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Gears of War: The Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Tough vs. Fun rss

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Trent Y.
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My group is finding GoW a little on the tough side to win.

We're thinking it stems from
a) Ammo is pretty scarce (unlike the VG). Taking 1-2 dice shots seems pretty much like a waste of time.

b) There is no proper rest action.

The game is intense, but there is a point where you're all limping around with 0-3 cards with somebody bleeding out and you're nearly out of ammo. Yes, on one hand that is fun. On the other hand it's also hopeless. There is a point in the game there you know you're all going to lose.

For the former - I'm not sure what to do. Our only thought was to remove the General card that keeps making you lose ammo. It's a stupid card and one that does not properly reflect the VG. It's not much but it's a start.

For the later - I'm going to suggest a new Order that you can perform which is just a Rest action. It does not require a card but instead you gain 1 Card (so this would be in addition to your Heal stage).

Just curious about other people's thoughts?

* Also I do not need the obligatory "This game is too easy, your group must suck" comments.
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Scott Yost
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We had a fairly similar experience in the 4p game. I tried again with a few 2p games and had a different experience - I felt more in control and like my actions were mattering. I think the game seems to get generally just harder with more players, even before you've added enemies (kind of like Pandemic). I might suggest if you play 4 players, try with the 2 player spawn rates and treat every mission card, etc. as if you had 2 players.
I've also toyed with the idea of bumping the heal step up to 3 cards instead, but I haven't tried that.
 
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Zak Kaplan
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HELP!

My group all love the source material...we love coop games.

In two 4-player games we have not survived the first room. In the last game it was a result of the board setup and three Drone AI cards in a row that triggered 6-drones all of which had line of site. With no range limitation they tore all four of us to pieces (and following the very liberal LOS rulings.) Two of us were in cover, but ended up not making a difference.

Of course, poor dice rolls contributed...but, we are all quite frustrated. Played a two player game and at least made it to the second room.

With 6-different attacks coming your way two turns in a row, it is nearly impossible to survive. The fact that it happened two games in row in the first room has really soured the game for us.

Now, I know the cries will come forth that we can't judge the game based on two plays, but unless we are doing something wrong we do not like that luck (setup, AI cards, dice rolls) can so drastically sway the result.

We all agree the lack of range for the Locusts is lame, and serves no purpose. It would seem to make sense that they have the same range limits / defense die penalty as the COGS.

Of...so we have immediately setup again...giving it another go...cross your fingers.
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Mr Suplex
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I say before giving up and trying to adjust the game you try to learn it and see if it is possible to win without making it easy mode. We lost our first 4 games in a row, but now we have won the last 2 because we are playing smarter and learning the game.

Shots without expending ammo are very valuable. As long as you can wound a Drone or Wretch, the next shot will likely kill it. This is very valuable. Save the ammo spending for critical shots or more nasty enemies like Boomers/Therons.

As to resting/healing, there are plenty of cards that let players draw extra cards. Blind Fire, Sit Tight, Dig In, are some examples off the top of my head. The key is to be conservative and not do too much in a turn, because it will make you vulnerable to an enemy attack in your turn.

You should pretty much never leave cover unless it is safe to do so. Cover makes all the difference in the world.
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Vasilis
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The comments about difficulty remind me of DOOM. Many players abandoned the game after losing 3-4 times but others carried on playing and became better players, therefore starting to win.

A co-op game should be very hard in order to keep the group coming back for more. If GoW was easy it would be a great reason for me NOT to buy it.

In fact the only thing that was holding me back was that I wanted to read some player comments about the game's difficulty before ordering the game. Needless to say that after reading so many threads calling the game difficult I ordered it immediately.

The worst thing that can happen to a co-op game is to be easy. Players should try different tactics each time to see which works and become better players. What I've noticed from my group each time they lost a scenario was that they were doing the exact same tactics each time. As the Invader player I urged them to try something different next time and after a few plays they did find better ways to play the game and win.

Just don't try to do the same tactics each time you play. Try different things each time you play.

Just my 2 cents.
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Purple Paladin

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I don't have the game, nor have I played even one game. But I have to say, this sounds SO much like a recording, played back, of what we all said after we did our first half-dozen games of Defenders of the Realm and Lord of the Rings the card game.

Of course, I'm hoping this game can be improved upon with time. According to one reveiw I watched, you can't do much more to win other than hope for better die rolls. I hope this is not true, because time and experiance helped us win the above games far more often.


