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Subject: Too hard, simple and lucky to be fun? rss

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Luke
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Hi all,

How tactical is this game?

One of the main things people keep saying is that it's very simple. Does that mean that choices are generally obvious because of simplicity? Like Zombicide gets dull because it's such a simple game and relatively tactically void (note: I like Zombicide, I just don't want another Zombicide).

Also is it stupidly hard or is it just hard compared to other games? I really like Gears of war (probably my favourite in the game type) and for the most part GOW is pretty smooth in its difficulty as there's not much randomness after set up (no random event cards or anything).

I guess I want to like this but the simple and Zombicide comparison I've read in a few places have put me off.
 
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Joshua Nash
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I think you've got to first look at what you mean by randomness. You state that GoW has little randomness after setup. I'd have to disagree on that, as you still have the AI card draws and then of course the dice rolling.

If you are comfortable/like that level of randomness, you'll be fine with FTZ.

As far as simple goes...well, the game still can be agonizing in your choice of card play. Underplay your cards and you might not have enough fire power to kill the monsters, overplay them and you might get knocked out faster. And then there's the choice to stay in a group or split up. Good arguments for both. And then how do you manage your specialists? Who goes with which character if you split up?

All told, I love FTZ and it soundly fired GoW for me. (Something I never thought would happen.)

Hope this helps!
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Kevin Outlaw
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Lepruk wrote:
Hi all,

How tactical is this game?

One of the main things people keep saying is that it's very simple. Does that mean that choices are generally obvious because of simplicity? Like Zombicide gets dull because it's such a simple game and relatively tactically void (note: I like Zombicide, I just don't want another Zombicide).

Also is it stupidly hard or is it just hard compared to other games? I really like Gears of war (probably my favourite in the game type) and for the most part GOW is pretty smooth in its difficulty as there's not much randomness after set up (no random event cards or anything).

I guess I want to like this but the simple and Zombicide comparison I've read in a few places have put me off.


It's nothing like Zombicide. I dislike Zombicide, yet Fireteam Zero is one of my favourite games.

Don't confuse simplicity (simple rule set) with a lack of decisions either. There are tough decisions every turn.

The game is hard, but it's also fair most of the time. At the start of every turn you know where the monsters are (with the exception of the occasional ambush) and where they are likely to go. You then have to optimise your turn to control where the monsters are at the end of your turn to ensure you can survive until the next round - so, it's a very tactical experience, as you control and shape the endless waves of monsters to cut a path to your objective. There is only a very small amount of randomness in how monsters behave, so you can really drill into the decision-making and analyse your options.

It's really intense, and it does punish mistakes. But it's possible to win every mission.

More in-depth stuff on what I think is here:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1523852/pssed-grizzly-b...

Edit: And Joshua reminded me to mention the specialists - one of the best game mechanisms ever. They are basically portable special powers that you can move around among the team, but which also represent a very real danger of losing the mission. You have to balance protecting them with putting them in the middle of danger to optimise their effectiveness.
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Martin Gallo
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It is not a hex or square tactical combat game nor a free movement miniatures game. That level of tactical detail is not there. It is an area-based tactical game - So you still have decisions to make about the route (cover, length, what you avoid, etc.).
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Luke
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JPN38 wrote:
I think you've got to first look at what you mean by randomness. You state that GoW has little randomness after setup. I'd have to disagree on that, as you still have the AI card draws and then of course the dice rolling.


Just to clarify. Some reviews have said the way you set up the search deck means some missions could be harder because the cards you need are on the bottom randomly (hence the Zombicide comparison of endless searching for 1 item).

Dice randomness is just part of these games and the a.i. deck is relatively predictable in GOW.

All that said thanks so much for the effort and answers so far. I think I will like it then. The card in hands as health thing is what I particularly find kool for whatever reason and it's primarily what's drawing me to this game.

Thanks all and more opinions are always welcome and appreciated.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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I'll be the dissenting voice. The game for us isn't too "simple" but rather "repetitive". Since all the monsters always respawn, it becomes a bit predictive too. We found it a bit stagnant because of that. The AI has only one variation, the die roll. Both of those mechanics (spawning and AI) are handled in GoW's deck, and our group found that to be much more interesting and varied than then repetitive mechanics in FTZ.

So it's not necessarily simple, just repetitive.

-shnar
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Kevin Outlaw
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Lepruk wrote:
JPN38 wrote:
I think you've got to first look at what you mean by randomness. You state that GoW has little randomness after setup. I'd have to disagree on that, as you still have the AI card draws and then of course the dice rolling.


Just to clarify. Some reviews have said the way you set up the search deck means some missions could be harder because the cards you need are on the bottom randomly (hence the Zombicide comparison of endless searching for 1 item).



Worth noting that the recon deck only contains 12 cards. You will have a tougher time if stuff you need is at the bottom, but the much smaller deck mitigates the issue.
 
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v b
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Is there any sort of campaign mode to this game? Where characters can level up abilities several "rounds"?
 
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Joshua Nash
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Lepruk wrote:
JPN38 wrote:
I think you've got to first look at what you mean by randomness. You state that GoW has little randomness after setup. I'd have to disagree on that, as you still have the AI card draws and then of course the dice rolling.


Just to clarify. Some reviews have said the way you set up the search deck means some missions could be harder because the cards you need are on the bottom randomly (hence the Zombicide comparison of endless searching for 1 item).

Dice randomness is just part of these games and the a.i. deck is relatively predictable in GOW.

All that said thanks so much for the effort and answers so far. I think I will like it then. The card in hands as health thing is what I particularly find kool for whatever reason and it's primarily what's drawing me to this game.

Thanks all and more opinions are always welcome and appreciated.


Fair point. If this isn't something you like, you could certainly seed the deck in a way to guarantee an earlier/less unknown objective pool.

And to be fair, shnar's point about repetition is accurate. I would say, though, that lots of games are repetitive. I believe that if you like the repetition, you'd consider that aspect positively in the game.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Skrell wrote:
Is there any sort of campaign mode to this game? Where characters can level up abilities several "rounds"?


No... but kinda yes. But no.

In the base game there are three narrative missions, each in three acts. Each act gets progressively harder, so you get to customise your heroes between each act by picking new skills and upgraded action cards. Each mission culminates in a big boss fight.

But it's not really a campaign, and you don't get new items or skills while you are actually playing.
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Luke
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shnar wrote:
I'll be the dissenting voice. The game for us isn't too "simple" but rather "repetitive". Since all the monsters always respawn, it becomes a bit predictive too. We found it a bit stagnant because of that. The AI has only one variation, the die roll. Both of those mechanics (spawning and AI) are handled in GoW's deck, and our group found that to be much more interesting and varied than then repetitive mechanics in FTZ.

So it's not necessarily simple, just repetitive.

-shnar


Hmm okay.

Repetitive gameplay doesn't necessarily put me off; as long as it's not obvious each turn what the correct move is? (I fully understand that's also an issue in Gears from time to time, there's a very obvious 'right' play).

I just like interesting decisions in these games. I don't mind if the core mechanism that makes the game run isn't necessarily the most thrilling.

Case in point, my favourite cooperative game is Xenoshyft; and arguably that's very repetitive. But the purchasing of items is very open for discussion each round.
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Some great posts above already.

I'll add that personally I find the crux of the game to be the card play. Every character class has a personalized deck of cards that, as you know, act as actions and health. There are 2 types of cards, the tactical cards which each deck has 2 of and are kind of like super powers, and the regular action cards. These regular cards are divided into attack actions at the top or reaction actions at the bottom. The top part you play on your turn and the bottom part you play on another player's turn. This means every player is always engaged at all times. There is no downtime. This can make the game very intense as every turn, you decide what you're going to do with your cards but other players also decide whether it's worth playing a reaction card to boost your cards as well.

If this is something you like then you'll enjoy the game.

As far as repetitiveness, yes. I agree, it can be repetitive in that you'll continuously be searching the recon deck for objective cards. However, the monsters and maps do give it replayability and variety. Also, with the Mission Generator Pack (which hopefully soon everyone will be able to acquire) you can randomize missions and throw in all kinds of combinations of monsters and maps that deviate from the more linear scenarios in the base game.

The monster families and maps do give each mission a different feel even if you're still searching a 12 card deck for certain cards.

