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RBorg
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Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sat, 26 January 2008 01:51
By now, many of you BattleLore fans have no doubt experimented with other ways to use the Deployment Card sets as presented in Call to Arms. While both the Impromptu and Organized Mode, will provide many hours of fun, these two methods really only scratch the surface of many possible alternatives.

Before I get into a few of my game groups favorites, I would, however, like to take a moment and share a few thoughts about the design philosophy behind the Deployment Card sets and Specialist cards.

How many of you have gone to play in a friendly game or tournament where a point system was used to set up your forces prior to the battle, only to find your opponent has mini-maxed the point system (some call it cheese) so that the whole game session was really not much fun? By design the chief focus and main intent of the Deployment Card system was to reduce this sort of cheesy experience. It is our belief, that the deployment decks go a long way to provide players with an almost endless variety of alternate ways to set up an adventure, while still providing an equal and balance setting.

In regard to Specialist cards? during competitive play or tournaments, we do recommend the number of Specialist cards used by a player be limited to two. However, for friendly face-to-face friendly style games players can agree to a greater number prior to the start of the adventure. The main focus of the Specialist cards was to give players the opportunity to use their new units from expansions, yet prevent a situation that would throw off or unbalance an adventure in favor of the wealthiest player.

Finally, if you own several of the expansions already released, you may now have ample units to field a complete Dwarf or Goblin army. Be assured that we will release Deployment sets that let you take full advantage of these.

Lets return to the main purpose of this post? as stated at the start, I want to share a few of my game groups favorite alternative ways to use the Deployment Card sets. I do hope you will join in the discussion with your own thoughts and ideas.

(1) Lightning Mode
After the battlefield is selected and terrain hexes are placed, the Pennant player selects a set of deployment cards, shuffles the seven cards in the set and deals one card face up in each battlefield section and one as a reserve. The Standard player also selects a set, shuffles the cards and deals one card face up in each battlefield section and one as a reserve. Each player then, Deploys his Guards, Scout ahead, Call the Reserves, Call the War Council and Call the Specialists.

Although the Lighting Mode may not be a favorite for those who want some degree of control, it benefits include an extremely quick set up, no need for Feudal Levy tokens and our group has always enjoyed the challenge presented by this shuffle and deal form of deployment.

(2) Strategic Plan Mode
After the battlefield is selected and terrain hexes are placed, the Pennant player selects any four cards from the three Pennant Deployment Card sets and places one card face down in each section of the battlefield and holds one as a reserve. The Standard player selects any four cards from the three Standard Deployment Card sets and places one card face down in each section of the battlefield and holds one as a reserve. Each player then, Deploys his Guards, Scout ahead, Call the Reserves, Set War Council and Call the Specialists.

This Strategic Plan Mode works best when players have time prior to the adventure to study the field of battle and all possible deployment options. We usually select a scenario and assign players their camp, Standard or Pennant, at the end of a game session so there is ample time before the next session for planning.

In the Strategic Plan Mode there is a good chance that you may require Feudal Levy tokens. However, because most guys in our group have their own copy of BattleLore, our house rule is that if a player comes to the game and has selected one or more units that he cannot field from his base game or expansions, the unit is lost. This tends to force players to spend some time and thought before the game session.

(3) All Mercenaries Mode
The All Mercenaries Mode is a slight variation on Strategic Plan Mode above? Shuffle all the Deployment cards and deal 7 cards to each player. From the 7 cards each player selects 4 cards that he will bring to the battle. Once again make sure there is ample time to review and plan the best deployments onto the selected battlefield prior to the adventure.

(4) Just Plain Evil Mode
The Just Plain Evil Mode is a slight variation on both the Strategic Plan Mode and All Mercenaries Mode above? Shuffle all the Deployment cards and deal 7 cards to each player. From the 7 cards each player selects 4 cards that he will give to his opponent right before the battle. After receiving the four Deployment cards selected by your opponent, you choose which section to play each card and which card will be held as your reserve. Once again make sure there is ample time to review and plan the worst possible deployment cards for your opponent prior to the adventure.

For both Mode 3 and 4 there is also a good chance that you may require Feudal Levy tokens.

Enjoy!
Richard Borg

      
tom-le-termite
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sat, 26 January 2008 02:34
Thank you very much Richard.

This confirms my though about the deployment card system: it is open to many types of variant, making each game a unique experience.

We will be waiting for the next sets of mercernary deployment cards Razz
      
Roobarb
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sat, 26 January 2008 03:24
thank you for shareing these ideas with us mr borg Cool you da man Twisted Evil
      
surigaostriat
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sat, 26 January 2008 06:12
Played some with the new Specialist cards. Near all games saw Mounted Knights taken, and usually with Illusionary Troops. Pretty powerfull.....
      
Caboose
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sat, 26 January 2008 09:34
Richard

First of all, thanks for explaining/detailing alternate ways of playing the CtA cards. Since it always nice to hear about "new" things from the designer of the game, even if it from an "old" expansion (i.e. Gives an old dog new tricks to learn!)

The only issue I can see and I know you did mention it is that there will be Deployment cards that will be specific goblin/dwarf/other races decks. Of course we don't have them and we have to work with what we do have at the moment.

