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 Pitstarter's game reports 
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Got my account active again, huzzah.

Going to post my game experiences of the new beta stuff, have submitted it in the reports feedback but might be worthwhile for digestion here as well.


Last edited by Pitstarter on June 8th, 2017, 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.



June 8th, 2017, 9:18 am
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6th June 2017
Beta pack release 2nd June
35pts Cerci recommended
35pts Corsairs recommended
2 games played, game 1 was 60 minutes, Cerci win 4-2. Game 2 was 45 minutes, Corsairs win 4-1.


Contradictions:
Page 3 (ish) Types of units:
"Each Cypher is bound to a Single Relic Knight or Questing Knight" // Read me states any version of a Cypher can be taken with an associated knight. It's probably me splitting hairs but it could be misinterpreted perhaps.

Page 13 (ish) Area of Effect
"Units that suffer damage as a result of an AoE may use a defence action as described in Collateral Damage."
Collateral Damage section (page 26 ish) "Units may not use defence actions in response to suffering Collateral Damage."

Page 17 (ish) Cyphers
"the Cypher presented with the Knight in its description or the Cypher packaged with the Knight must be used, as the point..."
Could use clarification again that any generation of Cypher can be used. The use of the word "must" might throw people off.

--------------------
Mechanics stuff

Armour Flipping:
Horrible, horrible mechanic. We had two beatstick models (Jenner and Faust) going at it in the second game, Jenner done his defensive ability for a total of 5 Armour flips. He got zero and subsequently one-shotted by a topless guy in a trenchcoat.

Piercing seems ridiculously overpowered now. So you got lucky with your armour flips? Yay, that good luck has been nixed by Piercing.

Solutions? I'm not sure. Perhaps have a fixed damage reduction (currently shielding) but a defensive action allowing for the Armour flip. So you know you're getting at least X reduction, but *could* get Y.

Guaranteed VP income from Objectives
Sucks.
It puts the game into a point where it is like chess - "oh my opponent is on 2 VP's out of 4, his next activation where he is sat at the primary will win him the game, GG".
For me, having a glimmer of hope that the opponent *might not* flip the colour to score made me play to the bitter end. The last game of 2.0 I played was a 75 point game, to 12 VP's. It went to an 11-10 score, with both of us flipping to score and thus win. It kept you engaged in the fight to score VP's rather than a "he's got checkmate in 2, may as well throw in the towel now" mentality.

Objectives being too vanilla
Last nights games at one point turned into a game of who can use pushes and pulls to disrupt scoring units camping objectives. Likening it to Arathi Basin in World of Warcraft, you can see one side get the initiative and get on the scoring ladder first, and the side lagging behind is then on a losing battle to try and recover.
Placing objectives like old rules is still good.

Advanced Objectives
An emphatic "no" to fixed placement. Placing objectives was part and parcel of the "pre-game". Bearing in mind the amount of terrain that is recommended to be placed, coupled with the 30mm "exclusion zone" of clear space around it makes for no fun.
Yes to having some of the old favourites like Heist etc.

Flipping for a 'casting sideboard'
Yes, all the yes. That is cool. I like that idea. You can look at your hand before starting an activation and think "I only need 1 of <colour> to get that action, but I'd need 3 of <whatever> to get this other action off" and then make a judgement call from there before flipping for sideboard.
In the two games I tracked "failed casts" where you tried to do an action but didn't get the luck of the sideboard, first game had 3 fails each, second game had one side get 1 and the other get 2. This probably is in line with the amount of refocus actions that might occur in 2.0 so happy with this.

Activation Tokens
Not as bad as I feared.
However, there may be an unintended benefit to the Knockback ability, to put a token on the affected unit. Once all of a type of token are placed on the table, the active player gathers the type in at the Clean Up phase.
This resulted in a model on an objective that had an exhaustion token get another, then having the tokens collected during clean up, and as a result be able to activate again the next players turn.

