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Subject: Some Tips and Tactics for ‘Chainsaw Warrior’ rss

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Martin Smith
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Here are a few suggestions and ideas that I hope might increase your enjoyment of - and your longevity in - Games Workshop’s ‘Chainsaw Warrior’ game.

A. Know What You’re Getting Into

If you’ve not played CW before (or for a while), before beginning the game, have a look at the House Cards to see how the how the events that occur are described, the types of creatures and dangers you will be encountering, their effects on you, and the weapons/equipment needed to overcome them. This is not to try to memorise them, or for card-counting - it’s just to let you start to get the idea of how things will unfold during the game. If it is all too strange or difficult to relate to as you play, you will likely lose either the plot or the fun.

Also familiarise yourself with the Equipment Cards - either look through the cards, or read through pages 28-33 of the Rulebook. You’re supposed to be a specialist one-man (or woman) killing machine, so you’d be expected to know something about weapons and survival gear ...

Read a couple of the Session reports on BGG. [For example, FH’s ‘Taking on the Bad Guys with only Luck and Hope’ captures the feel of the game well, and Riff Conner’s session report gives us all hope – although good Endurance and HTH levels are obviously a big help!.] There’s also a useful sequential example of play on pages 16-18 of the Rulebook.

B. Know Yourself

When you’ve determined your Attributes for the game, take a moment to reflect on these thoughtfully. What are your strengths, what are your relative weaknesses? These may affect your Equipment choices, and should influence how and when you fight.

If you have low Endurance, you will need to be doubly careful of radiation from Mutants and getting bitten by Zombies - keep the Zombies at a distance as much as you can. If your Wounds allowance is low, you’ll need to bear that in mind too, and not be shy about using the Medi-Kit if it’s available. A low Hand-to-Hand level would suggest picking some HTH weapons to bolster this (and they only cost 1 point each too!). If your Marksmanship is low, Heavy Weapons give you a better shot than Guns, but they cost more also.

If you’ve got good Hand-to-Hand skills, you may often choose to rely on these rather than shooting, thereby preserving ammunition for when you really need it. And if your Attributes mean that you are quite vulnerable, sometimes choosing clothing can give you some useful protection, such as Body Armour, Steel Gloves (good against Rats), the Helmet (protects against Zombie venom), and the Rad Fibre Jumpsuit (which sounds very Seventies, but gives some radiation relief when the Mutants are in town).

When you’ve got your allocated Equipment, re-read the cards or Rules for each item, so you understand their usefulness - after all, the HQ personnel would be briefing you on them while you’re kitting up. Work out the optimal use of each Equipment item. Think about when (and at what) it will be smarter to shoot, and when to go for Hand-to-Hand combat.

C. The Clock Is Ticking

It’s all a race against the clock (or the Time Track actually) - so, speed is everything. The half-minutes slip relentlessly away, and some things cost you minutes! You must get through to the second half-hour to even encounter Darkness, and you don’t know how far through that part of the building he is. Always try to avoid things and actions that cost you time, and choose things (if you can) that save you time.

Equipment items that particularly assist in the speed department are the Rope and Launcher (allows you to swing past areas and save time doing so - an excellent item!), the Flare Gun (at Night-time this helps you avoid creatures other than Darkness - also good, but it doesn’t avoid Traps, and time ticks by normally), and the Teleport Implant (which zaps you back to HQ in a flash, to restock etc.). And don’t forget the Dynamite - instead of just throwing it at a creature, you can use it to blow holes in walls to make a shortcut and bypass a few rooms and corridors.

D. Elvis Has Left The Building

... Which takes us to one of the aspects of the game that is not well outlined in the Rules. If you think you are too low on Equipment, or too high on Wounds, you can choose to exit the building, to restock (and re-heal). This makes real-life sense, of course, but the Rules only point this option out in circumstances where you HAVE TO go back - ie, your Laser Lance is lost or broken or out of ammo, or you encounter the Chasm and can’t cross it. But, often, going back to HQ (to complain about the inadequate amount of equipment they issued you, and get some more) is a good strategy. You recover 1 D6 roll of Wounds, and a further 1 D6 roll Equipment Allowance to get further good stuff.

