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Subject: Capture Generals and Caesars in CotE II rss

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Jon Grey
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Anyone come up with a small variant to include capture/prisoner rules for Generals and Caesars? Without having played a single game of CotE I or II yet, my ideas are somewhat limited.

For instance, Generals and Caesars normally retreat to a province free of non-allied units, but can even retreat to an enemy occupied territory if there is nowhere else to go. Instead, if there are no empty or friendly provinces to retreat to, they should be captured and taken prisoner for ransom. In CotE I, this would normally end the game for that player, but taking a leaf from Mount & Blade, I feel the Caesars and Generals may be ransomed. However, I needed to come up with a way that would prevent the capturing player from holding onto the Caesar indefinitely.

Caesars:
d10-0- If a Caesar cannot retreat to a province that is unoccupied by non-allied forces, then he is captured by the victorious player.
d10-1- The captured Caesar's player take an additional chaos point for losing his Caesar during this battle.
d10-2- Captured Caesar is kept with the enemy Caesar during movement.
d10-3- Captured Caesar cannot be executed.
d10-4- The ransom for a Caesar is 25 talents, but could also be traded for prisoners (Generals). The ransom amount is not negotiable.
d10-5- Players may negotiate the ransom at the beginning of either player's next Action. Negotiations do not cost either player an Action. Negotiations would include payment (either 25 talents or exchange of Generals) and promised favors. Favors promised may - or may not- be filled.
d10-6- If the player decides to pay the 25 talent ransom, the opposing player must take the talents and turn over the captured Caesar.
d10-7- Upon returning the Caesar, the player may place him in any friendly province. [I did this because I felt the playing who lost his Caesar has already lost a tempo, that he needn't be punished any more after paying ransom]
d10-8- Should a Caesar holding a captured Caesar ever retreat in combat, the captured Caesar escapes and returns to the original player's control and again, may be placed in any friendly province.
d10-9- If the Caesar has not been ransomed or has not escaped due to his captor's retreat by the beginning of his player's second turn (following the capture), then the Caesar is automatically returned to the player control. He escaped in the night. He may be placed in any friendly province.

Generals:
d10-0- If a General cannot retreat to a province that is unoccupied by non-allied forces, then he is captured by the victorious player.
d10-1- The captured General is removed from the board and placed in front of the capturing player.
d10-2- The ransom for a General is 10 talents, but could also be exchanged for other Generals. The ransom amount is not negotiable.
d10-3- Players may negotiate the ransom at the beginning of either player's next Action. Negotiations do not cost either player an Action. Negotiations would include payment (either 10 talents or exchange of Generals) and promised favors. Favors promised may - or may not - be filled.
d10-4- If player decides to pay the 10 talent ransom, the captor must take the talents and turn over the captured General.
d10-5- Upon returning the General(/s), the player may place him in any friendly province.
d10-6- Generals may be executed any time during the captor's turn without expending an Action.

An example of this mechanic would be.. say Red attacks Blue as his second action, and Blue suffers a crushing defeat. Blue's Caesar cannot retreat and is therefore captured by Red. It is now Blue's turn, he counter-attacks Red's army lead by the Red Caesar. Blue loses again and is forced to retreat. At the end of this battle, Blue concedes after failing to retrieve his Caesar, and pays 25 Talents to Red so he may regain control of his Caesar in time for the next round.

C&C?
 
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Scott Randolph
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My friend, you clearly put a lot of work into your beautifully displayed set of house rules. Well done, however I would have to say my vote would be an absolute "NO" on the capturing, et al., of generals and Caesars rule modification. IMHO this would add nothing to the style of play that I believe is meant for this type of game, and I say this after [6] game plays of 6-player games.

Generals are [20] Talents (ie, "gold"), and Caesars can never be purchased. Raising troops already requires a leader and an Influence Marker in a province in order to perform the "Recruit" action. With only two actions per turn per player, losing a general can be devastating, which makes the owner of the "Assassin" Conquest Card quite dangerous (and there is only [1] "Assassin" CC in the game, and once owned, it cannot be lost, and using it does not constitute an action, only drawing it does).

