Re: Loads of Stuff

From: Simon Phipp <soltakss>
Date: Wed Jan 18 10:09:05 2006

OK, replying to everything again, cutting out loads of stuff and trying to organise it into logical units ....

Chris Ward:

> Have you seen the RET which we put together for NG? Gloriously overcomplex
> & the result
> of lots of back and forth I mean discussion on this list. Steve
> has just posted it on
> boardgamegeek.

No, I haven't. I'll have to have a look. Thanks.


Chris Ward:
> > 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.
> Something like this is incorporated into NG via the friends & patron
> options & Tada's
> cloak/basmoli. Although there the alliances are all completely random.

I never really liked the Friends and Patrons rule in NG. To tell the truth, I can't remember what it exactly said, but I know I didn;t care much for it when I last played.


> Actually, having allied Hungry Jack ought to make Ethilrist harder to get
> (or easier for the other side). Similar friendships/hostilities for more
> counters might make the game more of a diplomacy game than a wargame.

Yes, there should be a lot more of this going on.

> Oh, something else I'd change is The Dwarf. Only a 1/6 chance of the
> emissary being slain? He's really that friendly? (Or do you use the
> normal emissary rules too, so you have a 1/3 chance of being slain, then
> a further 1/6 on the second die roll? Either way, I don't like it.)

and ...  

> Either way, I would change the die roll of 1 on the Dwarf Luck Table
> (emissary slain) to getting a new gift (that glass flying machine I
> mentioned earlier), and then just use the normal emissary rules to see if
> you are eliminated (1-2), not given anything by The Dwarf (3), or get to
> roll on the Dwarf Luck Table (4-6).

I think the idea of the Dwarf was that he is really friendly and will either kill you or give you a gift.

> In some games, I'd like to see The Dwarf as a full independent, requiring
> a DP advantage (15 DPs?) to ally. If you do ally with him (via the normal
> emissary rules), you get him and all his cool stuff.

Much better. DPs good, emissaries bad.  

> Also, who really wants The Dwarf himself when they go to Dwarf Run? I'd
> rather have any of his gadgets than him himself, myself. So, maybe remove
> him from the Dwarf Luck Table altogether, and only make him available in
> scenarios where you actually ally Dwarf Run as an independent nation, or
> get The Dwarf as part of the battalia of a 3rd player.

We always played that if you got the Dwarf, you got his remaining gifts as well. Perhaps a bit powerful, but very, very handy.

> If we did remove him from the Dwarf Luck Table, we would have two open
> slots. One for the glass flying machine, what would be cool and new for
> the additional slot? No actual dwarf unit, IMO -- he doesn't have that
> many to give. Maybe ... a bomb? A single-use, giant dwarf bomb that could
> be used as a mini-WMD in the game? Yeah, a bomb -- I kind of like that,
> it has a nice feel to it.

And it would make a good counter as well.

> > > 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.
> No, they're not, but that is another thing I'd change. I want to add a
> magician (with spirit) and unit of archers to them anyway, so they could
> be a 10 DP advantage independent. (I would definitely remove Androgeous
> from the DP-allied independents -- 10 DP for a superhero! Man, I never
> thought that through, or I'd get him/her every single time, and damn
> quick, too.)

Personally, I've never liked the use of Emissaries. I would much prefer everything being done using DPs. Certainly, for the weaker units - why would I want to risk a unit to ally someone like the Sun Domers? (OK, I know why - they are tough in combat and have defensive doubling, but DPs would be better all round)

> I think that, as a general RULE, having different targets is simpler.
> BUT, various scenarios could start with the "bonus" DPs. I would only do
> one or the other, though, not both.

If you have the same targets for all the scenarios, then you could put them in a nice table, making it easier to access. Then, you could put the starting DPs in another nice table so everything would be easier to understand.


> > Yes, I don't think they justify a sham couner either, perhaps some
> disembodied spirit allies
> > would give them a distinctive plus (is suitable spirits could be
> thought os).
> Well, I think they could warrant a shaman counter -- stats don't have to
> be exact, and they certainly wouldn't get a soul wind, but they should
> have something equivalent. My thought, however, was to change the FHQ to
> be a shaman, and make the hero be the Luminous Stallion Chief or whatever
> his name is. But that isn't quite right, mythically, so I would just add
> a weaker shaman.

Well, since the FHQ is a specialist Earth Avatar, it wouldn't make sense for her to be a shaman. It makes sense for the Grazers to have the Stallion King as their hero - the equivalent of a nomad Khan.

> > > 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.
> Um, I don't think we want Arachne Solar showing up in a game of DP,
> though. :) But, it could be a place to get the Grandmother of Spiders
> (from Nomad Gods). Since she is available in Shadows Dance, too -- I like
> the idea that that single counter has a specific place to appear in each
> of the boardgames, has a nice feel to it.

Arachne Solara? I thought Sorana Tor was an Earth Goddess. Grandmother of Spiders could be available in Web Valley, near Cragspider's Castle.

> But, having a specific spirit available at each place can be problematic.
> I guess in DP, we are really talking about two types of spirit -- place
> spirits and random spirits. Random spirits, like Nomad Gods, are what I
> was talking about, and I still like the idea. Place spirits, like Spirit
> of Movement, are the specific ones that everyone has named, however
> (INCLUDING ME), so I guess they would just be allied in the normal
> fashion. Some of them, like Chalk Man, would have limited use outside
> their home area, however. Something to consider -- Chalk Man might be
> powerful enough to include, but is there anything he can do for someone
> that would last outside his hex? If not, no point in adding him.

