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About SmokeGunner

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    Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom
  1. Apologies for being picky about grammar but your title should be "... how they affect ranged combat"
  2. I was reading today about a physics theory known as the "holographic universe" theory, and immediately I could see parallels between this theory and the "Force" of the Star Wars movies. In a nutshell, the holographic universe theory says that the universe we see around us is just a projection of some other reality in another dimension, where the matter of the universe is more interconnected. Here's a description of its implications... "In addition to its phantom like nature, such a universe would possess other rather startling features. If the apparent separateness of subatomic particles is illusory, it means that at a deeper level of reality all things in the universe are infinitely interconnected. The electrons in a carbon atom in the human brain are connected to the subatomic particles that comprise every salmon that swims, every heart that beats, and every star that shimmers in the sky. Everything interpenetrates everything, and although human nature may seek to categorize and pigeonhole and subdivide the various phenomena of the universe, all apportionments are of necessity artificial and all of nature is ultimately a seamless web." That is pretty much a description of "The Force" from Star Wars.
  3. Well, I will reserve judgement for now until I've had a chance to see how the game plays in such situations. If the target can somehow interrupt the attacker's turn to return fire (ignoring line of sight) this would address the problem somewhat. In addition the lack of reciprocity may force players to use flanking tactics, which could make for a more interesting game. I just have this vision in my head of a stormtrooper behind a wall at the end of a long corridor giving my heroes the bird as he rains fire down on them knowing their only option is to charge into melee.
  4. The Line of Sight mechanic concerns me slightly, in that it would appear that it is not "reciprocal", meaning there will be situations in which a player will be able to say "I can see you but you can't see me". Is this a correct interpretation of the rules? If the answer to the above is "yes", then I think this is illogical. If Han is firing around some blocking terrain at a Stormtrooper then logically the Stormtrooper should be able to shoot back, although I would expect the Stormtrooper to have penalties to hit. [EDIT] This is confirmed by the online "Rules Reference Guide"... "It is possible for a figure to have line of sight to another figure that does not have line of sight back to itself. This most often happens when a figure is behind a wall or figure. Thematically, this represents a figure leaning out of cover to make an attack and then ducking back behind cover." Even so, I would think that the target of the attack would have a split second to return fire before the attacker ducks back behind cover. Maybe one could house rule that if the target of the attack activates immediately after being attacked, they can return fire with some sort of "partial cover" penalty. [EDIT 2] There are a few other ways you could handle this in a house rule. One would be to allow shots against targets you can only trace a single unblocked imaginary line to at a penalty of adding something to the range to make the shot less accurate. Another would be to trace line of sight from the centres of spaces instead of the corners but allow shooters behind cover to place a "shooting around cover" marker in any adjacent space and trace line of sight from that space instead. Enemy figures would then be allowed to fire at this space at a penalty of adding something to the range to make the shot less accurate. A figure would remove this "shooting around cover" marker if it moved into a different space, and would be allowed to remove or reposition the marker when taking another shot.
  5. From one of the GENCON videos it's pretty clear that FFG set out specifically to make a game that required an app rather than resorting to an app after trying other things. The FFG representative said they'd wanted to make a game that required an app to drive gameplay for a long time and XCOM is the result. I personally am all in favour of board game designers taking risks like this to try out new ways of playing board games. Years ago there were board games like "Nightmare" which came with a VHS video tape that you played on your TV as you played the game, and this is no different in that it's attempting to expand the boundaries of what we consider to be a board game. I hope the game is a success and leads to other innovative and potentially risky designs being tried.
  6. Any computer app starts life as a paper and pencil specification or flow chart. I therefore see no fundamental reason why the app could not be converted to charts and tables if there was a high demand for it. I also see no reason why the source code could not be made available for free so that if the app becomes unusable in the future someone could convert it to another OS. All this hate for the app seems way over the top. In my opinion it's a logical move for FFG to make considering the number of smart devices in circulation these days.
