Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Attacking the Moth's Lair

I played an additional two games of Clobberin' Time while I was at the beach last week, both of them really just small battles to get the feel for how the characters played with the stats that I'd given them.

Both scenarios involved an attack by two members of the Alliance of Awesomeness on Mothron's secret lair. Nothing particularly inventive: Mothron has built a secret weapon to blackmail the world with and the heroes have to get through him and his minions and destroy it.

In order to understand the stats for the characters, refer to the very short but very cool rules by Kaptain Kobold - Clobberin' Time.

Game 1 

The first game had Aphid and Leather Lass up against Mothron and his no-good-niks.
Aphid had agility, long range normal attack, enhanced strength and science. He is a level 3 character.
Leather Lass had resilient, martial arts and short range normal attack. She is a level 3 character.
Mothron had block, flight, medium range normal attack, leader. He is a level 3 character.
The 3 minions had long range normal and a stat I invented - armoured, which allows a reroll of 1 defensive die. They were Level 1.

The lair set up - my 7 year old built the scenery. Mothron is standing next to his secret weapon.
Aphid knocks down a minion only to be zapped by Mothron himself..

Aphid gets back to his feet, ready to return to battle.
Aphid crashes into Mothron and gives him a roundhouse right. The legos are marking wounds.
Leather Lass steps up and Mothron goes down! 
The poor old Moth minions are no match for the two heroes.
The last minion puts up a pitiful resistance - secret weapon captured!
Out of this game came the realisation that the henchmen either needed to be increased in number or I needed to fiddle with their stats. For the next game I bumped them up to a level 2 character and abandoned 'armoured' to try to even the odds.

Game 2 

In this game Nuclein and Tiger Girl would be attacking Mothron's oddly identical lab and secret weapon. Obviously some of his many minions had busted him out of prison and it was straight back to the same plan for the mothy one.
Nuclein was a level 3 character with super strength and resilient, giving him all red dice in attack and defence.
Tiger Girl was a level 3 character with agility, martial arts, rage and extra movement. This gave her rerolls in defence and attack, as well as a red dice in attack until the rage lifted.

An oddly similar lab here...
Tiger Girl uses her extra movement to get straight into combat with a minion. She lost her rage in the first turn.
Meanwhile Nuclein heads straight towards Mothron.
Oops! Mothron's blasts knock Nuclein out just like that. 3 red defence dice are no good if  they can't roll over 4!
Sensing victory Mothron and his minions surround Tiger Girl, who takes a wound.
But her rerolls keep her in the game. In a series of combats Tiger Girl defeats all of her enemies! Another victory for the Alliance of A-ness!

 Points to ponder

Red dice vs rerolls
The interesting thing in this game was the discrepancy between the benefit of red dice and rerolls. Potentially Nuclein can hit 6 times or block 6 hits if he rolls sixes on all dice. But Mothron managed to roll a 4 and two fives - all hits - and in reply Nuclein offered 1,2 and 3. This meant that he was taken out in one turn. A reroll had a 50% chance of keeping him staggering around with only one wound remaining, compared to a 42.13% chance of rolling a six. Now Nuclein is supposed to have a tough hide like the Thing, so should he have 3 red dice AND a reroll? Is that too much? Or two red dice and 1 reroll? I am hopeless with stats so I figure I can only really go with trial and error.

Another solution might be to go the way that Alan first intended and make all distance combat weak dice (hitting on a 5+ rather than a 4+). When I first played the game I found that distance combat was pretty ineffective, and should use normal dice. I may have been a bit hasty in that. However, if Mothron had rolled 3 white dice in close combat it would have had the same result and we are back to the fact that 3 red dice is not as good as the chance of a reroll.

Then again, maybe I'm overthinking it - bad guys do beat up the good guys sometimes!

Using minions
Making the minions level 2 characters helped them out, but I changed their close combat rating back to 1 die, leaving their ranged attacks and wounds at 2. I did this to make them more survivable, and to make their weapons potentially effective - 1 dice wasn't doing much. But in hand to hand they should get bowled pretty easy.

Outnumbered combat
There are no rules for being outnumbered, so when Tiger Girl was surrounded I gave her attackers an extra 1 close combat die each. This wasn't enough, and on reflection I think that if a character is outnumbered in close combat they should roll all weak dice.

I need to try to fit another game in this week, back home with my proper terrain. Not missing this at all:



  1. Great fun and what a great place for a game!

  2. I'll need to ponder the stats, but the defences are the way I like them; anyone can take out the super-invulnerable characters. Maybe the villain had a vial of that stuff that Nuclein is vulnerable to. You know; something that's in his backstory :) Red dice enable you to resist stupidly large amounts of damage - sometimes. Rerolls mean that you are more likely to always block moderate amounts of damage. So The Thing gets rerolls, whilst Wolverine maybe gets red dice.

    I originally made all ranged attacks weak because some characters who you would expect to go hand-to-hand were sometimes better off using their ranged ability all of the time. Weakening ranged abilities made that a balancing act, with proper ranged attacks being 'normal'. I had a rethink and have made all ranged attacks normal by default, with powered ones being better and some attacks weak. Seems to work better.

    Outnumbering doesn't affect combat, it's true, but it does affect pinning, and in a scenario where mobility is key and heroes have to get somewhere against a deadline, being pinned by a number of henchmen you can only take out one at a time may be vital.

    Do you want to count this as two games against your 6x6?

    1. That all makes sense. I think I was just a bit surprised at how easily Nuclein got taken out, but it will take a few games with him to see if it plays OK. Might be better to go with block for him?
      I was surprised that Tiger Girl handled being outnumbered so easily. She is pretty amazing but with her rage gone I would expect her to have a bit more trouble. If it comes up again I'll go with the weak dice and see how it plays.
      Yep - count it as two games.

    2. I actually meant give Nuclein Invulnerability, not Block.

    3. As an example, I give Invulnerability to The Thing and Resilience to The Blob.

  3. Oh, and your 'Armoured' is Agility without the pinning escape bonus :)

    1. Might be better to give them block - the chance to save 2 hits. Now I'm home I have access to more minions, so the need to play with the henchmen stats isn't so vital.