Ok, it’s been a LONG while since I wrote a regular blog. Do you guys miss me? ;)
Well, Brendan and I have been crazy busy demoing as well as streamlining any “kinks” in the rules where it causes our demo-ers and playtesters to go “huh?” Since we did so many rounds of playtests at Adepticon, we were able to come up with some pretty neat rules simplification that led to the new PRINT AND PLAY V1.3! After playtesting these rules a little bit, we definitely feel that the game is much smoother and easier to learn and play. We hope you will try it out by downloading it and giving us feedback in the survey links we have in the “READ ME FIRST” PDF file.
Without further delay, let’s quickly go through each of the major changes:
CyMS, CyMS, CyMS!
CyMS has been the bane of our game design existence since the beginning of this game. Yet as a crucial element to what makes this game different, we have to find a balance between making them interesting, vs not making it tedious to control and manipulate them. While we simplified CyMS greatly since the days of tracking 4-6 HP and randomly spawning everywhere on the board, their HP rules and spawning still could be simplified. With that, we made 2 big changes.
3 damage to KO - Now CyMS are either Normal or KO’d, no in between (think Zombicide bosses). No more keeping track of their state or their HP. This did cause a complete review of all our Characters to make sure it doesn’t upset the balance too much. We’re happy to say, so far the game is better for the change!
Spawning - Noise spawn at the end of the Round is still the same, but instead of the weird “minimum 6” spawn, we just decided to deterministically spawn a CyMS on every CyMS spawn point after noise spawning is done. So yes, there are a LOT more CyMS on the board now (but they’re easier to kill). This speeds up the end phase a lot more as well as keeps the bookkeeping simple.
Cover, LOS, and Ranged Attacks against Engaged Models:
Cover has always been hard to define with hexes, so in order to keep it simple, we now give cover for a model to Ranged Attacks when they’re on top of the terrain. Solves the “which direction” problem as well as gives some models some benefit after spending 2 hexes of movement to move onto a terrain tile.
When making a Ranged Attack into a melee between different factions (friendly, opponent, CyMS), now it’s a simple -2 ATK penalty instead of randomizing which target you hit.
Line of Sight (LOS). Unfortunately, this one we wanted to simplify, but it’s just too hard to do without compromising a lot. So we went with other popular hex-based games’ definitions and clearly defined LOS.
As part of the review of all Characters, we cleaned up a few of the more complex Characters’ abilities to streamline them, as well as added the AoE templates on the cards themselves.
The cards have been updated to be easier to read and font size increased to size 8. To be honest, these days I look at every games’ cards to see how big (or small) their font sizes are. I’m happy to say ours is one of the larger ones out there. :)
Area of Effect rules have been simplified to be more in line with what most miniatures games’ AoE attacks are like.
To make rifles more powerful, we extended the range of rifles and reduced the range of pistols. Of course, this will never be truly accurate to real life weapons (due to game balance), but we try to be as close as we can.
Knock Out Rules for Characters were always very strange. While we strongly believe in non-permanent death, we also wanted to make sure that KOs mean something. The compromise we found (while keeping the rules simple) is as follows:
KO’d Characters stay where they are and drop their items.
KO’d Characters can activate the same Round they’re KO’d, but if they do, they can only spend 1 AP max. This suggests that they’re still reeling from a knock-out and can’t be as effective as they were before.
That’s it! :)
Using Luck and HP:
This isn’t specific to Lucky, but I like the Character a lot, and he’s sort of relevant, so there ya go:
We removed the restriction of how many times you can spend 2 LUCK to avoid 1 damage. To balance for that, we reduced the HP of all DEX 4+ Characters (since the higher the DEX, the more valuable each HP is worth).
You can now generate LUCK without having to spend your hit results on any damage or abilities. The max limit is still 7.
Lucky now has some more fun ways to use LUCK. ;-)
Simplified Scenario Scoring:
As part of the simplification process, we are trying to keep the scoring of each Scenario to always be one main objective, KO opponent’s Characters, and KO 5 CyMS. We also tweaked some crazy point swings in the Supply Line Scenario to make it more balanced.
Removed Survival Round:
The Survival Round was originally created to add tension at the end of a Game, as well as prevent Characters from making no noise and standing in the middle of 10 CyMS, all 2-3 hexes away. But ultimately, it was just too complex, takes too much time, and often created a negative experience with a winning player losing all of a sudden. Ultimately, we removed this round for now, and will keep an eye out for how we can make sure players don’t abuse the rule that CyMS do not Spawn in the final Round. If you have ideas, definitely let us know!
Going first in the 1st Round? You get 1 Forage Card! This is to avoid the confusion of 2nd player getting the extra AP 2nd Round and on.
With that, you now have a summary of all the changes we’ve made to the game to make it (hopefully) better for everyone! Any one of these may not be a big change like when we completely revamped how CyMS activate, but all of them together have reduced the number of pages in the rules by quite a bit.
We’re going to continue to find ways to streamline the game, while keeping its tactical depth and what makes it unique. So with your help and playtest feedback, we will get there even faster! Go check out the Print and Play v1.3 and fill out those surveys now!
Which rules changes do you like the most? Let us know!