Battle for Broken City Status

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waedens
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Battle for Broken City Status

Well I will start the thread. This is disappointing news. 2017 feels like a long way away. I know this must have been hard decision and I can only guess that Tactics itself has not done very well so they are going to do a major overhaul. This does raise a number of questions for me, but I will only ask a couple of the more obvious ones. Is the new system being built so that we can still use the beloved characters we got from the original Sentinels Tactics? I know we can always play the original set as we have it with the current rules. Just wondering how they will be effected moving forward. Second I would ask how this effects the timelines for other projects that we were expecting to be launched this year. Probably at the head of the list is the final expansion for the card game. As loathed as I am to see it wind up, I would still really like to have the vision of the multiverse complete. 


Edited by: arenson9 on Apr 6 2016 - 10:47am
phantaskippy
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Broken City and For Profit are 100% compatible with the first set of Tactics.

They use all the same combat rules and play together great.

In fact a lot of the characters that were under-represented in tournaments are looking more viable as team mates of some of the newer characters.

As good as The Flame of Freedom and Uprising were, I think the added characters are really going to take the game to a new level.

Playtesters are working on some things now (obviously from my comments above you can tell new characters are a part of that) but a lot more is coming.  There is a ton of content being worked on, and I think they are doing the right thing here, because it is much better to take the extra time and get this one right, and avoid some of the problems we didn't think of with the first release. (largely because all of us were learning the game while we were playtesting it, and the scope of playtesting included ironing out the basic rules and play of the game)

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Link for those who don't look at the front page https://greaterthangames.com/content/battle-for-broken-city-status

Wow.   I expected maybe a delay until mid year but next year is more than I was thinking.  I hope the extra time and effort makes this more polished. 


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waedens
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I have to note that every time that there has been a bump in the road with product delivery I always love the product when I get it. Villains is the latest example. It came later than everyone would have liked, but it is such a good expansion. It has taken a format that I never really played and made it into one that I am reaching for first. I really had fun playing Tactics and if they can make it even better than I am sure it will be worth the wait. 

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My only question is when did they decide to delay another year?  A year after the preorder is a hard pill to swallow after keep telling us it is slighty delayed. I know i would of taken the news better if they had told us back in thd late summer or fall when they were working on the game  according to their updates 

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godzilla999666 wrote:

My only question is when did they decide to delay another year?  A year after the preorder is a hard pill to swallow after keep telling us it is slighty delayed. I know i would of taken the news better if they had told us back in thd late summer or fall when they were working on the game  according to their updates 

 

To be fair, they were working on the game during that time period and playtesters saw material.  I think they feel it just needed and still needs more dramatic iterations and changes than have been made to this point

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My only question is why someone (or somepeople) apparently felt the need to complain about the box art. 


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cmschex wrote:

 

godzilla999666 wrote:
My only question is when did they decide to delay another year?  A year after the preorder is a hard pill to swallow after keep telling us it is slighty delayed. I know i would of taken the news better if they had told us back in thd late summer or fall when they were working on the game  according to their updates 

 

 To be fair, they were working on the game during that time period and playtesters saw material.  I think they feel it just needed and still needs more dramatic iterations and changes than have been made to this point

 

Glad to hear that. The average customer has no clue on it just by reading the status updates. So glad some people wont be waiting 2 years to play ir.

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Julia wrote:

My only question is why someone (or somepeople) apparently felt the need to complain about the box art.

You'd be surprised. Marketing is a funny thing. For sales beyond a company's fan base, things like this make a huge difference, especially for the stores trying to move product in today’s over-saturated markets. To get someone to try a game, cold buy it, the packaging needs to get across a lot of information and do it in a way that will attract attention. It's sitting on the shelf with all those other games, and it has to scream at the consumer to pick it up...

 


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The box art comment also seemed odd but then I looked at SotM box art versus Sentinel Tactics.   The box art on Sentinel Tactics is lacking on the sides where it's pretty plain compared to what SotM does.  


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2017? Ok, I can live with that. What about those of us who mistakenly bundled other products with our Broken City pre-orders...like the maps. Are we going to have to wait another year to receive a product which is already out and we've already payed for?

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Paul mentioned they're going to decouple those bundles.


