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A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition)» Forums » Variants

Subject: Sworn Enemy & Hostages rss

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This got me thinking... apparently there are some games that reach an impasse after round 3-4, where everyone is too strong to be overrun by anyone, and therefore nobody makes a move, for fear of being crushed by the houses not participating in the initial battles.

What if there was a variant that added some intrigue to the game? What if every house had a "Sworn Enemy" that they would never ally with and always attack. It could be slightly thematic e.g. Stark vs. Lannister, or randomised at the beginning of the game. Each house has 5 cards correspond to each of the other houses. In the beginning of the game they they randomly choose one and discard the others. That house is their enemy. They may get bonus points for each battle against them (win or lose, or just when they win), or they get bonus points for capturing their enemy's home region.

Of course, this may result in two houses having the same enemy (e.g. Baratheon & Tyrell both drawing Martell), but there might be ways to manage that initial draw.

---------------------

Another variant can be "Hostages", where the losing house in a battle loses the house card/character they played to the winner. That card now is a hostage and may be ransomed by paying power tokens (perhaps with the hostage taker earning the same amount) or some other mechanism like giving territory, committing to not attacking the hostage taker, moving up and down the various tracks, etc. Another possible rule is that the hostage taker may choose to "execute" the leader for a nominal gain in power tokens.

Alternatively, when the battle is resolved, the losing house rolls a die or otherwise randomly determines if their leader is captured (2/6), killed (1/6) or escapes (3/6).

Also, perhaps the ownership of hostages can pass to whoever, for the right price... which could be quite thematic.

---------------------

Thoughts?
 
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Andon Stoychev
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I really like the idea of a sworn enemy that you cant ally with and that when you defeat him in a battle you will get power tokens.Maybe I will try that idea in some game.
 
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Seli L
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kreikkaturkulainen wrote:
This got me thinking... apparently there are some games that reach an impasse after round 3-4, where everyone is too strong to be overrun by anyone,


That is what diplomacy is for. If played without siege engines, then it's quite normal that one player cannot overrun another player _alone_.

kreikkaturkulainen wrote:

What if there was a variant that added some intrigue to the game? What if every house had a "Sworn Enemy" that they would never ally with and always attack.


The game Lifeboat has a mechanism like this. There are 3 character cards decks, each player draws one from each deck, first card a character to play, second deck is a loved character and the third one is a hated character. There are points for the hated character dying and loved character surviving. If you want to consider this option, I suggest checking this game, as that's been tried out (this way there's e.g. not the problem of one character being hated by two others).

It ensures that each player "knows" what to do, although it doesn't quite guarantee fights (it's still possible that the players from the post you linked would end up being afraid to do anything again). There's also the slight problem of getting a problematic draw, e.g. you may love a character that becomes too strong, in which case you face the decision between letting them win (and thus risking you not being the winner) and attacking them and making them too weak to survive (this is not necessarily a bad problem, you might consider it a feature that makes the game even more challenging).

In AGoT there's also the additional problem of the map layout. In Lifeboats you can try to attack anyone, but e.g. Tyrell loving or hating Stark is rather pointless as they are too far away from each other.

Feel free to try a variant like this, but in AGoT it may be too limiting. If players play well, this may end up making the game worse for them. If players don't play well and explaining doesn't work, this may or may not provide sufficient motivation to play better.

kreikkaturkulainen wrote:

Another variant can be "Hostages",


I think the Storm of Swords expansion for the 1st edition has something like this (called "leaders"), but I don't know the details.
 
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mateo jurasic
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hostages, wouldnt work well, since sometimes it would be advantageous to "lose" a house card, and then draw the stronger cards more often.

yould have to add additional rules to balance that
 
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Sdric
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mateooo wrote:
hostages, wouldn't work well, since sometimes it would be advantageous to "lose" a house card, and then draw the stronger cards more often.

yould have to add additional rules to balance that


I agree,
If one of your leader is hostage, you still have a card but he loose all abilities.
If one of your leader is killed, you still have a card but he loose all abilities and its power value is 0.
Using a consolidate power order, you can choose to kill one of the leader you have captured.



New Idea Wedding (inspired by Fief cf. http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/107704/fief)
You can win with an other player, if you have 11 stronghold/castle and one of your leader is wedded with an other leader. With at least four players, the players can make an alliance and win together. A player can only have one ally. A team of two players win by having 11 stronghold/castle, the repartition of those between the two players does not matter. You can not have a solo win if you are allied with someone else. A wedding between two leader of two players is the only way to create an official alliance.