Second, unfortunately, the CtA cards of course deal with the base set items with the exception being the creatures. Thus maybe it might be nice to have some ability (barring the specialist route) to have some way of getting them. Sure you can get them via feudal token, but one has to plan having a specific color unit being out. Not exactly an item to try to do nor can only easily plan for it. Thus was thinking about something along the lines of "roll a dice and if a certain die face shows, upgrade possible". So if the dice rolled is a SoS, then the unit in that section can be replaced with specialist and have some chart to use. I just thought of this in like a few minutes but might be something that others can expand on.

So let me present some CtA items that you might have not thought of...

1) See second item above on allowing specialists be on board mode
(Gee, I bet you didn't see that one coming, eh? <G>) Thus one might have the ability to get a specialist on the board. My thought is for every card, roll 2 dice. If either dice is a SoS, one of the units can be upgrade to a specialist. And if both dice are SoS, 2 units can be a specialist. Randomly determine which unit(s) get upgraded. Don't roll for the 2 units that come from the reserve. All units that do get replaced with specialists will be of the lowest color possible for the specialist unit. Will require some chart to determine what upgrades to what...

Since I just thought of this, this probably will require maybe more thought/consideration and playtesting. Since there will be a total of 6 dice rolled (2 dice x 3 sections), one probably get at least 1 unit upgraded to be a specialist. As such, a max of 2 units can be upgraded.

If there is more than 2 upgrades possible, the player can know WHICH units in each section will be upgraded but NOT what they will be upgraded to before determining which units will be upgraded.

Obviously need to make an upgrade chart for each type of base unit. Maybe on the chart, have the possibility of the upgrade "failed" and/or maybe it the unit got upgraded in color ?!?!

Any thoughts/comments/suggestions would be appreciated.

2) - Combined Lightning Mode
I like to see a combination of armies (both goblin and dwarf), so both sides have at least perhaps. Thus for people who want to have mixed armies, I would like to expand on your Lightning mode and call it 1A. Of course, if people like singular race armies, they can keep to your Lightning mode.

The only difference is you combine BOTH a Pennant and Banner deck together of the same letter. The person can choose which letter - A, B or C - but the deck would consist of both pennant and stardard decks of the same letter. Sure the Goblin C deck does have 1 more goblin than dwarf, but it allows for basically equal fairness between drawing a goblin or dwarf card. After combining the decks, follow the Lightning mode and draw 4 cards as stated above from the combined deck. There is only one exception - If a 2nd creature card is drawn and it is placed in one of the battlefield sections (left, middle or right - but not reserve). If so, the 2nd creature is not deployed and is replaced with a green human mounted or calvary unit (player's choice) in the location where the 2nd creature should be. If the 2nd creature card is in the reserve, the creature cannot be chosen. This removes the possibility of 1 side of placing 2 creatures since 2 decks are combined and each deck has 1 creature card in it's 7 cards.

For example, the cards drawn were C1 Standard (Right), C3 Pennant (Mid), C7 Standard(Left). The C7 creature would be replaced with a green human unit since there was a creature on the C3 Pennant card in the middle section

With Two 7-card decks combined, one can use the deck for multiple battles. Or if setting up for a tournament, one can use the deck for setting up 4 different battles.

3) - Using the Guest spot on the War Council for an additional Specialist Card mode
This is an idea that some of the Vassal people have devised. If I remember correctly (toddrew or others can probably give better details), one can allocate one level in the Guest spot to get an additional specialist card to use. And a maximum of 1 level on the guest spot and thus 1 Specialist Card. Thus does allow use of the Guest spot. And thus uses a spot NOT in use (obviously will be when Heroes comes out) on the war council. And thus even when the Guest does get used, one can still do this by allocating a level for a specialist card.

Yes it does allow for an additional specialist but at the cost of 1 level in the war council. Thus trading a level that might be used otherwise.

Todd (toddrew) probably can provide more information on it, since I believe he was one of the people to think of it.

3A) Variation on above - random draw Specialist card.
I'm pretty certain the extra specialist card above is not randomly drawn. Another mode would make it a random draw and thus randomly draw 1, 2 or 3 specialist card and have to choose from 1 of them. Of course the random specialists would be ones that haven't been already chosen.

Some questions for Richard -
1) I of course demo BL quite a bit and have found there is very little chance of Feudal tokens. Seems Epics require them more than others. I would like to know how often it has occured for your group and if possible with stats (i.e. out of X games, it has happened Y times)
2) For those not in the "know" (since some of us [i.e. me!] have never played point based military systems), please elaborate on the cheese min-max point systems and why it is so bad. The reason I ask is some people want a point based system for BL (see some of the threads). Thus will there be a point based system for BL (i.e. do you forsee it happening, etc) ?

Cab
      
toddrew
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sat, 26 January 2008 10:08
Before I completely derail this thread with my next post, I just wanted to say thanks, Richard, for the great post. Perfect example of why I think BattleLore will be my favored game for as far as I can see into the future Wink

"Lightning" and "Just Plain Evil" sound like blasts to me (I do not believe I have ever been accused of having a type A personality Laughing )

The way I have been drawing lately for deployement, playing partners better watch out if a game of "JPE" is how we choose to pass the time Very Happy
      
Vendral2
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sat, 26 January 2008 10:16
Since it was me and todd that "invented" the Guest Specialist position in the War Council I can summarize how we have been playing it.
We usually play with a lvl 7 War Council, to encourage use of extra specialist cards. We allow up to lvl 3 on the Guest Specialist spot, like other WC spots, and for every lvl you get an extra specialist card over the 2 you get for free.
When picking the deployment cards we let the outscouter, player to move first, pick the first specialist card. Then we alternate two cards each until we have picked the number of specialist cards we payed for.