  7. One of the GENCON videos specifically mentioned the fact that some roles are less challenging than others, and that this was a positive thing as not everyone who plays games wants a high challenge. Many gamers rope in family members just to make up the numbers and those family members would probably appreciate a less challenging, if somewhat boring, role.
  8. I actually wish there were more minis. The Scientist chits are crying out to be changed to minis of lab-coated boffins! Given that there are four specialties of soldier and each can carry equipment, a mini with a slot in the base makes more sense than a counter in my opinion. It conveys all the information required without the need for separate tokens for each specialty or stacked tokens where only the top one is visible.
  9. I am looking forward to this too, and I am bemused by all the negative reaction regarding the companion app. Anyone without internet access or a device to download it to has probably never heard of XCOM anyway, so they are not likely to have any interest in the game to start with. As for the app not working some indeterminate number of years down the line due to OS changes or FFG losing the license, so what? I spend more money each month on petrol than this game will cost, so in the big scheme of things it's hardly a financial disaster for a game to be unplayable several years after you bought it. I would also not be at all surprised if someone (maybe even FFG) comes up with a set of random tables or cards to emulate the app once the game is out (EDIT: In fact this would be very easy for FFG to do as any app is fundamentally just a computer implementation of a paper and pencil flow chart).
  10. Hi all, I still haven't got the game yet but I am reading the PDF rules and noticed that the game comes with 4 dice. When I get the game I will replace the dice with the nicer ones with the elder sign on sides 5 and 6 which were made for AH but how many would be ideal? What is the maximum number of dice you have rolled in EH?
  11. So you aren't supposed to use tickets on "routine" travel but rather store them up for when you really need to move fast! That makes sense I suppose (although it suggests a degree of clairvoyance on the part of the investigators). I'm sure once I have played the game it will become clear why Prepare to Travel isn't a worthless action. Thanks for your replies.
  12. Hi all, I am considering buying this game after watching the fabulous "Overview" video on You Tube and glancing through the uploaded rules PDF but there is one thing I don't understand. If anyone can answer the following I would be very grateful. An investigator can perform only 2 actions each turn, and they must be different actions. One action is to Travel to an adjacent space. Another is to Prepare to Travel, which gives you a ship or train ticket (max of two) which can be used to extend a Travel action by one space per ticket. I can't see how the Prepare to Travel action would be of any value. If I spent 2 turns at a city Preparing to Travel, then did a Travel action on my third turn, I would move 3 spaces, which is no quicker than if I spent 3 turns doing Travel actions moving just 1 space each turn. Can anyone explain to me the benefit of doing Prepare to Travel actions?
  13. Here's how I interpret "Success with Despair". It's basically an ironic result, similar to the way things turn out in the short story "The Monkey's Paw". Good phrases to use when thinking about such results are "be careful what you wish for", "a double-edged sword" and "a pyrrhic victory". A desired outcome is achieved, but in an undesirable way or with undesirable consequences. In "The Monkey's Paw" for instance, the protagonist wishes for wealth and the wish is indeed fulfilled but only through the untimely death of his parents, who have left him a large sum of money. So, if the skill check is to shoot a stormtrooper using a blaster, you need to think of ways you could fulfil that outcome with undesirable consequences. Maybe he is spun by the blast and knocks an ally off a ledge, or rakes them with fire as he dies, or maybe a grenade he is carrying is hit by the shot, which explodes to injure nearby allies. If there are no allies around, maybe he falls backwards, raking the roof with fire and causing it to cave in, thus blocking the only exit. Every situation is different but in all cases the result should be a success tainted by unintended consequences.
  14. Funny, I searched for an image of a Gand and discovered it's an Indian slang word for "buttocks". I guess that would put me off playing one.
  15. Just thought what would be really cool - a hollowed out light sabre handle/pommel (i.e. just the metal bit, no beam extended) although it might be a bit too big. Maybe they do reduced size ones.
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