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constant-whiner
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February 2007
4 more things that irk me in CtA. Tue, 29 May 2007 12:34
In an earlier post ("Call To Arms - my issues with it") I published a list of things that irk me in CtA.
Having played CtA a number of times since buying it, I want to add 4 more to the list:

1. setup takes waaaay too long.

2. setup does not feel like a meta-game at all. I.e. it is not fun. CtA setup feels like a drudgery due to the random nature of picking deployment cards. Players feel dumb when they are asked to select one of those three "slightly different flavored" decks (read: practically 100% identical). The only fun part of setup is when you get to pick the specialists but, even then, the fun is ruined by the un-thematic ownership rule.

3. spatial deployment patterns are sooooo un-thematic. I mean, try putting yourself in the shoes of the army commander and role-play that: "hmm, those lads would be great asset on my right flank, but hell, I can't really use them there. Those dumbbells only deploy in the following configuration ... and this means that they will deploy [in range of the enemy longbows] / [in the marsh] / [add yours here]". Restraining the player in a rigid deployment grid is asking the player to compare the deployment grid versus the landscape and enter into a totally un-thematic thought process. Is this really how medieval battles were fought? Did the army commander handed them a grid with X-Y coordinates on where to deploy or did he simply say: "Edward, you and your guys will be on my right flank". Why not just let the player deploy each guard the way he chooses in the alloted section?

4. deploy on baseline or fungetaboutit rule. Try role-playing that: "I feel sooo good having that giant spider on our side! What's that? She refuses to deploy? Says she only deploys on baseline and baseline too crowded? Damnit!"
      
BeardFan
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Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Tue, 29 May 2007 14:44
constant-whiner schrieb am Tue, 29 May 2007 12:34

The only fun part of setup is when you get to pick the specialists but, even then, the fun is ruined by the un-thematic ownership rule.


We handled the specialst cards in the same way we handle the war council: Write your picks on a sheet of paper simultaneously. This way the opponent does not gain information and both players can pick the same specialists even if you have only one set of CtA. Makes much more sense than selecting cards or placing the round markers on the council sheets (that we don't use anymore).
      
cebalrai
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August 2005
Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Tue, 29 May 2007 15:12
Actual army customization options are minuscule. Think "random army generator". Also, feudal levy tokens are little more than a patch for the fact that there aren't enough units to go around. If you have 2 copies of the game, you don't even need them. I'm kind of irked by fact that feudal tokens were advertised as a "feature" of organized mode.

Specialist cards give you a few options of course, but CtA overall isn't worth it to my group due to the cost of a very long setup time.

The other thing that bothers my group is the fact that you get so many (too many for us) units that it's kind of silly. It's just too crowded. It might be fun to play crowded games on occasion, but does every game have to be 16 vs 17 units? We saw 16 vs 18 once.

I wish there was an option to play with a variety of army sizes. Sure you can play without using reinforcements (which we have done), but that detracts even further from the already minimal options to customize one's army.
      
cobame
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January 2004
Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Tue, 29 May 2007 16:13
I love the game, I don't even mind Hills/Forest/Rivers lore cards, but: set-up time, set-up time, set-up time! Life is too short! Rolling Eyes
      
toddrew
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Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Tue, 29 May 2007 19:01
cobame wrote on Tue, 29 May 2007 07:13

I love the game, I don't even mind Hills/Forest/Rivers lore cards, but: set-up time, set-up time, set-up time! Life is too short! Rolling Eyes


Vassal, my friend, vassal: CtA coming soon to a terminal near you Very Happy (Epic, too, I would imagine).

[Updated on: Tue, 29 May 2007 19:02]

      
ColtsFan76
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Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Tue, 29 May 2007 19:18
toddrew wrote on Tue, 29 May 2007 12:01

cobame wrote on Tue, 29 May 2007 07:13

I love the game, I don't even mind Hills/Forest/Rivers lore cards, but: set-up time, set-up time, set-up time! Life is too short! Rolling Eyes


Vassal, my friend, vassal: CtA coming soon to a terminal near you Very Happy (Epic, too, I would imagine).


Overlord for Memoir 44 is the next one coming, then CtA after that. Epic won't be out until the retail version hits stores (or at least the revised rules make it to PDF). Too much unknown in that to invest the time in it now.
      
Kluuetje
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Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Tue, 29 May 2007 22:21
I strongly advice you not to play battlelore again. It's not good for your heart.
      
mvettemagred
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August 2005
Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Tue, 29 May 2007 22:22
I agree with the setup time issue, but I don't agree that it's just drudgery. I actually like figuring out how best to match the deployment cards to the map, and which card to hold in reserve. One should also keep the Specialist cards in mind when deciding where to place your deployment cards.

For example, in a game yesterday I had to place my archers on or near the back row in order to deploy all my calvary. Knowing I would need to move my archers forward right away to get any use from them, I decided to take a L2 Rogue and the Infiltration and Vantage Point Specialist cards. Not only did this allow me to get my archers into strategic starting locations, but I deployed my reserves (red and blue foot) one hex from the enemy archers. By combining my deployment card placement with the Specialists cards, I was able to get into a really good starting formation (better than anything I've seen in an official scenario).

