Resident Evil - Ascension Mode? Need help figuring out some specifics
EDIT: OK I have finished writing up the rules for my revamp of this game mode. Please check out this thread:
Resident Evil: Escalation - custom fan game mode for RE DBG
Any information below is outdated and not fully play tested, so please refer to the thread above for the most up to date rules.
I recently got an ipad 2 for my birthday, so I've been snagging all the board/card game apps I could find, and one of them was Ascension: Chronicle of the God Slayer. I've played a dozen rounds or so of the game, and I really like some of the concepts, such as the Cultist you can kill whenever you have 2 damage, and the randomness of the resources area. I decided to try combining mechanics from Ascension with Resident Evil, and this is what I came up with.
After playing around with a few different failed concepts, I came up with this idea.
Take a bunch of weapons (I used almost every type I could find, except for weapons that have unusual traits such as the Telescopic Rifle) and shuffle them into a big pile.
Take a bunch of actions (I avoided any versus/infection/partner type actions) and shuffle them into a separate pile.
Take a bunch of infected (remove any traps or items, also remove infected that cause additional explores, like the Infected Bat), remove one 20 health zombie card to set aside, and shuffle the rest into a pile.
Now in your resource area (or play mat), set out your 6 basic resource piles.
Place the 20 health zombie where you'd normally put the Mansion deck, then place the Mansion, Action, and Weapon piles in a vertical stack with 3 places to the right of each one.
Here is a graphic I drew up to show how everything is laid out:
(Click to Enlarge)
Setting up each player:
For characters, I went through each one and removed any characters that had abilities for exploring the mansion, infections, specific weapon types (like Sheva or Barry), partners, or health related.
Once you have your subset of character cards, deal them out to each player however you normally deal out characters (my play group does 1 face down, 1 face up, and if you don't like the face up card, you can go with the face down card, whatever it may be).
Each player gets the normal starting deck, 7 ammo x10, 2 handguns, and 1 knife.
Draw the initial random card set in the resource area:
Once all players are ready, flip three cards from each of the 3 stacks (Mansion, Actions, Weapons), and place the cards in the row next to the stack. You should end up with 9 random cards in the middle of the play area, 3 infected, and 6 resource cards.
The game now proceeds essentially like the normal Resident Evil DBG, only you can see which infected are available to kill.
As per normal rules, you perform any actions before buying and exploring.
When you buy one of the 3 random weapons or 3 random actions in the center area, replace the spot by drawing another random card from the draw pile.
When one of the 3 random infected is defeated, take the card and attach it to the player's character as normal, and level up normally as well. Replace the defeated infected with a new card from the Mansion draw deck.
If the player can do 20 damage, and there are no random enemies he can kill, he can choose to kill a 20 health zombie. For every 2 of these zombies that are killed, you get 1 decoration. The reason I did this was so there would still be incentive to kill the low level enemies in the random area first, as those will always net you at least 1 decoration. When you kill the 20 health zombie, you do not attach his card to your character, as he always stays in the resource area. You'll need to have a notepad or something to keep track of how many decorations you have for killing this zombie. If a zombie with 20 health appears randomly in the resource area, he will still be worth 1 decoration when killed, and his card will attach to your character card.
If you have extra explores this turn, and you have enough damage to kill 2 or more infected, you may do so. For example, if you can do 55 damage, and there is an infected with 30 health, and one with 25 health, you can defeat both of them. You can also kill an infected from the resource area, and kill a 20 health zombie if you have enough damage left over and enough explores.
As per normal RE rules, you get 1 action, 1 buy, and 1 explore (in this case that means you can only kill one enemy, even if you have enough damage to kill more) per turn. Your actions and weapons can still increase the number of actions, explores, and buys per turn.
If you have a card or ability that allows you to Trash a card, if it is one of the basic resources, you can place it back on the resource pile. If it is one of the cards that appeared in the random area in the middle, remove it from the game.
The "Automatic Shotgun" is banned from this mode, as I found it far too powerful and easily exploited. The player who ended up with the Autoshotty in my game ended up dominating, almost entirely because of that weapon.
This may vary based on how you want to play, but I set the victory condition to be the first person to get 30 decorations. This would require everybody to keep track of their victory points, and once somebody goes over 30, all other players would have an additional turn (I believe that's how Ascension works).
You can also have a boss character be the ending condition if you so choose.
Request for help:
Ok so here's where I need your help. I want to figure out a way to still make the game deadly, where infected can still hurt the player. In Ascension there is no way to get hurt.
