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Subject: New Scenario - When the Broadswords Sing rss

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Zachary Ruiz
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Hey all,

Uploaded a new scenario to the files section here, "When the Broadswords Sing". It's a scenario featuring 3 heroes, at least one of whom should be a "thief" type. I offer two suggested groups, one using stretch goals and one using the core box heroes.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/140620/custom-scenario-wh...

Here's the scenario intro text:

Newly restored to his throne, the King of Khojora faces a rash of rebellious lords. One of the more prominent dissenters, Lord Alvric, has hired out a mercenary company from Koth to raid caravans in the north of the Kingdom, hoping to incite another war. King Khossus fears direct action against one of his own Lords will result in even more strife, so he has discreetly asked Conan and his companions to find proof of the treason. The mercenary commander and his personal guard have reportedly taken over an Inn on the outskirts of the capital.


It offers a good mix of stealth and combat, and I hope you enjoy. Any feedback will be appreciated.
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patrick diederiks
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Thank you, I will for sure try this one
 
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Chris Poor
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Played this one last night and had a couple of questions and some feedback.

We assumed that Conan and (Savage) Belit do not trigger the alarm unless they attack. This led to some confusion as to what they could do before the alarm was sounded, and how it fit in to the story. My players had Belit run upstairs and search the rooms; she found the plans on turn 3. She has Evasive, and there was no way for me to stop her. Meanwhile, Shevatas killed one guard and then went passive while Belit searched. Conan, meanwhile just moved to the room with Constantius, saved up all of his gems, and attacked him after the plans were found. I blocked Conan's attacks, but Shevatas then raced into the room unopposed and killed him. Belit then jumped down to the ground level, collected the letters, and on the next turn ran out the front door unopposed. I was largely unable to do anything to stop them, since Belit and Shevatas were both Evasive.

So, questions/clarifications:

1. Can Conan and Belit search for the plans?

2. Can Conan or Belit trigger the alarm without attacking?

This was the major issue of the scenario; it also was confusing given the story. We played it that Conan was there delivering a message to the commander, and Belit was going to 'visit' one of the soldiers upstairs. Corny, but we like a little story with our tactical games.


Suggestions:

1. Clarify Conan/Belit's role in the pre-alarm game. If they are seen as intruders by the guards, then there is little for them to do in the early game. If not, they can break it by searching as my player's did.

One possibility here is to limit them to the ground floor and require them to answer a challenge by a guard. Similar to Shevatas' special rules, if Conan/Belit are in a space containing a guard, they have 2 options: Bluff (treat it as a manipulation test with difficulty 2-3) or attack. Attacking or a failed bluff sets off the alarm.

2. Constantius needs help. The most practical strategy for the OL in this scenario is to move every guard possible into Constantius' office and hoard gems for defense. As with many of the scenarios we have played, the optimal strategy often feels 'gamey', and not consistent with the Story of the game. I like story, so these strategies ruin the fun of the game for me. Why would Constantius call them all into his office? Why did none of his 'guards' notice the heavily-armed barbarian loitering outside the office?

I'd consider more life points, and perhaps more guards starting in the office. Call them his conspirators, and perhaps add a requirement to spend a gem outside the door listening to their plans, or allow the OL to place him secretly in a room. Doors on the rooms might also help to slow down the heroes, too.

Overall, we liked the concept of this scenario, and appreciate that you have put together a scenario with an interesting story and unique challenges. We especially liked the special actions for ninja-Shevatas.

Looking forward to the next iteration of this.
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Zachary Ruiz
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crispy66 wrote:
Played this one last night and had a couple of questions and some feedback.

We assumed that Conan and (Savage) Belit do not trigger the alarm unless they attack. This led to some confusion as to what they could do before the alarm was sounded, and how it fit in to the story. My players had Belit run upstairs and search the rooms; she found the plans on turn 3. She has Evasive, and there was no way for me to stop her. Meanwhile, Shevatas killed one guard and then went passive while Belit searched. Conan, meanwhile just moved to the room with Constantius, saved up all of his gems, and attacked him after the plans were found. I blocked Conan's attacks, but Shevatas then raced into the room unopposed and killed him. Belit then jumped down to the ground level, collected the letters, and on the next turn ran out the front door unopposed. I was largely unable to do anything to stop them, since Belit and Shevatas were both Evasive.


First off, thanks for playing it and letting me know about your experience. It's great to hear how others play the scenario and their assumptions about unwritten parts. Really helps me see where I need to be clearer.

