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I have not got the game yet but am already thinking about having non-player kingdoms controlled by random dice rolls and tables for games with only 2-3 human players. Has anyone else tried to do this?

The idea would be to have all the Armies and Emissaries of an unused kingdom on the board just like for a player kingdom, and semi-randomly determine what the kingdom does each turn. These house rules could be tailored to each kingdom to give them a bit of uniqueness.

Strategy cards would be played as if it was a four-player game (i.e. ignore the "2-3" region on the card).

Each non-player kingdom would receive strategy and kingdom cards just like a regular player but they would be dealt facedown until they needed to be examined.

During the "Bid" phase, non-player kingdoms would bid a randomly drawn bid token and strategy card.

When it was the non-player kingdom's turn to act, some sort of table could be used which would list action die results in order of priority. This could favour "martial" choices at the top of the table and "diplomacy" choices at the bottom of the table, with modifiers based on how the kingdom was doing in terms of forts, towers and cities in play.

If anyone has done such a system already, I'd love to see it.

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Alexandros Boucharelis
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interesting, it will also play solo with this variant. i 'll give it a try when it will hit the table and post my thoughts here (but it will take a while since i have other priorities for now).
 
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Still waiting for the game but here are a few ideas I've had about this so far.

The non-player kingdoms could follow "asymmetric" rules, i.e. they don't play like regular player kingdoms but rather in an abstract way to represent them gradually growing as an empire during the game and encroaching on the territories of the player kingdoms.

Possible method:

At the end of every Conan adventure, each non-player kingdom will expand automatically into a neighbouring neutral province. The province expanded into is the lowest rated neighbouring province, with ties determined randomly. The form of expansion is a Tower if there are at least two friendly provinces of the non-player kingdom adjacent to it, otherwise it is a Fort. If only one type of control token is left in the non-player kingdom's reserve, then it is automatically used for the expansion. If there is no neighbouring neutral province, no expansion occurs. Also see "At War" below.

Players may attack a non-player kingdom's province using the normal rules for Contests. Whenever a non-player kingdom's province is Besieged, place a number of the non-player kingdom's Army Units in the province equal to the province's rating. Whenever a non-player kingdom's province is the target of an Intrigue Contest, do not place any of its Army units in the province.

During an Age Change, the highest rated friendly province of the non-player kingdom which contains a Fort becomes a City, provided there is at least one Tower left in its reserve.

"At War": If a player kingdom conquers a friendly province of the non-player kingdom, the non-player kingdom becomes "At War" with that player kingdom until such time as the lost province is regained. At the end of each Conan Adventure, after expanding into any neutral neighbouring province, the non-player kingdom will attack the lost province with a 5 unit Army (placed in the province from its reserve) provided the lost province borders a province friendly to the non-player province. Normal rules for Contests apply.

-- All for now --

What I need to think about next is card play for a non-player kingdom. That is a bit trickier but will probably involve randomly drawing Kingdom and/or Strategy cards each combat round.
 
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I am rethinking the above now, as it would not get the kingdom's Emissaries into play and would only get their Armies into play if they were attacked. I am now leaning towards using the action dice for each non-player kingdom's actions, as follows.

Whenever the action dice are rerolled (not the first time they are rolled at the start of the game), before re-rolling the dice, roll one action die for each non-player kingdom.

Banner:

If the kingdom has no friendly province with a Fort, redeploy once then attack the lowest-rated neighbouring neutral province (determined randomly if more than one eligible) with the maximum possible number of army units.

If the kingdom has at least one friendly province with a Fort and less than 10 army units, recruit a unit in two eligible provinces (determined randomly)

If the kingdom has 10 or more army units, redeploy once then attack the lowest-rated neighbouring neutral province with the maximum possible number of army units.

Once a campaign is started, the kingdom will always Force March if it has two or more army units in the province, and will use any future Banner dice to redeploy once then continue the campaign.

Cup:

If the kingdom has no friendly province with a Tower, move Emissaries and perform an Intrigue action against the lowest-rated neighbouring neutral province with the greatest number of bordering friendly provinces.

If the kingdom has at least one friendly province with a Tower and less than 3 Emissaries, recruit an Emissary.

etc. etc.

Work in progress !! Any suggestions welcome.

[EDIT]

I realise now for solo play that would result in non-player kingdoms getting far too few turns. Revising the above, non-player kingdoms get a "turn" just like regular kingdoms but use a discarded action die for their roll. If the dice need to be rerolled in a non-player kingdom's turn, roll a die for it first, carry out its action, then re-roll all dice.

I tend to think aloud in forums (a bad habit) so I will flesh out these ideas a bit more before posting here again.
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OK, rules for "automatic" non-player kingdoms have now been thoroughly fleshed out, if anyone would like to try them out. All feedback welcome. Please click the link below:

Files section: AoC Automatic Kingdom rules
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Alexandros Boucharelis
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ok, printed and i hope to check them asap (it might take couple of months though shake ).
 
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Thanks for downloading the rules.

By the way, I have uploaded a new version now with mainly cosmetic changes (two-column layout and nicer background). Click the link again to get the new version.
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Charles Hildebrandt
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These rules are outstanding!
 
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I have moved the download to the files section (title: AoC Automatic Kingdom rules)
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