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Subject: Campaign play and the Refuge rss

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Jonathan Rowe
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Played Close The Doors Behind You and Gravity of the Situation yesterday, campaign style.

It threw up some rules questions and some reflections.

The Refuge mechanic works straightforwardly enough, but:

1. Since you keep your Injuries (you must do, since the Infirmary can heal them), presumably chest wounds cause you to lose 1 Health per turn in the Refuge?

2. Since you keep your Injuries, presumably you keep your active Resolve Effects?

3. So how many Resolve Effects do you start the next mission with? We ruled 3: any still-active ones, any unrevealed ones from last mission and draw new Resolve Effects to make the total number up to 3.

4. What about Goal/Rewards? We ruled that unclaimed Goals stay in play, but you can discard them and claim another; active-but-unused Rewards stay in play but you could discard them (if you really wanted to) and draw a new Goal

5. Can characters use their powers in the Refuge? Can the Captain add Resolve, can the Medic heal, can the Psychic look at future Event Cards? Presumably, only in lieu of a normal Refuge Action... and presumably crisis powers are not allowed. A lot of presumablies here.

Since you start the next mission with equipment from the last one (augmented by the Trading Post), a second mission plays out VERY differently.

We struggled a bit with our first mission, Close The Doors (the Medic died and it was touch-and-go for a turn or two). I should mention we were using the location-themed Item Decks described in the v1.2 rules thread, so this forced us to take some risks to get armed.

We waltzed through our second mission, Gravity Of The Situation, because we started with 2 assault rifles. This more than made up for our weakened state viz-a-viz Health/Resolve.

[Although watching the Technician overcharge the void cannon and blow the Titan away with one shot was thrilling...]

The point being, there's no rule for scaling up the difficulty of subsequent missions in a Campaign. The actual Campaign Scenarios might do this from the way they're designed (though I can't see that they do), but stringing normal missions together into a Campaign seems to result in them getting easier and easier. We left Gravity Of The Situation in better states, physically and mentally, than we entered it, thanks to Med Packs and the Captain's powers.

This takes me back to a point raised in the v1.2 rules thread, that the difficulty scaling for the game is a bit too blunt.


Any thoughts? Suggestions for improved difficulty scaling would be welcome on https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1741349/towards-12-rulebook... and any reflections on campaign play generally on this thread
 
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Loig Roumois
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Unfortunately I agree on all your points...
I think I'm going to work on a GEP scaling mechanism. I have something in mind that seems pretty cool. will playtest it and add it the the 1.2 thread for everyone to pound on!
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Jonathan Rowe
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The thing is, the designer seems to have assumed that the frazzled state you start a later Campaign mission in (low on Resolve/Health) compensates for the fact that you've got better equipment. But it doesn't really. Better equipment beats everything else. I'd rather have 2-3 Health and Monolith Armour than 10 Health and no armour at all. Most players would cheerfully agree to starting with 5 Resolve if it meant they could start with a Shotgun.

Here are some options:

1. Increase the likelihood of Solomons: -1 to the roll per previous mission accomplished. Solomons make regular GEPs more dangerous.

2. Increase wear & tear on equipment: Turn all carried-over equipment sideways to show that it's wearing out. Discard a worn-out Item when you take an Injury or gain a Resolve Effect.

3. If you're using a clock/countdown house rule, reduce the time available by 1 per previous mission. See https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1741349/towards-12-rulebook... for timer/countdown ideas
 
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Adam Smith
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deadmarlowe wrote:
Played Close The Doors Behind You and Gravity of the Situation yesterday, campaign style.

It threw up some rules questions and some reflections.

The Refuge mechanic works straightforwardly enough, but:

1. Since you keep your Injuries (you must do, since the Infirmary can heal them), presumably chest wounds cause you to lose 1 Health per turn in the Refuge?

2. Since you keep your Injuries, presumably you keep your active Resolve Effects?

3. So how many Resolve Effects do you start the next mission with? We ruled 3: any still-active ones, any unrevealed ones from last mission and draw new Resolve Effects to make the total number up to 3.

