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bdgolish

New Group Challenges (Suggestions Welcome)

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I’ve got a group of rebels who are presenting some unique challenges I haven’t encountered before. We just finished a mini-campaign that took 3 months to complete because of busy schedules.  Additionally, they were way too deliberate in their planning. We met regularly but never finished a mission in a single session.  I will start having to put them on a timer.

There are 6 in the group (plus me) but usually only 4 who can make it regularly.  Unfortunately, it’s not always the same 4.  I like the idea of everyone playing their own characters.  One was stuck playing an ally and another had to basically get to know two heroes because they were kind of in the “fill-in” role.  I’ve outline a few options below.  Please share your thoughts. 

Option 1 - pick 4 heroes, whether 2 players show up or all 6, that’s what we play with. Pros would be that we get it done in decent time, we could set a weekly or biweekly time and anyone who could make it would, we could just play a traditional campaign. Cons would no one would really be connected to their hero and lack of dice rolling for individuals. 

 

Option 2 - everyone (all 6) pick their own hero. They would earn regular rewards and share gear.  When more than 4 are present, I would bump up my threat (1-4?) per round to account for the extra hero health on the board and more activations per round.  Pros - as long as we have 4 we could play.  Everyone would be connected to their hero. Everyone gets to roll dice.  Cons - it will more difficult for me to manage threat and keep it competitive on both sides.  Some people might fight over gear.

 

So what am I missing?  I think I like option 2, but I’d love to hear from experienced Imperial players. 

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What I've done previously is just pick 4. The people that show up to the 1st session gets to say which 4

 

Then always play with those 4 heroes, no matter the actual # of people that show up: if you don't come tonight then someone will be playing your hero for you. Twice no-show your teammate are allowed to buy xp/gears for you. 3 time no show I'd kindly ask if you're still interested in playing

 

Exactly 4 people show up = perfect

< 4 people means someone will be double duty-ing

> 4 people means you get a mini-imperial player to discuss strategies with

Bottom line: I'd never play > 4 heroes, having 5 or 6 heroes on board is just asking for trouble no matter how you look at it (balance/downtime/discussion time/fighting over xp or gears...)

I've seen plenty of imperial players that share your opinion of wanting to "include and please everyone" and the campaign just drags on forever and becomes abandoned which makes nobody happy. This way I know I can finish a campaign within a reasonable amount of time and start a new one if enough people are onboard

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I think the best option for the players is to let everyone have their own hero. If 4 folks show up, great. If less than 4, then have people run one of the missing heroes for the session. If 5 folks show up, have one of the players use their hero's skirmish card instead of their character sheet. Treat that hero like an ally (generating extra threat as normal). This saves you from the weirdness of dealing with 5 actual hero characters, but everyone gets to play with the character they're attached to (albeit one person is stuck using a streamlined version of their hero). I'm not sure how to manage it if all six players show up... if the heroes have two allies, the gameplay and scenario balance might begin to break down.

I would actually worry less about the equipment concerns... I think it forces the group to be wiser with how they spend their credits. They have to make sure they're purchasing equipment that benefits multiple heroes, leading to more of a flexible/generalist armory instead of a perfectly optimized one. Let the heroes swap equipment around at the start of each match, and you're good to go.

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I say give everyone their own hero, do your upgrade stage at the beginning of the mission so the people buying the gear are the same people that will be using that gear in the next mission, and just divy(?) up all the items at the start of the mission between the 4 heroes present.

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6 hours ago, Tvboy said:

I say give everyone their own hero, do your upgrade stage at the beginning of the mission so the people buying the gear are the same people that will be using that gear in the next mission, and just divy(?) up all the items at the start of the mission between the 4 heroes present.

