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BattleLore: Call to Arms» Forums » Variants

Subject: More random CtA set up rss

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Todd Rewoldt
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I've enjoyed playing with the given Call to Arms rules for some time now, and do appreciate them "as is", but quickly found that, desire for variety aside, when using the full compliment of Specialist cards, invariably either Bow Upgrade or Mounted Knights (or both!) would be chosen by the players. In addition, war councils can grow stale as well. In an effort to save ourselves from ourselves, we came up with a variant of Call to Arms set up that forces more adaptation upon the players by randomly selecting the War Council make up and the Specialist cards (and even the deployment decks chosen, sorta).

For the most part the process is the same as that outlined in the original rules, with these changes:

1) Instead of drawing and setting out the deployment cards first, then forming War Councils, and then selecting Specialists, the order is changed to a) Draw Specialists, b) roll &/or draw deployment cards, and c) roll for War Council.

2) The manner in which the specialist cards are to be selected is by shuffling all the cards together, drawing 3, and choosing 2 of those 3. One would make the decision about which 2 to keep after all other setup through the war council selection has been completed.

An alternative to using the actual cards themselves, would be to roll two dice, and use the chart (or something similar) that Hank Burkhalter has created (here) to determine the corresponding card. If using this manner, a contingency for dealing with having multiples of the same card may be desired.

3) We are still discussing how to determine the deployment decks to be used, but the two alternatives are: a) roll to determine who will be standards and who will be pennants, each side then shuffles all of their cards together and draws 4; or b) roll two dice, with green corresponding to Standard A, blue to Standard B, red to Standard C, Flag to Pennant A, Sword and Shield to Pennant B, and Lore to Pennant C, until two unique results are given - if multiple copies of CtA are not available, results would need to be unique between both players, etc. - then draw 4 from those combined decks.

4) The War Council make up is determined by rolling an amount of dice equal to the desired War Council level, less any creatures obtained during the deployment phase (e.g. if the wc was level 6 and one creature was deployed by the cards, 5d would be rolled to determine the remainder of the war council). Green corresponds to a level on Rogue, Blue corresponds to Wizard, Red Warrior, Lore Cleric, and Shield and Sword for Commander. A flag result is a wild card that can be used on any lore master, as well as towards a creature if none were already deployed by the CtA cards. If more than 3 levels of a particular lore master are rolled, any of the excess rolls may also be used as wild cards for another lore master.

Otherwise set up is as outlined in the Call to Arms rule book, also including the "creature addendum" that was revealed in the DoW forums - i.e. any level 1 creature may be selected when one uses a deployment card containing the green creature banner (this is corrected by having a gray banner on the replacement cards included with Horrific Horde) and if a creature or creatures are placed during the deployment phase then no additional creatures may be selected during the war council set up, by either side).

Anyway, I feel this style of play fits well with the Call to Arms set up, and leads to many interesting combinations for each player, as well as interesting clashes between the players. A good way to combat the long bow/mounted knight stagnation that some may have been experiencing.
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Don Whitney
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Interesting idea Todd and I can see you've put a lot of thought into it. I'm going to give your variant(s) a try next game I play.
 
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Todd Rewoldt
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kronovan wrote:
I can see you've put a lot of thought into it.


Only 3 and a half years worth Really those are an amalgamation of many smaller variations on the game that we've used over the years, and just recently delved heavily into CtA again.

In addition to the above, we also use a 'handicapping' system where if a player wins two in a row, their war council level is reduced by one. If a player loses three games in a row, their war council level is increased by one. The original war council level designated by the particular scenario is the upper limit, and zero is the lower limit.

Quote:
I'm going to give your variant(s) a try next game I play.


Would love to hear feedback and suggestions Enjoy!
 
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David Hoogerheide
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Thanks for posting this--anxious to give it a go.

We've developed a somewhat reduced version of this scheme. After deploying our armies (including reserves) the normal way, we draw 5 specialist cards each, then choose our War Council and 2 of the 5 Specialist Cards at the same time. We've found that this helps with the Bow Upgrade addiction--if you make an archer-heavy army, you're likely to get Bow Upgrade with only about a 1 in 3 chance with a 5-card draw. You could make it even less likely with a smaller draw pool like you do, Todd, but we don't play often enough for monotony to be a problem yet!
 
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David Hoogerheide
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Todd, I'm curious about one aspect of your setup procedure. The war council and specialist cards are often complementary (my wife destroyed most of my army with a level 3 cleric, Prayer, and Chain Lightning in our last game) and can be used in tandem to great effect. It seems that in your scheme the chances of rolling a high-level war master AND getting the corresponding specialist card is low. Is this by design, don't you find it that important, or do you view some of the more powerful war-council-specific specialist cards (Illusionary Troops, Infiltration) as addictive as Bow Upgrade?
 
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Todd Rewoldt
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Not sure if you are still interested in a response, David, it being nigh two years on , but yes, by design in that you may end up with the Illusionary Troops card and a Wizard Level of 0, rendering that card useless. In practice, the way we've been playing CtA in the recent past is to keep the war council decision up to the player, occurring after the random draw of four specialist cards (still keeping two.) I do like the random war councils though, not sure if other players are as big fans of it.

However, we've started to play CtA differently now (the reason I saw your post was I am about to post on that variant) involving reconstructed CtA decks that are built to be race specific - i.e. three decks that are solely human, three dwarf only, and three uniquely goblinoid.

I'll add that link to this post after I manage to get it completed. Still a work in progress, but the early returns say "fun."

EDIT: here's that link: Human, Dwarf, and Goblin specific CtA decks
 
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