Shadowrun

Shadowrun Play => Shadowrun Crossfire => Topic started by: Bull on <08-23-14/1804:47>

Title: House Rules
Post by: Bull on <08-23-14/1804:47>
So Crossfire is hard.  Really hard.

For of the lucky 780ish that got their hands on the full game at Gen Con (or otherwise), have you guys started coming with any fun and simple houserules for the game?  Especially things that might let you survive the first couple Crossfire Missions so you can start actually earning Upgrades?  Cause man, lemme tell you...  I've been reading and following this game since we first started talking with Fire Opal 2 years ago, I've had and played the hell out of a demo kit since last year, and I demo'd this sucker 60+ times over Gen Con...  And we still got our asses handed to use playing through "Crossfire".  Twice.  First time aborted early in Scene 2, second we made it to Scene 3 before we just got annihilated.

Two common ideas that were already floating around Gen Con:

1)  Allow trading of Nuyen.

This can make a huge difference, espeically to be able to pick up things like Doc Wagon which tend to often cost just a wheee bit more than you have on your turn.

2)  Start with a 5 point upgrade.

This gives you a starting edge so you don't feel like such a newbie goober, and can help you survive a mission or three.

Your thoughts, or any you've come up with?
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: tasti man LH on <08-23-14/1856:16>
More options on Healing in general.

Runners are pretty freakin' fragile. It only takes a couple of turns for Normal Obstacles to whittle you down to 1/2 - 1/3 of your health. And in between scenes, you only get to heal 1 HP. And since Hard Obstacles deal more damage, that means it takes even less turns to take Runners out. Meaning the whole time players are waiting for bated breath for the Doc Wagon card to come up. 
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Bull on <08-23-14/2009:47>
Yeah.  It's not bad if a Doc Wagon and/or Covering fire comes out nice and early and can get into play right away, so you can stay on top of damage before it accumulates, but in the games we played we didn't see either in the first game, and only saw both around the start of Scene 3, when it was far too late to start helping (And didn't have the to actually buy Doc Wagon when it flopped, so it was still sitting in the black market when we died horribly).
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: incrdbil on <08-24-14/0059:06>
We're happy with the difficulty.  Once you get your first upgrade, it gets easier.  The Portal mission (from the GenCon release) is a breeze now.

We have been working house rules for games larger than 4 players.

First of all, add an additional obstacle to each scene equal to the number of additional players.  Also start with one Crossfire card already in the discard pile for every player over 4.

If a situation refers to a character of a certain role/color, and there is more than one, have them d6 off, with the high roll becoming the designated target for that card.  Any damage effect that would apply to 'the mage' or any role affects all players of that role.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: JustLogan on <08-24-14/0346:02>
I don't think 2 failed games is much to worry about we played 7 before realizing you could attack other players obstacles (we got one abort, which I'm proud of actually). I think unupgraded the success rate should be about 50-60% maybe. The only house rules I'm thinking about now are home brew missions and maybe linked missions to get to the later ones faster. Something like "at the end of crossfire you may choose to attempt extraction, heal 3, choose one black market card and keep it,  reshuffle everything but the crossfire deck" then do the same with the last one.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: The Tekwych on <08-30-14/0114:20>
I put this here but if it needs to move let me know:

I know the Crossfire box comes with a sample of Ultra Pro sleeves but you can also use Fantasy Flight Supply Sleeves by choosing the Grey series (FFS05). I prefer FFS over UP but can give any tangible reasons.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Jamelfr on <08-31-14/2211:10>
One house rule we've used about trading Nuyen between players : Only two players can participate in a Nuyen trade (no limit on the amount of Nuyen) and those two players cannot do anymore trade until the beginning of a new round (aka drawing a new Crossfire Event card). 
The logic behind this : between dodging gunfire and spells and trying to aim and shoot at an obstacle, runners have very limited time and focus to do Nuyen trading. We think that it prevents the dumping of everyone cash to a sole player (which would affect the balance too much) and it also prevents some akward/long arguments with some greedy players insisting to have all the money.  :P

Another house rule we've used : It is about the mission rules titled "Ending a scene" (an example is on p.9 of the Rulebook). I think all of them specify that each player heal 1HP and can buy only 1 card from the Black Market before the new scene. Instead, we've decided that each player gets a"Draw & Buy Cards" turn + heal 1HP : thus, before a new scene, a player can draw 2 more cards (if he has 3 or less in their hand), he can buy any number of cards from the black market and he heals 1HP.
The logic behind this : if a runner is able to "draw & buy cards" in the middle of a fight, he is surely able to do so when all obstacles are down and they have finally some more seconds/minutes for reloading, healing and contacting their favorite black market dealers  ;D

If you see any issues with those house rules, do not hesitate. We have surely some details to work out.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: biotech66 on <09-06-14/0013:24>
I like Shadowrun:Crossfire.  I've reviewed it on my blog www.throatpunchgames.com (http://www.throatpunchgames.com), but its still a kick in the teeth with its difficulty.  What makes it even harder is playing the game with less then four players.  Here are my suggestions to fix it.



