Two marathon plays of the Gears first mission

I ran through a couple of plays of the first mission (‘Emergence’) in the Gears of War Board Game. The aim is to reach and close the single open emergence hole, then mop up the remaining locusts.

Marcus Fenix and Damin Baird at the start of the mission.

Marcus Fenix (right) and Damon Baird at the start of the mission.

Session One was with Marcus Fenix and Damon Baird. Marcus is tougher and better with the chainsaw, while Damon can carry more weapons and can pick up new gear for free.

Session Two was Marcus and Dominic Santiago. Dominic can move faster and has a shotgun which can do huge damage.

Things get a bit frantic for Dominic at the end of the mission.

Things get a bit frantic for Dominic at the end of the mission. Marcus is too far away to help.

I managed an epic mistake in the set-up, which was to lose AI card number 3 in amongst the weapon cards. (The AI cards are the ‘bastard cards’, where bad things happen at the end of each turn.)

I then found the six remaining general AI cards and stuck them in the AI deck. This meant that my AI deck contained AI card number 7, when it should only have cards 1 through 6.

Card number 7, as it turns out, opens a new emergence hole. Since to complete the mission you have to close all emergence holes, this is a total pain. Also not supposed to be part of the game. I ended up running through the AI deck twice, opening two new emergence holes which I thought I had to close.

The games ran three times longer than they should. I won both.

Things I noticed:

  • Order cards are very versatile. Each has several uses, not just the ‘orders’, but also the reaction effect (such as guard or dodge), and even as a discard for picking up equipment.
  • You can always use an order to attack or move 2 spaces, even if you don’t have any that explicitly say so.
  • The Follow reaction is very powerful, especially with a big move such as Roadie Run or Explore. It is almost a free turn.
  • Sticking together helps for healing cards like Blind Fire and Sit Tight, and also for Follow reactions.
  • Assault (move then attack) works very differently from Advance (attack then move). Each is better in different circumstances.
  • Locusts can cover ground and get close to you very quickly. Often only one or two areas spans a whole tile.
  • You don’t fall unconscious when you take that last hit. You are bleeding out (eewww!) and can still crawl to reach your team mate and be revived.
  • You can still use the chainsaw with no ammo.

Rules I kept forgetting:

  • Only one guard reaction shot per turn.
  • Discard an ammo token when using Overkill.
  • Line of sight between two figures in cover is from cover arrow to cover arrow, which often means no line of sight.
  • Read the whole AI card. Often figures that don’t attack get to move.

I also need to paint the underneath of the bases. It looks a bit rubbish when a COG is on its side and the red plastic shows.