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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » Variants

Subject: New Deck Options - A Discussion for Advancing C&C Ancients rss

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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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With C&C Ancients (apparently) reaching the end of its development cycle there is thought that the game could benefit from additional deck options.

These could be army and/or time period specific.

They could be combat decks (ala M'44) or cultural (ala Samurai Battles).

The idea here is to discuss how the community would envision deck options for this fantastic game.

Thoughts?
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Alessandro Crespi
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For easier reference I'm posting here similar contents from other C&C Games:

- The Great War (Combat Cards) Shared Deck
- Tricorne (Combat Cards) Separate deck for each side
- Samurai Battles (Dragon Cards)
- Napoleonics (Tactician Cards)
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Tomek
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I like the idea of putting additional spice to the game but perhaps not as much as some of these cards used in other games suggest. Besides we already have game changers like first strike, double move and spartacus.

My idea is make a small selection from the already available adopted to the time period, in a common deck of 10 cards. The effects can be both positive and negative. Maybe it will be good to add some regarding change of weather (strong wing, rain, sunset).Each of the Fate cards can be used only once in a game.
The trigger can be rolling three dices with the same symbol, effects applicable immediately for the rest of the turn, next turn, or the whole game.
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Alessandro Crespi
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Let's start writing down options.
By now I see these:

1- Shared Deck with "Fate Hand" fixed by scenario rules
Card cost to be paid with "Leader Symbol" gained with LDR rolls.


2- Shared small Deck
activated with a specific dice roll each turn.
Effect to be applied for entire game or specific turns

3- Separate National Decks with "Fate Hand" fixed by scenario rules
Card cost to be paid with "Leader Symbol" gained with LDR rolls.



Maybe we could slightly change the rules putting away from standard deck specific cards (because they will be available through Fate Deck)

Removed from Command Deck (and added to new Fate Deck):
- First Strike
- I am Spartacus
- Darken the Sky
- Clash of shields
- Double Time
- Rally
- Counter Attack

New Fate Deck Cards:
- Divine Favour (increase your hand +1)
- Ambush
- +1 die to HVY unit
- +1 die to MED unit
- +1 die to LIT unit
- Power up your card (+1 or +2 units than command card)
- Veteran (ignore all flags)
- Conscripti/Panic (cannot ignore flags)
- Face to Face (Leader vs Leader bonus additional combat)
- Fear (every flag count as 2 flags)
- Natural Leader (change section of command card)
- Distraction (reduce activated units by 1, min 1)
- Hold at all costs
- Divine Favour (select and change a die face as you wish, before rolling)
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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With a little overnight thought...

How about special purple/red/blue/green dice?

If a unit eliminates a (full strength?) enemy unit, place the special die with the victor.
If a leader is attached to a unit that eliminates the enemy unit the player may pick the color of die.
Example: A medium inf unit with a leader eliminates a slinger unit, the attacker may take a blue or purple die.

This unit may roll the special die in its next combat, discarded if not used in the next combat. (meaning, use it or lose it in the next combat)

These special dice can be used to bolster unit moral or show higher levels of training at the begining of a scenario.


If the dice idea is not liked... then a card that allows a die to be placed on a victorious unit


Thoughts?
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Alessandro Crespi
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I really like the "Bolster morale" idea but I would prefer to only add cards (I think it will be easier for everyone).
On the other side we could change this ability in a +1 die reroll or similar.
Re-thoughts?
 
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Mark McG
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so something I think that needs to be considered first is how the new cards would operate.

There are 2 models I can see;
1. The Napoleonics, (fan-BattleCry) & Tricorne model, where cards are played as often as desired with few restrictions, and are gathered by Command Card play.

2. The BattleLore, Great War & Samurai Battles model, where only 1 card per turn can be played, and has to be paid for by tokens that are saved. The token cost of cards is variable, some cheap with small effect, some expensive with greater effect.

Tokens are gathered from die effects and/or at player turn end. Typically the turn end choice is 2 tokens or 1 card. This makes card play an uncommon event.

The 2nd model I prefer. Of the 3, Samurai Battles cards seem the most measured and closest in opportunities.

Samurai Battles goes further with this, by adding a whole extra use for Honor tokens in paying for retreats, but I think we need not consider that.

So what I would prefer is a set of 30 Favour tokens that players draw at 2 per turn unless they draw a Fate Card, with the option of using unused Leader Icon rolls to draw a Favour Token.

On the whole I prefer a Common Deck of Fate Cards, since there are simply too many nationalities to have National cards. A deck of 30-50 cards would be sufficient I think. Fate Deck would reshuffle at the same time as Command Deck.
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Mark McG
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so as a quick draft ruleset, shamelessly modified from Samurai Battles

Add to End of Turn sequence
After all units’ movements and combat have been resolved, the active player draws a new Command card and has the choice of drawing one Fate card or gaining two Favour tokens.

