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Subject: A list of Mission problems & fixes rss

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Branko K.
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I'm trying to create a document which will list all the best "fixes" for the missions in the game (perhaps even before playing them a single time). The reason being that I saw how painfully dull some missions can turn out to be even if you are not aware of the actual strategy that "breaks" the mission. I thought it would be nice to have a nice single paper in the box which would right away propose the "fix" (and reason for it) so you can have a better gameplay experience right from the get-go.

So currently I have this list ("fixes" are taken from various threads, mostly given by people who seem to know what they're talking about, most notably RedMonkeyBoy):

Mission 1:Suicide Mission
Problem: Too difficult for the marine player if it is his first mission ever.

Fix: 1 blip reinforcement instead of two. No changes necessary if the marine is experienced enough.


Mission 2:Exterminate
Problem: No incentive for marines to be on the move; may result in an ugly tie if the marine succesfully "digs in" the middle.

Fix 1: Stealers are not limited. Marines have to block the entrance points to win. After blocking the remaining forces must be erradicated.

Fix 2: Broodlord is in play, entered via one lone "2" blip thrown into the mix. No other changes.

Fix 3: Marines are under the timer, which ticks each turn marines do not kill a stealer. Marines have 20 ticks available (use the Librarian track). Marines need either to kill all stealers OR plug the entrances.


Mission 6: Defend
Problem: Three marines in overwatch can very easily defend the goal room.

Fix: In addition to "no sustained overwatch" you also use 1st ed "unjamming" (e.g. no ability to automatically return to overwatch).


Mission 8: Escape Route
Problem: Mission easily winnable for the marines by using the "Librarian rush" strategy as discussed here.

Fix 1: Librarian is a bit spent. Throw 1d6. This is how many psi points Librarian has in the beginning of the mission.

Fix 2: Change the map so the doors aren't all placed in the straight line (check out the already linked thread for RedMonkeyBoy's plan).

Fix 3: Doors are reinforced. You can only destroy doors using close combat.


All the fixes are mutually exclusive, meaning that most of the time you should choose one option only. I'll try to update the list from time to time and would be thankful for any kind of suggestions/proposals for what I should add or remove etc. Cheers!


P.S. I don't want to impose the opinion that these missions are broken in any way or start an argument about it. This list should be only for people who find some missions unsatisfactory as they come out-of-the-box for some reason or another. But if you think I *really* misjudged a mission and can argument it, please tell so and I'll remove it or at least put in a reason why the fix is perhaps completely unnecessary.

Edit: Things always look better when you put in some color.
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baba44713 wrote:
Mission 2:Exterminate
Problem: No incentive for marines to be on the move; may result in an ugly tie if the marine succesfully "digs in" the middle.

Fix 1: Stealers are not limited. Marines have to block the entrance points to win.


Let me add, that a great "fix" for this mission is to allow the Stealer limit, but if the Marines block the entrances, they also have to eliminate all the Stealers already on the board. That adds a significant twist on Marine management.
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Brent Lloyd
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bryanwinter wrote:
baba44713 wrote:
Mission 2:Exterminate
Problem: No incentive for marines to be on the move; may result in an ugly tie if the marine succesfully "digs in" the middle.

Fix 1: Stealers are not limited. Marines have to block the entrance points to win.


Let me add, that a great "fix" for this mission is to allow the Stealer limit, but if the Marines block the entrances, they also have to eliminate all the Stealers already on the board. That adds a significant twist on Marine management.


I assume you include a rule to prevent the stalemate happening?

The problem with this Scenario is both players can get in a position where neither want to move because if they do they lose...resulting in a stalemate.

Peace
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Gergely Orsó
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Well, how about the following overall fix for the missions:

Mission X: Defend the extermination of the suicide escape route
Problem: Players declare the missions with above the avarge difficulty as broken, and go on to housrule the hell out of them.

Fix: Players should actually try harder to beat the missions.

Seriously, no offence ment, but I can't believe how many threads already are about the missions being unplayably hard for one side or the other. Ok, there are cases when something is underplaytested and leads to the discovery of loopholes and "cheats", but I refuse to believe that this game is playtested that said problems can be discovered in a FEW WEEKS after it hits the shelves.
My opinion is that these missions are meant to be a challange. I have only played the first 3 missions so far, so I cannot really say what's up with the other missions mentioned here, but:
- mission one is doable, once you figure it out
- mission 2 is actually rather fun with the normal rules if the players are willing to actually have fun instead of playing a 2 turn game that ends in a draw.

