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Konrad von Richtmark

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    Helsinki, South Finland, Finland
  1. Since the thread was necroed, I might as well join the dog-pile Grandmikus said: Is the theme of the series Good vs Evil or Stability vs Revolutionism or maybe Savagery vs Civilization? I'd say, at its simplest, it's real, realistic people vs other real, realistic people. It's not quite as grey, I think, as the others here make it out to be. Some factions are clearly more villainous than others, but no villain is a cheap, simple superhero cartoon villain. There are no stock characters or Mary Sues in the books, and most of the more villainous characters have complex, multi-faceted personalities and multiple, sometimes conflicting aims.
  2. Yes, you can. Fords aren't defined as passable in only one direction or anything like that. The only situation where direction matters is with roads, where you gain the movement bonus only by moving in the actual direction of the road. It's not valid to invoke aesthetics in an argument like that, there's bound to be some aesthetic aberrations when the same pieces are used to assemble many different battlefields. If you want to invoke realism, I'd say the two ford hexes would actually represent one large ford rather than two separated small ones.
  3. Regarding units on hills, I just came to think of something. What about if, instead of getting stalwart for free easier, it would get Defender? It would represent the unit closing ranks down the slope. It would allow any unit on a hill, even an isolated one on a lone hill, to get stalwart, but it would actually have to pay for it by abstaining from a possible attack. Biggest problem I could see with it would be that it shouldn't get any advantage against an attacker striking it from another hill hex, but it'd be a hassle to track which units are in defensive stance against everyone and which are only against ones attacking from below.
  4. Seems like FFG got the names mixed up in the rulebook then. Can't really tell from the names, I don't know of any historical use of those names. A hedgehog sounds a bit more defensive though, so it's possible. What other C&C games have come out after BoW? I'd like to take a look at them just for ideas. What I meant re cavalry and withdrawals is, sure the archers could run, but the cavalry could give chase, and catch them due to being faster. It hardly makes sense that a cavalry unit one hex away from an archer would only use one point of its movement allowance, and none to catch the fleeing enemy. If cavalry needs a nerf, I'd rather do something else, like make them suffer from valor results like everyone else. It seems rather inappropriate that the worst enemy of cavalry would be enemy cavalry, that the role of infantry is to pin enemy cavalry frontally while your own cavalry flanks the enemy cavalry, and that red cavalry is able to frontally charge stalwart pikemen in defensive formation and win. There are no normal archers in the Whispering Wood scenario, so there won't be any conflict of interest in the use of the Merry Men tokens. I too remember wondering whether tactics affected the entire board or only the immediate vicinity, thanks for clarifying that. On the issue of command cards, have you played with Tywin or Jaime using your latest rules? Jaime, in particular, has two cards which, all options involved, order 3 units and give all of them +1 attack and +1 movement. All for a price of 3 command tokens if you want everything, meaning that most of the time people would simply buy some of the options. Yet, with all of it for free, that seems quite over the top. I'm not that bothered by the fact that buying the additional options of command cards usually isn't worth it. I think it adds to the game to have an option to do something which isn't worth of the time, but offers a possibility to throw additional emphasis at a specific part of the board, at a diminishing return. Or to pull off some spectacular stunt which your opponent hadn't counted on (ever seen a red Lannister Heavy Infantry charge at you at movement 3 and attack?). All in all I'm trying to strike a balance where players can count on being able to order most units and one which avoids silly and unrealistic aberrations (like units not fighting back when attacked unless ordered to), but where players still have to make relevant decisions on what to do with their command resources. Speaking of that, I wonder, what would follow if commanders were to be allowed to play any number of command cards, but Command Limit would be redefined to mean the radius of their zones of command, rather than letting everyone have the same radius of 2? In that way, no bookkeeping with command tokens would have to be done, but there would still be better and worse commanders, and better commanders would effectively still be able to get more done due to simply having more troops inside their zone of command. If you don't use command tokens, how do you determine advantage? Do you simply let the player with momentum have it all the time? Personally, I think struggling for advantage is a nice tactical aspect, a gambit where you sacrifice the use of command counters in order to get to strike first on the following turn, something which can be quite decisive if both battlelines are about to clash. As for letting tactics be played without checking for tokens or morale, I'd be wary of that. Some of the tactics are quite nasty, which is balanced by the fact that they are harder to trigger. I'm particularly thinking of Robb Stark's tactic, which inflicts a hit on every engaged enemy unit on the board. Its requirement (a red and a valor token) makes it happen appropriately rarely, but to have it happen every time a Robb card is played, ouch!
