NEWS

Help!!! What are we doing wrong?

  • 19 Replies
  • 6475 Views

MadDogMaddux

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Newb
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
  • Special Agent #132
« on: (23:13:12/02-23-15) »
So a group of us have been playing 4 player Crossfire Missions for a while. I'd say we win somewhere in the ballpark of 1 in 8 tries. Is that right? It seems that the game is REALLY difficult to beat, harder than I'm used to - and I'm an avid player of Pandemic.


The combination of Crossfire effects and Flipped effects really seems to do us in, not to mention the fact that as soon as Scene 2 hits, we're facing a ton of Hard Obstacles.

I'm usually pretty good at asset management games, so we're doing a good job of working together to take down obstacles as efficiently as I think we can - but even so it's not often that we we even successfully abort a mission.

I guess I'm kind of wondering, has there been an errata on the rules since the game was published? Have some of the cards been edited or corrected?



I realize it's really hard to tell if someone is playing the game right without watching them play it, so here are some random things that we ARE doing:

Purchased cards go directly into hand
All characters heal 1 HP between Scenes and get a chance to buy
Actively working to use Covering Fire and Mono-filament Whip to deny obstacles attacks.
Buying Doc Wagon cards ASAP (I even added 2 spare Doc Wagon cards to the game!) and using both them and the Covering Fire heals as often/well as we can

Honestly, it doesn't *feel* to me like we're not doing the right things, just that the game gets out of hand too quickly and we can't keep up.

Things that are consistently causing us trouble:
Multiple Flipped powers making everyone have to discard cards to the point where nobody has a hand to play
Black Market Cycle effects coming up just at the right time to keep us from buying Doc Wagon cards
Crossfire Effects + Hard Obstacles + Additional Obstacles causing Player 1 to go Staggered after his first turn of the Scene, then Critical his next turn because there are 3 Obstacles in front of him
Multiple Target Obstacles (i.e. Aztlan Decker, Vampire Operative, etc.)


I've seriously considered just taking the Hard Obstacle Deck out of the game just so we can actually win it more than 15% of the time.


Thoughts? Anything you found out you were doing wrong that made the game more winnable? Any input is welcome. Thanks!
« Last Edit: (23:23:11/02-23-15) by MadDogMaddux »

Namikaze

  • *
  • Freelancer Ltd
  • Prime Runner
  • **
  • Posts: 4068
  • I'm a Ma'fan of Shadowrun!
« Reply #1 on: (00:44:34/02-24-15) »
Two things that I didn't see brought up in your OP:

Are you guys working on each other's turns?  If it's your turn and I have a card that can help clear an obstacle and it has an assist effect, I can throw it down to help out.  The assist effects help a bunch.

When are you guys introducing hard obstacles?  Most missions have you introduce a hard obstacle only once there is at least one Crossfire card in the discard pile.

Actually, that last point brings up something else - when you clear the obstacles, you're supposed to put the Crossfire card on the bottom of the Crossfire deck, not in the discard pile.  If you're not doing this, you're going to have a MUCH higher Crossfire level than you're supposed to have.
Feel free to keep any karma you earned illicitly, it's on us.

Quote from: Stephen Covey
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

Imveros

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 996
« Reply #2 on: (10:10:49/02-24-15) »
I will also add that the game gets a little easier with some karma but it is just a hard game. My group has several karma under there belts and we still only have a 1/4 or 1/5 win loss rate.
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

"normal speech" thought "Matrix"   whisper "Subvocal" "Foreign Language"

MadDogMaddux

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Newb
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
  • Special Agent #132
« Reply #3 on: (10:40:57/02-24-15) »
@Namikaze
yep, we're working on each other's obstacles, and removing the top crossfire card when we end a scene.

@Imveros
yeah, that seems to be what I'm being told from several sources.

I think we're just frustrated because we all just got our first upgrades, then lost worse than ever before twice in a row.

Imveros

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 996
« Reply #4 on: (14:07:11/02-24-15) »
It's so luck dependant it gets frustrating some times. Two games in a row we got both GOD and that damn vampire that attacks everyone...

Also don't forget your abort rounds. Those still Gove karma too.

