WHQ:BSF - Stoof's observations & thoughts during play

Stoof

Yakmarines 2nd Co. Word Priest
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Jun 1, 2016
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Ellon, United Kingdom
I thought I'd create a thread with some of my thoughts & observations for games of BSF I've been playing solo, now that I've played a few times and I'm getting a feel for it. These are pure observation and gut feeling - I haven't math-hammered it beyond easy stuff. I won't cover being inspired at the moment, as it didn't happen in my last game.

General Tactics:
• Cover is very important. Remember this!
• Ships exist and have abilities. Remember this too! (I have played several times and I just KEEP FORGETTING THEY EXIST!)


Characters in play during my last session, and my thoughts on them:
Janus Draik:
Thoroughly uninspiring - slow, his attacks are fairly weak, his special ability only applies to the first turn of a combat (if it applied every turn it would help, but he would still be vanilla ice cream with no toppings). His Flurry of Attacks looks better than it ever seems to work. So far my humble opinion is that Drake is actually the weakest character of those available (caveat: I haven't used Rein & Raus yet).

Espern Locanro:
As the "wizard" of the party, you might expect Espern to be fairly niche. However, this is pleasantly untrue! His Shield ability is very handy - make sure you keep another character in his hex to make the most of it (I suggest Vorne). His ability to return a lost Destiny dice from the pool is one of those things you start to take for granted, then really miss when you can't do it anymore. Third eye attacks are actually a solid offensive choice with a good success rate. His ability to move an enemy once for a 6+ may seem like a waste, but if he's activated early and you use it to pull a Chaos Space Marine out of cover into your guns it's very satisfying.

Pious Vorne:
Flamer. Flamer at every opportunity. If there's more than one enemy in the hex adjacent, waste a dice to step away and fire the flamer rather than using the comparatively rubbish chainblade. To be honest, I waste a low or destiny pool dice to step away even if there is only one enemy - the flamer attack is just better than a 4+ chainblade attack, and even if it fails you're no longer directly engaged. When the chainblade attack fails you'll kick yourself for saving an activation/pool dice to give yourself a lesser chance. She is a bit of a glass cannon - her poor defence means if things go south she suffers quickly. Buy a medipack to keep on hand as soon as possible.

UR-025:
Assault cannon - much like Vorne, if there's more than one enemy in an adjacent hex, spend a die to step back before opening fire. Cover is a consideration here though - don't do this if it would put the enemies into cover (not a problem Vorne needs to bother with).
He's tough as old nails - but he is very slow, can't benefit from cover and only has a pool of 3 dice - still a very solid choice. Be prepared to do some waiting though - my last few combats ended with everyone in the maglev twiddling their thumbs waiting for UR-025 to get there as previously vanquished enemy groups started to reinforce one by one. I would recommend that if you're about to complete your planned objective you use UR-025 to call the maglev if he's got one nearby - everyone else is quicker on their feet.


Vessels after returning to Precipice from my last game:
The Clarion seems to be the best precipice vessel of the four I had for this game - a 25% chance to gain a Clue, per explorer, re-rolled for Pious Vorne or Taddeus. There's a 5% chance of losing a Clue if that character had one... but early on in a campaign they a) probably don't and b) you can just send characters that don't have one instead. Or, possibly, c), which I'll need to re-check if you're actually allowed to do - trade everyone's clue cards to one character, then send everyone else. If this turns out to be allowed, i.e. I haven't missed something about Clue cards, the Clarion becomes the best vessel possible for progressing in the game - assuming you give your Clues to one character and you have either Taddeus or Pious (or both) you're rolling 4 or 5 25% chances to get a clue, plus one or two rerolls if Taddeus and/or Vorne failed. Added bonus - Cheap medpacks on sale there keep you in the fight!

Next time I play I'll pick at least one other character and post my thoughts on them - plus any new feelings on the others if my opinion of them begins to change for whatever reason.
 

Aulenback

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Mar 29, 2016
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caveat: I haven't used Rein & Raus yet
They, Pious, and the eldar are the set most likely of interest to our crew of regular players -- which means we don't really have a "tank" to intercept any close combat which turns out to be inevitable, and will be doing a lot of stepping away and shooting, and stepping away and shooting. The kroot hunter also appeals to me thematically, so we'll see whether I like him or the ratlings better.

But getting them all readied is my March "paint your stuff" goal. So many board games, so little time!
 
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Stoof

Yakmarines 2nd Co. Word Priest
Yak Comp 2nd Place
Tribe Council
Jun 1, 2016
2,767
8,553
213
Ellon, United Kingdom
A couple of weeks ago a friend and I had a couple of games of BSF. We swapped out UR-025 and Pious Vorne for Rein & Raus and Taddeus for this session:

Rein & Raus:
I wasn't the controlling player of Rein & Raus, but they seemed to be quite tricky to use effectively. They didn't make much impact on the game - just basic shooting. Being two models seems to be more of a gimmick than an actual beneficial trait, and having the pool dice pay for both of their actions leaves one of them stranded and useless more often than not. We are quite possibly using them poorly. Any tips for making these two pay off?