Would they be location-specific once allied? I don't know.

> I would not give each side more than 4-6 traditional spirits available to
> them, and the Grazers get only 2-3, but there should be 6 or so
> independents scattered around the board, like the Spirit of Movement,
> available to anyone who comes to them. Chalk Man is one I have long
> considered, the Six Sisters (as a single counter) could be another, etc.

Certainly, the Grazers should be able to summon the Fire Spirits from NG, or at least Pole Star, Morning Star and Evening Star. Would they be able to get hold of the Pure Horse Founder? Maybe not, as they severed their ties with the Pure Horse Tribe.

> In that respect, ANYONE can summon "spirits". But, the rule in Nomad Gods
> has long been questioned and criticized, rightfully, because it turns
> many games into spirit games by the middle. I'd prefer to change the rule
> so that only a shaman, magician, master of magic, or certain special
> units could summon spirits, not just the common clans.

Chris Ward:
> In NG, pretty much any unit can. But all the Praxian units are practicing
> animists with clan
> level shaman etc. Most Dpers are not animists. I figured for spirits which
> are summoned as
> oppossed to emissaried only animists or perhaps "magicians" would know how
> to peform the
> ceremony.

The trouble with this, in NG, is that very few clans have magicians. Looking at the counters, you have the Magical Societies and the Spirits, but that means using allied or summoned units to summon spirits, you also have the shamans and khans who should be able to summon spirits and the ancestors, protectresses and founders who also should be able to summon spirits, but are wasted sat in a Holy Place.



> > Why would you want to reserve Dragonkill for later? Is this some kind of
> > "tactics", something I'm not particularly aware of?
> Defensive doubling, plus the rule that you don't have to attack in any way
> when in a fortification. A dragon is worth all the CFs of the defending
> stack again, in one counter. Stack with a couple of bracketed units for an
> impenetrable fortress. Release when the besiegers are too cocky...

Yes, but I normally stack a dragon with a superhero and a couple of meaty units and set them off against enemy magicians - the dragon/sh combo shields 6 units from WMDs, so you have quite a nasty stack. The idea of saving a dragon for later fills me with unease.

> BTW: Can a superhero protect three units from exotic magic once in a
> round, or from any exotic magic in a single round?

We always played that superheroes could use their umbrella any number of times in a round, not just once. It stops the pounding you would otherwise get from multiple attacks in the same round.

> I'd like to limit the life-time of superheroes on the board. Both Harrek
> and Jar-eel have outside agendas which may call them away. Or rather, may
> cause a delay in their appearance...

Now, that's a good idea.


> > > "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.


> Someone suggested putting this on-line again recently. Does anyone still
> have the files? I
> might still have a paper copy I could copy and send otherwise. It was a
> little booklet which
> we made for Convulsion in 2000.

I've found Raider's Digest 1 in PDF. I can post it somewhere if someone can point me towards a good location.

> >> - 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 ...?
> Best rearguard action I know. They can place one illusion a turn, which
> requires a stack of 12 CFs to overcome with a 50% probability (or
> archers). When they survive, they get to strike back. They stop even
> superhero movement before they are eliminated.

OK, I never normally play a rearguard action, unless I am being thrashed, and even then I tend to attack to get out of situations. That's probably why I lose a lot.

> > I'd like to see more physical magic, in order to make the rule matter.
> > Right now only Cannon Cult, Crater Makers and Wind Children have it.
> Nice
> > for killing magician units and spying stacks, but that's it.
> Yes, I would like a little more physical magic, now that you mention it.
> Maybe that is the solution for the Grazers -- not a shaman or even a
> magician unit, but a physical magician.

What would it do, though? Make the grass grow to strangle everyone or use Kargzant's Hammer Hoof to smash a few hexes?

> > > And crested dragonewts are great for allying delecti as you get a
> Zombie
> > > and they come back again.
> >
> > Nope: only native units (i.e. Sartarite or Lunar) can be used as
> emissaries.
> They ARE native units for the Independents (in a 3-player game).

That's the one. When we played the 3 player game, ages ago, our DP-supremo always played the Independents by choice and always used this tactic to great effect.

> > > - exiles are OK - no change
> > The Earth Twins have a WMD, which is useful.
> They do? Or do you mean the Earthshakers?

Maybe, I don't have my rules at work, but someone in the Exiles could stamp their feet very hard and create a fissure that swallowed units up.

Chris Lemens:
> Simon Phipp, responding to Rob:
> > > - grazelanders need something a little
> > > better than just the horse herds
> >
> > But, they are weak, weak, weak.
> Bah and humbug. You just have to use them right. The
> only time I played Dragon Pass against Sandy, I beat
> him handily because he lined his Lunar magicians up
> far enough from his main line that my Sartarites could
> not get to them effectively. I fell back in the
> south, then allied the fast-moving grazers at the
> right instant to wipe out half the lunar magic on the
> board, including the Crater Makers, all in one turn.
> It was a rout from there.

To tell the truth, I played the Pentians in the Balazar game once and having massed missile users is really effective. We had a spirit/treasure that added a missile to every unit stacked with it (does it come from NG or Balazar, I forget) and we stacked it with the double-missile units, some elves and some individuals, so we had 12 missile factors in a single stack. Now, that can be effective.

See Ya


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