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Looking at the old artwork, I can see where people are coming from. It's very orange.

Seeing Pinion on the cover makes me really wish she had her own mini-expansion.


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Killswitch wrote:

Looking at the old artwork, I can see where people are coming from. It's very orange.Seeing Pinion on the cover makes me really wish she had her own mini-expansion.

Playtesting her in Tactics and imagining how she would work as a hero when she was starting that path I agree, she would be a lot of fun in the card game.

And the Dark Watch needs a fifth!

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Is Nightmist still in DW or is she taking a haitus while figuring out how to return from Mist Form?

(Sorry for deraliling this thread a bit!)


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Killswitch wrote:
Is Nightmist still in DW or is she taking a haitus while figuring out how to return from Mist Form?
We have no idea where Nightmist is! The most information came from one of the preorder updates. In any case, she's not being released in the Tactics game with this set.
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I'm glad they're taking the time and effort to get everything right. Still, I wonder, if the base game wasn't as well-received as they hoped, what would the expansion do to change that? Won't they still need people to buy both? Or are the new editions playable on their own as well as being backward compatible?

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It will be playable on its own.


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@NinjaMonkey

Your maps are on their way to you! Everything that anyone ordered bundled with Broken City, For Profit, or the associated minis has been split off into a separate order and has already been shipped your way. You should get it in the next week or so!

@Everyone

Thank you so much for your understanding and support in this. To answer a few of the questions that were raised:

The new characters will be 100% compatible with everything from Flame of Freedom; if you like playing the current Tactics stuff, you will love the new stuff when it comes out. Over the course of 2015, we learned that the vast majority of people who sit down and learn Sentinel Tactics from us personally, or who experience it via the televised tournaments, love the game. At the big conventions that we attended last year, we had sales of Flame of Freedom nearly equal sales of Sentinels of the Multiverse, which is still our best-selling product at most shows. The big issue that we have run into is that, unlike with Sentinels of the Multiverse, the excitement people have for the game when we make a big deal about it at a convention and teach them in person does not translate into excitement when they walk into a gaming store, so our sales in distribution (where we sell the vast majority of our products) are fairly low.

We've talked to a number of retailers and others in the industry about the game, both people who like it and people who do not, and identified several potential issues. Based on these conversations, and given the disconnect between the success at shows and the relatively lower success in distribution, we believe that a complete overhaul of how the game is presented (both visually, and in the text of the rulebook and on the box, and in advertizing, and how it is taught, etc.) has a decent chance of helping it reach the proper audience. Because Battle for Broken City was designed from the beginning as a stand-alone "core game", we have a great opportunity to reinvent and refocus the brand of the game around this product.

Anyhow, I hope that helps answer some questions on the matter!


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Paul wrote:

Based on these conversations, and given the disconnect between the success at shows and the relatively lower success in distribution, we believe that a complete overhaul of how the game is presented (both visually, and in the text of the rulebook and on the box, and in advertizing, and how it is taught, etc.) has a decent chance of helping it reach the proper audience. Because Battle for Broken City was designed from the beginning as a stand-alone "core game", we have a great opportunity to reinvent and refocus the brand of the game around this product.

 

Anyhow, I hope that helps answer some questions on the matter!

Would these lessons get applied to future printings (if any) of Flame of Freedom and the expansion that came out at the same time?

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Darn. I really wish I was a play tester so I could see what kind of changes were being made. It actually sounds like an exciting opportunity to change things.

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waedens wrote:

Darn. I really wish I was a play tester so I could see what kind of changes were being made. It actually sounds like an exciting opportunity to change things.

We haven't seen the changes yet ourselves, other than normal testing iterations of things.


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I guess then my next question for Paul does this mean flame of freedom and uprising is getting an upgrade as well and can I plant the seed of having an upgrade pack instead of buying a full new game


My wife thinks Sentinels is ruining our marriage. I think she doesnt know what shes talking about because she wont sit down to play it

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Copy paste of my comment from the news article:

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I do feel that Sentinel Tactics was an underwhelming game that I probably wouldn't care about if it didn't use the Sentinel Comics characters that I already enjoy, and am excited for a complete rework of the game. On the other hand, a year of extra wait? Ugh...