On Belit/Conan's actions, I was imagining them moving outside the room Constantiusis in, waiting for Shevatas to get the plans before launching an attack. Meanwhile, the Overlord is perhaps moving Constantius out of the room (as he has meta-knowledge that their targeting him) and away from them. Nobody attacking but more of a battle for position. Obviously that's probably not what happens in a "real" game. Playtesting solo really does let me reinforce my own assumptions about how a game is played, doesn't it?

crispy66 wrote:

So, questions/clarifications:

1. Can Conan and Belit search for the plans?

2. Can Conan or Belit trigger the alarm without attacking?

This was the major issue of the scenario; it also was confusing given the story. We played it that Conan was there delivering a message to the commander, and Belit was going to 'visit' one of the soldiers upstairs. Corny, but we like a little story with our tactical games.


1.) Yes, but them entering a staircase space or leaping ("attempting to go upstairs") does Raise the Alarm.

2.) Yes if they go upstairs or enter the room that Constantius starts in.

And I totally understand the story thing. In my test game I moved the guards into the space Conan and Belit were occupying (just outside Constantius' room) and did a little dialogue.

crispy66 wrote:

Suggestions:

1. Clarify Conan/Belit's role in the pre-alarm game. If they are seen as intruders by the guards, then there is little for them to do in the early game. If not, they can break it by searching as my player's did.

One possibility here is to limit them to the ground floor and require them to answer a challenge by a guard. Similar to Shevatas' special rules, if Conan/Belit are in a space containing a guard, they have 2 options: Bluff (treat it as a manipulation test with difficulty 2-3) or attack. Attacking or a failed bluff sets off the alarm.



My intention was that they would stay downstairs. I'm planning to add a couple chests to give them something a little more interesting than just movement.

I quite like the idea of them having to pass a test to avoid setting off the alarm. Or it may be more fitting that they simply pay 2 gems per hero to bluff the guards (that seems to fit Conan's personality more, no manipulation just straight talk). Either way that would serve to leave them them with less gems, making Constantius last a little longer.

crispy66 wrote:

2. Constantius needs help. The most practical strategy for the OL in this scenario is to move every guard possible into Constantius' office and hoard gems for defense. As with many of the scenarios we have played, the optimal strategy often feels 'gamey', and not consistent with the Story of the game. I like story, so these strategies ruin the fun of the game for me. Why would Constantius call them all into his office? Why did none of his 'guards' notice the heavily-armed barbarian loitering outside the office?

I'd consider more life points, and perhaps more guards starting in the office. Call them his conspirators, and perhaps add a requirement to spend a gem outside the door listening to their plans, or allow the OL to place him secretly in a room. Doors on the rooms might also help to slow down the heroes, too.


I'm definitely adding (back) the doors I had on my first playtest. It slowed Shevatas down but I think it's probably worth it all things ocnsidered. Also gonna playtest making the Stairs cost an extra Movement point to go up.

I agree that spending tons of gems on extra "defense" rolls feels gamey. But I think filling the room with guards is fairly thematic, especially if you imagine this guy as a bit of a cowardly mercenary commander. But that's getting off-top haha.

One thing I'd been tossing around in my head since I first posted this is the fact that a "smart" group could theoretically sound the alarm at the end of the first turn, and then get six turns to move freely and attack. There didn't seem to be any real "threat" to it, so I wanted to give it some teeth. I'm considering two options:

1.) Instead of giving the heroes six turns after raising the alarm, at the start of each Overlord turn add a {Red Die + number of turns since the alarm was raised}. If it's 6 or more the game ends. So you have at minimum 3 turns once you Raise the Alarm, but after that it gets variable. The heroes would never know how many turns they really have left and it would give more incentive to have Shevatas try and get half the mission done quietly.

2.) When the alarm is raised, the Overlord may freely activate one unit of his choice, moving their tile to the back of the River without paying any gems. I originally thought the Overlord should have to activate the Unit that "raised the alarm" but then what do you do in the case when the Heroes went up the stairs?

Together, these two changes make sounding the alarm much less of a "Oh well, now we get to attack" and more of a "Damn, now we gotta move fast".

I'm definitely planning on adding doors and chests, and will incorporate one or both of those rules I mentioned above. I'll try out having the Heroes on the first floor have to talk their way past the guards, though I wonder if combined with everything else it might make it too hard? But then again, that's probably part of the fun, trying to find a strategy that works.

When I was designing this scenario I was kinda having flashbacks to playing the old Splinter Cell games on the XBox. I wanted players to face the same kind of choices, hard and fast or soft and slow. Hopefully after another iteration or two it can get there.

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patrick diederiks
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Hi Zachary,
will you update the original pdf file with the new insights
 
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Zachary Ruiz
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patrickdiederiks wrote:
Hi Zachary,
will you update the original pdf file with the new insights


I'm gonna give it one playtest on my own (hopefully tomorrow, probably Thursday) before I update it here.
 