Oh, the obligatory fire extinguisher: this is just my humble opinion, and I obviously say this with tounge-in-cheek, and if you folk like house rules, then enjoy the game to the fullest! Just wanted to present a different opinion, and relay the message to new players that this game can be a lot of fun without any tweaks as well.
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Branko K.
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Can you please read this line again? Thank you.

baba44713 wrote:
This list should be only for people who find some missions unsatisfactory as they come out-of-the-box for some reason or another.


I would also like to point out that you are in the Variants forum. If you want to start a long-winded "House rules are not necessary, have fun people!" thread I will please ask you to do that in your own post, or at least switch to a subforum which is not based exclusively around house rules and where your comments will not be found nothing but inflammatory.

Edit: Btw, are you the same guy who wrote this about Mission 2?

Lord Vetinari wrote:
Played for the first time just now. The GS have won, but the sergant died after the 4th attack, in the same turn when the cannon-guy malfunctioned. Even so, this was a close one. Not 100% broken per se, but could use some house rules anyway...

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Tony Lin
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Okay, as a minmaxer, I don't think Option 3 for "Exterminate" would work:

"Fix 3: Marines are under the timer, which ticks each turn marines do not kill a stealer. Marines have 20 ticks available (use the Librarian track)."

As the Stealer player, why not just lurk for 20 turns? Not fun, but it would be a victory.

FWIW, I thought the idea of "6 turns of 3, 6 turns of 2, and then 1 per turn thereafter" was a pretty good one.
 
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Snuff wrote:
Okay, as a minmaxer, I don't think Option 3 for "Exterminate" would work:

"Fix 3: Marines are under the timer, which ticks each turn marines do not kill a stealer. Marines have 20 ticks available (use the Librarian track)."

As the Stealer player, why not just lurk for 20 turns? Not fun, but it would be a victory.

FWIW, I thought the idea of "6 turns of 3, 6 turns of 2, and then 1 per turn thereafter" was a pretty good one.


Because very plainly it is noted that you cannot lurk on this mission. If you would be forced to do so then you cannot spawn but you cannot activly choose to lurk in exterminate.
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Kevin Outlaw
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Nice list (and I don't just say that because you name-checked me, although of course that helps and earns you a modest GG boost and a thumb )

Coming up with variants and new rules is half the fun of Space Hulk (the core rules are so simple, it is so damn easy to come up with fun new stuff to try). It's good to have everyone's ideas in a common thread.

Regardless of what people say, certain tactics and play styles can ruin certain maps as they are laid out in the mission book. Once you have worked out those tactics (particularly the librarian sprint in the mission where he has to get the artefact off the board) then the only way to keep the missions fun is to come up with other ideas.

Nice work. Keep adding to the list, please.
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Kevin Outlaw
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Lord Vetinari wrote:

My opinion is that these missions are meant to be a challange. I have only played the first 3 missions so far, so I cannot really say what's up with the other missions mentioned here, but:
- mission one is doable, once you figure it out
- mission 2 is actually rather fun with the normal rules if the players are willing to actually have fun instead of playing a 2 turn game that ends in a draw.


This is an interesting comment actually.

I actually think mission one is fine - but the variant listed is for those who are new the game (or even just new to the marines) and not for more experienced players.

And really, there isn't much difference in mission 2 between saying "Marines MUST block the stealer entry points to win" and "Both players must play aggressively." Both ways you are dictating how people will play.


(And by the way, I also posted a thread a while back with a different layout for mission VIII if anyone is interested:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/446372 blush )

(Oh, and here is a variant for the Pitfall mission that I posted so long ago I had forgotten about it until now:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/441644 )

(I promise I'll stop posting links now... Probably.)
 
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Kris Vezner
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Great list, thank you!

baba44713 wrote:
Mission 2:Exterminate
Problem: No incentive for marines to be on the move; may result in an ugly tie if the marine succesfully "digs in" the middle.

Fix 1: Stealers are not limited. Marines have to block the entrance points to win.

Fix 2: Broodlord is in play, entered via one lone "2" blip thrown into the mix.

Fix 3: Marines are under the timer, which ticks each turn marines do not kill a stealer. Marines have 20 ticks available (use the Librarian track).