1-Dual roles-A few people have given this advice, but here is the general suggestion.  When you get two role cards, you don't take four basic cards for that color and one off the others, but you take two cards of one color, three cards of the second color, and one card of the other two.  Now the player who has two roles might be targeted by two obstacles, but will be equally ready to fight back.



2-Extra hit points-few players means more crossfire events, more obstacles targeting the same player, and less turns to deal with any major obstacles in front of a player.  I suggest giving all players one extra hit point per player missing.  This will power up the players a least enough to help the players get a foothold in the game.



Thoughts?
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Jamelfr on <09-06-14/0042:45>
I like Shadowrun:Crossfire.  I've reviewed it on my blog www.throatpunchgames.com (http://www.throatpunchgames.com), but its still a kick in the teeth with its difficulty.  What makes it even harder is playing the game with less then four players.  Here are my suggestions to fix it.



1-Dual roles-A few people have given this advice, but here is the general suggestion.  When you get two role cards, you don't take four basic cards for that color and one off the others, but you take two cards of one color, three cards of the second color, and one card of the other two.  Now the player who has two roles might be targeted by two obstacles, but will be equally ready to fight back.



2-Extra hit points-few players means more crossfire events, more obstacles targeting the same player, and less turns to deal with any major obstacles in front of a player.  I suggest giving all players one extra hit point per player missing.  This will power up the players a least enough to help the players get a foothold in the game.



Thoughts?

I read your review (nice one btw, thank you for sharing it to the community). You said you often play a 2 players game with your wife, which is often my case too : we cannot always be 4 people when we wish to play.

To correct this situation, we decided to play as if we were 4 players even when we are really only 2 people : each of us takes 2 runners (I take the troll and the human for example) and each get a role (a troll face and a decker human) with a full deck for each runner. Then, there are really 4 runners fighting the obstacles and we have a lot of fun.

Sure, it means that she and I now know the hand of two runners and it helps to build a more effective strategy obviously... But with all the complains on the forums about how difficult it is to play with fewer-than-4 players, I think this is a nice (not perfect, but nice) alternative.

Maybe this will help your game sessions. :)  Or maybe you will find that this imbalance the game too much, do not hesitate to share your thoughts.


Edit : Really sorry for not being able to comment properly on your house rules: we never played less than 4 runners, so I cannot offer deep thoughts, especially about the first one. On the second rule, if you find the game too punishing with 2 runners, I agree with you about the HP boosts (this could be seen as extra amor wear by the runners, knowing they are going on a mission outnumbered). Let's not forget though that the Crossfire scenario (I did not play the two others yet) permits to draw less obstacles and events cards when there are less than 4 players.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: JustLogan on <09-06-14/0429:01>
The only house rules I've been looking into are making missions and maybe doing the box missions as a string where you heal a bit and get to keep a card then move on to the next  mission which may allow us to tackle the harder missions a bit faster and add even more push to doing well in the first mission. I find 2 player completely manageable, but am also surprised that anyone is complaining that this game is too hard. I would really like to hear the devs/ in house play testers comment on starting character win rate explictly. I was hoping for about 20% or so but I've found ours to be much higher
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Bull on <09-06-14/0438:13>
So far I'm 1 out of 5 for Crossfire, and 0 for 3 with Close the Portal.  The problem becomes survivability for the end game.  We take way too much damage and aren't able to get enough cards and/or cycle cards fast enough in the first Scene (or two for Crossfire), so that by the final scene we just outright get killed.

Apparently the win ration for Close the Portal at Gen Con was around 1 in 3.

I LOVE the game play, really like the game, but am finding the difficulty level very frustrating at this point.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: biotech66 on <09-06-14/0830:01>

To correct this situation, we decided to play as if we were 4 players even when we are really only 2 people : each of us takes 2 runners (I take the troll and the human for example) and each get a role (a troll face and a decker human) with a full deck for each runner. Then, there are really 4 runners fighting the obstacles and we have a lot of fun.

In the LotR's card game, they refer to this as Double fisting it.  I've thought about it, but I don't want to play more then one character.  Its not a bad way to play as it balances the fewer player problem.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Jamelfr on <09-06-14/1209:37>

In the LotR's card game, they refer to this as Double fisting it.  I've thought about it, but I don't want to play more then one character.  Its not a bad way to play as it balances the fewer player problem.

Slightly out of topic, are you talking about this LotR : http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/77423/lord-rings-card-game . I am rather new to the board game scene and I am still searching for a good fantasy themed game. Would this one be a good choice?