Here are some ideas I had, but I haven't tried them yet.
1.) Any infected that has a "when revealed, players take damage" effect will work as normal. Guardians of Insanity will cause 10 damage to each player, Nemesis will cause 20, etc.
2.) If an infected remains in the resource area for 2 full rounds, he causes damage to every player based on his damage level. If his damage is 30 or lower, he causes 5 damage to every player. If his damage is 35 or higher, he causes 10 damage to every player. This damage will occur every round until he is defeated.
3.) Similar to idea #2, if an infected remains in the resource area for 2 full rounds, he'll cause his full damage to the player that revealed him. For example, if player A defeats an infected, and draws a new infected card (Licker), if the Licker is not defeated in 2 rounds, he will do 30 damage to player A. Any of the players in the game can defeat him, but it gives more incentive to player A obviously. It also introduces the concept of other players refusing to kill an infected, hoping he'll kill off the player who revealed him. This idea could also be interesting if you use extra explores to kill multiple infected. If you kill 2 infected and reveal 2 more infected, they will do damage to you if you don't kill them both within 2 rounds. I'm considering 1 round to be when it becomes your turn again. Once an infected is revealed on your turn, on your next turn that is 1 round, and on the turn after that, he will do damage to you at the end of your turn (if you fail to defeat him).
Assuming one of these 3 ideas works well, I may be able to add any character cards with Health related abilities back into the character pile.
Issues I found with this mode
Occasionally I ended up with resources that were all really expensive, which stalled the buying phase. For example, I once ended up with a 100 gold Lightning Hawk, a 120 gold Hand Cannon, and a 110 gold Longbow. Those 3 weapons stayed there for a while. I'm thinking there needs to be some rule where some cards go away or get removed if they don't sell in maybe 4 or 5 rounds. I think I may be making the game too complex tho, as it's hard to keep track of all this stuff, unless you put a die on each card and change the number each round (still kind of a lot to keep track of).
Similarly, if you have 3 really high level infected revealed, they will stay there a while until somebody defeats them. I'm thinking boss characters can be shuffled back into the mansion deck if they're not defeated in 3 rounds.
Anyway, let me know what you guys think.
I actually played through a 4 player round of this last night (without any of the damage ideas), and I thought it was pretty fun.
Last edited by Gibb; 08-02-2012 at 10:05 AM.
As a huge fan of Ascension (my second favorite DBG, first being RE of course), I'm definitely going to try this. It seems like a pretty awesome variant, though it is unfortunate that it makes some characters' abilities obsolete, i.e. Premiere Ada's Level 1. I could still see including weapon-specific characters like Sheva, Barry, and Premiere Leon, however. Their weapons always have the chance of coming up.
Two questions, though
1) Did you include any of the non-Infected mansion cards, such as Laser Targeting Device, Explosive Barrel, or the traps? If so, how were they incorporated? If you mentioned this and I overlooked it, I apologize in advance.
2) Is there a ruling on Infected that can increase their damage through their own text, i.e. Gatling Gun Majini? When would they deal the extra damage, if ever?
For question 1, I did mention above that I removed any traps or item cards, as I couldn't think of a way to use them.
For question 2, that is a good point. If I went with idea #3, where the Infected does its damage to whatever character revealed it two turns ago, I'm not sure how I'd factor in those text modifiers, unless they happened based on your current hand. For example, if on the end of your turn was the end of Round 2 for the Gatling Gun Majini, and you had 40 ammo in your hand, then he would do 25 + 20 for 45 total damage. The Illuminados Monk I suppose would do as much damage as he could based on your decoration count at that time. Also, the Illuminados Monk could have a different total health for every player in the game. He may only have 15 health for player A, but 30 health for player B.
One thing I feel is missing is the ability to "Banish" cards from the resource area. It's a pretty decent strategy in Ascension to banish a card (If you can't afford to buy/kill it yourself) to keep your opponents from getting it. Since RE wasn't designed in a way that gets rid of cards from the center area, I'm trying to figure out a way to do that. You could also slightly modify some character abilities to "banish" cards instead. Premier Ada's ability to put a mansion card on the bottom of the deck could be used to move an enemy to the bottom, for example.
One idea I have is allowing a player to discard his/her entire hand to banish 1 card from the resource area. So say the Rocket Launcher shows up (the one that costs 80 gold from the Outbreak set), and you can't afford it. You can discard your entire hand and banish it so the guy after you can't buy it.
