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Subject: Depth of strategy question rss

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Aaron Bonner
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I am incredibly interested in picking this game up but after playing a few dungeon crawlers such as Claustrophobia and Castle Ravenloft I have some doubts. I feel those games along with a few others in that same style lack a sense of strategic depth that I had hoped they would have. I guess what I mean is I don't like the lack of choices you seem to have in combat. My fear is that Earth Reborn might offer the same amount of strategic depth. Am I mistaken? I also understand these might not be the best games to compare but they all revolve around lots of combat.
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Christian Holmes
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There is LOTS of strategic depth, you are just going to have to make sure that you have an opponent that can learn all of the game's "systems" with you.

I would give you an example, but don't have time currently to type all that you could do on one turn.

You should take a look at the rulebook to get an idea
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JH
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Take this with a grain of salt if you like, as I've only played one scenario of the game twice (once on each side). But I found the game offered numerous ways this one, most basic scenario could play out (my opponent and I switched sides after the first game, and we both won as NORAD in very different ways). And that's only using basic movement, attack and melee rules. I've read through the rest of the game's books, and it seems to me like one of the most strategically rich games around.
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Aaron Bonner
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Thanks! I've watched a few reviews and I think I have just been trying to convince myself to not spend more money but I think I'll just commit already and pick it up. How important is it to play through all of the scenarios first?
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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This is one of the few "newer" games that has facing as a component. The way your figure is facing determines what you can see, what you can shoot at, and what you can melee at. For example, Jack Saw, the figure with the saw on his left hand, has the best melee on his left and front facing, 2nd best on his right facing, and worst on his rear facing. That alone presents a lot of interesting choices/decisions from where you want to face your attackers (end your turn with your back to the wall), to where you face when attacking.

That's just one example among many in this game. And if you play through the tutorial scenarios, they're very fun and do an incredibly great job of teaching the game while making the rules seem much less complex than they first appear.

-shnar
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jef stuyck
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redringojimmy wrote:
Thanks! I've watched a few reviews and I think I have just been trying to convince myself to not spend more money but I think I'll just commit already and pick it up. How important is it to play through all of the scenarios first?


the scenarios are the tutorials ... so if you want to learn the full game you will have to play through all the scenarios

you don't have to but it is recommended

Owyea 1 tip. Get someone that wants to do this with you because this takes a while to learn.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Don't let the term "tutorial" scare you though. The scenarios aren't really tutorials, rather they are actual scenarios that show you how the game is built on a modular ruleset. Each main ruleset in the game can be used in a given scenario. The first scenario for example only uses Core Rules, Move, and Close Combat rules. But the scenario is very fun and even replayable. The next one add Line of Sight rules and Duel ruleset. While they do add more depth, they are not necessary for a good, fun scenario (i.e. scenario 1).

It doesn't feel like you're being "taught" a game, it feels like you're just playing a game.

-shnar
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Neil
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I haven't had the opportunity to play this game with the full complement of rules, but after a few plays with tutorial 3 and 4 I can confirm that there are plenty of tough choices to make in this game. Though my memory of the details may have faded a bit, the example I will give has to do with the hand management. Each side has a set number of command tiles that determine how much or how little you can do. For example, some tiles allow you to move far, but they limit your combat, or your ability to use devices. Different tiles create different opportunities, and since you must assign a tile to each unit to get them to do anything, you must adapt your plans to the tile draws. Sometimes your tiles won't allow you to do what you want to do. If you have a crap hand you can draw different ones, but that costs you an action. When your units are injured this weakens your ability to do anything regardless of how great your tiles are. These constraints make decision-making tight, and when you put in a context of tricky missions over diverse terrain and various items, it gives you a lot to think about on your turn.
 
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Stefan Z
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Today I am going to start with the real game (after the 9 Szenarios) and I really need to say --> Play the tutorials otherwise you dont have fun with the game...its too much and you will miss a great story aswell. Also you know only 30% of the game -> too much to do/see/option you have.

