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Subject: [Project] BGG Community created campaign for BattleLore Second Edition rss

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Cedric Chong
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Hey people, want to play a game?

It's a cooperative game.

It's call "Let's create a BattleLore Second Edition campaign together game!".

FFG has just released a really good scenario builder. We can use this!



Who do we need right now?
E Between 4 to 7 interested person to design the scenarios.
E At least one who can assist on the overall campaign story arc.
E Someone to write the flavor-text / back stories for all scenarios. Preferably someone familiar with the Runebound world.


How will this work?
E Each person will be assigned one (or two) "box" to design his scenario.
E The main person-in-charge of story will write and tie in all scenarios.
E Major decisions will be decided by votes here in this forum.


What do you need to commit to?
E Design at least 1 scenario using the Scenario Builder.
E The story must align with the overall campaign.
E You have responsibility to play test your own scenario.


Let me get the ball rolling....



I'm proposing this campaign structure. In this campaign, there are 8 scenarios. But you only play a series of 4 games to complete the campaign. Each game should preferably be around 1 hour. So the entire campaign can be completed in 5 hours including setup.

This proposed structure will have a small "balancing" mechanism. I.e. if you win the first game, the next game will be slightly more challenging for you. But we also want to retain the "campaign" feel. So winning any games should have a significant effect at the finale.

A1: First scenario. Balanced.

B1: Play if Blue won A1. Scenario gives slight advantage to Red.
B2: Play if Red won A1. Scenario gives slight advantage to Blue.

C1: Play if Blue won B1. Blue has won 2 games in a roll now. Scenario should give more advantage to Red to make it challenging for Blue.
C2: Balanced.
C3: Play if Red won B2. Red has won 2 games in a roll now. Scenario should give more advantage to Blue to make it challenging for Red.

Finale: There should be two alternate endings. The finale must be balanced. Yet provide meaningful "bonuses" to the side that won more often during the campaign. Maybe extra units to muster? More Lore cards? More choices of starting position?


Okay, that's all I have for now.

What do you think? Anybody interested? Show of hands?

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David Millette
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Re: BGG Community created Campaign for BattleLore Second Edition
I love this idea. Seems like a lot of fun. I wouldn't be any good at creating a scenario, but you could possibly make the scenarios all balanced and just tie the advantages to the number of command cards, lore cards and lore tokens you get to start the game. If you've won one more game than your opponent, then you get +1 CC, +1 LC and +1 Lore token. If you've won two more, the +2. If three, then +3. Something like that. Just a thought. Having a 3 command card, 3 lore card, and 3 token advantage in the final game would significantly improve the odds in your favor, but yet again with the right cards and dice anything could still possibly happen in terms of an unlikely upset.
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Cedric Chong
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Re: BGG Community created Campaign for BattleLore Second Edition
Hey David. The most important factor is you have the interest and you have fun doing this. How do you know you're "not good at creating scenario"? Can I persuade you to give it a try?



Good idea on the CC/LC/LT. I'm thinking about this, we can perhaps integrate this into the scenario itself, so that's less "accounting" effort needed from the players.

I.e. In A1, each will have Blue 4/2/2 - Red 4/2/2 (command cards/lore cards/lore tokens).

Say Red won, they go to B2. Starting hand can be 4/2/2 - 4/3/2 for example.

If Red won again, they go to C3, starting hand can be 4/2/2 - 4/3/4?

OR, as you suggest, we can put these into the Finale.


About "slight advantage", I'm thinking of small advantages. Perhaps you have one more unit. Or you have one archer starting on a Hill hex. Or your starting position is closer to a Building. Etc.
 
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Jack Wraith
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In my experience in doing campaigns/competitive leagues for 40K and WHFB, it was usually better to have the victory advantage in the next scenario apply directly to the scenario, rather than to standard game rules.

So, if the Uthuk won a scenario involving VPs for being on hills, the subsequent scenario would allow them to ignore LOS with their archers because they still have those guys on the hills doing the spotting for them (although that's generally more applicable to things like artillery.) The most important aspect of any campaign is the story. Even if one player wins the majority of the early games, if the story is good enough, it should keep the interest for both players. A couple of the scenarios that Borg put up on FFG's site could apply directly to this, as one side completely outmanned attempts to survive for a certain amount of time, etc.
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David Millette
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maxixe wrote:
Hey David. The most important factor is you have the interest and you have fun doing this. How do you know you're "not good at creating scenario"? Can I persuade you to give it a try?

