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Subject: Wizard dying on retreat rss

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Robert R
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So now that I have played 3 different Columbia Games games, I start to appreciate the similarities and the differences between them (by them I mean WK, HotS, and CRex).

A MAJOR different lies in the fact that you can't choose PASS as a block action during a round of battle.... you either fight or retreat, and you can't retreat on round 1 (by 1.6 rules). So Wizards, who can't kill themselves casting spells, at 1 step HAVE to retreat.

But what if a group with a Wizard at 1 step is attacked... they can't attack nor retreat (because it is round one), right? Then do they instantly die?
 
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Alan Kaiser
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Not necessarily. If the wizard is alone, then he's history. You learn not to leave those guys hanging around just anywhere. If there are other units in the hex then you just take steps off those other units first (provided all the units have one step). If the other units have more than one step then you have to take the steps off those other units until they also reach one step. If the wizard is attacking with other units then he just doesn't make an attack.
 
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Gary Pressler
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I think Alan didn't quite catch what you were asking.

The issue is that, as the rules are written, each block must either battle or retreat on its turn. The only way a Wizard may battle is to cast a spell, and a 1-Strength Wizard is not allowed to spellcast itself out of existance. Thus, it follows that a 1-Strength Wizard must retreat on its combat turn. The problem is that, according to the 1.6 version of the rules, no retreats are allowed in the first round.

To a rules lawyer, this means, since the 1-Strength Wizard must retreat but cannot, it will be eliminated on its first combat turn. However, as I've said before, if you or your opponent is a rules laywer, play a different game.

I play with the 1.5 rules, so it is not such a big deal with first round retreats allowed. But even then, myself and others on the CG forum have mentioned that Wizards should really be an exception. (I think this actually came up back in the 1.1 or 1.2 days.) That is, Wizards may stand and do nothing on their combat turns. I think this plays out very well. If the Wizard is of high Strength, you'll almost always want to cast a spell. Often, you may want to hold off from casting a spell at Strength 2 or 3, because your opponent might have a Wizard or Chaos unit primed with a targeted spell should your Wizard weaken itself. The only caveat is that it is possible to have two Wizards alone in a battle and neither wanting to cast a spell first. If this is the case, and both Wizards pass, then the Attacker must retreat.

If you do have a rules laywer to contend with, declare that the Wizard's combat rating is A0. Roll your dice and score a hit for every one that shows zero or lower.
 
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Simon W.
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Ha! I was in that game. We decided to remove the wizards though I had no problem with just letting them hang out and do nothing. It was a precarious situation indeed.

It looks like the bulk of the 1.6 rules changes were made without regard to Wizard Kings as a system, in order to bring most of the Columbia block games onto the same general rules plane. I mentioned to Rob the disheartening lack of attention and support WK gets. It really is a good game that just needs a little extra love to become great. I'm of the mind that some better spells and a little rules tweaking would be quite sufficient. Ah well.
 
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Robert R
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Yep....Simon was my opponent. I've been slowly making him a CG fan, but I feel it is hard to do when I can tell he is seeing these "little things" come up (that lack-of-suppor-feel, little marketing/quiet company, etc).

Their own minor flaws aside, just imagine what would it be like if these games were in the hands of a much more active company like GMT.

Nonetheless, my wargaming heart lies with Columbia's block games (I still don't own any chits and counters wargame).

And thank you Gary. That is what I meant. I've come to realize that I am a bit of a rules nut to the point that I won't try a new game unless I feel comfortable with the rules (Rommel? Anyone? Simon? We'll try it soon. Promise ).
 
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Simon W.
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Psh, slowly making me a CG fan? I'm already there. HotS was great and I'm ready to spend nearly two hundred bucks on Wizard Kings the first chance I get. WK is such a toolkit game that any amount of effort put in is bound to yield ample satisfaction. -And don't even get me started on Rommel...Mmm, heavy block gaming goodness.

I owe you one...Speaking of which, you haven't played a hex and counter yet you say?

*deep maniacal laughter*
 
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Gary Pressler
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Yeah, I am a big fan of CG's stuff, even with my frustrations toward their lack of support. Simon is right that WK is a game that you have to put in a bit to make it the game you want, but I think it's very much worth it. At some point I think I'm going to formally write out my own ruleset to just to have a well-documented version of of my own interpretations and changes to all the oddities in this one.

I noticed you are both in San Antonio. If you haven't met him already, you might want to send a message to Ted Kostek.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/kostek
He moved down there about a year ago and is a big fan of blockgames. He's even been trying to get some blockgaming events going. I played WK with him a couple of times; he is very personable and has a great attitude towards gaming.
 
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Simon W.
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We do in fact know Ted, though Rob much better than I. The few games I've played with him were very enjoyable. It's funny how gaming can be exponentially better or worse based off who you are playing with. I guess I'm lucky to have so many great players in my area.

I'd love to see your ruleset too, by the way. I know I'd change a few things if I had the choice. I'd definitely add better spells, but I'm a bit ambivalent toward first round retreats and battle round limitations. The stacking rules I'd probably leave alone.

The larger implications of attacker/defender advantages are beyond my interpretation with so little experience at this point. I tend to favor attacking advantages in most games which the WK system, as far as I can tell, does not.
 
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Robert R
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What a small world. Me and Ted are probably the founding fathers of San Antonio Board Gamers. When I was just barely starting with Euros early last year, he introduced me to CG and block games (WK was my first block game). It is him that I have to thank.....and blame for this addiction.

BTW Simon... I have some crazy scenarios in my head ever since you rekindled my interest in this game again.

My ideas are based on the simple question... what makes games like HotS or Crusader so appealing? I think the secret lies in the "triggered" events. Most scenarios for all of these games (HotS, CR, WK) have the same objective: capture the most cities/nobles. But it is the "triggered" events in CR and HotS that really add flavor. In HotS, all the crowning the king options for the Scots (heck, simply having the nobles switch sides when killed is a sweet mechanic that adds lots of flavor). In Crusader, the whole recruitment of Crusaders into the battle....it feels like they come in late in the game as they "hear" about the ongoing battles and want to join the fray.

I'll fill you in next time we meet.




 
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