Loads of Stuff

From: Simon Phipp <soltakss>
Date: Tue Jan 17 14:33:11 2006

Hiya All

Replying to more than one Digest - it's just like buses, none for ages then loads at once ...

> BTW, is anyone else totally unhappy with Hungry Jack? I've only ever
> seen it come on the board once, and that was in a 28 turn game with the
> obvious winner totally bored. Any suggestions on how to get it working?

I've never used it or seen it used. Dragons are for smahing and slashing, not for flying away. I saw a rule once for Argrath to go on a HeroQuest for so many turns, then return with something juicy, but he is more useful on the board than off it.  


> I've never seen it used much either, although I did do a few games where I
> sent the Green or Red Dragon off as soon as I got it and then came back
> with it.
> It is quite a good way of reserving some dragonkill for later

Why would you want to reserve Dragonkill for later? Is this some kind of "tactics", something I'm not particularly aware of?

> AND Hungry
> Jack
> is quite useful if you can stack him properly (eg - you can suck people out
> of fortifications) bit reall, I think you need to write a scenario that
> starts
> the game with it. Somehting involving Sir Ethilrist I would think.

Why doesn't Sir Ethilrist go after Hungry Jack, rather than a Dragon? After all, he defeated it in the first place.

> On the subject of scenarios - I think that there is potential to write a
> few
> more DP scenarios. Perhaps someone could come up with a 'Battle of Iceland'
> scenario.

Maybe, but there are other scenarios in King of Sartar that would be far more interesting, but a lot of them are off the boards. We have the Battle of Pennel Ford, with Harrek (Holy Country), some of the events leading to the Dragonrise, some of the battles in Sartar before Argrath wandered off and became foreign, Argrath in Prax gives some nice scenarios as well.

> On the subject of eliminating units like Hungry Jack, what other units in
> the game are worthy of deletion? Whose loss would not really be noticed
> much? Twin Stars is one, for me, just because they can ONLY show up as a
> Random Event (an event for which, I might add, Sartar does not have an
> equivalent). BUT, because of their importance in Prax, I would want them
> kept simply so they could be used in combo games with NG. However, I
> would definitely make them simply part of the Lunar Battalia (along with
> 3-5 other Lunar spirits, as well as adding 4-6 Sartar spirits and several
> independent spirits, like Chalk Man), and remove them from the Random
> Events Table.

I've always wondered why they are Random, as the Lunars have had them for years - after the Sable Conversion. I would certainly use them in Prax, in fact in my Argrath in Prax scenarios, anyone getting the Twin Stars gets a DP boost for the Sable Tribe. Although, if they are in the Lunar Battalia, then they start with the Lunars, which is inconvenient.

> > On the subject of scenarios - I think that there is potential to write
> a few
> > more DP scenarios. Perhaps someone could come up with a 'Battle of
> Iceland'
> > scenario.
> That would be a bit difficult, if only because of the sheer number of
> heroic individuals who would simply be subsumed within a single counter.
> That is, I would write such a scenario such that Kallyr, Orngerin, and
> ALL of the other rebel leaders are simply represented by a single counter
> -- Argrath.

What, you mean only having one Argrath, rather than many? Something that I have always subscribed to, having never liked the "Many Argraths" rubbish. Fine by me.

> And if you can't have individual counters for each of the leaders (and I
> don't see that you could, at the DP scale), what's the fun in that
> scenario?

Also, that scenario takes up less than a sentence in King of Sartar, so can't have been that important. The Boat Planet isn't even mentioned, so that's two supplements invented out of nothing. Now, the Dragonrise might be interesting.


> - hydra (or make her more useful if kept - I do like her but not very
> useful since she's out of the way and so slow. She does put a hole
> in Ethilrist should be appear though :-))

She does eat things, though. Stack her with the Bat and you lose loads of units each turn with no effort. As long as they don't eat each other.

> - grazelanders need something a little better than just the horse herds

But, they are weak, weak, weak. Also, they have the Feathered Horse Queen, who is a bit tasty. Give them some Hia Swordsman warriors and they're fine.

> - puppeteers are rarely used/useful, take a lot of counters, yet I like
> them for ambience

I've never really used them, except in the 3 player game. So, they can flip around the table, and ...?

> - delecti/zombies need substantial work. I'd keep them but do
> something(TM) with them

They are fine, but I'd introduce the Ghoul King fromm KoS, give him a maximum of, say, 4 Ghoul counters that he can create from slain units, but give each counter a missile factor (howl) and a fairly high CF (4 or 5 - poison).

> - ethilrist is good - no change

Never liked him. Never understood Keener Than, or the dog, or the cloak. Leave them in Hell, that's what I say.