:)

Good idea on the CC/LC/LT. I'm thinking about this, we can perhaps integrate this into the scenario itself, so that's less "accounting" effort needed from the players.

I.e. In A1, each will have Blue 4/2/2 - Red 4/2/2 (command cards/lore cards/lore tokens).

Say Red won, they go to B2. Starting hand can be 4/2/2 - 4/3/2 for example.

If Red won again, they go to C3, starting hand can be 4/2/2 - 4/3/4?

OR, as you suggest, we can put these into the Finale.


About "slight advantage", I'm thinking of small advantages. Perhaps you have one more unit. Or you have one archer starting on a Hill hex. Or your starting position is closer to a Building. Etc.


Yes. This is what I meant. At the beginning of each game throughout the tournament you would calculate how many games each player has won. If I've won one more game than my opponent than I was be granted the command card, lore care, and/or lore token advantage that comes with that. If I've won two more games, then I would get the advantage that comes with that, and if I've won three more games (only possible in the finale) then I would get the advantage that goes with that. It would simple like that.

But, I think Jack has a good point about the story. Might be more interesting to apply the advantage directly to the scenario. Could be like king of the hill. Whoever controls a certain objective hex and wins the game could gain a special ability (i.e. ignoring LOS like he suggests) for the remainder of the campaign. That could be interesting. The more games you win, the more special abilities you gain.

Another thought would be to make scenarios with major and minor victory objectives. I used to play a computer Civil War game that would award you with points based on how you performed in the scenario before. You could then use those points to upgrade unit weapons, unit quality (elite), etc. before the next battle. Not sure how that would work here, maybe mustering points. Probably would have worked much better in the original BL1, as that game had light, medium and heavy units.
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Rocy7 POL
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Great idea Campaing will be also have some scenario description?
 
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Garrett
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This is such an awesome thread! Why didn't I read this earlier?!

Question: Do you think it's better to create a story first and tailor the scenarios to the story, or create scenarios first and then create a story to tie them together?

Personally, I think the story should come first.
 
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Cedric Chong
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A high level story arc is probably a good idea, as you said.

Then each scenario designer will have their own creative space to brain storm interesting scenario based on the part of the story that is in the story arc.

You think?
 
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Ukko Kaarto
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+1 to high level story arch.

How about some random plot events between the games which create unexpected events for either or both sides.

Between scenarios the players throw a die (d6? d10? d20?) and check from a table what happens. Maybe a fire scorched the woods and they give no shelter. Or the demon hounds get angry and attack one other unit once. Maybe a traitor poisoned one of the horses and so one of the horse units starts weakened. This would help replayability and would enhance the story.

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David Sterling
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I'm interested!
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I'm looking at the scenario tree now and thinking about what kind of story we could tell. One thing I notice is that as one team wins more, the loser is the one who gains advantages. One explanation is that as one team wins, they push closer and closer to the enemy's homerealm territory.

For example, as the Uthuk Y'llan win, they push closer and closer to the realm of the Daqan Lords, meaning there will be more buildings in subsequent scenarios.

On the other hand, moving toward the Uthuk means fewer buildings, fewer forests, and more hills. I also expect fewer rivers, but perhaps one scenario could incorporate some kind of demon-tainted river that affects the scenario somehow.

If this military push toward homerealms is the story we're telling, I think we would need to change the scenario diagram. We could make tier C have 4 different scenarios. C2 and C3 would both be the same terrain as A1, but they would have different scenario conditions and the VP banners may be moved to different locations on the board to represent how the battle has changed. Keeping the same terrain gives the feeling of pushing back and forth across the land of Terrinoth. However, this could make many of the games too similar and thus more boring. The alternative is to have the battles spread farther apart in time and space so that they aren't just fighting over the same locations the whole campaign.
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Cedric Chong
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Yes Yes Yes! I love this!


Budgernaut wrote:
I'm looking at the scenario tree now and thinking about what kind of story we could tell. One thing I notice is that as one team wins more, the loser is the one who gains advantages. One explanation is that as one team wins, they push closer and closer to the enemy's homerealm territory.

For example, as the Uthuk Y'llan win, they push closer and closer to the realm of the Daqan Lords, meaning there will be more buildings in subsequent scenarios.