I LOVE the game play, really like the game, but am finding the difficulty level very frustrating at this point.

We are 5 wins out of 6 games (to be fair, that includes 2 Ambulators missions). We are using the house rules I explained earlier (extra drawing at the end of a scene + Nuyen trading). We are however really lucky in the Events drawing, as many cards can easily destroy a team's efforts (A hot minute, cannot attack other players' obstacles, etc.). I wish your bad luck will end soon.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: incrdbil on <09-06-14/1235:16>
A little bit of experience, and soon you'll find Closing the Portal to be not so hard.  (For example,  Oni evolution, adding one card to the Ork, means that, without fail, the Ork can kill almost any one obstacle immediately--or, if others have drawn well, finish off two obstacles in the first turn. An extra hit point for the Elf is an amazing thing. Add a few more initial bumps, and its a piece of cake.)  I'd say the GenCon ratio of success had a lot to do with player inexperience.  As we've played, we've gotten a lot better at making effective use of assist cards and using the right cards for the right jobs. Monofilament whips are your friend, as are any cards that simply do levels of damage.

I like that Crossfire is challenging. Many cooperative games are too easy., We really have enjoyed Sentinels of the Multiverse but we've had to go to random selection and advanced difficulty because it was really no challenge.  The novelty of having a cooperative game actually present an occasional challenge is wonderful.

For the 4+ player rules, when we do run with extra players so far we've just kept adding a Crossifre card to the difficulty level, and giving everyone a minimum of one obstacle, but no increased rewards.  Still, I'm worried this is still making it too easy.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Bull on <09-06-14/1355:46>
Unfortunately sometimes working Gen Con means that you don't get all the shiny toys from Gen Con. :)

I was able to get the Harlequin and CLose the Portal cards, but not the Harlequin's Shadow event card nor the Oni card, as we ran out of both of those before the end of the weekend.

We really haven't been running with any house rules, even though I keep thinking about it.  And to be fair, yeah, half the time what sinks us are the damn Crossfire Events.  The last game of Close the Portal, for example, we got hit with that "If you have 5 or more health, take 2 damage and draw a Black Market card", which also has the "When this is discarded, take a damage".  So on turn one, we got nailed for 3 damage, and only a couple of us even got a decent/useful Black market card.  We also tend to see that "If you play cards of more than one color, take 1 damage" card way too often.

I need to print out Ambulators.  Though looking it over, I see it's a finalized version of the basic Mission that came in the Demo Kit, but this time named and with a karma award.  Cool.  That is probably much, much more doable. :)
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Jamelfr on <09-06-14/1435:51>
Ambulators is basically Crossfire minus the third scene. It is a much more appropriate introduction/grinding mission than Crossfire (imho) and we are planning to play it when we wish for a quick session (even if we now have 7+ karma runners).

As for inexperience, we found that playing a few "open cards" games with new players helped a lot into reducing the learning curve. Every player knew the cards in everyone hands, so it helped to learn basic strategy and optimal ways to deal with some situation. We went back into "hidden cards mode" after a few games of course.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Namikaze on <09-06-14/1919:47>
Can anyone post a link to the available missions for download?
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: incrdbil on <09-06-14/1942:29>


I need to print out Ambulators.  Though looking it over, I see it's a finalized version of the basic Mission that came in the Demo Kit, but this time named and with a karma award.  Cool.  That is probably much, much more doable. :)

Couple of those, couple of successfulCrossfire, an upgrade for your players..you'll be cruising.  The Harlequins Shadow Card, with the extra reward, makes a nice bonus.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Novocrane on <09-06-14/1943:42>
Quote
In the LotR's card game, they refer to this as Double fisting it.
... I'm not sure that means the same thing anywhere else. (or, at least, here) You might get some unexpected propositions if you get too cavalier with that phrase.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: AJCarrington on <09-06-14/2031:41>
Can anyone post a link to the available missions for download?

Ambulators (http://cdn.shadowruntabletop.com/wp-content/uploads/CAT27700_Ambulators%20Mission%20Card.pdf?4713c7)

Close the Portal (http://cdn.shadowruntabletop.com/wp-content/uploads/CAT27700_Close%20the%20Portal%20Mission%20Card.pdf?4713c7)

These are the only ones I'm aware of.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: tasti man LH on <09-06-14/2055:52>
Close the Portal, however specifically asks for the regular Core Box and not the Demo Box.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Dr. Meatgrinder on <09-06-14/2149:29>
Unfortunately sometimes working Gen Con means that you don't get all the shiny toys from Gen Con. :)