> - exiles are OK - no change

The Earth Twins have a WMD, which is useful.
> - cragspider becomes useful with the addition that the dragon can go
> anywhere once allied, but goes away if she dies
I thought the dragon could go anywhere. Make Cragspider the Black Dragon's Best Friend, so if she dies, it goes after her killer.

> - dwarf is good - almost always the pivotal point as the sides vy for
> the alchemical or at least the canon cult. I'd change one of the
> stone men to something else exotic/exciting

If you are expanding the game northwards, there would be tunnels between the Dwarf and Dwarf Hat/Greatway, so one of the Gifts could be movement in the tunnels.

> - ironhoof needs a shaman counter or something

I'm not sure if they are powerful enough for a shaman. Magic counters, certainly.

> - dragonnewts are OK (counterwise at least :-)

And crested dragonewts are great for allying delecti as you get a Zombie and they come back again.

> - the barbarian horde (DP only) are usually a waste of time since it's
> 3-4 turns before they get towards the battle and, in general, it's
> mostly over by that time. Sometimes they're useful but they do take
> up a lot of counters that could be moved into a DP-NG combination
> pack and replaced with some other Sartar units (or at least let them
> deploy into the smaller sartar area from the start!)

Well, in the big game, they are very useful. They are cavalry and run fast and have a lot of oomph. But, yes, they would be good in the NG game as well, and even better in a combination game.

> - thunder delta slingers seem pretty weak to me given their reputation

But there are quite a lot of them.

> - how about some juicy chaos for the lunars to ally/control from
> Snakepipe Hollow?

Yes, chaos from the Hollow, and the Footprint if the game expands southwards, would be better.

> I'd like to see more rules like independents transfering allegiance when
> something annoys them (like in WBRM when capturing capitals), and single
> indepedents which make a big difference but only last a short time (like
> burning the travelling stone).

In my Argrath inn Prax series, Tribes could change sides if you allocated enough DPs, but you had to get a hell of a whack to do it. Normally, it only happened if you had something like getting the Star Twins as a spirit (extra DPs to the Sables) and the Crimson Bat entered Prax (extra DPs to the Praxian tribes for the non-Lunar) and allying the White Bull Spirit (extra DPs to Sables) as well as giving the Sables more DPs.

> > - grazelanders need something a little better than just the horse
> herds
> I would give them a Nomad Gods-style shaman plus a couple of spirits.

Oh, they are nowhere near as powerful as a Pentian or Praxian Tribe, so they are nowhere near deserving of a Shaman.

> > - delecti/zombies need substantial work. I'd keep them but do
> > something(TM) with them
> I think they're OK as is. I once suggested a unit that could extend the
> swamp, but most people disliked the idea.

That's a good idea, actually, being able to extend the swamp would be useful.

> > - cragspider becomes useful with the addition that the dragon can go
> > anywhere once allied, but goes away if she dies
> Can't the dragon go anywhere once she is allied? Anyway, I would
> definitely change things so the Black Dragon is NOT automatic with
> Cragspider. Makes allying her too powerful, IMO.

Maybe, but she is very powerful in her own right, as she has a WMD, but she doesn't have much going for her combat-wise - a few trolls and trollkin.

> > - ironhoof needs a shaman counter or something
> I don't think so -- I had always planned to add a Foxwoman magician unit,
> with spirit.

Are they in the Beastlands? I thought they were further north, maybe not.

> > - the barbarian horde (DP only) are usually a waste of time since
> it's
> > 3-4 turns before they get towards the battle and, in general, it's
> > mostly over by that time. Sometimes they're useful but they do take
> > up a lot of counters that could be moved into a DP-NG combination
> > pack and replaced with some other Sartar units (or at least let
> them
> > deploy into the smaller sartar area from the start!)
> I would go for the latter -- in scenarios where they are available, they
> should be a normal part of the Sartar battalia.

I think we always played that they were. Perhaps it was a house rule.

> I think that one of the Random Events options should be "Chaos Eruption".
> You take every single chaotic unit available to you, from every game you
> have, take out the ones that are location restricted (like Hydra, not
> like Cwim), pick one or two location-specific ones at random to add back
> in, then have every single player draw one of the Chaos units from a cup,
> and all of those Chaos units are placed randomly in Snake-Pipe Hollow. I
> mean, come on -- having Cwim, Thed, the Hydra, Hungry Jack, and the
> Crimson Bat all appear in SPH at once, what's not to love? :)

The Random Events Tables need some serious work - I looked at them again and they are crap. The same stuff over and over again.