For example: todd outscouted me. When picking WC todd put zero lvl in the Guest Specialist spot and I put 3 lvls there. That is todd get 2 specialist cards and I get 5.
Since todd is the outscouter he picks 1 card first, thereafter I get to pick 2, todd his final card and then I get to pick my last 3.

This has worked very well for us and gives some extra choices when deciding upon War Council and setting up the battle.
      
toddrew
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sat, 26 January 2008 11:07
The ever evolving variant that Caboose and (albeit obliquely) surigaostrait are referring to (and, not that these things matter so much to me, for which I will only take credit in refining and taking great enjoyment in playing - several people mentioned on a thread at around the same time, it just seems quite natural a way to play) basically involves using the Guest Spot on the War Council set-up sheet as a repository for allocating extra specialist cards.

The main way that I've played it is that the Guest Spot receives the same limitations as the Lore Master Spots, i.e. 3 levels maximum. In most of the games I've played we've used 7 level War Councils, but I think this was mostly to encourage at least one level for the Guest Spot to explore some of the newer Specialist Cards - no reason why this wouldn't be just as fun with the "normal" 6 level WC (or most other limits: 3-10).

So the maximum number of Specialist Cards that could be taken would be 5. For those that bemoan the lack of control that CtA deployment gives - there you go Very Happy Try to not drive yourself crazy with the potential that 5 Specialist Cards give you Wink Seriously though, it is fun and doesn't seem to break the process. Interesting match-ups occur, and the Cat and Mouse game of selecting Specialist Cards (player who outscouts picks one first, then alternate by two's until all are picked) becomes a fun "game in game".

The longest game I've yet played occured earlier today (well, yesterday, to be precise). It involved the above rules with the added un-vassal-like stipulation that it would be treated as if only one of each expansion were available. The only way both players could have the same Specialist Card was if more than one were included amongst the expansions released, i.e. Goblin Band and Dwarven Spear Bearers (and, in a fashion, Arbalestiers).

The resulting set up was p1: Level 1 commander, L1 rogue, L3 wizard, L1 creature, L1 Guest Spot; p2: Level 2 commander, L3 warrior, L1 creature, L1 Guest Spot.

The deployment cards used were very similar, sharing two of the same (Pennants C being a favored deck of both players Wink ), but p1 outscouted p2, and thus won the rights to Mounted Knights Very Happy p2 selected Halbardiers and King's Allies (instead of the planned Mounted Knights/King's Allies combo) to face off against the unabashed cavalry onslaught forming on the other side. p1 escalated the proceedings by taking Illusionary Troops to add another Mounted Knight unit and then Bow Upgrade to balance the attack with the ne four human common bow units that the decks blessed him with (if one wants a chance to have archers galore, take Pennants A and C). In an effort to keep pace with the arms race, p2 selected Hobgoblin Spear Bearers (I think, can't properly recall that one...)

Aside from the great equalizer of the Hill Giant (facing off against p1's own Hill Giant), p2 was clearly out gunned (though, ironically, no fire-arms were present). Why bother playing it out? 3.5 hours of compelling play ending in p2's 7-4 triumph is why.

I'll spare the goriest of details, but after playing 3 Darken the Skies and watching p1 struggle with orders on his right, well-red-cavalry endowed, flank, p2 was up 4-1 after an entertaining Hill Giant tussle that saw p2's HG prevail. After that victory, it sauntered over to take out a Mounted Knight that had been pummeled by boulders, having only one figure left. p1's First Strike (that he regretfully held as his own Hill Giant was beaten over the head with a Leadership boosted hammer) looked promising to the uninitiated: two blue, two bonus - 4 critical checks upcoming. But p1 knew better, knew well the cruel dice Wink No critical hit, let alone hits. The attack, which was now a battle back from the Giant was merciless. All appeared lost for p1.

But the battle turned again, and the hunted became the hunter on p1's left section, and two blue short swords and an archer managed to repel a green archer, blue archer, blue goblin short sword as more cavalry approached.

After that stand, finally the right (and correct too Wink ) cards started falling to p1. A hand of Blue Banners, Advance Right and Patrol right was built. First Patrol center was played, and instead of one more futile head on confrontation with the Hill Giant, the weakened Mounted Knight straddling the section line rushed fourth and took out its fury upon the archers that had been needling so throughout the game, Strngth was played: bonus, green, green, green, lore, and no more was that unit. An unsupported blue short sword in the trees was now the target, and though the dice were fewer, the blow was struck: blue, bonus, bonus. The tally stood at 5-3 favoring p2, but the tide was shifting. An unaided shot was fired from the other order, the standstill Long Bows upon the dreaded Hill Giant. One hit. Would fortune continue to side with p1? No, no it would not. Green.