Wedding is between a free female leader and a free male leader, and need to spend for both house a consolidate power order. If one of the wedded leader is killed the alliance and the wedding is cancelled. Each house can have only one wedding at a time.
Leader who can wed
For house Baratheon
Renly and Mellissandre
For house Lannister
Tywin and Cersei
For house Stark
Robb and Catelyn (representing Sansa)
For house Greyjoy
Victorian and Asha
For house Tyrell
Ser Loras and Margaery
For house Martell
Red viper and Arianne
 
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Finland
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Well, then you'd have Lannisters trying to marry each other, and Renly chasing after Loras...
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David Laine
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Don't even think about a marriage pact with Robb Stark! Young Wolf? Yeah right--more like Horn Dog! Where are the rules for RW?

For that matter, never make a marriage pact with Margaery Tyrell. It's like the kiss of death.
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David Laine
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PS, I brought up the official rules for leaders from AGoT 1st Ed. - A Storm of Swords Expansion here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/746212/quick-30-second-g...

It's pretty expensive online now, but we might see it come back in a later 2nd Ed. expansion. And if you really want to give it a go, you might be able to create some do-it-yourself leaders if you can get their stats from somewhere online, or from someone like me who owns it. (Not gloating, just hinting. Wink wink, nudge nudge.)

I'm just glad my FLGS had a copy sitting around so I could jump on it when it went OOP. And as an added bonus, ASoS gives you a tight 4-player variant map.
 
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Kyle K
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I only like the hostages idea, but I like it a lot.
Sdric B has the idea, but I would rather that the hostage takes gets to physically take the house card in exchange for 1 casualty because it (at least tactilely)feels more rewarding. In return, the loser gets a random mercenary house card described below.

Make a common deck of generic leaders and give them the mercenary theme of ASOS allys and some randomization. You cannot take a mercenary hostage. Use this list for stats: str0,str0,str1,str1,str2,str0-sword,str0-fort.

Same rules as ASOS for ransom. Happens in addition to a consolidate order. Can only trade prisoners or power or promises(which can be broken).

Also, during a consolidate order, you can (in addition to that order) execute a hostage and gain their strength value in power. Then the card is removed from the game.


Thoughts?
 
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Jon S
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echephron wrote:
I only like the hostages idea, but I like it a lot.
Sdric B has the idea, but I would rather that the hostage takes gets to physically take the house card in exchange for 1 casualty because it (at least tactilely)feels more rewarding. In return, the loser gets a random mercenary house card described below.

Make a common deck of generic leaders and give them the mercenary theme of ASOS allys and some randomization. You cannot take a mercenary hostage. Use this list for stats: str0,str0,str1,str1,str2,str0-sword,str0-fort.

Same rules as ASOS for ransom. Happens in addition to a consolidate order. Can only trade prisoners or power or promises(which can be broken).

Also, during a consolidate order, you can (in addition to that order) execute a hostage and gain their strength value in power. Then the card is removed from the game.


Thoughts?

Love the idea.

Edit: How about allowing recapturing of hostages, where, in the same vein you can trade one sword to pick one hostage your enemy controls.
 
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Kyle K
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Thanks Jon. I know in SOS you can recapture using a tactics card.

I like to think that hostages would be secured far from the front lines, so that it would be harder to free a hostage than to take a new one. For that reason, I like taking another hostage with a sword rather than taking back your hostage. Furthermore, if you are afraid of losing the hostage, you are more likely to execute, which should be more of a last resort. For these reasons, I do not like your proposal.

If you have some other idea as to how to reclaim hostages, I'm happy to hear it. Maybe if you:
1)take over their capital
2)retake the territory you lost before the end of the next turn.
3)make a specific wilding card which lets the winner regain a captured hostage.

These seem like ok ideas, but 1 & 2 complicate the game more than they add to it in my opinion.
 
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Sdric
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New idea about Hostage, recapture and Execution

In battle, the winner, if imposed at least one loss, may decide to take hostage the opposing leader. A hostage is materializing on the map with a power token. The hostage is moving with the troops, if a region is conquered with a hostage, a hostage to the winner's choice corresponding to house power token changes hands or release. A leader can be released against ransom or free, using a March order to move the hostage in an empty region or controlled by its former owner. In case of an exchange of hostage, the first player playing his March order to released his hostage have to trust that his opponent will do the same when his March order will be resolved.
leaders that you captured.