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Mathieu Hatt
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swammeyjoe wrote:
Hey all,

Uploaded a new scenario to the files section here, "When the Broadswords Sing". It's a scenario featuring 3 heroes, at least one of whom should be a "thief" type. I offer two suggested groups, one using stretch goals and one using the core box heroes.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/140620/custom-scenario-wh...

Here's the scenario intro text:

Newly restored to his throne, the King of Khojora faces a rash of rebellious lords. One of the more prominent dissenters, Lord Alvric, has hired out a mercenary company from Koth to raid caravans in the north of the Kingdom, hoping to incite another war. King Khossus fears direct action against one of his own Lords will result in even more strife, so he has discreetly asked Conan and his companions to find proof of the treason. The mercenary commander and his personal guard have reportedly taken over an Inn on the outskirts of the capital.


It offers a good mix of stealth and combat, and I hope you enjoy. Any feedback will be appreciated.


Thank you, looks cool.
Some of the French players that do not speak English have asked for a translation, and I offered to do it. Hope this is fine with you. I will update it when you modify you version.
 
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Zachary Ruiz
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mathhatt wrote:
swammeyjoe wrote:
Hey all,

Uploaded a new scenario to the files section here, "When the Broadswords Sing". It's a scenario featuring 3 heroes, at least one of whom should be a "thief" type. I offer two suggested groups, one using stretch goals and one using the core box heroes.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/140620/custom-scenario-wh...

Here's the scenario intro text:

Newly restored to his throne, the King of Khojora faces a rash of rebellious lords. One of the more prominent dissenters, Lord Alvric, has hired out a mercenary company from Koth to raid caravans in the north of the Kingdom, hoping to incite another war. King Khossus fears direct action against one of his own Lords will result in even more strife, so he has discreetly asked Conan and his companions to find proof of the treason. The mercenary commander and his personal guard have reportedly taken over an Inn on the outskirts of the capital.


It offers a good mix of stealth and combat, and I hope you enjoy. Any feedback will be appreciated.


Thank you, looks cool.
Some of the French players that do not speak English have asked for a translation, and I offered to do it. Hope this is fine with you. I will update it when you modify you version.


Go for it! I'll be posting the updated version tonight.
 
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Zachary Ruiz
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Updated version available in the files section.
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Chris Poor
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Got to play through the new version. This is much better! A real challenge for the Heroes, now! A few observations/questions:

1. I assume the Heroes move first. Didn't see this anywhere.

2. on Strike From the Shadows:

Does an attempt to Sneak by interrupt movement?
Shevatas has used 1 of his 3 available 'free move points' to move into a space with a guard. Does the Sneak action cause him to lose the rest of the move points? (I suggest 'no'.)

What if a space that Shevatas needs to pass through (such as the balcony corner space that leads to room #1) is full?

The OL quickly moved 4 guards into this spot (3 green and a red) and it was full. By the rules, Shevatas has to kill all 4 in a single turn (or kill one, hide the body and then sneak past, needing 3 successes, I guess) since he cannot enter the space we ruled he could not pass through it via sneaking.
This one is potentially game-breaking, as the OL can hide the plans in room 1 and blockade the door. Even if Shevatas can kill 1 and sneak past (about 5 gems if he is lucky and the OL doesn't defend), he then needs to find the plans (1 gem) and deal with the guard in room 1 (3 Gems, again with luck). He will quickly be out of gems and very vulnerable. Our Shevatas tried to run around to the other stairwell, but we were unsure if him going up to the second floor caused the alarm to go off (assumed it did).
Suggestions: either allow him to Sneak past a full space or limit the total number of guards allowed in a space to 3.

3. on Bluffing the Guards
First, we loved this rule! Very thematic, and works to lower the gem total nicely. I'd suggest changing it so that there is no free pass (2 gems), but you only need successes equal to the number of guards in the space. Makes for more interesting choices.
Can this be done by a character who is not Active? We suggest no.
If Conan and Belit are in the same space, must they both roll? We suggest no.

4. Doors
You should clarify that the Red door also costs 1 extra move point to cross. (this was a very good addition to the setup, by the way. All of the doors feel right here.
Does using the Key require a gem?
We also suggest NOT removing the doors when crossed, or allowing them to be closed again once opened. This allows a weak barricade effect, and also makes Shevatas close doors behind himself to avoid triggering the alarm. Small detail here, but thematic.

5. Chests
7 chests on the map, only 6 Item cards listed.

6. Leaping/Climbing Balconies
How does Hindering affect Climbing? This is a Move, so it requires 1 gem/MP to move, +1 for the climb - is that the reason for the 2 gem cost?

Overall, we love this scenario,and will be playing it again soon!

thanks again for the work on this.

Chris

 
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