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Subject: Help Me Playtest New Scenario: The Rescue rss

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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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My wife and I love this game. Now that we've played all the official scenarios, I tried my hand at a custom one, somewhat inspired by the scenes where Dom is looking for his wife. We've played it once, and it was good, but hard. We barely made it. I'd appreciate anyone who would like to play it (especially with 3 or 4 players) and give feedback.

EDITED 8-27-2012 for all feedback thus far.


The Rescue
A Gears of War Board Game Scenario by Bobby Goodman III

Object: Find two missing civilians and escort them back to the rescue vehicle.

MISSION SETUP:

Starting Enemies: A: Wretches, B: Drones, C: Boomers

Location Cards: Level 1 = 14A, 6A, 5B. Level 2 = 2A, 16A. Level 3 = 4A, 13B

Level 1 Setup:
Players begin the game on the Junker area of tile 14A.
For the duration of the game, the Junker ability printed on the location card is ignored.
Place tile 6A with its entrance aligned with the entrance of tile 14A.
Place tile 5B with its entrance aligned with the exit of tile 14A.
Put the Level 2 door at the exit of tile 6A, and the Level 3 door at the exit of tile 5B. (These levels are unlocked and can be explored in any order or simultaneously.)
Spawn enemies according to the 14A, 6A, and 5B location cards, However, during setup, if a Boomer would be spawned, spawn a Drone instead.

General AI Cards: 2, 5, 6, 7.

STAGE 1:
Special Rules: None. (Boomers spawn normally.)

Go to Stage 2 when a COG first reaches the exit of Level 2 or 3. Then...
Put a Civilian token in that COG's area.
Spawn a Boomer at the Junker area. (In a 3 or 4 player game, spawn an additional Boomer at an emergence hole on tile 14A, unless all emergence holes on this tile are closed.)

STAGE 2:
Special Rules:
Grenade Pick Up: Put 1 Grenade token for each player on the Junker area. Any COG may pick up any of these grenades as if they are dropped weapons, but each pick up costs a special action.
Civilians: When a COG moves, it can escort a civilian, moving the civilian along with him for all or part of his movement. (A bleeding out COG may not move a Civilian.) Civilians can take cover. Locusts ignore civilians when they are escorted by a COG. However, if a civilian is alone or with only a COG who is bleeding out, the Locusts may target the civilian as if it is a COG. Civilians have 1 base defense dice. A civilian is killed if it takes any wounds, and the game is lost. (This includes wounds from explosive damage like the Boomer's omen ability or exploding Lambent Wretches.) If a civilian reaches the Junker area, it is rescued and removed from the map.
Lambent Wretches: Replace the Wretch enemy card with the Lambent Wretch card when the first civilian is rescued.

Go to Stage 3 when a COG reaches the other exit of Level 2 or 3. Then...
Put a Civilian token in that COG's area.
Replace the Boomer enemy card with the Grinder card.
Spawn a Grinder at the Junker area. (In a 3 or 4 player game, spawn an additional Grinder at an emergence hole on tile 14A, unless all emergence holes on this tile are closed.)

STAGE 3:
Special Rules: Stage 2 Special Rules are still in effect (but do not add additional grenades to the Junker area).
You win the game when the second civilian is rescued.


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mike oldham
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bobbypen wrote:
My wife and I love this game. Now that we've played all the official scenarios, I tried my hand at a custom one, somewhat inspired by the scenes where Dom is looking for his wife. We've played it once, and it was good, but hard. We barely made it. I'd appreciate anyone who would like to play it (especially with 3 or 4 players) and give feedback.


The Rescue
A Gears of War Board Game Scenario by Bobby Goodman III

Object: Find two missing civilians and escort them back to the rescue vehicle.

MISSION SETUP:

Starting Enemies: A: Wretches, B: Drones, C: Boomers

Location Cards: Level 1 = 14A, 6A, 5B. Level 2 = 2A, 16A. Level 3 = 4A, 13B

Level 1 Setup:
Players begin the game on the Junker area of tile 14A.
For the duration of the game, the Junker ability printed on the location card is ignored.
Place tile 6B with its entrance aligned with the entrance of tile 14A.
Place tile 5B with its entrance aligned with the exit of tile 14A.
Put the Level 2 door at the exit of tile 6A, and the Level 3 door at the exit of tile 5B.
Spawn enemies according to the 14A, 6A, and 5B location cards, However, during setup, if a Boomer would be spawned, spawn a Drone instead.

General AI Cards: 2, 5, 6, 7.

STAGE 1:
Special Rules: None. (Boomers spawn normally.)

Go to Stage 2 when a COG first reaches an Ammunition or Grenade area on Level 2 or 3. Then...
Add a Civilian token to that area.
Spawn a Boomer at the Junker area. (In a 3 or 4 player game, spawn an additional Boomer at an emergence hole on tile 14A.)

