Part II: Playing the First Session
I hope the extra dice sets go in sale soon, you need at least two sets per player. As expected, I'm getting used to the set theory needed to compile dice rolls, actually it works pretty nice. I for one, can't wait for the full game and dice sets to hit the stores, we plan on ordering two more full sets of dice.
We got the Dice App on iTunes, but I like to roll the physical dice better, since setting up a pool isn't as fun or quick in the app. The app is cool for the sound effects, and the ability to setup any dice pool you want, but grabbing dice and making the rolls is a lot more fun to me.
Initiative though is clunky because you have to roll a bunch of dice and count up you successes, unless the initiative dice get a benefit from rolling the star symbol it would be easier just to roll a d10 and add an appropriate ability score.
Combat "Pew Pew Pew" vs "PEW"
The game likes to group up bad guys for simplicity, they call it Minion Groups. A Minion Group shares a bulk amount of hits and attacks as one unit. This I like as it allows the game to move quickly instead of micro moving and handling each monster one at a time. Lets say you had six troopers with 5 hits each, you could cut them up into two sets of three troopers each with 15 hits per group. They move, roll initiative, and attack as one unit. So you would make one combined combat die roll for the group of three.
Something thing odd that happened is that our Twi'lek girl shot her bast carbine so well she cleared out a group of Stormtroopers in one shot. Now I have a question, is an attack in this game considered a flurry of attacks over the turn or just one shot?
This attack she did would make sense if one attack roll represented your random baster firings over the turn so a good roll mean you suppressed the whole group. Otherwise one bad guy stepping on a land mine taking 100 hits damage takes out his whole platoon of ten guys which is odd.
One other thing they do is have range bands for determining attack range. its a generalization of range instead of a different operating range for each weapon. They use point blank, short, medium, and long range bands. My pistol had a medium range and a group of troopers at long range was too far away to shoot. This wasn't too bad as it led to faster play, I dislike have to having to tape measure my shots so this is good.
Hak got miffed at me when I started to interpret the dice on him (*evil grin*), and decided when I received a boost dice to enhance my attacks. But it is fun to do as a player if you get into things, but I do see when the 'Ref' has to make the call.
One bad side about minion-izing groups of monsters is they tended to go down quick and their attacks were weaker. So a bunch of Storm Troopers billed as fearsome elites in the book went down faster than a group of single Gramorean Guards with clubs who got a bunch of nasty hits in on my party in the first encounter.
I think if the referee wants to keep challenge high he needs to split things up into smaller groups or singles, or use the minions for background combatants only. They do not work as well as the only opponent in the encounter, so I expect Hak to mix them up with strong singles and use them as the bulk troops in future sessions.
The Ruthless Smuggler and The Bounty HunterI stumbled through the beginner adventure, more because of my interrupting the referee text speeches when he was reading the intros to the section of the adventure. I dislike when those pre-canned sections advance the situation beyond the point of getting a chance to role play the situation differently. It's like when the referee reads:
"You enter the room and flip the switch the doors slam shut and the room fills with gas. The bad guy is on a video monitor telling you 'goodbye sucker see you in landing bay 12'. ...What do you do!"
ME(player): "Hold on cowpoke, how about I get a look around the room before I enter?"
Referee: "...but if you don't let me read this, how would you learn about landing bay 12?"
ME(player): "Umm..ya. Don't worry about it. I'll probably trip the trap out of curiosity."
So players like me have a tendency to have a low tolerance for being railroaded into making a decision. This lead to me missing a couple things. One was brow beating the bartender in the Catina, who I thought, justifiably so after the Gramoreans attacked us, was a Hutt allied baddie. I ended up missing the info where the ship he was talking about was located. So we had to guess between the two star ports in town. Hak the Ref thought it was an issue because I interrupted his spiel, but to me this was fine since we got involved with the Imperials because of the oversight.
This led to some referee migraine inducing activities. We could have split into two groups, we could have farmed guards for clubs, we could have bee-lined it to the correct star port and blew off the town altogether, missing out on the content in the beginner set.
What I would have done in the starter module is to get some simple fetch quests and mini adventures before advancing the bigger plot. Several smaller plot-safe mini missions, such as killing womp rats to rescue a robot, repairing stuff under the town, or taking a posted bounty on a group of bad guys would have been a good appetizer before ending my stay on Tatooine. even making us escape the slave pens and fighting to get to the starter town would be better; give us chance to play around a bit.
So far so good though, I managed to have a combat with a bunch of guards, got better guns, run off and heal in the slums, and then tackle the star port control and take a prisoner (the starport tech). Then I proceeded to do some cloak and dagger spying on the visiting imperials and get my ship destroyed on a revenge kick.
Plus side, we stole a bunch of trooper comlinks, scavenged some guns, and avoided patrols in the town. The games more RP-style dice rolling makes this fun. We would move around the city and avoid trooper groups searching for us, we make one skill roll and we can avoid them finding us and calling in the Calvary.
|Mayhem? You got it.|
Revenge? Yup, just like the TV show, I plan on getting a little on the Hut before I leave the planet. Funny thing is I have been playing Dash like a ruthless smuggler, less a budding goodie-guy so its been fun. If the main game supports a journey to the dark side this guy would be an awesome candidate. Amanda Clark eat your heart out...
SPOILER ALERT: I let the Trandoshan take off with the ship and made a quick exit of the landing bay through the tunnel. So as the two Tie-Fighters made mince meat of his ship, thanks to my ruthless buffing of the Tie die rolls with my fate token-thingys, the pursuing Imperials now think I am dead.*twirls evil mustache whilst plotting next evil deed*
Things I would have liked to see.
- In-box Twinkies! Us gamers need gamer fuel as this is at least 6 Twinkies worth of game (2 per session per player)...no...lol kidding.
- More enemy counters, at least double the amount, even as an add-on product.
- A add-on map set containing: a shop building map, a plot of desert map, a desert camp map, a desert cave map. A generic desert street map section for city encounters and a generic edge of city map with one of those rope bridges that connect the bluffs.
- A character plus counters add-on product.
- A dice pack add-on product!