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Wars of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York» Forums » Variants

Subject: optional rule: field battles rss

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Michel Dalstra
Denmark
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Most of the military actions during the Wars of the Roses were field battles in which armies under the command of powerful nobles clashed which each other, often not without dramatic consequences for these commanders. Unfortunately this aspect is totally absent in the otherwise well-designed game WotR: LvY. To overcome this problem I would suggest the following optional rule for field battles in a 4-player game.

If in any of the six regions, after all bribes, movement and combat have been completed (but just prior to VPs being awarded), both nobles AND troops/mercenaries of both royal houses are present, a field battle will take place there. For this the CPs of the present nobles of each royal house are added to the number of each side’s troops/mercenaries present. Note that this could mean that the noble(s) of player A are combined with the troops/mercenaries of player B, if A and B belong to the same royal house. One of the players from each royal house then rolls a 1D6 and adds the result to obtain his/her house’s grand total. The house with the highest grand total wins the battle. In case of a tie nothing further happens.

For each participating noble from the winning side, the owning player rolls a 1D6:
1-5: the noble has survived the fight and nothing further happens;
6: despite his side’s victory the noble has been slain in battle, yet his heir will rejoin the owning player’s faction in due time. Place the noble’s counter on his off-shore base and the owning player may first re-enter the counter into play at the start of the next turn.

For each participating noble from the losing side, the owning player also rolls a 1D6, but with potentially more devastating effects:
1: the noble has survived the fight, is pardoned and nothing further happens;
2-3: the noble manages to retreat from the battlefield and flees home. Place the noble’s counter in the region, in which he has his original powerbase (in case the battle took place in this region nothing further happens);
4-5: the noble has been slain in battle, yet his heir will rejoin the owning player’s faction in due time (see above under “6”);
6: the noble has been captured and is executed after the battle. The noble (card and counters) is permanently removed from the game.

Finally, both players from the victorious royal house are awarded 2 VPs in case both contributed with nobles and/or troops/mercenaries to the battle. If only a single player contributed with nobles and troops/mercenaries, he/she will receive 4 VPs.


I have not play-tested this optional rule yet, and I am also still pondering of how to include the four royal claimants into this rule. However, I thought I would air the idea and see whether the community (that’s you, guys!) can come with some feedback.

Cheers!
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Eric Williams
Australia
Googong
New South Wales
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Hehehe, I LIKE IT! devil
 
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Tiggo Morrison
United Kingdom
Bridgnorth
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Sounds like a good idea. Keep us posted.
 
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Mike Smith
United Kingdom
Wigton
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This works really well. I just tried it in a 2-player game with my son and it added considerably to the strategy and the historical feel. It makes mercenaries more desirable. I like the way that field battles are still not inevitable - it still takes troops and nobles on both sides. I can't imagine playing without this rule in future.
 
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Jamey Philipp
United States
Muskego
Wisconsin
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Anyone else try this?
 
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Paul Leigh
United Kingdom
Richmond
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Sounds like a fun variant. Maybe we'll give it a whirl next to WotR hits the table.
 
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Nick Hawkins
United Kingdom
Willingham
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I offer the following with the proviso that I have not played the game, just read about it, but I am trying to persuade my brother to buy it

I think it's a great idea, after all the Wars of the Roses were effectively ended by the death in battle of Richard 3.

Destroying the title is not thematic, maybe the card aught to be shuffled back into the deck? Historically the wealth and titles of the loser would have been distributed amongst the winner's followers ASAP.

The 2 stage process seems a bit messy in comparison to the other mechanics, why not role a die for each noble, highest roll on each side counts towards winning/losing.
Each noble's roll affects their survival, E.G.
Any noble on a win/draw side is killed if they roll a 1.
Any losing noble is captured/executed on a 6, killed on a 5 and fled on a 3-4.

 
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Paul Norell
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I am eagerly awaiting delivery of this game, having been a Kingmaker fan for ages.

Having already read the (online) rules, I know I will like it. I have also just received GMT's Sun of York and think this may be a suitable system for resolving some of the battles in WotR.

I suggest that where a draw occurs in the game, players resort to SoY to resolve the battle. Of course, this is time-consuming, but I offer it as a thought.

Also, I don't think the rules make it clear, but I presume that any intrinsic defence of a city is added to those troops a player pays for defence.
 
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Peter Hawes
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Correct Paul, the garrison strength of each location is added to any Troops the player has purchased to defend that location. The player pays for his additional Troops but gets the garrison troops "free". The number of garrison troops is represented by the troop icons next to each location.
 