Layout of Rulebook
Just awful, had quite a lot of downtime trying to find something that I saw just a few minutes ago... and my opponent doesn't have a printout and is waiting on me and I'm getting flustered and annoyed and WHERE THE HELL IS THAT BIT IT WAS RIGHT THERE A SECOND AGO.

Order of Operations
Disappeared from the 2.0 rules. Would be so handy to have the breakdown of steps included again.

Cyphers dying too easily
Maybe I put Mr Tomn out in clear and present danger, but he had no defensive actions to try and save himself. And again comes back to random armour flipping. Sucks.

Engagement
Good, but bloody stupid when you have two shooty only units beside each other and you have to pass a disengage test to get away?

Card Cycling
Could not see any means for a player (active or passive) to be able to discard rubbish cards in their hand, or by the same token, discard good ones back into the Esper deck to increase chances of something good in the casting sideboard.

Boosts & destruction
Not that cool, just discard a couple of cards and a follow-up to remove up to 3 points of stuff? Meh.

--------------------
Things I would like clarification on:

Pit Crew
Pressed Wrench Smash - able to use this to try and disengage a friendly mode elsewhere? Is a disengage check required? Free move or Forced move callout required?

Drawing cards
When does a player (active or passive) draw cards back up to a hand of five. The Clean Up phase only mentions discarding down to five, no mention of re-drawing, or tailoring an oversized hand (ie hand of 8, discard 6 cards, draw 3 back up to 5).
I had several turns where I had only 2 or 3 cards in my hand.
Other than the Esper Draw from activation start, is this the intention? Hopefully not, having such a small hand size wasn't much fun.


June 8th, 2017, 9:18 am
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Yay! :D

Answered/commented in reverse order...

Pit Crew:
"Any movement an object makes that is not forced is called free movement."
"This includes objects moved by compel, overrun, pull, and push, unless the effect is caused by a friendly unit, in which case the move is consider free movement..."

So it's Free Movement and doesn't break Engaged automatically, but it should allow a Flip to try and Disengage.

Drawing Cards
You can only draw cards by default through Esper Draw. Which makes Cyphers critical for most factions. There are a few other options, but not everyone can use them (eg Anthony QK + Scribble)

Card Cycling
There are now a number of abilities that allow costs to be paid by discarding any card, Scribble allows discarding, removing an AoE is done by discarding. What there isn't is the old "discard and draw" of the Clean Up phase. Essentially outside of paying a cost you can only discard if your hand size is above 5 in your Clean Up phase.

Engagement
Absolutely. Also bad that you can tar pit units with units that have no melee (or Psychic) attacks.

Order of Operations & Rulebook Layout
Will hopefully hopefully return and improve as it settles into a more final copy.

Knockback
There are some questions floating around about it at the moment. (Eg where does the token come from?) As it stands you need to be very careful about using Knockback, especially if you don't have initiative.

Cyphers
Currently choosing any version of a Cypher is permitted (eg Malya QK can run Mr Tomns RK or QK) . The rules text has some glitches. ;)

AoE and Defence
Good catch!

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June 8th, 2017, 11:27 am
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wow, that's a shame about the esper draw and cypher hero draw being the main source of income. Think that goes in the 'not cool' column then.

That creates a bit of a paradox then. The original rules for cyphers had them as an incorpreal form, untouchable by the actions of mere mortals.
To be honest I preferred that, it had a wee alt-game of cypher vs cypher, akin to submarines maneuvering against each other for position while the battle raged on the surface.

The new rules have Cyphers in such a way to make them more of an active participant in the games, which is fair enough, but the loss of a cypher makes it a critical setback to lose a significant amount of Esper draw income when activated as a hero.

So the upshot now is that Cyphers might be deployed in such a way that they may as well hide for the full game as much as they can (think arty in Flames of War - quite often deploy & forget about, other than to fire) since the loss of one would significantly hamstring a cadre.

