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Gears of War: The Board Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: 2P solo report: Boomers went boom rss

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Kelly Overholser
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Minnesota
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So, after having a bust of a solo game earlier thanks to a stroke of bad luck, I decided to try again. This time, instead of going full solo, I went with playing two COGs: Augustus and Marcus, in this case.

The map setup this time was 16A, 12A, 2A, and 9A, also known as the long hallway of death. (The map, with this setup, is a single long corridor with no bends. Which means any card that lets a locust shoot from any range means they can fire from one end of the map to the other.)

Thankfully, the first half of the game went very smoothly. The lack of LoS-breaking corners didn't seem to hamper me too much, as I only drew a few cards that actually ignored range. I also got the "spawn wretches" card early on, before anyone was within 4 range of the emergence hole, so I was able to take my time and gun down everything before worrying about finishing the mission.

Eventually, I managed to get to the last tile. The fights had been a little rough, with Augustus holding one card, and Marcus keeping five, but the only locust still alive was a lone boomer. Augustus was up, drew his two, and chucked a grenade at the hole. Boom, omen symbol, sealed hole, and on to stage 2. Which, of course, means two more boomers and a couple wretches. The next AI card? All boomers attack and move away, or move closer and attack. I quickly realized I was in a bad spot, as somehow I forgot to keep my COGs from being in the same space to avoid boomer area attacks. Thankfully, both were in cover, but with Augustus low on cards, I was in a tight spot. Worse, Marcus didn't have any guard cards. Cole tossed his second to last card to fire his boomshot, and thankfully rolled enough to kill one of the boomers. The first boomer attack rolled a single omen symbol against Marcus, but not enough normal damage to overcome his defense dice. Augustus, however, was out of cards now.

I quickly realized I might be in trouble: a single omen symbol on the next roll would leave Augustus bleeding out, and could do significant damage to Marcus. With four locusts still on the map, having both COGs in a critical state would mean a very quick end, so I came up with a risky plan: the last boomer would attack Augustus instead. This would almost certainly mean Augustus would be bleeding out, but Marcus was up next, and hopefully I'd be able to take out some locusts, get Augustus up, and move away from the next boomer attack so I didn't lose both at once. The card draw wasn't in my favor however, but I was able to use an Active Reload to kill one of the boomers, then an Ambush to wound the other, and a third card to get Augustus up. Boomers attacked next, and not wanting to give them two turns in a row from Augustus going down, I decided to take my chances and hope the attack against Marcus wouldn't roll any omens.

Luck was with me, for a change, and while Marcus was seriously hurt, Augustus was still alive and kicking. He was able to charge the boomer and take him out, and on the wretch activation, he was able to pitch his last card to kill one of them and wound the other with his last shot from the Boomshot. The last remaining wretch rushed at Marcus. Only holding two cards in hand and not wanting to take any chances, I discarded it for two extra defense dice.

The roll? 2 hits, and 0 defense, on 2 black and 3 red dice. Curse my luck! Marcus was now bleeding out, Augustus had no cards in hand, and since it was Marcus' turn, he'd crawl away and the last wretch would activate again. Hoping I'd get lucky again with the dice, I drew AI cards til I got to another Wretch card.

The card I drew? If the wretch is damaged, move to cover and heal. The wretch only had to do a single point of damage, and instead of going on the offensive, it decided to hide in a corner. With this lucky break, Augustus had no trouble finishing off the last locust, and win the game.

Of course, as I'm typing this up, I realize I should have had the wretches taking damage from the boomers when they rolled omens earlier, which probably would have let me kill them off earlier. Ah well, something else I'll have to keep in mind for next game.
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Frank Franco
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Which way to play solo did you prefer?
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Kelly Overholser
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Well, playing with just one character is a lot easier to manage, since you don't have to worry about keeping track of separate hands or whose turn it currently is during a locust activation. However, there's the slight problem of a solo player getting insta-gibbed from an unlucky die roll. It's possible, though very unlikely, for a single attack to take off 5 or more health if the attacker's a strong locust. While the same is possible with more players, you don't instantly lose from just one COG bleeding out in a game with at least 2 of them.

Like I mentioned in my other thread, if I decide to play solo with one COG, I may add in a maximum damage rule; you can't go from a near-full hand (3 cards, maybe) to bleeding out from a single attack. Multiple attacks in the same activation phase, yes, but not from just one.

Of course, my opinion of the game might change when I play a harder scenario (my copy was missing some of the cards, so until I get replacements from FFG I can only play Emergence).
 
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