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Subject: Mission 8: Escape Route - Broken? Fixes? rss

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Gabriel Nilsson
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I played Escape Route a couple of times the other day, and it seems broken to me. The Space Marines can blast their way through the jammed doors in no time, and if you put the Librarian with the artefact in the front you can just run like the wind through that long corridor, storm bolter blazing, and there is nothing that can stand in his way. If a Genestealer actually manages to reach him head on, the librarian can just chop him up without breaking stride, and if one threatens his back he can summon up a Force Barrier. He should reach the exit in five turns (or six if the Space Marine player has really bad luck), and there's no way he'll be running ouf of psi points by then. Unless I've missed something obvious, that is. Have I?

If the mission is broken, then how does one fix it? I'm thinking about making the jammed doors bullet proof to start with. That should at least give the Genestealers a little more time to build up their numbers, but I don't think it'll be enough.

More ideas? Shorten some corridors for the Genestealers? More starting blips? Lower the Librarian's starting psi points?
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Kevin Outlaw
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How to fix it... Get a better stealer player?

I don't think a couple of games is enough to say the map is broken. Indeed, if you are saying you simply give all CPs to the librarian and run like mad, then he will quickly end up isolated in a maze of corridors where one force block per turn will not be able to protect him and he will quickly have to drain psi points to survive rounds of close assault.

If you hunt him in the "maze" in the middle, and leave some guard dogs by the rooms near the exit, I don't see how he can possibly get out alive without backup.

Remember librarian is only getting 1d6+1 to the front (1d6 otherwise) against 3d6 for every stealer attack, a few bad rolls can sap 4-5 psi points per combat round. He shouldn't last long. And if you happen to lose the object to a stealer, there's no way you're winning the mission.

Persevere.

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David Jackman
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Well, i have had a similar experience with this mission - the map is very small, and for the first 3 turns, the stealer player gets 3 blips.

The marine player has two powerful blocking tools - the flamer and force barrier. Ive played it about 5 times, and i have seen the stealer player win once, but that was with absurdly good luck and a terrible error on the marine players part. When you just blitz down the middle, the librarian can pretty much always make it out before he hits 0 psi points.

force barrier blocking intersections at front, flames blocking the rear, extre psi points to kill the few that get in your way. zoom zoom.
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Gabriel Nilsson
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I'm not basing my opinion on the games played as much as on my analysis of the map.

You can play it like this, for example:

Setup
Librarian in the front with the artefact. Then two guys with storm bolters. Then the last two guys, in any order. You won't need them.

First turn
Move three steps forward with Librarian (always shooting of course), then go diagonally. The next guy take two steps forward, shoots on his third AP and then goes diagonally. The third guy just shoots four times. That's ten shots at the doors. After that you use all command points for moving the Librarian through the corridor. It is extremely unlikely that the first door is still standing, and you'll probably take out a few more. The Librarian should not have to spend any extra points on opening or breaking doors in close combat. Spend a psi point on Prescience and get an extra move.

The Genestealers move their two blips.

Second turn
Keep on moving and shooting with the Librarian. If there are doors or Genestealers ahead, move diagonally out of the way at the end of your normal move or by spending some CPs, then shoot with the storm bolter guy in the back. If anything still stands, move the other storm bolter guy into the line and shoot three times with him as well. Then move the Librarian forwards again. Use Prescience for an extra move. On average he's moved 16-17 squares by now. It could be 12 though, with bad luck.

The Genestealers get a new blip and move whatever remains of their troops. It's theoretically possible (if the Librarian has moved 22 squares forwards) that one Genestealer can reach him head on now, but it is nothing he needs to fear. Genestealers moving in from the side corridors cannot reach him.

Third turn
Again, if something's alive ahead, move the Librarian ouf of sight and shoot with the guys in the back. Then keep moving ahead with the Librarian. Don't end the move on a crossroad or facing a wall, anywhere else is fine. If there are Genestealers or blips coming from the sides that can reach you, put up a Force Barrier behind the Librarian, otherwise, use Prescience and move. Theoretically, you can win on this turn, but most likeley you've moved about 24 squares.

The Genestealers cry a little, then move up some more cannon fodder. Again, there could be some close combat, but it's unlikely.

The last few turns
Somewhere around here the Librarian reaches the entrance to the door with the exit. Once he's out of the way, the guys in the back can shoot a little if they like to, before you put up the Force Barrier again and just walk out to victory.


