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Subject: Mission resolution rss

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Brian Bowling
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In step 2, Modify the attempt, do the players play cards in order around the table? If not, is there any order at all? If not, how do you decide when step 2 is over?

I can see at least three possibilities:
1. Players play one card in order around the table until everyone passes in the same round.
2. Starting with the player to the left of the player who's sending a redshirt on a mission, each player gets a chance to play one or more cards with the player sending the redshirt getting the last chance to modify the attempt.
3. The player sending the redshirt on a mission counts down from 3. If no one plays a card by the time he reaches 0, step 2 is over.

I prefer three since it would move the game along faster.
 
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Roger Taylor
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Redshirts reminds me of Kill Doctor Lucky in that you want someone else to play cards to screw up other players so they won't have them to screw you up. As I recall, in KDL there is one opportunity to play Failure cards, going around the table from the active player. Not playing a Failure card you have and sticking the player(s) to your left with the job is a calculated risk. That should work in Redshirts too.
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Kevin Seachrist
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rtaylor wrote:
Redshirts reminds me of Kill Doctor Lucky in that you want someone else to play cards to screw up other players so they won't have them to screw you up. As I recall, in KDL there is one opportunity to play Failure cards, going around the table from the active player. Not playing a Failure card you have and sticking the player(s) to your left with the job is a calculated risk. That should work in Redshirts too.


This would definitely speed the game up a bit, but it might also make it feel like you're really not doing much when there's a lot of cards in hand you COULD play. That said...

We played a three player game last night and after almost 90 minutes we simply stopped. We started with four redshirts each, and by the stopping point, every one of us still had at least four. The closest to going out anyone got was once I was at two. The novelty and humor of the cards quickly gave way to what seemed like an endless cycle of taking a quick turn with the other players playing numerous cards to "help" on missions, followed by an equally long stretch trying to decide what to discard after another explosive draw phase (1 card per redshirt). The next person can't really start their turn before the discarding, because the cards the person keeps could come into play almost immediately on the next turn. So the pace of the game is wobbly.

We kept checking through the rules to see if we missed something that would apply more structure to what cards were playable and what were not. Aside from the mission limits (1 per turn per receiving player, including yourself; can't play a mission on someone who already has one) it didn't seem like the other cards had limits.

It seems the game is less about strategy and more about hoping for a window of time in which you can intentionally fail a mission when there's nothing the rest of the group can do about it. And those opportunities don't add up (or I should say subtract, since you're killing your own crew) quickly.
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David Thiel
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This was my experience as well. Last night we had a six-player game--which I do not recommend, even though it's allegedly for up to seven--and it went in excess of 60 minutes. Someone actually did win, but I suspect that was because the rest of us stopped trying.

I'd thought that the problem was that there were too many players--and hence too many cards in play--but if you encountered that with only three players, it seems that the flaws may run deeper.

The previous comparison to Kill Doctor Lucky is astute. The difference here is that in a six-player game, there are eighteen Doctor Luckys. If you thought killing that old **** got annoying after awhile, just wait until you've got Doctor Luckys multiplying like Tribbles.

My chief concerns with Redshirts:

**There are so many different ways to screw your neighbors that it's nearly impossible to kill a Redshirt if the other players are even half trying.

**Drawing a card per Redshirt (plus any cards you get for succeeding at missions) leads to too many choices. As the previous poster notes, waiting for the previous player to discard down to five really slows things down.

**The Mission resolution phase needs to be streamlined. With us, there was a vague "okay, I'm currently succeeding at this mission" declaration followed by a whole bunch of random slapping down of cards. Agreed that "once around the table" would be a better way of doing it.

**Unless I missed one, all Events appear to be "play anytime." This led to some confusing timing issues.

**Clarification is needed on what trumps what. If Equipment grants a skill and a Location takes it away, which takes precedence?

Leaving the complaints aside for a moment, I do want to say that the basic concept seems sound, the art is very good, and the humor went over big with our group. I think that the rules needed another pass. Sixty to ninety minutes is far too long for a comedy card game.
 
