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Mice and Mystics» Forums » Variants

Subject: Searching during and after combat rss

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kris kline

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I understand the rules, namely, that heroes can search the room while enemies are present (but not engaged directly) and that after combat can search as well, but it may trigger a cheese addition to the wheel if the initiative track has ended with no enemies.

But I've been thinking how much I don't like the rule that way thematically.

"Oh Maginos is in combat? I'll do a search while he keeps the Rats occupied." I don't think anyone besides Filch would do that.

Some strategy gamers tend to kite the enemy around the room till they can search and only then kill the final enemy, (lest a cheese is to the cheese wheel when there is no enemies on the initiative track). Hate that too. It is perfectly within the rules to do so, but breaks theme I think. Some folks make house rules for kids to allow them to search after enemies are killed and not get a cheese addition to cheese wheel.

So what is a good alternative house rule?

What about a simple rule that after combat is over, everyone gets to search the room once. No searching during combat ever. I suppose if they wanted to search a second time, they could take a cheese addition to the wheel as normal at the end of an initiative without combat.

To do a complete search of the room would require looking everywhere so it even makes some sense. (As the rule is now, folks looking during combat are in a sense only searching part of the room -- perhaps the reason why they might fail multiple searches then find an item on a further search.) Plus, kill the enemy, then loot the room is pretty much standard in RPG and Munchkin lore.

If only one search was allowed, and that was once the enemies were cleared, do folks think that change the number of searches per game? I bet it would be about equal, but I am asking for opinions. It seems, some folks search a lot, and others don't--cause they are fighting etc. But if everyone got one search and only one per tile, would it average out to the same over a whole game?

Not trying to make a big deal out of the rule, just looking for an alternative that makes thematic sense to me. The game is sooo thematic, practically cinematic!, that the room search is the part that always brings me back to the board mechanics rather than staying in game. Hence, it breaks immersion.

Thoughts? Again, a bit of a thought experiment and brainstorming towards development of a house rule.
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Scott Sinclair
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I think you hit the nail on the head. If you don't like it, house rule it.

Don't get me wrong, I understand where you are coming from a pure rules standpoint. I think that's the beauty of these rules, they keep it simple with a minimum amount of if/then variables. The rest is up to us.

For us we've house ruled that after combat, the time wheel cheese does not start until the next full round (a suggestion that was made in these forums). This essentially gives everyone at least one action and most choose to search (if you are my 6 year old you search until you are successful). The problem of searching during combat has not come up in my groups. Everyone is focused on killin rats!
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Ken Marley
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The great thing about this game being a co-op is that you can play anyway you want to .

I like the base rules, but we don't try to exploit it. If you want to try something different go for it.
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Ray Greenley
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I don't find the rule especially athematic. I can see a hero scrambling to find a useful piece of equipment even while his companions are battling. Just my point of view.

For me, I think this rule would reduce the tactical choices you have. Lots of times you don't necessarily want to charge right towards the enemies when you can't reach them and expose a single mouse to a lot of danger. Doing a search in this case still gives the mouse something to do besides wait around.

Also, the game does present situations where searching while enemies on the board is optimal, or even necessary. The sewers in Chapter 1 (Tishhook and Thread) and the Alchemists Chamber in Chapter 3 (Teleport/Levitate Scroll) come to mind.

You're certainly welcome to house rule your game however makes it more fun and thematic for you and I won't tell you you're wrong. But keep in mind that the designer did intend for searches while enemies are on the tile, and you may have to figure out how to deal with those situations when they come up.
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Greg R.
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Mister Sandman wrote:


What about a simple rule that after combat is over, everyone gets to search the room once. No searching during combat ever. I suppose if they wanted to search a second time, they could take a cheese addition to the wheel as normal at the end of an initiative without combat.


I applied this house rule with my kids except in chapters with special searches (i.e., fork or catnip). Those instances keep with the theme in my opinion. "Quick, find a fork Tilda while I keep these rats at bay."
 
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kris kline

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RMGreen wrote:

For me, I think this rule would reduce the tactical choices you have. Lots of times you don't necessarily want to charge right towards the enemies when you can't reach them and expose a single mouse to a lot of danger. Doing a search in this case still gives the mouse something to do besides wait around.

Also, the game does present situations where searching while enemies on the board is optimal, or even necessary. The sewers in Chapter 1 (Tishhook and Thread) and the Alchemists Chamber in Chapter 3 (Teleport/Levitate Scroll) come to mind.

You're certainly welcome to house rule your game however makes it more fun and thematic for you and I won't tell you you're wrong. But keep in mind that the designer did intend for searches while enemies are on the tile, and you may have to figure out how to deal with those situations when they come up.


This is why I brought it up. Wanted to hear what situations a house rule might impact. It is true that during combat, searching gives someone something to do if they can't fight. Good point. Also agree that certain chapters it is part of the game to search while in combat, ie the river/sewers. Nice call.

I may try the house rule for kicks and bend it when necessary, such as the sewer type scenarios. Not sure yet. Just don't like the kiting idea I already saw my strategic friends do. I understand it strategically and consider it fair gameplay according to the letter of the law, but still find that probably the worst immersion breaker. Actually, come to think of it, we pretty much house ruled "You can't do that, or at the least we agree to not do that..." and folks were fine with it.

I also think you are right that the game designer planned it that way, since things like searching for the hook in the river are part of the storyline, and I _like_ those parts. But, otoh I don't think every rule created by a designer can cover all parts of the game and kiting is probably not what the designer would have preferred (just guessing), since it seems a bit of an exploit. So I am still looking at alternatives.

Again, thanks for the thoughts on it. It is by far my favorite game now, family time with my kids is really special with this game, so I am not trying to rip the game apart by any means. Just brainstorming. The other thing is that it somewhat promotes "greediness" on the part of my kids, who want to make sure they get an item every room. That is certainly why the 'add cheese if you take too long' was created and I like it, but I suppose one free search after clearing a tile could remove that aspect so it wasn't an issue with the younglings...

Any other alternative house rules? Perhaps "one free search at end of tile clearing," but otherwise keep standard rule? That might get the kids to give up the 'greedy search' since they get a free attempt at the end. Also maintains tactical options and allows pick up of hook, etc. It wouldn't eliminate kiting either but it might reduce it.

Again, thanks for the suggestions...
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kris kline

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Chiken Bird wrote:

For us we've house ruled that after combat, the time wheel cheese does not start until the next full round (a suggestion that was made in these forums). This essentially gives everyone at least one action and most choose to search (if you are my 6 year old you search until you are successful).


I like this! Think I'll give it a try next go round if my house rule modification shown above doesn't work either.

I'll post my results on how it played with the kids. It should be interesting to see how the results change with the adult strategic gamer friends I have. Two different gamestyles. The kids are greedy during combat, the adults kite the enemy (to be greedy at the end, hehe!)
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Ken Marley
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My daughter would like the game less if she couldn't search in the middle of combat. It is one of the things she likes about the game, the choices. She doesn't always have to do the same thing. Sometimes she attacks, sometimes she heals, and sometimes she searches.

Once and awhile I have to mention that Dad might needs some help over here .
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