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Space Hulk (third edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Minor Change to Pitfall Endgame rss

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Kevin Outlaw
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I love the 12th mission - Pitfall. I think it is a lot of fun, and really tense, and an absolute pig for the marines to get through. The librarian is a powerhouse, but you never seem to have the psi points you need when you most need them, and a limit of one power per turn means he certainly can't be relied on to keep your tiny squad alive.

The mission really lends itself to heroism, and the marine with lightning claws is pretty much doomed to die blocking a corridor while his friends beat a hastey retreat. Same often goes for the assault cannon, who will usely lay down suppressing fire while the sergeant busts a move.

So, I love the level, but I really hate the way that once there are no marines left in play, both players roll a dice and highest wins (with the marine getting a +1 for each marine that escaped). That would be fine if there was a chance of getting six marines off the board, but you only get four to start with, and at least two of those are pretty certain to end up martyrs for the cause (in glorious fashion).

Now - the genestealer wins if no-one makes it out alive, so I think it is only fair that it should be an instant win for the marine if EVERYONE makes it out alive. So, I use the same dice off system for determining the winner, but with a little variation. Rather than each escaping marine giving a +1 to the die roll, I do the following:

Librarian + 2
Sergeant + 2
Marines + 1

If everyone makes it out, you have already scored 6 points, and therefore you win. If only some of your troops get out, they are graded by how important they were to the mission.

Doing this also encourages the genestealer to go for the librarian and the sergeant.

It's only a little change, but it doesn't seem to unbalance the game, and seems a little bit more thematic. (A draw on the dice is still a draw - I assume the marines lived, but the stealer sample was lost on the way out.)
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William Collins
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Sounds fun to me.
 
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I don't know... the dice rolling at the end just sounds lame to me. What if it was the quite similar to your chart, but instead of adding +2 or +1, you instead get that many points. Therefore a marine who escapes gives 1 point and librarian/sergeant gives 2 points. A marine players needs to get 3 or more points at the end of the map to win... thoughts?
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Kevin Outlaw
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I thought about other systems as well. Your point system would work, but there is the risk of overpowering the marine's chances of the win. The dice system is there so you try to save as many people as possible and don't play dangerously.

I tried so that if you get the librarian out you get an instant win, if you get the sargeant out you do the dice off, and if only marines get out you still lose.

By overpowering the librarian's involvement, you ended up just running like mad with the librarian and sacrificing everyone else for him. That didn't seem fair.

By still having the risk of the dice off, the marine tries to get everyone out alive, but the librarian and the sergeant become big targets for the stealer to aim for.
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Hrm... ok what about this.

Any space marine that's killed is 1 point for the genestealer.


The SM player scores on escapes. Here's how the point values break down:

'regular' SM: 1 point

Sergeant: 1 point + 1 bonus point if a 'regular' SM escapes

Librarian: 1 point + 1 bonus point for every 5 PSI points not spent

Whoever scores the most points at the end wins. That way the leader units are still high targets, but a SM can still pull a win if he manages to get most of the team out. Also adds some strategic play with the Sergeant and the Librarian... I tried to make it fluffy too. Thoughts?

Can you tell I hate the dice roll system? laugh
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Kevin Outlaw
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I'm not keen on the dice system as such, but I think I know what the designers were trying to achieve with it. They were going for a "leave no man behind" system - a system that really hurts you if even one man gets killed.

With the +2 hero / +1 marine system you win instantly if you get everyone out, and if you get just the heroes out then you are pretty likely to win (genestealer player is rolling 2, and if they roll anything other than a 6 you only need 1 for a draw and 2 for a win - so the dicing element is greatly reduced). Standard marines can die bravely, it still hurts and puts that doubt in your mind that you will win, but it isn't the deal breaker it is under the standard mission rules. Choosing to sacrifice a marine is a calculated risk.

Your points system means that you can run the librarian out, save his psi points, and get a very convincing win, even with the other three marines sacrificing themselves. Even if the genestealer kills 50% of the team (the standard marines) it is still very likely your heroes will win. I wanted to maintain that system of trying to get everyone out alive - this mission needs to be challenging for the marine player.

Give your points system a test run and let me know how it turns out
 
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