R. O. Schaefer
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Played queen mom mode only once with 3 players. It was hard, but not unwinnable. Humans were on the way to win, but finally lost due to a stupid mistake. So, obviously I don't have experience with queen mom and different player counts yet.

The drone/prep round chart for queen mom mode suggests that the game gets easier with less players. I know this is true for the base game because you can build your decks faster with less players. But I wonder if it really represents the balance/player count for queen mum mode. My reasoning is that with less players queen mom will build up her deck faster too and her overall influence is greater as she gets her turn more frequently overall. Any thoughts/experience?
 
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Carter Burke
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After playing 3-4 games of 2-3 players with the queen, the queen is BRUTAL.
Fortunately she is slow to build her deck at the start, but by objective 2 she can mess with players and the hive. I haven’t got close to winning vs the queen.

One thing I’ve done is even with 2 players, we’ve skipped hive round for our first turn so we build our deck quicker. Didn’t help us either.


I have suggested playing with the queens avatar as the final enemy instead of killing the final enemy AND then the queen. I think it would retain the difficulty but give humans a slim chance to win. However that will mess up some objectives.

Another thought is keeping the final enemy shuffling the Queens avatar into objective 3 so she’s attackable earlier on. But the queen would still win the game if she dies and the final enemy survives. My game is sleeved so this is easy (the queens avatar has a black back so normally stands out). However, all of this has been suggestions and we haven’t play tested it yet.

But I agree, it would be nice for the vs queen mode to be slightly easier.
 
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Joey Lujan
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i've played as the queen once, it was versus 2 players, and i quickly saw how overpowered and brutal she can be. i took it easy on them and it still seemed very one sided
 
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R. O. Schaefer
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Carter_Burke wrote:

But I agree, it would be nice for the vs queen mode to be slightly easier.


It's a challenge I'm ok with. I didn't say I want it to become easier.
Yes, it's hard, but I like some effects it has. For instance players that already played their turn after queen mum should communicate their hand less openly not to become hunt targets. You could even try some bluffs here. Edit: Of course a queen mom player paying attention to all the turns might notice it. It's interesting and challenging to play the queen, but you have to be very attentive.
If it is still too hard for your group do some of the usual stuff, like adding more drones.

I was just wondering why they did the drone chart specifically the way it is now and if it is really correct to assume the "easier with less players" (however hard it is) still stands for queen mom mode.
In my opinion the different conditions like "players build their deck faster" vs. "queen mom builds faster as well and takes turn more often" could easily compensate each other. So there might be just one drone chart for every player count (which may vary between groups to make it harder or easier, but not vary between player counts).

I'm just trying to figure out if this is correct. Obviously I need more plays. But other experiences that actually compare player counts would help too.
 
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Carter Burke
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LOL. As I posted “easier” I knew someone would pull me up on it. poor choice of words on my part.


I also enjoy the challenge of this game. The queen mode feels almost hopeless because she is really really hard. In the handful of games I’ve played the humans have struggled to get to Objective 3, let alone directly attack the queen player.

I enjoy using the hard mode of the game, but would never consider them in a queen game.

Some may consider playing as the queen slightly boring because you’re not actively working with other people each turn. And building your deck is slow at the start.


Anyway I digress, back to the thread topic.

* Adding more drones makes the game easier, especially for more players. In my experience vs the queen more drones make the game LONGER before you can attack her; allowing the queen more time to hurt humans before they can hurt her.

* Traditionally more players make the game harder. With the Queen more players slows her down but the hive is faster.

* A smart queen player will target one player (or the weakest) to attack and knock them out. Less players is a disadvantage; she kills one and you’re at half your attacking strength.



I find the queen a bigger threat than a faster hive. She can throw curl balls that the normal game doesn’t. Eg. I’ve had her kill a card from my hand when I had my rare card. Or gain a card from the barracks and uses that against us. Those curve balls are tough to counter.

In summary, Queen is awesome. Would still recommend it. It takes this game multi-dimensional.


 
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R. O. Schaefer
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Thx for the feedback.

Carter_Burke wrote:
LOL. As I posted “easier” I knew someone would pull me up on it. poor choice of words on my part.


Of course I don't mind if you want to adjust difficulty and I think I made this clear. The trigger for me to answer to this point specifically wasn't the word "easy" but your initial "but I agree", which I felt supposed something about my original post which wasn't there.

Carter_Burke wrote:

I also enjoy the challenge of this game. The queen mode feels almost hopeless because she is really really hard. In the handful of games I’ve played the humans have struggled to get to Objective 3, let alone directly attack the queen player.

I enjoy using the hard mode of the game, but would never consider them in a queen game.


I agree

Carter_Burke wrote:

Some may consider playing as the queen slightly boring because you’re not actively working with other people each turn. And building your deck is slow at the start.


This is an inherent problem in this kind of game. As other people take their time to discuss things and you cannot really contribute. I sometimes had this kind of feeling with Mousquetaires du Roy and with Pandemic, Bio-Terrorist. On the ohter hand Alien is thematically very strong, there is the hive doing things and raising tension during human players turns. Beside some possible trash talk from queen mom player he has to be - as I said really attentive - and follow all the humans discussion very closely. So I hope it's a good experience for the player who has the additional satisfaction to put humans down
That being said I've only played against the queen so far.


