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Subject: Initial activation of all characters - WHY? rss

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Mikkel B.
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I have played the first 3 scenarios and I really like the game, but there is something that really bugs me about (re)activation:

Before a character can be reactivated, all characters (on the same team) must have been activated.
(Right?)

I think I understand the activation rules correctly, but it really doesn't make any sense to me.
Why must I "waste" turns activating all characters, before I can come back to activate the one I really need? It just don't make "thematic sense" to me - what "happens"? - why have the rule at all?

I guess I could just house rule it into oblivion, but I'm feeling I'm missing some important point.
(Removing the rule would also remove the need to tap the card and making it unnecessary to tilt you head to read the card )

Help would be appreciated!
 
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Fabio Calzolari
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My envision: the game tries to simulate the timeframe of a bunch of persons all doing something. So, since all of your characters are acting simultaneously, you have to "represent" this by activating them all, and only then you have the option to "push" someone.
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Glenn Darrin
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It's been awhile since I've played and I don't have access to a rulebook right now, but I believe by "activating", all you're doing is turning their card. You don't actually have to issue and order or spend cp's on them. So, if I'm right, and I could very well be wrong, you could still cycle back to the character you want to carry out an order to. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong. I'm sure they will.
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Ricky Cantrell
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parduz wrote:
My envision: the game tries to simulate the timeframe of a bunch of persons all doing something. So, since all of your characters are acting simultaneously, you have to "represent" this by activating them all, and only then you have the option to "push" someone.


This is how I took it thematically as well, simultaneous movement/action by everybody in the group.

Also, to solve the 'tilt your head to read the card' problem you could always start with all the cards tapped and then rotate them upright as you activate them.
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Chris Salvato
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MrBirk wrote:
I think I understand the activation rules correctly, but it really doesn't make any sense to me.
Why must I "waste" turns activating all characters, before I can come back to activate the one I really need? It just don't make "thematic sense" to me - what "happens"? - why have the rule at all?


For game balance, to better simulates simultaneous action in a turn-based system, and to add drama to the narrative.

In regard to game balance, there could be objectives that could be seriously unbalanced without the rule. A few examples:

Generate Zombie - If Salem gets this objective and starts in or near the Morgue, it's potentially 6VPs in a single turn for Kendall. If he is forecd to wait for the activations of his newly-created zombies, it allows the NORAD player to react.

Retrieve Zombie Serum/Jet Pack - NORAD searches, finds the required item, then ignores all other characters to escape quickly before Salem can react.

Also, if a group of your characters find themselves face to face with the Mammoth at the beginning of a round, you'll be very glad that that Mammoth can't act on every activation!

As you can see, it's there to allow the players some ability to react to each other in a semi-realistic way. Without it, some characters suddenly move into "hyper-speed" and can potentially act without any interference with a full compliment of APs.

Also remember that it's only limited until you have activated everybody; then you can activate freely. The limitation is small, and really only allows players to try to plan out their turns. IN a 3-4 player SAGS game, where everybody only controls 2 characters, you barely even feel it.

Salem can really feel it in 2P, as if they create Zombies, they begin to dilute their turn order a bit. It adds a strategic element to things for them as well.

And narratively, there's a delightful tension when I want to activate the guy who's in danger, but have to activate someone else due to activation rules. That dramatic irony really adds to the atmosphere of the game, in my opinion. It also forces me to think with a team mentality, seeing how my characters can alternate to move and support each other if necessary.

All that being said, it's your game and the game police are not going to bash down your door and take away your dice if you do away with the rule. Just be aware that it may chance the balance in some unexpected ways.

(See also HeroClix/HorrorClix for more turn-based miniatures limitiations on activations.)
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Nushura
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Clammy721 wrote:
It's been awhile since I've played and I don't have access to a rulebook right now, but I believe by "activating", all you're doing is turning their card. You don't actually have to issue and order or spend cp's on them. So, if I'm right, and I could very well be wrong, you could still cycle back to the character you want to carry out an order to. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong. I'm sure they will.


