The Cardboard Noom

SPACE-BIFF!

The plain b&w logo is so much cooler than the techno-logos of Dooms past.

First of all, the thing about id Software’s New Doom — which shall henceforth and forever be portmanteau’d as Noom, because it makes me giggle — is that it was actually, against all odds, an incredible shooter. It was frantic and controlled in equal measures. It boasted a tempo that shrieked between exploration and violence. It was good. Which was a tremendous surprise, considering how uninterested id seemed to be in making good games anymore.

Perhaps even more improbably, Fantasy Flight’s new board game rendering of Noom is also good, and largely for the same reasons.

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Game Talks: Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Boards and Bees

Today, I wanted to take a look at the newest LCG from Fantasy Flight:

image by BGG user W Eric Martin image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Arkham Horror: The Card Game was designed by Nate French and Matthew Newman.  It’s a 1-2 player game in their Living Card Game (LCG) line (you can play with up to four players with 2 copies of the game).  If you’re unfamiliar with LCGs, they were created as an alternative to collectible card games (CCGs).  CCGs frequently come under fire for the amount of investment required to be successful.  Players often shell out a lot of money buying booster packs that may or may not have decent cards in them.  As a result, the best players are often the ones who can afford to buy the most cards and build the best decks.  LCGs buck that trend by having no random draws, having everything you need and can get…

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Imperial Assault: Handling Missions

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This month I will have a closer look at the different Missions you will face in Imperial Assault.

STORY MISSIONS

The mission results will tell you what story mission to make active. Usually there is only one story mission active so they will have to pick it the next time a story mission “choice” comes up.

  • After the 1st “Aftermath” mission, perform the clean up steps. That will make two side missions active. The rebels will have two side missions to choose from when it comes up (maybe more if the Imperial player bought any).
  • You do not start with any Agenda cards. You’ll earn Influence to buy them at upgrade stages. Some are ongoing, some you play immediately, and some you can play when you want.

When you play a story mission you will get a story mission card to put on the table. Leave it there and play it the next time a story mission comes up. Rebels cannot choose it as a side mission. They choose from one of the two side missions if they are playing a side mission. Then they add a side mission as active. Then they play the story mission that’s on the table and so on …

SWI01-skirmish-mission-fan

SIDE MISSIONS

Oops, you are playing with several groups at Imperial Assault but get confused how to handle the Side-Missions draft ?  Still, it is possible to play with multiple groups properly with some house-made tracking. Here’s how:

• For the first session, construct the Side Mission deck as normal.
• At the end of a session, record active Side Missions and discarded Side Missions. Don’t include the card/s you set aside during the construction of the deck.
• When starting the next session, reconstruct the sets of Active and discarded Side Missions while also counting the number of grey cards in these sets. Call this number X.
• From the remaining grey cards, add 4-X grey cards randomly to the new Side Mission deck (along with any remaining green and red cards that were in it earlier).

This maintains the fact that there are a total of 4 random Side Missions in the deck at all times. Each session might have different possible Side Missions, but that’s totally fine as they are meant to be random anyway. You retain the random nature of the deck without screwing the ratio of Grey to Green to Red Side Mission cards (which would happen if you include them all, seeing far more grey missions than you should).

It also means you will never see a played mission again and you don’t need to worry about swapping it for an unplayed one.

The only thing that would make the above method faulty is if there was a mechanic that could shuffle seen Side Missions back into the deck. It’s easy to even handle that situation by recording ‘seen’ Side Missions that you played with.

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AGENDA MISSIONS

To purchase Agenda cards, the Imperial player shuffles the Agenda deck and secretly draws four of them. He may purchase any of these cards by spending influence equal to the cards’ costs.

  • The Imperial player does not show his drawn Agenda cards to the heroes. Any cards he does not purchase are shuffled back into the deck without being revealed.
  • Most Agenda cards are immediately read aloud and resolved when purchased. The only exception is if the card instructs the player to “keep this card secret.” The Imperial player keeps the card and resolves the effect when he plays it.

There are two different kinds of Agenda cards that provide missions:
1. Agenda Side Missions. The cards say “Play this card as a side mission.” An example is “Breaking Point.”
2. Forced Missions. The cards say “Play [Title] as a forced mission.” An example is “Wanted.”

Agenda Side Missions instructions are: “After purchasing one of these cards, place it face-up on the table; it is now an active side mission. This Agenda card is kept with the active missions between sessions. Discard the card after the mission is resolved.” (RR, page 4)

Forced Missions instructions are: “Some Agenda cards force players to resolve a specific mission. After purchasing one of these cards, players immediately resolve the listed mission and then discard the Agenda card.” (RR, page 4)

After resolving a forced mission, players should perform the “post mission cleanup” step of a Mission Stage. Then they resolve the next available stage of the campaign.” (RR, page 17)

So after the Forced Mission, post mission cleanup is done, the upgrade stages are SKIPPED and the next stage of the campaign (next mission) is played.

So a Forced missions causes the Rebels to immediately play a mission that they’re not gonna like (they are hard and potentially give the Imperials a nice reward), don’t give them XP or credits, and don’t let them upgrade afterwards.