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Subject: Stalling a battle rss

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B K
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This could go in rules or strategy. Checking if there is anything in the rules that prevents stalling out battles other then the 1 damage per round after round 5.

Specifically, killing all but one enemy and utilizing a number of turns to do things like:

1. Getting 6 bones for innate +1
2. Maxing out or adding to the grenade count
3. Topping up axe collector
4. Getting Pickets Captain dice locked
5. Hunting free attack upgrade attempts with Strengthen, etc.

Doing this in the mid-game when possible seems to make a meaningful difference in the win rates. As far as I can tell, you can roll attack dice and not use the damage looking for bones, same with shields.

Just checking I am not missing a rule that would stop this strategy. It certainly has some element of being cheesy and it has a pretty big impact on the overall success rates, so curious if I am missing something.
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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Never tried it for the sake of just running up stats, but did do it for the guy who flees when he gets too injured and then reheals. Was able to move back and forth and build up some bones to hit him good.
 
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Brian Jordano

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I've done it when the need arised. I don't think its against the rules, as you can decide whether you want to apply dice or not.
 
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Shannon
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You can absolutely do that. Just be strategic about which Baddie you leave on the board so he doesn't do too much damage to your team while you are focusing on collecting bones and all that.

We haven't really done this too much, but have found that sometimes it's beneficial to stretch out a battle an extra round so someone close to innate +1 can reach it, or leaving the final baddie for Tantrum so he can get a body count for the kill.
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George Aristides
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bk375 wrote:


Doing this in the mid-game when possible seems to make a meaningful difference in the win rates. As far as I can tell, you can roll attack dice and not use the damage looking for bones, same with shields.

Just checking I am not missing a rule that would stop this strategy. It certainly has some element of being cheesy and it has a pretty big impact on the overall success rates, so curious if I am missing something.


I do this all the time. Saving up advantages that can be carried up from encounter to encounter is a key aspect of success when playing at seasoned adventurer difficulty.

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Jonah Siegel
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Yup, this is legal and completely unthematic and ridiculous, to the point where it is borderline game-ruining for me. How does it make any sense that I can only collect grenade bits/axes/slingstones/whatever if I am in combat? You are literally encouraged to kill all the baddies except the weakest one without nasty skills, and have your best tank stand next to them while everybody collects stuff. I really love this game apart from that aspect so it's very frustrating to me that this is a key strategy.
 
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George Aristides
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Jekkum wrote:
Yup, this is legal and completely unthematic and ridiculous, to the point where it is borderline game-ruining for me. How does it make any sense that I can only collect grenade bits/axes/slingstones/whatever if I am in combat? You are literally encouraged to kill all the baddies except the weakest one without nasty skills, and have your best tank stand next to them while everybody collects stuff. I really love this game apart from that aspect so it's very frustrating to me that this is a key strategy.


You can always house rule so that, if you win an encounter before the fatigue rounds, you have a free round to roll available dice equal to your dex, for the purposes of collecting "stuff".

(it's like, if you beat the enemies by early afternoon, you have a few hours of sunlight to forage stuff before you have to camp for the evening).

Apart from that, I am not bothered at all by optimally using a game's ruleset to increase my win rate! cool

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Josh Wielgus
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bk375 wrote:
This could go in rules or strategy. Checking if there is anything in the rules that prevents stalling out battles other then the 1 damage per round after round 5.

Specifically, killing all but one enemy and utilizing a number of turns to do things like:

1. Getting 6 bones for innate +1
2. Maxing out or adding to the grenade count
3. Topping up axe collector
4. Getting Pickets Captain dice locked
5. Hunting free attack upgrade attempts with Strengthen, etc.

Doing this in the mid-game when possible seems to make a meaningful difference in the win rates. As far as I can tell, you can roll attack dice and not use the damage looking for bones, same with shields.

Just checking I am not missing a rule that would stop this strategy. It certainly has some element of being cheesy and it has a pretty big impact on the overall success rates, so curious if I am missing something.


Totally legit strategy. Also worth noting that if you do run into the occasional encounter that might be/seem unwinnable, it's also a good idea to take your lumps but collect as much as you can for the next battle where possible, rather than chucking all the things (like grenades) despite the writing already being on the wall.
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Mike Keegan
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Sadly my game is cursed and this strategy will not work for me.

I wanted to upgrade to Pickets Innate+1 in this kind of situation. I had 3 turns to roll 4 bones with 4 def dice before fatigue would end the battle. I rolled 3 soblue
 
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John Medany
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chainsawash wrote:
Sadly my game is cursed and this strategy will not work for me.