And the MOST important point is -> you need a fix partner or a fix group, we are playing once per week, and now after 3 Months (ok not every week cause of illness and something like that) we starting with the real game and it´s awesome!
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Aaron Bonner
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I didn't realize the scenarios told a story. That's sounds awesome!
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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The answer depends to a large extent on your frame of reference. If you are a wargamer and think in military terms, any game depicting man-to-man action is by definition tactical. If you just mean strategy in a broad sense of having an overall plan, I would say that Earth Reborn can give you that, but no more so than Claustrophobia - ER is more detailed, but not more strategic. Most of the decision-making in both games is of a tactical nature.
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Jennifer Schlickbernd
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Sphere wrote:
The answer depends to a large extent on your frame of reference. If you are a wargamer and think in military terms, any game depicting man-to-man action is by definition tactical. If you just mean strategy in a broad sense of having an overall plan, I would say that Earth Reborn can give you that, but no more so than Claustrophobia - ER is more detailed, but not more strategic. Most of the decision-making in both games is of a tactical nature.


So if you have Claustrophobia is ER worth getting?
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Jan Tuijp
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jschlickbernd wrote:
So if you have Claustrophobia is ER worth getting?


I have never played Claustrophobia, but I can honestly say I've never encountered a game so well designed, so creative and so rich in mechanics, variables and possibilities as ER. This game is its own expansions.

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Jan
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I'll try to sum it up (for myself maybe..

0.the ground zero element is an bluff (dueling for interruptions/ini, radio scramble, missions, search deck, decoys and drillers and character sacrificing moves perhaps too) ..there is a ton of strategy[tactics better said] in there, but I'd get if this is considered not to have anything to do with any rational strategy point of view..

1.first depth lies in a hand management of order-tiles spiced with CP usage, its timing and long term OTs preparation. the chapter itself.

2.somewhere above is a layer of character+abilities+equipment managed in a given space/environment/IPSoptions (who, what + what for, how and mostly when) there is a massive portion of deep decisions and focusing in there..

3. the most ultimate level comes with 'combine orders' module..that's a real brainf**k and combined with all above it delivers something you won't find anywhere else [ime]. Effective usage of combined orders (starting with move and CC orders) must be mastered to follow any turn-to-turn strategies.

4. some real long-term-strategy is [in my experience only, again] a map build step in SAGS. A clever decisions making followed by corresponding playstyle in all above layers leads to crushing victories!

..and that aspect of random (but manageable) dice rolls (and mission, draw step and bluff maybe) makes it more than just a chess style calculations..you got to have a B plan for each risky grand move..

I wish my eng was better to share with you folks eg. my last two SAGS 4p plays in a row (where all above mentioned made my team winning for both Salemite and Norad factions.. try to add some picz with comments:

first play, we were for Salemites, outdoor frame (second play, to make it harder for us we were Norad on indoor frame..):



referring to 4. our very first tile placement was that 5 square long outdoor corridor tile connected to cemetery (in a middle) that followed as second. That created an feeling that we wanted use it somehow.. (Norads placed that other 6squares tile with trees to have a room for MKII to secure that area I guess a strategy you know..



here you can see the very early stage of the first round where Jeff and a horde of zombies with Jack in his LOS are deployed in a 3x3 hall with 2 square gate out.. (upper right corner), check that difference in MPs!

Mon immediately went for a kevlar vest (deployed for her by MKII) while the team of Salemites had prepared a sequence of move/CC gold tiles, Jess including. Her role was to move along with others either form left or right to the back of Woo or MKII, in dependency of Nick deeds .. with Franck being ready hidden from Mon's LOS (but Mon made him betrayed us later!)...

I'll stop here, try to guess the outcome!

..BUT, to be fair, my conviction or belief is that almost everything in ER is just a situationality with no guarantee of successful usage in any two separate cases - no winning 'strategies'.. if you know what I mean.. hmm

cheers!

ER4EVER!

