Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 Hide
11 Posts

Mythology» Forums » Variants

Subject: A review and suggestions I made 30 years ago rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Eamon Bloomfield
Germany
23569 Lübeck
Schleswig Holstein
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When first encountered, this certainly seemed our sort of game. By that, I mean adult multi-player, plenty of interaction, no fiddly bits and good fun. For readers who do not know this game, the action is set in Greece at the time of The Age of Gods and Heroes. Each player is a God with special powers and each God attempts to gain control of the Heroes. By the manipulation of these Heroes, the Gods can gain mastery over their fellow Gods. Plus, Monsters and Divine Occurences secure various treasures and aids them in winning Glory Points.

But we were soon disillusioned. This seemingly excellent game turned out to be too long-winded, needing about 7 hours to play (which for us would mean playing it over two evenings). We play several 'two-night' games (1829 and Civilization for starters) but to come into this category the game has to progress, with the second night being different from the first as the game develops: It mustn't be merely long!

We reckoned that in one night we could comfortably manage 7 or 8 game turns, instead of the 15 as stated in the rules. We found that with a movement allowance of 2 hexes per turn, coupled with all Heroes starting in Greece, the Southern section of the board was hardly touched in the 7 or 8 turns that we managed to play. But the following changes, which were in no way radical (since the game can hardly be regarded as a simulation), improved the game enormously without losing anything of its flavour, and this has resulted becoming very high on our popularity list, instead of being consigned to the cupboard unused.

The following rule changes includes the major changes we felt neccessary to speed the game up, plus smaller changes to keep it tidy.

Hero Placement
Half start in Greece and half in Phoenicia. When a Hero is born he is placed in an area determined by rolling two dice, one red and the other white. (See below). This is a major rule change that spreads the action around the board and avoids Heroes being ignored when they arrive on the scene, too late to start their moves from Greece as specified in the official rules.

Movement
The basic move on land is 3 hexes and 10 on water (which cannot be combined). Other small rules regarding the Prize placement and 'move' advantages are modified to take into consideration the basic move is now 3 and not 2. If a Hero is moving with a Prize, his move on water is reduced to 3.

The River Ocean
This is divided into four areas as per the folds in the game map (assuming you don't want to mark your board). Hexes straddling the fold can be considered to be in both areas.

Control
To move any Hero you must have at least one point to spend on him. (This in itself is unimportant but it speeds the game up because players carry out a pre-planned move). The same applies to moving a Monster.

Boats
Every player has just 1 boat which can be used at any time (no dice rolling at all). A Hero cannot embark or disembark in the same game turn.

Prizes
These must be a minimum of 4 hexes from each other. Also, players might care to agree that Heroes placed at random from a 'Born' die roll should not be closer than 4 hexes from a Prize even if the Hero has to be placed in an adjacent area. This stops a Hero from getting a Prize in one move.

Some Other Changes
These are not essential to the speeding up of the game but are changes we made for the purpose of play improvement.

Fates
We do not draw these at the Start. We found the Glory Point award system as a result of this draw difficult to manage and rather silly. We put 3 Fate counters on each Game Turn space. These result in Hero deaths or births (roll dice).

Combat
The rules permit fixed fights (making a Monster launch a suicide attack on your Hero for the sake of Glory Points). This we don't allow.

Hero Helpers
We limit Heroes to just 1 sword and just 1 shield (ie. not two of these same items). There is no limit on other Helpers they pick up.

Magic
We found this unneccessary to the fun of the game. The Magic number we either ignore or treat it as a attack number if the counter shows zero as the attack strength.

Glory Points from killing a Hero
These are derived from all of the points on a killed Hero, not just the controlling player's points.

Volcano (Divine Occurence)
Because these affect just one hex instead of an area, each point spent is worth +20 (as opposed to +10 in Earthquakes). But one mostly wishes to affect only one Hero in one hex and we find it is all too easy to wipe out Heroes with volcanic eruptions. The +20 therefore should be reduced to +10 (see also below).

