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Subject: Campaign Experience rss

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J.L. Robert
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In an effort to add more color and flavor to a Space Hulk campaign, I've struck on the idea of adding temporary bonuses, representing campaign experience.

I first thought of dice rolls, but decided against that. Even the slightest chance of bizarre dice luck might overpower a Marine squad.

So, at this point, I'm at the point of giving bonuses to individual Marines, based on drawing from a deck of regular playing cards.

At the end of the scenario, each Marine character earns draw card(s):

Kill a Genestealer in Assault Combat: 1 draw (each instance)
Survive a Scenario: 1 draw
Marines Win the Scenario: 1 draw

These cards are usable in the next scenario played by that Marine character ONLY. Each card is usable only by the Marine character that draws it. Unused cards may not be kept for future scenarios, nor may they be kept in lieu of future draws.

Each card has one use, and may be played at any time (EDIT: unless noted). Once used, they are discarded out of play. Most cards have a one-time effect, but a few may have affects which last until the end of the turn. Any card played affects ONLY the Marine character that plays it.

The cards grant the following abilities, based on the card value:

A: +1 to all dice until the end of this turn. EDIT: Must be played before any AP's are spent for this character.
2-3: +1 to this combat roll. EDIT: May be played after the roll.
4: +2 to this combat roll. EDIT: May be played after the roll.
5-6: Add 1 die to this combat roll. EDIT: Play before the roll.
7-8: Reroll 1 die just thrown.
9: Reroll all dice just thrown.
10: +1 AP.
J: +2 AP.
Q: 1 Personal Command Point, which must be used only on this character, and must be used by the end of this turn.
K: 2 Personal Command Points, which must be used only on this character, and must be used by the end of this turn.

If somehow you've generated more than 52 card draws between all of your Marines in a single scenario, draw in a "draft format," with each Marine character drawing 1 card before any draws a second, so that each surviving Marine character will have at least as many cards as the one earning the least number of cards.

If you find that these unbalance the scenarios, you may compensate the Genestealer player by giving them an additional 1-2 blips per turn.

EDITED to modify when some cards may be played.
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B P
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Kill a Genestealer in Assault Combat: 1 draw (each instance) - this seems too much for pure melee characters. how about restrict this to power glove only?
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J.L. Robert
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ketarb wrote:
Kill a Genestealer in Assault Combat: 1 draw (each instance) - this seems too much for pure melee characters. how about restrict this to power glove only?


Thanks for the comment. It's a good question, and something I had considered.

But I wrote this up for simplicity, and didn't want to overburden the rules with stipulations and exceptions, in the spirit of the game. Plus, in my experience, the melee characters tend to be the ones that survive the least frequently, because they're put up in the front so often.

A compromise would be a hand limit. Say, 8-12 cards per Marine character.
 
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Blorb Plorbst
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I like the idea. It might be fun to play with.

However, if you read the biographies, many of these people are hundreds of years old and have been marines for much of that time. One mission would seem to have little affect on their skill level.

Perhaps one successful mission can grant one draw.

My question is: this is not a one player game, what do the GS get when they win???
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J.L. Robert
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CrankyPants wrote:
I like the idea. It might be fun to play with.

However, if you read the biographies, many of these people are hundreds of years old and have been marines for much of that time. One mission would seem to have little affect on their skill level.

Perhaps one successful mission can grant one draw.

My question is: this is not a one player game, what do the GS get when they win???


If you consider the biographies, those guys die pretty quickly in this game. And frequently. Those bios are just flavor...you're not going to play Scenario 4 without 1-2 figures because those guys were killed off in Scenario 1, right?

The idea is to use them like the skills in Blood Bowl. The experience may not improve the Marines' centuries of combat, but it may be learned tactics against Genestealers, specifically.

As for a Genestealer win...they get the edge of having a Marine player with fewer cards to use in the next scenario. If you're giving them extra blips for play balance, then they now have an edge.

Hope you get a chance to try this.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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I love it when people come up with new ideas, and this is some nice stuff. I like what you've done to a certain extent, but there are some things I am not so keen on.