P2 laid down Mounted Charge. The hardy trio on p1's left suffered an assault from a blue banner cavalry unit, and the weakened last remaining Mounted Knight was under duress from an even less fortunate single figure red banner cavalry. 5d was the announced attack. Ambush was the rejoinder. Catbird's seat it would seem. The dice did not have the same view: Green, Blue, Lore, Flag. The Mounted Knights survived the first blow, but two flags saw that another would occur, and it had the mustard. Back on the left, it similarly took two attacks, but the archers feel, and the upstart resurgance quelled. An afternoon passed well, I thought Very Happy

EDIT: good gad, it took me an hour to recall a three-approaching-four-hour game Laughing

[Updated on: Sat, 26 January 2008 11:10]

      
CoffinDodger49
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sat, 26 January 2008 11:33
Thank you Mr Borg.

I sincerely appreciate your continued presence here on the forums.

[Updated on: Sat, 26 January 2008 11:34]

      
Caboose
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Sun, 27 January 2008 08:01
Todd,

Now you know how I felt that night when I had only replied to 4 emails in a 2 hour timeframe! Smile

Thanks to both you and Vassal for clarifying the Guest/Specialist mode of play.

Cab
p.s. Player 2's Hill Giant claims his unlucky # was 9. So just one more hit would have kill it <evil grin>

p.s.s. In regards to these various modes, would one want to have that info in the various battle reports (i.e. some sort of dropdown box) ?!?

[Updated on: Sun, 27 January 2008 08:07]

      
constant-whiner
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 11:05
Not one to cloud a merry gathering but ... while I appreciate the fact that the designer appears in the forums, just for the record I have to register the following:

[1] No convincing defense or new insight has so far been provided against the charge that the three so called "alternate" deployment sets of each camp are for all practical purposes identical.

[2] DoW is still guilty in my books for using a fancy name, suggestive of some clever mechanic ("Levy Tokens") for the simple concept of "hey we don't have enough units, here's a cardboard place-holder instead - and by the way why don't you buy yourself another set and be done with it?"

[3] Further to [2] the whole Levy Tokens thing seriously cripples setup as players are required to keep running tallies of each type of unit and know by heart the exact number of every type of unit present in the base set (note also that the "official" numbers are only available in the form of an Excel sheet). Army deployment therefore becomes an exercise in numeric calculations - not a very rewarding experience and totally un-thematic (not to mention that it extends an already very lengthy setup period).

[4] Further to [2] and [3] CtA introduced for the first time in this game system the practice of rewarding the player who owns the set

[5] As for the variants suggested by the designer, I am disappointed. Here's my take on them:
* Lightning mode. Total randomness with a pinch of pretense of control ("the [...] player selects a set of deployment cards" - see [1])
* Strategic mode and all mercenaries mode: Rely on Levy Tokens, reward player who owns more units or require extensive numeric calculations to make sure you don't run out of units. Thanks have better things to do with my time.
* Just plain evil mode: all the problems of the previous modes, plus it is un-thematic.

If that's the best defense that can be mounted in favor of the game's deployment system (basically a sort of "everything works as intended, we see no shortcomings and we'll stay the course") my prognosis for the future of the game is grim (given that other extensions have also drawn considerable flak).

[Updated on: Mon, 28 January 2008 11:07]

      
Roobarb
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 12:17
hmm is it starting to rain? Laughing
      
yangtze
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 13:04
Today, I dressed as a hippy and put flowers in my hair (don't laugh). Determined to spread love, I decided to tell you what Mr. Whiner actually said (in a parallel, cup-half-full, hippy type universe):

Not one to cloud a merry gathering but ... while I appreciate the fact that the designer appears in the forums, just for the record I have to register the following:

Hi! Hey, I love you guys Surprised

[1] No convincing defense or new insight has so far been provided against the charge that the three so called "alternate" deployment sets of each camp are for all practical purposes identical.

It's great that the deployment decks are so subtly different! That way you never get a completely bum deal, but there's enough variety to keep things interesting.

[2] DoW is still guilty in my books for using a fancy name, suggestive of some clever mechanic ("Levy Tokens") for the simple concept of "hey we don't have enough units, here's a cardboard place-holder instead - and by the way why don't you buy yourself another set and be done with it?"

Those Levy Tokens are good aren't they? They're one of the reasons DoW can't be accused of ripping off the kids. You can play this game with just one base set! Cool! Cool hey, and I might just go away and think of a cool new use for them in a scenario or something... hmmm...

[3] Further to [2] the whole Levy Tokens thing seriously cripples setup as players are required to keep running tallies of each type of unit and know by heart the exact number of every type of unit present in the base set (note also that the "official" numbers are only available in the form of an Excel sheet). Army deployment therefore becomes an exercise in numeric calculations - not a very rewarding experience and totally un-thematic (not to mention that it extends an already very lengthy setup period).

Hey dood, it's so easy to keep track of how many units have been deployed too! You just place out the figures as you turn over each card. Easy rider! Surprised

[4] Further to [2] and [3] CtA introduced for the first time in this game system the practice of rewarding the player who owns the set

Man, another reason DoW can't be accused of ripping off the kids is the way the Specialist card system works. You can always turn up to a CtA tournament with just the base set and still be competitive! No advantage to the guy who's bought all of the expansions!! Nice... Very Happy

[5] As for the variants suggested by the designer, I am disappointed. Here's my take on them:
* Lightning mode. Total randomness with a pinch of pretense of control ("the [...] player selects a set of deployment cards" - see [1])
* Strategic mode and all mercenaries mode: Rely on Levy Tokens, reward player who owns more units or require extensive numeric calculations to make sure you don't run out of units. Thanks have better things to do with my time.
* Just plain evil mode: all the problems of the previous modes, plus it is un-thematic.


