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Reuben What Is?

Campaign - Hard on Rebel Players?

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This sums up the problem I have with "Fly Solo" as well (documented in a different thread).

 

Yep.

 

 

my rebels made the mistake (without knowing it in advance of course) to open the door as their last action with Solo. Who got shot to death by everything that spawned after him and activated right then and there.

 

 

Correct me if I'm misunderstanding you, but,

 

If the Rebels open the door before Han escapes on his own, Han, the Stormtroopers, and the Officer all enter play with exhausted deployment cards. Neither Han nor the new Imperials may activate this round. In the following round, Rebels activate first and can try to get Han somewhere safe.

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I feel that the real balance problem is more about the way scenarios are built rather than the element of surprise in them.

 

In Generous donations, for example, the way I see it, its more the kind of troops waiting inside that is ridiculous. From memory, its Imperial Guards and Elite E-web, two of the strongest Imperial assets. Possibly having to play when most (if not all) rebels have already played their turns, I don't know many heroes that can withstand two elite e-web attacks and go along unwounded. I think I don't even have to mention the Imperial guards. So, troop quality, combined with the liberty of deploying anywhere on a tile and the fact that wounded heroes does not protect terminal makes it really hard for the rebels. Change the troops for standard stromtroopers (or anything of similar force) and the element of surprise is suddenly less bad.

 

Also, I may be alone in this case but, while Nexus are kinda cool, I feel they don't really belong in this game. Too powerful. Not "Imperial" enough. I don't have the impression I'm playing Star Wars when I use them, rather another sci-fi game with monsters and aliens, or a futuristic Descent.

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I have to say that by the mid point of the campaign we had learned "don't progress the mission with the last activation." Instead you use the first player in your turn if you can. In fact, if you think about it, it is quite clear early on. As someone said, often (but not always) it deploys guys who are fresh to act, or gives you a new task which you can then make no progress towards if you have no one ready to act.

 

My main problem is the inconsistency of when it is a good thing or a bad thing to rush. Early on we were a bit cautious and plodding, killing everything we could. That cost us a mission or two, so we were very careful to focus on mission objectives, and then promptly ran into a mission where really we would have been better focussed on killing things (Fly Solo... ok, I guess if you can all get down there in time, and then open the door and murder the guys in the room before they get to act, you might be vaguely better off, but that seems hard to achieve that). Now, I realise you wouldn't want all the missions to play the same, and I haven't played Generous Donations, so I can't comment on that, but it appeared that we always picked the wrong way to approach each mission.

 

Regardless, most of the missions were close, so I still wouldn't call it unbalanced. It might be worth highlighting the issue of "do you want to progress the mission when you have no remaining activations?" with inexperienced gamers.

 

I also qish the missions had a little more story to them. Now, I realise that most of side missions are meant to drop in and out of any campaign, so they have to be a bit generic, but I felt the main plot (and any future main plots) could have had a little more text devoted to building a story. I also felt the personal missions could have had a little more as well, as they are specific to the characters. I don't know whether it is an issue of not creating stories without Lucasarts permission or something, but sometimes the combination of the card and the in game expanation didn't really give much of a cinematic adventure feel (even if I think the game manages to get that spirit quite well).

On Nexus: I think they wanted some kind of "mindless creature" as part of the mix. However, some of the other creatures are either a bit specific (Wampas are kind of cold environment only), or too iconic and/or large to include (Rancor) in the base game. Nexus are about the closest to a generic wild animal that has been seen in the films so far. I think it mostly works ok in some of the less "imperial focused" missions, such as when exploring abandoned bases, or running into bounty hunters on Tatooine, especially as you could see it as a stand in for "generic large predator best". However, it is a bit galling at times when it appears on some of the missions in more "developed" locations (not usually at the start or in a reserved group, but because the specific mission has not banned creatures from the open groups choice list).

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My group hasn't played this game since January, and out of curiosity I wanted to see if public opinion has changed since we quit.  It seems things are still pretty much the same.  The mission most discussed here, Generous Donations, is the very mission that made us quit playing.  As has already been mentioned by several people, it's the lack of information that drove us to quit.  The Imperial Player shut down 2 terminals immediately after spawning, and there was no way for the Rebels to know in advance what needed to be done to stop that from happening.

