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Subject: "Conquest" Scenario for 2.0 Rules rss

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Niko Ruf
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This is my standard scenario for WK, going by the highly original name of "Conquest". I have played it with 1st edition armies and maps, as well as 2.0 rules and it seems to be fairly balanced with that set.

Please let me know if it did or did not work for you. I'm particularly interested to hear if it works with the new units.

1. About "Conquest"

This scenario allows you to use any of the WK maps or armies for a quick two-player game, using the rules version 2.0.

It is recommended that you use a standard deck of 52 playing cards to keep track of time and initiative.

2. Setup

"Conquest" is an asymmetric struggle between an aggressor (player A) and a defense force (player B). After assigning these roles, the players set up the game as follows:

1. Player B chooses an army* and one map as his home area. Then player A does the same.

2. Player A places the maps such that they share a long edge. He can orient them any way he likes, as long as the roads, land areas, and sea areas match.

3. Both players secretly choose their unit pool (see below) and buy their starting armies. Player A can spend 65 GP, while player B gets only 40 GP. Make sure to buy at least one block for each city on your home map.

4. Player A deploys his starting force in his home cities, with at least one block per city. Then player B does the same.

* You need to have at least 16 blocks per army to play this scenario. If you have less - or if you want to mix forces - each player commands 2 armies. In this case, player A picks his first army and map before player B chooses his second army.

2.1 Unit Pool

Each player must choose a pool of 16 blocks from his army. These are the only units which can be built during the scenario.

3. Victory

Either player wins the game if he controls cities worth at least 15 GP. Check this after the combat round of each turn. Player B wins by default if the time runs out (see below).

4. Timing

The scenario is played for a random number of turns (at least 10). You can use a standard deck of 52 playing cards to track the turn number and determine initiative:

1. Before turn 1, shuffle the cards and set aside the top 9 cards without looking at them. This is your initiative deck.

2. Player A goes first on turn 1.

3. At the start of turns 2-10, flip over the top card of the initiative deck: player A goes first on a black suit, player B on a red suit.

4. If neither player controls cities worth 15 GP after the combat phase of turn 10 (or later), turn over the top card of the remaining deck. If it shows a 2--9, the game ends and player B wins by default. On any other card, the scenario continues for another turn.*

5. At the start of turn 11 or later, turn over the top card of the remaining deck to determine initiative as above.

With this method, the game can last for up to 30 turns (which is highly unlikely). The main reason to use cards is that it is hard to forget counting turns if initiative requires a card flip.

* If you don't want to use a deck of cards, you can roll a die instead and continue playing on a 5-6.

4.1 Phases of the Moon

If either player controls were-creatures, you can determine the phase of the moon for the first turn by flipping over the top card of the remaining deck: diamonds = waxing, hearts = full, spades = waning, clubs = new.

5. Optional Rules

These optional rules can make the game more dynamic. The naval invasion rule also helps to offset the difficulties some armies have with crossing large bodies of water:

5.1 Forced Marches

Any block may move 1 extra hex by force marching. Mark that block with a die. After moving all of your units (so you cannot react to losses incurred by force marching), roll a die for each marked unit. On a 1-3 the block takes 1 step of damage, a 4-6 means that nothing happens.

Units may not force march if they retreat from battle or use sea movement. Blocks with a movement of 0 can never force march.

5.2 Naval Invasion

Naval invasion works like sea movement, with two important differences:

- You can move from a friendly port to any friendly or neutral coastal or river hex.

- The maximum distance you may move is 2 hexes.

Note that you cannot move from a non-port coastal hex back to a port. Your troops may have to size an enemy controlled port before they can return by sea.

5.3 Events

If you track time with playing cards, you can also use them to generate random events. Only the card drawn for initiative at the beginning of the turn counts:

(2-10) No event: Nothing happens.

(Jack) Mud: All units reduce their speed by 1. Blocks whose movement is reduced to 0 cannot force march. Mud does not affect sea movement.