To increase the chances of (re)capturing a leading opponent, you can play with Tides of Battle Cards either at random or by distributing three cards to each house according to one of the following combinations:
- One card (+0), One card (+1, sword), One card (+2)
- One card (+0), One card (+0, skull), One card (+3)
Initially, the card (+0) is visible and can not be played, each time you are involved in a battle, you play one of your two cards Tides of Battle in hand together with your leader card. You take back in hand the card Tides of Battle previously visible. The Tides of Battle card just played remains visible on the table until your next battle.


Comment :
echephron wrote:

Also, during a consolidate order, you can (in addition to that order) execute a hostage and gain their strength value in power. Then the card is removed from the game


Not in addition to that order, it is too powerful. And Leader card should never be removed or allied players will kill mutually their weakest leader.
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Kyle K
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I respectfully disagree on all points good sir, both new and old.

I don't think you understand that your "weakest leader" is still stronger than most of those mercenary leaders I posted. If you still disagree, you can lower all the mercenary card's strength value by one if you like.

Executing has to give you an advantage that is worse than trading him back to his owner for power but better than just holding the hostage all game. The only options I see are gaining power or adjusting the positions for throne/sword/raven.

A public execution seems like a great way to "consolidate power"
 
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Sdric
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echephron wrote:
I respectfully disagree on all points good sir, both new and old.

I don't think you understand that your "weakest leader" is still stronger than most of those mercenary leaders I posted. If you still disagree, you can lower all the mercenary card's strength value by one if you like.

Sorry, I have not consider the replacement of killed leader by mercenary. However I prefer a not random replacement. A replacement depending on the initial strength of the lost leader seems fairer. My initial proposition is equivalent to replace a Leader card by a mercenary card as follow

Initial leader : Mercenary strength : Mercenary strength
strength : if captured : if killed
str 4 : str4 : str 0
str 3 : str3 : str 0
str 2 : str2 : str 0
str 1 : str1 : str 0
str 0 : str0 : str 0

But we can be more severe

Initial leader : Mercenary strength : Mercenary strength
strength : if captured : if killed
str 4 : str2 : str 0
str 3 : str2 : str 0
str 2 : str1 : str 0
str 1 : str0 : str 0
str 0 : str0 : str 0


EDIT Kile K convinced me that we should not change the mercenary value if the leader is captured or killed. See My Thread summary below

PS: Catelyn Stark will always be weaker than a mercenary str2.

echephron wrote:
Executing has to give you an advantage that is worse than trading him back to his owner for power but better than just holding the hostage all game. The only options I see are gaining power or adjusting the positions for throne/sword/raven.

A public execution seems like a great way to "consolidate power"

A public execution of a leader str4 in King s landing will earn you 7 power, in addition to the fact your opponent has definitely loose his best leader. IMHO it is too powerful. That is why I find the "in addition" too powerful. However I understand that execute a leader str0 should be rewarded. What do you think of :
During a consolidate order, you can (in replacement to that order) execute a hostage and gain their strength value in power (minimum one power). Then the card is removed from the game
 
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sdric wrote:
echephron wrote:
Executing has to give you an advantage that is worse than trading him back to his owner for power but better than just holding the hostage all game. The only options I see are gaining power or adjusting the positions for throne/sword/raven.

A public execution seems like a great way to "consolidate power"

A public execution of a leader str4 in King s landing will earn you 7 power, in addition to the fact your opponent has definitely loose his best leader. IMHO it is too powerful. That is why I find the "in addition" too powerful. However I understand that execute a leader str0 should be rewarded. What do you think of :
During a consolidate order, you can (in replacement to that order) execute a hostage and gain their strength value in power (minimum one power). Then the card is removed from the game


Great idea, this is what I thought exactly. Perhaps it should only be possible with a consolidate order at a house's home area.

The house of the executed leader could also lose some power tokens, if they have any.
 
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Kyle K
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the problem is KL giving 3 power on a consolidate, not that killing a str4 leader gives 4 power. 4 power is way less than you would get in a negotiation. the owner should be offering like 8 power to get back the leader(which is 4 more for you AND reduces that enemys power by 8, which is a big deal). you have to think what it adds on top of what they would just get for a consolidate. ignore the consolidate part.

I dont even care about requiring a consolidate power order. That's just what they did in SOS, so I wanted to respect that. just make it happen during right after the westeros phase would be fine(like executions in SOS with the right westeros card).