 

We continue to play Descent to this day, and one of the nice aspects is that information is public to both sides so situations like Generous Donations don't happen.  Now, personally, I do enjoy games where there's an element of surprise.  But the surprise needs to provide suitable time and capability to respond to it.

 

I'm hoping the new big expansion provides a more balanced experience.  I absolutely LOVE the Star Wars universe, and I was overjoyed at the idea of Descent with Star Wars characters, so I hope the future expansions can get it right.

 

For data collecting purposes - my group was 3 Rebel players vs the Imperial players, and we (the Rebels) lost 4 out of 5 missions before we completely gave up on the game.  We're all very experienced boardgamers ranging from 10 to 20 years of experience and in Descent we're pretty evenly matched.  The 4 loss record alone isn't what made us quit.  We've all had bad losing streaks at one time or another.  But some of these missions were just futile where the Rebel side simply didn't have a chance unless they knew exactly where to go and what to do in advance (which is how I imagined playtesting worked since the playtesters were probably already familiar with the missions).

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I think that certain missions are specifically designed to favor one side or the other.  

I haven't played Generous Donations - it doesn't look like it will come up in our campaign - but Fly Solo was incredibly irritating.  I've already decided that I want to run my own campaign as the Imperial player with some friends, but make a few tweaks to certain missions.

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We just played our first mission tonight with the Rebels calling it begining of turn 6 when we realized the last terminal was behind blocking terrain with stormtroopers standing infront of them (Imp player went with closing the door since it was opened as the last activation, which with the magical spawning troops saw Jyn get shredded by the e-web, so had the red spawn point for a fresh squad of STs) so we had no way of actually getting to it and landing enough attacks. The biggest gripe we had was the suprise factors, spawning troops the door slamming shut again (the imp player proceded to roll 3 blocks against 3 seperate attacks costing us an entire turn just killing the door)

 

Surprise only works ONCE, and just makes for frustating play.. If we play another campaign of course Im going to remember that they imp play can slam the door shut or jack up the terminals so we'd opt to bum rush in so he can either get the red deployment but nothign from the door or boost the terminals. we'd know there's gonna be a e-web and troopers..  Just surprise makes for some crap gameplay and leaves salt in the mouths of players that lose the game because HAHA!

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So, you wish to complain that there were imperials inside an imperial facility? Or that a door might slam shut? The surprise is only in what imperials, surely? Frankly, running into an E-web emplacement cannot be much of a shock.

 

daa

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Surprise only works ONCE, and just makes for frustating play.. If we play another campaign of course Im going to remember that they imp play can slam the door shut or jack up the terminals so we'd opt to bum rush in so he can either get the red deployment but nothign from the door or boost the terminals. we'd know there's gonna be a e-web and troopers..  Just surprise makes for some crap gameplay and leaves salt in the mouths of players that lose the game because HAHA!

 

You are right, suprise only works once, but it adds so much life to the campaign at least for the first time.

I like skirmish and I don't mind min-maxing and optimising the performance in miniature game. But the first time here is special, becouse You have to expect unexpected and prepare for that. This gives this game a bit of RPG feel, so I like it.

Also, a lot of satisfaction, when You win it.

Edited by Bohun242

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Daedelus, what heroes were you playing with and which Imperial class? Those seem to matter a lot and being half-way through my second campaign I've seen one of them being relatively dominated by the Empire and the other looking to be a total thrashing of said Empire.

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Daedelus, what heroes were you playing with and which Imperial class? Those seem to matter a lot and being half-way through my second campaign I've seen one of them being relatively dominated by the Empire and the other looking to be a total thrashing of said Empire.

 

Curious what groups and Imperial class you say do the dominating? And which ones you saw do the thrashing??

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Recently finished a campaign with four friends.

 

Heroes: Jyn, Mak, Fenn, Diala.

 

Imperial: Military Might.

 

Heroes won the first couple of story missions, and Fenn's side mission.

Imperials won the last couple of story missions, and Diala & Mak's side missions.