Now fix 3, that is interesting. You'd need playtesting to see if 20 ticks is the right number. You might want to force quicker Marine action with 15 or even 10 ticks. But only playtesting would tell you that.

Re fix 2, I don't have an opinion on this but am just curious, why do you only have one blip that can turn into the Broodlord?

Quote:
Mission 8: Escape Route
Problem: Mission easily winnable for the marines by using the "Librarian rush" strategy as discussed here.

Fix 1: Librarian is a bit spent. Throw 1d6. This is how many psi points Librarian has in the beginning of the mission.

Fix 2: Change the map so the doors aren't all placed in the straight line (check out the already linked thread for RedMonkeyBoy's plan).

Fix 3: Doors are reinforced. You can only destroy doors using close combat.


I said this on the thread that you link to, but I feel that turning jammed doors into "reinforced doors" won't make much of a difference. That will cost the rushing Librarian an extra 3 AP/CP and an average of 4.5 (say 5) psi points, buying the genestealers at most another turn and an insufficient reduction in the Librarian's pool of psi points. Even turning all the doors on the board into reinforced doors probably still won't be enough.
 
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Abdul Rahman Ibrahim
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I don't think a draw happens in mission 2. The mission book clearly states that the marines have to kill off all genestealers or block off all entries. In the case of a stalemate, the stealers win by default. Unless someone can quote from the mission book otherwise that lets a stalemate happen (I don't have my book with me, so I'm not sure).
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Branko K.
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kvezner wrote:
Now fix 3, that is interesting. You'd need playtesting to see if 20 ticks is the right number. You might want to force quicker Marine action with 15 or even 10 ticks. But only playtesting would tell you that.


I agree this needs playtesting. I don't think 20 is merely convenient because of the Librarian track, I also think that too few ticks could perhaps make it too easy for the GS to win by simply running away with a lone Genestealer. 20 ticks should enforce aggresive playstyle by the marines but also leave enough time to hunt down the remaining stealers OR plug the entrances.


kvezner wrote:

Re fix 2, I don't have an opinion on this but am just curious, why do you only have one blip that can turn into the Broodlord?


Well this wasn't really *my* fix, but I would wager the reason is that Broodlord is considered a "reinforcement, so you don't have to sacrifice 3 of your limited genestealers for him. However the more practical reason for the "2" blip is that there's no danger of forgetting to put the big baddie on the board if you convert all 9 "3" blips beforehand.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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The broodlord variant was mine.

There are plenty of reasons for adding a 2-blip and using that.

First of all, broodlord normally turns up on any 3-blip you choose, but in this game you only get nine 1 blips and nine 3 blips. Not using a 3 blip means you don't lose three valuable stealers, it also means you remember to use the broodlord before you expend all of your 3-blips.

Also, it is to weaken the broodlord a little. Usually the marines would have a librarian to kick him around, but in this mission only the assault cannon has a real chance of killing him. If you could convert any 3-blip, you could sap the assault cannon, then bring on the broodlord pretty much wherever you chose and run amok. By having a specific blip that both players know to look out for, you have to actually get that blip into a strong position to use it properly.

Also, if the marine player knows there is one blip he really doesn't want his opponent to have, then he is encouraged to rush and seal the entry points before the blip is drawn either to prevent the broodlord turning up, or to narrow his options of entry onto the board (i.e. forcing him to stand in front of the assault cannon). If the stealer could convert any 3 blip then the marines would be more inclined to bed down in the strongest defensive position available.
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As already mentioned - you should first try to find better tactics. If still feel unbalanced - the easiest way is to add more GS blips in first round. If you then, later, find a better tactic it easy to go back and reduce GS blips.

With more complicated solutions it is hard to back track and come back to the original scenario.
 
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Branko K.
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Umm... are some people actually reading the entire original post, or simply answering after reading the first few sentences?

Quick recap: this sentence is NOT in it:

"The missions are too hard. These are the fixes which make them easier."

so please strop replying to this thread if it is the only thing you somehow read.

I appreciate any kind of feedback, but really, please address the concrete issue, enough with the "try to play better" advices. I *get* it, you like the game as-is, great, but please at least READ what the list about is and who is it intended for before posting. I tried to clearly spell out what the perceived "problem" with missions that are listed is and the fix is closely related to THAT particular problem. So if someone agrees that that particular mission has that particular problem, the list gives a handy way to "fix" it. If you think one of those problems is non-existing, please say so (for instance if the Librarian rush strategy is easily evaded, feel free to explain how and I'll remove the Mission 8 entry). Generalized advices are duly noted, but are utterly unnecessary.