Ok, in theory, you could miss all your dozens of shots and roll ones in close combat all the time, but it's just extremely unlikely that the Space Marine player will have much trouble using this strategy ... unless, as I said, I've missed something obvious.

Have I?

What if the Genestealer player puts a blip at one of the leftmost entrances and go for your support crew? Well, the Genestealers won't reach your guys until the third turn, and by then the Librarian should be close to his goal, with even less opposition to worry about.

I can't think of anything the Genestealers can do to cause any real trouble.


(EDIT: Fixed bold text mistake.)
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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The wonderful thing about theory is that, in practice, it usually goes all to hell.

You ask what you are missing... I have to say again, you're missing a decent stealer player.

This tactic you have detailed seems to work fine if the stealers stand in the open picking their noses in front of your gunline.

I can't really comment more without giving your theory a whirl, which I intend to do as soon as I get time.
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Henri Harju
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
The wonderful thing about theory is that, in practice, it usually goes all to hell.

You ask what you are missing... I have to say again, you're missing a decent stealer player.

This tactic you have detailed seems to work fine if the stealers stand in the open picking their noses in front of your gunline.

I can't really comment more without giving your theory a whirl, which I intend to do as soon as I get time.
No it doesn't. This scenario is simply un-winnable to the Genestealer player. I have played it 2 times (and soloed 2 times, too, just to confirm) and I don't see how the librarian rush tactic could be prevented. The marines win on turn 4 or 5 every time and that is just way too fast.

The thing is that the Librarian can block any of the 3 entry paths to the center section with a force barrier. Flamer can block the other and usually the claws marine blocks the last. Not that it matters because the first 2 blocks buy enough time already..
 
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Gabriel Nilsson
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Carbon Copy, look at the distance the Genestealers have to travel to reach the Librarian head on. Once the doors are gone they will have to move seven squares in his LoS before they can dodge out of the way, so they will definitely be doing some nosepicking. If they use the side entrances they won't reach him in time, and even if they reach him, he has his Force Barrier for protection.
 
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Anders Pedersen
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Interesting.
When I first read the mission, I was under the impression the Librarian could not even carry the object.
The mission distinguishes between a Librarian and a Marine, stating a Marine has to leave the map with the object.
But reading the rules for objects, there seems to be not limitation. It's even possible for a Genestealer to carry it!

Looking at mission 11, neither the Sergeant nor the Librarian are able to make the tissue sample required. This is a bit odd, if they are able to carry an object. They are however referred to as Marines.

Maybe this is an oversight in the rules? After all they are the only models with both hands full. In the Space Hulk novel a Marine, picking up an object, has to power down his weapon to carry it.

This could actually be worth placing in the FAQ.

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Gabriel Nilsson
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I thought about that too. It's vague. Clarification would be nice.

Assuming the Librarian can't carry the object, you have to change the strategy a bit. You could go with the Librarian first and have the carrier second, which means that you have to move slightly slower, dividing the CPs between the two. Still, it shouldn't be much of a problem. Or you could race ahead with the carrier, and have the Librarian behind, putting up Force Barriers from afar. There's little risk for close combat anyway, if you shoot a dozen of shots down the corridor every turn.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Neontek wrote:
RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
The wonderful thing about theory is that, in practice, it usually goes all to hell.

You ask what you are missing... I have to say again, you're missing a decent stealer player.


It's bizarre to see SHfanboys come up with this stuff. Especially if they destroy their own claims, adding that they haven't even tested the mission.

Space Hulk is not balanced. Its mission never were, and that is also the main flaw of the game.

RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
I can't really comment more without giving your theory a whirl, which I intend to do as soon as I get time.


I am not a fanboy. I find that term offensive.

You have completely misunderstood my post in your haste to get all fired up about something.

I have played this mission, just not the technique described. I also looked at the map, and considered the technique given, and it seems like it can be easily beaten by making use of the rooms at the end of the map. I couldn’t comment further, until I tested the technique, which I hope to do this evening because, as I said, often the way things look on the map are different once you are in the game.
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David Jackman
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:

I have played this mission, just not the technique described. I also looked at the map, and considered the technique given, and it seems like it can be easily beaten by making use of the rooms at the end of the map. I couldn’t comment further, until I tested the technique, which I hope to do this evening because, as I said, often the way things look on the map are different once you are in the game.

I agree that filling the objective room with stealers is likely the best bet on stopping the rush. But it still isnt exactly perfect.