Keeping track of a deck of cards for each marine on the board starts to create a lot of book-keeping, and because a lot of the marines are just "guy with bolter and power fist," then you are going to have situations where you go "hold on, does that card belong to this guy? I can't remember." This can be resolved by creating tokens with pictures of the marines on so you can put a token next to each card stack, but even so, it starts to make things fiddly. The other alternative is just to award a certain number of cards based on the number of survivors in the previous mission and then allow ANY marine on the board to use one of the cards.

Also, some of the cards may be overpowered - do you really want the thunder hammer sargeant (1D6+2 and genestealer loses a dice) on guard (reroll dice) to be able to play one or more guards that grant an additional reroll or +2 to the dice roll? Even for a normal marine, the ability to reroll combat dice and add +2 to the roll is unbalancing. Remember - the stealers only get close assault. If the marines are as good up close as they are at range, then you may be making the game too tough for the bad guy.

Of course - this is just my initial thoughts on reading your post, and I haven't had the chance to try it.

Thanks for posting your ideas. Interesting stuff.
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Gergely Orsó
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A suggestion for this line of campaign games for the more hardcore players:

I think you can give some really nice powers to marines that do well on missions, if you add the following tweak: Any marine that dies on a mission is considered dead for the rest of the campaign, and cannot be used in future missions. Of course, the mission structure has to be set up in such way that the later missions can be done with half the crew as well, to make this possible.
 
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Lord Vetinari wrote:
A suggestion for this line of campaign games for the more hardcore players:

I think you can give some really nice powers to marines that do well on missions, if you add the following tweak: Any marine that dies on a mission is considered dead for the rest of the campaign, and cannot be used in future missions. Of course, the mission structure has to be set up in such way that the later missions can be done with half the crew as well, to make this possible.


I think the kill rate is too high for this to work, and by about mission 3 the marines would be utterly devoured (of course, any mission where all the marines die would also bring the campaign to an end).

Simply discarding any power ups that a character has and then bringing in a "new" vanilla marine would stop the missions from becoming ridiculous or ending the campaign early. (Of course, the stealers should get a nice bonus if they wipe out all the marines during a mission.)
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J.L. Robert
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RedMonkeyBoy wrote:
Keeping track of a deck of cards for each marine on the board starts to create a lot of book-keeping...


True. But, to be honest, this concept was born from a multiplayer, refereed campaign series, with each player controlling 1-2 Marines, and the moderator controlling the Genestealers. I have additional rules for rank and promotions, battle honors, and improving equipment. They were all developed with the 1st Edition rules, and this is a watered-down start for this new edition.

Quote:
Also, some of the cards may be overpowered - do you really want the thunder hammer sargeant (1D6+2 and genestealer loses a dice) on guard (reroll dice) to be able to play one or more guards that grant an additional reroll or +2 to the dice roll? Even for a normal marine, the ability to reroll combat dice and add +2 to the roll is unbalancing. Remember - the stealers only get close assault. If the marines are as good up close as they are at range, then you may be making the game too tough for the bad guy.


Which is why they're one-shot uses. You can only count on these cards to work just once, and then they're gone. Your Marine has to live to fight again to gain the benefit of more cards. I've intentionally given the "weaker" cards a higher rate of frequency, which means most of the cards drawn and used will have minor benefits only.

Quote:
Thanks for posting your ideas. Interesting stuff.


And thanks for your comments. I hope you can give them a try.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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While I appreciate that the cards are one-shot uses (it would definitely be too much if they lasted the whole mission) I still think they might grant too many benefits in a given mission.

Also, Ace through 9 are all close assault cards, and you gain a card at the end of the mission for every close assault kill, so a few good draws early on will very quickly perpetuate a situation where the marines are monstrous killing machines in close assault because the cards they have enable them to quickly earn more cards by attacking at close range.

I actually really like the mechanism for using a deck of normal cards, it's very cool, but I reckon if I was to use it I would grant cards for completing a mission only and have a collective pool of cards that can be used by any marine. (Of course, I have not done any testing at all so may be talking rubbish )
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J.L. Robert
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A single hand gives greater flexibility to the cards, because it both expands the number of options available and increases the possible card combinations that can be played.

The multiplayer arrangement I drew this from allows each player to manage their own small hand of cards, and their own figures to invest their cards in. Many cards will be used in situations where a single hand of cards would certainly think twice about their use, because that particular player wants to protect their own figures, of course.