Imperials won the finale. comfortably.

 

Jyn's Quick Shot became obscene, and Fenn's Havok shot was killing entire units with the Rebel's first activation. (stupid setup rules placing some units together or grouping at spawn points...)

Diala's player bemoaned having chosen her upgrades poorly, and even gave up force throw at one point because he deemed it too overpowered.

Mak was the constant coward, hiding at the back and ambushing

Military Might gave some pretty beefy Trooper units, and the Nexu were a constant pain in their sides with the Pounce.

 

The first couple of Hero wins I (the Imperial) was consciously going a little easier. Once I started playing more tactically (rather than acting "in character" for some enemies), the tables turned.

There was at least one fudged dice to give the heroes a chance at a win. Without the fudge they had no chance at all. (my choice. I wanted the players to enjoy they game, not hate loosing on one dice roll)

Two Hero wins came down to the last activation.

The Influence Card mission that has imperials attacking a safe house (forget the name) was a comprehensive Rebel victory.

They also won the Sympathy for the Rebellion side mission by virtue of one square of movement. (my nearest trooper was one space too far away from getting to a token, and my nearest Office was one space too far away from ordering that trooper)

 

All in all I felt we quite enjoyed it. The Weiss Finale with multiple AT-ST's was very one sided after the first round (which was one sided for the Rebels)

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Daedelus, what heroes were you playing with and which Imperial class? Those seem to matter a lot and being half-way through my second campaign I've seen one of them being relatively dominated by the Empire and the other looking to be a total thrashing of said Empire.

 

Curious what groups and Imperial class you say do the dominating? And which ones you saw do the thrashing??

 

In the first campaign Military Might vs. Jyn/Mak/Diala/Garkhan was relatively equal for for the first half of the campaign, at which point the Empire got more and more dominant.

In the second campaign (which is only halfway) Subversive Strategies is struggling more and more against Mak/Diala/Gideon/Fenn, hardly standing a chance in the last couple of missions (either the rebels won several rounds before the deadline or the Empire could not get a single of its several objectives in another). In one of them we, the rebels, got to kill off no less than 11 Stormtroopers before they had a chance to get their first action. The balance in this might still shift, as the Empire is getting the high end class abilities.

Edited by Cremate

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My co-worker just told me that his IA campaign has turned into a real Rebel dominated game.  They just did the 2nd to last mission in two turns with Garkhan killing Wiess on his second activation.  (No idea what mission FYI.)  Thier team has at least Garkhan and Fenn, not sure who else.

 

It really seems that the game is all over the place with some times rebels just dominating and sometimes the Empire.  I have to beleive that balancing a game with so many different missions and so many different combination of equipment, class cards, characters, and Imperial items is REALLY hard.  As long as it is mostly fun, it should be good.

 

Thanks,
Duncan

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Perusing forums, my biggest beef with the competitiveness of the game are

1. Han, Luke, and maybe Chewie allies are too high a threat cost. You gain a figure with 1 move and 1 attack per turn while the imperial player gains about 1 elite group with likely 3 figures for 3 times the actions.

2. Hidden information hurts planning of Rebel team. Adds flavor but takes away from competitiveness. If the flavor text was as useful as say Mansions of Madness, maybe Rebels would know what to plan for purely on that alone, but we are often taken by surprise by what happens. We just know to expect something bad, e.g. more spawns and activations. Incomplete information also makes it difficult to know when to push for an objective or when to hang back as it is difficult to estimate how much "time/rounds" we have left to fight/rest or just rush for it and take more damage.

 

We are almost done with the campaign, with only the finale left. Rebels never drew their character specific side quests and as a rebel player, we won only the Han and Luke side missions and never really got much use out of the rewards. We lost every other story, side, and forced mission.

 

To comment about Generous Donations, we made the mistake of having the fastest character (wookie) plow his way into the facility and activate the terminal while the other 3 were outside fighting our way slower toward the objectives not knowing that we needed to clear the imperials that spawned inside in order to hold the objectives. Even knowing that though, we are so far behind in damage that we would probably all get wounded by then or be overrun by the threat spawn.

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