Having one's Caesar piece, which literally represents "you" on the map board, captured would mean that one would do absolutely nothing until freed - and one is already limited to only [8] actions in an entire Campaign Season. This is really not a "war game" per se, it is all about the Victory Points, which we interpret as something like "Popularity" and the "Will of the People." This game is really nothing like Conquest-Classic or Conquest-Original where one hides one's Caesar in their territorial center, like a "king" piece in chess, in order to avoid being instantly defeated and eliminated as a player from the game.

In CotE2 one really must maneuver one's Pro-Consul/Aspiring-Caesar around the map in order to buy/win Influence Tokens, send out troops in a "Move" action, or raise troops in a province where one already has Influence Tokens.

Anyway, nice work on your thoughtfully and carefully rendered post. I sincerely recommend that you play CotE2 "as is" first, or, use some minor "House Rules" such as ours below, before you completely alter the very nature of the game.

Have fun!...this is a great game! (SFRR)


Conquest of the Empire II (Eagle Games)
Mile High Strategists – House Rules
v22_6.27.09 – FINAL *{ with the exception of the Alliance Auction Motion (A) mod1 }


1. Catapult Advantage: House Rule; in any given battle combat sequence, whichever player has a greater number of catapults receives [1] extra combat die for that combat sequence, and for every combat sequence thereafter in that battle in which the player maintains a numerical superiority in catapults. Ties in catapult numbers per side yield zero advantage to either player. Allied catapults lent to an ally in battle do count towards calculating catapult advantage - {Passed 6/21/’08}
2. Pursuit by Cavalry after Retreat/Withdraw: House Rule; in battle, should a player choose to retreat, the retreating player will be forced to undergo "cavalry pursuit." The non-retreating player rolls one more regularly calculated total of combat dice and for every cavalry unit matched, the retreating player suffers an equivalent number of additional casualties for withdrawing – {Passed 6/21/’08}
3. Face-Up Chaos Points: House Rule; While the standard written rules clearly state that Chaos Point counters are placed face down; under our House Rules Chaos Point markers remain face up and countable by all players at all times during the game – {Passed 6/21/’08}
4. Naval / Galley-Trireme-Ship Movement: House Rule; Ships may use “From Many-to-One” as in the standard written rules, but may also use “From One-to-Many” as in Land movement, or, in addition, Ships may also use “Move All Independently” – {Passed 7/25/’08}
5. Higher Unit Limits per Player *(if available): House Rule; [40] Infantry, [20] Cavalry, [12] Catapults, [12] Galleys, [6] Generals – {Passed 6/21/’08}
6. New Currency Denomination *(available, but not useful unless the “Proxy Bid” or “Trade Action” House Rule is approved in the future): House Rule; we now have single unit Talents (ie, “gold,” in the form of copper coins), so we can use a denomination of [1] Gold (“Talent”) in addition to the “5’s” and “10’s” already included in the game. These may not be used in the Alliance Auction as the bid minimum in the Alliance Auction is [5] Talents (“gold”), and all increased bids must be bid in [5] Talent increments such that all Alliance Auction bids are multiples of [5]. This may be modified if the Proxy Bid (“eBay style” auction) Motion is passed. – {Passed 11/23/’08}
7. Player Abdication: House Rule; Should a player decide to leave the game prior to the end of the final Campaign Season, that player’s combat units and Influence Tokens remain on the board. No Talents (“gold”) are generated in any way for these units in any provinces, nor for the Influence Tokens. The combat units, both land and sea, do not move however they will “defend-in-place” if attacked. The player’s Pro-Consul piece is removed from the board however any other General (leader) pieces are not. All normal combat rules apply when the abdicating player’s units defend-in-place, including any “Training” Conquest Cards which the abdicating player possessed. At the beginning of the next alliance auction, the abdicating player’s Senator Cards (I-IV) and Diplomacy Cards are placed in the available Conquest Card pool, and do not reduce the number of new Conquest Cards drawn for the pool. Other than Training Cards, Diplomacy Cards and Senator Cards (I-IV), all other Conquest Cards of the abdicating player are placed in the card discard pile and are not re-used for the remainder of the game.
a. During the next Alliance Auction following the player abdication, players may bid to choose the Alliance side and turn order for the abdicating player’s remaining forces. Player’s hostile to the forces of an abdicating player may attack those combat units and purchase the Influence Tokens of a player who has abdicated; while player’s allied with the abdicating player’s forces may not attack the abdicating player’s combat units nor may they purchase the abdicating player’s influence tokens.
b. Within the alliance side that contains an abdicating player’s forces, there will now be a sub-auction bid for control of the “Lending Support” decision and control for any remaining abdicating player combat units on the game map board. In this occasion only, single Talent, or [1] “gold” denomination coins may be used. The “Lend Support” function is the only function that an abdicating player’s units may perform. – {Passed Unopposed 5/16/’09}
8. Clarification – Alliance Restrictions: When Players are allied with one another, they may not use their own land or sea combat units to attack the land or sea combat units, or leaders, of another player in their alliance. They also may not purchase the Influence Tokens of a player in their alliance, even if those Influence Tokens are unguarded. Conquest Cards may be used against allied players according to the instructions written on the card itself. – {Agreed 6/21/’08}
 
