. Crossfire mission will certainly be winnable more often.
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Kurt R
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All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.
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A lot of good advice in this thread. I will echo most importantly that you play with the HCO expansion. Also, Against the Ancients is only 2 karma if you win and I think that's b/c it's a little easier. Crossfire is definitely tough for runners without at least 1 upgrade.

Keep at it. Once you have that breakthrough and start to impose your will on the game, you get hooked in a big way.
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Randall COBB
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We never even came close to completing crossfire at 2. The first time we played with 3, we completed the mission! So, I would say it is scewed slightly for more runners, at least until getting some level ups.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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Its not well balanced game for 2. You either accept it for what it is or conclude that there are better games for just two players.
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tibbles von tibbleton
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It's definitely a tough game, probably a bit harder with 2 than 4. you could try the slightly easier missions than Crossfire. It's harder than Death Angel. Death Angel I probably run like 80% success, I'm more like 50-75% at Shadowrun depending on if using runner upgrades or not.

An idea if you don't mind losing the character advancement system to handicap is give your characters say a 5 karma upgrade each. The rather unfortunate side effect of a game with a xp system and limited mission selection is that the game actually gets easier on later games when you've skilled up rather than ramping up in difficulty as you level.

As far as dying in wave 2, that does sound off. Don't get me wrong, it's common (for me anyways) for the game to be lost in wave 2. As in, it takes too long and I get too injured to have a hope vs wave 3, but it's very rare to officially lose until middle-late wave 3. At 2 runners, ideally you want to make it to wave 2 in round 3, that way there are 0 hard obstacles since that first crossfire card will get flipped under. Then past wave 2 on round 5.
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Christopher Senn
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brockst4r wrote:
You also might try the Extraction mission instead of Crossfire.


Extraction is too amazing. Puts the other modes to shame
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Jon Cant
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How high is the crossfire level are you on when you get to wave 2?
And wave 3?

Usually for a winnable game I'm at 0-1 wave 2 and 1-2 wave 3, any more and I'll likely lose. (Two player - zero karma)

I assume you're removing the crossfire card when you finish a scene?
 
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tibbles von tibbleton
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Yrael wrote:
How high is the crossfire level are you on when you get to wave 2?
And wave 3?

Usually for a winnable game I'm at 0-1 wave 2 and 1-2 wave 3, any more and I'll likely lose. (Two player - zero karma)

I assume you're removing the crossfire card when you finish a scene?


Yes, this is what I meant, realized now I spaced out and miswrote my post above (fixed now). 0 hards in wave 2 and 1 hard in wave 3 is about the ideal that is regularly attainable.
 
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tibbles von tibbleton
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Holy cow, naturally after correcting my post to be more realistic, I just had 2 games in a row with 0 hards in wave 3, including my easiest game ever. HCO, 2p, no upgrades. Cleared wave 1 on round 2, cleared 2 on 3, and cleared 3 on round 5. Crossfire level 1. I drew all easy, but low money obstacles and a crossfire that let runners draw a card.

The game can throw some brutal combos at you, but it can also give quite beatable ones. Speed really is key for easier games. Sometimes it's worth letting a later runner finish a wave to refill your hands before the next, but the last thing you want to do is let the crossfire level keep building while you fish for a docwagon or similar.
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B C Z
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During the snowstorm in 2016, my wife and I played this a great deal.

You get better at it and eventually you start winning.

We climbed up to about 25-30 karma each.
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Mark Blasco

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This is a game which really requires understanding what can come at you, and how to best optimize your play. Unlike Legendary or other Deck builders, there is not nearly as much luck with your hand.

It is brutal, and I think the base game made it too difficult for players who aren't expecting that.

Once you get the hang of it, and understand when it's best to leave something unfinished for a turn, or to buy a card which isn't as powerful because it will be of more help in the next round, it starts getting easier.

I think the XP system is kind of backwards, and would suggest starting with 10-20 karma of upgrades. Once you feel like the game is getting a bit too easy, scale that down until you are at 5. If you want to play harder missions without spending 30 games leveling up, just tack on a few upgrades, and if it seems too easy, pull a few of them off.
 
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Greg Cameron
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graven2002 wrote:
Double check that you are playing cards/dealing damage correctly, as this makes a BIG difference in difficulty. All cards played on an obstacle have their damage symbols go into a single pool that can be applied in any order to clear the damage track of that obstacle.

This isn't clear in the rules, but was confirmed by the developers and makes a huge difference. Don't worry about what order you play the cards (90% of the time), just add up all the damage and apply it to the obstacle.


Thank you for posting this! It certainly isn't clear since the examples in the rulebook show the damage being applied sequentially. This game is difficult enough without trying to play tetris with the damage types.
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Rob Davis
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Also remember that playing your cards is a completely different step from applying damage. This is important b/c you can move cards from one obstacle to another at any time prior to applying damage. So if you've played 2 cards, then someone else plays an Assist that provides damage, or lets you draw another card, etc., then you can re-adjust your cards based on the new damage pool.
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Mike Riley

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markblasco wrote:
This is a game which really requires understanding what can come at you, and how to best optimize your play. Unlike Legendary or other Deck builders, there is not nearly as much luck with your hand.

'''

Once you get the hang of it, and understand when it's best to leave something unfinished for a turn, or to buy a card which isn't as powerful because it will be of more help in the next round, it starts getting easier.


One of the things is that Crossfire isn't really a "deckbuilder" like most other games. It's similar to Big Book of Madness (which, IMHO, is also not a deckbuilder).

It definitely takes a lot of planning.

In one of our games last night, we chose to fail on the 2nd round (since we'd be able to survive an abort) rather than entering the 3rd round and completely failing. I bit meta-gamey, but I think that's the level of thought/planning this game requires.
 
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Rob Davis
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But also realistic. Survivors know to beat feet when they're in over their heads. cool
 
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Allen
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The proper name for this thread is "Unreasonably Fun."
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Kristoffer Fredriksson
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I've been playing this solo for a month now and I feel as if I'm missing something. I don't find it unreasonably difficult at all.

It's challenging for sure but after I read through this (let's see if I manage to link) thread I had an 8 game win streak. I think soloing gives you a slight advantage in that you know exactly what cards you have to play with (I play two characters at once).

Sure, at times you get really tough opponents and poor choices on the black market AND some bastard tough Crossfire events and then there's nothing you can do but try and abort.

But once you know what to do
Spoiler (click to reveal)
(and learn to always bury a crossfire event. ALWAYS. Never finish round one unless you can bury one. Seriously, just don't.)

it feels as if you are the one with the unfair advantage. Like the time a Troll Mage walked straight into my dual Katana wielding Street Samurai with a handfull of Quick Shots to spare.
 
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