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Tvboy

Higher Difficulty?

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Anyone come up with any ideas for how to increase the difficulty level without making the game impossible? The game has gotten too easy now that I’ve realized the AI doesn’t spawn new enemies until you trigger the next mission event, so it’s very easy to take your time clearing a room and then healing up before opening the next door. The “peril” effects are pretty minor to the point of being irrelevant. This is actually giving me bad habits in the real campaign game. 

I’ve already altered the AI so that it will ignore wounded heroes if it needs to wound all heroes to win. I wonder if a 6-round time limit would be appropriate for every mission? 

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Healing up using the limited number of Medpacks? Are you never running out of them? What do you do when you run out of them?

(Recovering strain does not recover damage, so Rest only recovers strain.)

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, a1bert said:

Healing up using the limited number of Medpacks? Are you never running out of them? What do you do when you run out of them?

(Recovering strain does not recover damage, so Rest only recovers strain.)

 

Yes, I am aware of that rule Albert. I rarely have a shortage of medkits because I just use the downtime before opening a door to interact with every crate that appears and I've found that you can usually find 3-4 extra medkits lying around, and of course you get even more if you draw a medical card which is easy when they always give you Rebel Recon reward or if you have Jyn or Ko-Tun, or get something like Portable Medkit item or Environmental Hazard Suit from the free item drop. 

Even when I am out of all healing items, just having a free turn to remove all my strain, get all my heroes into position next to a door and ready all my deployment cards is a huge luxury that does not exist in the normal campaign. 

Edited by Tvboy

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On 4/29/2018 at 1:59 PM, Tvboy said:

Anyone come up with any ideas for how to increase the difficulty level without making the game impossible? The game has gotten too easy now that I’ve realized the AI doesn’t spawn new enemies until you trigger the next mission event, so it’s very easy to take your time clearing a room and then healing up before opening the next door. The “peril” effects are pretty minor to the point of being irrelevant. This is actually giving me bad habits in the real campaign game. 

I’ve already altered the AI so that it will ignore wounded heroes if it needs to wound all heroes to win. I wonder if a 6-round time limit would be appropriate for every mission? 

Re-played the first mission of the app last night on hard difficulty.  

 The continuous flow of imperial units spawned at the end of each round proved to be a nice challenge, without counting the fact that if you remove every imperial figures before the end of a round, it will automatically interrupt to deploy a squad of regular stormtroopers.  Finished the mission with Gaarkhan, Vinto and Murne wounded and Drokkatta with 2 health points remaining and I had to heal Drokkatta twice with medpacks to survive the round.  Darth Vader is sooooo brutal, even without Brutality

;) 

The second mission is different as you point out.  You can basically clear a room before advancing your objective and it feels less challenging overall.  After messing up with the tokens in the cantina, an Officer showed up with a squad of Snowtroopers (must be winter time on Ord Mantell ;) ).  Vinto, Drokkatta and 2 Rebel troopers were all that I needed to remove the imperial units from the board, despite the snowtroopers healing themselves during their activation.  Nothing was spawned until I opened up the door of the conveyor.  Had time to buy a drink to Drokkatta (removed all strain token and became focused, which I thought was nice as I expected a bane effect) and grab all the crates around.   [\spoiler]

Ideas to increase the difficulty :

1) When the imperial activates, ignore the proposed rebel target and select the one that makes more sense (something you're already doing).  Sort of playing like if you were the imperial player, except you don't know which units will activate next.

2) When attacking with imperial figures carrying range weapon, do not move closer than the minimum accuracy you can get with the dice, including any built-in accuracy.  For instance, a stormtrooper attacking with a B+G is guaranteed 3 accuracy from the dice.  There is probably no need to move closer than 3 spaces from the rebel target. 

3) Any unspent movement points from  2) above could be added to the pool of movement points for the next activation which is usually a move to reposition action.  That might help to achieve the "reposition" value and get further away from the rebel figures.

4) Ignoring any medpacks (that allows to remove 5 damages after resting) gained from crates hence reducing the number of time you can heal damage.  So if the mission starts with 2 medpacks, that's all you have for the whole mission.  However, I would still consider any healing-crate-cards as valid method to reduce damages (like emergency medpack card).  

5) Whenever an ominous figure is deployed maybe add the threat level to its health to make it more difficult to kill.  

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I was playing the second mission of the app last night on hard difficulty and I got my behind served to me on a silver plate big time!  Mission and app version of General Sorin spoilers

 

 

The party's Drokkatta, Gaarkhan, Murne and Vinto with regular rebel soldiers earned from the previous mission.  The troopers felt first, then Drokkatta, Murne and Vinto were wounded THEN withdrawn.  With two tokens on board of the shuttle, and the last 2 probably making it on the next round, Gaarkhan did not survive the round and was wounded.  

