We're on our second campaign, and we got bored of rolling surges to raze cities - seems such an anticlimactic way to settle such an important part of the game. We also wanted to get the other heroes out of the box sometimes! So, I've come up with these alternative seige rules - in summary, a hastily-formed band of slightly weaker heroes defends the city against the lieutenant and his minions. All the city's attributes are used in some way, meaning different cities are easier/harder to raze. These haven't been playtested, they're just ideas right now, and they are deliberately imbalanced to weaken the heroes... any suggestions and changes welcome.
Road to Legend - Alternative Seige Rules - City Defence Parties
In the "resolve seiges" stage of the game week, when a city (other than Tamalir) has seige tokens equal to its defense rating, do the following instead of rolling a power dice to resolve the seige.
1 - Draw Defence Party
*NB Do not draw a defence party for Tamalir - it already has one! If Tamalir is beseiged, the main party must return to fight off the lieutenant(s) there. If they cannot, Tamalir is AUTOMATICALLY razed.*
Draw four new heroes (not inlcuding the ones in the Tamalir Party). These heroes represent the local militia in the beseiged city, slightly weaker fighers that happen to live there. These randomly drawn heroes may NOT be swopped.
2 - Skills
Each hero in the defence party ends up with one (or possibly two) skills, by the following procedure.
Do not include any skills that are currently in play (in the Tamalir Party). Draw from the hero's normal combination of skill decks, except - each hero may only draw a maximum of ONE SKILL from any skill deck for which the corresponding DICE are not available at the beseiged city. For cities with no dice, it's a maximum one card in each skill category.
So, to spell it out - if there are no melee dice available at the city and you're allowed fighting skills, draw only one fighting skill in your initial selection. No ranged dice means maximum one subterfuge skill; no magic dice - maximum one wizardry skill.
E.g. If Runewitch Astarra appears to defend Forge, you may only draw ONE skill for her from the wizardry deck, even though she should get three. [This is because runewitches who live in forge are not likely to be particularly awesome ones.]
E.g. If Sillhouette appears to defend Forge, draw her full complement of three subterfuge skills.
E.g. If Red Scorpion appears to defend Frostgate, draw one skill from each category [finally, she has some advantages!]
E.g. If Battlemage Jaes appears to defend Dawnsmoor, draw one fighting and one wizardry skill (not two).
Once you have drawn appropriate cards for the four heroes, they each pick one to keep, like a starting Tamalir party. If any of the actual skills available at that city shows up, the hero may have that skill plus one of the other ones they drew. This is the only way a defence party hero can have 2 skills.
3 - Treasures & Items
Do not use any of the treasures currently in the Tamalir party.
For each hero, draw 2 treasures from the current campaign level deck. Apply any special effects from the beseiged city's market, e.g. Riverwatch: replace treasure caches, Nerekhall: keep drawing until you reach a rune. (Treasure caches drawn anywhere other than Riverwatch DO contain any potions listed.) If the current level treasure deck runs out, start drawing from the next one down. Distribute the final selection of treasures to the defence heroes in any legal combination. Any unwanted treasures may be exchanged for shop items ON A CARD-FOR-CARD BASIS, not by selling and buying. Shop items currently in the Tamalir party may not be used.
4 - Extra armour
After treasures and items have been finalised, any hero that is not wearing armour has their armour increased by 1 point. [this is because armour is rare in the treasure decks and the Tamalir party probably has a lot of the shop armour.]
5 - Alchemist
The defence party receives potions equal to the city's alchemist rating, or a minimum of 2. (The party players may choose which potions as usual.)
6 - The encounter itself
Draw a location card, and play a standard lieutenant encounter (treachery & all) using the new defence party.
Defence heroes cannot flee.
The defence party cannot permanently kill a lieutenant. If the defence party reduce the lieutenant to 0 wounds in this encounter, he/she returns to the Overlord's Keep and all seige tokens are removed. Only the Tamalir party may permanently kill a lieutenant, and they may of course move to the beseiged city and attack the lieutenant as normal.