I wanted to upgrade to Pickets Innate+1 in this kind of situation. I had 3 turns to roll 4 bones with 4 def dice before fatigue would end the battle. I rolled 3 soblue


Which kind of nullifies Jekums' point.

From a more practical level - it's a legit strategy and in the rules, but if it bothers you don't do otherwise don't worry about it.

It's a co-op game that's played for fun and people do the same kind of things in CRPGs if they can (FF7 leveling comes to mind) and even in p&p RPGs in some cases.

You can always house rule disallow it if you don't like it as a strategy (we have done that) ...
 
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Jonah Siegel
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If I wanted to play a game with unlimited time to level up before having to fight the final boss, I would indeed play a CRPG like FF7. When I play a board game, I want there to be a challenge and a real possibility of losing the game and having to start over. I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way, since that is how basically every co-operative board game is designed.

Similarly, when I play board games, I do everything I can to win (within the scope of the rules). Since the game designer himself says that stalling is a legit strategy, that implies that the game is balanced around it, and ignoring/disallowing that option would put me at a significant handicap.

So basically, I am left with 3 options:

1. Use stalling, even though it makes no sense thematically.
2. Don't use stalling, and make the game harder than it is supposed to be.
3. Use a house rule such as George suggested to give myself a bonus for winning battles quickly and that makes thematic sense.

I haven't played since reading George's suggestion, and I may give it a try. Still, it feels like a pretty serious knock on the game that such a house rules is necessary to avoid this cheesy tactic.

GaspodeX wrote:
chainsawash wrote:
Sadly my game is cursed and this strategy will not work for me.

I wanted to upgrade to Pickets Innate+1 in this kind of situation. I had 3 turns to roll 4 bones with 4 def dice before fatigue would end the battle. I rolled 3 soblue


Which kind of nullifies Jekums' point.



I don't think this nullifies the point at all. I'm not saying that stalling completely breaks the game and makes it possible to get anything you want. At most, it'll probably only give you 2-3 "free" rolls a battle. That's significant, though, and I think it's a problem that you can gain a significant benefit from such an unthematic strategy.

 
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Seppel (BGG)
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Why do you think it's unthematic?

I imagine it pretty thematic:
you have a little guy running around and hiding from a big bad guy. Both feel the drag of the long battle. But using his brain & wits the little Gearloc not only knows that he will last longer - he also manages to either collect a few goodies (Nugget) or learn a few new defending tactics (Picket) from the battlefield while evading the slow, fat orc...

Makes perfect sense to me whistle
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Shannon
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Stalling is also a trade off often times. It usually takes you into the fatigue rounds, so your Gearlocs are taking damage every turn from that along with the Baddie you are trying to keep alive. So if you would have had Gearlocs at full health, they'll now be damaged and have to Rest and Recover at end of day instead of scouting, putting you at a disadvantage in the next battle.

And if stalling is going to end in a Gearloc getting KO'd, it's often not worth it because they'll lose anything they had in their Locked slots.
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Brian C
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Seppel wrote:
Why do you think it's unthematic?

I imagine it pretty thematic:
you have a little guy running around and hiding from a big bad guy. Both feel the drag of the long battle. But using his brain & wits the little Gearloc not only knows that he will last longer - he also manages to either collect a few goodies (Nugget) or learn a few new defending tactics (Picket) from the battlefield while evading the slow, fat orc...

Makes perfect sense to me whistle

Totally -- think of the enemy types we are up against too. Goblins and Orcs. Golems. Big oafish Owlbears, silly little Kobolds. Manticores, for crying out loud. Then you have your assortment of Frog-things, and then your Lizard-things.

Not the brightest crew, maybe!

Dragons, possibly could have an excuse against getting kited so, but then again we are tiny, quick little Gearlocs afterall.. and a big ol' dragon might have issues chasing one down, if he didn't want to be caught?
 
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Jonah Siegel
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Exo Desta wrote:
Seppel wrote:
Why do you think it's unthematic?

I imagine it pretty thematic:
you have a little guy running around and hiding from a big bad guy. Both feel the drag of the long battle. But using his brain & wits the little Gearloc not only knows that he will last longer - he also manages to either collect a few goodies (Nugget) or learn a few new defending tactics (Picket) from the battlefield while evading the slow, fat orc...

Makes perfect sense to me whistle

Totally -- think of the enemy types we are up against too. Goblins and Orcs. Golems. Big oafish Owlbears, silly little Kobolds. Manticores, for crying out loud. Then you have your assortment of Frog-things, and then your Lizard-things.