Edit: imho Claustrophobia is 'mostly totally' different.. I do have them both and love them both for some different reasons.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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jschlickbernd wrote:
So if you have Claustrophobia is ER worth getting?

That depends on the gamer, of course. I have both, and don't regret it - ER is a very fine game, and scratches a different itch because it is so much more detailed. Claustrophobia hits the table far more often, because it's so fast and clean. ER takes nearly as long to set up as Claustrophobia does to play, and when I have that much time I'm more apt to pull out a wargame.
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Heroic Brewer
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There is definitely a lot of strategic depth to Earth Reborn. What I like is the sheer amount of stuff you can do in the game. Can't find a key card to open a certain door? Just shut off power so that the locks disengage. Or, try kicking the door down. Or blowing the door up. Do I concentrate on searching for technical items, like the laptop (it can be used to generate VP's every turn), or look for weapons to better protect myself?

Each character also has a special ability that they can use, and sometimes it interacts with other characters. For example, Vasquez can flirt with Franck Einstein in order to lure him onto the Norad side. Franck is the Salemites big bad melee killing machine, but can be taken down by a girl batting her eyes at him

Personally, after playing a few of the printed scenarios, my group only plays in SAGS mode. It's where the game truly shines, and building the map becomes part of the game and strategy.
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Jan Tuijp
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naf313 wrote:
Franck is the Salemites big bad melee killing machine, but can be taken down by a girl batting her eyes at him


Not sure its the eyes... After painting the miniature, I myself had to take a cold shower.

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Stefan Z
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Claustro is awesome too but really, if you have 1 Partner --> Play earth reborn.

I played both - I like both but I would say E R gives the player more.

Now I have played around 10 SWAG 2 player games - and its totally a diffrent game.

E.g. Norad

One time I need to find 3 Items and capture a zombie - So I was more on the Run and hit/search.

Next time I need to kill 2 Persons and destroy 1 Room - So I need play offensive (if I can).

3th time I was not happy with my missions and I played on reaction on my opponent.

E.G. Selemit:

Once I get rushed with 5 Drillers in my base and I need defend and try to keep the Norad away from my Professor (who is trying to get some Zombies for Points)

Once I need to give away my 2 treators that I can kill them to recieve points (you shouldn do this too clear^^)



And so on and so on.

Awesome Game - and its getting better every game, because afer having around 50h fun, you really know what to do and not think you know what to do



Hope my broken english is fine - for questions put it in this forum and this great community will help you
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Jeremy Martin
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Just wanted to give a word of caution. Often when somebody mentions "depth of strategy", they're talking about actions that contribute to some long-term goal. I think I'll have most people agree with me when I say that ER is a game that emphasizes tactics above all else; that is, moving your dudes around to get an immediate advantage, jumping on opportunity, and so on.

What parts of ER are "strategic"? Well, in the initial setup for a SAGS game, you should build the map in a way that helps you, and you should pick equipment that will help you long-term (i.e. not just guns but morphine, zombie serum, etc). But you draw the mission cards after all this, so you do all this without knowing EXACTLY what will make you win.

During the game, you can save order tiles from round to round, so you can setup a long-term combination. You can also prepare for interruptions and combined orders, which require some planning. So that brings in some strategic elements also.

Now I LOVE Earth Reborn. A lot. But I just don't want to give the wrong impression. If you're comparing ER to the light tactical miniatures games in the OP, then I will agree that ER has more strategic elements than probably any of them in that genre. But it's still a tactical game above all else.

The OP also mentioned "choices in combat", and in that way ER probably will score very highly. Mainly because of the dueling for initiative and interruptions. You often have to make decisions about whether you want to "bid" to steal initiative away from your opponent during his turn.

Also, your choices are NOT limited to combat. You might not have ANY mission cards which need combat to give you points. You might have to "fire ze missile!" or shut down the generator or search for and steal the jetpack. So you often have to choose between all sorts of interesting things in ER.
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