(Queen) Disease: The largest group of blocks in a single hex controlled by the second player suffers 4d6@F2 damage (this is not a spell, elimination is possible). If there are several groups of the same size, their owner chooses which one is affected.

(King) Volunteers: The second player chooses a city and may build extra units there, subject to the usual rules.

(Ace) Conjunction: All wizards below maximum strength recover 1 step.

Except for mud, which lasts the entire turn, events occur before either player moves.
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Niko Ruf
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Two things I have not yet tried out:

- If you want to play on 4 maps, increase the forces by only 50 % (24 blocks in the pool, 100 GP vs. 60 GP). This works well with 1.6 rules, IME.

Edit: You have to change the victory conditions of course: 30 GP for player A, 25 GP or time-out for player B.

- Many people prefer the way retreats were handled in 1.5 and earlier rules sets, because it allows for screening and scouting with fast units. I don't like the fact that the same fast units can always escape battle unharmed. The following optional rule might be a reasonable compromise:

5.4 Hasty Retreats

Units may retreat during the first round of combat. However, their owner must roll a die for each such block and reduce it by 1 step on a 1-3.
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Hilary Hartman
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Sounds like fun, Niko! Helenoftroy and I shall try it out this weekend!
 
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Eliot Hemingway
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This sounds like a good default scenario. I especially like the card and event mechanic, which has a lot of potential for future scenario design.
 
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Niko Ruf
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Corbeau wrote:
This sounds like a good default scenario.


That was my intent. Ideally, you should be able to use any combination of your maps and armies and get a fairly balanced game. I'm not sure it is completely there yet, but if you feel one side has an advantage, you can either change the starting gold in 5 GP increments or vary the minimum time allowance.

The original purpose of the card system was just to remind me to count game turns. A time limit puts pressure on the attacker, but I tend to forget advancing the turn counter in the heat of battle. Tying it to the initiative check - a necessary procedure - seems to solve this.
 
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Peter Mc
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It appears to be an excellent scenario. My hunch is in 1.6, with the build rules being so restrictive, and A and B both building 10 at start, that player A might need to go from 65 to 70 at start. But that's just a guess. Thanks for the scenario!
 
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Niko Ruf
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petermc wrote:
It appears to be an excellent scenario.


Thanks! Let me know how it works for you.

Quote:
My hunch is in 1.6, with the build rules being so restrictive, and A and B both building 10 at start, that player A might need to go from 65 to 70 at start. But that's just a guess.


In my experience, the defender has a slight advantage, so 70 should work, too. However, I have also seen a few games where the defender was easily overrun. A crucial factor is the placement of the maps. Player A can really shoot himself in the foot if he makes the roads into B's territory too long. He should be able to attack at least two different cities on the first turn, or he will lose his advantage in resources too quickly.
 
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Peter Mc
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I'll try it out tonight, 2.0 rules, 65 points.

The naval invasion rule is great...simple, and in the spirit of the base rules. Low fuss but a viable option. I'm impressed!
 
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Brian
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Excellent ideas here, Niko. Well thought out.

Regarding naval invasions: There definitely needs to be an easier way to get onto another continent, but I'm not sure I am in favor of an amphibious assault onto any coastal hex, even with the range reduced in half since that seems to make it too easy to outflank everyone I think.

I'm not sure if this is a dead thread all these years later, but has anyone ever considered simply allowing armies to move their full value and attack enemy ports directly while enduring some kind of penalty?

Perhaps it would be interesting if an enemy port hex, and also maybe even a hex adjacent to it when the port was also being assaulted, was allowed to be assaulted by a naval invasion, but the defender was able to immediately fire a "phase zero" coastal defense ballista shot at all the invaders while they disembarked and were busy assembling in formation for the battle.

It would probably be costly for the attacker to do this if there was any kind of sizable garrison in the port under siege, but at least it would be an option to try and seize a vital port and get a toe hold on another continent. After the damage from the initial defender volleys, normal combat would ensue with the defender going first again against any surviving enemy units within its own hex. The attacker could retreat if needed into the adjacent beachhead hex if there were survivors still in it after the port ballista attack.

Cheers!
 
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