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James Buchanan
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Well, I feel qualified after three successful missions to give some advice.

1) Manage health. Whenever you have the choice of sending Locust after people send them to the COG with the most health. If health is equal send them after who will have their turn next.

2) Think carefully about your reactions. Guard and Dodge reactions should only be used when they'll save more cards than they'll use (even if it's someone else's cards.) Don't dodge or guard when the target is behind cover. Only follow when you have lots of health. Again, choose people with more cards or who's turn is next to guard.

3) Variety is the spice of life. Often you don't want to kill the last of a locust (especially locust A). It'll just cause you to flip more AI cards and move something nastier or spawn. Especially important when the blind bastard is hunting you down.

4) Let 'em bleed. In the beginning our first instinct was to instantly pick up a wounded COG. But often this led to two unhealthy COGs going down on the next AI card. You want to clear the area of locust or have the guy crawl to relative safety before you pick him up.
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Zak Kaplan
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Well, the 2nd game last night went better. We made it to the 2nd stage of Emergence, but again we lost simply because the AI card immediately following the mass spawn from the mission card was a general event that activated all unit types.

We actually made a good fight of it, using a grenade/guard order and Boomshot to take out a big cluster of enemies, but in the end there were simply too many attacks for the team to absorb, even with two of us in cover.

We enjoyed ourselves, had to work together, but it was still disappointing to see a 2-hour struggle crash and burn on the back of a single card draw.

I think we will move on to the 2nd mission. I actually have no problem with luck driven games (between the draw of order cards, AI cards, and heavy dice rolling there is ample luck here.) But often it feels like one critically ill-timed event is unrecoverable. We'll see...

RE: attack ranges - not as much of a factor in the 2nd game, but merely because the map layout did not lead to long corridors. I still contend that I having Locust range be unlimited without penalty is odd and makes no thematic sense. Oh well.
 
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Kelly Overholser
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Well first off, the computer is a cheating bastard. Of course it's going to have unfair advantages.

I do agree that having the map as one long corridor is rough, though. There's really only one possible draw for the first scenario to be set up like that, however (you need to draw 16A first and 9A last, as those two tiles both force the map to bend), so I'd say try again with a new map setup.

There is a fair amount of luck in this game, and sometimes there's a specific order card that completely hoses you, but I don't think it's completely up to luck.
 
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Zak Kaplan
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Certainly not completely up to luck...it can be mitigated. It's just that an unlucky series of events can wipe you out with no hope for recourse.

But of course, this is game of brutal and fast firefights, so luck should play a larger role than say...growing vegetables.
 
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Trent Y.
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Purple Paladin wrote:
Of course, I'm hoping this game can be improved upon with time. According to one reveiw I watched, you can't do much more to win other than hope for better die rolls. I hope this is not true, because time and experiance helped us win the above games far more often.


I would disagree with that statement. You do have a lot of options and choices in the game, since you can use cards to react on a player's or Locust turn. So that's pretty excellent.

Yes, most actions end up being luck driven, but the luck favors offense. So the more aggressive you are the better and the more you minimize the AI being aggressive, the better. So at least as a player you know that attack dice = better than defensive dice and therefore know that you can't win a purely defensive game.

To others: I've tried this game 5 times now. One 1 player (won), two 2 players (won both) and two 4 players (lost both). There does seem to be something odd about adding more players having a vastly increased difficulty. What's strange is that the AI cards have little to do with that (it's the room cards that create larger spawns).

I'm curious about the 'leave' one Locust alive. That is in fact, a smart tactic, the more I think about it. But it's a stupid concept. It's stupid because you're taking advantage of (what I perceive to be a flaw) in the AI deck. "I'm gonna leave this guy alive, because, well, if I kill him, it'll just make more spawns for us in the immediate future").

I wonder then, if the fix could be found there...

 
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James Buchanan
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Sarimrune wrote:


I'm curious about the 'leave' one Locust alive. That is in fact, a smart tactic, the more I think about it. But it's a stupid concept. It's stupid because you're taking advantage of (what I perceive to be a flaw) in the AI deck. "I'm gonna leave this guy alive, because, well, if I kill him, it'll just make more spawns for us in the immediate future").

I wonder then, if the fix could be found there...



Well, It's not as bad as it sounds. When I wrote this, I had Mission 2 in mind with the Beserker. In that mission you should really avoid all forms of overt aggression which makes sense with the sneaky theme.

In other missions, like say mission 4, the roadblock, it's less important. I just played one, and we killed every Boomer on sight. There were a couple of times when we decided not to kill a Ticker we could have, but only when we could run away quickly.