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Jon Grey
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Ahh, I've not enough foresight/experience to consider the assassin. Indeed, a player might as well leave should his Caesar be captured, then Generals assassinated.

In looking at your house rules, perhaps we (as in my group) could apply this "prisoner" mechanic as an amendment to your pursuit rule here:

Quote:

2. Pursuit by Cavalry after Retreat/Withdraw: House Rule; in battle, should a player choose to retreat, the retreating player will be forced to undergo "cavalry pursuit." The non-retreating player rolls one more regularly calculated total of combat dice and for every cavalry unit matched, the retreating player suffers an equivalent number of additional casualties for withdrawing – {Passed 6/21/’08}


Instead of dealing casualties to units caught fleeing, perhaps the captured soldiers could be ransomed back to the owner as a free action (on either player's turn). The captor can simply execute all of the prisoners and resume the game as detailed in your original house rules, of course. But on the other hand, if they choose to ransom it could very well allow a player in last place to add precious talents to his coffers, or perhaps a last place player couldn't otherwise afford such a huge loss and is better paying the victor the ransom.

It's interesting mechanic I'd like to see in CotE II in some capacity.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
 
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Scott Randolph
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SPARTAN VI wrote:
Ahh, I've not enough foresight/experience to consider the assassin. Indeed, a player might as well leave should his Caesar be captured, then Generals assassinated.

In looking at your house rules, perhaps we (as in my group) could apply this "prisoner" mechanic as an amendment to your pursuit rule here:

Quote:

2. Pursuit by Cavalry after Retreat/Withdraw: House Rule; in battle, should a player choose to retreat, the retreating player will be forced to undergo "cavalry pursuit." The non-retreating player rolls one more regularly calculated total of combat dice and for every cavalry unit matched, the retreating player suffers an equivalent number of additional casualties for withdrawing – {Passed 6/21/’08}


Instead of dealing casualties to units caught fleeing, perhaps the captured soldiers could be ransomed back to the owner as a free action (on either player's turn). The captor can simply execute all of the prisoners and resume the game as detailed in your original house rules, of course. But on the other hand, if they choose to ransom it could very well allow a player in last place to add precious talents to his coffers, or perhaps a last place player couldn't otherwise afford such a huge loss and is better paying the victor the ransom.

It's interesting mechanic I'd like to see in CotE II in some capacity.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


Hey Spartan VI - now here I think you may be on to something, as in a "Trade/Ransom" action. I've been trying to get my group to experiment with an action for player's called "Trade" which would be exactly what it sounds like...trading gold for influence, or trading influence in differing places, or buying others combat units (no Chaos Points), or even trade alliances...wouldn't that just be downright evil and Machiavellian?!?!?! Right now though we're going to stick with the "No Capture" rules as they are written in the rule book, as losing a battle in CotE2 is meant (IMHO) to be like losing turf in a battle between rival crime syndicates or between rival ganglords, and not like CotE-Classic. (SFRR)
 
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