True enough.  I got none of the shiny toys, and I didn't even work the entire con.  I tried the downloadable Close the Portal twice and got destroyed twice.  Maybe it's luck, but it's possible to only get one round before the portal opens, and at most I got 3 rounds.  You're almost better off if it happens early because all the obstacles swarm you.  As far as I can tell, the portal goes first (so starts the game with two obstacles before you get a turn) and you can't play cards on the obstacles at the portal (because the portal is not a player).
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Bull on <09-06-14/2212:48>
As far as I can tell, the portal goes first (so starts the game with two obstacles before you get a turn) and you can't play cards on the obstacles at the portal (because the portal is not a player).
[/quote]

This is what makes it espeically tough, I think.  Cause you start off the game "in the hole" out of the gate.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Jamelfr on <09-07-14/1645:33>
Lady Luck was not here today : first mission was a total failure, second one was a really thin win... Having a bad streak of events and obstacles can really slow down a game : "you lose cards!", "you lose money!", "you cannot buy!", "here is new hard obstacles to take the place of the normal wounded ones, you're welcome!", etc.

According to the box, an average game is 30-60 minutes, but it is often 75-90 when threre are 3 scenes : this can be a problem with some casual players or during busy gaming nights. To be fair, some players are taking too much time planning how they will play their cards and abilities, but I guess this cannot be avoided with some people...

I plan to write some missions in the near future and I'll try to insert an option for having 2 or 3 scenes (with proportionnal Karma rewards): Ambulators and Crossfire do that already, in a way.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: biotech66 on <09-07-14/2235:09>

Slightly out of topic, are you talking about this LotR : http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/77423/lord-rings-card-game . I am rather new to the board game scene and I am still searching for a good fantasy themed game. Would this one be a good choice?


Its completely co-op with deck building and the LotR theme.  Its well done,  has OCTGN support, and has a great podcast (Cardboard of the Rings).  I love that game.  My wife and I play lots of co-op games, and this is our favorite.

Here an even more off topic question:  Does anyone know if Catalyst would sue the living crap out of someone if someone made a OCTGN plugin for this game?  I'd love to play more, but there just are not enough players to get four player local games going!
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Namikaze on <09-08-14/0103:29>
I think I can derive the OCTGN acronym, but I'm unfamiliar with it.  I assume it means Online Card...T...Gaming Network?
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: biotech66 on <09-08-14/1228:00>
OCTGN (prounced octagon) is an online platform for card gaming.  You build a deck of cards, load other decks of cards for either monsters, base draw decks, ect., and play based on the rules you know.  Its got a ton of functionality.  Here's the website http://www.octgn.net/ (http://www.octgn.net/)  Overall its pretty user friendly after some semi difficult learning curve.

Now Fantasy Flight has basically gone laissez faire with the whole thing.  As long as LotR is their biggest seller, they don't care if people copy the cards and load them up whole sale online.  They even allow the same for NetRunner, BUT you have to blank out the cards text.  If you have the card physically in front of you, you can still play.  I just don't know if Catalyst would be as cool with fans doing the same thing.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Jamelfr on <09-12-14/0006:35>
Suggested house rule :

"Table flipping is allowed when GOD is drawed as an ennemy for the third game in a row."

Yeah, I got that card three times in a row yesterday, my shuffling skills need a karma boost it seems... I only survived one game against it, barely.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Namikaze on <09-12-14/0229:16>
OMG isn't the GODwire the most evil entity ever conceived?  Whoever thought of that should get his/her hand burned with a cigarette.  :P
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: Jamelfr on <09-12-14/2058:38>
OMG isn't the GODwire the most evil entity ever conceived?  Whoever thought of that should get his/her hand burned with a cigarette.  :P

Its first health level of 8 [colorless] is so evil, but the worst is its ability to heal 2 health levels every time it attacks. It's not impossible to defeat, but often GODwire appear so late in a game that a runner can easily go critical.


OCTGN (prounced octagon) is an online platform for card gaming.  You build a deck of cards, load other decks of cards for either monsters, base draw decks, ect., and play based on the rules you know.  Its got a ton of functionality.  Here's the website http://www.octgn.net/ (http://www.octgn.net/)  Overall its pretty user friendly after some semi difficult learning curve.

Now Fantasy Flight has basically gone laissez faire with the whole thing.  As long as LotR is their biggest seller, they don't care if people copy the cards and load them up whole sale online.  They even allow the same for NetRunner, BUT you have to blank out the cards text.  If you have the card physically in front of you, you can still play.  I just don't know if Catalyst would be as cool with fans doing the same thing.

+1 for OCTGN support for Shadowrun Crossfire.
Title: Re: House Rules
Post by: T2-Keks on <11-04-14/0738:20>
We played without house rules and even had some rules false in a way that we had further disatvantage.

At the moment we have about 3 successful missions, 5 aborts and 5 complete failures.

But we are getting better. I think i really have to educate my players that HP isn't the single most important stat. We always had too many trolls and most players chose Just Tough as their karma upgrade...