I am afraid that you are wrong. The first time you issue an order on someone you turn it, effectively activating it. So you can see activating as a particular case of issuing an order.

And to the OP, what mission are you on? have you tried scenarios with LoS and interrupting? This really reduces the impact of "I want to move the guy in front, but only still the ones left behind to activate"...since by spending enough CPs you can interrupt and use a soldier many times before another one is used
 
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Glenn Darrin
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Nushura wrote:
Clammy721 wrote:
It's been awhile since I've played and I don't have access to a rulebook right now, but I believe by "activating", all you're doing is turning their card. You don't actually have to issue and order or spend cp's on them. So, if I'm right, and I could very well be wrong, you could still cycle back to the character you want to carry out an order to. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong. I'm sure they will.


I am afraid that you are wrong. The first time you issue an order on someone you turn it, effectively activating it. So you can see activating as a particular case of issuing an order.


And there you go. Thanks for correcting me...I wasn't sure. My point was that when you activate, you don't actually have to issue an order. Just to be clear, are you saying this is incorrect? When you activate, you MUST issue orders using cp's?

edit: spelling
 
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Charlie Theel
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No, I don't think you have to issue orders with CPs but I haven't played in awhile either.

I always thought this was a balancing factor of sorts to give a sleight logistics advantage to a side with less figures.
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Glenn Darrin
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charlest wrote:
No, I don't think you have to issue orders with CPs but I haven't played in awhile either.

I always thought this was a balancing factor of sorts to give a sleight logistics advantage to a side with less figures.


Yup, this is exactly what I thought and was trying to say. I was thinking you have to cycle through activation of each character to keep balance between both sides, but did not have to issue orders if you didn't want to. Then you could just cycle back to the character you wanted to actually issue an order to and spend your cp's.

So now I'm really confused...
 
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Pete Goch
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Clammy721 wrote:
charlest wrote:
No, I don't think you have to issue orders with CPs but I haven't played in awhile either.

I always thought this was a balancing factor of sorts to give a sleight logistics advantage to a side with less figures.


Yup, this is exactly what I thought and was trying to say. I was thinking you have to cycle through activation of each character to keep balance between both sides, but did not have to issue orders if you didn't want to. Then you could just cycle back to the character you wanted to actually issue an order to and spend your cp's.

So now I'm really confused...


You can only activate one character per activation round. Assigning tiles and issuing orders is optional but you can't, for instance, activate your 3rd (of 3) characters and then assign an order tile to some other character and/or issues orders/cps to that other character in the same activation round. You'd have to wait until the your next activation round.
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Greg
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parduz wrote:
My envision: the game tries to simulate the timeframe of a bunch of persons all doing something. So, since all of your characters are acting simultaneously, you have to "represent" this by activating them all, and only then you have the option to "push" someone.


This is exactly how I envision it to be. Things are going on simultaneously and as been mentioned by someone else, it helps balance when one side has fewer figures. Both sides have to abide by the rules and while a player with more figures might get frustrated by having to wait to get back to the first activated figure, they still have numerical advantage, and double activations of the one figure right off the bat could be devastating to the other player.
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Glenn Darrin
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TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
You can only activate one character per activation round. Assigning tiles and issuing orders is optional but you can't, for instance, activate your 3rd (of 3) characters and then assign an order tile to some other character and/or issues orders/cps to that other character in the same activation round. You'd have to wait until the your next activation round.


This is a given and already implied. But after cycling through all characters on their activation rounds, with or without orders, then all restrictions are lifted on those activations until moving onto the final phase. Hey wait...it's beginning to come back to me now. So, you DON'T have to issue an order to a particular figure when activating. That's actually called "Waiting For Orders" in the rulebook, right?
 
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Mikkel B.
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Thank you all for your input.
My conclusion is that the rule is there for serveral reasons: simulation, tension and game balance.

parduz wrote:
My envision: the game tries to simulate the timeframe of a bunch of persons all doing something. So, since all of your characters are acting simultaneously, you have to "represent" this by activating them all, and only then you have the option to "push" someone.