Just out of curiosity, what upgrades did you guys go with?
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

"normal speech" thought "Matrix"   whisper "Subvocal" "Foreign Language"

MadDogMaddux

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Newb
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
  • Special Agent #132
« Reply #5 on: (14:28:57/02-24-15) »
Ork Face took Shopping Agent
Troll Sam took Minor Knack
Dwarf Decker took In Training
Human Mage took Just Tough

graven2002

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 29
« Reply #6 on: (15:47:55/02-24-15) »
Have you watched the developer gameplay videos http://www.shadowruntabletop.com/shadowrun-crossfire-game/ (scroll down)? 
Or check out this thread where one of the designers does a full walkthrough http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1309331/sample-2-player-game (videos imbedded throughout thread). 
These guys claim to have a 80-90% win rate with zero upgrades; definitely worth watching.

A couple more rules to double check: 
First, are you attacking each others obstacles, and not just with assist cards.  (Surprising how many people miss this.)
Second, are you applying damage as one big pool, and not on a card by card basis.  (This can make a huge difference.)

My only other note is that you may be playing too defensively.  Your concentration on Doc Wagons and complaint of having "a ton of Hard Obstacles" at the start of Scene 2 means you are taking too many turns killing the obstacles in Scene 1.  Ideally the Crossfire level should be less than 2 at the start of Scene 2, and less than 4 for Scene 3.  Maybe try focusing more on damage than defense; the best use of Doc Wagon is to assist a staggered runner after they draw a card at the start of their turn, allowing them to draw 2 more.

MadDogMaddux

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Newb
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
  • Special Agent #132
« Reply #7 on: (18:22:55/02-24-15) »
Thanks, Graven. I'll have a look at those vids.

If by damage as a lump sum, you mean that 2+ obstacles can't take a runner past staggered, then yes, we're doing it right. If you mean something else, then I'm unsure.

We're definitely group firing on obstacles, not just with assist cards.

Not sure about how to be *more* aggressive. There's not a lot of defensive things to do forget than doc wagon, covering fire,mono whip, and striker. Seems like it's more about killing quickly.

That said, the black market deck is pretty big, so we've had games where covering fire and mono whip never even made it on to the black market.

The last game we played, we got to Scene 2 with only 3 cards in the Crossfire discard, that was the fastest we've done that yet. We eventually successfully aborted, and would have won except that our Decker got double teamed and staggered on round 1 of Scene 3, and we couldn't clear of her opponents before her next turn.

I like your tip about doc wagon use! Thanks!




graven2002

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 29
« Reply #8 on: (23:18:44/02-24-15) »

I meant something else (see below), but that is also a rule that could make a huge difference.

Applying damage to obstacles is slightly vague about this in the rule book, but at least one of the designers has confirmed here is how it works:
Cards played on an obstacle will pool their damage which can then be applied in any order.

Example: Attacking Indentured Otaku[5; Green; 2; Green] using Pair Programming[Green; Green] and Fireball[Blue; Blue; 2; 1 level of damage]
Apply the (1 level of damage) from Fireball, clearing the 5; next apply a green from Pair Programming; then apply 2 damage from Fireball; finally apply the last green from Pair Programming, defeating the obstacle.

If you only apply one card at a time you wouldn't be able to defeat this obstacle, only the first two levels.

Following this rule (instead of each card at a time) gives players much more flexibility.  You can sometimes take obstacles out quicker, but more importantly it allows you to conserve cards for future turns. 
It's a subtle difference, but one that makes the game faster and more enjoyable.

Playing offensively sometimes means prioritizing attacking obstacles to make Nuyen instead of preventing damage, or holding cards back for bigger attacks on future turns.  You'll see some examples in the links.

Artighur

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 281
« Reply #9 on: (23:22:02/02-25-15) »
We had a lot of hard times playing at first but we finally managed to get something going.

Cards in hand at the start of the game is vital. I cannot stress that enough. In training is very important (especially if you are a Dwarf). Make sure someone has Shopping Agent, that helps too. For the mage, once you get Prep Work (buying a card pre-game) is crazy good, especially if you can start with 4+ to buy Death Touch.

