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Duel of Ages II» Forums » Variants

Subject: A variant for three players based on DOA I Cutthroat rss

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Roderick Plain
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This is a variant for three players based mainly on the official cutthroat variant from DOA I. My group started to play a roughly identical version from the original, and it didn't work for many reasons. Finally we arrived to this version, that has been tested in several games.

There are two main differences from the original (apart from the way the VPs are scored). I will briefly explain which are and why the changes. If you haven't played the original version, you may skip those two explanations:

1- The Alliance is no more an alliance: The players from The Alliance are no more treated as allies between them. Nor they are enemies (except for team markers). There are many cards (specially secrets) that rely on number of allies, and there would be too many exceptions or banned cards if you have a side that has almost the double of characters than the other. This is further clarified later.

2- The game uses two bases. The Alliance team base uses two independent stacks of cards, one for each player's vault. Again, too many exceptions for using only one base. In DOA II, you really cannot use one base as an enemy base for some things, and as a friendly base for others, as in DOA I. Too problematic (for example, see the honor bonus where you can move any number of your characters to your "friendly" HQ, which also happens to be your "enemy" base, and suddenly became ready to be damaged with all your characters if you wish). The two stacks of cards for the vault of the Alliance are necessary in order to allow to play that base independently for each player of the Alliance (so it will behave exactly as a normal base). Secrets that rely on the number of cards on the vault will not be swinging the tides, as for each player that number is the number of cards in his stack. The Loner always use the White Base, and the Alliance uses the Black Base. There is a special procedure when a change of Loner happens.


Teams:

There are no teams. Each player uses a different set of adventure markers.

Loner and Alliance:

One player take the side as The Loner, while the other two take the other side as The Alliance.


The Alliance:

During the Alliance turn, both players will perform all the phases together (they will make free actions, move, fire, adventure, etc., during the same phase).

They, however, are not considered allies nor enemies between then. They can stack together, move over the other Alliance characters , melee against the Loner in the same hex, etc. But they can't trade between them (as they are not allies), and one player cannot affect the other by using effects that target allies or enemies exclusively. The only effects that affect the other player characters (including attacks) are the ones that affect both enemy and allied characters, and that fulfill the conditions stated later in this rules.

However, adventure markers from the other player are considered enemy markers, so they can be "attacked", or used for good effect by some characters, like Garibaldi.

The Point of View of the Loner:

The Loner, for any circumstance (for example, determining the number of enemies), sees both Alliance players as an unified team. So, if for example, and effect can allow The Loner to banish two enemies, he can choose to banish one character from one player and another from the other player, or both from the same enemy player.

The Lesser Ally:

When there is a necessity to determine which of the two players of the Alliance will go first (example: adventuring, firing, reinforcing, etc.), the players will determine who is the Lesser Ally, and he will choose who will go first.
The Lesser Ally is the player from the Alliance with the least number of characters (do not count imprisoned characters).
In case of a tie, the player with the least number of cards (count creatures and henchmem as one card, and elite cards as one card too). Consider all cards in the count, including badges.
If the ties continues, randomly resolve (for example, each player draws challenge cards until one player draws a card with luck higher than the other player card).

Game Setup:

Each player draws a challenge card, the one with the higher luck is The Loner. The Loner uses the White Base, and the Alliance uses the Black Base.

Use Standard or Split Labyrinth Missions. For Triad, use 5 characters for player. For Quad, use 7 or 8 characters for player..

For character entry method, use a modified Dome Color: During each of his reinforcement phase, The Loner will place two characters in gold or blue domes. During each of the Alliance reinforcement phase, each PLAYER of the Alliance will place two characters (in red, green or black domes).
This means that the Alliance will reinforce twice as fast as The Loner.

The Base of the Alliance (the Black Base) will have two independent stacks of cards for the vault: one for each player of the Alliance. An Alliance player cannot inspect the stack from the other player. When any player of the Alliance uses the Vault, only his stack of cards matters. He only can draw or put cards in his private stack, and when an effect asks for the number of cards in his vault, only the number of cards in his stack counts.

When the Loner steals cards from the Black Base, he gets those cards randomly from all the cards in both vaults.

So, at the start of the game, one common card an one secret card goes to the White Base, and two stacks of one common and one secret cards goes to the Black Base, one stack for each player of the Alliance.

Playing the Game:

The Loner will start the game. He randomly draws a new character from the deck, and draws one extra elite card for that character. This character is placed in a gold or blue dome during his Free Action, so it can perform the rest of the phases during this turn.


When does a player of the Alliance affects the other player of the Alliance?:

In order for an effect originated by one character of the Alliance to affect a character from the other player of the Alliance, three conditions must be fulfilled:

1- The effect must affect both enemies an allies.
2- You don't choose the character(s) affected. The effect chooses the character(s) for you.
3- The effect must affect both enemies an allies using the same mechanics.