STAGE 2:
Special Rules:
Grenade Pick Up: Put 1 Grenade token for each player on the Junker area. COGs may pick these up as if they are dropped weapons.
Civilians: When a COG moves, it can escort a civilian, moving the civilian along with him for all or part of his movement. Civilians can take cover. Locusts ignore civilians when they are escorted by a COG. However, if a civilian is alone or with only a COG who is bleeding out, the Locusts may target the civilian as if it is a COG. Civilians have 1 base defense dice. A civilian is killed if it takes any wounds, and the game is lost. If a civilian reaches the Junker area, it is rescued and removed from the map.
Lambent Wretches: Replace the Wretch enemy card with the Lambent Wretch card when the first civilian is rescued.

Go to Stage 3 when a COG reaches the other Ammunition or Grenade area on Level 2 or 3. Then...
Add a Civilian token to that area.
Replace the Boomer enemy card with the Grinder card.
Spawn a Grinder at the Junker area. (In a 3 or 4 player game, spawn an additional Grinder at an emergence hole on tile 14A.)

STAGE 3:
Special Rules: Stage 2 Special Rules are still in effect.
You win the game when the second civilian is rescued.




So when do you open level 2?
 
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Jürgen Graf
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bobbypen wrote:

Place tile 6B with its entrance aligned with the entrance of tile 14A.

Shouldn't it be tile 6A?


Nice mission. I'll playtest it in the next few days and I'll give you some feedback.
Two questions left:
bobbypen wrote:

Put 1 Grenade token for each player on the Junker area. COGs may pick these up as if they are dropped weapons.

May one COG pick up all the grenades or may he just pick up "his" grenade?

bobbypen wrote:

Go to Stage 2 when a COG first reaches an Ammunition or Grenade area on Level 2 or 3. Then...
Add a Civilian token to that area.

Is there still ammunition (or a grenade) in the area or just the civilian?


onimike wrote:

So when do you open level 2?

As far as I can see, level 2 and level 3 are NOT locked, so you can explore them right from the start. You could even explore them at the same time and proceed to stage 2 and stage 3 at the same time, rescuing both civilians simultaneously (what will make the mission much harder).
 
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mike oldham
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thats what i was thinking but wasn't sure sounds like it could be sweet just have to wait for a day off to play test it.
 
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Jürgen Graf
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Two more questions:

1) A Boomer attacks a COG and rolls an omen – will his omen result kill a civilian in the same are?

2) If a Lambent Wretch dies in an area with a civilian – will the civilian be killed from the Lambent's death?
 
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Jürgen Graf
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I playtested your mission this evening. Congratulations, Bobby and Penny, you‘ve created a great mission that is nearly perfectly balanced. I loved the way how your mission is getting more and more intense, with enemies upgrading from stage to stage and with Boomers and Grinders emerging in your back. This mission recquires some fine tactical coordination and a lot of teamwork; the key to winning is chain-passing the civilians from COG to COG. „Follow“-orders and the „Teamwork“-action-card are essential to succeed in this mission.


I played with three COGs (Fenix, Dom and the Cole Train) and had a lot of luck picking the map tiles: In both level 2 and 3, I picked the shorter map tile first, so both civilians were close to the Junker area. This is my only recommendation for improvement: It has a massive impact on your mission‘s difficulty which map tile is picked first in level 2 and 3. So you could define that the civilians appear at the exit spaces of level 2 and 3 (or at the Ammunition/Grenade-area closest to the exit space). This would equalize the difficulty, no matter what map tile has been picked first. As a matter of course, this would be setting the difficulty to the higher degree, but I think this would be alright. In the „shorter“ map I played, evacuating the civilians was rather a little bit too easy, so a decent increase of difficulty would be fine.

The first part of the mission was rather easy. We managed to save the first civilian very fast. However, saving the second civilian got very intense, with our COGs running out of ammunition. A main difficulty of that mission is generated by the instance that level 1 is a long straight tunnel, offering a devastating fireline for Boomers, Grinders and Drones. So your COGs should always pay attention to clean all ranged attackers – but this will come at the cost of ammunition...

All in all, this is one of my favorite missions. I‘m looking forward to seeing more custom missions from you, Bobby and Penny!

One last question:
bobbypen wrote:
Spawn a Grinder at the Junker area. (In a 3 or 4 player game, spawn an additional Grinder at an emergence hole on tile 14A.)


In our session, we had sealed all emergence holes on tile 14A. What will happen then? We decided that no second Grinder will emerge as the COGs succeeded in blocking the path for hostile reinforcements. Is this correct? Or should a second Grinder arise from the emergence hole closest to tile 14A?
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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You can open Level 2 or 3 any time you move to the door and explore.
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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Graf wrote:
bobbypen wrote:

Place tile 6B with its entrance aligned with the entrance of tile 14A.