So, while you're not placing each individual unit exactly where you want, you can make some important adjustments based on what map you're using and what your opponent is deploying. It still takes a long time, though. Smile

[Updated on: Tue, 29 May 2007 22:23]

      
toddrew
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Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Wed, 30 May 2007 14:12
Kluuetje wrote on Tue, 29 May 2007 13:21

I strongly advice you not to play battlelore again. It's not good for your heart.


Heehee Very Happy Also, best not to take those dice rolls personally Wink

And, rereading my post up above: Not meant to be taken as voicing my displeasure over set-up time. I had time to get in a couple games using CtA over the weekend, and very much enjoyed it. But that's probably due to what I enjoy most about BL, being given a set of circumstances and trying to figure out how best to battle from that position.
      
mvettemagred
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Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Wed, 30 May 2007 14:20
toddrew wrote on Wed, 30 May 2007 08:12

Kluuetje wrote on Tue, 29 May 2007 13:21

I strongly advice you not to play battlelore again. It's not good for your heart.


Heehee Very Happy Also, best not to take those dice rolls personally Wink

And, rereading my post up above: Not meant to be taken as voicing my displeasure over set-up time. I had time to get in a couple games using CtA over the weekend, and very much enjoyed it. But that's probably due to what I enjoy most about BL, being given a set of circumstances and trying to figure out how best to battle from that position.

My sentiment exactly. While some people are knocking CtA because it doesn't provide a finite level of control (i.e. point buy), I like to be presented with a situation and try to maximize it to my advantage. Also, the Deployment card approach forces me to try different army configurations and learn new ways to approach the game. The only challenge has been to get a game in without annoying my wife. Twisted Evil
      
Zeal
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December 2006
Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Wed, 30 May 2007 17:37
mvettemagred wrote on Wed, 30 May 2007 06:20

The only challenge has been to get a game in without annoying my wife. Twisted Evil


Yeah, when you overcome this challenge, let me know how. My wife doesn't think this game should be on the dining room table permanently. I asked her to think of it as a more colorful chess set, but to no avail.
      
Kluuetje
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Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Wed, 30 May 2007 23:37
toddrew wrote on Wed, 30 May 2007 14:12

Kluuetje wrote on Tue, 29 May 2007 13:21

I strongly advice you not to play battlelore again. It's not good for your heart.


Heehee Very Happy Also, best not to take those dice rolls personally Wink

And, rereading my post up above: Not meant to be taken as voicing my displeasure over set-up time. I had time to get in a couple games using CtA over the weekend, and very much enjoyed it. But that's probably due to what I enjoy most about BL, being given a set of circumstances and trying to figure out how best to battle from that position.


Let me say. I love battlelore as it is. And I totaly agree with you. The only thing is, I hadn't had the opportunity to play CtA yet. Ordered it but for now sold out at my local gaming shop in the Netherlands, so I have to wait a litle more to finally play CtA.
      
Scragnoth
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Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Thu, 31 May 2007 00:17
Have you checked the Gamekeeper in Amsterdam... Got mine there..
      
cebalrai
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August 2005
Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Thu, 31 May 2007 04:09
mvettemagred wrote on Wed, 30 May 2007 08:20


My sentiment exactly. While some people are knocking CtA because it doesn't provide a finite level of control (i.e. point buy), I like to be presented with a situation and try to maximize it to my advantage. Also, the Deployment card approach forces me to try different army configurations and learn new ways to approach the game. The only challenge has been to get a game in without annoying my wife. Twisted Evil


I wasn't expecting a ton of control. The three decks that are 99% identical though leaves me wishing for a bit more control though, yeah. I'm cool with moderately low control, but CtA is quite random.
      
Kluuetje
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Re:4 more things that irk me in CtA. Thu, 31 May 2007 12:01
Kluuetje wrote on Wed, 30 May 2007 23:37

toddrew wrote on Wed, 30 May 2007 14:12

Kluuetje wrote on Tue, 29 May 2007 13:21

I strongly advice you not to play battlelore again. It's not good for your heart.


Heehee Very Happy Also, best not to take those dice rolls personally Wink

And, rereading my post up above: Not meant to be taken as voicing my displeasure over set-up time. I had time to get in a couple games using CtA over the weekend, and very much enjoyed it. But that's probably due to what I enjoy most about BL, being given a set of circumstances and trying to figure out how best to battle from that position.


Let me say. I love battlelore as it is. And I totaly agree with you. The only thing is, I hadn't had the opportunity to play CtA yet. Ordered it but for now sold out at my local gaming shop in the Netherlands, so I have to wait a litle more to finally play CtA.


I live in the south (near Weert), so it's a little far. I just wait until they have it on stock again. They will keep me updated, that's the good news.
      
    
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