Hope that makes sense, we've went from (at least our local meta was):

Deploy Cypher on highest most visible point on the map - we quite often called this 'Cypher Tower' so the Knight gets a held esper every time.
to
Hide yo Cypher, hide yo Esper, otherwise you're screwed for Esper.


Pit Crew: Yeah, thought that might be the case, cool.

Engagement: 2x BlitzM8 in a mirror match engaged and both unable to disengage comes to mind!

Any generation of a relevant Cypher can be taken: Not sitting that well with me. In my opinion all that is going to happen is the best for min-maxing is going to be found and that one will become the default choice to take. I would prefer exact companion cypher be stipulated but that's just my opinion. At this point it is probably down to a choice of 2, but further down the line (think Warmachine and it's multiple variations of a warcaster) that choice could become 3 or more. Again which will boil down to the FotM Cypher and the others get sidelined.

Boost destruction & AoE cleansing: Doesn't seem so cheap now, taking into consideration the card draw mechanic that's been clarified for me. Mind changed on this, will see how it goes next test night.


June 8th, 2017, 12:18 pm
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Quote:
CYPHERS
Each Knight comes with the cypher specified on their unit card. The cypher is a member of the cadre but costs no points; its value has already been figured into the cost of the Knight.
While there may be more than one cypher with the same name, the cypher presented with the Knight in its description or the cypher packaged with the Knight must be used, as the point value of the Knight also includes the value of the specific associated cypher.

Not sure how that isn't clear; you must use the correct Knight/Cypher pair.


June 8th, 2017, 12:34 pm
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Maybe I've picked it up wrong - the Read Me document in the latest betapack has a paragraph on the second page allowing you to take any version of a named Cypher with it's associated Knight.
So as you said, "Currently choosing any version of a Cypher is permitted" my concern is that there will be a pile of unloved Cyphers that don't quite synergise as well as other ones.

I'm of the mindset that Malya RK can only have Tomn RK and Malya QK can only have Tomn QK.

Hope that clears my concern, if I've worded it any better. Not a deal breaker but just a niggle.


June 8th, 2017, 12:43 pm
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It was clear to me from the start. When it was announced that there was a major overhaul to the rules, I skipped the change log/read me and just started reading the rulebook, because it would mean that I could a.) help check it for inconsistencies, and b.) make sure I understood the changes without being told what they were (important for the final iteration of the rules when concerning new players).

So I was unaware of the proposal to allow chosen instead of forced pairs until you brought it up.

I am also concerned that cadres will tend to favor one version of a cypher. Additionally, if they keep it as a choice, a given cypher will always have to be worth X of the Knight's points. I don't like the idea that the cyphers must have a static power level as their Knight grows. It kind of sucky to choose a Knight that comes with a cypher that doesn't compliment their abilities, but frankly that should be solved at design, not cadre building. Finally, this rule has the potential to make Knights that have multiple versions more desireable than single-version Knights, due to their increased flexibility.


June 8th, 2017, 1:00 pm
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Major Glitch wrote:
Quote:
CYPHERS
Each Knight comes with the cypher specified on their unit card. The cypher is a member of the cadre but costs no points; its value has already been figured into the cost of the Knight.
While there may be more than one cypher with the same name, the cypher presented with the Knight in its description or the cypher packaged with the Knight must be used, as the point value of the Knight also includes the value of the specific associated cypher.

Not sure how that isn't clear; you must use the correct Knight/Cypher pair.


A quickie change would simply add RK or QK to the end of the Cypher name, ie Mr Tomn (QK) vs Mr Tomn (RK).

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June 8th, 2017, 2:14 pm
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That's already indicated on the cypher stat card where the points would be. (PMRK v PMQK on Mr. Tomm, for example.) Regardless, that only matters if the rules are for forced pairs. If they allow the choice, then it would be nice to know what the intended pair is, but wouldn't matter for actual gameplay.


June 8th, 2017, 2:23 pm
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At the moment you can only test with CSC for the Cyphers anyway.