A very good point, but I wonder if the simulation don't "break" in the later turns (where the characters can activate several turns back2back).

shidara wrote:
In regard to game balance, there could be objectives that could be seriously unbalanced without the rule. A few examples:

Generate Zombie - If Salem gets this objective and starts in or near the Morgue, it's potentially 6VPs in a single turn for Kendall. If he is forecd to wait for the activations of his newly-created zombies, it allows the NORAD player to react.

Retrieve Zombie Serum/Jet Pack - NORAD searches, finds the required item, then ignores all other characters to escape quickly before Salem can react.

Also, if a group of your characters find themselves face to face with the Mammoth at the beginning of a round, you'll be very glad that that Mammoth can't act on every activation!


Excellent points - I missed those because I only played senario 1-3 :-/
It sounds a little gamy, but I completely accept the balancing issues.

shidara wrote:
Also remember that it's only limited until you have activated everybody; then you can activate freely. The limitation is small, and really only allows players to try to plan out their turns. IN a 3-4 player SAGS game, where everybody only controls 2 characters, you barely even feel it.

Salem can really feel it in 2P, as if they create Zombies, they begin to dilute their turn order a bit. It adds a strategic element to things for them as well.


I begin to imagine the implications

shidara wrote:
And narratively, there's a delightful tension when I want to activate the guy who's in danger, but have to activate someone else due to activation rules. That dramatic irony really adds to the atmosphere of the game, in my opinion. It also forces me to think with a team mentality, seeing how my characters can alternate to move and support each other if necessary.


I'm all about tension

Clammy721 wrote:
And to the OP, what mission are you on? have you tried scenarios with LoS and interrupting? This really reduces the impact of "I want to move the guy in front, but only still the ones left behind to activate"...since by spending enough CPs you can interrupt and use a soldier many times before another one is used


I have played scenario 1-3, so I have tried los/interrupting, but it does not matter much if the enemy is out of los and the characters you can activate is in a different corner from the action

(I'm thinking now the rule can act as a kind of catch-up-mechanic: the fewer characters you have, the more flexibility (in early turns) you have?)

Anyway, thanks a bunch for all your feedback! I'm sure it will help my immersion in the game, and thats whats it all about, right?
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Fabio Calzolari
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MrBirk wrote:

parduz wrote:
My envision: the game tries to simulate the timeframe of a bunch of persons all doing something. So, since all of your characters are acting simultaneously, you have to "represent" this by activating them all, and only then you have the option to "push" someone.


A very good point, but I wonder if the simulation don't "break" in the later turns (where the characters can activate several turns back2back).

Well, there are compromises that we have to accept
Still, i see the CPa as "an handful of seconds". As example, the bidding of CPs for interruption to me just means "how much cautios was your character before seeing the opponent?". So, how much it was slow (spending CPs for each "handful of seconds") while advancing?

Activating again a character later means that he was doing a lot of time.
Sure, CPs as a "resource" break here the time simulation, but still i see the time flowing
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Clammy721 wrote:
TheOneTrueZeke wrote:
You can only activate one character per activation round. Assigning tiles and issuing orders is optional but you can't, for instance, activate your 3rd (of 3) characters and then assign an order tile to some other character and/or issues orders/cps to that other character in the same activation round. You'd have to wait until the your next activation round.


This is a given and already implied. But after cycling through all characters on their activation rounds, with or without orders, then all restrictions are lifted on those activations until moving onto the final phase. Hey wait...it's beginning to come back to me now. So, you DON'T have to issue an order to a particular figure when activating. That's actually called "Waiting For Orders" in the rulebook, right?


Yes, but you can only do this (activate a character and not issue an order tile) in the character activation (remember: the first activation is the "activation" itself; further activations are called "reactivations").
In summary: when you ACTIVATE, you may choose not to issue an order tile to the character (for example, for purposes of reactivating another previous activated character in your next round, or simply because you don't want to do nothing with that character at that time); when you REACTIVATE, you must do something (issue an OT, spend CP or both). So, you reactivate a character only if you want to do something with him; otherwise, you simply not reactivate him and activate other characters(s) of your(s).

Sorry about the poor english...
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