Also, I didn't state this above, but I figured out the "Automatic Shotgun" is just too powerful for this game mode, and banned it. Since you can see the enemies, you can basically get two kills almost every round it shows up. In my test game, Outbreak Hunk had the automatic shotgun and acquired maybe 14 decorations with it alone.
Oh and I completely forgot to mention the "Game Ending" situation, haha.
I arbitrarily decided that the first person to get 30 Decorations would win, tho this can be modified to whatever people want. You could still have the boss character be the thing that ends the game if you prefer.
Last edited by Gibb; 12-02-2011 at 01:24 PM.
I was actually thinking of something a little different for Premiere Ada. At Level 1, when she explores, she can look at the top card of the mansion and put it on bottom if she chooses. Her benefit is so that she won't replace whatever she defeats with something overwhelming (i.e. boss, anything with 60 health). She could also do this to get rid of something with a massive decoration count so that an opponent who's been on a roll with damage won't kill it. Thoughts?
The Striker does seem obnoxiously powerful, but I'd be willing to test it out anyway, since it's still a unique weapon. My current idea is to have 4 of each non-unique weapon shuffled into the weapon pile, along with 1 of each unique weapon (including the Gatling Gun and Rocket Launcher, along with the Burst-Fire Handgun and Survival Knife). I'm not 100% sure about the Actions yet, but I'm thinking maybe 5 of each legal Action would be fine.
Hmmmm, yeah I really like your first comment about Ada's ability. It makes a lot of sense, especially if she'll be attacked by that enemy in 2 rounds. It's also nice to prevent somebody from getting an easy kill, like a 30 health infected.
Yeah I had the Gattling Gun, Rocket Launcher, and Burst Fire Handgun all in my random weapon pile. I don't think I put the Survival Knife in there, tho.
For actions, I didn't go too crazy, and maybe only had 7 or 8 different actions (that's still a lot I suppose). I'll check when I get home to see what all actions I used, since the game is still setup.
I suppose Wesker's "Forced Explore" ability could basically require a player to attack one of the 3 Infected that are visible. If he can't kill any of them, then he'd just pick the weakest one and take the damage of it.
edit: here are the actions I used:
- Higher Priorities - +3 cards or +2 actions
- The Gathering Darkness - Trash an ammo in another player's hand and replace it with Ammo x10's
- Desperate Escape - +10 damage for a single weapon type (I didn't like this one in this mode, I think Deadly Aim would work a lot better, since it's hard to focus on a weapon type when the weapons are random)
- Item Management - Upgrade ammo
- Gathering Forces - +20 gold, +1 action, +1 buy, all gains go to your hand
- Parting Ways - +1 action, trash a card from your hand to gain a card costing up to 20 more
- Returned Favor - +2 cards, if attached +1 card (actually this card doesn't even make sense to me, not sure why I used it. Mansion Foyer seems better)
- Quirk of Fate - +1 action, trash a card and draw a card
- I have this... - Reveal a weapon costing more than 50 and get a card
- The Merchant - +20 gold, +1 card, +1 buy
Hmmm, I just had an idea for how Infected will attack.
When a new Infected is revealed, he will attack in X rounds, where X = the Infected maximum health divided by 10 (no remainder).
If you flip Uroboros, he will attack in 9 rounds, because he has 90 health. If you reveal an Infected Bat, he will attack on your next turn if you don't kill him, cause he has 15 health.
You can keep track of how many turns each enemy has by using Infection Tokens, or dice. When Uroboros shows up, put 9 infection tokens on him, then take one away every turn.
If an Infected attacks, he then performs any text effect he has. For example, the Hunter will cause the player who revealed him to randomly trash 2 cards from his discard pile. The Duvalia would dish out 5 ammo x 10 cards if he kills somebody.
The Infected Bat's text effect would actually be pretty cool. You could attack him, along with another enemy, but his health would increase by 20.
Last edited by Gibb; 12-02-2011 at 03:47 PM.
Ok I played another round of this last night (solo with 4 players), using idea #3 under my "Request for Help" section above, along with my idea from the last post about Infected attacking after a certain number of rounds. I think the method for engaging Infected works really well, and it's really intense that every time you kill an Infected, you basically get another infected to appear, and he'll have a countdown until he attacks you.
What I did was get 4 matching race tokens from the game "Small World" for each character. When a character killed an Infected, I put that Infected under the Character's card like normal game rules, then I revealed the next Infected and put one of the race tokens on it, along with a D6 (six sided die) set to whatever the max health of the Infected divided by 10 was (no remainder). For every turn with that character afterwards, I'd reduce the number on the D6 by 1 at the end of my turn. For weak Infected like Zombies and Lurkers, they would attack my character after a single turn, if I didn't kill them off on my next turn. For stronger Infected, like Lickers, they would attack in 4 turns.