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Alan Eshelman
United States
Windsor Heights
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Great idea, but one continuity concern...
Brand_I wrote:
(losing side)
4-5: the noble has been slain in battle, yet his heir will rejoin the owning player’s faction in due time (see above under “6”);
6: the noble has been captured and is executed after the battle. The noble (card and counters) is permanently removed from the game.

Why is an executed noble treated any differently than one killed on the battlefield?
Maybe I'm just stumbling over the wording... if you drop the part about being executed, it makes more sense. A captured noble would likely be forced out of the political arena for the duration of the wars.
 
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Mike Smith
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As stated earlier I think this is an excellent rule, and we normally play it. It does require a couple of clarifications however. Do troops generated from Garrisons that have been attacked in Combat count? I play not, because it would be too easy for a player to make a 1 Troop token attack on a Location belonging to his fellow player of the same house in order to provoke the Garrison to generate Troops. Those not killed in Combat would then appear in a field battle in that area that turn.
Also, retreating Nobles should not take part in any Field Battle in the area retreated to.

Here are my modifications of the variant to account for this:

At the end of all Combat, after placing Ownership cubes but before removing Troop/Mercenary counters, check to see if a field battle occurs in any of the six regions. If both at least one Noble AND at least one Troop/Mercenary of each royal house is present, a field battle will take place there. For the purposes of this rule Troop counters generated from Garrisons do not count, and such Troops are always considered the first to die in Combat. Before checking for Field Battles remove any Troop counters that were generated from Garrisons but which did not die in Combat.
For a field battle the CPs of the Nobles present from each royal house are added to the number of each royal house’s troops/mercenaries present. Note that if players A and B belong to the same royal house this could mean that the Noble(s) or Troops/Mercenaries of A are combined with the Noble(s) or Troops/Mercenaries of B. One of the players from each royal house then rolls a 1D6 and adds the result to obtain his/her house’s grand total. The house with the highest grand total wins the battle. In case of a tie nothing further happens.

For each participating Noble from the winning side, the owning player rolls a 1D6:
1-5: the Noble has survived the fight and nothing further happens;
6: despite his side’s victory the Noble has been slain in battle, yet his heir will rejoin the owning player’s faction in due time. Place the Noble’s counter on his start symbol and the owning player may re-enter the counter into play at the start of the next turn.

For each participating noble from the losing side, the owning player also rolls a 1D6, but with potentially more devastating effects:
1: the Noble has survived the fight, is pardoned and nothing further happens;
2-3: the Noble manages to retreat from the battlefield and flees home. Place the Noble’s counter in the region in which he has his original powerbase (in cases where the battle took place in this region nothing further happens). If there is still a field battle to be fought there he will not take part;
4-5: the Noble has been slain in battle, yet his heir will rejoin the owning player’s faction in due time. Place the Noble’s counter on his start symbol and the owning player may re-enter the counter into play at the start of the next turn.
6: the Noble has been captured and is executed after the battle. The noble (card and counters) is permanently removed from the game.

Finally, both players from the victorious royal house are awarded 2 VPs in situations where both contributed strength to the battle. If only a single player contributed strength he will receive 4 VPs.
 
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Phil Gamble
Australia
Hawthorndene
South Australia
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I was thinking of trying this roll for the losing side...

1 : Nothing happens

2-3: Noble retreats from the battlefield and flees home. Place the Noble’s counter in the region in which he has his original powerbase (in cases where the battle took place in this region nothing further happens). If there is still a field battle to be fought there he will not take part.

4-5: The Noble is captured and ransomed back to the owning player. The ransom is the nobles CP value and the money comes from the bank not the owning player. However the owning player may decide that the ransom will not be paid and so the noble is executed and removed from the game.
If ransom is paid then place the Noble’s counter in the region in which he has his original powerbase (in cases where the battle took place in this region nothing further happens). If there is still a field battle to be fought there he will not take part;

6: the Noble has been slain in battle, yet his heir will rejoin the owning player’s faction in due time. Place the Noble’s counter on his start symbol and the owning player may re-enter the counter into play at the start of the next turn.

This would give a player who has nothing but nobles a slight chance to get gold. Which may spark another stategy.
Not sure if the owning player should get the choice or not to pay the ransom as the money comes from the nobles family (in this case, the bank) and im sure they would want the noble back alive...perhaps
Anyway.. just a thought
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蓝魔
United Kingdom
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Some nice ideas in this thread but as the rules are written (and tweaked) they generated zero FIELD BATTLES in our game on Saturday just gone.

In order for one to occur both parties have to actively engage in conflict and leave their Nobles in a position of danger. It is quite easy to avoid this, I found.

In other words players wishing to use their Nobles purely for CP control and who engage in bribery are nigh on impossible to draw out ..
 
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