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Subject: First play thoughts rss

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Gordon Watson
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Jumped straight into the 2nd (Venus) scenario and got a bit mashed - although we managed to play a key thing wrong - we were not substituting the top alien spawned for a Thraal, so found ourselves dealing with a Sentinel on turn 2.

A couple of things which I found a little odd - not wrong or anything, and I'm looking forward to playing again, just a bit odd -

- The way O2 is handled - the rule book states "this O2 is not used for normal life-support , but for special emergency circumstances". However, if you use your last O2 cube on a Panic you die - which seems a bit odd as you actually had a cube still to use - being killed because you needed to use a cube but didn't have one, would seem to make more sense, given this is not O2 used for normal life-support. It also means you essentially have to keep two O2 cubes at all times, unless you are completely desperate - we were all killed when we drew an Alien tile which had the 'Power Event' requiring us all to lose an O2. I'm not a big fan of turn a tile and you all die - chaos and bad things which you can respond to is one thing, but just completely random 'you're dead' is a bit lame. Of course now we know such a tile is in the mix we can play with it in mind, but that means keeping two O2 cubes at all times.

- The rules covering what order to move/attack with aliens of the same type but which start in different tiles (will most often affect Saucer Men and Bugs) seem a little missing/off. The instructions, for bugs at least, are to move in such a way as to maximise the number of attacks - apart from slowing things down while you work this out there could be circumstances where the number of attacks or most aggressive actions for the aliens could be dependent on the success, or otherwise, of the Aliens' combat roles. I would prefer something hard and fast, like the priority order for attacking Rocketeers, based on their Order/Scan marker. I may house-rule (I know, I know, I hate those people too who house-rule after only one play shake) that you resolve Aliens of thew same type in Inventory Number order.

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Stan Matz
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About those "odd" things:
You learn quickly Rocketeer! Control the Chaos of Space by carrying the right gear and always: "BE PREPARED!"

You never know what those alien freaks are after, might as well flip a coin to figure out what they're up to!
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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domus_ludorum wrote:
I may house-rule (I know, I know, I hate those people too who house-rule after only one play shake) that you resolve Aliens of thew same type in Inventory Number order.

No need to house rule; the designers are very active and willing to help with your questions - even if they haven't covered them in earlier threads. For example, I think you'll find these helpful regarding the bugs:

Order of bug movement
Which alien moves first if multiple of the same species spawned?
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Dan Raspler
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Thanks for playing! Glad you enjoyed the game.

Regarding the convention of requiring the Rocketeers to keep 1 O2 in reserve, we wanted to keep things consistent with HP. If you have 1 left, you're fine; if you have no HP or O2 left, you expire.

As for the order of Saucerman or Bug attacks, you'll find that it really does all come out in the wash. As long as each of them acts correctly, the Rocketeers will suffer the appropriate amount.

The main thing to remember about the Bugs is that none of them attack until all of them are in the same swarm.
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Max Maloney
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domus_ludorum wrote:
I'm not a big fan of turn a tile and you all die - chaos and bad things which you can respond to is one thing, but just completely random 'you're dead' is a bit lame. Of course now we know such a tile is in the mix we can play with it in mind, but that means keeping two O2 cubes at all times.

Wouldn't you say there are many games in which you make first play mistakes before you know all the likely outcomes?

You definitely need to keep extra O2 on hand in this game. Don't forget the Panic effect of Sentinels, which is another way to lose O2 in spite of best-laid plans.
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David Allen
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Gameplay-wise, I think the use of oxygen works very well, particularly as sort of press-your-luck/desperate measure option.

If you need a thematic reason for the Oxygen to work the way it does, perhaps it's something along the lines of each Rocketeer having an oxygen generator that consistently replenishes the supply--UNLESS there is an unusual amount of exertion, which depletes its ability to do, perhaps by burning out part of the generating mechanism. The exertion being the extra action in this case.
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domus_ludorum wrote:

The instructions, for bugs at least, are to move in such a way as to maximise the number of attacks - apart from slowing things down while you work this out there could be circumstances where the number of attacks or most aggressive actions for the aliens could be dependent on the success, or otherwise, of the Aliens' combat roles.


Actually the aliens will choose targets based on distance to a Rocketeer and then based on Rocketeer turn order. Nothing a previous alien did will ever affect these criteria, so it really makes no difference at all in which order you move them or what their attack results are. If they kill a Rocketeer the game instantly ends, if they don't then their attacks did not affect what the other aliens will do because none of the Rocketeer positions/turn orders will have changed.

The only exception to this is if multiple Sentinels are involved, and in range to attack, since one of them could conceivably use an Overkill to displace a Rocketeer with its attack, which could affect who the closest Rocketeer is to another Sentinel before it goes. It's an unusual case, and I would just resolve the Sentinels in order of who is closest to a Rocketeer at the moment of attack, rolling a die if necessary to choose between two equidistant Sentinels.
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Gordon Watson
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chuft wrote:
domus_ludorum wrote:

The instructions, for bugs at least, are to move in such a way as to maximise the number of attacks - apart from slowing things down while you work this out there could be circumstances where the number of attacks or most aggressive actions for the aliens could be dependent on the success, or otherwise, of the Aliens' combat roles.