How would you manage the xp system then? I feel that giving xps even to those that didn't participate in missions would just result in a balance disaster

Let's say the Rebel players picked all 6 heroes from Core

Mission 3: Gideon + Fenn + Gaarkhan + Mak would be optimized, let's have those 4 in

Mission 4: Gideon's not the best for this mission, let's have him sit out, gain the xp waiting for 4xp Masterstroke while we pick some other 4 to go in

Mission 5: Fenn + Diala + Gideon + Jyn would be optimized, let's have those 4 in

Mission 6: Fenn's not the best for this mission, let's have him sit out, gain the xp waiting for 4xp Rebel Elite while we pick some other 4 to go in

Finale: Fenn + Gideon + Diala + Gaarkhan would be optimized, let's have those 4 in

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Well, the rule would be if you’re not here, your hero isn’t in the mission.  I’d still award XP and credits as directed in the campaign guide.

 

To balance it for me, could I multiply every imperial resource by 1.5?  What’s the downside that I’m missing? 

2 threat becomes 3.

3 open groups become 4-5.

1 imperial XP or influence becomes 1.5.

Edited by bdgolish

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3 hours ago, ricope said:

How would you manage the xp system then? I feel that giving xps even to those that didn't participate in missions would just result in a balance disaster

Why?  XP is individual progression.  

 

Let's say we're on mission 5 of a campaign, and the heroes have so far earned 7 XP.  If you're only playing with 2 heroes, that wouldn't have changed.  Nor if you're only playing with 3 heroes.

 

If you're playing with 4 heroes at a time and switching out, you'd be facing a group of heroes that have earned 7XP- the exact same situation you'd be in if you were running a standard 4-player campaign.

 

Now, of course that's just in an ideal situation where Rebels present is literally the people who could show up.  If the Rebels start getting strategic about how they can benefit from certain heroes showing up or not, then it could definitely be abused.

 

But I think it's still far more balanced than having a hero fall behind permanently in XP just for not being brought to a mission.

 

One other possibility could be to keep track of the current XP the heroes have individually earned- like in our example where they'd each earned 7 so far.  Have heroes only earn XP when they complete a mission, but instead of earning the XP awarded on that mission, they earn the XP that would bring them to the current level of what each member of the team has earned.

So, you could theoretically leave Gideon behind for a while to wait until he levels enough to get his best abilities, but if you neglect him that badly you'll have at least one mission where he's abysmally under leveled. 

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^ What they said. It would be harsh to make people under leveled compared to everyone else just because they couldn't make it to the last mission. Just give every hero the same amount of XP. You should still only be giving them credits for 4 heroes though. 

You don't need to multiply Imperial resources to compensate unless you're playing against more than 4 heroes during a mission and here's why. Even the all the heroes are getting more XP in total, they're still going to only be bring 4 heroes worth of it to the table against you in each mission. If you compensate the Empire for playing against 6 heroes but there's only ever 4 in a mission, the Empire will have a huge advantage. 

Edited by Tvboy

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4 hours ago, subtrendy2 said:

Now, of course that's just in an ideal situation where Rebels present is literally the people who could show up.  If the Rebels start getting strategic about how they can benefit from certain heroes showing up or not

This is exactly what I'm talking about :P

Whenever I look at houserules or fan-made creations I just look at it from both sides (Imp and Rebel) and think about what's the worst case that could happen, i.e. how can I best exploit/abuse it. If I can't do much then it's probably fine. Otherwise I bring it up. Here I could totally see myself if I'm the Rebel deliberately making Gideon sit out for the first ~3 missions then swap him in starting in 4th and Masterstroke away

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14 hours ago, ricope said:

This is exactly what I'm talking about :P

Whenever I look at houserules or fan-made creations I just look at it from both sides (Imp and Rebel) and think about what's the worst case that could happen, i.e. how can I best exploit/abuse it. If I can't do much then it's probably fine. Otherwise I bring it up. Here I could totally see myself if I'm the Rebel deliberately making Gideon sit out for the first ~3 missions then swap him in starting in 4th and Masterstroke away

That's fair- from a game development side of things, it's pretty necessary.

 

I guess that, while some groups are uber-competitive, I just see that as a pretty rude and uncalled for move on the Rebels' part.  Not only does it give them an unfair advantage, but if each hero is associated with a single player, you're having some players forced to sit out for no reason other than their hero isn't optimal for this mission.

 

Maybe a fix to this issue could be for the four Rebel players to be decided before even arriving at the Imp player's house.  That way, they're stuck with whoever they sent.

 

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