Hero Survival
By spending enough power points on a Divine Occurence, a player can ensure the demise of a Hero. We feel there should be some element of chance (Heroes weren't Heroes for nothing) and that, irrespective of what is thrown them by the Heavens, they should be able to survive on a dice roll of, say, 16 or less, ie. 1 in 6 chances of survival.

Some games start out pretty badly but are capable of improvement (and some aren't!). Mytholgy starts out as a very good game and the above changes are merely an attempt to speed the thing up so that it can be played in one evening, without losing any of its excitement. With the changes we've made, a game should last about 3 to 4 hours, by which time all of the Prizes should have been snatched or as near as makes no odds.

The Chart for Hero Births
Nominate one die to be across and one to be down:

1 2 3 4 5 6
1 Choice Iberia Celts Hesperia Nymphs of W. Barbarians
2 Hyborians Choice The Muses Greece Scytlians Lydia
3 Caucus Sarmatians Choice Bithynia Kufra Media
4 Cilicia Greece Persis Choice Asia Phoenicia
5 Arabia Egypt Nubia Greece Choice Aethiopians
6 Cush Tuat Nauretania Libya Cyrenaica Choice


Note. It is centuries since I last played this game, indeed, I don't even own it any more. And my article was in a long-forgotten amateur magazine, so the original is very faded and difficult to read. I hope I read the changes correctly and that they make sense.
12 
 Thumb up
1.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Petr Divis
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow. Just chanced to look at the Mythology forum without expecting to see anything new...and hey presto!

Thanks for the suggestions. I have never yet played a full game of this and in its current form Mythology would not appeal to my gaming group. I'd love to be able to make it more accessible, so maybe I'll have to revisit it with your post in mind.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
~Ryan McSwain
United States
Amarillo
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't had a chance to play my copy yet, but when I do I'll take your suggestions under careful consideration. Thanks so much for sharing.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
roger cox
United States
Spartanburg
South Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I never understood the control rules. In one place it says that a player can not enter combat with a hero he does not control. In another place in the rules, it says that a player may feel certain he has control of a hero, yet NOT challenge and go ahead and let the other player move "his" hero. So what's, uh...the deal? I'm supposed to challenge during movement only. If I wait until combat, I'm too late, and my hero might be in combat, kicking a Harpy's butt--and I don't get credit for it? These control rules need some serious work.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Fielding
msg tools
mbmbmbmb
>
Prizes
These must be a minimum of 4 hexes from each other. Also, players might care to agree that Heroes placed at random from a 'Born' die roll should not be closer than 4 hexes from a Prize even if the Hero has to be placed in an adjacent area. This stops a Hero from getting a Prize in one move.
>

Might be easier to say a hero placed too close to a prize is not allowed to pick up that prize until he has spent one move doing something else. I don't recall enough details...

I am one of those who have never been able to play the game because of the various problems with the rules; IIRC the combat & hero control rules were the big problem. Somewhere I have some draft fixes...

Oh, here's the thread right here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/6010

What do you think of the fixes in that post?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
roger cox
United States
Spartanburg
South Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Gronak wrote:
>
Prizes
These must be a minimum of 4 hexes from each other. Also, players might care to agree that Heroes placed at random from a 'Born' die roll should not be closer than 4 hexes from a Prize even if the Hero has to be placed in an adjacent area. This stops a Hero from getting a Prize in one move.
>

Might be easier to say a hero placed too close to a prize is not allowed to pick up that prize until he has spent one move doing something else. I don't recall enough details...

I am one of those who have never been able to play the game because of the various problems with the rules; IIRC the combat & hero control rules were the big problem. Somewhere I have some draft fixes...

Oh, here's the thread right here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/6010

What do you think of the fixes in that post?