On the other hand, moving toward the Uthuk means fewer buildings, fewer forests, and more hills. I also expect fewer rivers, but perhaps one scenario could incorporate some kind of demon-tainted river that affects the scenario somehow.

If this military push toward homerealms is the story we're telling, I think we would need to change the scenario diagram. We could make tier C have 4 different scenarios. C2 and C3 would both be the same terrain as A1, but they would have different scenario conditions and the VP banners may be moved to different locations on the board to represent how the battle has changed. Keeping the same terrain gives the feeling of pushing back and forth across the land of Terrinoth. However, this could make many of the games too similar and thus more boring. The alternative is to have the battles spread farther apart in time and space so that they aren't just fighting over the same locations the whole campaign.


Great! It seems we have some indication of interests. AND some very good ideas!


About Tier C and D. How do you propose we should handle the "scenario-tree"?


 
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Cedric Chong
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Like this?

 
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Cedric Chong
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I'll just have a quick go at a very high level skeleton sketch. Anyone is welcomed to please come help polish up the story. (Story arc is not my strong point)


A1: Both factions meeting at the war front for the first time.

B1: Daqan won 1-0. Having won the first battle, Daqan is pushing towards Uthuk. There might be some secret (uncovering more units? Like Chaos Lord?). Objective is to capture some "secret" of the Uthuk.

B2: Uthuk won 1-0. Having caught Daqan by surprise and won the first battle, the Uthuk gathered their forces and push towards Daqan's supplies/barracks/towns.

C1: Daqan won 2-0. Daqan uncovered Uthuk is attempting to summon the demon Chaos Lord. They must stop the summoning! Or some other plot pushing Daqan closer to Uthuk's base.

C2: Score 1-1. Uthuk is able to prevent their secret from falling into the hands of the Daqan. They prepare a counter-attack.

C3: Score 1-1. Daqan is able to defend against the Uthuk's attack. They now muster up their full battalion to prepare a counter-attack.

C4: Uthuk won 2-0. Defeated Daqan twice in a row. Uthuk strike the next critical gateway to the Daqan forces. School of "Lore"/ Tower of Wizardry. Winning this will have a decisive advantage in the final battle to take down the Daqan once and for all.

D1: Score is either 3-0 or 2-1 in Daqan's favor. Pushing into the Uthuk's den.

D2: Score is either 3-0 or 2-1 in Uthuk's favor. Castle Siege finale?


What do you think?

I'm excited!

I would love to work on two of either B1, B2, C1, or C4. The creative juice are pumping!

 
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Cedric Chong
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Just a quick poll right now to see some high level sentiments.

[EDIT] sorry. Please ignore the choice "No. Come on, no one is going to buy two (2) base sets of the game."


Poll
Poll #1
1. Should the entire campaign be restricted to only one (1) base set of BattleLore Second Edition?
Yes. The entire campaign should only make use of one base set of BattleLore Second Edition.
Middle-ground. Most of the scenarios should use 1 base set. The finale should use two (2) base sets to simulate epic battles!
No. Come on, no one is going to buy two (2) base sets of the game.
2. Should proxies be allowed? For story sake, say a "leader" character from Descent Second Edition.
Yes. The scenario designer can have more creative space to create custom "leader" unit. These can be treated as "Legend" or "Elite" units in the game.
Middle-ground. Have maybe one or two custom "leader" unit at most.
No. Let's make the campaign more accessible to everyone with minimum printing/cutting/sourcing for proxies.
      18 answers
Poll created by maxixe
 
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Cedric Chong
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Trying to gather all the great ideas from everyone so far:

Poll
Poll #2
1. Ways for previous winner to gain advantage.
+1 Command Card for next scenario.
+1 Lore Card for next scenario.
+X Lore Tokens for next scenario.
+X unit for next scenario.
Units start on more strategic locations (i.e. Hills)
Units are closer to more strategic tiles (i.e. Buildings)
Scenario objectives are easier.
Special powers (i.e. Archers can ignore LOS in scenario / Cavalries can move through river tiles)
Opponent start with random damage (i.e. start with 1 weakened unit)
Previous winner get to choose to remove one terrain tile (forest fire?)
2. Ways for previous Loser to gain advantage.
+1 Command Card for next scenario.
+1 Lore Card for next scenario.
+X Lore Tokens for next scenario.
+X unit for next scenario.
Units start on more strategic locations (i.e. Hills)
Units are closer to more strategic tiles (i.e. Buildings)
Scenario objectives are easier.
Special powers (i.e. Archers can ignore LOS in scenario / Cavalries can move through river tiles)
Opponent start with random damage (i.e. start with 1 weakened unit)
Previous loser get to choose to remove one terrain tile (forest fire?)
      9 answers
Poll created by maxixe
 