I investigated some of the civilians in the cantina and one did not like rebels.  On the next round, an Imperial patrol (officer and regular snowtroopers) entered the cantina, but they didn't survive the round.  After opening the convoyer door, some gamoreean guards, regular and elite ugnaughts as well as hired guns were waiting for my crew.  I lost one rebel trooper and suffered some damages here and there but things were still under control.  Then, I started to free some of the prisoners ... IG-88 did not last long as I concentrated fire on it, but the bounty hunter was there long enough to wound Drokkatta with 3 attacks in a single activation.  Then, next to the shuttle, the app started to pile up imperial units, including a crazy General Sorin that did not need accuracy nor LOS to attack a rebel figure, that could attack twice in one attack-action with each of his attack gaining blast 1 and that could still move next to other imperial units to focus all adjacent friendly units!!!!  As my rebel figures/heroes started leaving the convoyer room to escort the tokens, they were taken down round by round by snowtroopers (first figure to activate gains 1 extra green die bonus = 1 blue + 1 green + 1 green (focused, thanks Sorin) + 1 green (bonus)), regular e-web (figures does not block LOS, first attack gain 1 blue die = 1 blue + 1 yellow + 1 red + 1 green (focused, thanks Sorin) + 1 blue (bonus) ), regular ISB infiltrators that can combined for 3 attacks per round with coordinated raid and regular jet troopers that can warp next to my heroes at the start of their activation.    

I play casual over many days (setup in my garage "locked" to intruders (read kids, cat and dog ;) ) play a few activations/rounds, save, give signs of life to the wife, kids, cat and dog, repeat) and I'm aware I'm not playing optimal but so far, Hard mode has proven to be challenging to me! 

 

Edited by IanSolo_FFG

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13 hours ago, Cremate said:

You could also just challenge yourself with some less than sterling Heroes.

Biv, Saska, and a few others spring to mind. ;)

 

Along these lines, even good heroes can give you a bit of a fun challenge in the right combinations.  Make an all-melee team - not only do you have to worry about movement and positioning a lot more, you've also got increased competition for a smaller pool of weapons that will lead you to try out some items that you probably wouldn't have considered otherwise.  Try a game with all white-die heroes - the app gets harder when you don't have anybody who you can reliably stick out front to tank damage.  If you're feeling brave, go all-support with something like Gideon, Murne, MHD and Saska.  There are some great heroes in that group, but you're going to have to play them a little non-standardly if you're going to have success with them as a team.

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On 6/12/2018 at 9:54 AM, IanSolo_FFG said:

 

 

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2) When attacking with imperial figures carrying range weapon, do not move closer than the minimum accuracy you can get with the dice, including any built-in accuracy.  For instance, a stormtrooper attacking with a B+G is guaranteed 3 accuracy from the dice.  There is probably no need to move closer than 3 spaces from the rebel target.

...

5) Whenever an ominous figure is deployed maybe add the threat level to its health to make it more difficult to kill.  

 

 

 

2) By definition, a "move to attack" order means "move until you have line-of-sight on the target."

5) I don't believe the app gives a Threat level, since there's no Imperial Player to spend Threat points.

All other points aside, I found Hard mode to be an adequate challenge. But I do like your other ideas. Increasing enemy health or reducing Hero health are the simplest, least-unbalancing ways I can think of to add difficulty.

Or do what I did when I was the Imperial Player: make it more of a Role-Playing Game. Don't have your Rebel Figures behave like pieces in a strategy game; make them behave like people in a battle. YOU know that no more bad guys will show up until you open the door because you've played the mission before. Jyn Odan would havd no idea; have her behave accordingly.

Other ideas:

Fudge the dice rolls to your own detriment.

Add 2 to every accuracy requirement.

Give every enemy an automatic Block, Damage, Surge.

Give bad guys a defense roll vs blast and cleave.

You can't roll Dodge. If you do, it counts as rolling a blank. Or you re-roll it.

Reduce the maximum number of simultaneous Power Tokens held by a single figure.

Increase the cost of adding 1 of anything to 2 Power Tokens (but not necesaarily of the same type, since you're only allowes to have 2 at a time).

Eliminate Power Tokens from the game entirely.

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5 hours ago, Thorvindr2 said:

2) By definition, a "move to attack" order means "move until you have line-of-sight on the target."

From the Legend of the Alliance rule book on page 16 under the "Move X to Attack" section it says 

"When moving to attack, an Imperial figure tries to move to and attack the target from the closest space possible"

In their graphical example below the paragraph, the first stormtrooper to activate is 5 spaces away from Diala and does have line of sight.  The command is "move 3 and attack the hero with the most health remaining" which turns out to be Diala.  The example shows the Stormtrooper moving 3 spaces (hence now being 2 spaces away from Diala) before attacking.  I'm not sure where you got your definition depending on line of sight.

