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Subject: Pacing off ? rss

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Henrik Schmidt
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Watched the latest BoW video and there seems something off with the pacing of the game.
The first half has not enough to do for 4 players and has little to no threat.
In the second half the players get overwhelmed in a single round without the player at position 4 even getting an action!

There is no middle ground. A bit more threat at start and a bit less after the alarm goes off would be nice.

Also the grenades boom, killing everything in an area is anti climatic for me.
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Brett Petersen
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I happen to like the unbalanced pacing, over the top action, and the grenade rule. It is possible it is just not the game for you.
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Henrik Schmidt
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thatach wrote:
I happen to like the unbalanced pacing, over the top action, and the grenade rule. It is possible it is just not the game for you.
Since they are still tweaking it might turn into a game for me ;-)

If not getting any action after the alarm went off as player 4 will be happening most of the time, it is definatly not a game for me.
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Max Maloney
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Honestly, my favorite playthrough was the one they posted with experienced playtesters. In the video that was recently posted, some of the personalities are a bit drab for video. Leo is great but Az just talks too much all the time. Here’s the video with the playtesters trying to play fast:

https://youtu.be/VG3Fd-EKlr0

You can skip the first minute and a half of Az blathering and get straight to experienced gamers playing. I find this video really interesting as the quick and clever play looks really fun.
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David Y.
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I've spoken about it in the comments section in the Kickstarter, but it doesn't seem like many are overly concerned for some reason, though there do seem to be some.

Mythic, whom I respect, have said that the current system works and is the best way they've found after hundreds of games. But there has been no thematic or logical explanation for enemies having a turn after each hero activation (btw, this is also how enemies behave before the alarm in the rules), which results in the situation you described, where swarms of nazis overwhelm the heroes and all of them get 4 turns before the 4th player gets a first activation.

I have said that I will try their rules as written but am expecting I will switch to something homebrewed fairly soon after (I could be mistaken, as I have not played this yet).

Currently, I am thinking:

-- There is no 10 turn limit to escape. I want to lose by being beaten by the enemies, not because time ran out, that seems unsatisfying.
-- Once the alarm sounds, the enemy is on high-alert. Send tougher foes and spawn at exits.
-- On the second alarm, each spawn point gets an additional spawn for the rest of the game
-- On the third alarm round, ubersoldaten spawn at exits and head toward heroes
-- On fifth alarm, vrilpanzers guard the exits
-- When there are no more enemy figs, increase their health/armor
-- enemies do not get 4 activations per round. If dogs or vril-infused, maybe, or maybe they go after every 2nd hero.
-- I am also thinking of modifying the noise deck, so that noise is modified depending on the level of door you are outside of. Certainly for picking up items, but possibly for other events. So, for instance, if a noise triggers on a 4, if you are next to a thinner, level 1 door it would trigger on a 3 instead; if you are next to a thicker, level 3 door, it would trigger on a 5. Opening doors will likely stay the same, possibly with a noise penalty for opening a larger, heavier door.

These, of course, are just off the top of my head and would need to be tested.


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Brett Petersen
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I think the biggest rule change would be after the alarm if there was diminishing reinforcements. I feel like at some point you would empty the base or cause them to flee it seems weird that they just keep coming and coming as if there is no end to them. or you should be able to disable a spawn point like baring the door or something so it will not activate for a whole round.

 
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Henrik Schmidt
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If this is the best Mythic has to offer than I'm happy I only pledged 1$ to get access to the pledge manager. I'm not into houseruling. But I can see others may like RAW, so happy Reich busting for them.
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Phil Thompson
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I don’t think the latest BoW video is the best for judging pacing, as the scenario and troop loadout is quite unusual.

Also, grenades will not kill everything in a room. Bosses and heavy troops are only wounded.
 
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Max Maloney
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This game has left me more conflicted than any other Kickstarter in years. I love Mythic Games and this looks fun, but I also have Fireteam Zero and only play it a couple times a year. How many games of Weird WWII Nazi mysticism can I really get played?