> Yes, I'd like a change of this nature as well. Once an independent is
> allied, can't you continue to burn diplomacy points to try to bribe them
> away or ensure no one else does? What I would do would be to make sure
> this IS the rule, then give certain events or Random Events a point value
> for appropriate independents. Thus, if you ally with a Chaos entity of
> any kind, you get -X DPs wih the Exiles, the Beast-men, etc. If a capital
> city is sacked, that's an automatic -20 DPs; any lesser holding of that
> nation sacked is -10 DPs; etc.

That's right. That's exactly how it should work. If you get the Sun Domers
and then ally Cragspider, you'd expect problems. Except than Sun Domers
aren't allied through DP, or are they? I forget.

> Each turn, as normal, you have to assess diplomacy points. But, you might
> lose an ally simply because of some random event that happened, if you
> haven't continued to spend diplomacy points ensuring they remain your
> ally. The independents might switch sides (depending on the opponents' DP
> spending), or they might just be removed from the board, ready to be
> replaced if they become allied again.

Sounds good to me.

Chris Ward:

> I've not had time to read everything properly, but looking back at things
> now the main
> changes I'd make would be to junk the overly complex combat system &
> terrain bonuses for
> movement & combat, and start again with something much simpler. Ideally
> something that
> could be used with the old counters though.

Movement is fairly easy, and I'd keep it. DP combat is better than WBRM combat and it is fairly quick, if you can add up.

> I like having lots of specials for individual counters, to add Gloranthan
> flavour .But theses
> special options/rules should be ignorable so that the basic game could be
> played sraight
> without them. The basic game system should be completely streamlined and
> simplified.

But, they are all ignorable if you want them to be. We always ignored rules we didn't like.

> > > - grazelanders need something a little better than just the horse
> > herds
> >
> > I would give them a Nomad Gods-style shaman plus a couple of spirits.
> Yes, but I would use a similar limitation to that which we used for Praxian
> shaman leaving
> their homelands in the old TRD scenario. ie (s)he would have full
> shaman/fetch powers
> within grazelands, but be more limited outside. Perhaps when stacked with
> the tribal medicine
> bundle they retain their full powers. A lot of ideas like this were
> discussed in the past e.g.
> medicine bundle can carry one spirit out of Prax that can subsequently be
> released, staying
> for one full round (perhaps departing on a die roll).

Give them a Medicine Bundle, that's a good idea.

> I have a marginally related point in respect of the newts.
> In the game I played with Robert (5? gosh! years ago) I allied Cragspider.
> I knew Robert
> always went for the newts, I planned to use Cragspiders special to hit the
> dragons eye
> _before_ the alliance took place. Absolutely no basis in the rules, but
> bearing in mind the
> (then recent) devastation markers from tRD, I planned to suggest that the
> eggs were destroyed
> and discuss whether the renmaining non-eye newts automatically allied with
> Robert (the eye
> gies being fried) possibly minus their rebirth ability. Or whether Robert
> got the lot but the eye
> having been destroyed none had rebirthing.

That's interesting. You'd give the opponents an awful lot of DPs if you tried it, though. It would probably take out some of the Newts, and the Inhuman King. The idea of taking out an Independent before being allied is one I'd never thought about.

> Anyway: The newts, according to Roberts testimony elsewhere, are
> trmendously powerful.

They are, that's why they have the highest DP cost, I think.

> They get allied late and re-birthing combined with the ememy players
> already depleted armies
> and the DN roads make them almost unstopable. BUt the Dragons eye should be
> vulnerable
> to specials _before_ the alliance takes place.

You can stop the Dragonewt Roads, if you have careful unit placement, or if you take over dragonewt cities.

> Or start with different DP targets for each side? eg it takes more dps for
> the exiles to ally with
> lunar rather than sartar? Although, whilst this came to mind as a "obvious"
> e.g. thinking about
> recent tarsh supplements, maybe going with the Lunars is more
> understandable as an option
> for the exiles. At least I can now see the dynamics at work a bit better :
> look, we're starving &
> they have corn.

What you would do, as I did in AiP, is assign each side some starting DPs. So, the Lunars start off with 20 DPs for the Sables, the Sartarites get 10DPs for the Exiles and so on.

> I would like to see more minor spirits available for alliance. Generally at
> specific sites like
> TS, and the rules on-line for Balazar (after all DP ain't Prax). Perhaps
> only designated animist
> units have the know how to attempt these alliances eg certain magicians for
> sartar, maybe
> thunder delta for lunars (as someone mentioned earlier they could be a bit
> less bland).

I thought of having the Six Sisters as a Holy Place, maybe with Wild Temple and the place where Sorana Tor pops up in KoS, where Gradfather Mortal popped his clogs. The problem is deciding where they should be and which spirits should be available.

> If the TWin Stars could be summoned by the Lunars, they would enetr the
> game more
> frequently.

Yes, indeed.