Geez, how nice of Richard was it to take time out to give us a few variants? They sound F-U-N! Kew-ell!

If that's the best defense that can be mounted in favor of the game's deployment system (basically a sort of "everything works as intended, we see no shortcomings and we'll stay the course") my prognosis for the future of the game is grim (given that other extensions have also drawn considerable flak).

If what we have for CtA is only the tip of the iceberg, then I can't wait for the rest to show up! There's clearly a lot of fun in store - groovy, baby! Laughing

Life could be so wonderful... sigh Rolling Eyes

[Updated on: Mon, 28 January 2008 13:07]

      
jmunk
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 13:28
First of all, big thanks to Richard Borg for sharing these ideas with us. I find it extremely interesting to get an idea of the designers use of the game.

Of the suggested modes, the that really captured my interest was the strategic mode of deployment. I find the increased control of army selection and deployment welcome. It an interesting way of gaining a little control while keeping away from the min-max aspect of a point system. I see two problems with this method:

1) Paralysis by Analysis. Actually choosing which cards to use could take a long time. I can see that problem is managed by agreeing on a scenario before hand. But if one wanted to use this system on a regular basis for all kind of game situations, I think this problem could be a limiting factor.

2) Availability of units. By mixing cards from different deployment sets one can "cherry pick" the best cards and possibly end up with some quite powerfull forces, if one has the correct units. This could lead to an arms race where the one player who has bought the most units has an advantage. This is definently not the way I wish to see Battlelore developed.

I think the way I will try to play the strategic deployment mode, will be to allow players to choose any four cards belonging to the same deployment deck. This will allow the deployment decks to define the "army" and the cards the different "battles" available. If one then has collected all the units present in one deployment deck, all options are available. For the decks in CtA all units are in the base game, but for future deployment decks it could be a way to define what units are required to have a "complete" goblin/dwarf army. To battle the "paralysis by analysis" people could choose a deployment deck to use for this battle before doing anything else. In this way the different decks becomes different armies to try. In the future we might then see decks geared toward a mounted army, an army based an infantry and an army with a large presence of ranged troops. All such armies could already be made based on the available units.

Just my two cents on the subject.

Once again thanks to Richard for sharing this with us. I has definently given me a new interesting way of looking at the deployment decks.

/jmunk
      
The New Romance
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 13:28
He-hee Smile I like hippies! But I also like constant-whiner's posts, even if I'm still of the opinion he just took over the role of Advocatus Diaboli because no one else wanted it and he knew that a community is only so much fun if everyone's marching in the same direction. Sometimes I even think constant-whiner is a member of the DoW staff who is being paid to stir up things and find out whether the community is honest in its statements or is just holding back its criticism for whatever reason. My god, c-w could even be Richard Borg himself, ever thought of that? Very Happy
I think it's nice to hear a different take on things, even if you might not agree. Even if you don't actually take it serious, in addition.

Hey, and no offense meant, constant-whiner. I don't mind your somehow gloomy statements, my sister is nearly the same with her outlook on the whole world and life and universe; I have learnt to get along with it Wink In fact, it's quite interesting to hear what you say.

[Updated on: Mon, 28 January 2008 13:29]

      
toddrew
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 15:01
constant-whiner wrote on Mon, 28 January 2008 03:05

Not one to cloud a merry gathering but ...


Laughing

Quote:


[1] No convincing defense or new insight has so far been provided against the charge that the three so called "alternate" deployment sets of each camp are for all practical purposes identical.


Not a lot of time this morning (woke up late after a late night of gaming Very Happy ), but this is just not an accurate portrayal. Much to everyone's chagrin I'm sure, I'll go in to more detail later (and likely on the other thread that's dedicated to that topic, assuming I can find it Wink ), but a quick example - if one wants to go first, take pennants A and C, and there's a good chance that one will.


Quote:

[2] DoW is still guilty in my books for using a fancy name, suggestive of some clever mechanic ("Levy Tokens") for the simple concept of "hey we don't have enough units, here's a cardboard place-holder instead - and by the way why don't you buy yourself another set and be done with it?"


Can't put it any better than yangtze Laughing but would add that if one plays this game face-to-face using the restrictions in place with a single base set, this will rarely impact the game, and most likely will be because of there only being one creature (assuming neither the Hill Giant nor Earth Elemental are present). If the expansions are present, becomes an easy way to get a variety of units upon the board.

Quote:


[3] Further to [2] the whole Levy Tokens thing seriously cripples setup as players are required to keep running tallies of each type of unit and know by heart the exact number of every type of unit present in the base set (note also that the "official" numbers are only available in the form of an Excel sheet). Army deployment therefore becomes an exercise in numeric calculations - not a very rewarding experience and totally un-thematic (not to mention that it extends an already very lengthy setup period).


