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Subject: Marine Card House Rule + other little ideas rss

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Mike Castle
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Hadn't noticed the main idea posted yet, but I noticed ages ago (talking years and years. I bought this thing when it was initially released and in Game Station) that the marine cards often swing one way or the other in terms of decency. One pairing may be stupidly OP, while the next marine may be so underpowered that the air from the vents will send them to the hospital. Thus a three marine game often leads to the single one that's any good having to do the work, while the rest run around. With the added issue that the invader can just keep targeting the weak ones for easy frags.

This led to a couple of "fixes" I've come up with for the game (along with some accidental ones due to botching the rules that I'm allowing to continue as we've just done map 4, and I'm not attempting to retrain them for a single map, that'll be when I do my custom campaign later on with maps that actually fit on my sodding table properly).

First, any time a marine is killed they are required to return one marine, minimum, to the pile. This is then shuffled and a new card is given. It may be the same one, it may be a fresh one, but it allows under powered marines to get rid of cards that are hindering their character, while allowing the invader player to stop players being ridiculously OP.

I am, for the next campaign considering adding a dice roll to the mix. Roll the red die, on any result other than a miss, the marine chooses the card to discard, on a miss result the invader player chooses.

The other issue I found in early playing is, as above, the ability for the invader to simply unfairly attack the weakest player and get easy frags. With my fix it was obvious the next tactic would be to just gun for the OP guy and force them to be downgraded. This led to marines not really enjoying the game because it's rather dull when everyone gangs up on the same guy.

Thus, in a similar vein to a post I read previously, I decided to "video game" the invaders up somewhat. So invaders will only move when they visually see a marine via line of sight (so half a room could empty while the other half wonders where Fred and Barney just pissed off to), or when they get hit (say via grenade). At this point they will gun for the nearest marine at all times, much like in the games. Whoever is nearest will be the target.

This allows the marines to use this to force the invaders into attacking specific marines (leading to the best ending I've seen where I needed a single frag to win, one marine was on a single point of health, and we're on level 2, in the last room with the Cyberdemon left, but they're on the wrong side of him, low health guy fires at Cyberdemon and fails to do anything, second marine does some damage but not enough, last marine realizes the first guy is dying if the Cyberdemon survives in the current position, so sprints across the room to take the hit so on the next turn everyone can run through the door).

The invader still gets to create havoc and surprises through the invader cards (any invaders spawned by these aren't subject to the "must wait for LOS" rule for obvious reasons), so it's not completely obvious what must be done, but I've found the entire game is much more competitive for the marines this way rather than "welp, you're dead again".

The only other issue is trying to teach players that, no, there is no "stack". I like Magic, but their stack system has a lot to answer for what with players seeming to think every game should have a stack and reverse resolution... no, when I play Panic on your guard order you don't get to "respond" by using it. What would be the point in me playing Panic in the first place? Cue him digging in the rules, finding nothing relating to what I said beyond "you can interrupt at any time" and trying to deem that he can interrupt me playing that card.
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