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AJCarrington

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« on: (08:57:18/08-15-14) »
An interesting review posted over on RPG.net by SirFozzie:
Quote
Ok, I picked this up, and while the game is still in its shrinkwrap (figure I'll mail it home, it's a big box) I played a demo game and am cautiously optimistic.

We played the con-exclusive mission: CLOSE THE PORTAL. Basically, someone is trying to do something bad. We need to stop him from doing the bad thing, because if not, it will get REALLY bad.

Four players, four runners: Street Samurai, Face, Mage, Hacker. Each starts with a mini deck of seven cards, four of their base color (Black for Street Same, Blue for Mage, Green for Hacker, Red for Face), and one of each of their color. Depending on the race you choose, you start with a certain amount of cards in your hand, and a certain amount of nuyen to buy stuff (For example, the Orc starts with five cards in their hand, but only one nuyen. Which means they are early game monsters but will build slowly). Each race also has a certain amount of damage they can take before they become staggered. When you hit staggered, if you take any more damage, your runner goes critical and the mission fails. (that's right, if one runner goes critical EVERYONE loses)

Each player has an obstacle in front of them requiring a variety of cards to defeat it. This can be generic (3), or a color (Red, Green, etcetera)

On each player's turn, they play cards from their hand against the obstacles in front of the runners. It does not necessarily need to be against the one in front of you.

So, for a sample obstacle, let's say it's (3), (Red), (Green) (2). That means to completely defeat the obstacle, it requires:

3 Damage (from any source)
Red
Green
2 Damage (any source)

Now, for generics, you can play any color (they can mix and match), but you must pay the entire level of generic in one go.. if it says 3, you can't play 2 damage on it, and on someone else's turn play the third damage. But if you play 3, then that level is completed, and all that's left is to defeat the levels in front of you

If you've played cards, and still have an active obstacle in front of you, you take the listed damage. (my Troll had 7 HP, and the ancients ganger did 2 points of damage, for example). Healing cards are rare, but can happen. Some cards do more damage vs certain classes or races, or may damage you AND someone else. Probably a good idea to take care of them first.

Now, the game we played was with face up hands, which is the easiest method of seeing what everyone had, and can be really helpful in determining what obstacles you can get rid of during everyone's turn. "Ok, I have three and a Blue, so If I play on Tom's card, then Alice can play a red on her turn and eliminate Tom's obstacle". Just have to be careful not to get too far into one player telling everyone what to do. (the smartest player in the room syndrome)

You earn money by defeating obstacles, split evenly amongst the party, with leftover nuyen going starting with the player who defeated the obstacle. Nuyen allows you to buy from the "Black Market", six face up cards in the middle of the table.. more powerful cards that go into your deck (which you will be shuffling constantly, so they will come up fairly often). As cards are bought from the Black Market, new ones come up, so sometimes it's worth it to buy even less useful, low costing goods so you get more useful cards showing up (and anything from the black market is likely more powerful then the generics that you start with).

Now, in our mission, we were under a time pressure in two ways.

First, there's the Crossfire deck. This is a deck of random events (one each turn) that are mostly bad things that happen to the players. The first real card we faced, hit us for a damage if we played more then one color on our turn for example. They're not always completely bad (I pulled a card (Grenade!) that did two damage to my street sam, but also cleared two levels on both the obstacles I was facing. (The joke was "Once the timer has started, Mr. Grenade is no longer anyone's friend"). They could potentially have a nastier effect, depending on how many cards have already been played before it.

The other was a mission specific one. After each round (every one had played), we pulled two obstacles to see if the portal was going to open. Obstacles have a color, just like the cards that we play. The rule was, that if that there was an obstacle of each color next to the portal, the portal was going to open (putting all the obstacles in play.. which means we'd all of a sudden have a bunch of new obstacles to face while we were still clearing out the OLD obstacles .. in Shadowrun terms this is called "Oh drek.....". We were lucky, and used the mission's special rule to get rid of one card that could've opened the portal before we were ready.

Once we cleared the early mission obstacles, the portal opened, and we faced the three remaining obstacles (we had stopped it from getting a fourth). We cleared the new obstacles, and won the game. We earned 4 karma (3 for the base mission, and one for a special promo card we earned for playing, Harlequin was messing with us). Now, in campaign play, you can use karma to buy upgrades for your character (For example, at 5 Karma, your character starts with an extra card in his hand). So, this can be something you play weekly.

There is a decent amount of setup involved here (the mission card will tell you what obstacle cards you have to pull out of the main deck to make the mission's deck) but the game took.. I'd say about 40 or so minutes, even with first-timer rules questions.

Rather fun game.. and probably something that can be done via forum play.

I hope that they'll eventually release the con missions for those of is unable to attend. Looking more and more forward to this game. :)

The Tekwych

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« Reply #1 on: (14:52:54/08-15-14) »
CLOSE THE PORTAL is available as a PDF download now

AJCarrington

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« Reply #2 on: (15:16:03/08-15-14) »
Cool...missed that. Thanks!!

The Tekwych

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« Reply #3 on: (18:08:49/08-15-14) »
But no harlequin card.  :'( :(

PiXeL01

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« Reply #4 on: (01:51:30/08-16-14) »
He'll probably be scanned and uploaded at some point :P knowing him he'll always find a way to make an appearance.
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JustLogan

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« Reply #5 on: (16:59:46/08-16-14) »
Got it today!! Already home from gencon and waiting on a buddy to get started playing. Everything is on the table and I ran through I few test hands solo. I think this game has been something I've been looking for for a while. Seems very tough though.

PeterSmith

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« Reply #6 on: (22:25:26/08-16-14) »
Seems very tough though.

Figure getting your hoop handed to you 60% of the time for starting characters.
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JustLogan

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« Reply #7 on: (02:04:57/08-17-14) »
Oh yeah! Finished 5-6 games and managed one successful abort for 1 karma.we are now combing the rules to make sure we didn't miss something ( I don't think we did) . Otherwise we are planning out strategy prepping or team and otherwise planning for more goes at it. Every time a run went totally sideways I grinned, started reshuffling the deck, and thought that's life in the shadows, chummer. While the mechanics of this game are pretty easy to grasp, the strategy is deep and the randomness shows that runs never go how you plan. The feel of this game is shadowrun from dermal plating to wired reflexes.

AJCarrington

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« Reply #8 on: (12:39:25/08-17-14) »
Really great to here. My shopping ninja was able to get me a copy (hopefully with the promo card) ANC expect to have in hand next week  ;D

Imveros

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« Reply #9 on: (21:17:20/08-18-14) »
Seems very tough though.

I got to play the game with the devs at the con and we still lost every single time ~_~
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Bull

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« Reply #10 on: (15:48:47/08-19-14) »
Anyone play through any demos I ran at the con at the booth?  I ran somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-26 hours of demos over the weekend.  It was constant and nonstop and crazy. :)  But fun.

Chance

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« Reply #11 on: (17:55:52/08-19-14) »
Played twice and lost the first game (albeit only barely) and pulled off the second run. The game is a lot of fun and I can see adding in some role playing quite easily in a campaign setting. I can't wait to try it out with my full campaign group on the weekend.

Larsine

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« Reply #12 on: (02:40:34/08-22-14) »
But no harlequin card.  :'( :(
The Harlequin Character Card is also available on the blog http://www.shadowruntabletop.com/2014/08/catalyst-at-gen-con-2014/