Shouldn't it be tile 6A?


Yes. Fixed.
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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Graf wrote:

Two questions left:
bobbypen wrote:

Put 1 Grenade token for each player on the Junker area. COGs may pick these up as if they are dropped weapons.

May one COG pick up all the grenades or may he just pick up "his" grenade?



Anyone can pick them up, but only one per special action spent on it.
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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Graf wrote:


bobbypen wrote:

Go to Stage 2 when a COG first reaches an Ammunition or Grenade area on Level 2 or 3. Then...
Add a Civilian token to that area.

Is there still ammunition (or a grenade) in the area or just the civilian?




The ammo or grenade is still there.
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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Graf wrote:



onimike wrote:

So when do you open level 2?

As far as I can see, level 2 and level 3 are NOT locked, so you can explore them right from the start. You could even explore them at the same time and proceed to stage 2 and stage 3 at the same time, rescuing both civilians simultaneously (what will make the mission much harder).


That's exactly right. You could open both doors if you are brave. I wanted to give the player multiple strategic options.
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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Graf wrote:
Two more questions:

1) A Boomer attacks a COG and rolls an omen – will his omen result kill a civilian in the same are?

2) If a Lambent Wretch dies in an area with a civilian – will the civilian be killed from the Lambent's death?


Yes on both. So be VERY careful.
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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Graf wrote:


One last question:
bobbypen wrote:
Spawn a Grinder at the Junker area. (In a 3 or 4 player game, spawn an additional Grinder at an emergence hole on tile 14A.)


In our session, we had sealed all emergence holes on tile 14A. What will happen then? We decided that no second Grinder will emerge as the COGs succeeded in blocking the path for hostile reinforcements. Is this correct? Or should a second Grinder arise from the emergence hole closest to tile 14A?


I hadn't thought of that particular situation. I would say no extra Grinder appears as a reward for sealing the holes.
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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Graf wrote:
.

All in all, this is one of my favorite missions. I‘m looking forward to seeing more custom missions from you, Bobby and Penny!


Thanks for your feedback and kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I'll especially think over what you said about the order the map tiles come out in. When my wife and I playtested, we had the opposite happen--both civilians were as far away as they could be. The first one was very hard to rescue. The Boomer that comes from behind nearly ended us. And you are right on about the ammo. At then end things got very desperate and we made a mad dash for the Junker. I had one card left in hand and she had none.

Other scenarios will likely be forthcoming. We both really love the game and have been playing wall-to-wall since we got it last month.

--Bobby
 
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Jürgen Graf
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bobbypen wrote:
And you are right on about the ammo. At then end things got very desperate and we made a mad dash for the Junker. I had one card left in hand and she had none.


Your mission's amount of ammo is well balanced. It's part of the thrill that you're running out of ammo in the final phase of the game. A session wouldn't be half as stunning and remarkable if you wouldn't finish the mission with the last bullet in your gun.

The additional grenades should be sufficient to pass the game. After all, you don't have to finish off the big bad guys at the end of your mission, it's sufficient to distract the Grinders in order to escape with the civilians.
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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So, we tested this again with the change that the civilian is found at the exit of the level. It was fun and worked well, but we got creamed. Dom and Cole went racing into Level 3 and were mobbed by a full wave of wretches. This used up most of our ammo, but we made it to the exit and found the first civilian. On the way back, Dom spawned another full wave of 6 wretches at the exact same spot, but now there were Boomers to deal with. Dom made a break for it, dragging along the civilian, while Cole ran interference. Dom managed to rescue the civie, but a Boomer hit him from long range, leaving him bleeding out next to the Junker. Cole arrived to help him up, but another lucky rocket from the same Boomer finished both COGs off. I'm sure medals of valor will be issued posthumously.
 
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Jürgen Graf
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Yesterday, we played your mission again as it is written, without any changes – this time with two COGs and it was recognizable harder. We played three sessions and in our first two attempts, we were both killed in our very first turn! In our third attempt, we did win, but without any ammunition or action cards left; one COG was down. Great game!

Again, the smaller tiles were picked first in both levels. The first civilian was rescued very fast and we managed to leave behind a larger group of Locust. But rescuing the second civilian was really stunning. The group left behind (with all the three Boomers/Grinders) blocked our path to the Junker – there seemed to be no way to get past them without getting killed.
So we had to hide behind a corner, diminishing the enemies one by one, shielding the civilian.

In our last turns, there was no ammunition and no action cards left, but still one Grinder was lurking for us. One of our COGs sacrifized himself to give his comrade the opportunity to run to the Junker. The risk was very high, the Grinder was close to kill both the COGs, but finally we were lucky and in the most critical turn, new Wretches appeared instead of the Grinder shooting us. (The chance was higher to pick a Grinder AI-card and to get killed, so the missions was really balancing on a knife's edge.)