Carter_Burke wrote:

* Adding more drones makes the game easier, especially for more players. In my experience vs the queen more drones make the game LONGER before you can attack her; allowing the queen more time to hurt humans before they can hurt her.


This is interesting, but I'm not sure I agree here. What we haven't been discussing yet are the different movie scenarios and their effect on queen mom mode. We've played the fourth movie which has some nice trashing. Queen mom had some very strong bite attacks (like dealing both strikes) at some point, so we were in danger of losing a player early. But after avoiding this by a hairbreadth things got better.
Humans can specialize regarding barracks and you might even "sacrifice" one player's deck to take all the rubbish out of the barracks to make good cards available for other players.
Queen mom has no such help and has to take all the cards from her lair herself to make other cards available. To my knowledge she also doesn't have trashing abilities, only some cards which make her deck circulate better (and humans deck worse).
To summarize: My impression from a very small sample size of games was that at some break even point humans could improve their decks faster than queen mom. And then the drones will help.


Carter_Burke wrote:

* A smart queen player will target one player (or the weakest) to attack and knock them out. Less players is a disadvantage; she kills one and you’re at half your attacking strength.


That was the case in our game too as described. But as I also already said: it's very hard for queen mom to build a specialized "bite deck" (or "hunt deck" etc.).


Carter_Burke wrote:

Eg. I’ve had her kill a card from my hand when I had my rare card.


This hurts of course. But to do this queen mom has to pay close attention, build up a lot of combat for that turn and still it's kind of a gamble if she somehow misses your card and can only hit a small card.

What would also be interesting to discuss: the different queen enemy cards. We had the one that forces you to kill all other enemies first. Combined with fourth movie this might enforce you to kill the new bornd and the queen (from the movie, not the enemy) twice and might also raise some rules questions with the final enemy combined with event cards (I think from third movie).

I'm looking forward to a new game this weekend.

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Carter Burke
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Outstanding reply! I feel like I want to give a full response but I haven’t got time at the moment.

One thought: I like that you disagree with some of my points.
I suspect neither of us are right/wrong, but our playing experiences have been different. I love that.

In one of my games va the queen, the queen was able to look at my hand and kill a character. Unfortunately I had a rare card i had just bought and it was gone. I wasn’t able to deceive the queen player into picking someone else’s hand; probably because I’m a trustworthy company guy.
 
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R. O. Schaefer
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Thx. We've played another game yesterday with queen mom, 3 humans and 2nd movie scenario (Aliens).
Human avatars: Medic (heal one strike), the one that draws three cards triggered by blue, the one that can change money to combat

Queen mom started with "hunt" in her deck and as we had the healer didn't want to bite initially, but hunt/rush instead.
The event from 2nd objective, however, is brutal when "scanned" (looked up) by queen, as the queen can reveal it and force a player to draw two strikes who has least life points anyway. She drew 3er and 5er strike(!) for me and I died pretty early.
Surprisingly the other two with help of sentry guns went rather well along and it came to the showdown. Unfortunately, it was queen mom's turn when the enemy card was the last face down card in the hive and she could rush her with a special card effect to the combat zone directly. It was the Berserker enemy (12 life points, quadruple strike) and as the queen herself was coming as well soon, dealing two strikes, this was decisive. Nethertheless the enemy took 7 out of 12 hits, before the last human died so you can assume it was pretty close.

If I would houserule anything, than it would be forbidding queen mom to hunt your avatar role card. The cost of 0 doesn't reflect the strength of that card. If queen mom has the card that lets her kill the hunted character instead of discarding it, she could kill the healer card for instance for 1 strength.
You could go further and say that she can only hunt cards that match exactly the combat she spent. As she has to spend 1 at least this would exclude avatar role card automatically and give the "spend at least one" rule more sense. Of course she might waste a hunting turn with such rules more often, but this wouldn't be that bad for overall balance, I guess.
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David Karl
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I've just got the expansion and I've played the first expansion scenario a few times; once by myself and twice with two other players, no Queen Mother. It seems that the first scenario is fairly easy, which makes sense given it was designed with the Queen Mother in mind.

The base movie scenarios were obviously made to be balanced in themselves, so adding the Queen Mother to them would make it harder for the humans. I see in this thread that at least one other person has had the same idea as me: play the Aliens movie but replace the Objective 3 Queen with the Queen Mother. This makes sense from both a balance point of view and a thematic point of view, otherwise you're killing her twice!

I'm thinking of not quite replacing the Objective 3 Queen, but when that card is revealed and the actions have been carried out (capturing barrack cards, etc.) then I'll swap that Queen for the Queen Mother player card.

I guess though, that once you've got to that point, the Queen Mother has already done most of her damage through messing with the players, so maybe it wouldn't even make a difference whether there was one more baddie of strength 12 to kill.

Maybe it would be more balanced to just replace the Objective 3 Queen with the Queen Mother, but then captured barracks cards don't really mean anything. Perhaps that action could be subbed with a "grab" action from the Queen? Yeah, I think that's more thematic. Or perhaps they still go to Operations, but on the Queen Mother's turn, she gets a free grab against one character there. Yeah, I'll try that.
 
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