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Lance McMillan
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With regards to Poll #2, I would suggest you consider the fact that if you award benefits/bonuses to the winner of the previous match you're likely setting things up for that player to get a cascading series of victories. The winner of a match is already (presumably) the "better" player, now you're making it even harder for the "less capable" player to beat him. For a good campaign sequence you want to try to preserve balance throughout the progression of scenarios, to give incentive to the player who loses to continue the series, otherwise the loser is likely to realize he has absolutely no chance of winning and simply quit. Effectively you need to build in a self-correcting handicap system, to preserve balance for the duration of the campaign.
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Cedric Chong
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Lancer4321 wrote:
With regards to Poll #2, I would suggest you consider the fact that if you award benefits/bonuses to the winner of the previous match you're likely setting things up for that player to get a cascading series of victories. The winner of a match is already (presumably) the "better" player, now you're making it even harder for the "less capable" player to beat him. For a good campaign sequence you want to try to preserve balance throughout the progression of scenarios, to give incentive to the player who loses to continue the series, otherwise the loser is likely to realize he has absolutely no chance of winning and simply quit. Effectively you need to build in a self-correcting handicap system, to preserve balance for the duration of the campaign.


Yes. I'm completely on the same page with you on this Lance.

On one hand, we have to award the winner. BUT on the other hand, we do not want to risk cascading advantage leading to further defeats to the loser. However, we cannot penalize the winner, or else, noone will want to will, or worse, deliberately lose the scenario so as to gain advantage for the next scenario.

I agree this has to be carefully balanced.

And once again, we are totally on the same page.
 
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David Millette
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Saw your poll about the special elite or legend units. One thing you could do to keep things within the parameters of the game components provided is to allow for an elite unit to be +1 figure and a legendary unit to possess a special ability (maybe even +1 too). These could be bonus awards for winning games too.
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I really want this to feel thematic. I want it to feel like a back-and-forth battle between the two sides. To that end, I'm not too worried about the balance. Presumably, there is unbalance in the core set scenarios with lower initiative scenarios having easier objectives (at least, that was my understanding). But if you have custom armies, I think it's harder to talk about balance in the scenarios. There is so much variation in unit choice and command cards drawn and how one maneuvers. I just think there is enough randomness that we shouldn't worry so much about the advantage really unbalancing things.

But I do think the "advantages" should be little things, especially special ability type things. For example, Golems getting ranged attacks on hills in that one core set scenario. I guess I'm thinking more like "rewards" than advantages. Something that really fits the story and makes the player say "cool!" when they get that reward for winning the scenario.

But I don't think these advantages or rewards should be mechanical. I mean, I don't think it should include starting with more Lore cards or Command cards. However, I do think starting with a specific Lore card is reasonable. I don't think starting with specific Command card is reasonable because the randomization of the command cards is a core concept in this engine, I think. I also wouldn't give extra Lore or VP to start with. It just doesn't feel as thematic.
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Cedric Chong
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Great to see the level of activity picking up!

Can I do a quick "roll-call"?

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Am I right to say we have eight (8) potential team members on this project team?

Can each of you nominate the level of your contribution?

*EXAMPLE*
I am able to contribute in the following ways:
I can be the overall story arc writer.
I can create ___ scenarios.
I also have time to play test ___ other scenarios from other contributors.
I have some talent in the art department. I can sketch out one or two custom artwork for this BGG community campaign.



I'll start first. I'm bad with stories. I am able to contribute in the following ways:
I can create 2 scenarios.
I also have time to play test 2 other scenarios from other contributors.




If I miss out any other tasks/roles/potential contributions, please do suggest!

Also, any reader following this thread, please drop us a line in here if you would like to be part of this project as well.
 
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I am a little late joining in here but I see nobody has mentioned the system I use for campaigns with all Commands and Colors games.

I set a "Force Pool" at the start of each Campaign. The size of the Pool depends on the number of Scenarios included in the Campaign but is no more that half of the total units in all Scenarios Combined, usually 1/3. This should be even easier to do with a points based muster system like BL2e implements. A Force Pool is a predefined army used for the entire campaign. Each unit type used in the designated Scenarios must be included, the additional units are at the Players discretion. (in the case of BL2e only the points count, but it may be decided to limit the "Specials" to one or two per Army).