In short, these are variants for people who want them not a discussion whether they should or should not be wanted at all. That's why this thread is in the Variants subforum. I would happily join such a discussion if someone starts it in the General subforum, but would really really like if this thread kept its focus.

Thanks in advance.
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almond55 wrote:
I don't think a draw happens in mission 2. The mission book clearly states that the marines have to kill off all genestealers or block off all entries. In the case of a stalemate, the stealers win by default. Unless someone can quote from the mission book otherwise that lets a stalemate happen (I don't have my book with me, so I'm not sure).


The mission book also clearly states that the Genestealer wins if he destroys the Space Marine squad without being wiped out first.

The Victory conditions do not state the Genestealer player wins by default in the case of a stalemate. The Victory conditions, for example, in Mission 6 do state that the Genestealer would win if the Marines do not accomplish their Victory conditions. Even Mission 3 uses the "Otherwise the Genestealers win".

In Games I have played there has been strong defensive positions taken by both players. Whom ever came out of their position first would lose the game because it would result in their elimination. Thereby giving the other person the win because of the way the victory conditions are written.

You could put forward that the title of the mission, the set up and the spirit of the mission imply that a stalemate results in a Genestealer win...but thats not what the victory conditions clearly state.

Peace
 
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eker wrote:
As already mentioned - you should first try to find better tactics. If still feel unbalanced - the easiest way is to add more GS blips in first round. If you then, later, find a better tactic it easy to go back and reduce GS blips.

With more complicated solutions it is hard to back track and come back to the original scenario.


I think you are missing the point a little here.

Your reaction was much the same as mine when I was first told about he librarian rush for mission 8. I confidently laughed and said if the genestealer player is good enough then the rush tactic will fail. Then I tested the tactic... a lot. And the genestealers couldn't win. I increased the number of blips, but it didn't help. The tactic really does seem to be almost unbeatable (assuming the marine does not have stupid bad luck throughout).

The changes suggested resolve that problem. Simple changes on the map are all that's needed, and the game becomes more fun. Sometimes the maps just need help.

And sometimes no amount of tactics will help you... I posted a variant for Pitfall above because you get 4 marines in that mission, and then at the end of the mission both players roll a dice and the marine player adds the total number of marines he got off the board. If his total is higher than the stealer's then he wins. What tactics can you employ for a game rule that basically says no matter how good you are, if you roll a 1 and the genestealer rolls a 6, you will lose? This mission obviously needed a fix.

The Decoy level is similar. I recently, played this level as the marines and I played perfectly to begin with. I lost a few marines at the end, but got four off the board (including the thunder hammer sarge). It was the longest game of Space Hulk I have ever played, clocking in at about 1 hour 15 mins. And I got four marines home safe... But the rules state I have to roll a dice to see if I won. I rolled a 6, losing the game because 6 was higher than the four marines I had saved. So all my hard work, all my tactics, were negated by a single bad roll.

I would suggest Decoy needs a change along the lines of, if you can get 3 marines safe (sargeants count as 2) then you win and do not need to roll. If you get less than 3 off the board, then you roll as normal, and lose if you roll higher than the number of marines you saved (or it is classed as a stealer win, whichever you prefer). It's a very small change, but you don't feel cheated by a stupid game mechanic.
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Tom

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I haven't played mission 8 yet, but perhaps a quick fix is to sub out the librarian for a different marine?
 
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TKTK wrote:
I haven't played mission 8 yet, but perhaps a quick fix is to sub out the librarian for a different marine?


When I get the chance I will play mission 8 with Sgt. Lorenzo instead of the Librarian AND replace the jammed doors with "bulkheads" that must be destroyed in close combat. A "Lorenzo rush" tactic would be weaker than the Librarian rush, but I think it would be strong enough for almost certain victory if you don't change anything else. Most likely nothing will survive in the Corridor of Death, and you can protect Lorenzo's back with the flamer. I think.
 
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Branko K.
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Removing the Librarian seems like a too drastic option to me. I prefer fixes that create only slight tweaks to the scenarios. Also, many people wouldn't probably welcome if you take away the Librarian from them, he's kinda fun to play with.