4. What about Goal/Rewards? We ruled that unclaimed Goals stay in play, but you can discard them and claim another; active-but-unused Rewards stay in play but you could discard them (if you really wanted to) and draw a new Goal

5. Can characters use their powers in the Refuge? Can the Captain add Resolve, can the Medic heal, can the Psychic look at future Event Cards? Presumably, only in lieu of a normal Refuge Action... and presumably crisis powers are not allowed. A lot of presumablies here.

Since you start the next mission with equipment from the last one (augmented by the Trading Post), a second mission plays out VERY differently.

We struggled a bit with our first mission, Close The Doors (the Medic died and it was touch-and-go for a turn or two). I should mention we were using the location-themed Item Decks described in the v1.2 rules thread, so this forced us to take some risks to get armed.

We waltzed through our second mission, Gravity Of The Situation, because we started with 2 assault rifles. This more than made up for our weakened state viz-a-viz Health/Resolve.

[Although watching the Technician overcharge the void cannon and blow the Titan away with one shot was thrilling...]

The point being, there's no rule for scaling up the difficulty of subsequent missions in a Campaign. The actual Campaign Scenarios might do this from the way they're designed (though I can't see that they do), but stringing normal missions together into a Campaign seems to result in them getting easier and easier. We left Gravity Of The Situation in better states, physically and mentally, than we entered it, thanks to Med Packs and the Captain's powers.

This takes me back to a point raised in the v1.2 rules thread, that the difficulty scaling for the game is a bit too blunt.


Any thoughts? Suggestions for improved difficulty scaling would be welcome on https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1741349/towards-12-rulebook... and any reflections on campaign play generally on this thread


1. You do not roll for Chest Injuries whilst in the Refuge.

2. Same as above, the effects are not active whilst in the Refuge. They are, however, active as soon as you begin the next mission.

3. This is clearly stated on p21 of the rulebook:
"Any Resolve cards revealed during the previous mission are discarded and new cards are drawn, so that each survivor has three Resolve cards. If a survivor has drawn new Resolve cards that are of a greater value than their current Resolve, do not activate these cards. Instead, these cards remain hidden and are only activated when the survivor fails their first Resolve test during the next mission"

4. Correct.

5. No.
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Jonathan Rowe
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Thanks, Adam, for settling these.

Grimlord Games wrote:
1. You do not roll for Chest Injuries whilst in the Refuge.


That's good to know - and indeed makes total sense. It was the appearance of "heal 1 Injury" in the Infirmary outcomes table that led me to wonder if Injuries still affected Survivors - but of course a Refuge turn isn't like a mission turn.

Grimlord Games wrote:
2. Same as above, the effects are not active whilst in the Refuge. They are, however, active as soon as you begin the next mission.


Again, sensible. Most of them don't impact on the sort of activities you get up to in the Refuge.

Grimlord Games wrote:
3. This is clearly stated on p21 of the rulebook:
"Any Resolve cards revealed during the previous mission are discarded and new cards are drawn, so that each survivor has three Resolve cards. If a survivor has drawn new Resolve cards that are of a greater value than their current Resolve, do not activate these cards. Instead, these cards remain hidden and are only activated when the survivor fails their first Resolve test during the next mission"


You know, now you quote that rule at me, I remember it. Memory is funny.

Grimlord Games wrote:
4. Correct.


Good to know that unclaimed Goals stay in play; discarding them and claiming a replacement feels like the sort of thing the Refuge should offer; active-but-unused Rewards staying in play is right for a Campaign but it's good to have confirmed that but you can discard them (if you really want to) and draw a new Goal.

Grimlord Games wrote:
5. No.


This was about characters using their powers in the Refuge. Really, it's about the Medic healing and the Captain boosting morale. You can easily rationalise why (the Medic hands in her medical kit at the Infirmary and is on holiday or at work; the Captain's pep talks only really work in the environment of a tense mission.
 
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Adam Smith
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I think that 1, 2 and 5 work well thematically in the game. When you're at the Refuge, your in a position to be looked after, your fears and anxieties aren't playing on you and there's no real need to use Crisis abilities, as you're not in Crisis.
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