Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

BattleLore» Forums » Variants

Subject: Pseudo-Random Terrain Generation for BatteLore—a minigame rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Christian Gindlesperger
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So, I’m clearly late to the party—BattleLore came out in 2006, and I just got a copy this week! But, I’ve been excited about the possibilities for some time, and am still excited having taken everything out of the box, and started to play around with it!

I’ve also got Call to Arms, and like the idea of (pseudo-)randomized troop deployment (…you wouldn’t really want it to be completely random, would you?)—but I immediately wondered if there was something out there to do the same thing with terrain and map building. I found some homebrew cards for building maps similar to Call to Arms, which likely work well enough, but I started thinking about something that allows for a bit more complexity.

Not wanting to add on to the already substantial set up time, I looked at what was in front of me. What about the dice? There looks to be some nice match-ups already there: green helmets could be forests, blue could be river components, lore for special/lore terrain, etc.

With a little more tinkering and a couple of trial map generations, I think this system works pretty darn well, and actually makes set up a bit more fun—almost a game in and of itself.

Hopefully enough BattleLore players are still out there that someone else can enjoy this, but please take a look here at this draft and see what you think.

As I’m a bit green to the game, I’m sure there are nuances I have not considered in map building. Any good tweaks would be appreciated!

SET UP:
-------
1. Take all of the terrain tiles and separate them into these stacks:

----• Forest/Hills
----• River tiles which are straight or bent
----• River tiles which are forked
----• Headwaters and lake
----• Non-landmark tiles (swamp, cliff, etc.)
----• Landmark tiles (Lore, creature dens)

2. Shuffle each stack of river tiles separately, and turn them river-side down.

3. Lay out the game board, and each play choose a side. Each player takes 6 dice.

4. Determine who will be the first player (role dice, flip a coin, arm wrestle, etc.)

PHASE I: River:
---------------
1. Each player roles one die for each section of the board (left, center, and right), and places that die on the section. There should be 6 dice on the board.

2. If no dice have blue helmets, this map will not have river terrain. Skip to Phase II.

3. If any dice have a blue helmet, begin building the river:

----a. The first player will begin building the river by taking a river tile and placing it in any section with a blue helmet.
----b. If three or more dice with blue helmets have been rolled, the first player draws from the forked river tiles; otherwise, the first player draws from the straight/bent tiles.
----c. The first tile must be placed along the gameboard's center line (i.e., on both the player's and his opponent's side) of any section containing a blue helmet. Orientation is decided by the first player.
----d. Then, the second player draws a tile from the straight/bent tiles, and places it in any position where it connects to the river on the first tile.
----e. Tile placement alternates until no more legal placements are possible, or the tiles run out.
----f. Once all river tiles have been placed, each player places one the headwater/lake tiles at the end of any river branch. Any other unfinished branches are left alone.

PHASE II: Land:
---------------
1. Land placement will be done per section starting with the left section, moving to the center, then finishing with the right.

2. For each section, each player rolls six dice. The outcome of the dice will determine which tiles the player can place, as follows:

----• For each Green Helmet: one Forest tile
----• For each Red Helmet: one Hill tile
----• For each Yellow Sword on Shield: one Forest or Hill tile
----• For any Blue Helmets:
--------o If a River is present: one Bridge or Ford tile
--------o If no River is present: one Rampart tile
----• For any Lore: any non-landmark terrain tile (including Hill, Forest, Swamp or Cliff) tile
--------o The specific tile can be selected (first player chooses first, if both roll lore)
----• For each Flag: cancel any one opponent’s die
--------o Cannot be used to cancel opponent’s Flag.

3. Once dice are rolled, resolve the dice in the following order (first player first):

----• Each Flag die rolled must be used to cancel an opponent’s non-flag die.
----• All Green, Red or Yellow dice must be used to place the corresponding terrain.
----• If a player has rolled any Blue Helmets, they must place one bridge or ford (if a river is present), or one rampart (if no river is present, or if all bridges have been used).
----• If a player has rolled any Lore, they must place a non-landmark tile of his or her choice.

4. Tiles cannot be placed on game board hexes which are split between both players’ halves of the board.

5. If any type of tile is not available, then no tile is placed.

6. For the left section, tiles are placed on the player’s side of the board. For the center section, tiles are placed on the opponent's side of the board. For the right section, tiles are again placed on the player’s side of the board.

7. If, after completing placement on all sections, no bridges or fords have been placed on the river:

----• The first player puts a bridge or ford tile on the river.
----• The second player puts two bridge or ford tiles on the river.

8. Once the map is complete, the second player may choose to swap sides of the board.

Phase III: Armies:
------------------
----• Decide on the number of banners needed for victory (6 by default).
----• Set up War Council/Creatures and place appropriate tiles, if using Lore
----• Place armies as per Call to Arms rules.
5 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dale Hurtt
United States
Huachuca City
Arizona
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Welcome to the world of BattleLore. Yes, there are still a few of us out there playing it. In fact, there is an online BattleLore tournament going on right now, and talk about a second forming. Go to the BattleLore Vassal Tournament Guild for more information. Now that the advertising is out of the way…

It looks like you have put a bit of thought into this. I hope to have some comments later although my concern is about using Lore to place out creature dens.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Neat idea! It's pretty clear you are enthused by the game. I appreciate that you take what's available to make the game even better.

My only question: How do you determine which side of a tile is face-up before sorting them into stacks? Rounded edges on top? Or the sharp/flat edges on top?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Gindlesperger
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
@BradyLS

So...the only thing you need to do with the stacks initially is make sure the river side is hidden--i.e., river side down. As for the other tiles, it's irrelevant.