If the active player did not play a Fate card during his turn, one Fate card may be discarded and one Favour token is collected. A maximum of one Fate card may be turned in at the end of a player’s game turn.

If the Command card deck or Fate card deck runs out of cards, shuffle the discarded cards to form a new draw deck.

Once the active player’s Command card is drawn and Fate card or Favour is replenished, the player’s turn is over.

Note: A player who plays a Fate card during the opponent’s turn, does not immediately replenish his Fate card or the Favour tokens. Replenishment of Fate cards or Favour token reserve is only done at the end of an active player’s turn.

FAVOUR TOKENS
Managing and Replenishing Favour Reserves
Just as important as managing his hand of Command cards and Fate cards, a player must carefully watch his Favour token reserve, and make sure to keep adequate reserves if he is to launch his own Fate card actions at the most opportune time.

The following are some ways a player may gain Favour:
• At the end of the active player’s game turn, the player opts to pick up two Favour tokens instead of drawing a Fate card.
• At the end of the active player’s game turn, the player discards one of his Fate cards and gains one Favour token.
• Favour tokens are gained for each Leader symbol rolled in a close combat battle.
• As a result of playing certain Fate cards.

Rolling a Leader symbol during other times during play, for example, a leader casualty check, ranged combat, etc. will not gain Favour tokens for a player.

There is no limit to the number of Favour tokens a player may have in his reserve, however, should the common Favour tokens pool run out, no further Favour tokens can be gained until the common pool is replenished. Actions that normally grant Favour tokens, grant you nothing instead.

FATE CARDS
Fate cards and Favour tokens are a player’s most precious assets. Fate cards in terms of game play are the gateway to legendary and mythical actions on the battlefield. There is no limit to the number of Fate cards a player may hold.

Every Fate card, bears the following information:
• Title: The name of the Fate card.
• Cost: The cost, in Favour tokens, a player must pay from his Favour reserve pool, for the Fate card to take effect. Favour tokens quite literally fuel the action and special powers of a Fate card. Some Fate cards do have a zero Favour cost.
• Phase of Play: This text explains when in a game turn the Fate card must be played.
• Target: Text detailing the Fate card target, subject, beneficiary, or area of effect, of the Fate card action.
• Effect: A description of the Fate card effect and the special rules governing it.

Players must observe a number of simple but critically important rules when bringing a Fate card into play. When playing a Fate card, place it in front of you during the appropriate phase of play (possibly in reaction to one of your opponent’s actions), and read it aloud. Spend the required number of Favour tokens out of your Favour reserve, temporarily placing those tokens on the Fate card; at the end of the game turn, return these tokens into the common Favour pool, and discard the Fate card onto the discard pile next to the Fate card deck.

To play a Fate card, the player must be able to immediately pay its corresponding Favour cost, out of the Favour tokens already in his possession prior to the card’s effect coming into play.

A Fate card must always be played during its indicated phase of play. Some Fate cards may be played out of turn, during the opponent’s game turn, or in reaction to one of his actions or Fate card play.

Fate Cards Phase of Play
• Play alongside your command card - (the Fate card is played at the same time you are playing your Command card - Phase 1. Play a Command Card.)
• Play in reaction to your opponent's command card - (the Fate card is played at the same time your opponent is playing a Command card - Phase 1 of opponent’s turn. Play a Command Card.)
• Play during movement - (the Fate card is played prior to moving one of your units.)
• Play in reaction to your opponent's movement - (the Fate card is played during your opponent’s turn, when an opponent’s unit is moving or just remains in the same hex when ordered.)
• Play in reaction to opponent's unit taking ground - (the Fate card is played during your opponent’s turn, when an opponent’s unit is taking ground.)
• Play before your combat roll - (the Fate card is played after declaring a ranged combat, close combat or battle back, but prior to the dice roll.)
• Play before your close combat roll - (the Fate card is played after declaring a close combat or battle back, but prior to the dice roll.)
• Play before your opponent's close combat roll - (the Fate card is played during your opponent’s turn after the opponent declares a close combat or during your turn after the opponent declares a battle back, but prior to the dice roll.)
• Play after your close combat roll - (the Fate card is played after your close combat or battle back dice are rolled.)
• Play after your opponent's close combat roll - (the Fate card is played during your opponent’s turn after an opponent’s unit’s close combat dice roll, or after the opponent’s unit has battled back.)
• Play after opponent’s ranged combat roll against one unit - (the Fate card is played during your opponent’s turn, after an opponent’s unit has completed a ranged combat against one unit.)
• Play after successful close combat - (the Fate card is played during your turn, after one of your unit’s close combat has either eliminated or caused the enemy unit to retreat for its hex.)
• Play before your battling back close combat roll - (the Fate card is played during your opponent’s turn after declaring a battle back close combat prior to the dice roll.)
• Play before a close combat when both units have a leader - (the Fate card is played after a close combat is announced and both your unit and the opponent’s unit have a leader. Note, both players may play a Personal Challenge Fate card and the second card played in this case does not trump the first Personal Challenge Fate card, both cards remain in play.) Left in since Personal Challenge would be an option in Ancients I think

A player may only play a maximum of one Fate card during your turn. A player may only play a maximum of one Fate card during your opponent's game turn. As a result, during the course of any single game turn, there can only be a maximum of two Fate cards coming into play, one from each player.