I am ok with you not liking random leaders. I thought strength zero hostages were fun if that you might get an even better one, the enemy gets no power for killing him, and he should be easy to negotiate for. for non-random, a rule like -1/-2 to str and no special powers/swords/forts seems fine. a merc leader going to -2str is fine with me. maybe he is working for your enemy secretly.

disagree with kreik. the house the dead leader belongs to shouldnt lose power. they just lost a good card. and they would have lost power if they negotiated for his return. your idea limits the variable options, because then everyone would just kill the leaders.

i dont like your difference in mercenary str for captured vs killed. should be the same regardless. Doesnt make sense that killing one guy across the world means that another guy is weaker. theon dying doesnt mean that random merc working for balon wont fight as hard. an exception might be some sort of double-crossing mercs.


the loss of a killed leader is a big enough deal on its own. it kills your hope of reclaiming him, makes you more likely to kill that houses cards, and fits theme just fine. dont need extra bad things to happen to that player.
 
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mateo jurasic
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in the books, executing captured leaders never really seemed to help the side who did the executioning, only potentially hurt the side that lost the leader. (few would say the lannisters benefitted from their very prominent exeuction.)

In fact, often the execution of enemy leaders lead to the forces of the enemy becoming more determined.

I would suggest if you execute an enemy leader, your enemy has a chance to muster extra units at home... maybe the number of new units based on the strength of the card executed.
then the executed leader card is replaced by a blank card that has no beneficial effect, but it prevents any sort of advantage for having fewer cards (it must still be played as your leader, with no leader benefit that battle)

that simulates that risks and benefits of executing your enemies leaders, as you might rally your enemy forces in retaliation.
 
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Sdric
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Thread summary and precision

"Sworn Enemy"

Every house had a "Sworn Enemy" that they would never ally with.
Option :
1) Thematic e.g. Stark vs. Lannister,
2) Randomized at the beginning of the game, each house borrow one power token to each of the other playing houses. In the beginning of the game they they randomly choose one and discard the others. That house is their enemy.
3) Randomized at the beginning of the game. Put in a bag one power token for each playing house, each player draw one power token. That house is their enemy.If they draw their own token, they do not have "Sworn Enemy" but no other house have sworn your defeat.
Reward option :
a) In each battle, you have an extra sword against your sworn enemy.
b) In each battle, you have an extra fortress against your sworn enemy.
c) Each victory against your sworn enemy earns you one power token.

Note : You can replace power token by a special home made "House deck"
---------------------

"Hostages",
Inspired by Storm of Sword http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/19400/a-game-of-thrones-a...

When an army loses a battle, its Leader (leader card played) may be taken hostage according to the rules below.
First, during a battle where the loser is forced to take casualties, the winner may choose to have the loser remove one fewer unit from the board in order to take the opposing Leader.
The number of casualties inflicted is defined as the attacker’s Sword Icons minus the loser’s Fortification Icons, but casualties can also be inflicted by special card power such as Mace Tyrell or Tide of battle card if used or army unable to retreat. However the lost of a siege engine or routed unit cannot be traded for a leader as siege engine and routed unit will never retreat.
Note : You can only take The Blackfish hostage with the sword obtained because Stark is your sworn enemy. Mercenary are never taken hostage

The leader card taken hostage is placed in the winner’s holding cell and remains there until rescued, stolen, traded through negotiations,
or executed. In return, the loser gets a mercenary house card in replacement of his leader as described below.

Initial leader : Mercenary
strength : strength
str 4 : str2
str 3 : str1-sword
str 2 : str1-fort
str 1 : str0
str 0 : str0

The previous table is an example, we can choose otherwise. The mercenary strength can also be chosen randomly. A hostage is materializing on the map with a power token taken from the available loser side reserve. The hostage is moving with the troops, and stay hostage as long he stays with their jailer's troop. Consequently, a leader can be released/trade freely or against ransom, using a March order to move the hostage in an empty region or controlled by its former owner or its next jailer. In addition, if a region is conquered with a hostage, a hostage to the winner's choice corresponding to house power token changes hands or is released.

Note : In case of an exchange of hostage, the first player playing his March order to release his hostage have to trust that his opponent will do the same when his March order will be played.

Also, during a consolidate order played on a region where the hostage is (materializing on the map with a power token), you may execute this hostage. Then the card is removed from the game.
Possible option
1) In addition to the consolidate order, you may execute one hostage and gain hostage's strength value in power.
2) In replacement to the consolidate order, you may execute one hostage and you gain hostage's strength value in power, minimum 1.
3) In replacement to the consolidate order, you may execute one hostage and you may choose to switch places with the hostage’s owner on any one Influence track. If this switch results in you taking the first position on an Influence track, you take the appropriate Influence token (the Iron Throne, the Valyrian Steel Blade, or the Messenger Raven).
4) In replacement to the consolidate order, you may execute one hostage and Your enemy has a chance to muster extra units at home for muster point equal to half (rounded up) of the strength of the card executed. It simulates the risks that you might rally your enemy forces in retaliation.