The idea was to make the building of the river like the River in Carcassonne. Each player chooses a tile blindly, and then places it. Hope that makes sense...let me know how it works for you!

Edit: for dumb typos from my crappy phone keyboard.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Gindlesperger
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
@dhurtt

Yes, for sure, the creature tiles could be an issue as far as balance is concerned, as could the Lore tiles. Since I'm just starting, I don't really know the relative power of creatures and their tiles.
Their use using this set up methodology should be pretty rare--for every Lore you role, your opponent is equally likely to roll a flag, and will likely use it to cancel your Lore die. In the trial set ups I ran through (about 20, could definitely use a higher n here) Lore tiles were used on the map about a third of the time, and never should up in more than two sections (though they could theoretically be placed up to 6 times--it would be crazy, but memorable at least).

If creature dens (and the corresponding ability to use a creature for the player that captures them, which is how in envisioned them being used) are too powerful at that frequency, maybe there should be a separate set up for them--for instance, after the land phase, there could be a creature check where each player roles 6 dice for a critical Lore hit (each Lore die rolled is rolled again, and if any of the rerolls is Lore, a creature and its den is placed by the player).

So yeah, since I haven't played a real game with creatures yet, balance is still a guess for me. Something to reduce their frequency and requiring some starting troop sacrifice is probably in order...could definitely use some guidance from you veterans out there.

Edit--dumb typos from my crappy phone keyboard fixed, and significant changes to the text made while I was here...sorry if that throws anyone off.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G G
United States
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Let the Lore be any terrain tile - a free choice.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Gindlesperger
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey GrauGeist--

So, you mean not use the lore tiles and just make it a wild terrain choice? Or just open it up to all tiles?

If the latter, I think it would rarely be used for terrain, if ever. Could be a possibility though...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dale Hurtt
United States
Huachuca City
Arizona
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Given that creature dens can, and probably should only, be placed if you selected a creature in the Call to Arms deployment (or added one to your War Council), and that Lore Master landmarks are the same way, they should probably be exempted from the draw.

As for the Witch's Hut and the Graveyard, they do have other minor functions even if you are not playing Heroes.

I like Lore = any non-Landmark tile.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G G
United States
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah. Rather than being forced to pick a particular tile, let the player choose.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Gindlesperger
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Alright, that does make sense. Since tile placent will be handled with War Council setup, any Lore dice rolled can represent non-landmark terrain. Special terrain like cliffs and swamp can be included as well as hills and forests. I'll edit the procedure when I get to a real keyboard...

Thanks for the input! Let me know if you use this in your games!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Gindlesperger
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll change the file in the file download section soon...and also plan to add a few pictures of boards created using this algorithm...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Gindlesperger
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So here's a trial map I built, playing both sides by myself:



I tried to make advantageous placements for each side--which ended up with this near/far/near terrain arrangement, and the crazy river all along the base of the right flank.

I think this map points out a couple of potential issues:

1. River placement can really screw over one of the sides with bad tile draws. Potentially this could be fixed by giving some incentive to minimize the river size (maybe 1 Lore token for leading the river off the map?), or mixing the headwaters/pool into the river tile stack.

2. Bridge placement can also be problematic for a river like this--clearly, there is an advantage to making a single choke point, and screwing your opponent by placing bridges in inopportune locations. Maybe bridges/ford could be moved by a Lore roll? Or, placement could be done outside of the rolls altogether.

3. Tile use: there are enough tiles to support 36 tiles being placed on the board--but a situation can easily arise where the Lore tiles have to be used on the flip side to comply with the die rolls. Maybe War Councils should be done before map selection? Or those tiles could be set aside and ignored of hills/forests come up on dice rolls.

Anyway, if anyone's inclined, I'd love to see what 2 different players actually come up with--I'm sure this map is highly influenced by my bias for what is advantageous or not, and other brains come up with other solutions (especially if they're more experienced BattleLore players than me...which would be most players at this point)!

Post to this thread with any maps you come up with for discussion...

Also, it occurs to me that this process could be done using Vassal--a lot easier than clearing the table and cracking open the box (maybe a little less fun...), so I'll probably do future maps that way.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Gindlesperger
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Alright, here's an attempt at a map using Vassal:



Possible issue with the top left flank--deployment using CtA rules may be a pain. If the river is unfordable, at least three of the spaces are completely inaccessible, and only seven spaces are usable.

Is this an interesting map to have to struggle with, or is the top of the map player at too much of a disadvantage?

I'm toying with the idea of adding a rule: the player with the most river tiles on his side may choose to make the entire river fordable (ford tiles placed would then be bridges).

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian Gindlesperger
United States
Shaker Heights
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
One more Vassal map, this time without a river:



Interesting, but a little open on the right. Thoughts?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dale Hurtt
United States
Huachuca City
Arizona
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Invictus5000 wrote:


Possible issue with the top left flank--deployment using CtA rules may be a pain. If the river is unfordable, at least three of the spaces are completely inaccessible, and only seven spaces are usable.

Is this an interesting map to have to struggle with, or is the top of the map player at too much of a disadvantage?


Too much? Probably not. After all, in CtA you can look at your cards, and the terrain, and adjust. It would need more playtesting, but generally speaking, those are the breaks with random systems.

Quote:
I'm toying with the idea of adding a rule: the player with the most river tiles on his side may choose to make the entire river fordable (ford tiles placed would then be bridges).


There needs to be some rule to determine whether a river is fordable or not.

Invictus5000 wrote:
One more Vassal map, this time without a river:



Interesting, but a little open on the right. Thoughts?


It does not both me as much as the ramparts. How is it much different than the open flank on the previous board (two hills versus one woods)?
 
 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.