My main complaints lie with the rule book, which seems to jump around a lot with no real focus, and the fact that the skirmishes just feel... Sloppy. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer that a character be harder to kill and stay down when they're incapped, rather than an incap basically just being a victory point. The whole "stand back up with full HP on your next turn" thing doesn't sit well with me- and the location maps don't seem very well suited for skirmish play (which is sad, since that seems to be the only thing they can be used for at the moment).

I suppose in the end, it'll probably be worth it, but still bummed out about the extra waiting.

Although... The boxart? Really? That's one of the major complaints people had? I mean, sure, it's not like it's some artistic masterpiece, but... I just find it hard to imagine someone saying "Yeah, it could have been a great game if only the boxart was better..."

 

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MarioFanaticXV wrote:
Although... The boxart? Really? That's one of the major complaints people had? I mean, sure, it's not like it's some artistic masterpiece, but... I just find it hard to imagine someone saying "Yeah, it could have been a great game if only the boxart was better..." 

That was probably more of a retailer complaint than a player complaint, and the first impression most people would have is the boxart so underwhelming boxart would cost sales.

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bluedarky wrote:

 

MarioFanaticXV wrote:
Although... The boxart? Really? That's one of the major complaints people had? I mean, sure, it's not like it's some artistic masterpiece, but... I just find it hard to imagine someone saying "Yeah, it could have been a great game if only the boxart was better..." 

 

That was probably more of a retailer complaint than a player complaint, and the first impression most people would have is the boxart so underwhelming boxart would cost sales.

same issue is with books. If it's a newer book with not as large fan base a catchy cover is the difference between if someone will pick it up and take a look or not. I have been doing a lot of running across country lately for family stuff and stopped in at a lot of game stores along the route looking for good deals. A lot of these places have the games on the shelf in such a way all you see is the side of the box. So a random person who doesn't know what it is may not catch their eye and make them want to pick it up. 

Another marketing thing that is slowly becoming apparent is if there is an app, sales of the physical game will increase. A lot of game companies are seeing a boost in sales once they get that video game version out because it is cheaper to try than just buying the game. So with that being said, it would be nice if handelabra can lay the ground work by the end of the year for sentinel tactics the video game. If they can get even just flame of freedom out in digital format with some type of free trial version people will try the video game and then hopefully turn around and buy the physical copy.


My wife thinks Sentinels is ruining our marriage. I think she doesnt know what shes talking about because she wont sit down to play it

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I think that would be a big ask from Handelabra. They have already sold a season pass that commits them to the card game for a while longer. The next thing would be to incorporate Vengance style play as I believe that would be much easier for their framework to handle. If you start talking Tactics it would be a build from scratch situation. I might be wrong about that and MigrantP or Jeremy could correct me. At the end of the day Handelabra is a business too and they have to make decisions that make sense for them.

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waedens wrote:

I think that would be a big ask from Handelabra. They have already sold a season pass that commits them to the card game for a while longer. The next thing would be to incorporate Vengance style play as I believe that would be much easier for their framework to handle. If you start talking Tactics it would be a build from scratch situation. I might be wrong about that and MigrantP or Jeremy could correct me. At the end of the day Handelabra is a business too and they have to make decisions that make sense for them.

They have hinted that if SotM:TVG is a success, then once they've finished all the expansions that they'll talk with GtG about adapting Sentinel Tactics.

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bluedarky wrote:
MarioFanaticXV wrote:
Although... The boxart? Really? That's one of the major complaints people had? I mean, sure, it's not like it's some artistic masterpiece, but... I just find it hard to imagine someone saying "Yeah, it could have been a great game if only the boxart was better..." 

 

That was probably more of a retailer complaint than a player complaint, and the first impression most people would have is the boxart so underwhelming boxart would cost sales.

Huh, I didn't realize people still used covers to decide whether or not they should buy something. I would have thought that with the internet and such easy access to reviews nowadays, such would have been a thing of the past.

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If you are walking into a store to buy something (not knowing what), you don't have enough time to check reviews on every game. If something doesn't pop-out, they won't look up the reviews.

Also, many times what the box looks like is a good indication of the production values of the game. To many, that can be a big deal.