Actually the aliens will choose targets based on distance to a Rocketeer and then based on Rocketeer turn order. Nothing a previous alien did will ever affect these criteria, so it really makes no difference at all in which order you move them or what their attack results are. If they kill a Rocketeer the game instantly ends, if they don't then their attacks did not affect what the other aliens will do because none of the Rocketeer positions/turn orders will have changed.

Yes - one casualty and game over, so except for the Sentinal's power that can make you change location it shouldn't matter - I thought there was more stuff that could force you to move. Had another play yesterday (solo this time) and this side of things did clarify. The order in which you move bugs may still have some oddities but I haven't sat down and worked it out.


I still think the O2 stuff feels a bit squiffy - arghh panic I need some supplemental oxygen, great I have some, oh I'm dead. But as a rule it is clear enough.
 
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Peter
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domus_ludorum wrote:

I still think the O2 stuff feels a bit squiffy - arghh panic I need some supplemental oxygen, great I have some, oh I'm dead. But as a rule it is clear enough.


Well... this isn't ASL.
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Luke
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Regarding Oxygen, think of it as, "I need Oxygen, oh no I used my last cube. I have no Oxygen. Now I am dead. "

Edit: Think of them like Blue Hitpoints. 0 hitpoints (of either red or blue) Dead Rocketeer.
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Gordon Watson
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hugolefou wrote:
domus_ludorum wrote:

I still think the O2 stuff feels a bit squiffy - arghh panic I need some supplemental oxygen, great I have some, oh I'm dead. But as a rule it is clear enough.


Well... this isn't ASL.

......hmmmm.....a beserked rocketeer using hatch-by-pass movement going into close combat with a pinned saucerman.......devil
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Dan Raspler
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domus_ludorum wrote:
hugolefou wrote:
domus_ludorum wrote:

I still think the O2 stuff feels a bit squiffy - arghh panic I need some supplemental oxygen, great I have some, oh I'm dead. But as a rule it is clear enough.


Well... this isn't ASL.

......hmmmm.....a beserked rocketeer using hatch-by-pass movement going into close combat with a pinned saucerman.......devil


That made me laugh. As an old school grognard, I know how fiddly detailed "simulationist" rules can get, so we really struggled to avoid all "special rules" in this game. For example, trading items or picking things up don't cost an action. Hopefully, that frees up some brain space for planning and calculating your chances of success...
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Aaron Silverman
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Keep your damn dirty bypass movement off my elegant tactical game!!!
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Dudley Albrecht
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Dan R. wrote:
domus_ludorum wrote:
hugolefou wrote:
domus_ludorum wrote:

I still think the O2 stuff feels a bit squiffy - arghh panic I need some supplemental oxygen, great I have some, oh I'm dead. But as a rule it is clear enough.


Well... this isn't ASL.

......hmmmm.....a beserked rocketeer using hatch-by-pass movement going into close combat with a pinned saucerman.......devil


That made me laugh. As an old school grognard, I know how fiddly detailed "simulationist" rules can get, so we really struggled to avoid all "special rules" in this game. For example, trading items or picking things up don't cost an action. Hopefully, that frees up some brain space for planning and calculating your chances of success...


This is why I gave up ASL and switched to Combat Commander, despite the lack of Armored Vehicals.

What I liked about Away Missions is the way they hit every single 50's sci fi cliché in the book......
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Gordon Watson
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dudalb wrote:
Dan R. wrote:
domus_ludorum wrote:
hugolefou wrote:
domus_ludorum wrote:

I still think the O2 stuff feels a bit squiffy - arghh panic I need some supplemental oxygen, great I have some, oh I'm dead. But as a rule it is clear enough.


Well... this isn't ASL.

......hmmmm.....a beserked rocketeer using hatch-by-pass movement going into close combat with a pinned saucerman.......devil


That made me laugh. As an old school grognard, I know how fiddly detailed "simulationist" rules can get, so we really struggled to avoid all "special rules" in this game. For example, trading items or picking things up don't cost an action. Hopefully, that frees up some brain space for planning and calculating your chances of success...


This is why I gave up ASL and switched to Combat Commander, despite the lack of Armored Vehicals.

What I liked about Away Missions is the way they hit every single 50's sci fi cliché in the book......


I am just about to clear my gaming table for another game of 'Away Missions' - the game being cleared away is a classic SL scenario (The Streets of Stalingrad) updated for ASL. It was epic, the German assault engineers blasted and flame-throwed their way into the Dzerhezinsky Tractor Works, which was defended fanatically by elements of the 308th Rifle Division. Meanwhile infantry from the 295th Rifle Division launched an attack to breakthrough to the beleaguered factory and Russian guardsmen tried to dislodge German infantry from covering defensive positions. Tanks entered the fray for each side with the T34's getting the upperhand and Russian infantry close assaulting the Stug's as well. Heroes were created, tank tracks blown off, squads beserked - it was terrific.

I like Combat Commander, but it doesn't get close to ASL in terms of epic sweep and the tales it tells, despite the insanity that is the ASL rule-book.

'Away Missions' is a very different beast pussy-cat.
 
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domus_ludorum wrote:

I like Combat Commander, but it doesn't get close to ASL in terms of epic sweep and the tales it tells, despite the insanity that is the ASL rule-book.

'Away Missions' is a very different beast pussy-cat.


And yet it is more similar to ASL than it is to Combat Commander, in that you are playing the game, the game is not playing you.

Randomized things may happen, but you will always get to move your guys and fire your weapons, no matter what.
 
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