Again, I think the mission‘s balance is well done. OK, we were killed two times in our very first turn, but we had bad luck rolling dice and picking AI-cards. The final part of this mission is really breathtaking.

After these new sessions, I have to withdraw one of my suggestions I mentioned before: Now, I think you shouldn‘t change the areas in which the civilians appear; in a two players game it‘s hard enough to rescue them.

Two questions came up yesterday:

1) A COG in the same area as the civilian is bleeding out. He is crawling to an adjacant area. May he move the civilian along with him? We would say no, he can‘t.

2) As long as there is a COG in the civilian's area, the Locust will always attack the COG first. But what happens if the Locust can trace line of sight only to the civilian because the COG is in cover and thus out of line of sight? Will the Locust directly attack the civilian, even if there is a (hidden) COG in the same area? We would say yes.
 
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Jürgen Graf
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Hey Bobby, I'll make you an offer you can't refuse. ;-)

If you agree, I'd translate your mission into German and upload the translation to Boardgamegeek, so the German players can join the mission. Of course, I'll give the credits for this mission to your name.

Do you agree?
 
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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Nice job!

bobbypen wrote:

Spawn enemies according to the 14A, 6A, and 5B location cards, However, during setup, if a Boomer would be spawned, spawn a Drone instead.


Question : When exploring level 2 &/or 3, do the locusts spawn normally or as described above (Drone instead of Boomer) ?

bobbypen wrote:
STAGE 3:
Special Rules: Stage 2 Special Rules are still in effect.

Does it include putting extra grenades at the Junker's area (just like in stage 2)?
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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Graf wrote:


After these new sessions, I have to withdraw one of my suggestions I mentioned before: Now, I think you shouldn‘t change the areas in which the civilians appear; in a two players game it‘s hard enough to rescue them.



I like the idea of putting the civie at the exit of the level. It makes the scenario difficulty more consistent. Otherwise sometimes you get an easy location draw and sometimes a hard one. I'd rather go with this rule, and after more playtesting, if the scenario proves to be too hard, lower the difficulty in a different way.
 
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Graf wrote:
Two questions came up yesterday:

1) A COG in the same area as the civilian is bleeding out. He is crawling to an adjacant area. May he move the civilian along with him? We would say no, he can‘t.

2) As long as there is a COG in the civilian's area, the Locust will always attack the COG first. But what happens if the Locust can trace line of sight only to the civilian because the COG is in cover and thus out of line of sight? Will the Locust directly attack the civilian, even if there is a (hidden) COG in the same area? We would say yes.


1) I agree. A bleeding out COG cannot move a civie.

2) In this situation, I would still say the Locusts do not attack the civie. My intention is that they don't bother "mopping up" the unarmed civilian until the armed COG escort is down. Conceptually, I think of the civilian as huddling close to the protective COG, not in cover technically, but not standing there making a target of herself. If we allow the Locusts to take to many potshots at the civie, I'm afraid the scenario gets to hard. It would also be hard in these sense that you can't predict exactly how the Locusts would move, so you might be in cover with the civie next you, expecting to be safe, then the Locusts move and because of an unforseen LOS issue, you lose.
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Graf wrote:
If you agree, I'd translate your mission into German and upload the translation to Boardgamegeek, so the German players can join the mission. Of course, I'll give the credits for this mission to your name.

Do you agree?


Go for it. I just edited the scenario above to reflect all the feedback so far.
 
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Bobby & Penny Goodman
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Roolz wrote:
bobbypen wrote:

Spawn enemies according to the 14A, 6A, and 5B location cards, However, during setup, if a Boomer would be spawned, spawn a Drone instead.


Question : When exploring level 2 &/or 3, do the locusts spawn normally or as described above (Drone instead of Boomer) ?

bobbypen wrote:
STAGE 3:
Special Rules: Stage 2 Special Rules are still in effect.

Does it include putting extra grenades at the Junker's area (just like in stage 2)?


1) Once the game starts (that is, after setup is complete) Boomers spawn normally from the Locust AI Cards as the C Locust. (In a later stage, the are replaced with Grinders.)

3) In Stage 3, do not add new grenades. However, grenades may still be there leftover from Stage 2 that can be picked up.
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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Thanks for the clarification Bobby.

While working on a French translation of your mission, I've photoshopped a draft of the cards with english text (I had to modify some things to fit the cards layout, and added a few flav text).
Draft cards here:
 

Could you please take a look and give me feedback via geekmail ?

 
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New prelim version, includes your feedback (plus a couple of other things):
 

Let me know what you think of this one.
 
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