If you would play with a single hand, I would greatly reduce the number of cards distributed:

Per surviving Marine: 1 card
Marines win scenario: 2 cards per squad was deployed

I appreciate the feedback. I realize that some experiences will not be similar to my own. The great thing about rules, printed or variant, is that each group can tweak them to suit their own needs. Please feel free to tinker to your liking.
 
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J.L.Robert wrote:
A single hand gives greater flexibility to the cards, because it both expands the number of options available and increases the possible card combinations that can be played.

The multiplayer arrangement I drew this from allows each player to manage their own small hand of cards, and their own figures to invest their cards in. Many cards will be used in situations where a single hand of cards would certainly think twice about their use, because that particular player wants to protect their own figures, of course.

If you would play with a single hand, I would greatly reduce the number of cards distributed:

Per surviving Marine: 1 card
Marines win scenario: 2 cards per squad was deployed

I appreciate the feedback. I realize that some experiences will not be similar to my own. The great thing about rules, printed or variant, is that each group can tweak them to suit their own needs. Please feel free to tinker to your liking.


Totally agree with you, which is why I said I would only award cards for a marine win.

I would probably go for 1 card per survivor, although maybe your idea of 2 cards per squad involved as well - or maybe 1 card per survivor +1 for each surviving sarge or librarian. Not sure.

I would probably limit the use of the cards to only one per action taken as well (so you can't "stack" the close assault benefits in a single attack round).

I look forward to seeing some more of your variants in the future.
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J.L. Robert
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I was part of a group of Space Hulk fans that played regularly over a course of 3+ years. We had a clever gamemaster who owned a modular mapboard system who created his own maps with them. We also used almost all of the published variants, such as using standard Marine tactical (even recon) squads, Eldar squads, variant weapon systems, Genestealer Hybrids, etc.

We never tried to extensively use campaign rules because there weren't too many players who showed up EVERY week (many were younger players), so these rules weren't implemented too often. But my experience with tactical games gives me confidence that they should work well with players who are committed to playing this game over a stretch of time.
 
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Anver Ng
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Just wondering.. How about choosing a single "permanent" one-shot card to be attached to a unit?

Something like every mission win entitles the SM player to choose a single card with a one-shot benefit and attach it to a single marine for subsequent missions.

A single marine will only be able to hold one card at anytime during the entire game. Attached cards will be able to carry over missions but some cards can only be attached on to say a regular marine while others can be attached to the sergeants only. This should alleviate worries about overpowering units that are overpowered.

Some ideas:

Name: Timely Distraction!
Attached to: Sergeant
Ability: Playable during the GS turn and when the attached sergeant is near (say 6 -7 square? I dunno..) an objective. Play to force the GS player to spend all his AP of all the 5 nearest genestealers to take the shortest route towards the sergeant. All the affected genestealers must avoid any other marines and can only engage the sergeant.

..that was complicated.. this should be easier..

Name: Dark Rage
Attached to: Any normal marine (or a named marine storyline-wise.. Goriel for example..)
Ability: Play during the activation of that marine in the SM turn. The marine now receives a +1 (or 2) bonus to dice roll during melee combat. However the marine cannot (will not) fire his weapon and will proceed to engage in melee combat with the nearest enemy visible. Effect lasts until the START of the next SM turn (so it lasts also in the GS turn..)

Just my thoughts on this.. Apologies if I'm touching on stuff that has been repeated already.. Its late, I got school tomorrow and I didnt take the time to read through the second half of the thread..

Gd night! -_-zZzZ
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J.L. Robert
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nrevan wrote:
Just wondering.. How about choosing a single "permanent" one-shot card to be attached to a unit?


An interesting twist. But my personal preference is to make the cards more generic, so that everyone can use them.

You may have missed the part where I mentioned that my group would play Space Hulk in a multiplayer format. Giving cards to specific characters would lead to arguments between the players figuring out which PLAYER would benefit with a new card while the others continue without.

In a 2-player game format, this would be entirely up to the Marine player, but I'd wager that, if given the choice of card, the Marine player would select cards which would benefit his best/most utilized characters first.
 
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