Some examples:

-An attack using an area weapon does affect characters from the other player of the Alliance, as you don't choose any character (you select an hex, not a character), and the attack is resolved identically both for allies and enemies.
- None of the adventure challenges of the Lith's Liar could affect the other player characters, because someone must select the targets.
-The abilities of characters like Paradox, Three-U or Gregory does affect the other player characters, as they affect both enemies an allies, and those abilities "select" the characters ( all in radius or same hex), and apply the effect in the same mechanical way, both for allies and enemies.
-A cube that grants cards to all allies with a rating lower than a specific value, and cards to all enemies with a rating higher than such value, doesn't affect the other player characters, as the mechanics for both enemies and allies are not identical.


Team Bases:

Except for the use of the Alliance's Vault stated above, the Team Bases work exactly equal as in the original rules.

A player of the Alliance cannot try to free from Prison characters from the other Alliance player, as those characters are not allies nor enemies.

Switching Alliance:

If an Alliance player kills, imprisons or takes over a Loner Character, he will become the Loner at the end of the current player turn.

In case that both Alliance players killed or imprisoned or took over Loner characters, the player who defeated more characters that turn will become the new Loner. In case of a tie for characters defeats, the Loner will decide which Alliance player will become the Loner.

Procedure for a switch of Loner:

When a player becomes a new Loner, the following happens:

-The other two player become the Alliance.
-The next turn is the Loner's turn.

At the start of the new Loner first turn, perform the following tasks:

1- Move all the new Loner prisoners from White Base to Black Base, and all of the previous Loner prisoners from Black Base to White Base.
2- The new Loner can remove one enemy marker from White Base (say, a marker from his previous partner).
3-The new Loner transfers all his adventure markers form White Base to Black Base, into the same spots. In case that there is an enemy marker in the same spot of Black Base, treat that transfer as a repair, and leave the Black Base spot empty.
4-Then, the previous Loner Transfer all his remaining markers from Black Base to White Base, to the same spots, As above, any enemy marker on the same spot in White Base is treated as a repair.
5- Transfer the new Loner Vault stack from Black Base to White Base, and the cards of the previous Loner from White Base's Vault to a new stack into Black Base.
6- Finally, during the Free Action of his first turn as a new Loner, he draws a new character with an extra elite card (or two elite cards if he defeated two characters to become Loner, or three for three characters, etc), and bring it to the game in a gold or blue dome.

Game End:

The game must end on a Loner's turn, not an Alliance turn, and the game cannot end if that turn there was a change of Loner.

Scoring:

The scoring system uses VPs. All Achievements will grant 3 VPs to the first, but the other players could score points for 2nd places.

The VPs are granted the following way:

1st place in an Achievement: 3 VPs.
Tie in 1st place: 2 VPs.
2nd place or tied in 2nd place: 1 VPs.


The distribution of the VPs are as follows:

Each achievement granted by secrets: 3VPs (no 2nd place).
Lith's Liar: 3 VPs (no 2nd place).

Alliance: The player with the marker ahead is 1st place. There can be ties an 2nd places.

Labyrinths:

Each marker at the end of a path is worth 2 points, while markers in the middle of a path are worth 1 point. Determine positions according to the number of points and distribute VPs accordingly. However, a player with no markers in a labyrinth counts for ties, as 0 points is a valid score. For example, a labyrinth that ended with only one marker from black, will award 3VPs to black, and 1 VP to the other two players (as they are tied for 2nd place). Or if both black an white have 2 points worth of markers in a labyrinth, and red has none, black an white will won 2 VPs for tie in 1st place, while red will won 1 VP for 2nd place.

Bases:

Each marker in a base is worth 1 point. Determine positions according to the number of points and distribute VPs accordingly. Again, no markers from a player means 0 points, which is a valid score for VPs distribution.

Characters:

As Bases an Labyrinths, this achievement is won by points:

Points for player characters:
-Each of his unwounded character values 2 points.
-Each of his wounded character values 1 point.
-Each of his imprisoned character values -1 point. (negative point).

Count the number of points, and distribute VPs accordingly.


Final notes on some characters and situations:

TIAX: Use the same method as for the DOA I rules: If the target of TIAX becomes a non enemy because of a Loner change, he is reassigned a new target, who, in this case, will be the extra character that the new Loner will draw in his first turn.

Lianka : If her chosen secret enemy target became a non enemy because of a Loner change, she chooses another secret target during her next free action, and then she is dismissed.

Marcus Aurus: If he starts his turn in his team base because of a Loner change, he is dismissed during his Free Action.

Atalanta: If an Alliance player owns Atalanta, her effect affects the other player of the Alliance, as it targets anything in her hex.


Alliance vault: When something asks for an Alliance player to count the number of cards in his vault, only count cards of his own stack.

For cards that ask for the STARTING number of characters, do not count the extra character that the Loner receives.
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