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Shadowrun: Crossfire» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First session with the gaming group rss

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Our gaming group gets together only once a month or so, so we have to carefully consider which games to play. We also are a very analytical group, so sessions tend to last longer than with other groups.

In preparation for our next get-together, I opened the box (Prime Runner Edition) and played a number of games solo (four-handed). This quickly became one of my favorite games of all time. I also had a great deal of good luck, winning 8 of my first 8 games. Game 9 was...problematic. I forgot to account for one game effect, so I replayed it. On the second playthrough I again forgot to account for a game effect. Argh. Those games could have gone either way, so I can't consider them wins or losses; I have yet to play a real game 9.

Anyway, on game night there were five of us (everyone else was new to the game), but based on my solo experience I decided I'd want to play with four runners. To speed up the opening I already chose the starting screens, roles, and turn order. Everyone else chose their roles and I sat to the side and helped clarify rules and contribute to discussion of options and strategies.

We played open hand, ignoring the rules in the Communication section of the rulebook. I feel we get a much fuller, communal experience that way, and we don't have to worry about "alpha gamer" syndrome.

I enjoyed presenting the rules. The best moment was after we got everything set up, so everyone saw their starting hands, and we discussed the black market cards and the initial obstacles and were ready to go. Then: I mentioned there was one more tiny rule I hadn't discussed: the Crossfire cards. Mwa-ha-ha!

We skipped Ambulators and did a full Crossfire mission.

It. Was. Tough.

We ended the first scene with only a Crossfire level of 1, but it was brutal: three runners took massive damage. The next time we drew a Crossfire card, it told us to add another to the discard; we ended the second scene with a Crossfire level of 4.

One of the worst moments in the game was when we flipped obstacles for the third scene. We were super powered up and ready to hit the third scene hard. Then we flipped Bug Spirit, forcing everybody to discard their entire hand. Everyone drew mostly junk.

After the first runner went critical, we decided not to Abort. Apparently the rules don't tell you what happens, so we played what makes sense: the critical'ed runner's obstacles simply move to the next player. See this thread: Critical runner taking damage

In the end we succeeded, but two runners had gone critical, and the other two were down to 1 HP each. We were at a Crossfire level of 7.

This sounds like it would have been an exciting, tense finish, but in truth it was very anticlimactic, and the game really just sort of petered out.

That's because in the last two rounds, we pretty had the game in the bag. The last two obstacles each had only two levels of damage remaining: Green/Black and Green/1 colorless.

The problem is, nobody held any green cards. The Decker held a green and had no way to draw an additional green (on that turn). One runner could have bought a green card, but he had only one nuyen. The Decker could have played Negotiation to make cards one nuyen cheaper, but the only green card in the deck cost 3 nuyen. Our Face held Black Market Contacts, but couldn't afford the green card either, even with the Decker's Negotiation.

So we went through the rest of the round where all we could do was defeat one of those obstacles with the Decker's only green.

On the next round, the Mage played Lightning Bolt on the last obstacle, total overkill.

Ironically, when the Face got staggered, he drew the best card in his deck: Hero Move. Completely useless against green. He had a chance to play it once before going critical, and it made no difference in the game. In that case, drawing a Mark would have been a thousand times better than Hero Move.

(He also previously played Press the Advantage but could not draw green.)

So most of the last two rounds were subject to the whims of the Crossfire deck, and took zero thinking and strategy. A bit of a letdown.

One of the best moments in the game: the Decker was down to 1 HP and was facing an obstacle that deals two damage. Although the obstacle would take 9 damage to defeat, fortunately the only colored damage was green. Using Retrieval Agent, the Decker would able to generate 7 damage...not enough to avoid getting Staggered. Two turns earlier, the Face played Hero Move. The Decker had a one in four chance of drawing Jacked-In, which he did. This supplied the last two damage required to defeat that obstacle and stay un-staggered. Sweet.

I still had a lot of fun; I only wish we could have had a more explosive ending. This game is still nearly a 10 for me. Two players gave it an 8; the other two gave it a 6. The two 6's didn't feel it was very thematic; one said he wish it would have been more exciting; when he chose Street Samurai he thought it'd be more action-packed than it was. (It didn't help that he was the first to go critical, in scene 3.)