I don’t really mind thematic disconnects, such as Nazis activating after every player turn, as long as the game is fun. Good game design trumps what may seem weird from a realism perspective.

I may just get the base game. The super-massive enemy seen in the latest video seems like something I’d rarely (if ever) use and storing really large minis is always a pain.
 
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Stuart Siddons
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livinginbeta wrote:
I've spoken about it in the comments section in the Kickstarter, but it doesn't seem like many are overly concerned for some reason, though there do seem to be some.

Mythic, whom I respect, have said that the current system works and is the best way they've found after hundreds of games. But there has been no thematic or logical explanation for enemies having a turn after each hero activation (btw, this is also how enemies behave before the alarm in the rules), which results in the situation you described, where swarms of nazis overwhelm the heroes and all of them get 4 turns before the 4th player gets a first activation.
I think the disconnect comes from looking solely at the Nazi turns, and ignoring how the Hero turns work. In any given Hero turn, Claudine for example may use her Sten to gun down three or four Nazi units, move two or three areas into the remainder of the Nazi's in that room, then melee another two or three of them. If the Nazi activated after all the Heroes had a turn, then chances are they'd all be dead, and the Heroes would be moving at the superhuman speeds you talk about for the Nazi units. We would have to redesign the game so that the Nazi's all had multiple wounds and made multiple attacks to keep them any kind of relevant threat to the Heroes.

In essence, the Nazi units move up to 4, and attack up to 4 times. Heroes routinely do much, much more than this. As such, no-one is superhuman; they are pretty equal to each other.

Thematically the idea is the entire ROUND is happening at the same time. The Heroes simply alternate turns in order for the turn sequence to work. I believe (and I'm sure someone could prove me wrong here) it would be nearly impossible to design a game where both the enemy AI and the Heroes all took a turn at the same time.

I appreciate that the game isn't for everyone, but I can definitely say there is 100% a reason beyond balance behind how the enemy activates.
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Henrik Schmidt
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I can see the reason for the rules of activation. But if it results in player 4 not even getting a turn after the alarm went off, there may be something wrong with the spawn rate of the map.
Since the players turns are random at that point they have no way to strategize. I like the ensuing chaos but there should be at least a chance to survive some more turns.
Maybe it was bad play by the BoW and Mythic players.

 
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David Y.
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Stuart,

Firstly, I appreciate you addressing my concerns and I will preface my comments with the same disclaimer I have tried to be careful to include in any similar discussion I have participated in: I have NOT yet played the game. Because of this, I cannot fully speak to the experience of playing the game. My comments are based on what I have seen and read and what I am assuming, which I do recognize is not necessarily a great place to speak from. And I can further understand that it isn't a great place to necessarily hear feedback from. On top of all of that, tone doesn't translate well to text, so please, please, please know that I am a fan of Mythic Games, I went all-in on this Kickstarter, I am coming from a place of respect and good intentions and I am genuinely excited by the world you are building with Reichbusters. Additionally, I want to apologize for my delayed response. I worked a lot this weekend and am back in school full time, so I don't have a lot of spare moments. However, if you are interested in my feedback, here is some of what I have...

Quote:
Thematically the idea is the entire ROUND is happening at the same time. The Heroes simply alternate turns in order for the turn sequence to work. I believe (and I'm sure someone could prove me wrong here) it would be nearly impossible to design a game where both the enemy AI and the Heroes all took a turn at the same time.
Just to get it out of the way, I think you and I agree that a round represents a series of simultaneous/near-simultaneous actions taken by heroes and enemies during the length of time from player one's turn to the end of player four's turn, including an enemy activation when the alarm sounds and an enemy activation phase after each hero activation.

