the never tiring Marines are always faced with the same task and ... with the same main route to the final objective area.
The available time ... always 15 TU.
Why not changing all this?
Here we go.
This humble card and the values it lists provide the first level of variety. The current values on top of the card tells the team that there are 8 sites between DROP ZONE ALPHA and the PRISON PENS and the ... ? A total of 9 Flanking sites will also be placed.
Note that the team has now 24 TU to achieve mission success.
Those values will change according to the mission outcome. If the Marines win, they will have less time next time or the #sites to cross will increase. If they lose. they either gain more time or the #sites will decrease. Goodbye to frustration when always failing the one and only mission ...
Save place and no longer place the two huge game boards.
Top left: the Time chips (24 for this mission). Next the Marines (30 so far available). Next the 50 Weapon cards (I no longer use them for the checks (52 separate cards save a lot of card shuffling). Top right: the 2 shuttles waiting for their special assault moves.
Bottom left: the 32 original Site cards (I don't place them near the normal sites when playing a Solitaire game (no need to place them in advance). Bottom center: the Guard cards (the special solitaire mix). Bottom right: the Dispatch cards (I added some more ...).
The remaining locations (e.g. the Sick Bay) are placed the moment they are needed. This way the table remains fully accessible as the space required to play can easily be optimized.
Here is the mission "map".
A closer look might help ...
The first three "columns" provide a totally different terrain set-up then the original fixed game board. DROP ZONE ALPHA always builds the start of each mission though.
The next three "columns".
Forget any strategy you have developed for the "fixed" path. Each game now requires a thorough new analysis of the approach to the final objective. Note: the advance beyond the ENEMY SYMPATHIZERS (or FIRST REPUBLICAN BANK) asks for a decision which branch to enter: the north or the south branch.
Such "splits" are part of the "Site set-up procedure". A mission might be without any such split or can even include several of them.
Here is the north branch.
An easy appraoch looks different,
The south branch.
Also a tricky challenge.
The two branches join at ...
Note the mission objective. It is determined randomly. So far I have 4 different missions. Adds some more variety to game play.