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June 8th, 2017, 7:08 pm
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Still not that hot on the idea regardless, O-C :p


Last edited by Pitstarter on June 8th, 2017, 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.



June 8th, 2017, 7:30 pm
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It is true that we haven't been able to try other Knight/cypher pairs yet. I just see it as limiting on the design side to give freedom on the player side. But since players tend to find the most advantageous, unexpected combos they can find, it seems like this has far too much potential for creating problems. I won't mind having the extra choices if that is the route they want to go, I'm just worried about unexpected interactions and that it could end up limiting the creative space. It looks like cyphers already follow a template, being given the same hp/armor/shielding values, but allowijg swapping makes it harder to play with the template, especially if you have a situation where you want to make the cypher stronger or weaker as a Knight grows.

Ultimately, unless they really change the setting (or start introducing variants), there should only ever be 2 versions of a cypher, so it's not like players will be able to powergame to the extreme. I still think it gives an advantage to Knights that exist as both Relic and Questing. But on the other hand, new players will not likely complain about it as us vets are, since we have pre-conceived ideas of how things like this bond work.


June 8th, 2017, 7:40 pm
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Pitstarter wrote:
Still not that not on the idea regardless, O-C :p

But it is something people asked for during the initial 2E testing, so here it is for testing and possible inclusion.

All Glitch's arguments are exactly why they haven't been available before. :)

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June 8th, 2017, 7:43 pm
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On the Cypher/Knight point I would prefer to have fixed Cyphers for each Knight, both from a balance/point cost and fluff/story reason. This allows the Cypher to be tailored for the Knight's current abilities rather than having 'generic' powers. And I love the idea of Cypher's evolving/learning with 'their' Knight.


June 8th, 2017, 9:07 pm
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11th July

Grouped by Q# on feedback (submitted)

Game size and forces
* 35 Cerci recommended, 35 Doctrine custom (Delphene & Ehkis, Fiametta, Librarian & 3 Novitiates)

Faction win
* Doctrine win

Score at game end
* Concede at 2-0

Rules or issues that came up
* Pic of game setup for terrain density: http://imgur.com/PE26y5X
Pit Crew - no associated casting sideboard for their Support action? Other Support actions have an associated type (melee support etc).
Fiametta - no way to remove her Flame column AoE without taking damage from it? Especially when models taking damage are unable to use any defence actions due to the damage source being counted as collateral.

Any other points
* Re: game concede at 2-0. Again this was due to fixed VP income - both my opponent and I could see that in a few turns he could get a scoring unit to my primary objective, with any units of mine that could intervene being a few activations away due to making their way through/around terrain.
I know I sound like a broken record but fixed VP scoring is just completely lacklustre and kills any motivation to fight on.

Don't get me wrong, both my opponent and I enjoyed the game itself - I was especially concerned since this was a player who had only played V1.0 a couple of times and none of 2.x at all. But he enjoyed himself thankfully and he will be submitting his report as well, I am assured.

The Pit Crew Support action probably contributed to costing me the game (along with me being terribad) - we played the ability as written, so I got no casting sideboard and had to blow a load of cards to get the cast off (had to get a heal off on Faust) and I struggled to recover a useable hand from then on. But I assume this is just a typo.

On the subject of typos -
Page 22* "First if all of any..." - I guess that should be "First of all, if any..."
Changelog 7-7-17 "Clarified overrun in regards to squards" ERMEGHERD SQUARDS!


Other observations
One thing we spotted was on Harbonath and his melee ability Reap - as it reads just now, a boost trigger is applied if the Harbonath has less cards than the target models controller.
Now look at Harbonath's 'cadre' ability - his void lackeys get Drain 1 on all attacks if they have their relevant faction token, so this means they are actively draining cards from opponent (especially with easy to gain ones like Mark).
Likewise with Harbonath and his psychic attack Enervate - needs to discard cards to do a press.