On February 4, I said in the Kickstarter comments:
Quote:
"@Mythic, I'm really excited for the game but have a question after watching the Projekt X playthrough. After the alarm sounds, I do not understand the enemies getting an activation after each hero activation. My understanding is that -- in "real-life" game time -- actions are happening close to simultaneously, but heroes are activating separately to give each player a chance to perform the actions of their choosing in a more relaxed (non-simultaneous action) sequence. For example, after initiative is rolled, a round of turns in a battle in Dungeons & Dragons takes ~6 seconds. In this example everyone, including the villains, pretty much acts once every six seconds but the turns are divided up into separate activations. If we use the same time frame in Reichbusters, after the alarm each hero acts once every six seconds but every enemy gets a superhuman four activations every six seconds. It seems unbalanced to me and I'm not sure of the explanation for their overactivity. Is this something that is being looked at for adjustment? I understand I can house rule something that makes more sense to me, but I would rather have the benefit of the testing and process Mythic has to put this through. Thank you!"
I am not, as I think I have expressed, expecting all heroes to have simultaneous turns or certainly have simultaneous turns with enemies. My expectation is that more-or-less heroes and enemies will have a set number of actions that are spent within a turn and each of these turns happens distinct from each other. My surprise comes in that this seems to be the case with the heroes, but does not seem to be the case with the enemies.


Quote:
I think the disconnect comes from looking solely at the Nazi turns, and ignoring how the Hero turns work. In any given Hero turn, Claudine for example may use her Sten to gun down three or four Nazi units, move two or three areas into the remainder of the Nazi's in that room, then melee another two or three of them.
But is that on any given hero turn? Isn't this scenario only on a given Claudine turn? If my reading and remembering of the Beta rulebook and my viewing of the Projekt X BoW video is correct, isn't she only able to do this on her turn, which she might not get to take until three other heroes have gone and 40 other enemies have gone in groups three times each?


Quote:
If the Nazi activated after all the Heroes had a turn, then chances are they'd all be dead, and the Heroes would be moving at the superhuman speeds you talk about for the Nazi units. We would have to redesign the game so that the Nazi's all had multiple wounds and made multiple attacks to keep them any kind of relevant threat to the Heroes.

In essence, the Nazi units move up to 4, and attack up to 4 times. Heroes routinely do much, much more than this. As such, no-one is superhuman; they are pretty equal to each other."
One difference here is, of course, that in your given scenario, Claudine, kills 3-4 nazis, moves 2-3 spaces, then kills another 2-3 nazis. this sounds like a great turn for her. She (one player) kills a max of 7 nazis and moves a max of 3. I don't think this is a typical turn, and the player has spent a number of cards and items, perhaps, to make this happen -- the spent cards and items will not be usable again next turn. Now it is the enemies' turn. There are 40 on the board. Each moves and attacks. And this happens after each player, which has the potential to not only increase the length of the game, but it can easily overshadow the awesome turn Claudine just had when all of the officers get to move and attack, then all the soldiers get to move and attack, then all the zombies get to move and attack, then all the dogs, etc, etc...

The net effect -- it seems to me -- is that the enemies do seem superhuman in their rate of movement and attack.

Quote:
I appreciate that the game isn't for everyone, but I can definitely say there is 100% a reason beyond balance behind how the enemy activates.
There are many things I like about what I have seen, and there are some things which make less sense to me.

I don't understand every enemy getting an activation after each hero, as discussed. I don't understand how the nazis activate after every hero turn so aggressively, but in the earlier, pre-alarm game when they see heroes shank their own guys in front of them they use their full turns to slowly change from suspicious to alert without actually doing anything else, for instance.

As a backer, with the rules not finalized, and the spirit of The Good Place, I thought I would speak up and maybe provide some feedback. Hopefully it is taken in the spirit in which it is intended.

You are absolutely correct, however, that the game might not be for everyone. Hopefully I will enjoy it the way it is written.

Thank you, again, for listening.
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Stuart Siddons
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Hi David Y!

Firstly, I absolutely value your comments and take them in the way they're intended Any time someone has as much to say as you do indicates to me the passion you have for seeing this game be as great as it can be, which is a passion we certainly share!