Not the brightest crew, maybe!

Dragons, possibly could have an excuse against getting kited so, but then again we are tiny, quick little Gearlocs afterall.. and a big ol' dragon might have issues chasing one down, if he didn't want to be caught?



brighterthanthesun wrote:
Stalling is also a trade off often times. It usually takes you into the fatigue rounds, so your Gearlocs are taking damage every turn from that along with the Baddie you are trying to keep alive. So if you would have had Gearlocs at full health, they'll now be damaged and have to Rest and Recover at end of day instead of scouting, putting you at a disadvantage in the next battle.

And if stalling is going to end in a Gearloc getting KO'd, it's often not worth it because they'll lose anything they had in their Locked slots.


I'm not talking about kiting or playing defensively so that fatigue will kill the baddies. When I say stalling I mean defeating all of the baddies except for one that poses no threat while you spend a few rounds rolling dice repeatedly to collect bones/whatever you want before finishing it off. I think that is what the original poster was referring to, since they talked about rolling Attack Dice just looking for Bones instead of damage. I understand that this isn't a game-breaking strategy but thematically, I don't enjoy that it is incentivized at all and it doesn't feel like something that would ever practically happen on a battlefield.
 
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Brian C
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Jekkum wrote:
I'm not talking about kiting or playing defensively so that fatigue will kill the baddies. When I say stalling I mean defeating all of the baddies except for one that poses no threat while you spend a few rounds rolling dice repeatedly to collect bones/whatever you want before finishing it off. I think that is what the original poster was referring to, since they talked about rolling Attack Dice just looking for Bones instead of damage. I understand that this isn't a game-breaking strategy but thematically, I don't enjoy that it is incentivized at all and it doesn't feel like something that would ever practically happen on a battlefield.

Yeah, I agree with you guys too: it's immersion-breaking, at least to some degree. Maybe they will give us a Loot card, or bring into the game some other more reliable mechanic, that allows us a chance to save half our bones from the previous battle. Not every time, but what if it was something that you could try and shoot for, strategically, while you play out a battle.

Then, you could still stall if you liked, but maybe you wouldn't feel like you need to, if that style of play isn't your thing.

But if you do have to stall, and there is just the one baddie left that you are keeping at arm's length while you scrounge the battlefield for bones; all I was saying is that he's likely not the sharpest knife in the drawer (if you are figuring Logic into things)
 
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Josh Carlson
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Even though the OP's question has been answered and now its more of just a discussion, I figured maybe hearing our thoughts on the matter might be helpful, or not, we'll see.

First off, the types of "stalling" mentioned here ARE legal. Kiting, slow-playing to fatigue, etc, are great strategies for different battle situations (I know that's not what is being questioned). Any other type of stalling would be for the purposes of reaching an Innate +1 or possibly searching for a few extra things laying around. While this IS a legal strat, as Shannon pointed out, there are risks around "playing with your food" so to speak.

Maybe its just us, but this is NOT that easy to do successfully/repetitively. If it is, then it is possible you need to increase your game difficulty. When I play TMB, I find that this 2nd type of stalling is very hard to plan for and if it comes up, it's still a decision that needs to be weighed carefully. More fatigue damage to the party rarely outweighs a low chance of rolling a Bone needed to reach the Innate +1, and a possible Gearloc KO is hardly ever worth the risk. So in that way, I would question any comments stating that we are encouraging such a strategy.

When coming up with a way to keep battles from drawing out too long, we wanted to find a healthy balance between a battle accelerator that encourages the party to "wrap things up", and something that wouldn't wipe out your party too quickly. Also, it was important for us that Fatigue could be used as a strategy of its own to win the battle if need be. We tested a progressive Fatigue (1HP, then 2HP, etc) and it was too detrimental to the Gearloc party. While there are countless other ways of handling Fatigue, 1 Dmg per round was straightforward and still encouraged ending the battle (as HP is precious in TMB) without forcing an immediate end, which would be much less thematic in our book.

Are any of you are familiar with LoL (League of Legends)? It'a an online squad-based tower defense game where you and 4 other players match your skills against another 5 players. I'm a sucker for watching the pros. #C9 #Fnatic Anyway, sometimes you will see 2 players corner someone from the opposite team. Instead of killing them immediately, once in awhile they will leave the opponent alive (but near death) while their "mid-laner" or "carry" makes their way over so THEY can get kill credit. It's a viable strategy but one that can often backfire as you are leaving an opening for the other team to escape or mount a reengage. That is what I think of when I think of this type of stalling. Dangerous, infrequent, but viable and sometimes worth it.