So the space vampires (thats what I am taking them to be) need to weaken their own hand to be effective at the same time as his cadre are reducing the number of cards in the opponents hand.
With regards to his melee Reap, surely it would be better to have it the other way around, that is, if Harbonath has more cards (even after paying for the attack) then it gains the extra 2 damage.
After all, don't vampires get stronger as their victims get weaker?


* and finally, THANK YOU FOR PAGE NUMBERS!!!!


July 12th, 2017, 4:31 pm
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Pitstarter wrote:
Fiametta - no way to remove her Flame column AoE without taking damage from it? Especially when models taking damage are unable to use any defence actions due to the damage source being counted as collateral.
Units taking collateral damage still benefit from armor. It hasn't been clarified yet as far as I recall, but I would also assume they benefit from static defense abilities as well (ie shielding on Cyphers, perma-block on SSP Knights). Additionally, since the cost to remove an AoE is so much less (in resources, but more importantly actions), I think it's a fair trade-off that negative AoEs should be able to trigger at least once. I do think that it is still a little unbalanced, though, as many negative AoEs still won't affect the cleansing unit since they are worded "when a unit begins..."

I am curious about the VP situation. While I think that random VP from objectives could be tested again now that there are no longer random scenarios, I have to question how the setup you describe came about - was it poor deployment/positioning/planning on your part? Did your opponent manage to draw you out, therefore making the scoring of the objective a reward for smart play? I am curious to know if your opinion on the scoring changes in the future if your strategy and tactics assume the certainty of VP scoring from objectives that is currently the rule.
I do think that if random scoring was added to the objectives, it should only be added to the base and certain advanced scenarios. And I would suggest objective scoring be flip 3 or 4, so the chance of scoring is 50%+, in order to ensure they are still treated as a valuable and viable option.

p22 is correct, but could benefit from a comma - "First, if all of any player's...", since the sentence is telling you to check to see if all of a player's hero activation tokens are spent.

The hand size issue needs to be clarified as to when the hand is checked.
If hand size is checked during the resolution of the action (after costs have been paid), it then creates an odd dynamic between paying for abilities and keeping large hands (this is doubly true when the hand size check is part of a press - paying for the press that checks hand size could cause said hand to fall below the threshold of usefulness.) This also means that the defending player could see the difference in damage from paying for a defense versus holding a hand that would block the extra effect, which in effect gives the defending player more power than I expect was intended.
If hand sizes are set at the declaration of an action, I think that would solve the issue. Both players would be free to spend knowing what the effect will be.

As for Drain and hand-size abilities, that's a trade-off; Drain hurts a player's actions across all their units, and generally speaking you want your opponents to have as few cards in hand as possible. But that doesn't offer much consolidation when you want that little bit of extra damage.


July 12th, 2017, 6:10 pm
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Major Glitch wrote:
Units taking collateral damage still benefit from armor. It hasn't been clarified yet as far as I recall, but I would also assume they benefit from static defense abilities as well (ie shielding on Cyphers, perma-block on SSP Knights). Additionally, since the cost to remove an AoE is so much less (in resources, but more importantly actions), I think it's a fair trade-off that negative AoEs should be able to trigger at least once. I do think that it is still a little unbalanced, though, as many negative AoEs still won't affect the cleansing unit since they are worded "when a unit begins..."


See response below, have coupled it with the next point.

Major Glitch wrote:
I am curious about the VP situation. While I think that random VP from objectives could be tested again now that there are no longer random scenarios, I have to question how the setup you describe came about - was it poor deployment/positioning/planning on your part?


In this occassion perhaps all of the above! The only unit that could get close (but would still have to expose themselves to an activation of Fiametta) were my Fausts Devils. Who are health 4 & zero armour. And of course no defensive abilites may be used against collateral damage (ref pg 27), which AoE damage is counted as. So either way I would lose a model with no chance of averting this, which was a pain since at one point the unit was down to a single model.