Sadly, we didn't have time to even discuss the next game I'd been hoping to play that evening: Dragonfire.
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Marcel Stipetic
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I noticed a few things. Negotiations only gives you a discount for skill cards (red cards), so it would not have helped with Hacking cards anyway (D'oh! You meant as an assist!).

If you don't abort, once the second runner goes critical the game is over. So, technically, this was a lost. EDIT to add rule clarification:
Quote:
If a runner went Critical, the team decided not to abort the run, and a
second runner goes Critical before the end of that Scene, then the run also ends in failure.
I'm not sure the obstacles in front of the critical runner should move on to the next runner. This seems to be the case for aborted missions only, not those you try to beat. That's the way I've played it.

But I can see why some would find that ending anticlimactic. We've experience the same too. I, too, rate the game as a 10. Love it.

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Poisonguy wrote:
I noticed a few things. Negotiations only gives you a discount for skill cards (red cards), so it would not have helped with Hacking cards anyway (D'oh! You meant as an assist!).

If you don't abort, once the second runner goes critical the game is over. So, technically, this was a lost. EDIT to add rule clarification:
Quote:
If a runner went Critical, the team decided not to abort the run, and a
second runner goes Critical before the end of that Scene, then the run also ends in failure.
I agree up to here - when the second runner Critical's out, you are done.

Quote:
I'm not sure the obstacles in front of the critical runner should move on to the next runner. This seems to be the case for aborted missions only, not those you try to beat. That's the way I've played it.
Critical Runners are out of the game, they can't be facing obstacles any more. Look at the linked thread above, this is one of the rules they forgot to 'bring back' from Dragonfire.

Quote:
But I can see why some would find that ending anticlimactic. We've experience the same too. I, too, rate the game as a 10. Love it.
Sometimes you know when you win, and you just slam down the final few cards in victory.

Sometimes it comes to a final draw.
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byronczimmer wrote:
Poisonguy wrote:
I noticed a few things. Negotiations only gives you a discount for skill cards (red cards), so it would not have helped with Hacking cards anyway (D'oh! You meant as an assist!).

If you don't abort, once the second runner goes critical the game is over. So, technically, this was a lost. EDIT to add rule clarification:
Quote:
If a runner went Critical, the team decided not to abort the run, and a
second runner goes Critical before the end of that Scene, then the run also ends in failure.
I agree up to here - when the second runner Critical's out, you are done.
Ah, in the heat of gameplay I just read "If all runners become Critical, the team loses the game..." I didn't read the rest of the paragraph. Too bad. I'd never had multiple criticals before so was not familiar with this situation.

Ah well...it was close though. Frustrating we couldn't figure out how to get that second green.
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Just realized: this means the Mage never got a chance to play Lightning Bolt even once. He bought it, lost it to Spirit Bug, and finally drew it one round before the second critical. (It would have been the game-winning move.)

I want to believe that if we'd played the last 2.5 rounds slightly smarter, we might have pulled it off...
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Quote:
Critical Runners are out of the game, they can't be facing obstacles any more. Look at the linked thread above, this is one of the rules they forgot to 'bring back' from Dragonfire.
To me, since you are taking an increased risk by not aborting, the rules governing what occurs to the critical runner when going for the kill should differ to those governing aborting. But that's just me and why I played it that way. I have no prior experience with Dragonfire. So, this is certainly something that needs clarification.
 
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Poisonguy wrote:
Quote:
Critical Runners are out of the game, they can't be facing obstacles any more. Look at the linked thread above, this is one of the rules they forgot to 'bring back' from Dragonfire.
To me, since you are taking an increased risk by not aborting, the rules governing what occurs to the critical runner when going for the kill should differ to those governing aborting. But that's just me and why I played it that way. I have no prior experience with Dragonfire. So, this is certainly something that needs clarification.
Think on it this way:
Where does the damage from encounters facing unconscious characters go?
If the intent is increased risk, they surely don't just stand there beating on the dead guy, waiting for incoming damage to take them off the field.