Again, very small impact that the levy tokens have on an actual game, if one does want to try to manipulate this mechanic into an advantage, good luck with that. The main criticism I read about BattleLore is the lack of having to account for such fiddly things as this from WarHammer backgrounded players Laughing


Quote:

[4] Further to [2] and [3] CtA introduced for the first time in this game system the practice of rewarding the player who owns the set


Ah, don't use that rule - I don't think it was meant as an endorsement of economic controls, just a variation on the methods of resolving "ties". I just go with the "6d, most green selects" rule for resolving those types of situations.


Quote:

[5] As for the variants suggested by the designer, I am disappointed. Here's my take on them:
* Lightning mode. Total randomness with a pinch of pretense of control ("the [...] player selects a set of deployment cards" - see [1])


I don't know if you are intentional missing the point of this variant just to create more reason to post contentiously Laughing (and if so, bravo, by the way, much like TNR I whole-heartedly appreciate that personality trait Very Happy ), but that is the intention of the Lightning Mode: quick setup, inflected with heavy randomness softened by the selection of the CtA deck (and yes, it does matter in very real consequences which deck one chooses).

Quote:


* Strategic mode and all mercenaries mode: Rely on Levy Tokens, reward player who owns more units or require extensive numeric calculations to make sure you don't run out of units. Thanks have better things to do with my time.


Again, the whole point of this method of playing is for those who don't have better things to do with their time (or, as in my case, just ignore those better things Very Happy ). The main reason for the suggestion of extra time to think about the board in relation to the cards to be chosen is not due to levy tokens (which do not even need to be taken into account if both players can agree that figures may be proxied), but rather because there are real differences between the make up and orientation of the cards upon the cta decks, and with the introduction of more and more Specialist Cards many other considerations for that make up and orientation (such as the requirements for the deployment of the Mounted Knights, for example).

Quote:


* Just plain evil mode: all the problems of the previous modes, plus it is un-thematic.


Again (though the argument of "un-thematic" is weird to me, as well), this suggested mode does do what it intends to: try to cripple your opponent from the outset by deploying a disadvantageous to the board army. If one does not view this as an entertaining exercise, well, it's not mandatory Wink


Quote:

If that's the best defense that can be mounted in favor of the game's deployment system (basically a sort of "everything works as intended, we see no shortcomings and we'll stay the course") my prognosis for the future of the game is grim (given that other extensions have also drawn considerable flak).



What "defense" of the system are you referring to? The designers post here, I'm sure, wasn't intended as a defense of the system, rather a couple of suggestions for variety's sake (and maybe a bone thrown as some of us wait, patiently Wink , for the Heroes expansion).

Also, the more and more I read criticisms of BattleLore, the more I feel that the majority of those criticisms fall into the category of knee-jerk reactions that are looking for no fun, rather than criticisms that come about from plays of the game looking to garner some enjoyment from the happenings.

[Updated on: Mon, 28 January 2008 15:03]

      
Roobarb
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 15:40
yea well i knew others could put it better than me
i dont realy take C.W.s coment seriously anymore i tryed to get say someting positive and sed something along the lines it was his place in the community to well whine Confused
so think in a way hes big uping battlelore cos his posts are not based in reality Laughing
type on C.W. Wink
      
Magic Man
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 15:43
I also think that CW is a member of DoW staff, or possibly Mr Borg himself, but I think he's given himself away with pointless and illogical "reasoning". At least, in the past, even if you don't agree with him, he's made a reasonable point. This time, however, suggesting that levy tokens are there to make you buy more product is stretching credibility.

I won't go on, because everybody else already has.

Except to add my thanks to Mr Borg for a great game.
      
ColtsFan77
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 16:19
Roobarb wrote on Mon, 28 January 2008 08:40

yea well i knew others could put it better than me
i dont realy take C.W.s coment seriously anymore i tryed to get say someting positive and sed something along the lines it was his place in the community to well whine Confused
so think in a way hes big uping battlelore cos his posts are not based in reality Laughing
type on C.W. Wink

I am with you Roob.
      
yangtze
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 16:39
Constant-Whiner is RB's alter ego? Yes, I like that idea! All those years of games design in a lonely potting shed have created a Gollum-like split-personality: one, a prolific and positive game wizard; the other, a bitter, twisted, world-weary grognard -

RB: "A new race for Battlelore we'll create for our friends today, precious!"
CW: "Friends? You don't HAVE any friends!"

Ah, CW knows I don't mean it. He knows I look forward to his posts. He knows a lot of us do. That was our mistake! Laughing

To be fair, I agree with the bit about the owner of the game going first. That was probably ill-advised. I don't do that either. But the weight of evidence is very much against DoW being a bunch of greed-heads imho.
      
The New Romance
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 17:15
yangtze schrieb am Mon, 28 January 2008 16:39

To be fair, I agree with the bit about the owner of the game going first. That was probably ill-advised. I don't do that either. But the weight of evidence is very much against DoW being a bunch of greed-heads imho.

I forgot to add that to my post. constant-whiner sure has a point here, but I always thought of the rule as more of a running-gag that isn't to be taken too serious and mostly exists because perhaps DoW couldn't agree on another solution or it was April Fool's day or whatever Smile The rule does exist, but it's everyone's own fault to use it. I'd never do so, and I suspect most people wouldn't either. You should be fine as long as you don't happen to have forgotten all your stuff at home and now are facing a mean rules lawyer who owns all the game materials.
      