But back to VP scoring. The reliable fixed VP is a total ballache for me and is probably the biggest fly in the ointment for me - by and large I'm content with the rules where they are mechanics-wise. Poor Justin is probably sick of reading my game feedback reports with my comments of how badly it affects quality of gameplay. If I am going to get no traction with reverting back to flips for scoring, then I want to make sure my voice was heard as one strongly against it. To have a supposedly over-the-top dynamic anime game's objective scoring reduced to chess (win in 2 activations, oh well let's just stop there) is not how I would want a game to end. Especially demoing it to people. I want to feel tension as I (or my opponent of course) try to hack the comms tower, or something as simple as break into a vending machine for the money/soda/chocolate and thus score VP's. In my humble opinion that is how objective VP's should be scored, it gives an additional narrative element if you have modelled objective markers.


Major Glitch wrote:
p22 is correct, but could benefit from a comma - "First, if all of any player's...", since the sentence is telling you to check to see if all of a player's hero activation tokens are spent.


Maybe I'm just being picky, I would say it as "First of all, if any of a player's..." instead of "First, if all of any player's..." but that's small potatoes. We spell Armour correctly, after all ;) . A professional will be far more qualified to comment on grammar and context! It just stuck out to me as being worded oddly with two words swapped.

Major Glitch wrote:
The hand size issue needs to be clarified as to when the hand is checked.
...

Agreed. I think in the case of Harbonaths Reap ability, the controller would pay for everything up front as per normal, and the check is made then, before the target can respond. But again, this odd dynamic of Harbonath and opponent in this reduction of cards to function effectively. To me it seems quite at odds to be a synergy, and from what I see (disclaimer - not played as void or against void yet) if I was playing as Harbonath I would be declining the Esper Vampire ability. Perhaps wording it as 'may gain Drain 1 on all of their attacks' might work better, putting the option in the controllers power to allow it to be used when the situation called for it.


July 12th, 2017, 7:23 pm
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I see O-C has reported the missing Support Types on June 13th.

Anyone know if there has been clarifications posted for it on any of the sources?


July 12th, 2017, 7:27 pm
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"of all" makes the phrase colloquial/conversational, and is superfluous, especially when only two items are in the list. :P

I don't disagree with your assessment of scoring VP from objectives, in terms of narrative play or the desire to avoid "mate in 2" situations. I think there is room for advanced scenarios to have an element of randomness. I have personally found the game to be much deadlier, with scoring from objectives to be riskier than outright combat (seems odd to think about, actually). My opponent has been annoyingly good at defensive deployment, but I've tended to win due to her aggressive starts. So from what I've experienced, they certainty of scoring from objectives creates some strong tension. But I can see how anti-climactic it could be to lose a few units and be behind, only to have the match decided because you couldn't seal the hole created. (Of course, as I mentioned above, that's a fair reward for the player who worked to create the opening.) I haven't played more than 35pts yet, but I do wonder if a larger game might help to mitigate this.

As for the support type I issue, I don't believe it has ever been addressed in the time since it has been called out. My guess would be [melee] based on their other support action. If you play another game before it is fixed, just be sure to specify what type you used. (And this is true for the handful of other actions that are missing type, since all actions should have a type.)


July 12th, 2017, 8:23 pm
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Major Glitch wrote:
I haven't played more than 35pts yet, but I do wonder if a larger game might help to mitigate this.


My last game of 2.0 was a 75 point game, played to 12 VP's. The game went to 11-11, or it might have been 11-10. Both cadres had something at a scoring objective and the tension for scoring flips was great. There were laughs as we both failed and duked it out some more with other models until the possible scorers came to the front of the activation queue.

I think if that game went to "checkmate in 2, let's just call it" I would feel as though I wasted the evening for such an anti-climatic end to the game.

It's looking like I am doing another demo day at the next games show here in Scotland next month, I don't know how exciting "...and she activates and auto-scores the last point to win" would sound compared to "ok, you're at the objective, let's see if you manage to score a victory point and win".


July 12th, 2017, 8:42 pm
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