A skeleton of the rule follows:

a) All Units used in all Scenarios played in the Campaign must be drawn from the same "Force Pool".

b) Players decide for themselves how many Units they wish to have available at the start of each Scenario, those called for in the scenario are deployed on the Map. If a unit called for in the Scenario is no longer available in the "Force Pool" that hex is left unpopulated. An additional number of units equal to 1/3 of the Deployed unit Points, provided there are sufficient points available in the "Force Pool", may be held in reserve for the Scenario.

c) Reserve Units may enter play through the players back row, ordered by an appropriate Section card. Units are considered to have entered from an adjacent open ground hex from an imaginary Hex Row. Terrain, Movement and Battle restrictions still apply.

d) Units may be voluntarily Retreated off the Map, no victory points are awarded for Units retreating in this way.

e) When the First Unit is Retreated off the Map, that player may no longer bring in Reserve Units. He has entered the Fighting Withdrawal phase.

e) If all of a players Units have Retreated or been Eliminated, an automatic Scenario Victory goes to the opponent.

f) If both Payers choose to Retreat no Victory Points are awarded for the Scenario, but casualty's are still deducted from the "Force Pool".

g) Any unit that is eliminated is lost for the Campaign and its Point Total is deducted from the "Force Pool". Any Unit that still has at least One Figure at the end of a Scenario, either on the Map or having retreated, returns to the Force Pool as if it were still full strength.

h) Points are awarded for each scenario (If an unbalanced Scenario is used the points may be adjusted to award more Victory Points to the Disadvantaged player), at the end of the Campaign the Remaining Force Points are added to the Victory Points to determine the Campaign Victor.

i) If any player loses his entire "Force Pool", Campaign Victory is automatically awarded to the opponent.

As you can see from the above there is no need to allocate any particular Advantage or Penalty for Scenario Outcome as the Player is trying to balance the Resources available to the Campaign as a whole.

Whilst an all out Suicidal strategy may gain you that last Victory Point it will also leave you weaker over all. Players must ensure that they have sufficient resources to complete the campaign.

Feel free to tweak the above, I offer it here for inspiration. I have played this system with BattleCry, M'44 and BL1e (Medieval) and it has been a fun way to generate random Campaigns, but I never actually formalised it and it still needs polishing.

Cheers
Chris

EDIT1 & 2) Spelling
Edit:_3 & 4) Clarification of Force Pool.

 
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maxixe wrote:
I have some talent in the art department. I can sketch out one or two custom artwork for this BGG community campaign.


As I still don't own the game (Very few copies arrived in Africa) I will not be much use to you for play testing or story arc, but I am willing to help out with the artwork if needed. I have already built a Library of all the Graphic elements from the game, as this thread Custom Cards for Tinkerers shows.

Cheers
Chris


 
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Hi Chris, thanks for sharing your inputs.

It took me three readings to understand the "force pool" idea. I think I understand it now. It can create a more holistic campaign feel and another meta game of resource conservation.

However, I do no like to implement "force pool" into this project.

1. I personally do not like additional "mustering" or setup or the decision making of choosing your army. Read my review on BL2 to find out why.

2. The ideas of implementing "rewards" or "advantages" into subsequent scenarios as suggested by a few people here so far is more streamlined for the players. I.e let us the designers do the balancing work. The players just enjoy the scenarios.

3. Every scenarios gives players a chance to start anew. If you make a big mistake in battle #1 with your "force pool" allocation, it will hurt you for the rest of the campaign. If I understand correctly.

I guess most importantly, I do not like the idea of introducing new rules.

That's my opinion. Others may differ. I vote against "force pool".

Once again I appreciate you sharing this mechanism. But I just don't feel it's the direction I (or we) are taking for this campaign.



AND.. Thanks for volunteering for the artwork! I'm more thinking of a custom art as cover page for the campaign.
 
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I am very interested in working on the entire story arc. I don't necessarily want to be the only one, but I want to be involved. I am a huge fan of Runewars and Rune Age and will bring story elements from those games into this one. For an example of my story writing, you can check out my scenario on the FFG scenario builder. Search for "Through the Forest" by Budgernaut.

I will definitely try to make things connected while still giving creative space to scenario designers.
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