If the lieutenant flees the encounter, he may try to tackle the same defence party again the following week, at full wounds and with full minions! Keep the defence party to one side as they are:
- Any defence heroes killed in this encounter are permanently killed. [Only the Tamalir party has access to glyphs!]
- Each hero may keep their weapons or discard them and draw again as in step 3.
- All surviving defence heroes are healed of wounds equal to their city's temple rating.
- The defence party receives another week's worth of potions from the Alchemist (again, minimum of 2) and may then use any to heal further wounds. They start again on full fatigue.
This means the lieutenant can "wear down" the city's defence party over several weeks if he doesn't manage it the first time. Unless of course the Tamalir party intervenes and drives him off. Once all four defence heroes have been killed, the city is razed.
If a Tamalir hero learns a skill that a defence hero has, the defence hero loses the skill.
If a city is 'saved' [ie lieutenant leaves] and subsequently beseiged again, an entirely new defence party is chosen, starting from step 1.
Neither the overlord nor the party recieve any conquest tokens or money during this defence encounter.
If there are multiple lieutenants, the defence party faces both/all of them each week - the Overlord chooses the order in which the lieutanants attack.
[These rules mean different cities will have be easier/harder to raze, and different lieutenants will be better/worse at it. I think that is great! Also defence parties will be relatively much much weaker at gold level, having no extra skills or dice. This is ok, as the Tamalir party will have wandered around by then and benefitted from several cities. If they really want to save a city at gold level, they'd better hustle. Possible modification - the defence heroes starting traits let them use power dice of the current campaign level, e.g. at gold level Mordrog uses 3 gold dice with melee attacks...]
I don't know ...
A campaign is very long to play.
Doing this will add extra time (which I don't mind), but it will be extra time when the principal heroes do nothing and gain nothing ...
So the game is longer and bring nothing to players and overlord.
my 2 cents.
well, i even DO like the idea of replacing the siege roll with something less random.
Kind of like Garrison vs. Lt, but i'd do that as a more tactical, less squad-based game...kind of like, use a point-buy system to get generic swordsman, archers, and casters.
Siege tokens could work as a kind of "command aura" on them. While missing, they get +range/damage, when equal to city rating, nothing, if more than city rating, penalties to armor.
And after a failed attack on the city, 2 siege tokens are removed(so it's better to wait until you DO feel confident to try and take the city...only giving it a desparation shot if the heroes try to intercept you...and leutnants SHOULD be able to die permanently in these battles...that way, the heroes also stand to gain something for doing exceptionally).
i think creating a whole party and fighting over and over will not do well for the time management.
One of my players even suggested integrating battle-lore for siege combat I have yet to consider that, as i know he likes that system quite a lot -_-
anyway, in total: i think it's a nice idea, and i also dislike the roll, but it's too cumbersome, too much game-time dedicated to it, and too much of a luck factor. besides, any LT would focus on any guy so lucky as to have ranged or magic attacks, with flyers, take them out, and win easily. if you only get one or two guys with ranged, and non has blast to ignore the extra range needed, you may as well fold your draw and place the "razed"-token, without going through that masochistic gauntlet.
I think I'm with the others on this one. It's a fun idea for lots of reasons, but practically speaking it would just draw out the game more than I'd ever be happy to do. That said, if you've got the time, go for it! There are lot of unknowns for balance reasons though and I would definitey do a LOT of testing before including it in a campaign. Probably quite a fun, fast system to test, anyway.
Couple of thoughts:
Defense force sounds silly. Call them a militia?
The ability of the Overlord to gain an early raze is important to kick start the time pressure on the heroes. In Copper level, with multiple skills and copper treasure, they might end up being better than the heroes at holding out?
Here's a thought. If, thematically, you like the idea of each city having character and giving the Overlord some tactical leeway in who to send where, one way to do this might be to have a preset list of heroes to a city. Dawnsmoor defended by all the orc heroes? Heroes can pick four from the lists below...
Varikas the Dead
Landrec the Wise
Ronan of the Wild
Laurel of Bloodwood
Nanok of the Blade
Bogrn the Shadow
Trenloe the Strong
Vyrah the Falconer