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Brian Theissen
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The rules say: Modify the attempt... Every player should have sufficient time to modify the attempt if they so desire. I read that as no play order is involved.

I wish my group would honor a count down!

I do agree that card drafting is particularly a difficult issue. I may impliment a house rule of draw up to 5 and call it good.

I have played this game with a few different demographics. I find it most fun to play without rules lawyers (the rules take 3 minutes to read) or those who are subject to A/P.

My take is that it should be a light filler game that just doesn't take to many brain cells to enjoy.
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Joe Pelfrey
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I played a six-player game last night and our experience mirrored yours, dodonna. My wife and I discussed it on the way home and came up with the same bullet points you have listed. We played for two hours and the lowest away team total was three. We were always able to ensure mission success in the other players; being able to draw cards for the number of away team members you have almost guarantees a reload to max hand size and that you can optimize your hand with impact cards.

Our group wants desperately to like this game. We like the theme and the idea of it is very appealing. Sadly, it won't hit the table again. I hope the creator of it sees this and can provide some clarification on what we might be missing. How does he get his away team reduced? I hope it is something more than "I fail my missions and discard my team."; that would be most unhelpful.
 
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David Etherton
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I just played my first game with six as well and it was a 70 minute war of attrition until somebody came up with a combo nobody else could be bothered to stop.

One of the guys was really frustrated by the loose timing rules.

-Dave
 
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Jonathan Gillett
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Played a 2-player game Friday and also had many of the same problems. Though slightly in the opposite direction: instead of never being able to fail a mission with only one player to help, we we instead could never attempt a mission (we played most missions on the other player) and grew our red shirts from turn 1 (which made the draw 1/per and discard to 5 a massive pain).
We just about gave the game up without completing when we had a mission that I finally failed only to have to "kill a random red shirt". We thought, what else can this game annoy us with?
I agree with what others have said, winning is more about having the other players just give up playing rather than how one plays.
Maybe someplace in-between 2 and 6 is a sweet spot. Not sure I'll ever find out...
 
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Darin Young
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I honestly don't think there is a sweet spot for this game, which is sad because I really want to like it. A friend and I played a game the other day and after about 10 turns gave up, thinking it might play better as a 4-player game. So we restarted, dealing redshirts for 4 players (but accidentally dealt cards for 2 players, ah well) and played as many cards on each other as possible. It still didn't work.

The game has numerous problems, first of which is the counter-intuitive play of losing, err, winning, by killing off all your away team. Granted, that's the whole schtick of the thing, but when you have to meet the prerequisites of missions and the crew members that meet those prereqs also tend to have the skill to succeed, they tend to also stay alive. Yeah, some cards remove skills, but they didn't pop up enough to make any difference. After another 10 or so turns, we gave up.

Another problem is timing on missions. You're supposed to nominate a crew member to take on the mission then everyone gets a chance to modify the attempt. Do you go around the table once? Twice? Three times? Until everyone gives up? Is a crew member Zapped when the mission is attempted or after everyone has modified the attempt? We finally ruled the Zapping comes after all cards have been played (because a couple of the cards say they cannot be played on Zapped cards . . . so they'd never be played otherwise).

Yeah, I know, I've only listed two when I said "numerous" but I'm not writing a review of the game yet.

My friend thinks we can cobble rules together to make the game work, but I'm not so sure yet. I'll need to reread stuff and see if we missed something the other day because, as mentioned, I really want this game to work for some odd reason.
 
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Roger Taylor
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Highland Raider wrote:
...when you have to meet the prerequisites of missions and the crew members that meet those prereqs also tend to have the skill to succeed, they tend to also stay alive. Yeah, some cards remove skills, but they didn't pop up enough to make any difference.

The missions with one prerequisite skill that is the same as the skill to succeed? Assign those to an opponent who doesn't have a mission. Either they'll have a Redshirt with the skill and succeed, or they'll not have one with the skill and be forced to draw another Redshirt for failure to attempt the mission. Meanwhile, they can't assign a mission they can fail to themselves. This happened to us a lot.