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The third set of mini expansions for SotM came in the clamshell case instead of the plastic bag to give them more appeal.  I doubt it was done because it's cheaper.  To me the box art issue is more to attract impulse buys rather than people who have reviewed stuff online.


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True. There's nothing about the side of the box that tells you it's a superhero skirmish game (even the word "Tactics" doesn't really give you much information) so unless you pull the box down it really could be anything. And I guess people just don't pull down a plain box they have basically no info about.

I have to admit that the box only stands out on my game shelves because it's one of the few that doesn't stand out. That doesn't bother me at all, but then I'm really not the target mass market due to playtesting it and then backing on Kickstarter and already being invested in the Sentinel Comics world.


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For a while I was at a few local game store fairly often, running or participating events. During that time, I found myself on a few occassions killing some time in the store, and thus more loitering than looking for anything in particular. As such, I was more aware of what _other_ customers were doing in the store. I was surprised at how many people walked in and said something along the lines of either "I'd like to buy a game for my kid, but don't really know what sort of game" or "We've played a few different games and thought it would be fun to pick up something, but don't know what".

 

In these cases, people are almost universally going to buy something recommended to them by the people who work in the store. You want your game to sell well? Get the people who are making recommendations excited about it.

 

All the other things being discussed have to be be good, too, of course: It's got to be a fun game that easy to get into enjoying

 

So where does box art come in to it? Well, when the retailer points out a few games that would be good choices, the potential customer is then faced with a few boxes, all of which have been recommended, and they now have nothing to base their choice on except how those boxes look.


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... and Andy standing behind them coughing loudly and grimacing when they pick up the incorrect box.

 

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Mezike wrote:

... and Andy standing behind them coughing loudly and grimacing when they pick up the incorrect box.

 

 

 


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This may be unburying the dead horse in order to beat it some more, but what about those scenarios for the Maps I paid extra for way back in the KS? Are those even in the line at all? They were supposed to be available online at some point, but I still feel unfulfilled, despite receiving my extra bundle. I haven't even played on them yet because they feel...incomplete. Are THEY affected by this overhaul, as well?

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bluedarky wrote:

 

waedens wrote:
I think that would be a big ask from Handelabra. They have already sold a season pass that commits them to the card game for a while longer. The next thing would be to incorporate Vengance style play as I believe that would be much easier for their framework to handle. If you start talking Tactics it would be a build from scratch situation. I might be wrong about that and MigrantP or Jeremy could correct me. At the end of the day Handelabra is a business too and they have to make decisions that make sense for them.

 

They have hinted that if SotM:TVG is a success, then once they've finished all the expansions that they'll talk with GtG about adapting Sentinel Tactics.

What blue said. here is the thing. based off their current production schudule, usually they release a large expansion after roughly 3 months and a small expansion after 2 tops. the only reason the wait between infernal and mini pack 2 was so long was because of multiplayer. so based off some quick calculations, unless vengenace takes them 6 months, we may be able to see a Sentinel tactics the video game by the end of 2017, or at least the ground work for it. It really depends on how they change Sentinel Tactics. It would probably be better to wait till after Broken City comes out anyways because then that gives Handelabra more expansions to add into the game to keep people occupied.

I do like what someone else said above about what makes Sentinels great is the Co-op and that gets lost in Sentinel Tactics a bit. The issue with the game though is no matter what you will always need that one villian. The few games I have always played with the scenarios is it feels more leaned toward the heroes anways, so there is going to have to be some better power ups. Maybe start the villian with X times the number of Hp where X is the number of heroes and there be no incap during scenarios would be better.


My wife thinks Sentinels is ruining our marriage. I think she doesnt know what shes talking about because she wont sit down to play it

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Trust me, I am all for an online multiplayer version of Sentinels Tactics. We already have the base game, one expansion and 4 additional maps. So there is content.  I just don't know the time it would be realistic to expect it in. As an outsider who knows nothing about their process it would be tempting to say it would be easy, but I just don't know. 

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The gameplay of Tactics isn't going to change.

Just like how much Villains changed from Vengeance, yet none of the actual gameplay was changed.  Just making it work better and making it more fun and less work.

