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Subject: (C&C) Commander's Unit involvment rss

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Giulio
Italy
Scandiano
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Dear fellow players,
my concern today is with the commander's unit (CU) rule in C&C SB. I've just finished my third game of Scenario 6. Considering also the number of times I played Scenario 4, I think I've played around 10 games involving CU. Well, "involving" is actually not an accurate term for the role played by the commander's unit in all these games, which can be easily summarized with the word "none": nobody never considered the CU an interesting target and the CU was never in a position to impact on the course of the game.

In the majority of games, the CU was simply behind the opponent's other units and basically out of reach. In the rare occasions in which it was an available target, our considerations were in general more or less along these lines: while should I risk attacking the CU, facing the annoying situation of seeing my probability to hit halved (at best), while there are all those juicy archers and crusty spearmen out there for my samurai to massacre? Moreover, the opponent's CT is immobile and it can hardly constitute a danger for my army. Conversely, by eliminating a "regular" unit of the opponent, I earn points AND reduce his offensive capability. One could argue that the CT gives a bounty of points... but to kill the bodyguards it's roughly 18 dice roll on average, which is in fact 9 regular kills for my bowman/spearman-hunting samurai. Without counting the probable extra attack performed by units with a leader or cavalry against isolated runners-with-bow.

Let me do an idle exercise: compare the situation above with the CU in the AoT rules. There, the equivalent of the CU is both an extremely effective unit in attack PLUS it provides bonuses to all nearby units in terms of improved morale and maneuverability. In the admittedly few games I played with AoT rules, the CU-equivalent was a highly utilized unit and the object of careful consideration: you want to use it but you don't want to lose it. An interesting situation for a gamer!

A real possibility that I cannot neglect is that we did something wrong. Maybe there are tactics that can actually be exploited to put the CT to some use, for instance by forcing the enemy units to move near it, if not to attack it. Simply, we did not see them. I think your advice could be precious in this respect. In particular, I'm interested in what you managed to do in actual games.

I'm also interested in rule modifications you came up for having the CT more involved in the battle. I have some ideas but I've still to work on them...
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Mark McG
Australia
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think you have about nailed the Command Tent issues. Admittedly the 3 Victory Banners makes it a tempting target, so maybe the 18 dice are worth the effort, and if you can use Dragon card to force banners to be hits, the Bodyguards can go down VERY quickly.



nobody likes a cowardly Bodyguard.surprisedevil

Also, the Commander himself is also worth a Victory Banner
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/11806573#11806573

so taking the Tent and killing the Commander is worth 4 Banners, and the opponent loses a Command Card. So it can be a game clincher.
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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Don't forget that rolling two flags will also inflict a casualty.

Rolling three flags will inflict two casualties.

I have seen heavy samurai cavalry wreak havoc on the command tent.
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Richard Borg
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You also have the opportunity to eliminate the commander figure when a hit is scored

Richard Borg
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Giulio
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Thank you all for the nice and instructive feedback. I've now played all the scenarios in the base set at least twice and I would like to share with you my impressions regarding the "involvment" of the command unit.

In our experience, in scenario 6 and 7 the command tent is in a position which is too backward to actually constitute a feasible objective for the opponent. In scenario 7 the battle tends to take place around the hills and for the time the CU is in sight of the yellow player, he has already killed 5/6 red units and the game is pretty over. In theory in scenario 6 the CU can be reached by the brave group of yellow units in the top left corner. But we usually found much more convenient to use these units to attack the red right flank. Consider that in this scenario the red player has two cavalry units. Thus a yellow advance "behind the enemy lines" can be rapidly countered and expose the yellow units to the danger of being surrounded.

The only scenario in which the CU is likely to be, at some pint, in the middle of the battle is scenario 4. In general we preferred not to attack it. But this was possibly do to our relative inexperience at that time (we played the scenarios in the order in which they appear in the scenario book) and the ensuing miscalculation of the probability of success.

I would like to know your experience. In particular, I would be curious to know if some of you won a game in scenario 6 or 7 by attacking and eliminating the red CU.

OT: since Mr. Borg was so nice to reply to my initial post, I'd like to take this occasion to thank him for the many hours of fun SB C&C gave us. All the scenarios were extremely well balanced and the "interplay" between the command cards, the dragon cards and the fortune tokens made all our battles interesting and never repetitive.

 
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