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Codeword Cromwell: The German Invasion of England, 8 June 1940» Forums » Rules

Subject: Catching Chaplain rss

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Anthony Sewell
United Kingdom
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On Turn 2 when the British movement phase starts I get Sgt Drake to meet Edith Finlay and 5 other uninjured characters in the church (7 stacking limit)and roll for chaplain. If I don't expose character Edith Finlay allows 1 reroll. When he is exposed and the shootout commences any characters which Chaplin may hit only become injured. If I do not shoot him dead he is unlikely to escape as he is surrounded by 6 characters.
Unless I have made a mistake with the rules it seems pretty full proof to me.
I would have previously moved Sgt Drake to the church during the Deployment phase in the Pre-Invasion segment.

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Pete Martyn
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I very often do similar -- before the fighting begins in earnest, I have Drake host a "town meeting" of as many non-essential characters as I can assemble. Especially with Edith involved, someone usually cracks.

Doing so not only solves a whole host of problems later, it also helps to protect people like the Earl and Reynolds, who I usually leave stationed in defensive positions during the "meeting." I've also started not inviting the Doctor, as losing him early can really hurt -- he and the Reverend usually work together in my games to try and patch people up and get them back into the fight!

It does feel a little game-y, sometimes. Identifying Chaplin early means missing out on opportunities to watch people's loyalties come under suspicion. But tactically speaking it does feel like the right call.
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Anthony Sewell
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I can't think of anything yet but I wonder if it might be possible to make some house rules to make the Chaplin mechanic work better.
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Paul Dodds
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Just came across this thread, so apologies for late posting.

The best idea I've been able to come up with is when Sergeant Drake identifies Chaplin is that it can be any character, not just from among those in his location. It would get round the gamey approach I suspect a lot of us take of assembling Drake and Edith with some less important characters at the start of the game. (Most of my exposes take place in the Shop as I'm consistently rubbish rolling for Edith's movement!) The problem is how would a character on the other side of the village suddenly know that Drake had discovered them if they were rolled on the chart in order to try and escape? And it would really frustrating if you rolled a character alone in a location and they automatically escaped.

All of which is a long winded way of saying that I haven't been able to come up with a viable alternative, but I would really like one to exist!
 
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Pete Martyn
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Just brainstorming here -- haven't thought through the implications of this one yet!

What if Drake was able to make a roll to identify Chaplin from anywhere, as you're saying, but the escape attempt is delayed until Drake (and anyone he brings along) actually confronts Chaplin?

Maybe rework Drake's roll: say, something like a 10+ on 2D6 means he has deduced who Chaplin might be, with bonuses to the roll for being on squares with other characters (potential witnesses) or searching certain locations (gathering evidence)? Perhaps rolls of 7+ don't identify Chaplin outright but do provide a bonus to future attempts, as the puzzle pieces start to click into place.

I like the idea of Drake slowly piecing together who Chaplin must be over time -- connects a bit of gossip from Edith here, a suspcious item there, until he's confident enough to make a move, perhaps gathering a small posse to bring down the traitor.

One big downside of this is that Drake is one of the more capable combatants in the village! I often try to get Chaplin identified in the first couple of turns just so Drake can put his marksmanship to good use. Perhaps a rule that Drake cannot engage in combat or perhaps move to the outermost squares until he has identified Chaplin? Or maybe up until a certain hour, at which point he will decide that helping to defend the village is more important than continuing his investigation?
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Paul Dodds
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I think that thematically that sounds great! The only flipside that I can see is that the player is still in control of the character that Drake has identified as Chaplin. So I could envisage gamey situations where you would try to move the infiltrator into positions where you can maximise the chance of success with dealing with them.

To address the downside that you mentioned, perhaps Drake could dispatch some of the other villagers to deal with Chaplin: "I can do more good defending Main Street from the Germans. You people go and arrest Pendrake. He's just a bank manager so it should be easy enough..."
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Pete Martyn
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An easy fix to the first problem would be a rule stating that when a character is identified by Drake as Chaplin, that character can no longer move. Not the most thematically satisfying, but solves the problem of trying to game it out.

As to your second point, I like it, but it also feels a little out of character -- Drake has always struck me as the sort of man who believes in the law and would want to personally oversee such an important arrest. I also like the idea that he has to assume some element of risk in the capture, especially since he's such a valuable combat asset. I can't imagine he'd want to leave such a potentially lethal business to, say, Arthur Pembroke or Ms. Featherstone.

Gears are turning, at any rate! It'll probably be a little while before I formally sit down and try to hash out a variant, but I'm very tempted. I love this game but there are a few pieces that always seemed in need of a little extra polish, and this is one of them. Finding a better way to utilize the Tactical cards is another.
 
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