The most important thing that you need to cover in this point is that clearing a room doesn't work that well and often you need to keep moving. I think this actually reinforces the theme instead of breaking it. Whens the last time you were playing a FPS and killed every low-level baddie?


However, if you wanted to make the game a bit easier. I'd say ignore the bit about "If there are no X, flip a new AI card." That would reward you for room clearing and give you a lot more time to heal. It would probably make it too easy. Maybe you limit it to 3 AI cards per turn, no matter what the third says for an easy mode.
 
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Ric T
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I stick to the rules as much as possible, but when it's not fun no one plays, so here's a couple of quick options that might make things seems a little more fair.


1. Heal phase - draw cards equal to the number of standing COGs. This makes you really want to get to the downed cog and makes the 4 player game much easier. (ex, in a 4 player game with 1 player bleeding out, you draw 3 cards) Still can not exceed your maximum.

2. Heal phase - (for when playing with my kids) draw to full health every time. It makes the game a ton easier, increases the action, and keeps them interested. Yes, we win every almost game but it's fun for them.

3. Ammo - Double the starting ammo and/or double the amount picked up. Or, add a "search" action where you roll a die, and if you roll an omen you find ammo. You can make this a discard action to make it more difficult.

4. Increase maximum health by 1 for every player.
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Rauli Kettunen
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I don't know, while I do have a very solid record after 24 plays (19-5), there have been wins that have been very close (and some less than heroic, like running away with one COG while the other is bleeding out laugh ). Of course, at least a couple of those losses are down to downright stupidity on someone's part. Oh wait, I play mostly solo blush ... China Shop has been the toughest at 3-3 in six plays (once each with the possible COG pairings) and most of that is probbaly due to not attacking the Berserker at all until she's wounded by the Hammer (barring Bolos to steer her).
 
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Frank Franco
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Sarimrune wrote:
My group is finding GoW a little on the tough side to win.

We're thinking it stems from
a) Ammo is pretty scarce (unlike the VG). Taking 1-2 dice shots seems pretty much like a waste of time.


Well there is your problem. Most of my shots are not overkill. Unless a locus really needs to die you shouldn't be overkilling. Try running into a loust's area so it gets no cover bonus.

Quote:
b) There is no proper rest action.

The game is intense, but there is a point where you're all limping around with 0-3 cards with somebody bleeding out and you're nearly out of ammo. Yes, on one hand that is fun. On the other hand it's also hopeless. There is a point in the game there you know you're all going to lose.


There is a rest action - it's called the "Sit tight" card. These will heal a cog fully up pretty much in one turn. Hold onto them like gold.
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Trent Y.
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Actually we think we've figured it out.

When you are playing a low number of players, the turn sequence is designed with action (player turn) and reaction (AI turn). In a one player game, you act and react and then repeat. In a 3 player game, you Act, React, React and then get to act.

The fact is, more players means you will have more periods of reaction. (Whether this means you spend a card or there are more shots taken).

Therefore this game gets harder the more players you involve. With 4 players, you end up having 3 turns where you are Reacting to the action. It is extremely easy to be overwhelmed, whether you end up having to spend cards for Shots/Dodges or you end up being shot and thus having to spend cards. Essentially the rate of return in a higher player game, isn't high enough.

It is possible to win but to do so you much control as many elements of the game. This can mean manipulating the AI to your advantage. As pointed out, never kill the final Wretch or even Drone, so as to avoid them spawning (and to avoid the AI deck from cycling).

Personally, I see that as a game design flaw. That to make the game much easier, you have to manipulate how you play. But I'm probably in the minority.

Oh well. My group will likely alter something here, at least in 3-4 player games.

 
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Vasilis
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Sarimrune wrote:
Actually we think we've figured it out.

When you are playing a low number of players, the turn sequence is designed with action (player turn) and reaction (AI turn). In a one player game, you act and react and then repeat. In a 3 player game, you Act, React, React and then get to act.

The fact is, more players means you will have more periods of reaction. (Whether this means you spend a card or there are more shots taken).

Therefore this game gets harder the more players you involve. With 4 players, you end up having 3 turns where you are Reacting to the action. It is extremely easy to be overwhelmed, whether you end up having to spend cards for Shots/Dodges or you end up being shot and thus having to spend cards. Essentially the rate of return in a higher player game, isn't high enough.