I totally see where you're coming from, but I present the doomsday scenario where player 4 doesn't get a turn due to being swarmed by two dozen enemies. In that situation:

1) Player 4 has pushed far enough ahead to be the closet target, despite players 1, 2, and 3 having a turn.
2) Players 1, 2, and 3 never ended their turn in the same area as Player 4, or they'd become the target of attacks due to how enemy target priority works.
3) Players 1, 2, and 3 didn't try and prioritise killing low model count, elite enemies to ensure that even if they were a dozen enemies left, they were all Nazi soldiers so they only made 1 attack roll a turn.

I would assume in this situation that Player 4 either willing sacrificed himself to left the team escape, or Players 1, 2, and 3 should probably reconsider the concept of a co-operative game.

(Or you're playing with my friends who completely understand the idea of a co-op game, but will sell me specifically down the river on a whim...)

In regards having set number of actions, the Heroes are the ones that massively skew this. Action cards are free actions, so the more cards you have the more varied turn times you could possibly have. The game really splits into two games; Pre-alarm is very much akin to a resource management game, where you're trying to quickly remove threats and keep the turn counter down whilst grabbing gear and drawing cards, ready to be able to have explosive turns that ideally lead into the post-alarm. I've legitimately seen Red Hawk kill sixteen plus models in one turn, including killing the Vrilmeister. And as for movement, Quentin could, if put to the test, move around 10 areas in a turn if he blew his whole hand and had some clever positioning. Once you factor in Heroic points to negate damage, along with 'Instant' action cards, Heroes are trickier than they look to put down - if 4 soldiers (an average room spawn) draw down on a Hero, on average they'll cause 7 damage, without any cards being played. There are wounds that have a threshold of 8, so there's a chance with nothing at all the Hero isn't even permanently hurt. Again, as long as you're playing as a team.

The enemy really only has the two basic actions - move, and attack. Albeit, their higher numbers create the swarm of problems the Heroes have the deal with, but if the team is playing well, then when the post alarm begins they'll have some plan as to how to deal with the enemies, or at least slow them down. Once that alarm goes off, the objective very quickly becomes "get to the exit!" before the enemy overruns you. If you're all leaving poor Sarge behind to take a hail of bullets, but you're completing the mission, then that is entirely a way to play, and some players will enjoy making the sacrifice buy taking the defence increasing items and screaming at their opponents to make it count. Other players will want to focus on getting a major victory every time, and no man gets left behind.

We have looked at differing changes, such as all noise at the end of a player turn, or having buffed Nazi that operate like a player, but honestly the AI required to make three dozen enemies replicate a player turn would be insane amount of rules.

I'm always happy to talk about design decisions, that's why this is the Good Place after all

I'd also take Projekt X with a grain of salt as a typical experience - It's meant to be horrendously difficult to kill, and the spawn card is absolutely designed to create massive swarms. A wrong move against him and it will be game over.
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David Y.
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Stuart,

Thank you again for your response. And again I apologize for not being able to reply quickly.

Thank you also for recognizing my vocalness as an expression of my excitement and passion for Reichbusters

You've identified a scenario:

Quote:

1) Player 4 has pushed far enough ahead to be the closet target, despite players 1, 2, and 3 having a turn.
2) Players 1, 2, and 3 never ended their turn in the same area as Player 4, or they'd become the target of attacks due to how enemy target priority works.
3) Players 1, 2, and 3 didn't try and prioritise killing low model count, elite enemies to ensure that even if they were a dozen enemies left, they were all Nazi soldiers so they only made 1 attack roll a turn.
But I guess where I am approaching it from is:


1) Player 4 might be the closest enemy by nature of Players 1-3 going first in turn order, and everyone running for the exit, meaning everyone is leaving 4 behind -- unless enemies are spawning at the exit and heading toward the heroes
2) No one is ending their turns in player 4's space because they are trying to make it to the exit and Player 4 is the last to move, so that character is, ostensibly, the furthest behind
3) Players 1-3 might not be killing optimally, but even large turns can seem to have questionable impact in mitigating future damage to players who are a few activations away. It seems like the end game is chock full of what appears to be frustrating swarms of enemies crashing in waves against seemingly helpless heroes who collect permanent wounds while waiting to let loose on their turn.

