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Subject: Stats for Marines using weapons not on their cards rss

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Banjo
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I am making new cards for the Marines (existing and new) and was interested in getting feedback from other players of this awesome game on a particular stumbling block:

The expansion gives stats for Marines to use most weapons not on their original cards (e.g. Pistol for Apone, Pulse Rifle for Drake, etc.) however for obvious reasons it does not include Shotgun or Machine Gun stats for anyone but those with them on their original cards.

Since I want to make new characters and wish to use those weapons, I am adapting out stats for these weapons, but wanted to check what other players thought of my numbers re: balance.

I've started with the Shotgun.

Below are my homebrew weapon stats, which I'd appreciate feedback on, as they are only arrived at by "feel" rather than any mathematical formula.

Marines are "grouped" by matching stats (i.e. Frost, Crowe and Dietrich all have the same shooting chances).

SHOTGUN

Hicks (original baseline):

AIM 1 2 3-4 5-6 7+
Shotgun 1 8 6 2 1 0
2 13 9 8 6 4
3 14 10 9 7 5



NCOs (Apone):
Same as Hicks (since Apone is the same in all other stats).


Specialists (Vasquez and Drake):

AIM 1 2 3-4 5-6 7+
Shotgun 1 8 6 3 2 0
2 13 9 7 5 3



Grunts (Frost, Crowe, Dietrich, Hudson, Wierzbowski):

AIM 1 2 3-4 5-6 7+
Shotgun 1 7 5 2 1 -
2 13 8 6 4 2



Support (Gorman, Ferro and Spunkmeyer):

AIM 1 2 3-4 5-6 7+
Shotgun 1 7 5 2 1 -
2 12 8 6 4 2


Civilians (Burke):

AIM 1 2 3-4 5-6 7+
Shotgun 1 3 1 0 - -
2 10 6 3 1 0


Heroes (Ripley):

AIM 1 2 3-4 5-6 7+
Shotgun 1 6 4 1 0 -
2 10 8 5 3 1
3 14 10 9 5 3



So, what do others think? Are these overpowered or underpowered numbers? How would replacing - say - Hudson's Pulse Rifle in Operations with a Shotgun change that scenario? Easier? Harder? Not enough difference?


Depending on feedback, I'll also post my Machine Gun (Smartgun) stats later, but it's less important to do those IMO since only trained Smartgunners use those according to Aliens "lore"... while anyone from a civilian to a colonial security guard could carry a shotgun.


One other thing: as an optional rule, I was wondering if Shotguns shouldn't have some sort of "spread" ability akin to Machine Gun Special Ability (hits two Aliens if they are next to each other), to make it a more desirable weapon in custom scenarios (i.e. outside the Reactor Room, where Hicks' Shotgun is only so great because everyone else has rubbish guns)? For balance, it could only work on Aliens 2 or 3 spaces away maybe?

(if a mod wants to move this thread to Variants instead of here, feel free!)
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suPUR DUEper
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Villa Hills
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This might not work but what if you built a base chart for each weapon and then gave each character a modifier for that weapon.

For example- there is a base shotgun and Hicks gets a -2 modifier at all ranges when using it whereas Drake and Vasquez get a -1 (or whatever). Might be easier than making custom weapons for everyone.
 
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Banjo
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Thanks for the feedback!

That is a much better idea... however I was wanting to build off the original rules/system rather than replace it with something better.

Under the original rules, there seems to be no solid pattern as to how Marine aiming stats are calculated. For example, the Expansion allows Aiming more than your Marine's Actions, across subsequent Turns. For this, you add +2 to hit per extra Aim action. Fine, but this does not match up with the existing numbers on the cards, even assuming Aim 1 is a "snapshot" and thus is less than -2 from Aim 2's hit chance. Aim 3 for characters like Hicks (3 Actions) are +1 at range 1, +4(!) at range 2, +1 at range 3-4, +1 at range 5-6 and +1 at range 7. But that's just with the Pulse Rifle; those increases are totally different with his Shotgun. WTF?!

Thus, I am attempting to fudge the numbers based on Hicks' baseline stats, trying to make the weapon balanced and "feel right" if used by others in other scenarios. Hence the desire to see what others think of how those numbers play.

Your suggestion of doing things is IMO "better" than the very arbitrary way the original game assigns weapon stats. Indeed, it's how I think it *should* be done and how I'd do it from scratch. After all, it's just common sense that weapons have a "baseline" and then certain marksmen get bonuses while untrained civilians get penalties, right? But that's not how Leading Edge saw it... then again, they did make the most ridiculously complicated RPG combat system I've ever encountered (Phoenix Command), so there's that.

I actually think it would be interesting to re-do the weapons your way at some point (baselines for all, then each Marine gets +'s or -'s based on rank/training/place in the movie credits) and see how it changes the game's difficulty. If balanced right, though, it could make the game IMO better and more "expandable" than it is now. Despite my love for this game, it was never very expandable outside the movie it was based on.
 
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Hernan Ruiz Camauer
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Buenos Aires
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I like Ted's idea.

Don't be afraid to change things up from the original game. It's not the bible.

As long as you maintain the fast playability, the overall thematic feel, and relative simplicity of the original game system, it's all good.
 
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Daniel Schwartzkopf
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Orange
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The science of history is a great bulwark against the stream of Time; in a way it checks this irresistible flood, it holds in a tight grasp whatever it can seize floating on the surface and will not allow it to slip away into the depths of oblivion
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Moved from Rules to Variants
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