In one play, the GS player had 4 stealers in the room. 3 of them were in the three spots that the librarian would have to traverse, so he couldnt just motor around them with CPs for the win.

Well, firstly, just make sure you can flame behind the librarian once he is in the room so his flank is secure, and he is alone in the room.

Between moving forward and firing and psi storm (which, granted, all rely on dice rolls) he will get 4 shots from firing and can psi storm to get an additional 4+ shot at each stealer in the room. The librarian can simply stay in the doorway, with flame to his back, while firing. That way, even if he doesnt kill any of them, he can pump the last of his psi points into obliterating them in melee. He will have no chance of being flanked due to due to his truly awesome promethium backdrop.

The main problem with the map - 29 squares. That is all that the head guy has to move to win. assuming you roll REALLY badly on your caps, you could move the head guy 7 each turn(that assumes you get a 2 + 1 from librarian ability).

7 * 4 = 28. after the marine 4th turn, he will be at the doorstep to winning.

in that time, the GS player will have 4 blips. 2 of which will have actually had 3 turns, therefore the ability to get inside the room. The third blip is within 1 turn of being effective, and the fourth one just came on the board and still needs 2 turns before he can get any place that matters.

I'm not attacking you in any way - you bring up some good points. But this missions feels like it could be more fun - The idea of a bunch of jammed doors that the marines have to slog through under increasing attack is so cool, but if you line them all up in one big shooting lane, they dont have that effect.

Cheers!

 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Saan wrote:
RedMonkeyBoy wrote:

I have played this mission, just not the technique described. I also looked at the map, and considered the technique given, and it seems like it can be easily beaten by making use of the rooms at the end of the map. I couldn’t comment further, until I tested the technique, which I hope to do this evening because, as I said, often the way things look on the map are different once you are in the game.

I agree that filling the objective room with stealers is likely the best bet on stopping the rush. But it still isnt exactly perfect.

In one play, the GS player had 4 stealers in the room. 3 of them were in the three spots that the librarian would have to traverse, so he couldnt just motor around them with CPs for the win.

Well, firstly, just make sure you can flame behind the librarian once he is in the room so his flank is secure, and he is alone in the room.

Between moving forward and firing and psi storm (which, granted, all rely on dice rolls) he will get 4 shots from firing and can psi storm to get an additional 4+ shot at each stealer in the room. The librarian can simply stay in the doorway, with flame to his back, while firing. That way, even if he doesnt kill any of them, he can pump the last of his psi points into obliterating them in melee. He will have no chance of being flanked due to due to his truly awesome promethium backdrop.

The main problem with the map - 29 squares. That is all that the head guy has to move to win. assuming you roll REALLY badly on your caps, you could move the head guy 7 each turn(that assumes you get a 2 + 1 from librarian ability).

7 * 4 = 28. after the marine 4th turn, he will be at the doorstep to winning.

in that time, the GS player will have 4 blips. 2 of which will have actually had 3 turns, therefore the ability to get inside the room. The third blip is within 1 turn of being effective, and the fourth one just came on the board and still needs 2 turns before he can get any place that matters.

I'm not attacking you in any way - you bring up some good points. But this missions feels like it could be more fun - The idea of a bunch of jammed doors that the marines have to slog through under increasing attack is so cool, but if you line them all up in one big shooting lane, they dont have that effect.

Cheers!


Hi - I'm afraid although I did get some games in tonight I didn't get to play this mission using the technique described, so I still can't say either way if I think the "RUN!" tactic is sound. Using the flamer makes good sense, but it still feels like good positioning of stealers in both of the rooms and in the corridor, while leaving a few stealers at the sides for distraction could prevent a marine win. However, I could be totally wrong

I have had a fair marine success rate on this mission, but never thought to just run for it with the librarian. I am really interested to give the technique a try.

Hopefully I will have time for a quick game tomorrow and I will see for myself. There's every chance I am the one who has been missing the trick.
 
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Kris Vezner
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I am big on winning missions by just pushing a key marine forward. Before reading this thread, I had read this mission and thought that the Librarian rush is exactly what I would do. Statistically, you're out on turn four. I also don't see a way that the genestealers can really win against the Librarian rush, the force barrier is just too good.

I'll wait to hear what others who have played this have said.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Okay - I couldn't find an opponent this evening, but I really wanted to try the technique so I played through solo. Playing solo isn't the best idea because perfect knowledge of the blips and what the marines intend to do means both sides tend to play a bit "dumb" and no tactics ever take the "opponent" by surprise.