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Quote:
All told, I love FTZ and it soundly fired GoW for me. (Something I never thought would happen.)


That sounds really nice to me )))
I love GoW and have the hope that Fireteam fills the gap. German Edition is announced for this week!!!
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Lepruk wrote:
shnar wrote:
I'll be the dissenting voice. The game for us isn't too "simple" but rather "repetitive". Since all the monsters always respawn, it becomes a bit predictive too. We found it a bit stagnant because of that. The AI has only one variation, the die roll. Both of those mechanics (spawning and AI) are handled in GoW's deck, and our group found that to be much more interesting and varied than then repetitive mechanics in FTZ.

So it's not necessarily simple, just repetitive.

-shnar


Hmm okay.

Repetitive gameplay doesn't necessarily put me off; as long as it's not obvious each turn what the correct move is? (I fully understand that's also an issue in Gears from time to time, there's a very obvious 'right' play).

I just like interesting decisions in these games. I don't mind if the core mechanism that makes the game run isn't necessarily the most thrilling.

Case in point, my favourite cooperative game is Xenoshyft; and arguably that's very repetitive. But the purchasing of items is very open for discussion each round.

The AI is so predictive that it is pretty obvious what the next turn is. I very much miss the AI Cards of GoW and wish I had time to just make some for FTZ. That would 'fix' the game for us (it would remove the auto-respawn, and the one type of AI for each creature). But as it is, meh, we sometimes play it. Every time I do play this, I wish I was playing Gears of War...

-shnar
 
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v b
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shnar wrote:

The AI is so predictive that it is pretty obvious what the next turn is. I very much miss the AI Cards of GoW and wish I had time to just make some for FTZ. That would 'fix' the game for us (it would remove the auto-respawn, and the one type of AI for each creature). But as it is, meh, we sometimes play it. Every time I do play this, I wish I was playing Gears of War...

-shnar


This is what's keeping me from purchasing this game... I'm worried that eventually you'll just strategize based on where you know the enemies will be next spawn.
 
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Joshua Nash
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Skrell wrote:
shnar wrote:

The AI is so predictive that it is pretty obvious what the next turn is. I very much miss the AI Cards of GoW and wish I had time to just make some for FTZ. That would 'fix' the game for us (it would remove the auto-respawn, and the one type of AI for each creature). But as it is, meh, we sometimes play it. Every time I do play this, I wish I was playing Gears of War...

-shnar


This is what's keeping me from purchasing this game... I'm worried that eventually you'll just strategize based on where you know the enemies will be next spawn.


The spawning is randomized by a d12. No strategizing around that.
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shnar wrote:
The AI is so predictive that it is pretty obvious what the next turn is.


This is true, however I see it as almost a tower defense where you know it will be wave after wave of monster attacks. This in turn allows you a chance to plan your next turn because you know that you'll only be attacked by 2 monsters next round or you know that you can use a tactic card, etc. Like I said before, everything here is about the card play. Actual position is less important because you move by areas and the mechanics encourage team work and sticking together if you want to use your reaction cards. The monsters are obstacles to your search and not the focus of what you're trying to do (search the recon deck) and therefore simplified I think.

In my brief time with GoW, it reminded me more of Galaxy Defenders in general feel than the mechanical similarities with FTZ. They are both more gritty fighting games than FTZ although, inevitably, FTZ and GoW will always get compared due to the shared cards as health mechanic.
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JPN38 wrote:
The spawning is randomized by a d12. No strstegizing around that.


Yes, it is highly tactical in nature. Planning one round to the next. You spawn monsters at the end of the round which gives you information for the next round, but you can't plan a strategy from the start and stick to that the whole game. You must adapt every round to the spawning of the monsters.
 
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Logus Vile wrote:
JPN38 wrote:
The spawning is randomized by a d12. No strstegizing around that.


Yes, it is highly tactical in nature. Planning one round to the next. You spawn monsters at the end of the round which gives you information for the next round, but you can't plan a strategy from the start and stick to that the whole game. You must adapt every round to the spawning of the monsters.


The way I took the person's comment I responded to was that you somehow knew where spawns were going to take place. I could have just read into that.

The point is, spawning itself is random.
 
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Logus Vile wrote:
shnar wrote:
The AI is so predictive that it is pretty obvious what the next turn is.