Excellent ideas in that thread! Wish I hadn't waited so long to check back on this old favorite. Yaquinto had some good games (along with some turkeys), but it got a bad rap for games that were considered unplayable. True, the rules could have been written better, but Mythology, Beast Lord and Ultimatum were all games I played and enjoyed, even though there were far too many rule questions that came up. Panzer/88/Armor are probably considered their best, and I especially likied Panzer, but between fighting the standard Germans/Russians/Americans of the day, getting to command the elves vs. the dwarves vs. monsters vs humans was MUCH more exciting----for a time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Berger
United States
Littleton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
Jigsaw
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I haven't even played it yet, but I just read the rules and I think I already agree with most (if not all) of these suggestions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Berger
United States
Littleton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
Jigsaw
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
rogeracox wrote:
I never understood the control rules. In one place it says that a player can not enter combat with a hero he does not control. In another place in the rules, it says that a player may feel certain he has control of a hero, yet NOT challenge and go ahead and let the other player move "his" hero. So what's, uh...the deal? I'm supposed to challenge during movement only. If I wait until combat, I'm too late, and my hero might be in combat, kicking a Harpy's butt--and I don't get credit for it? These control rules need some serious work.

The way I read it, you can only challenge at the moment someone first tries to move a hero. If your opponents don't challenge, or do challenge but you've put more points into the hero, then its yours for the turn.

I hope my interpretation is correct, because otherwise it would get too messy and slow I think.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam Peavy
United States
Americus
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
djberg96 wrote:
rogeracox wrote:
I never understood the control rules. In one place it says that a player can not enter combat with a hero he does not control. In another place in the rules, it says that a player may feel certain he has control of a hero, yet NOT challenge and go ahead and let the other player move "his" hero. So what's, uh...the deal? I'm supposed to challenge during movement only. If I wait until combat, I'm too late, and my hero might be in combat, kicking a Harpy's butt--and I don't get credit for it? These control rules need some serious work.

The way I read it, you can only challenge at the moment someone first tries to move a hero. If your opponents don't challenge, or do challenge but you've put more points into the hero, then its yours for the turn.

I hope my interpretation is correct, because otherwise it would get too messy and slow I think.


Having played this game many, many times, that is exactly the interpretation we always made. If you are not challenged, you get to move the hero.

Have fun with this game!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
roger cox
United States
Spartanburg
South Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The game slogged because anyone could challenge, even with zero points on a hero (or monster) and hope to win the tie-breaker. A silly, random way to play, but it when added to legitimate challenges to moves, attacks, etc,just futility to try and find 5 counters to move without hearing "challenge!". Then the card problems---how do you honestly tell an appointment what mission you're sending Medea on? I wanted it to be a great game,and despite my very negative feelings about kit games and house rules, I'm willing to try almost anything for this one. It is unique and I hope people have reasoned out ways to play it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Ryley
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
I never had any problems with Divine Occurrence, possibly because my family were somewhat cautious about actions that might lead to escalation of force. However, it occurs to me that in Greek Mythology, any exertion of extraordinary power caused the god to have to sleep and recover his energy. Instead of sacrificing Glory Points (which another reviewer suggested) or abandoning the idea entirely, I might suggest one of the following:

1) After a Divine Occurrence, the god who created the event must leave the board in the next turn and cannot return until the next. This rule means you cannot create more than one Divine Occurrence per turn. (In contradiction of the rules, but it might be a good idea to set this limit anyway)

2) After a Divine Occurrence, the next Divine Occurrence a god attempts will have half the power of the last. (divide your dice roll by two) This will continue (dividing by 4, 8, 16, and so on) until he removes himself from the board for a turn.

3) After a Divine Occurrence, the god who created the event loses 2 Power Points from his pool of available points each turn. (So the first Divine Occurrence leaves him with 8, then 6, then 4, and so on) This continues until he removes himself from the board for a turn. If a god has only 2 Power Points left to spend and causes a Divine Occurrence, he immediately leaves the board and has to stay out for the next turn. (So the maximum number of Divine Occurrences you can create in a single turn is 5)

Any god power that lets you create Divine Occurrence without being in the area still does not allow you to create one while "resting".

I've never tested any of these ideas, but I would say the third one sounds best. If a god ends up creating lots of Divine Occurrences, he could cripple his ability to act in the next rounds.

I'll add that one rule variation I have always used is that Plague must always be activated at the BEGINNING of a turn, before anyone moves. The players all then have one turn to get out of the area, if they can. It seems to me that otherwise any player with any experience at all would choose to activate it at the end of the turn, so as not to clue in any of his opponents as to what is going on.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.