 

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Kind of piggy backing off of a previous comment, would we be seeing a revamp of the current tactics heroes? Like will there be any art changes or even character balancing? I am mostly curios if there will be any character balancing; since we did just do a tier list for the characters. It would be nice for some heroes become more viable and some to become less overpowered.

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Currently there are no plans to change the current characters. We've found that a number of the new characters currently in development function as counters and buffs to the existing line-up though, so the new expansion will definitely have an impact on the original set!


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So very true.

The more I'm digging in the more I want to say Broken City is to Flame of Freedom what Villains is to Vengeance.

The dynamics are looking really good.

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If that holds true, I will very much look forward to its release. Villains made Vengeance a real option to play.


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All this is Music to my ears :-)

Will Akash B'huta also be ready around the same time as Broken City? Would love to be able to combine her with the current order.

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@Bas

That is the current plan!

@phantaskippy

That is a really good way of phrasing our goal with Broken City!


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I've been trying to get Sentinels Tactics to my table for a while now and unfortunately get lukewarm response from my gaming friends.

The issues that come up most often, which I hope are addressed in the expansions, are the visual noise of the tiles, the dots for height are counter intuitive (may be related somewhat to the first note), and skirmishes generally devolve into rushing into range and spamming attacks vice clever maneuvering, the excitement of using the cool powers, and well...the use of tactics overall.

I don't know if I have enough games under my belt personally to ascribe my value to these critiques, but if that has been the take away from first or second time gamers I've played with, it is disappointing because I like this game. I don't know if any of these items are being looked at in the revision or if it's simply a repackaging of what exists.

Off the cuff, a heavier emphasis on scenarios might minimize some of those issues. If so, then I doubt GtG has the resources to produce high quality content at the rate rapid games will consume it so I would suggest a rule set of sorts for players and enthusiasts to use and crowd source some of this work and share it.

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Naturally it is disappointing to have to wait longer, but I think we all recognise that game development doesn't always go as planned, nor do product sales.  At the end of the day, I can't see it as anything but positive that the people of GtG have too much integrity to release a sub-optimal product.  I look forward to getting the improved Broken City next year. 

In terms of suggestions, I would like Tactics to have options that would automate one team against a player team.  Most of my friends aren't interested in playing Tactics, so it would be nice to have better options for playing solo (as SotM can be played brilliantly solo, if one person play all the heroes).  I understand that, first and foremost, it is a competitive team skirmish game.  I don't want it to be that any less, just to give more options.  If it did, that would probably open up more people to be interested in buying the game.

Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this (and, if I am, then please ignore what follows), but it would be nice if GtG made some kind of compensatory gesture to those who paid for multiple shipping waves, commensurate with the generous gesture of free separate shipping that they've already given to those who only paid for one shipping wave for all their Villains and Broken city stuff.  I wouldn't want it to be anything inconvenient or expensive for them, especially if the Tactics line is already not making them money or even losing them money.  But, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, it would be nice of them to do something.  (Of course, they're not actually obliged to do something generous for one group just because they did it for the other, cf. Mt 20:1-16.  I just think it would be kind and customers would appreciate it.)

Spiff
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You're not the only one.  My group would play WAY more Tactics if it was something we could do as a team against a common goal or puzzle.


Spiff's SotM site: www.spiffworld.com/sotm
Spiff's Tactics site: www.spiffworld.com/tactics

phantaskippy
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Co-op Tactics is really limited in what you can do.

The enemies have to act really simply, and yet you need the challenge to be engaging.

I've made 5 custom scenarios that feature automated villains, but the problem is you need multiple steps of programming for each enemy target, and even then it ends up being pretty easy to solve how to beat the puzzle.

You almost have to introduce some randomization or it isn't very interesting to play more than once or twice.

Most of them end up being a minion slaughter fest, and play like any number of co-op zombie games out there.

There just isn't a good way to replicate the competition a human opponent brings.

Spiff
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I agree with that, which is why the next best thing, as we've said a couple of times, is giving the teams interesting objectives like with Capture the Flag or Point Control.  As long as there's a goal beyond just pushing over the other guys, it can feel like a real game rather than a kindergarten recess fight. :)


Spiff's SotM site: www.spiffworld.com/sotm
Spiff's Tactics site: www.spiffworld.com/tactics

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