The "misaligned corridor" fix feels much better to me. Sure you mess with the mep - a big no-no for many people, I'm sure - but the core of the scenario is left intact. And I have yet to see a session report where one plays with the tweaked map and still manages to consistently win so cheaply as the current version allows you to ...


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Monstrum wrote:
TKTK wrote:
I haven't played mission 8 yet, but perhaps a quick fix is to sub out the librarian for a different marine?


When I get the chance I will play mission 8 with Sgt. Lorenzo instead of the Librarian AND replace the jammed doors with "bulkheads" that must be destroyed in close combat. A "Lorenzo rush" tactic would be weaker than the Librarian rush, but I think it would be strong enough for almost certain victory if you don't change anything else. Most likely nothing will survive in the Corridor of Death, and you can protect Lorenzo's back with the flamer. I think.


Seems a shame to lose the librarian. He’s so cool.

Also worth remembering that as soon as you introduce the sergeant you get a CP redraw, and that makes the rush move even more powerful.
 
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Thanks!

Keep it up...

Owll
 
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
Monstrum wrote:
TKTK wrote:
I haven't played mission 8 yet, but perhaps a quick fix is to sub out the librarian for a different marine?


When I get the chance I will play mission 8 with Sgt. Lorenzo instead of the Librarian AND replace the jammed doors with "bulkheads" that must be destroyed in close combat. A "Lorenzo rush" tactic would be weaker than the Librarian rush, but I think it would be strong enough for almost certain victory if you don't change anything else. Most likely nothing will survive in the Corridor of Death, and you can protect Lorenzo's back with the flamer. I think.


Seems a shame to lose the librarian. He’s so cool.

Also worth remembering that as soon as you introduce the sergeant you get a CP redraw, and that makes the rush move even more powerful.


Well without having played I can't know for sure, but it seems the problem is the Librarians force axe. If all he has to do is run through a level, the stealers will never have enough time to hit him enough to drain those psi points; he's sort of invulnerable.

With any other marine, even Gideon, there's a chance of taking him out in one close assault.
 
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TKTK wrote:
RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
Monstrum wrote:
TKTK wrote:
I haven't played mission 8 yet, but perhaps a quick fix is to sub out the librarian for a different marine?


When I get the chance I will play mission 8 with Sgt. Lorenzo instead of the Librarian AND replace the jammed doors with "bulkheads" that must be destroyed in close combat. A "Lorenzo rush" tactic would be weaker than the Librarian rush, but I think it would be strong enough for almost certain victory if you don't change anything else. Most likely nothing will survive in the Corridor of Death, and you can protect Lorenzo's back with the flamer. I think.


Seems a shame to lose the librarian. He’s so cool.

Also worth remembering that as soon as you introduce the sergeant you get a CP redraw, and that makes the rush move even more powerful.


Well without having played I can't know for sure, but it seems the problem is the Librarians force axe. If all he has to do is run through a level, the stealers will never have enough time to hit him enough to drain those psi points; he's sort of invulnerable.

With any other marine, even Gideon, there's a chance of taking him out in one close assault.


Force axe isn't the problem at all. You'll be very unlucky if you even need to use it - close assault doesn't happen on this level, and the only reason to use psi points is to give yourself one extra CP each turn (while redrawing the CP each turn with the sarge will probably be even better).

The problem with the level is by the end of the first turn you will have destroyed ALL of the jammed doors. You can then give every single CP to your sarge, who performs repeated move and shoot actions straight down the middle, ensuring no stealers are even in a position to attack him because they have to walk a VERY long way in the open. Try it - it was a real eye-opener for me when I realised how strong this tactic is!
 
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Håken Lid
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Mission 2: Exterminate

Problem: Both sides' optimal tactic is to stand their ground and wait for the other side to attack.

Solution:

A "time-bomb", but it has to go both ways to keep the mission balanced.

The turn after the last blip is drawn the brood-lord enters play for the gene-stealers.

If the brood-lord dies, a new brood lord enters the next turn!

If there are any space marines alive ten turns after the brood-lord enters, the space marines wins the mission.

Analysis:
To avoid the brood lord, the Space Marines have to move quickly to block at least one entrance. But once the brood lord arrives they have to stand their ground and wait for the genestealers to try to swarm them.
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