I think the mechanic worked really well, because you had to put a lot of focus on the Infected that was tagged with your token. Other players could kill off those Infected if they wanted the Decorations, but then they'd be tagged to the next enemy, causing a dangerous spiral. From a "theme" standpoint I think it's a cool design, because it's essentially you creating noise to kill an Infected, then causing other Infected to stalk/hunt you down.
Anyway back to the session, it definitely wasn't without problem. I think the randomness of the weapons and actions caused a bit of a hindrance to one of the characters I was playing, as he just got shafted every turn and ended up with insanely few Decorations.
After the game appeared to be taking a while, I set the Victory condition to 20 Decorations, and finished the game after 2.5 hours (yikes). I was having a lot of fun playing it, but that is a bit long.
My characters were Chris (the one with discard a card to get +20 ammo), Kevin, Steve, and Claire (one with ammo worth +10 ammo, +10 gold).
The final scores were Chris (20), Kevin (15), Steve (3), and Claire (16). Aside from Steve not being able to do anything, it seemed decently balanced.
I think I'll try adding a few lower end weapons to the resource area to keep the early game moving better. What I found was my characters were having too much ammo, but no weapons, due to it being much harder to get weapons in this mode.
I may also start each character with an action and maybe a machine gun or shotgun.
I played another round of this, playing to 30 decorations with 4 characters. I had Barry, Rebecca (Premier), Jill (Premier), and Claire (discard an herb to do damage one). It was a pretty lengthy game (30 decorations may be a bit much, but it seems fair anyway), taking almost 3 hours. :/ Of course, I am playing all 4 characters by myself, so it could go a lot faster with other people.
Anyway, it was a really close game, and the winner came down to a single decoration between Barry and Claire. Claire was actually in 3rd place for the majority of the game, with Barry and Jill being neck and neck. Jill was still somewhat close to winning, but fell behind at the end. Whenever I had negative effects from Infected, I was targeting the leader, which was Barry for most of the game. He got hit with a lot of "Gathering Darkness", which converted +20 and +30 ammos into singles and hurt him quite a bit.
Final scores were: Barry (29), Rebecca (19), Jill (25), Claire (33). Barry and Claire both had 29 when I was able to kill a 4 decoration Infected to win the game. Since Claire was the 4th player, I figured it was fair.
I found and potentially solved another issue with this new mode.
Weapons and actions that weren't wanted, such as machine guns or standard sidearms would clutter up the resource area for pretty much the entire game, unless somebody took a bullet and bought the card.
On a follow-up test game, I put two D6's next to the last action, and last weapon card (3rd to the right of the draw deck). At the beginning of the game, I would set those 2 D6's to "3". At the beginning of player 1's turn, I'd decrease the number on the D6's by 1 IF that 3rd card had not been bought. Once the D6 got to 0 on either the 3rd action or 3rd weapon cards, I'd put them in a discard pile to the left of the draw decks (to later be shuffled back and used as the draw deck).
Whenever an action or weapon card was brought, I'd slide the remaining cards to the right as far as I could, and put the replacement card in the 1st spot to the right of the draw deck.
This mode worked a lot better, as it kept the resource areas changing pretty regularly, even removing some high level weapons/actions if nobody was able to afford them.
The 4th test game I played (using the rolling action/weapon draw areas) ended kind of abruptly, as I was able to kill Infected Wesker pretty early in the game, putting Leon way in the lead. I decided to end it with a boss kill this time around, instead of going to 30 decorations again. I'm hoping I'll get a chance to play this mode with 2 of my friends tomorrow night, now that I have the rules pretty well polished.
Last edited by Gibb; 12-03-2011 at 06:14 PM.
If you can get something concrete, I'll definitely go to bat with this. Some things still stick out (i.e. putting dice counters on actions), so I wanna wait that out for the time. Don't get me wrong, I agree 100% with your logic about getting unwanted stuff out of there, but it's a case of nothing being perfect, I guess. Explaining something like that is kinda complicated (not completely misunderstandable, but possibly convoluted enough to make someone want to play something else), and it can be difficult to remember something so miniscule that ends up being so crucial.
Either way, I wish you the best of luck. Let us know how it turns out!
I like this...keep playtesting!
I'm going to write up a more formal rule set and remake my diagram explaining the layout here shortly. I played another round of this mode last weekend using the new Nightmare cards, and it was awesome.