In case of contradiction between the effects of two Fate cards played in succession, the second card trumps the effect of the first one.

In case of conflict between the basic rules in this book and Fate card, the rules of the card take precedence, however, terrain movement and battle restrictions will always apply.

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Mark McG
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Caesar wrote:
For easier reference I'm posting here similar contents from other C&C Games:

- The Great War (Combat Cards) Shared Deck
- Tricorne (Combat Cards) Separate deck for each side
- Samurai Battles (Dragon Cards)
- Napoleonics (Tactician Cards)


Just to add something here, the BattleLore Lore Card compendium
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/147339/battlelore-card-co...

Probably the main excitement here is the FAQ, since if we can learn from past problems, that might save future work
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Mark McG
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so I have a list of 40 cards, but the lack of formatting here makes them incomprehensible for a cut & paste job

I think we need a file sharing space
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Alessandro Crespi
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Hi MArk,
I agree.
Do you prefer a spreadsheet or a document format?
G-Doc
G-Spreadsheet
I've just shared them with you, please let me know if they work!
Ale
 
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Mark McG
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I've added a table of cards to the end of that document.
In practice some of those cards could be duplicated, for example Personal Challenge or Bravery to increase the deck size..

Most cards are borrowed from Samurai Battles or BattleLore, with appropriate editing. So they likely enough work OK, because they have been tested by other games.

The only card I actually created is;
HIDDEN FORCE
Cost: 9
Phase: Play alongside your command card
Target: You
Effect: Roll 3 dice. For each unit standard symbol rolled, you can place 1 foot unit with standard symbol in a vacant forest or hill hex. For any 1 Leader symbol, a leader may be placed attached to a newly placed unit. Flags and swords symbols rolled have no effect.

looking for the ambush force that was used in Greek warfare (e.g. Olpae), and also at Trebbia by Hannibal.
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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I’m on a short vacation... I’ll review the list then look into formatting on Monday

Liking what I’m seeing so far.
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Mark McG
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It occurred to me that an easy way to add a 'national' feel (noting that nations didn't really exist) would be to allow different armies a one off special effect based upon an appeal to their God(s). This is a one per game option.

So as a concept, at the cost of 10 favour tokens, a Commander can appeal to their relevant God for an effect;

Roman (Grey, Red)
Jupiter - double Command for the effect of the current Command Card
Mars - add 1 die to all battles thus turn

Roman (Purple)
Virgin Mary - all battle backs this turn are at 1 less die.
Chi-Rho - ignore all flags for this turn.

Greek (Blue, Orange, Bronze)
Ares - instead of playing a Command card, make a 7 die Spartacus roll. Ordered units battle with 1 extra die.
Athena - move your leaders to anywhere on the board.

Carthage (Brown)
Baal - all flags rolled this turn count as 2 flags
Tanit - Leaders count as symbol hits in battle this turn.

Gaul (Green)
Epona - all ordered cavalry may move 1 extra MP

Germanic (Green)
Odin - all ordered foot may move 2 spaces and must close combat (same as Warrior charge). Warriors may move 3 spaces and must close combat.

Persian (Yellow)
Ahura Mazda - play 2 Section Command cards and order units for both, Draw 2 new Command Cards at turn end.
Ameretat - roll 7 die and restore 1 block to reduced units of each rolled banner colour. Leaders, Swords and Banners are ignored. Units are not ordered. Play Command Card normally.

Note that the effects may work both ways, for both attacks and battle backs! Some gods are mischievous!
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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This touches the pagan part of me...

I like the idea of the gods but rather see the effects as the result of omens from sacrifices or obscure nature events. I’m sure each army has a cultural belief system or set of omens, rites and rituals... I’d like to see the flavor text brought out that way.
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Alessandro Crespi
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Mark, Steven,
what about creating a Vassal module extension (vmdx) to playtest these ideas online?
I think we only need to add tokens (or + / - buttons) and fate deck cards.
Let me know.
Ale
 
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Johan Brattstrom
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I Think it is very hard to evolve an already perfect game. I have played all commands & colors games and ancients is way better than the other in my opinion. However it is possible, Don Clark did it with scenario X. This is the path the game should follow I Think. The coolest thing to me would be to have army specific decks to use in scenario X. I love playing the scenarios but this game have shown some really strong potential for proper tournament play with scenario X and to evolve that with army specific decks would be so cool. Thats what I think GMT should do. And in a perfect world it would get as big as x-wing;). Hahaha would lever happen but still....
 
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