I do believe that I understand your point that the heroes are very powerful and they can stockpile cards that augment their skills and weapons and lead to those wonderful and exciting gaming moments we love to talk about weeks after the board has been put back on the shelf.

Quote:

Action cards are free actions, so the more cards you have the more varied turn times you could possibly have.
The tricky part is, is it seems that, for the most part, these are only usable on a player's turn. Until then, that character has to stand in one place and get wrecked. They take massive punishment until it is their turn, then they get to let loose to the best of their ability -- now with permanent wounds limiting them -- and then the cards are used and the player doesn't have another activation for 8 rounds. On top of that, they might not have gotten themselves into any better position.

Again, as someone who hasn't played it and has only seen limited playthrough videos, it feels almost like having your turn skipped, instead of waiting for your next turn. Except instead of having your character sit in time out and be ignored, you sit and watch them get beaten and gnawed on.

I like a challenge. I think the escape should ramp up and be difficult. It should be gunfire and loud explosions and heavy armor and fangs and vrilpanzers; an exciting back and forth that has you wondering if the heroes will make it out alive.

As you can tell, I'm not sold on the frequent enemy turns, but in the end, I haven't played the game. And you have. A bunch of times. And you seem happy with the way it works currently.

My intention has never been to tell you that you are wrong. If I have ever come across otherwise, I apologize. Games are subjective and I saw something in a video and inferred and assumed some stuff and thought I would speak out. Even in re-reading this before posting it sounds to me like I'm beating a dead horse, and I do apologize about that.

Anyway, I greatly appreciate and admire you and Mythic for listening and engaging, and I am eagerly looking forward to receiving Reichbusters near the end of 2019!

Thank you again!
 
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Max Maloney
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Wow. So many words. If I understand this thread correctly it comes down to this:

Q. Why do the enemies get so many more activations than heroes (e.g., four times as many in a four-player game)?

A. Hero activations are at least four times more effective/powerful than an enemy activation, so it balances out.

Without having played it, assessing the accuracy of this answer is problematic. Though I would suggest that one issue is that it’s not as fun to activate enemies as it is to take a turn, so it may be a design weakness to spend a lot of time on enemies even if it is balanced. The better the design, the more time is spent playing your own turns since that’s where the fun lives.
 
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Stuart Siddons
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Dormammu wrote:
Wow. So many words. If I understand this thread correctly it comes down to this:

Q. Why do the enemies get so many more activations than heroes (e.g., four times as many in a four-player game)?

A. Hero activations are at least four times more effective/powerful than an enemy activation, so it balances out.

Without having played it, assessing the accuracy of this answer is problematic. Though I would suggest that one issue is that it’s not as fun to activate enemies as it is to take a turn, so it may be a design weakness to spend a lot of time on enemies even if it is balanced. The better the design, the more time is spent playing your own turns since that’s where the fun lives.
For sure. The main focus has been making the enemy turns as quick as possible, to get back to the player action. I can say from dozens upon dozens of games we've played, the average Enemy turn is about a minute and a half, and the Heroes turn is about twice that, with certain Hero turns taking longer when they're activating their feats and going full ham on the enemy.

Heroes also have "Instants", which are reactions that take place in enemy turns that allow them to interrupt and do something, whether it's ignore an enemy attack that turn, make and attack themselves, move, suppress the enemy, etc. So generally the only time an enemy turns takes more time is when Heroes are ironically making it last longer by being more awesome. Some Heroes have very little in the way of instants, such as Bjorn or Flamin' Joe, whilst others like Remmy pretty much live in the enemy turn, using situational but powerful actions to control the game in favour of the Heroes.
 