What I was suggesting is that since the stormtrooper attack pool has a guaranteed 3 accuracy (blue + green) then there is no need to move within 2 spaces of Diala in the above example.  Instead, the Stormtrooper can stop after having moved 2 spaces (instead of 3).

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On 4/29/2018 at 5:50 PM, Tvboy said:

Even when I am out of all healing items, just having a free turn to remove all my strain, get all my heroes into position next to a door and ready all my deployment cards is a huge luxury that does not exist in the normal campaign. 

That’s been my experience with the app also. Maybe we should not take that full turn to rest? That’s a loophole that seems to be an accident, so maybe not resting with more than 1 or 2 heroes before opening the door would lead to more balance

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55 minutes ago, Fightwookies said:

That’s been my experience with the app also. Maybe we should not take that full turn to rest? That’s a loophole that seems to be an accident, so maybe not resting with more than 1 or 2 heroes before opening the door would lead to more balance

On my first playthrough, I at least was always worried that enemies might spawn, and a time or two it might have rushed us through one of those grace periods. 

 

But yeah, once I caught on it did appear to at least offer a different approach to balance than the book campaign.

 

Hey, maybe they're figured in and we're supposed to take full advantage of them.

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Posted (edited)

How about that?  Limit the rest action to situations  when using a medpack (remove all strains plus 5 damages from the medpack).  Otherwise the only way to recover strain is with an unspent surge while attacking.  It might be a little too extreme though ... 

Edited by IanSolo_FFG

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I'd rather make the app stronger than make myself weaker. Not being able to use my hero's abilities or purposefully playing suboptimally takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.

We'll see how things go with the new campaign.  

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7 minutes ago, Tvboy said:

I'd rather make the app stronger than make myself weaker. Not being able to use my hero's abilities or purposefully playing suboptimally takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.

We'll see how things go with the new campaign.  

I might be wrong, but it's hard to imagine it will be different considering the app does not know where the heroes and its own units are located on the map.  In a sense it does a good job when, for example,  activating units to attack the hero that activated last, since the hero can't rest to use a medpack during this round and this tactic can increase the chances it gets wounded if they focus on it.

On the top of my head, boosting unit health, swarming heroes with lots of threat on a regular round intervals, providing bonuses to imperial units when they activate, the peril system are a few options they could implement/have already implemented in the app to compensate that the app has no clue regarding figure positioning.  But again, I'd like to be proven wrong.

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It could be as simple as introducing a round limit or keeping enemy deployments coming instead of allowing Rebels to enjoy an empty map after clearing out bad guys. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Tvboy said:

It could be as simple as introducing a round limit or keeping enemy deployments coming instead of allowing Rebels to enjoy an empty map after clearing out bad guys. 

I like that the app missions (most of them) do not have a round timer.  I think the peril were introduced to prevent the Rebels taking too much time.  Instead, or on top of peril effects, I'd like the app to somehow compensate by sending more and more troops.  It would thematically make sense that the slower you progress the more organized become the Empire, and therefore the more time they have to send troops.  Maybe for that matter the app could have some sort of hidden rounder timer to trigger this effect.  Say the mission progresses once you open a door.  You kill all the enemies and take your time resting, opening crates, etc.  Then if X rounds pass before you open the door, then the app sends troops after troops after troops until you open that **** door!  Then it goes back to its original programming, unltil you go back to your slow progression pace again.

Edited by IanSolo_FFG

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After playing through the new campaign, I'm pretty happy with the difficulty level. Hard mode felt like a real challenge, by the last mission everything that was being deployed was elite, and there were 5-6 groups being deployed instead of just 2-3. There was also a much greater sense of urgency for progressing the missions by introducing thematic elements such as reminders that every round you wait to open the next area of the map, your target was getting closer to escaping or more of your friends were being captured or killed. They also introduce more missions with partial victories, where there victory is on a sliding scale instead of a binary W/L. The finale presents you with 2 very difficult options and I tried to split up and go for both but was only barely able to accomplish one of them and failed the other. This was a marked improvement over Flight of the Freedom fighter for me. 

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1 hour ago, Tvboy said:

This was a marked improvement over Flight of the Freedom fighter for me. 

I can tell which finale you played. :D Excited to play again later and making different choices?

 

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7 minutes ago, a1bert said:

I can tell which finale you played. :D Excited to play again later and making different choices?

 

I'm excited to play again and try all the different permutations, for example I had a special ally because of the choice I made in the previous mission, I'm curious to see how that will play out differently. And of course excited to play and try the missions that I skipped. I think this campaign is definitely going to be good for at least 4 play-throughs. 

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