N18 Simplifying how the tactic cards work

JawRippa

Gang Hero
Mar 31, 2017
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Saint-Petersburg, Russia
I love the idea of tactic cards, but the way Games Workshop has implemented them leaves a lot to be desired. My biggest gripe is that they scare new players away because they are an extra layer of rules and preparation in a game which is very hard to get into already.

So, I suggest the following:
Whenever a player would gain a "tactic card", they instead gain a token called a "tactic". Use anything that is convenient to keep the track of how many tactics you have, for example you stack coins, mark a piece of paper with a pen or use a D6 die facing up with your current number of tactics left.

A player can spend a tactic in the following ways:
- Once per round reroll a single characteristic test or a save roll for a friendly fighter.
- On activation remove a flesh wound from an activated fighter.
- During recovery test select a seriously injured friendly fighter, they count as having assistance during the recovery test.
- If you did not have the priority in the previous round, you can add +1 to the priority roll to a maximum of 6. Only one tactic can be used this way per round and the tactic has to be used before any rolls are made.

Alternatively, before the game players can agree to use the "classic" tactic card decks, if all players have prepared them according to the rules of the campaign (usually 18 cards, no duplicates). This way people who have tactic card decks and newcomers (or people who despise tactic card decks) can even play in the same campaign without getting on each other's toes.

BTW, if loot caskets would give 1 tactic when successfully opened there would be a lot more incentive to go for them.
 
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Yep, on one hand they really add flavour to how different gangs play, on the other they're probably the most unbalancing (and intimidating) part of the game.

I'm planning a new campaign now, that will make tactics more like abilities a gang unlocks.

Every gang will get a sheet of 7 carefully chosen tactics. They will be flavourful for that gang's theme, and be appropriate for their power level (e.g. the Helot Cult selection will be better than the Van Saar selection).

One will be unlocked from the start (one that really represents what the gang is all about).
The rest are unlocked as you play games. A win lets you choose a tactic to unlock, a lose gets you a random one.

Each player's sheet and what is unlocked is visable to all players. Other than that, you play them as normal in a mission, e.g. you get the ability to play more in a single game as an underdog.

This makes them simple at the start as you only have 1, and the complexity grows as you learn the gang. It also gives you opportunities to craft your gang around what you unlock.

I'm in a campaign right now that uses a fixed selection of tactics for all players kind of like how you suggest. It is more balanced than the basic method, but it does mean you're seeing the same effects every single game.
 
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That mechanic was in Advanced Heroquest, it was called Fate Points. You had a set amount, could gain them periodically but you spent one to overturn a bad roll etc.

Tactics cards would’ve been better if it had been a literal deck, shuffled before a game and to use it you forgo a models actions to pull a tactic from the top of the deck. Choose Tactic (Double).

The text on the cards would have to support that though, so that the results are run at that point.

The way they have done it is designed to be cinematic, so things happen like they would in the movies - downside is you have to keep track of them otherwise it’s super easy to overlook a tactic that may have been useful.
 
Unlike the movies, the character about to pull a feat is in recovery, so that scene is skipped. Or, the situation never happens. Neo runs out the door to the roof. The roof is empty, no agents in sight (they failed an intelligence checl to open another door to get there in time). So he continues running *no slo-mo 360 camera with bullet dodging ensues*.
 
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I tend to just ignore the 'attacker chooses 3 cards, defender random picks 2 cards' bits and just use the 'one card per hundred creds rating difference' to balance underdogs, and always random picks. Still forget to use them most of the time.
 
I have given the rules in the OP a test run in 3 games.

1. Rerolling any test is pretty nuts and the main-go use of tactics for an obvious reason. I think rather than limiting it to a "once per round" simply make it cost 2 tactics.
2. Removing a fleshwound and treating an injured fighter as receiving an assistance during recovery came in clutch, especially the second one.
3. Infuencing the priority roll often ends up in both players willing to put a tactic into the roll, so it becomes a boring trade when both players lose a tactic and gain nothing. I'd remove the option entirely.

All in all, so much better than having to print an effin` deck. The nicest bit is that these are rather simple, so even a completely fresh player is not scared by the introduction these (I have seen so many people start second-guessing their choice of skirmish after being introduced to tactic cards).
 
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Not my original idea. but when allowed to choose two cards, we draw four random cards from a deck of 18-22, and choose two. Means the same cards can't be relied on every game. Random cards are drawn randomly from the deck.

As for those who don't have access to the 300+ cards... I just don't use Tactics Cards. Or let them draw from my exquisitely selected life-changing deck. They can discard gang specific cards that don't work, and redraw.

Tactics Cards are there for fun. Make it so!
 
As for those who don't have access to the 300+ cards... I just don't use Tactics Cards.
That's the whole purpose of this thread - allow people without tactic cards to actually use this aspect of the game. The actual card effects I do not like all that much, a lot of them are kinda "gotcha", especially extra action ones. And tactic cards can become an instrument to motivate gangs to do objectives and hunt down loot caskets (if objectives and opened loot caskets would give out tactic cards).
 
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And tactic cards can become an instrument to motivate gangs to do objectives and hunt down loot caskets (if objectives and opened loot caskets would give out tactic cards).
Are you crazy! That could make objectives and loot caskets desirable and interesting, and Tactics Cards more useful. We're not here for fun, this is serious business!

Yep, gonna add this to my new campaign. You did NOT hear it from me!
 
Are you crazy! That could make objectives and loot caskets desirable and interesting, and Tactics Cards more useful. We're not here for fun, this is serious business!

Yep, gonna add this to my new campaign. You did NOT hear it from me!
I'll toss you another one - in addition to tactics, loot caskets give 1XP, flat 10 credits (rolling D6 credits is just stupid) and most importantly refund an action if the casket was opened with an intellect test. This actually makes INT stat at least somewhat useful and promotes mobility.

After all these changes people in our campaign finally started going after loot caskets, but we've changed their placement, because players will toss them into potential deployment zones and open them right at the start of the game without having to get anywhere. We scatter a pair of caskets 3D6" from center of the board in a mirrored way - preferably putting caskets as high as possible if they end up on multi-level structure.
 
LC’s really are underutilized. Good stuff!

Just between us, with 20+ rulebooks and four(?) starter sets, 300+ Tactics Cards, three distinct settings, four (five?) different campaigns, and lord knows how many scenarios, I’m about to pronounce the occasional, minimal House Rule just might not unbalance the game. Maybe.