Anyway - I played three times, and...

I *may* have been wrong blush

I'm not prepared to say this mission is broken yet (three times with the technique with perfect knowledge of how many stealers were on the board isn't enough proof for me), but the mission is definitely not quite what it should be. The doors being lined up is definitely not a clever map design.

My first game, stupidly good dice rolls meant there were no doors in the central corridor by the end of the first turn. My starting blip was basically stranded "picking its nose" and got shot to pieces. By the time the librarian was through the maze he was able to block of reinforcement stealers and made it out with about 17 psi points left. Shocking defeat.

Second game, the doors were slightly more resilient but were still all gone by the end of marine turn 2. I brought in stealers from the sides and actually managed to put up a bit of a fight. Basically, I revealed a 3-stealer blip, which put the lead stealer five spaces away from the librarian instead of six, close enough to attack him in the back. The librarian didn't die, but he lost his overwatch, which allowed a few stealers to take up residence in the rooms by the exit. In his next turn, the librarian psi-blasted the room and wiped out 3 stealers with lucky dice rolls. Then he strolled out.

Third game, I was pissed off. I started with 2 blips, and brought in 2 blips per turn. I started stealers in the nearest entry points, and while the librarian was running, I wiped out the rest of the squad behind him. The librarian made it out anyway, but it took a few psi blasts and a couple of close assaults.

So - three marine wins.

My rolling for shooting doors was very good, but the unlimited range of bolters makes the removal of doors to easy.

What am I saying..? I'm saying I may be wrong about this map. I honestly never thought of running the librarian through at the expense of the rest of the troops. I guess my marine instincts (set up covering fire, guard side entrances) kicked in and blinded me to a very handy strategy.

I think the easiest way to "fix" the potential break, is to remove the middle crossroads and replace it with a T-junction so that there is a wall facing the marines about halfway across the board - this breaks up the LOS and forces the librarian to stroll around a few corners rather than making a straight-line dash.

By the way... in no way am I admitting I was definitely wrong about this map. Okay? I wasn't DEFINITELY wrong... I may have been a bit wrong. But I still haven't played enough with the technique. I'm not admitting anything.

Okay?

Okay?

soblue
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Gabriel Nilsson
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I hear you, RedMonkeyBoy.

Overwatch with the Librarian isn't part of my version of the rush strategy, however. That's two lost steps. And all possibility of flank-attacks should be eliminated with Force Barrier (or possibly the flamer, if you tweak my strategy a bit).

If you play it right with the bolter support crew you get at least 11 shots down the hallway every turn. (The first turn you get at least 12, and the second turn you should get at least 13, I think, unless those first two doors somehow manages to survive before the Librarian reaches them.) You can get as many as 19 some turns.

In most cases, the Genestealers will be mowed down before they reach the room with the exit.


The T-junction idea is one of the things I've considered as improvements to the map. If anyone has the time to try that, I'd be interested in hearing about the results.
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David Jackman
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Hehe - it isnt obvious at first. But the mission just doesnt work.

My idea for this mission - Make jammed doors SUPER jammed, and can only be destroyed in melee. That might make the game playable by itself.

If that isnt enough, i would make it so the doors are only destroyable in melee, AND take 2 APs to attack.

Keep the theme that way. Next time i play it i am going to try this.

Any thoughts?
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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I know overwatch isn’t part of the strategy as written, but situations sometimes arise that mean you have to do something a bit different - you can’t follow the plan when it puts you in proper danger. In this case, several genestealers had managed to make it into the side rooms, and all were in striking range of the librarian (who had made it through the maze section by then). He had used a power that turn, so rather than advance any further which would have enabled the stealers to take approximately a potential 4-6ish close assault attacks on him, he went into overwatch. As it happens, a miscalculation meant he was in strike range from behind and lost overwatch status but survived the close assaults easily anyway.

I may try with t-junctions instead of crossroads this evening.
 
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Robert Corn
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
I know overwatch isn’t part of the strategy as written, but situations sometimes arise that mean you have to do something a bit different - you can’t follow the plan when it puts you in proper danger. In this case, several genestealers had managed to make it into the side rooms, and all were in striking range of the librarian (who had made it through the maze section by then). He had used a power that turn, so rather than advance any further which would have enabled the stealers to take approximately a potential 4-6ish close assault attacks on him, he went into overwatch. As it happens, a miscalculation meant he was in strike range from behind and lost overwatch status but survived the close assaults easily anyway.