Note and Comment :
For simplicity, if for example, you have several Stark hostage and want to execute one of them you can play your consolidate order at any place where you have at least one stark power token (materializing a Stark hostage). Similarly if an other player release a Stark hostage, he can choose to release any of your Stark hostage.
Concerning the effect of execution: In SoS we can typically obtain a ransom equal to the double of the leader strength. However in SoS only the two strongest leader can be taken hostage and resulting to the lost of their card (no mercenary card replacement). With this variant I suppose that the ransom will be more like around the leader strength. Execute hostage should be less rewarding that trading. IMHO Option 1&4, 2 or 3 seems the best, but up to you to choose the one you prefer. Concerning option 4 the mustering point should be the strength of the leader excuted minus the strength of the mercenary card replacing the leader. If you choose only str0 leader, the mustering will be higher


---------------------

"Not random use of Tides of Battle Cards"

You can play with Tides of Battle Cards by distributing three cards to each house according to one of the following combinations:
- One card (+0), One card (+1, sword), One card (+2)
- One card (+0), One card (+0, skull), One card (+3)
Initially, the card (+0) is visible and can not be played, each time you are involved in a battle, you play one of your two cards Tides of Battle in hand together with your leader card. You take back in hand the card Tides of Battle previously visible. The Tides of Battle card just played remains visible on the table until your next battle.

Note and Comment : Using the Tides of Battle Cards allow to increase the chances of (re)capturing a opponent leader

---------------------

"Wedding or official alliance"
Inspired by Fief http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/107704/fief

With at least four players, the players can make an alliance and win together. A player can only have one ally. A team of two players win by having 11 stronghold/castle, the repartition of those between the two players does not matter. You can not have a solo win if you are allied with someone else. A wedding between two leader of two players is the only way to create an official alliance.

Wedding is between a free female leader and a free male leader, and need to spend for both house a consolidate power order. If one of the wedded leader is killed the alliance and the wedding is cancelled. Each house can have only one wedding at a time. You cannot wed with your sworn enemy.
Leader who can wed
For house Baratheon
Renly and Mellissandre
For house Lannister
Tywin and Cersei
For house Stark
Robb and Catelyn (representing Sansa)
For house Greyjoy
Victorian and Asha
For house Tyrell
Ser Loras and Margaery
For house Martell
Red viper and Arianne
 
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Hi,

first post here.

I'm a bit of a noob to this game still, but for players like me and my friends, who are just having their first couple of games, I thought, how about a simplified hostage variant which doesnt overcomplicate things, and especially evades the scenario where allies have their weaker cards taken hostage by each other purposefully as to strengthen their deck:

Simply, you can only take the 4-strength House Card of every house hostage, when it loses a battle against you.

I dont think it's difficult enough to win a battle against a 4-card by itself though. However, I also dont think it should be necessary to trade a casualty for the ability to take the hostage, because that would put Greyjoy, Stark and Martell in an advantage position (having swords on their 4-cards), and their House Card decks belong to the overall better ones already.
-> Here I am very gladly open to suggestions as to what the premise should be. Win combat with a margin of at least 2 strength in order to take the 4-card? Or a margin of 3?
Maybe spend a number of power tokens on top of it in order to capture?


But all in all this would be very simple really, no leader cards, no special tokens, no mercs needed.

What I'm not sure about is how the consequences should look exactly, as to have a fair and balanced game.
I'm not sure I like the idea of executing hostages. Removing a 4-card permanently would set a player at a huge disadvantage from what I would expect. So that would also mean, not be able to keep the card hostage until the end of the game, OR make the requirements to get the hostage back (aside from negotiating, buying back with power tokens, exchanging hostages) not too difficult to meet.
Invading the captor's homeland to reclaim the hostage card is an obvious one to me (also, thi can be done by allies, not just the hostage's house!), but I feel like there should be some other way as well to reclaim your hostage from a captor who is absolutely unwilling to give it back to you.
-> Here, again, I'd be thankful for input.

On the other hand, it should be rewarding to the captor, although the reward shouldnt be bigger than the penalty for the hostage's house, and there should definitely be an incentive for the captor to return the hostage.

So yea.. feel free to discuss further
 
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