Caboose
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 21:54
Well I have done various demos and as I have stated time and time again, it seems ONLY in Epic mode does the Feudal tokens get used.
I might have had one game where there weren't enough of a particular green faction in a normal game, but that was such a long time ago, I don't recall the particulars. And thus one of many non-Epic games still says to me that Feudal tokens are hardly used.

So unless CW can produce some facts outside the Epic board, I don't put much weight into his argument about Feudal tokens.

Also CW just wants to troll the BL forums obviously he/she can but I don't think you will get much sympathy on DoW forum. Obviously not everyone can be pleased by everything.

Cab
      
dbc-
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 22:03
The New Romance wrote on Mon, 28 January 2008 17:15

yangtze schrieb am Mon, 28 January 2008 16:39

To be fair, I agree with the bit about the owner of the game going first. That was probably ill-advised. I don't do that either. But the weight of evidence is very much against DoW being a bunch of greed-heads imho.

I forgot to add that to my post. constant-whiner sure has a point here, but I always thought of the rule as more of a running-gag that isn't to be taken too serious and mostly exists because perhaps DoW couldn't agree on another solution or it was April Fool's day or whatever Smile The rule does exist, but it's everyone's own fault to use it. I'd never do so, and I suspect most people wouldn't either. You should be fine as long as you don't happen to have forgotten all your stuff at home and now are facing a mean rules lawyer who owns all the game materials.

CW definately has a point here, until DoW changes this rule.
I personally think that things simply went a bit too fast for DoW in this situation, but it would be nice to hear some official words on the issue.
As for the rest of your points CW, I only agree with the part of the army cards being too similar. But maybe toddrew can change my mind, by shedding some light on this issue as promised?

Oh, and yangtze - that is one hillarious hippie you have been hiding in the closet! Very Happy
      
chase
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Mon, 28 January 2008 23:57
every one should own 2 copies of the game. levy what???
      
toddrew
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Tue, 29 January 2008 07:11
Not the specific analysis that I promised earlier, but while I go through the decks, here's a couple of threads that speak to the decks' make-up:

More CtA questions

Another Difference Between the CtA Decks
      
yangtze
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Tue, 29 January 2008 08:15
And another:

http://www.daysofwonder.com/en/msg/?goto=92021#msg_92021
      
mvettemagred
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Wed, 30 January 2008 17:55
I, too, enjoy the lively discussions resulting from CW's consistently negative posts. However, I hope his negativity towards BL doesn't carry over into real life, or I pity all those who come into contact with him. No one likes a constant gloom and doom personality; sucks all the life right out of a room.

It's okay not to be a "yes-man". It's another thing to be an "everything sucks all the time" man.
      
Willange
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Wed, 30 January 2008 18:15
This may not be the correct forum for the question, but do you have to play the deployment cards in the actual positions they are shown to be in on the cards? I know this isn't the case for reserve/scout but what about guards? BTW I love strategic mode, manipulating the levy tokens works great!

[Updated on: Wed, 30 January 2008 18:16]

      
yangtze
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Wed, 30 January 2008 18:24
For the guards, yes. This leads to some difficult choices!
      
ColtsFan77
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Wed, 30 January 2008 18:26
William Lange wrote on Wed, 30 January 2008 11:15

This may not be the correct forum for the question, but do you have to play the deployment cards in the actual positions they are shown to be in on the cards? I know this isn't the case for reserve/scout but what about guards? BTW I love strategic mode, manipulating the levy tokens works great!

Yes, you must place the units as they are depicted on the cards. Not only are you getting those units, you are getting those units in those positions when deploying your Guards.

The only way they are not placed in the position shown is if there is another unit there (for example in the case of the Reluctant Allies CTA) or there is impassable terrain. In both cases, the unit would then be placed on a vacant hex of the baseline of the same section.

So you could "manipulate" the cards so that you place units on impassable terrain in order to send them to the baseline (if that helps you somehow). But be careful: if you run out of room on the baseline in that section, you lose that unit outright.
      
constant-whiner
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Thu, 31 January 2008 11:23
ColtsFan76 wrote on Wed, 30 January 2008 19:26

William Lange wrote on Wed, 30 January 2008 11:15

This may not be the correct forum for the question, but do you have to play the deployment cards in the actual positions they are shown to be in on the cards? I know this isn't the case for reserve/scout but what about guards? BTW I love strategic mode, manipulating the levy tokens works great!

Yes, you must place the units as they are depicted on the cards. Not only are you getting those units, you are getting those units in those positions when deploying your Guards.

So you could "manipulate" the cards so that you place units on impassable terrain in order to send them to the baseline (if that helps you somehow). But be careful: if you run out of room on the baseline in that section, you lose that unit outright.


I 've grumbled about both these points in the past: what is the reasoning behind these restrictions? what is the reasoning behind the "oops! no room in the baseline" penalty? Were medieval commanders handing down to their section commanders grid coordinates on where to deploy? Totally unthematic and encourages or rather forces players to enter into mental mapping calculations that should have had no place in such a game.

How come anyone hasn't suggested the obvious variant: just deploy the units of each section wherever you want (subject to a few constraints, like: no more than one unit on the 4th row). In my opinion, CtA would be better under that model. Each card should just indicate some units and, maybe, a very rough positioning guide: forward deployment (3rd and 4th rows) or backward deployment (1st and 2nd rows). Much more natural if you ask me: "Robert, take your guys and take positions on the right flank, not too forward".

