Our group has been playing for almost two months now and have completed 4 regular 4 hour sessions and one session that was c loser to 8 hours because it was also character creation day.
Our breakdown is as follows: Gand Bounty Hunter Survivalist, Wookiee Hired Gun Maurader/Force Adept, and Chiss (homebrew race) Technician Slicer/Assassin
In this adventure the PC's were on an Imperial held world and were helping the local uprising to liberate it through the assassination of the local ruler who was an imperial puppet and the elimination of the small garrison there.
The characters all have around 150 xp spent (including starting xp) so they are still really new.
During the mission they faced off against the Prince who was a Pirate Captain template toned down to only adversary 1 and a melee only fighter with a vibrosword, two guards who were generic minion templates and a local big game hunter (who was escorting them on a hunting expedition at the time they attempted the assassination) for which I used the Barabel Enforcer template.
In this fight we got to find out just how strong the Pierce ability really is as the Prince chewed through the Wookiee maurauder's hp quite quickly due to only being able to soak at half of his value. The other two did alright, eliminating the other forces and only taking one hit each before they turned to help out their wookiee friend who was reduced below his wound threshold.
So it is possible that I threw a little too much at them in that fight so i think while the characters are not going to see another Nemesis level enemy for a while until they have gotten some more experience.
One thing we also realized in this fight was how useless the Precise Aim talent is. So essentially you are spending a maneuver to take a black dice out of the pool. This looks good at first glance but then you realize that every character in the game has access to the Aim maneuver which allows you to add a blue dice to the pool. Blue dice are statistically better than black dice so it is always better to aim than to use this talent which you spent xp on. Having two maneuvers it is still better to spend both of them aiming for double blue dice than to add one blue and remove one black.
When you get improved Precise Aim then it becomes feasible to use the talent, but it is only useful on enemies with more than one defense, which none of them have. So the wording needs to be changed to affect disadvantage dice for it to even work at all and even then it will only work if your enemy has a defense and added disadvantage to your pool or added two disadvantage to your pool making it extremely situational. So this talent needs a lot of work for both its forms.
Because they were so beat up from the first fight they opted to use their missile tube that they had purchased on Nar Shadda (after selling Sinasu for the bounty in the Crates of Krayts session) to take out the barracks containing the small imperial garrison so that was a lot of fun for them and gave us a chance to test out the guided ability
It is slightly confusing how it is worded now but it seems to be that if you miss you can spend 3 advantage to make another check at the end of the round. The activation cost should be moved ahead in the description to make it more clear.
Aside from that the difficulty of the check is said to be calculated from the table on 137 however that is about adjusting difficulties due to silhouette rather than finding the difficulty. I believe that section should direct the player to the table on page 156 in which case it will be an average check against a humanoid but an easy check against a vehicle, ship, or building which seems fair.
After that they had to hustle back to the ship, fight off some security guards and blast out of the spaceport hoping their actions would tilt the odds in favor of the revolutionary forces. All in all it was a great session.
One last bit of business that we took care of at the end of the night was to test out the auto-fire mechanic. For the test I pitted the same three characters against an average joe Henchman with an autofire gun while they carried normal guns. The range was medium and each character had cover and was aiming as their maneuver. Each character had 4 Agility and 2 ranks of Ranged combat. We did 5 quick combats. Twice one PC suffered a critical wound, once two of them did, once they suffered no casualties, and one time on some poor rolling from the PC's the Henchman wiped out the party. We did 5 more combats with the Henchman adding 2 difficulty dice and attempting to walk fire from one target to the next and the extra difficulty dice really made a difference, Once the Henchman took down two of the PC's but the other 4 times they beat him unscathed.
This was a short little test and certainly not conclusive in any way, but the PC's certainly felt cheated when they would be incapacitated in one action. Don't get me wrong I like games with lethal combat I think it adds realism, but auto fire is extremely, extremely strong. I would recommend limiting it to a small number of extremely cumbersome weapons, as well as increasing the activation costs. Even if you make it the same as Linked you are still going to get double hits that will one shot PC's. Granted it is really handy for mowing through minions but that is easy enough to do already and then can make combat trivial for the PC's.
Granted any combat challenge can be too hard for the PC's however it is my feeling that Autofire is too abundant and common and should be something rare and scary they run into and shouldn't be used as a method to turn encounters into an exercise of shooting fish in a barrel for the PC's as that also can reduce the excitement of the game if things are too easy.
Anyhow hopefully that data is useful for a few issues.
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Excellent point about Precise Aim.
I would suggest the design team consider folding Precise Aim into the Aim maneuver as an added benefit, instead of making it cost a maneuver unto itself.
"When you use the Aim maneuver, you may additionally suffer 1 strain to ignore 1 point of your target's ranged defense."
Improved Precise Aim would just drop the Strain cost.
That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are better implementations, but it's an example of how this talent might be re-thought.
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