Of course, the downside is TIME. If you don’t have the Teleport Implant, you have to battle your way through a number of rooms and corridors (the total of 2 rolled D6) to get to the Exit, and then you lose 1 D6 roll of minutes - minutes, not 30-second boxes - while you re-equip. But, even though it’s very costly in time, it can be well worth it!

E. Some Other Random Observations

• Try to use the most economical weapon choice that you have reasonable confidence can do the job. Don’t waste your ammo or scarce equipment uses on puny opponents or obstacles – you will really need them soon enough. But also don’t hoard them either: keeping all the good stuff for later can lead to you being dead before ‘later’ arrives, or you might lose the item if it is grabbed by the Lunatic (unless you have the Heat Detector)

• ‘Escaping’ (running away) from creatures is pretty much for the birds IMHO, unless your character is very puny or very low on health. There’s a risk you won’t make it anyway (which varies, depending upon the opponent), and it always costs you another 30 seconds! Real chainsaw warriors don’t spend half their time escaping! But if you’re losing to a tough hombre and the stats are against you, the possibility of living to fight another day can start to sound attractive ... .

• Attempting ‘Lucky Shots’ is also generally a waste of time unless you are truly desperate (like if you’re slogging it out with Darkness, say). Rolls of 1, 2 or 3 are disastrous (you sustain wounds or smash your weapon), and even rolling a 4 costs you 30 seconds for nothing. [Marksmanship does not modify Lucky Shot scores].

• If you have a high Marksmanship level, seriously consider spending the 2 points for a Spare Clip or re-load when you leave the Building.

• If you have or find a Spare Clip, don’t run around with an empty weapon. Take the 30 seconds to reload as soon as you can after it empties. Your weapon is empty for a reason, remember!

• Similarly, if you have the Anti-Rad Capsules, they are only effective if you use them immediately after you are exposed to radiation (ie, after you roll for radiation damage). [I hate those Mutants!]. Take ‘em then - don’t carry them around for a while afterwards.

I hope something here helps. Good luck, the city is depending on you!
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Mark Jackson
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I need to pull this out again - it kicked my rear 8 times last year. I think it's honestly been 20+ years since I beat the thing.
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Rob Buchler
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Ways to make the game easier:

1. Re-roll any 1s when building your character.
2. Give yourself two extra points to equip yourself with.
I'll win about 20% percent of the time with these two amendments.

3. Hope that the Chasm card doesn't show up, unless you have the climbing skill!
 
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Mark Jackson
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SorenK23 wrote:
Ways to make the game easier:


4. Use the expansion equipment cards that were in an issue of White Dwarf.
 
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Martin Smith
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You may also be interested in my article "Playing ‘Chainsaw Warrior’ – and Enjoying It More", posted in Reviews.
 
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James Casey
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When the online version of this was still up, I played it quite a bit.

IIRC, the killer tactic was to escape a few times right at the start until you had the dynamite and extra ammo for it. You then just blasted your way through half the building - the dynamite saved enough time to cover the time spent escaping, and you were left with a ton of extra equipment to help take on the rest of the game.

I've no idea if the dynamite was one of the extra cards from White Dwarf or not, so this might not be applicable to the core game.
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Matt Hoskins
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waferthinninja wrote:
.

I've no idea if the dynamite was one of the extra cards from White Dwarf or not, so this might not be applicable to the core game.


Dynamite is in the core game. Caveat: Well, it was in the copy I got for X-mas at any rate. IIRC the card it isn't part of the WD expansion as I recall the card from playing the game back in the 80s and 90s.
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Jon Fassnacht II
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It's in the core game. I have both the game and exoansion.
 
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