The "Press" mechanic (being able to continue to play with an Unconscious character and not automatically abort) was introduced in Dragonfire. It was brought back to Prime along with the Exhausted mechanic, but they forgot to include a few details and assumed familiarity with the system as a whole (2014-Dragonfire-Prime) instead of being explicit in each individual rule set.
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Is unconscious a Dragonfire term? I'm not familiar.

Quote:
The "Press" mechanic (being able to continue to play with an Unconscious character and not automatically abort) was introduced in Dragonfire. It was brought back to Prime along with the Exhausted mechanic, but they forgot to include a few details and assumed familiarity with the system as a whole (2014-Dragonfire-Prime) instead of being explicit in each individual rule set.
It seems there are a lot of assumptions by everyone, which is why a clarification would be nice to explicitly state that this was actually an oversight and not them taking the game in a different direction.

As someone who is not familiar with the connection between Dragonfire and Shadowrun, I made my own assumptions.

Abort, to me, means that the characters have seen the writing on the wall and they have decided that their is no returning to home base without someone dying. So they have decided to take a last shot at the enemy and get the hell out of Dodge (with their critical runner slumped over their shoulder).

By not aborting I see this as the runners deciding their critical colleague has enough fire power, or whatever, to keep the "fort" under control until the other runners come to their rescue and neutralize his/her obstacles. Basically, they have decided they have time to neutralize all obstacles and complete the mission. Then they slump the critical runner over their shoulder and return to home base.

In the abort mode, runners merely have to survive. In the non-abort mode they have to be able to eliminate all obstacles in front of the critical runner by the end of the round (or the runners next turn). The payoff is greater with this decision (more Karma), so the risk should also be greater (greater risk of failure). But that doesn't seem to be the case in Dragonfire.
 
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Critical == Unconscious

Using your example, someone is carrying the Critical character out on an Abort.

Who do the encounters that were facing that character attempt to hit?
Surely they aren't going to stand there playing phone games.
 
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Having worked in ERs for over a decade I hadn't interpreted critical as necessarily unconscious, so that might explain how I see things. I'm not assuming encounters facing the guy are playing Candy Crush. What I'm saying is the critical guy is taking refuge behind a bullet ridden Ford Explorer. His fellow runners come after the bad guys from a side street and dispose of them. They pick up the critical guy and go home, etc. You can make up your own story.

The point, to me as a new player who does not have any background in Dragonfire, is that I interpreted aborting a mission as being different than going all in on the mission, and therefore keeping the obstacles in front of the critical guy makes sense; the guy will be dead by his next turn unless you come to his rescue. Just sayin'. An official word from our sponsors would be nice.
 
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Poisonguy wrote:
Having worked in ERs for over a decade I hadn't interpreted critical as necessarily unconscious, so that might explain how I see things. I'm not assuming encounters facing the guy are playing Candy Crush. What I'm saying is the critical guy is taking refuge behind a bullet ridden Ford Explorer. His fellow runners come after the bad guys from a side street and dispose of them. They pick up the critical guy and go home, etc. You can make up your own story.

The point, to me as a new player who does not have any background in Dragonfire, is that I interpreted aborting a mission as being different than going all in on the mission, and therefore keeping the obstacles in front of the critical guy makes sense; the guy will be dead by his next turn unless you come to his rescue. Just sayin'. An official word from our sponsors would be nice.
It does not make sense to keep Obstacles facing a Critical character.

Critical is a defined game term. A Critical character is removed from play.

I used "Unconscious" because I am familiar with both Crossfire and Dragonfire, and am sorry if that caused you confusion.


A Critical character is no more in the game than a random person three houses away -- and Obstacles cannot face someone who is not in the game.

Thus... use the Abort rules and move those Obstacles to the 'left' (the next person in play order from the Critical character).


I have been pushing periodically for an 'official' ruling, but it hasn't happened for a variety of reasons. It seems the teams for 2014, Dragonfire and Prime are all slightly different and that causes complications.

 
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