Back again with what is probably going to be the last post of the week and possibly for next week too as I'm due a week off work and with it my daily commute (prime blog writing time).
Which means there is a big chance next time you hear from me will be after this year's Salute convention with feedback both negative and (hopefully) positive!
Anyway! Earlier this week me and my collaborator (who I've been given permission to refer to by name; Tom) played our latest test game via Vassal. This game was testing our initial 0.1.6 rules which as I covered in my previous post is introducing the Wraiths and Trydan gangs.
It was a most interesting game with Tom playing as Wraiths and me as UEF Humans.
As you would expect, Tom's Wraiths were all equipped with varying degrees of stealth tech and from a cinematic view was most interesting to observe how it played out.
When the Wraiths were cloaked they were almost impossible to hit, but when those cloaks went down and my gunfire was able to zero in on those Wraiths they fell over very quickly!
These guys are pretty much the definition of Glass Cannon! Capable to eating me to pieces with strong ranged weaponry and an assassin class that just tears everything into ribbons with an absolute art, but they are almost incapable of taking any damage themselves - not good!
But we did find something else - our change to Hacker duels, now meaning the opposing Hacker can duel when within range of the Hack Target rather than other Hacker allows for some great protective positions to be established.
It also makes completing objectives very hard.
I'm just spitballing at the moment and I'm thinking of how this can be addressed, as we still suffer from the issue of it being easier to simply 'muller' the enemy rather than focussing on objectives.
It was also the first time I got to get my hands on the UEF DigiCom and pair it up with an RPG. Holy shit is that a great combo!
- What's more is that it doesn't feel OP at all, only effective and thematic. In this case the Commanding/Senior Officer is calling in heavy support from his troopers and pretty much carpet bombing a site with missiles to try and deal with a cloaked stealthy target!
Is getting 3 shots a turn with a single RPG good? Hells yeah! But the stats being used to fire this RPG is based off the lowbie trooper and not the advanced stats of those issuing the order, so despite all of these missile bombardments that were called in, all that managed to happen was a single Wraith Sniper was taken down, and then later on resuscitated by it's own leader.
I've said it before, but I love this game! I have played plenty of games before and have enjoyed them all, but never has a game been this fun.
Yes luck is almost always a factor, but the AtD mechanic is designed in such a way (by accident I must point out) that a massive part of the game is ensuring that you are maximising your dice while minimising the opponents. So if you are rolling 6 and your opponent is defending with 2, then you have a much greater chance of inflicting damage to that enemy target.
In the past 2 games I have been wiped clean off the map, and I have looked at how it happened and the results have been either that the random drawing of the game didn't work in my favour (it happens) or I made poor decisions and allowed my opponent to play to his strengths.
Obviously when the drawings end up against me, there's little I can do about that, but rules of chance say that will happen just as often to the opponent, and there will, without a doubt, be some missions that one Gang is better at than others. But when every other result has been me making silly mistakes and the opponent exploiting that, that is something I am very happy to have occur. It tells me that the game's balance (while not quite there yet) is certainly shaping up well and we are managing to keep the gang varieties in line with the basic human template.
What is more, every mission feels like a story. In this case it was a hold out, with my UEF holding onto (something) that the Wraiths wanted. Maybe we had acquired the details of a secret Bastion Spy Satellite that they were using to track Human activity, but regardless of the reason they had made their way to the UEF compound and were preparing a full on assault. One thing was clear: they were not leaving without whatever that data point held!
Anyway, that's it for me for now. I hope you're enjoying reading about how this game is developing, and with hope in a couple of weeks time I'll be able to share with you the Hyden rules for both Wraiths and Tyrdan gangs.
Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley