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Battles of Westeros: Wardens of the West» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Scenario Eleven rss

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Barry Kendall
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Haven't picked up the expansion yet, but it sounds as though this scenario is heavily influenced by the very short playing time (four turns). Is there any rationale given for why the Starks are under such a time constraint, or is this simply a gamey balance mechanism?

Artificially short scenarios have never been particularly appealing to me as they often seem to offer much more substance than the limited time-opportunity actually presents (as in, lots of troops, but no time to use them).

Would the scenario be helped, do you think, by one more turn, or by an uncertain scenario end point (as in "roll the dice," "roll doubles in the final combat round," etc.)?
 
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Ian McCarthy
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Interesting report. I have the expansion, but I'm still in the process of painting, so it may be a while before I get to the expansion figures.

So, thanks for the report and I'll check out the scenario and see if I see any other strategies.

It could just be that you had horrible luck with your catapults. I haven't played with them, but they do seem quite random, as catapults probably were in real life, only truly effective when you had a mass of troops so that you basically couldn't miss.

So, maybe we need house rules regarding catapults, i.e. that when they miss they hit an adjacent hex, so that you have a greater chance of hitting massed units and you would never want to launch into a group of engaged units.

Uh-oh, look out, more house rules.
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Matthew Jensen
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KenToad wrote:
So, maybe we need house rules regarding catapults, i.e. that when they miss they hit an adjacent hex, so that you have a greater chance of hitting massed units and you would never want to launch into a group of engaged units.

Oooh.... I likey that idea. Squish is not the question - just where.
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Ian McCarthy
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Yeah, my understanding is that the catapults fire every other turn, because they need a turn to reload.

Don't forget that units can't set another unit on fire. Basically, only unoccupied hexes can be set on fire, and only if the terrain is burnable. Fires also don't go out when the devastation marker gets placed. Then the fire may get out of control and blow into a unit's hex, but the Reaver shouldn't be able to just set another unit on fire. Something to remember.

Anyway, right now I'm jealous that you have already played the expansion. I'm so ready to be done painting and start playing this game. And I'm excited to see what the fully painted armies look like set up on the battlefield.

Thanks again for the report.
 
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Ian McCarthy
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Does he have control over the fire? I don't remember the exact wording.
 
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Ian McCarthy
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Wow, I just looked at the ability again. Choose a direction for the fire to spread? That seems ridiculous.
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Neil Curtis
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Played Scenario Eleven last night just to have a game with some of the new components from Wardens of the West.

The Stark player launched a full scale cavalry attack on the lined up pikemen and Daven Lannister across the ford. Those three units of red cavalry can hit hard, and if pursue can hit again, and then the Stark player had a Rally All Units card allowing Robb and the two other red cavalry to strike again and pursue again when possible! Plus a lot of the attacks were flanking attacks. That was a lot of damage caused there and then. The pikemen managed counterattacks in a couple of instances, but even with a large number of dice due to the bonuses for polearms and formations trying to wound red units is still difficult when the dice are against you.

The Lannister player captured a couple of VP locations in his back field during the turn, but mostly tried to stem the tide of cavalry across the ford. At then end of the first turn the Stark catapults fired to no effect.

On the second turn the cavalry melee continued with Stark increasing its upper hand there. Lannister was losing a number of units, Stark lost one of its cavalry units. But the cavalry that was left was used with great effect, attacking and pursuing and rallying to do it all over again. The War Host were having little play but the archers on each flank were able to cause one or two hits.

At the end of turn two the melee was still at the fords and Stark hadnt captured back any VP locations but was definitely wearing down the Lannister army with unit eliminations.

Turn three and Stark really pushed through capturing the ford VP location and the one to its left. Lannister was left with its leaders, who were proving uncapturable, an archers unit and a house guard (?) unit. Stark pushed through some more war host now whilst Robb and the cavalry concentrated on capturing Devan which they finally managed.

Catapults fired to no effect.

Turn four and Lannister had two units left and Gregor, their morale was desperately dropping and they had little options in what they could do. Stark spent the turn trying to finish them off and capturing further VP locations.

Victory to Stark!

Stark was very aggressive and seemed to always have the right command cards, order tokens, and dice rolls! Lannister was playing very more defensively, his pikemen were usually in the formation that was good for counter-attacking but reduced his attack ability. So there were occasions where they could have attacked more powerfully but were hampered by their formation. Lannister seemed to be reacting to Starks moves rather than enacting a plan of his own - despite the fact he was normally the first player. Gambit cards were available but not used.

Questions:

There is one card for the pikemen, the rules say to turn the card over as to whether the pikemen are in Hedgehog or Square Pike formation. One card but three units of pikemen? Do all three units have to be in the same formation? We played that they could each be in different formations and had to track this individually for each unit - wouldnt it have been easier to have some token to display their formation per unit?

Catapult targeting tokens used to determine damage from catapults - are these the same tokens used to show how many catapults you have and which you flip to show whether they have fired or are reloading - or did I miss a different set of tokens?

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Neil Curtis
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With regard to the formations it just seems odd - you may have one unit of pikemen on one side of the battlefield that you want to be defensive and therefore in one formation and elsewhere a unit that wants to be attacking and therefore in a different formation. It is easy enough to track which is which and gives more flexibility so I think we will continue to play that way.

With regards to the tokens I will have to look them out - thanks - didnt affect the game anyway as those catapults never hit anything!

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Ian McCarthy
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rynosseros wrote:
With regard to the formations it just seems odd - you may have one unit of pikemen on one side of the battlefield that you want to be defensive and therefore in one formation and elsewhere a unit that wants to be attacking and therefore in a different formation. It is easy enough to track which is which and gives more flexibility so I think we will continue to play that way.

With regards to the tokens I will have to look them out - thanks - didnt affect the game anyway as those catapults never hit anything!


Hmm, I hadn't thought about pikemen having different formations per unit on the board, but it makes sense. I'd say use the strategy tokens from the core set. One one side is the helm. That could be the defensive formation side. The other side is a red X or a green symbol. Either one could be the offensive formation side.

So, Neil, what do you think about house ruling that the catapults target a hex, roll to hit, and then, if they miss, roll for scatter? Could be funny to risk hitting your own units, eh? And, c'mon, what goes up must come down. I'm sure real life catapult tactics focused upon firing into crowds.

I would say just keep it simple and have the scatter be one hex in one of the six preprinted directions on the map in the scenario book either determined by a d6 roll or the included directional tokens. Personally, I threw an orange d6 in with the components and will be using that for fires spreading and catapult scatter.

Thanks for the excellent report. Sounded like a fun session.
 
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Ian McCarthy
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UlyZed wrote:
With the expansions and the lack of interest in rules clarification I think this game will end up encouraging a lot of house rules.

I would have loved to have seen a great system have its finer points explained, but I'm starting to think it's just another game in FFG's 'Scorched Earth' marketing strategy.

Hmm, well, I hope you're wrong, but it is distressing to see that the game designer is so completely absent and that the game has many small rule/balance issues that need ironing.

However, I've enjoyed this game immensely and will continue to play with my house rules. So far, nothing has been broken and I don't particularly need "official" rules, just fun, balanced and meaningful rules with excellent components and everything rolls up into a nice little package of awesome gameplay.

Unfortunately, the game seems to be dying on the vine and I'd be surprised if we see it go much further than the two expansions, given the barriers to entry and the lack of "official" support.

Oh well. I'll make my copy of the game as close to perfect for me as I can get it and then play it as much as possible.
 
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Neil Curtis
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Yes I like the idea of scattering the catapults. Maybe just on a flag or fist symbol on the attack roll. Might make the catapults actually worth while having, though so far have only played with the very innaccurate red catapults.

I too love the game and hope that it will be supported with faqs, erratas, and especially more factions.

Eagerly awaiting FFGs next announcement for this game.

 
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Rob Kouba
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All pikemen must be the same formation. Definitely a simplicity factor and it gives a hard choice if say one of your units is out of position. Will get to more questions as time allows.

Rob

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Neil Curtis
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Thank you - very much appreciated hearing the answer!
 
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rynosseros wrote:
Yes I like the idea of scattering the catapults. Maybe just on a flag or fist symbol on the attack roll. Might make the catapults actually worth while having, though so far have only played with the very innaccurate red catapults.


The best way i see is to make a custom d8 with deviation from 1-6 and one side meaning point blank hit and last one meaning breakdown of catapult and smthn generally meaning that it never hit anywhere near supposed point or never shot.
 
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Ian McCarthy
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Jampel wrote:
rynosseros wrote:
Yes I like the idea of scattering the catapults. Maybe just on a flag or fist symbol on the attack roll. Might make the catapults actually worth while having, though so far have only played with the very innaccurate red catapults.


The best way i see is to make a custom d8 with deviation from 1-6 and one side meaning point blank hit and last one meaning breakdown of catapult and smthn generally meaning that it never hit anywhere near supposed point or never shot.

That's an interesting idea. But I prefer the simplicity of just checking as normal to see if you hit the target hex and then rolling a d6 for scatter if you missed. There would still be a good chance of missing altogether, since there are usually adjacent empty hexes, which could represent a misfire or whatever you want it to represent without adding a d8 table.
 
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Anonymous Anonymous
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The idea behind d8 is that you throw it first to determine if you hit or if the catapult failed or scattered and after the hit / scatter you throw the hit dice normally. I think it's quite balanced and easy to use method concerning that catapults where nowhere near accurate you still have nice chance of hitting something if you're targeting a pack of unit's that spread around few hexes. You could also house rule to shot on any hex not neccesarly a unit taking into consideration that you will hit point blank only 2/8. After actual hit on specified or scattered hex roll d6's normally to see if you've actually damaged the troop's on that hex still giving them chance to "run away" from falling boulder or smthn.

So summing up:

1) declare catapult shooting point
2) roll d8 to see if and where it hit
3) roll d6's to check the actual damage to squad that got hit

IMHO a simpl,e method that gives much more purpose to catapults while still keeping them balanced, and you can just use a normal d8 with 1-6 scatter, 7 total miss and 8 point blank hit.
 
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Ian McCarthy
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Well, I just don't see the point of all that complication. Also, I would rather not throw out the original catapult rules altogether. They make sense and are intuitive enough.

It just happens that they miss far too frequently, because a red catapult has long range, but only hits the intended hex if you roll red on the d8. Similarly, the blue and green catapults have less and less range, but, since they hit on their colors, you have much better chances to hit.

Then you pick damage from the tokens, which are 3 of each color. Green is 2 hits, blue is 3 hits and red is 4 hits, but you could just as easily roll a d6 and assign 2 hits for 1-2, 3 hits for 3-4 and 4 hits for 5-6.

Your system doesn't account for the colors of the catapults and I'm not sure what you mean by "3) roll d6's to check the actual damage to squad that got hit".

I don't think the catapult rules deserve to be completely rewritten, but a simple roll for scatter if you miss seems in order.
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Anonymous Anonymous
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I was heavy into miniature wargames in the past so i like overcomplicating. What i mean with d6's is roll 2/3/4 normal game dice for each type of catapult to determine actual damage to whatever was hit but you'r idea with d6 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 seems great too. Either way i think scatter should be incorporated in some way be it simple d6 for fire spreading or more complicated method for catapults.
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