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Bassoonist

How are Only Two Heroes Unbalanced?

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I was perusing another thread and read many posts that said you should definitely play with only four Rebel figures, otherwise the game would be greatly unbalanced. How is it unbalanced?

 

My experience was different. My group played through the core box, Twin Shadows, and are down to the last two missions in Hoth. The two players on the Rebel side opted to play only two heroes throughout.

 

Missions from the core box swung in the Rebels' favor 7-5. I think Twin Shadows was an even split. Hoth is currently swinging toward the Imperials 6-3. Although each mission in Hoth was close, I decided to leave out elite units during the last one to help out the Rebels. I suspect I (the Imperial player) did better because the Rebel players ignored the banes (I found the one that gave me an extra influence after each mission especially powerful) plus they banked their experience to get the more powerful abilities for their figures first (Diala and Gaarkan).

 

My friends opted for only two figures because they didn't want to deal with the hassle of managing two characters and all the bonus cards that come along with them. I suspect for inexperienced gamers this is a common fear. Honestly, I felt like it worked out fine. In smash and grab missions the Rebels seem favored since they use their two activations to reach the objectives quickly. Missions that are more of a slugfest seem to favor the Imperials because of the crush of numbers. Nevertheless, I never experienced a mission that was hopeless for either side.

 

I guess what I'm really looking for is input from people that have experience playing through the campaign with different numbers of heroes. How did your experiences differ with different numbers of heroes on the board?

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You mentioned some of these, but repetition is good.

 

Missions that require the heroes to move from one place to the other and back favor 2 rebels due to less movement actions needed compared to actions available.

 

Missions that have 3 places to be (like A New Threat) will be harder for 2 heroes and easier for 3 heroes than 4.

 

Due to 2 heroes having activations more often, it is not as easy for the imperial player to focus attacks on one hero to wound them. Two heroes can time their Rest actions more easily to prevent being defeated (wounded or withdrawn).

 

Having only two heroes makes the abilities more one-sided. With 4 heroes there are many more interactions to take advantage of, allowing to better adapt to the varying missions.

 

However, if you can't play with 4 heroes, play with 3. If you can't play with 3 heroes, play with 2. It's better than not playing at all.

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2 isn't as absolutely as terrible as some people pretend it is, but as a1bert points out, it causes some funky issues sometimes.  Luckily, these issues aren't inherently in either the Empire or Rebels' favor, so it still makes campaigns totally playable.  It's just a very different game from standard 4 player campaign.

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To me, it's not so much that 2 Heroes is unplayable, but it obviously changes the balance of the game in a pretty significant way - e.g. the simple fact that it makes it much, much harder to would a hero with 20 health substantially changes the balance of missions in a way that is often not great for one side of the other. And considering the solution to this is relatively easy, why play with two? Heck, even if the players really don't want to play with two, they could at least take Gideon, use him as a Command bot, and play with the 3 player rules.

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One character is already more than enough to keep track of.  I would never expect anyone new to the game to play four characters that's absurd.

 

I've even wondered about playing a one hero campaign where they take both legendary rewards and a heroic reward, so you get +23 hp and four activations.  Seems like you would just have more of the strengths of the 2 player game and EVEN more of the weakness of it.  Like, you're almost guaranteed to get a supply deficit if that comes up so just pick a different one.  It also seems like there would only be a few heroes suited to such a thing one with p good ability checks accross the board or one who can focus like Diala with Battle Mediation so she was a decent chance of passing a tech test.

 

Also I hate to say it but some people are just plain dumb and they look at the symbols on the dice and the cards no matter how many times it just doesn't click in their head five six missions later same as the first "so what can I do now" after they roll the dice and just stare at them.  At that point I just pack it up or if a friend brought them and they really want to play for/with their friend or w/e I'll suffer through it but I make sure the player that brought them is their "coach". 

 

I play tested it with a friend using the mission "Last Stand" we both settled on 11xp each and  she got 1200 credits credits and a reward from a green card for each reward I spent influence to get, which I think we figured it out I should have 10 or 11 influence.  I think it was 11.  I think I had Industry, the Grand Inquisitor, Bounty, and the one which gives storm troopers assault.  We also houseruled that I could re-deploy the Inquisitor since it is sort of bull to spend influence on a dude you can't rez if I couldn't rez him I was going to pick this other one that I don't think he liked besides if I couldn't bring Inqy I would have just brought royal guards which he hates more soz I think I kinda got played since I naturally like the Inqy alot but w/e

 

he lost but barely at the end of round 12 Vader had 5 hp left one more activation or a different activation earlier could have changed everything.

Edited by aRandomBoardGamingDude

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]

I've even wondered about playing a one hero campaign where they take both legendary rewards and a heroic reward, so you get +23 hp and four activations.  Seems like you would just have more of the strengths of the 2 player game and EVEN more of the weakness of it.  Like, you're almost guaranteed to get a supply deficit if that comes up so just pick a different one.  It also seems like there would only be a few heroes suited to such a thing one with p good ability checks accross the board or one who can focus like Diala with Battle Mediation so she was a decent chance of passing a tech test.

 

I know this is going to sound extremely hypocritical of me, but I think that would be really unbalanced.  I mean, I've acknowledged how the game significantly changes when played with two heroes.  This more than doubles the effects of those already compounded changes.  You'll have a single hero (who's a tank, by the way) zipping around the battlefield, spending activations like a madman, and very possibly finishing missions on turn 1 or 2.

 

But hey, it's also an interesting experiment.  After all, it's only one target for the Empire at that point.  If they manage to would him, the game's over.  Probably not the way I'd play the game, but if you do ever give this a try, let me know how it works out!  

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Like I said we only played it on Last Stand, we didn't test a whole campaign.  I already covered how it amplified the problems of two player games.  But honestly idc much about losing at this point and getting through an 11 mission campaign where each mission takes 45min-1hour each to complete...a few ending on round 1 or 2 would be fine with me.    I'm about to start using a 1min timer for each person's turn and photocopy every assembled map to cut back on the length of the game

 

But because I use Royal Guards ALOT as my open groups There's ALOT of stuns going around so they def don't zip around the battlefield.  But I can already tell I am going to lose Han Solo's missions where they get the quickdraw holster.   And Cloud City's Secret.

 

Maybe I should make it so they can't double move?  Or maybe they only get to spend 4 of their 8 actions per round on moves, so she could double move twice, but then she'd have to be stuck in the same spot for her next two turns. 

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