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David Y.
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Stuart,

Just a quick reply before I head to work, but if the average enemy turn is 1.5 minutes and the average hero turn is twice that (3 minutes), in a given round of a 4-player game:

1.5 x 4 = 6 minutes
3 x 4 = 12 minutes
18 minutes x 4 alarm rounds = 72 minutes (1 hour, 12 minutes)

Now that there are numbers it might illustrate what has me a bit nervous: in 1 hour and 12 minutes, I might only get 4 turns that last 3 minutes each, with the possible exception of any out-of-my-turn cards that I use and burn and then don't have and might not replace, if I even had them to begin with.

I trust you've played the game and found it fun and would notice if someone was just sitting in frustration as their character got pummeled and they were powerless and only activating for 12 minutes out of every hour and 12 minutes, but I hope you can understand how it sounds to me.

Thank you again, as always.
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Stuart Siddons
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Hi! Sorry for the late response on this one, swamped at the moment!

So you've identified an issue we noticed very early on, in that whilst it was a co-op game, each player was an island to themselves. Your turn might be to move and open the door, kill a couple of Nazi, and it might take you 2-3 mins. You get to interact using your cards and dice when the enemy attack you, so you're not idle in Nazi turns, but your turn was still a very isolated experience. Then, Red Hawk with her feat would go, and take 6 mins + with you watching along. There was too much downtime and potential silence at the table. This is not why we make games.

(Quick note; when I say average Nazi turn and player turn, I mean a different average - The turn the Nazi spawn after the alarm can take 5 mins simply because yo're placing 30-odd miniatures. Also those averages are for the Enemy HAS a turn - prealarm its often that the Nazi don’t get a turn at all. Most Nazi turns are smaller though. For Heroes, the average is for each separate Hero, so Claudine, Quentin, etc, to make sure no one Hero took too much time. So there is a slight difference between how I'm using average depending on enemy or Hero turn),

Anyway, so we identified this problem very early, and this is where the Instants came from, which are powerful actions that trigger outside of the turn order. Most Heroes have a least a couple of Instants, some of them have half their deck based around manipulation. Remmy for example has more Instants than anyone, which means in his own turn he;s generally moving into position, whilst in other people and the Nazi turns he's really interacting heavily.

So that got us most the way there, but we still wanted people to talk, and interact. Instants are great for making sure you're not stuck in a downtime loop, but what the best games have is a way to make you enjoy the fact this is a social activity. And that's where the ability to use the modifiers in your hand on OTHER Heroes turns came from. This means that even if it's not your turn, you're now talking about what's possible for another Hero in their turn, as you could swing a combat they otherwise couldn't win. Equally, they become involved in your turns, for the same reason.

I can't begin to state how much this impacted the game. Suddenly we had discussions and planning and debates ("No, don't use that card to boost me, you might need it!" - "I don't need a grenade right now it's fine!" - Next turn they definitely needed that grenade.), and really tore the game open. It also meant that because the Heroes are more reliable and powerful due to sharing mods, we could spend design space on the enemy, for tougher opponents when it was warranted.

I hope that helps show the process and how we certainly are right there with you in making sure this game is for everyone together.
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David Y.
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Stuart,

I apologize profusely for my very late response. I saw your reply a while ago but have been preoccupied with a couple projects at school.

As mentioned before, I am very eager to play Reichbusters and your description definitely makes the interactivity and planning sound fun.

Thank you, sir, for being responsive and kind and patient with me. I am definitely looking forward to immersing myself in this game with my friends.

I have yet to watch the Not Of This Earth expansion runthrough video, which I just found out has been posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGFkivwHTaU

Hopefully, I can tear away to watch it soon!

Thank you again!

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Stuart Siddons
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You are always most welcome! Engaging with you guys is honestly one of the best parts of the job, I love the different ways people approach different games, and figuring out how to tap into the creativity and passion of people is a huge step towards making better games as far as I'm concerned

Enjoy the video!
 
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