But that would also made the three all but identical decks all the more so identical wouldn't it? That's why, to put it mildly I am not very enthusiastic about CtA (I concede though that the specialists were a rather cool idea).

[Updated on: Thu, 31 January 2008 11:27]

      
Magic Man
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Thu, 31 January 2008 12:51
Having disagreed with C-W in the past, I find myself agreeing with him this time. Losing men because of an unlucky card draw seems to spoil the ethos of the game. But does it happen often?
      
toddrew
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Thu, 31 January 2008 14:09
Magic Man wrote on Thu, 31 January 2008 04:51

But does it happen often?


No.

I've played several (hundred? Laughing ) games and it hasn't happened once. The only time it would is if the board is full of impassable terrain.
      
toddrew
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Thu, 31 January 2008 14:20
constant-whiner wrote on Thu, 31 January 2008 03:23



what is the reasoning behind the "oops! no room in the baseline" penalty?


If players were allowed to position the units anywhere as a result of this occuring, would you complain about the unfair flexibility? There has to be some direction for this occurence, and "no room, no unit" was chosen. It will very very rarely come into play.

Quote:


Were medieval commanders handing down to their section commanders grid coordinates on where to deploy?

It is a board game - abstractions abound.

Quote:

Totally unthematic and encourages or rather forces players to enter into mental mapping calculations that should have had no place in such a game.


Not totally unthematic - desserters have existed for as long as humans have (and likely a lot longer). Like it or not, mental mapping is a big part of CtA, and an even bigger part of the tactical unfolding of the battle. If visualizing so is considered an unpleasant challenge, this game will not be fun. I now have insight into the nature of your posts Laughing jk Wink

Quote:

How come anyone hasn't suggested the obvious variant: just deploy the units of each section wherever you want (subject to a few constraints, like: no more than one unit on the 4th row). In my opinion, CtA would be better under that model. Each card should just indicate some units and, maybe, a very rough positioning guide: forward deployment (3rd and 4th rows) or backward deployment (1st and 2nd rows). Much more natural if you ask me: "Robert, take your guys and take positions on the right flank, not too forward".


How come instead of complaining that no-one else has mentioned this variant (and believe me, they have, maybe not on these forums...) you didn't just put it forth yourself? A very reasonable way to play.

Quote:

But that would also made the three all but identical decks all the more so identical wouldn't it? That's why, to put it mildly I am not very enthusiastic about CtA

To be correct - "closer" to identical would be accurate - there would still be plenty of differences between the individual cards, and even still differences between the standards and pennants decks. I've been too busy playing lately Very Happy but will post the excel spread sheet detailing the differences between the decks at some point (within the week?)

Quote:

(I concede though that the specialists were a rather cool idea).

Hey, no compromising! Remain true to your name Wink

[Updated on: Thu, 31 January 2008 14:24]

      
mvettemagred
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Thu, 31 January 2008 16:58
C-W,

Another way to view the deployment cards is to consider them the "Fog of Preparation". The command cards are supposed to mimic the "fog of war", where even the best commander doesn't have exacting control over all of his troops. The same can happen when preparing for a battle:
- Bad intelligence on the consistency and positioning of the enemy army
- Misunderstanding of the battlefield terrain
- Unit commanders not adhering strictly to orders
- Deserters (as mentioned before)

All of this can and did happen, especially in the communication-poor middle ages. Sometimes battles started before all the troops on both sides were properly arranged (or even present). Some examples of this situation are provided in the Scottish Wars expansion.

The fixed unit arrangements on the deployment cards may force a player to start with less-than-optimal troop placements, which often reflected reality. Also, as Toddrew said, losing a unit to this mechanic is so rare as to not be worth talking about. So, I'm not seeing an issue here.

And of course, like Toddrew said, if you don't like it, feel free to play differently. This is a game system, not a fixed set of absolute truths. Play it the way you and your friends like.
      
Roobarb
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Thu, 31 January 2008 18:51
what a brilliant post mvettemagred
Very Happy
      
Caboose
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Fri, 01 February 2008 05:41
toddrew wrote on Thu, 31 January 2008 06:09

Magic Man wrote on Thu, 31 January 2008 04:51

But does it happen often?


No.

I've played several (hundred? Laughing ) games and it hasn't happened once. The only time it would is if the board is full of impassable terrain.



And I would have to concur with Todd, I've yet to lose a unit due to not having room on the baseline after numerous CtA games. And as Todd stated above, it would have to be of that type of situation to cause such a loss.

Cab

[Updated on: Fri, 01 February 2008 05:41]

      
Zelif
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Re:Call to Arms Deployment Cards Thu, 14 February 2008 20:03
Oh, geez. Anyone can truly do anything you WANT to, with BL! I'd take the liberty of saying that Borg's system (especially BL!) puts the game into your own hands, and lets you run away with it. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of variations that you can try with these games.

I've never lost a troop to not having a deployment spot, nor have I ever had to use a Levy token. We don't play epic too often, but with Memoir, we just put one troop in a hex, and deployed chips underneath it (like Axis and Allies).

I am looking forward to the new stuff, and I'm having a blast creating my own variants and rules for my sons and I to play! Honestly? Its more fun than constantly whining. I'd rather be playing....
      
    
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