I may try with t-junctions instead of crossroads this evening.
He survived an attack from behind? Good rolling!
 
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Gabriel Nilsson
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
As it happens, a miscalculation meant he was in strike range from behind and lost overwatch status but survived the close assaults easily anyway.

Miscalculations aren't part of the strategy either!

RedMonkeyBoy wrote:

I may try with t-junctions instead of crossroads this evening.

That's great!
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Chakroun Karim
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I'm far from being a Space Hulk expert (I usually lose both as GS and SM in the same mission), but I love the game and have the "Campaigns" book. The Mission 8 comes from the "Delaying Action" mission in Campaigns (p.74). 3 things make it easier to the SM in Mission 8 :
1- there's no Librarian on the Space Marine roster. The SM forces are :
-Captain with Power Sword, power fist with grenade launcher, and storm bolter
-Space Marine with heavy flamer
-Space Marine with assault cannon
-Space Marine with lightning claws
-Space Marine with Chainfist

2- the 5 "Jammed Doors" are "Bulkheads", that can only be destroyed in close assault on a roll of 6.

3- the GS player can use ambush counters.

I think the best thing would be to play the jammed doors as bulkheads.
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Gabriel Nilsson
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carthaginian wrote:

-Captain with Power Sword, power fist with grenade launcher, and storm bolter

How does the grenade launcher work? Is it powerful here?

carthaginian wrote:

2- the 5 "Jammed Doors" are "Bulkheads", that can only be destroyed in close assault on a roll of 6.

Why on earth did they change that?

carthaginian wrote:

3- the GS player can use ambush counters.

I'm unfamiliar with those too. How do they work?
 
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Chakroun Karim
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Monstrum wrote:
carthaginian wrote:

-Captain with Power Sword, power fist with grenade launcher, and storm bolter

How does the grenade launcher work? Is it powerful here?

GRENADE LAUNCHER
Each Captain is equipped with a special power glove incorporating a small, rapid-firing grenade launcher. Grenade launchers can fire a grenade at a cost of 1 AP at any square in the Captain’s LOS and arc of fire, up to a range of 8 squares.
They fire only plasma grenades, which affect an entire board section in much the same way as a heavy flamer, except that the effect is instantaneous. The Marine player rolls one dice for each model in the section with the target square. The scores required for a kill are : Genestealer 4, Door 5, Marine 6.

They have 10 Shots and cannot be reloaded.

Quote:
carthaginian wrote:

2- the 5 "Jammed Doors" are "Bulkheads", that can only be destroyed in close assault on a roll of 6.

Why on earth did they change that?

carthaginian wrote:

3- the GS player can use ambush counters.

I'm unfamiliar with those too. How do they work?
you can only use them if both players are ok. The Genestealer player gets two ambush counters with a blank back, and 6(?) ambush results (4 "false alarm", 2 representing one genestealer) that are put in a cup. You can place the ambush counters anywhere on the board if it's more than 6 spaces away from a space marine, and out of his LOS. When it has to be converted you draw from the cup and apply the result. A great way to spook the SM player.
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Gabriel Nilsson
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Ok.
If the map was balanced when these rules and troops were used, I suspect it won't be enough just to turn the jammed doors into bulkheads. I think I'll try the map with some corridors shortened, so that the Genestealers can reach the central parts of the map faster.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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I won't get to try a new layout until the weekend now (damn real life getting in the way, but this is the layout I was planning on using for that central "maze" area of the board if anyone wants to give it a shot before I do (haven't checked if the game contains enough corner sections yet, so fingers crossed):

(O is a space, D is a space with a door, J a space with a jammed door):

XXXXXXXXXOXXXXX
XXXOOOOXXOOOOXX
XXXOXXJXXXXXOXX
XXXOXXOXXXXXOXX
OODOXXOOOOOJOJOO
XXXOXXOXXXXXOXX
XXXOXXJXXXXXOXX
XXXOOOOXXOOOOXX
XXXXXXXXXOXXXXX


Sorry if that's not so clear. You might be able to see I have basically made it so that if the stealers want to get behind the marines in the early part of the board then they will have to use the first two entry points. This might make the map less fun because the stealers will not be able to scurry around the maze section so much - but it does force the librarian to do a lot more walking (also approaching several doors that he will not be able to use move and shoot actions to get through).

We'll see...
 
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Gabriel Nilsson
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I have an idea on how to keep the scurrying opportunities, but I'll try to make a proper map. Ascii maps make my head hurt ...
 
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