We played Redshirts a few times at WBC. One of the group said it wasn't "gamer-proof"; I think that was spot on. Five players is definitely too many. With four players "helping" everyone succeed at missions, it was hard to fail. We declared a stalemate after 1.5 hours and everyone still had at least 3 Redshirts. We did finish with four players, but then we hadn't learned all the tricks to screw other players and prolong the game yet.

It's a fun game if it's short. I'm not sure what can be done to shorten the game. Reduce the hand size to 4, perhaps?
 
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David Etherton
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I'm sure it's been suggested before, but a Kill-Doctor-Lucky style "once around the table" could help shorten this game.
 
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Roger Taylor
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In our experience, the biggest source of downtime is waiting for players to decide which cards to discard to get down to the hand limit. I suggest changing the card draw/discard phase procedure to this:

You can keep one card. Discard the rest and draw up to the hand limit of five. I think this will kill two birds with one stone. First, it's easier to decide which one card you want to keep than which five. Second, it might address the problem of players loading up their hands to screw opponents. If four of your cards are pot luck every turn, you're more motivated to play what you've got now.
 
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Jack Beckman
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We played a 6 player game here with my group, and called it after 4 hours (yes, 4 hours! We are a stubborn lot, and some folks were within 1 card play of winning at times). At that point, there were the exact same number of Redshirts on the table as had started. A couple of players had 4 and a couple had 2, but we still hadn't reduced the number of Redshirts.

I think this is due to the hand size, which needs to drop after 4 players. With 4 players, you have 20 cards out of the deck, with potentially 15 available to screw the mission player over. With 6 players, you have 30 cards, 25 of which are available to make a mission "succeed." That's way too many. Either start cutting hand sizes (5 player=4, 6 or 7 player=3) or maybe draw cards at the *beginning* of the turn. This way, the current player has extra cards to make the mission fail, but after his turn does not get to replenish, giving him less to screw with others.

But there are currently way too many cards available to screw with the mission player, esp. with more than 4 players.
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Brian Theissen
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I really wanted to love this game! I bought it and have played it 3 times at the most. I wish the designers would pay attention to whats going on here and maybe try and come up with a fix.
 
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Catman SGA
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I've never played Kill Doctor Lucky, so I don't have a frame of reference there, but as far as other players playing modifier cards on another's turn, I would tend to think it's meant to be done in the style of Munchkin. Someone may play a card to give your Redshirt a skill to succeed, then you can counter with another to fail, and vice versa. At least that's the idea I got when I read the phrase. "Cards are resolved in the order in which they are played."

But my question is. If you have an existing location in front of you which removes a particular skill, and you play a mission who's prerequisite which matches the success requirement. Does your redshirts lack the prerequisite to attempt, or is the locations modifier only factored in after the mission attempt is declared?

An example:

You have a redshirt with "Science" and have an existing location in front of you that removes "science" from all your redshirts. You then play a mission in which both the prerequisite and requirement is "Science" Does that mean your redshirts cannot make the attempt, or can the redshirt with "science" make the attempt and the location's modifier factored in later?
 
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Jack Beckman
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We have played that, while the location is in play, it's in effect. So in this case, the Redshirt would not have Science.
 
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Brian Bowling
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The "Locations:" rule on the back page confirms that. It says the Location removes the skill from all your Redshirts, including any you draw from the deck.
 
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Dennis Crissman
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Having just embarked on being a board game geek, and excited about getting new games, I got "Redshirts" to play with my family (Sister, Brother-in-law, and niece) this Thanksgiving weekend without doing my research.

We suffered all the complaints I saw in this and other threads.
1. Game went on too long with no one getting close to winning (3 hours)
2. Very confusing to adjust to the goal of failing missions (double negatives)
3. Rule sheet not very clear.

Having returned home and looked over many posts. I have some solutions for making this game as fun as it should be.
1. Time limit on the game and who ever has the fewest redshirts wins.
2. Use 1.5 rule sheet which is clearer about zapping crew.
3. To play any card you must zap a redshirt.
4. 1 go around the table to modify the mission.
5. draw up limit.

The last one we may not implement at first because it is a good limiter for a player that is about to win, but having suffered so many of those moments, it may not be a needed limiter.
 
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