> May call for more decisions - shoukld I send my priests to the battle line,
> or hold some back
> at holy places going for a couple of spirits?

Can any unit summon spirits? In NG I seem to recall someone sitting Impala Tribe units all over the board, in as many Oases as possible, to churn out the spirits.


> > Has anyone made their own games covering other parts fo the empire or
> > Glorantha?
> I've made a few boardgames - first was for the

Have you any notes on these? Can you put them on the web or send them to people? I, for one, would love to see them.

> Blood Kings War - a rebellious Bull Shah against the New Moon Queendom.
> This
> was the penultimate episode from a Runequest game set in 13th Century
> Carmania. I had a map of Pelanda cunningly coloured in so that the Bull
> Shah territory
> was shaped like a bull, an the Moon Shah had a semicircular region, next to
> another semicircular (dark) region.

Have you got any maps, or have you thrown them away?

> The final episode was Jannisor's rebellion - for which I had a map of Dara
> Happa. Most of the units were simply counters taken from DP and NG, but a
> few
> were specially made.

Sounds good.

> I worked out a scenario to play through the Tarsh Civil War, which I called
> "Careless Tork Costs Lives" (a bad pun on King Orios marching into Tork and
> releasing the horde) which was a three player scenario. I've never played
> it
> through with anyone else, but it was in the Raider's Digest 1.

Was it? I'll have to try and find it.

> Part of my method in doing these games was to do a new map board which I
> found to be easier than expected. I wanted map sections that could be
> fitted
> together and easily modified so that cities and other features could be
> added and
> changed easily - so started drawing features on a 10x15 hex sections that
> would cover the whole of Genertela. I did complete a large chunk of
> Genertela and
> most of Fonrit but no longer have them.

Ah, that answers that question, then.

> I tried to write a Dragonkill scenario, an attempt to use every single
> counter from both games several times. One player being the Dragons, the
> other being
> the Golden Horde. They came in waves of attack, with dragons turning up
> late
> in the day when enough has gathered to feast.

A bit of a foregone conclusion. Wasn't this a bit unbalanced? I can see the dragonewts and their allies getting absolutely slaughtered, did you have enough Dragons to get back at them?

> Finally (although chronologically this came first), I ran a PBEM Pavis
> version of Monopoly with various changes - players built Temples and
> Tenements
> instead of hotels and houses, Income Tax was changed to Nomad Attacks, and
> Super
> Tax changes to Thog Attacks as examples. You've Won Second Prize in a Zebra
> Breeding Competition.

I don't suppose you've still got it? (Second Prize in a Zebra Breeding Competition....)

> > And for those who own Nomad Gods, what is it like? I have haeard it si
> > not as good as Dragon Pass, but any infoon the game wouldbe of interest.
> It lacks the appeal of DP because it seems less like an obvious battle
> (IMO).
> I feel that there could be/should be some changes to the set up that would
> better simulate the feel of a nomad khan out to plunder other khans of
> thair
> chattel wealth. I've never got around to trying anything out. Something
> like
> moving the herds and making sacrifices once per week, (say), and then
> moving
> warriors and spirits around for seven turns (limited by the support rules)
> so that
> the game plays more like a herd moving, then warriors establishing their
> territory, then moving again. If you're only going to get one game get DP.
> If you
> want to know what happens in Prax, get NG.

Yes, it can be a bit wishy-washy, especially with the victory conditions. It is second best, but still enjoyable. I wish I hadn't sold mine.

Chris Ward:

> Ah, sorry Simon, I just mentioned the Balazaar stuff earlier as being
> on-line somewhere, but
> didn't credit you.

No problem. If it;s out there, just use it.

> I really like NG, but I'm not really much of a war gamer as such. I really
> like the spirit pool.

As do I.  

> I think there are issues with balance of tribal battalia (this was long
> running debate in the old
> days here:-)).

Yes, but everyone knows that the Rhino Riders are rubbish, the Sables and High Llamas are the bees knees and the Impalas are good for running around, shotting people and having little impala riders (or littler ones, anyway). Each one has strengths and weaknesses, they should not have the same number of DPs to ally, if you are using DPs in Prax.

> I think the worst area of the map is the corner aropund Pavis & BR. Once
> Sun Domers (too
> slow to be useful in NG, unlike DP) & spirit of Pavis is alied there is
> nothing to do here. It
> should be possible to gain normal spirit allies at P&BR and possibly Sun
> Dome once the
> original alliances are made.

Probably, I'd go along with that. Especially as we now know, through P&BRC, that Mani's Fort, in the Rubble, is a proper Oases and that Sun Dome sits on Sun Hawk's Nest, so they should be more powerful.

Oh, look, I've done nothing at work for 2 hours. That's probably a bad thing.

See Ya


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