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Subject: Is it me or is it too hard? rss

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Antoine Fibula
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Hello!


I've got some questions regarding the difficulty of the game... We had our first game on saturday, and we really had a hard time... We chose the mission where you have to destroy a laboratory (it's a mission from the core book), which seemed a good to begin our adventure, but as we were six players (an engineer, a pilot, two scientists, two marines, plus a pilot bot and an engineer bot), we had to remove one of the ship's parts to add a second life support. We chose to remove the missile bay, because we thought that we were gonna need the canon, the three reactors to get a lot of power, and the science bay to get shields.

But the problem was that both the ship protecting the lab and the lab itself were throwing missiles at us all the time, so we just kept shooting at missiles with the multi-canon, and couldn't do proper damages to the lab or to the ship...

So is it too hard with more than four players, or did we do something the wrong way? Any advice is welcome!
 
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Greg Frank
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do you remember the name of the mission? Some missions are harder than others. If it is the one I am thinking of that mission was designed to teach players the features of the game, which can make it hard. Overall I found that you can tweek the MD of a mission to make it easier and the ref of the game has the ability to make the missions harder or easier.

 
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In that situation, having missiles would have been more useful than having a cannon. You could have sent a couple of marines over in a boarding missile to distract the enemy while you closed.
 
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Antoine Fibula
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gf_ripper wrote:
do you remember the name of the mission?
It's called "Assault Lab", and it's the first one from the core book! It seemed easy for a first try, but maybe I was wrong...


gf_ripper wrote:
Some missions are harder than others. If it is the one I am thinking of that mission was designed to teach players the features of the game, which can make it hard. Overall I found that you can tweek the MD of a mission to make it easier and the ref of the game has the ability to make the missions harder or easier.
Well, in this mission, the MD adds relay stations on the asteroids around the lab, but, if I recall correctly, the relay stations are only useful to the canons, right? And the enemies almost only used the missiles!


jshaffstall wrote:
In that situation, having missiles would have been more useful than having a cannon. You could have sent a couple of marines over in a boarding missile to distract the enemy while you closed.
That's a good idea, but what about the incoming missiles? With two missiles per round, we're gonna sustain a lot of damage...
 
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Nate Bivins

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First off, two things:

The game is ever only as hard as the GM makes it. A good GM, in my opinion, is constantly judging difficulty and adjusting things as necessary.

Secondly, there are numerous ways to approach any problem in Battlestations, which is part of why it's such a great system.

For example, in this scenario, you could have used your cannon in multishot mode to defend against the missles while your scientist gathered data on the lab and your pilot closed rapidly with the lab for a docking maneuver.

OR you could have gone with the missle bay and launched boarding missles while the pilot kept speed up and dodged missles and the science officer ECM'd them. Maybe ask the GM if you can dodge missles into an asteroid or ECM it into one. Dump the trash if your engineer has that ability. Etc.
 
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Antoine Fibula
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slackerb wrote:
The game is ever only as hard as the GM makes it. A good GM, in my opinion, is constantly judging difficulty and adjusting things as necessary.
Well in fact, I'm both GM and player! (I'm tired of always being the GM, and nobody wanted to play the engineer anyway!)
As a GM, I deliberately forgot to do some actions when the players were having a rough time, so, yeah, I tried to adjust the difficulty as much as I could!


slackerb wrote:
For example, in this scenario, you could have used your cannon in multishot mode to defend against the missles while your scientist gathered data on the lab and your pilot closed rapidly with the lab for a docking maneuver.
What's the data gathering for? I don't get it... I thought it was only used in some special scenarios!


slackerb wrote:
OR you could have gone with the missle bay and launched boarding missles while the pilot kept speed up and dodged missles and the science officer ECM'd them. Maybe ask the GM if you can dodge missles into an asteroid or ECM it into one. Dump the trash if your engineer has that ability. Etc.
Oh, yeah, I totally forgot about ECM... No wonder my scientists were getting bored!
 
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Assault Lab is not a simple mission.

A simple and easy mission would be the Duel. 1 ship vs 1 ship of the same size, and not a Silicoid one. Also, adjust MD to the average Rank of the characters. In that case, you should get some MD modifiers (available on most other supplements).

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Antoine Fibula
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We just tried the mission again, using a ship with only two engines but a missile bay and a canon, and it worked a lot better! We sent two people on a boarding missile to kill everyone in the enemy ship and take control of it, and it was a total success!!
But it's 3am here, so we decided to stop here... The lab's still intact, but we've got two ships!