This is true, however I see it as almost a tower defense where you know it will be wave after wave of monster attacks.

That's actually a good way to look at it, and might be why my group doesn't like it so much (we're no TD fans). We're wanting more of a story simulation than a steady stream of badguys every turn simulation...

-shnar
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JPN38 wrote:
Logus Vile wrote:
JPN38 wrote:
The spawning is randomized by a d12. No strstegizing around that.


Yes, it is highly tactical in nature. Planning one round to the next. You spawn monsters at the end of the round which gives you information for the next round, but you can't plan a strategy from the start and stick to that the whole game. You must adapt every round to the spawning of the monsters.


The way I took the person's comment I responded to was that you somehow knew where spawns were going to take place. I could have just read into that.

The point is, spawning itself is random.

Totally. You never know where they will spawn. Also, let's not forget the Bone Fetch (I think that's the one) that spawn immediately upon being killed! I've had times where I didn't even want to kill one because it could respawn right next to you again or in another inconvenient spot.
 
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Incidentally, playing Fireteam Zero always makes me think of this (44 seconds in, to be exact):

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Logus Vile wrote:
shnar wrote:
The AI is so predictive that it is pretty obvious what the next turn is.


This is true, however I see it as almost a tower defense where you know it will be wave after wave of monster attacks. This in turn allows you a chance to plan your next turn because you know that you'll only be attacked by 2 monsters next round or you know that you can use a tactic card, etc. Like I said before, everything here is about the card play. Actual position is less important because you move by areas and the mechanics encourage team work and sticking together if you want to use your reaction cards. The monsters are obstacles to your search and not the focus of what you're trying to do (search the recon deck) and therefore simplified I think.

In my brief time with GoW, it reminded me more of Galaxy Defenders in general feel than the mechanical similarities with FTZ. They are both more gritty fighting games than FTZ although, inevitably, FTZ and GoW will always get compared due to the shared cards as health mechanic.


This. It's not the enemy AI that gets randomized, its the cards in your hand. I must say, between the random nature of the card draws both from your heroes deck and the search deck, plus the random attack die rolls, the AI NEEDS to be static or else the game would suffer from too much randomness.

Also, while the AI acts the same as far as moving towards the heroes, each monster family (there are 3 in the core set) all have different abilities and stats. Plus they have a random upgrade deck that makes them get more powerful the longer the game goes on.

So like Zombicide, the enemy AI acts the same, but because of there different abilities (like the different zombies), you'll have to use slightly different strategies to beat them.
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Luke
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Thanks for all of the discussions.

It seems then, that rather than a Gears of War replacement, it may more likely be a Zombicide replacement.

I appreciate it's not got huge similarities with it; but a game of this seems more focused and quicker than Zombicide from what I can gather, and the search deck is much smaller so less frustrating to deal with.

To be honest, a game that's kind of a blend of Gears and Zombicide probably would hit my preferences pretty spot on.

As a quick edit, you guys have been awesome in giving lots of balanced information, so thanks! really appreciate that!
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Lepruk wrote:
Thanks for all of the discussions.

It seems then, that rather than a Gears of War replacement, it may more likely be a Zombicide replacement.

I appreciate it's not got huge similarities with it; but a game of this seems more focused and quicker than Zombicide from what I can gather, and the search deck is much smaller so less frustrating to deal with.

To be honest, a game that's kind of a blend of Gears and Zombicide probably would hit my preferences pretty spot on.

As a quick edit, you guys have been awesome in giving lots of balanced information, so thanks! really appreciate that!


Just to clarify, it's a LOT deeper than Zombicide. The card interaction is the heart of FTZ. Each card can be used to add a die roll to attack OR used for the special ability on the card OR kept in your hand as your heroes health OR used on another players turn to help them with an attack roll. That's a lot of different uses per card, you have about 5 in your hand, and thats 5 cards PER hero. There's a lot going on.

Thats why I just think if the AI were more random, all the work you put into getting all the synergies from your card play worked out, it would just get undone and be useless. I feel we'd be complaining its pointless to put all that work into it because the AI behaves in an erratic manner.

It's a tower defense game where the tower is moving and can be split up into different spaces.
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