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Crusader Rex» Forums » Rules

Subject: Rule Clarifications and Suggested Rule variant rss

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Peter Hutchinson
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By way of foreword, CR was one of my 1st Columbia games,and one I enjoyed alot, and hung in with despite rule changes until we got the version 1.4 rule set.

I was therefore keen to pick up version 2, especially with the larger mounted map and the improved cards. I am not so sure about the art work for the stickers, still preferring the older ones that seemed more "crisp" against the block colours then the version 2 art. Nonetheless, as for the version 2 components, they are good.

Thus far I have only had opportunity to play solo so I am unsure how some of the rule changes will play out in terms of gameplay and balance; but the combination of changes seem to make for a very different game than I am familiar with from version 1.4.

However, I still have some rule queries and one rule frustration (which was also the case with the version 1.4 rule set) for which I offer a suggested variant that might address it. [I might also add it is a little disappointing after all this time since the original game issued, the rules in version 2 are not as clearly written as one might reasonably have expected by now.]

1. Rule 8.4: Presumably the inability to receive replacements when under siege refers to "winter campaign card" seige (as was made clear in the version 1.4 rules)?

2. Reinforcments: Rule 6.4 (and 6.56): According to the version 2 rules as they appear at present Player 1 (attacker) nominates a main force. All other blocks attacking along other roads are called reserves. The reserves ALL arrive on round 2.

[This was the case for all reserves, player 1 and player 2, in the version 1.4 rules; same rule for all, simple and straight forward!-not so with version 2].

However, for player 2 (defender) its reserves have a staged arrival based upon the number of roads by which they enter. One group on road 'A' will arrive by round 2, another group coming by road 'B' will arrive on round 3 (and all other blocks arriving by other roads).

I cannot see the logic or consistency for gameplay in this differentiation between the reserve blocks of player 1 and player 2. Player 1 and player 2 reserves should all be subject to the same arrival system; either all on round 2, or all by staged arrival based upon the number of roads used to enter.

I prefer the latter option (a staged arrival process), and wonder if the last sentence of 6.42 ["This applies to blocks using one road to reinforce; those using other roads arrive at the beginning of Round 3"], was meant to qualify the whole of section 6.4 "Reinforcements" and not just the defender?

3. I assume if player 1 withdraws from a town to the castle to avoid a field battle this triggers the option for player 2 to re-group (6.7)?

4. Perhaps my biggest annoyance is the current siege process (6.53; which was I note the same for version 1.4) such that in new or existing sieges the besieging player makes the call at the beginning of each siege round whether or not to storm. This would therefore seem to allow a situation where, once a group of blocks has gone under siege, they can be held at bay by potentially one "A" block as the "A" block simply needs to declare a storm then withdraw and repeat the process, so preventing the besieged force from any action including sallying, while they attrition away (or at least until winter). While perhaps rare,it is an annoying gameplay option.

I note in version 1.4 the rules required sallying blocks to fire on their first round (not a requirement in the version 2 rules). Perhaps this is a way to address the above situation, and require blocks that storm or sally to fire on their first round?

{This issue has been raised by others before me, but it bugs me enough for me to want to raise it again for your feedback}.




I am interested to hear your responses to the queries above and especially the rule "variant" suggested.









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C Sandifer
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Lutherville
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Warning! My answers, as usual, aren't official. I just play way too many block games for my own good. Answers are in bold italics.

Jury wrote:

1. Rule 8.4: Presumably the inability to receive replacements when under siege refers to "winter campaign card" seige (as was made clear in the version 1.4 rules)?

The only way to maintain a siege over winter is with the Winter Campaign card, so your interpretation makes sense.

2. Reinforcments: Rule 6.4 (and 6.56): According to the version 2 rules as they appear at present Player 1 (attacker) nominates a main force. All other blocks attacking along other roads are called reserves. The reserves ALL arrive on round 2.

In the previous thread, I gave my hypothesis as to why the rules on attacker/defender reserves might be structured this way. My guess is that the designers only want a maximum one-round delay between arriving forces. Having attacking forces arrive all three rounds (round 1, round 2, round 3) is something that they want to avoid, I think.

I cannot see the logic or consistency for gameplay in this differentiation between the reserve blocks of player 1 and player 2.

I'm not saying that it's the greatest reasoning in the world, but I do see some sense in having forces arrive, at most, one round apart. There is consistency in the v2.0 rules in that all "non-main" reserve blocks (both attacking and defending) arrive one round after they would normally arrive.

3. I assume if player 1 withdraws from a town to the castle to avoid a field battle this triggers the option for player 2 to re-group (6.7)?

Yes. That's the primary use of the rule. Here's the relevant portion from the updated FAQ.

Q: Section 6.7 describes an optional regrouping that occurs once a field battle ends. Is this an option during initial deployment as well?

A: This regrouping option is available at any point defenders empty the field.

Examples:

Three Saracen blocks are defending Acre. If attacked, and all 3 units deploy inside the castle before combat, the attacking units may regroup or stay on the field (in any combination).

During the second combat round, defending units in a field battle (on their Battle Turn, instead of firing) evacuate the field by fully withdrawing into the castle. Before round 3 of combat begins, the attacking units may regroup or stay on the field (in any combination).


4. ...once a group of blocks has gone under siege, they can be held at bay by potentially one "A" block as the "A" block simply needs to declare a storm then withdraw and repeat the process, so preventing the besieged force from any action including sallying, while they attrition away (or at least until winter). While perhaps rare,it is an annoying gameplay option.

There are a few goofy loopholes in the siege rules, and this is certainly one of them. The abusive situation that you describe is clearly not what was intended by the rules, so the following suggestion (similar to yours) is offered in the FAQ: storming/sallying forces cannot withdraw until at least one storming/sallying block has fired or taken a hit.
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C Sandifer
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Jury wrote:
I note in version 1.4 the rules required sallying blocks to fire on their first round (not a requirement in the version 2 rules).


This rule existed in 1.4 because, if memory serves, Sallying units were allowed to Retreat into adjacent locations - not in the first Sallying round, but in later rounds. This is no longer the case in 2.0. Sallying units cannot Retreat at all, in any combat round.
 
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Peter Hutchinson
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Thanks for your responses.

I have downloaded your FAQ (but not read it all yet) and know we have communicated before on the "goofy loophole". Having said that it is likely to be a rare occurance in any event, but the option to fire on first round sally/storm seems a suitable disincentive.


How have you found the game with v 2.0. I have as mentioned above only played solo but it seems a very different style of play from v 1.4, although still some turtling by the Franks but obviously with the new town limit rule less blocks. These rules seem to encourage a lot more forward planning given the difficulty with sieges and the reduced road limits.

I have really liked the style of game play Julius Caesar offers and CR v 2.0 now seems more of a game of manouevre and forward planning like JC, which are features I like, so at first look I think I like the rule changes overall.
 
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