Taddeus the Purifier:
Taddeus is a pretty good close combat character, with middling range ability. He's... fine I guess? His healing special ability is very useful in a pinch, if you have the 6+ for it!

In General:
We kept drawing two or three challenges before reaching a combat in these games, which we did quite well with. Consequently we were loaded with clues and archaeotech before we actually met an enemy, so as soon as we could leave we did. I think we now have 9 clues amongst the characters, so we can happily do two Stronghold runs back to back.

There are a some challenges and spacecraft actions that let you pick any card you like from the Discovery deck. Naturally, given the option, you pick the ones which allow the characters to become automatically and permanently Inspired. This feels like a cheaty way to get these items, but - much like getting "free" clues from the Clarion - it's far easier than finding them in Combat, which I guess is how you're "meant" to do it? :unsure:

Espern was still the star of the show - especially since, thanks to the above, he is now permanently inspired. F***ing up traitor guardsmen left right and centre with MIND BULLETS whilst in his bubble of super defence :ROFLMAO:
 

Aulenback

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Mar 29, 2016
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In our "test run" [a couple challenges, one combat] to work through the rules before our daughter joins in, we did run Rein & Raus, as well as UR-025. The ratlings were useful specifically in exploration for clues - one half continues to be a useful fire corridor addition, while the other dashes off to check an exploration point - or both do - and then run back. Remember the "BOTH of them can move/shoot at low "roll" cost" special ability. That drastically increases mobility. We also used "6" destiny dice for the grappling hook almost exclusively, again vastly increasing mobility. He was easily able to get across the table, check for a clue in a now-unoccupied room, and then get back quickly. Meanwhile, the other ratling jogged over to a closer "clue" point, and checked it. Another character would have taken SOOOOO much longer to accomplish the same.

UR-025 was our "tank," able to soak lots of damage, if well-placed.

Grekh's role was twofold - the initial movement let him set up and trap a main intersection, and then he was advance placed to be able to duck to the nearest [unoccupied! Phew!] location to summon the Great Glass Elevator. This actually proved useful, since during the combat, afterwards, several times the "the exit spawns at the least convenient location" end-of-round-event was rolled. He then re-trapped the same bottleneck, covering our retreat from the ur-ghuls.

Vorne was, as expected, specifically good at mulching swarms as they zipper their way into a corridor from a larger chamber.

Espern is now our daughter's favourite model [instead of the eldar] and concept [he IS the 'wizard' of the party, after all], so I expect he'll see a fair bit of play in the future.
 
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Aulenback

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Our first challenge card, by the way, involved having 20 seconds to roll a 1-2-3-4-5 on the 5 dice, and then stack them in order. Suffice to say, we failed, and Vorne took 4 [normal, not mortal] wounds. Destiny dice pools over the first rounds dedicated to trying to recover her and move.
 
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Aulenback

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Mar 29, 2016
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We have now made it through a full expedition in and out, AND taken down our first stronghold. Will natter on as promised over this week. We used UR-025, Grekh, Locarno, and Vorne for this run.
 
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Aulenback

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Mar 29, 2016
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Early thoughts, once again, the feeling was “this is easy, not a acratch, we need to up the difficulty mayb-OH CRAP OH CRAP WE JUST NEARLY LOST THE ROBOT AND THEN VORNE OH CRAP.” Things are fine until suddenly they are not, and then they quickly spiral. A lucky event roll allowed Vorne to heal, and the robot’s self repair was vital.

Vorne is devastating, but fragile, the archetypal glass cannon.

UR-025 is Best Tank. Decent damage, but you want the beast in front. Supporting it with Locarno is our favourite, and the pair work well together. Ur-025 was able to buy the bionic legs resource card that ups movement by one to 2, which is a choice of choices. If you can, do.

We also gave Grekh a run and a stronghold. His abilities were solid, but on several maps the initial trap could only be placed so as to block our own path, so didn’t get used. His mobility (that initial free move plus good speed) have him some use as explorer, to tag discovery searches in emptied rooms, or summon the mag-lev, but Rein and Raus do that better, have as good a gun, and now stay Inspired (where Grekh resets each expedition). I feel torn between the two. I mean, Kroot, right? But then also halflings.

Vorne and UR-025 seem tied this far for “explorer of the match,” but Locarno and the Gaffar brothers have been solid support (and grappling hook has been ridiculous fun to use dramatically).
 

Aulenback

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Mar 29, 2016
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So, chatting with my wife, our thoughts at the end of the conversation:

A variety of roles are filled by various antagonists. The guard are swarm, the ghuls are glass cannon, beastmen are support, psykers are denial, etc.

The Chaos marines look like they SHOULD be the plodding doom, but they don’t survive long enough. So. We considered upping wounds, but they will still chew down with any crits, so would need to be SO high it could all too easily be TOO high. We thought giving them cover all the time (armour), but cover is easy to aim past. Defence roll of d8 is what we will try first, and report back.