Freitag, 30. Mai 2014

"The Numbers' Game" - Moment, Open War Phases, and Winds of War

I think I'll just roll with the name, and considers a "the Ender's Game" reference.

This time, I'm bringing you the latest developments. I've always thought about Open War increasing the economic output, but also about the fact that the war itself puts a drain onto the same economy if it goes on for too long. Originally, that was tied to a specific number of turns, and I thought it might be delayable through spoils, and never knew how to handle that. I also had an idea about event-like effects affecting the players and creating new situations (a holdover from Legends of the five rings), which I originally planned to include in my first campaign system, but didn't know how to do so seamlessly.

Then, there was High Command with its Winds of War cards.

And then, Guild Ball came around, and with it, the notion of Momentum, which was created by certain actions, and influenced the game.

Recently, those two things collided in my brain...
... and born was this:

Generated  Economy   Winds of 
Momentum   Modifier  War Stack
   1-2      x1.25     Early   
   3-5      x1.5      Early      
   6-8      x1.75     Early      
   9-10     x2.0      Mid        
  11-14     x2.25     Mid        
  15-17     x1.75     Mid        
  18-19     x1.25     Late        
  20-23     x0.75     Late       
  24-30     x0.50     Late       

   As hinted at in the... ...actually, it wasn't hinted at, I'm just figuring. I've got the notes for this spread, like, across three different notepads. Momentum (I'm taking the term straight from Guild Ball, because, hey, the idea behind it is the same) is generated everytime a victory is achieved, and the winning player gains it. If a Warcaster was included in the losing Player's army, that Player also loses a point of Momentum.
   Momentum is also added to the roll-off for initiative at the start of the Campaign Round Activation Phase.

   The leftmost (red) column tracks the total amount of Momentum generated, not effective values. This means that only progress from top to bottom is possible.
   The middle (green) column gives the Economy Modifier associated with each amount Momentum. This modifier is applied to both player's total ECO value, just before it is added to their pool of points (this avoids fractured too many numbers, I feel). As you can see, the modifier describes a curve (more of a triangle, actually), even reducing the player's total ECO during the late phases.
   The right (blue) column shows from which respective Winds of War (again, taking the term straight from High Command) stack cards are revealed.

Of course, this is totally preliminary, and needs testing. I'm actually preparing a small map (twelve locations in total, two players) to test it out.

   If you don't want to, you don't even have to use the Winds of War stuff - it may be a pet peeve of mine trying to get the old L5R event cards concept to work, but I feel this is probably the best way to do it. Regarding the Winds cards, for the aforementioned map there will be fixed cards, but it may actually be possible for players to split the available card slots between them and choose the cards involved themselves. Here's the line-up I chose:
Arrayed for Battle - no special rules this Campaign Round
Fresh Recruits - Choose either your HQ or a location under effect of the "Mobilize" order. Immediately add that location's INC stat to the total number of points at that location.
Arrival of the Anvil - This Campaign Round, a player gains an additional point of Momentum through victory in battle if his faction is Khador.
Inclement Weather - During this Campaign Round Activation Phase, players have to pay one point of Momentum as an additional cost when using the "move points" order to attack an opposing location.
Fresh Recruits - see above.
Bonfire Festival - Everytime a living warrior model is destroyed, it's owner adds one point to his pool of points this Campaign Round.
Are you with me? - Each player makes a CMD check for every location they have deployed a Warcaster to. If it fails, nothing happens. If it succeeds, increase the location's CMD by one, it's INC by ten, and modify its ALL by -5/+15/+25.
Boundless Sight - Each player chooses one of his Warcasters, and replaces it with one of the Warcaster's epic incarnations.
Everyone dies - This round, the DEF value of all locations is considered zero. Also, the Hospital special does not work, and the "Wounded in Battle" result for dead Warcasters is changed to "dead".
Inclement Weather - see above.
Doom of the Anvil - during this Campaign Round, doubles are not considered Critical Hits.
The fat lady sings - At the end of this Campaign Round, the campaign ends, and the player with the most Momentum wins.

Okay, I think I'll end this one here. There's enough open ends mentioned here (Warcaster death, Epic Warcasters, Weather Effects, Specials...) to follow up on in upcoming articles.

But until then, farewell!