Ayslyn

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 19
« Reply #10 on: (10:45:52/03-01-15) »

I meant something else (see below), but that is also a rule that could make a huge difference.

Applying damage to obstacles is slightly vague about this in the rule book, but at least one of the designers has confirmed here is how it works:
Cards played on an obstacle will pool their damage which can then be applied in any order.

Example: Attacking Indentured Otaku[5; Green; 2; Green] using Pair Programming[Green; Green] and Fireball[Blue; Blue; 2; 1 level of damage]
Apply the (1 level of damage) from Fireball, clearing the 5; next apply a green from Pair Programming; then apply 2 damage from Fireball; finally apply the last green from Pair Programming, defeating the obstacle.

If you only apply one card at a time you wouldn't be able to defeat this obstacle, only the first two levels.

Following this rule (instead of each card at a time) gives players much more flexibility.  You can sometimes take obstacles out quicker, but more importantly it allows you to conserve cards for future turns. 
It's a subtle difference, but one that makes the game faster and more enjoyable.

Playing offensively sometimes means prioritizing attacking obstacles to make Nuyen instead of preventing damage, or holding cards back for bigger attacks on future turns.  You'll see some examples in the links.

Further, you aren't restricted to applying that damage to a single obstacle either.   You play all the cards you want, from your hand, your friends play their cards as warranted, and all that damage goes into one giant pool that you can apply anywhere you want, in any order.

graven2002

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 29
« Reply #11 on: (17:21:15/03-01-15) »
Further, you aren't restricted to applying that damage to a single obstacle either.   You play all the cards you want, from your hand, your friends play their cards as warranted, and all that damage goes into one giant pool that you can apply anywhere you want, in any order.

Not quite.  Damage is pooled per obstacle, based on what cards you played on each one.  Here is a thread where SevenSpirits (Sean McCarthy) explains it best:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/16904516#16904516

Along these lines, another unclear rule might be how Assist cards work with this system.  The assisting runner decides how Assist Abilities apply, while the current runner decides where/how to apply Assist Damage.  They don't have to choose the same obstacle.
Example:  Elf Shaman and Gutter Punks are facing Joan.  Bob plays Covering Fire during Joan's turn.  Bob chooses to prevent Elf Shaman from attacking.  Joan chooses to assign (Black) Assist Damage to Gutter Punks.  Place generic token on Elf Shaman, and place Covering Fire next to Gutter Punks until damage is applied, then move it to Bob's discard.


MadDogMaddux

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Newb
  • ***
  • Posts: 43
  • Special Agent #132
« Reply #12 on: (14:36:36/03-31-15) »
Again, Graven - thanks! That's a good clarification. We've been pooling damage, but had not considered splitting up the damage from things like Fireball and Lightning Bolt.


Granted, it seems like every time we get a Lightning Bolt in the Black Market, we subsequently get a card that cycles all spell cards. :P


We're up to 15 Karma now, mostly through Aborted Runs, but hey, we've made it that far.

My Face is still running Shopping Agent, and that's it. Decker is using Prep Work, since she starts the game with 5 Nuyen. Mage is using Cigar money so she has 4 nuyen to buy Death Touch as soon as it pops up. Street Sam is using Shock Frills - since he's always trying to draw aggro.

We hit 15 Karma and I don't think  anyone is in the mood to swap out upgrades at that level.

Jamelfr

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 243
  • Nerps for beer. Nerps for president.
« Reply #13 on: (20:23:16/04-05-15) »
I would suggest that you take a look at the upgrade giving you one extra card in your beginning hand at the start of the game. It is really useful to quickly defeat the first wave of ennemies so you can advance to the following scenes/rounds with less damage and less cards in the crossfire discard. Good luck in your games.

Artighur

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 281
« Reply #14 on: (23:49:58/04-05-15) »
I would suggest that you take a look at the upgrade giving you one extra card in your beginning hand at the start of the game. It is really useful to quickly defeat the first wave of ennemies so you can advance to the following scenes/rounds with less damage and less cards in the crossfire discard. Good luck in your games.

I cannot stress how important this is. Everybody should have that upgrade or Prep Work. Is THAT good.