As for theme, from our perspective, adventuring in Dealore means you are always on the move. You DON'T make camp where you just fought because that is where the enemy will first be looking. It's imperative to stay ahead of the enemy. But yes, there are times where luck goes your way and you've dispatched the majority of the opposition while still remaining quite healthy. So Picket may take a few extra moments to try and get his "Gearloc Wall" perfected on that last lumbering troll. Boomer may take a few extra moments to search the area for extra parts, and Nugget may collect some stones while kiting a disabled Golem. The point is, the battle is all but over. The Gearlocs know they need to be on the move, and soon, but a near-harmless Baddie is a rare opportunity for fine-tuning skills before heading out.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion everyone. We love learning everyones thoughts on these matters!
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Lindy
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All these different perspectives are fun to read.

I picture it as a cat, playing with her prey. Knowing she'll kill it in the end, but toying with it, poking it, prodding it, ignoring it, circling it, going back and poking again. Gearlocks are more intelligent than a cat, so they are also picking up stuff, and honing their defense and offense strategies at the same time.
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Bryan
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I think it's easy to say "oh, I'll just stall at the end of a battle to get some bonuses" and make it sound like it's game breaking. The reality is that most times, by the time I'm down to the last enemy, I don't have time to mess around before I die. It's rare that you have the time to toy with the enemy. When you do, well actually it does make thematic sense to me. You're improving your fighting prowess by essentially "training" on an enemy that doesn't have the power anymore to put up a real fight. Why not mock him, improve your own skills, and let him kill himself to avoid the torture.
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B K
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Iridium192 wrote:
I think it's easy to say "oh, I'll just stall at the end of a battle to get some bonuses" and make it sound like it's game breaking. The reality is that most times, by the time I'm down to the last enemy, I don't have time to mess around before I die. It's rare that you have the time to toy with the enemy. When you do, well actually it does make thematic sense to me. You're improving your fighting prowess by essentially "training" on an enemy that doesn't have the power anymore to put up a real fight. Why not mock him, improve your own skills, and let him kill himself to avoid the torture.


I certainly don't have any issues with the strategy. I might not call it game breaking, but on difficult situations, 2 players at hardest, 4 players with only one day one training and no item, it really is necessary in my opinion and makes a big difference on the outcome. Being able to throw a frag, big boom and another grenade on turn 1 and then reload at the end of the battle is game changing in terms of how the battles will go in a lot of cases. I started this thread to check if I was missing a rule, not to complain, although I think if you don't try to take advantage of this when opportunities exist, it does have a big impact on wins/losses.

I am surprised people are having difficulties executing this. Certainly its not always available, but my logic is as follows:

1. One point baddies come last, and unless its a multiple of five, there is a very good chance there will be something you can easily absorb the damage with shields, and so its just a matter of saving one of these for the end.

2. I would trade off having to use healing instead of scouting in a heartbeat if it gives me an opportunity to go after some of the interesting things like grenades, axes, innate +1, fortunate discovery which really make a big difference, plus I am generally healing unless I get out with no (or maybe one) damage anyway.

3. There will be some characters without locked dice that can die and it does not really matter as long as one is going to live.

4. If you have patches or picket with the locked hp recovery, you effectively avoid fatigue and so can drag out fights very long, especially with patches who is a master at this with healing as well.


I will say its pretty easy to "fast forward" on this process through multiple rounds as you know what dice you are rolling for and what you are being attacked with, and can go through pretty quickly. My take is if you want to push the difficulty, you pretty much need to embrace this (and there is nothing wrong with it in my opinion) and if you don't like it, just don't do it and maybe adjust the difficulty accordingly.


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Lindy
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bk375 wrote:
My take is if you want to push the difficulty, you pretty much need to embrace this (and there is nothing wrong with it in my opinion) and if you don't like it, just don't do it and maybe adjust the difficulty accordingly.

This!
 
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Shannon
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Some people who think this strategy is broken/unthematic are talking as if you can stall as long as you want to and boost up absolutely everything - grenades, innate +1, axes, etc. - all in one battle. Remember that you'll probably only be able to stall for a few rounds at best. Fatigue will eventually kill the Baddie you've left on the board, and sooner rather than later if you've left out a 1 point Baddie with pretty low on HP to start with.
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It's just a question of how difficult you want to play. Our group likes the challenge, so we always avoid this strategy. We also set the fatigue dmg outside from Tyrant fights to 1,1,2,2,3,3. With patches with innate +1 and only the last baddie on the field, you have at least 3-4 extra rounds and to stack up almost every thing after the first battle really feels boring.



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