Before going to bed, I've got another question: Does the shields ever go down? Because the lab, with its seven shield power, seems almost impossible to get with the canon... Or does the shields of a ship go down at each shot the ship takes? I couldn't find anything about that in the rules...


andstrauss wrote:
Assault Lab is not a simple mission.

A simple and easy mission would be the Duel. 1 ship vs 1 ship of the same size, and not a Silicoid one. Also, adjust MD to the average Rank of the characters. In that case, you should get some MD modifiers (available on most other supplements).
In Assault Lab, I'm pretty sure it's a Canosian ship, not a Silicoid! And we chose that mission because it seemed simple AND fun! Simply shooting at another ship isn't the most attractive mission...
Anyway, yes, maybe a MD modifier would be helpful. We'll try that next time!
 
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Jeff Siadek
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You should probably have upgraded the ship size to size 6. That would give you more firepower and more modules for people to operate.

I tried to run myself solo through the missions in alphabetical order once. A size 5 ship doesn't have any hope of success in an "Assault" mission. It was ugly.

I usually downgrade the Mission Difficulty by one for newbies so they can get the hang of it. There are a lot of subtle tricks to make things go better that you just learn as you go along. For beginners, just keeping the ship intact is hard enough.

I really like "Bad Apple Shakedown Cruise" as an early mission because it highlights ship to ship and shipboard action with a slight roleplaying element.
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Hi Jeff!

Okay, we'll try the mission you're talking about!

About the size upgrade, I was thinking about it too, buuut... Seemed more fun if we had to upgrade it ourselves! Anyway, we may have to consider it if we still fail our next mission! Plus I don't want my friends to get bored...

Anyway, thanks for the tips, guys!
 
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Quote:
Well in fact, I'm both GM and player! (I'm tired of always being the GM, and nobody wanted to play the engineer anyway!)
As a GM, I deliberately forgot to do some actions when the players were having a rough time, so, yeah, I tried to adjust the difficulty as much as I could!
A 5-player crew is actually a great set of players, and they can relegate 2 bots to the Engines. There will be missions coming up where the referee will manage a lot of factors, so it might be a smoother session if you can focus on the rules and move the bad guys tactically. Also, without secrets, a large aspect of the mystery of the universe is missing! For example, using the Science Bay to ask yes/no questions to determine the nature of an unknown anomaly.

I know what you mean about wanting to join in the play, and if you can pull it off then bravo! Let us know your tips and techniques.

There are actually a lot of great actions players can take every phase to make their mission successful that new players don't usually think about.

Tips for Fresh Recruits
Assist each other when taking difficult actions. The marine can run around helping out as needed before the ships engage
Prepare when you can only use a module once. Launch that missile on phase 2 for more chances of success
Use your Luck wisely. Binge Luck spending might not result in success and it could be critical later
Spend Luck. (There might not be a "later" if you don't.)
Move around the ship or suffer the "remote module" penalty
Pop into (or out of) that extra square when it's needed
Go on "overwatch" at the end of a Round to use a module when it comes back online to free up your next Round's phase 1 action
Move the power from all three systems into one to reduce the amount of power lost at the end of the Round
Have the pilot act last in a phase so the OOC doesn't affect everyone's actions
Wait for the pilot to clear OOC at the start of a phase if it's too raucous for the crew to act or move
Use a large and obvious "phase die" to move the action through the Round so that players are aware of what phase it is, and when you reach for that die everyone will get the sense that they should act

Come to think of it, these might be good words to live by!
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Antoine Fibula
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gigapede wrote:
There will be missions coming up where the referee will manage a lot of factors, so it might be a smoother session if you can focus on the rules and move the bad guys tactically.
I'm not really playing a lot as a player, more as the bad guys. I'm not helping my team by taking the decisions, as I know what's coming up! But, on this mission, I hadn't to focus on the bad guys, as we kept losing and losing again...


gigapede wrote:
I know what you mean about wanting to join in the play, and if you can pull it off then bravo! Let us know your tips and techniques.
Well, the persons I play with are always arguing for hours about what they should do, so I have plenty of time to plan the bad guys moves...


gigapede wrote:
Move the power from all three systems into one to reduce the amount of power lost at the end of the Round
Wow, these one's golden, we didn't think about it!! Thanks a lot for that precious tip!
 
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Chris Williams
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I always forget to do that last one, but it's very useful...
 
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