It is possible to win but to do so you much control as many elements of the game. This can mean manipulating the AI to your advantage. As pointed out, never kill the final Wretch or even Drone, so as to avoid them spawning (and to avoid the AI deck from cycling).

Personally, I see that as a game design flaw. That to make the game much easier, you have to manipulate how you play. But I'm probably in the minority.

Oh well. My group will likely alter something here, at least in 3-4 player games.



I respectfully disagree with pretty much all of your points above.

More players means more Grenades, more players means more possibilities of having the right card for the job. More players means more Roadie Runs where everyone else is following in order to move more quickly.

As for killing monsters or not, not even in DOOM where there wasn't a mechanic that spawned more or less monsters based on how many monsters are already on the board didn't players have to kill every monster. They just did it to save time.

So in Gears if possible players should ignore a lesser monster but not because they want to take advantage of the game AI but because they want to save time {and cards}.
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mike oldham
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my personal exp is that their is to much a.i pulling i mean i've pulled half the deck before i could continue thats crazy and kind of a bland tactic for the a.i. i think (but never tried it) if you play a card pull an a.i. card and thats either some thing happens or it doesn't in the vg your not constantly under attack and there is breathing room this game is either being attacked or spawning locust which seems a little to much i agree with there should be a 50-50 chance at beating a level but a bad roll will end every thing their is no balance in this issue. maybe put casual,normal,hardcore and insane gameplay to all missions and not just hoard mode. Casual players start with 2 extra ammo tokens 1 grenade or 2 ammo and 1 extra order card? idk but there is deff a balance issue involved thats wrapped around the A.I. oh maybe one locust activation per round so in 3 player game the cog all move then its a.i. time then back to the first cog.
 
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Trent Y.
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What is a little sad is that I've no busted GoW out since posting this message. Which means it's been a year since playing it.

Wow, does time fly.

I still believe what I said originally. I think that the game is somewhat 'broken' when you incorporate more players than fewer. And the game 'as is' clearly hasn't inspired my gaming group to take another shot at this game, which is otherwise a great game.
 
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mike oldham
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Sarimrune wrote:
What is a little sad is that I've no busted GoW out since posting this message. Which means it's been a year since playing it.

Wow, does time fly.

I still believe what I said originally. I think that the game is somewhat 'broken' when you incorporate more players than fewer. And the game 'as is' clearly hasn't inspired my gaming group to take another shot at this game, which is otherwise a great game.


i got Doom a few months back and played it for a month straight and now back in gears mode looking over all these post has made me realize how much i really love this game. like i said before the A.I. system is a little glitchy needs a balance between cog order to an A.I. order to much can happen in one A.I. order compared to a cogs 1 order and reaction i mean 4 A.I. cards can be played back to back at same time with out you being able to do anything it leads to intense battles but usually the bleeding out of a cog or just lossing the game very quickly. IDK how many missions i've started and then abruptly ended on same tile just from the first few A.I. cards yet then again i've ran through levels not even going through the whole A.I. deck so i guess theirs some balance just not enough lol
Cheers!!!
 
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Andrew Mayer
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So I recently purchased Gears of War. I had never played the video game. I love miniatures games and coop games. Seemed like the perfect game for me. Thankfully I found this thread. I seemed to only be able to find threads about players talking about mods and how to make it harder etc... I was blown away. "Make it harder!!!" I yelled at my computer monitor!

I've probably played about 10 to 15 times. Emergence is the only win. Granted some tactics changes may have helped us survive longer but, in my opinion the dice are a huge factor as well as drawing multiple AI cards in a row.
I feel like one or two bad dice rolls can lose the game. However, lots of good dice rolls can be turned on its head by too many General AI Cards popping up.
I don't like constantly drawing a new card AI card and also I feel like there should be some AI cards where an individual locust would be activated. Something like Single - Drone (Drone nearest the most wounded COG attacks the nearest COG within LOS. If no COGS in LOS furthest drone away moves 3 areas)

This would help break up the I get attacked by 4 drones on one turn. Maybe I just suck. But, I'm almost ready to give up on the game.

The difference for me is I love losing while playing Pandemic. When a chain reaction of outbreaks occurs or the player deck is out of cards I know why I lost. Typically, we are close to winning unless something crazy happens in the beginning. But, in this game losing because of a bad die roll or because every locust got to move 3 times and then both COGs with almost full health are dropped, it's very frustrating.

I'm gonna have to find another gamer that knows this game and see if that makes a difference. Maybe I'm just not seeing the correct strategy.
 
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