  5. Myself, I haven't been playing with coordinated attacks. Seems to me like it would increase the likelihood of insta-killing units that fall victim to it, subverting game mechanics like counterattacks. A simple solution to unkillable commanders is simply to not require them to be killed all in one go. Let them have hitpoints equal to their capture rating. Use order tokens or whatever is convenient to mark inflicted hits. This houserule requires Jaime Lannister's unit ability to be revised too, I've simply ruled that whenever he inflicts at least one hit on a commander, he inflicts an additional one.
  6. Good reply, Ken! Regarding pikemen, well, pikemen were trained to push forward and bring as much of the pike-heads to bear against the enemy as possible. Since making the OP, though, I've revised pikemen to only have compulsory advance when in hedgehog formation. It hardly makes sense that they should have it in a defensive formation made for holding their ground. Letting any unit on a hill attacked from below count as stalwart works too, though I'm concerned it might make hills too good. The published scenarios are, after all, based on an assumption of hills doing something completely different and much weaker. And the requirement to have at least one friendly unit adjacent to you at least makes keeping your troops together, or keeping your opponent's troops separated, count for something. I realized later that my hill houserule actually makes it sensible to "anchor" a flank by letting the unit farthest out be on a hill - in that way even it gets stalwart from being adjacent to the second-last unit. Another thing I've thought about hills is that they should maybe take out the momentum of a cavalry charge. How about: A cavalry unit attacking uphill changes any Pursuit keyword it has to just Advance. As for already engaged units continuing to fight, I've found it requires fairly little bookkeeping. Whether any engaged unit makes an end-of-turn strike is seen directly from it being engaged and active, no remembering or marking is required beyond what's already in the game. As for ranged units, I've found that the three special archer tokens from Scenario 5 can conveniently be used to "mark" targets picked by ranged units. They're quite unique and there's little risk to mistake them for something else. To each their own, naturally, but I'd suggest trying it out. Makes those Rally All Units cards to be of some use too. As for your revisions on the command card mechanism, removing it entirely inituitively sounds like quite a drastic thing to do. During my latest games, I've been able to move most but not quite all units during most turns, which is I think as it should be. But then, playing with the houserule of already engaged units fighting on their own, I'd have it easier than one would under the core rules. Also, I've played with another simplifying rule simply because I managed to remember one of the FAQ optional rules wrongly. While the rule said that any command card could be played as "Order 1 unit" and costing one command token, we had played it as "Discard one card to order one unit anywhere on the table without spending a command token". Felix culpa, perhaps. If you play entirely without command tokens, what do you do about cards with several command options? Do you let all options to be carried out for free? I'd think that could advantage certain commanders with many such options unduly (Eddard, Tywin, Jaime). As for the issue of certain commanders (Maege, Gregor) being unable to play two-token cards because of a command limit of 1, I've been annoyed about that too. And even for those with a command limit of 2, putting both tokens into a single card tends to be too much, making the commander unable to do anything else (and if you're paying for the extra, chances are you're doing something big which needs several command cards). One possibility I've thought about (but not tested yet) would be the following: The command limit determines the maximum number of cards that commander can play, not the total number of command tokens that can be spent. Keeping track of this could be done by stacking those tokens used for the same card on top of each other; thus, the number of "piles" of one or more token on the card would show how many cards have already been played. By the way, have you noticed that it's possible to order any one unit by spending any two order tokens of the same type? Just saying since I only discovered it myself very recently, and found that it made a surprisingly big difference, especially in scenarios where you have few green units and green tokens are of little use. I haven't tried playing using withdrawals yet. How exactly do they affect the flow of the game? I'm simply speculating, but my gut feeling was that it would make it even harder to get red infantry units into combat, something which is almost too hard as it is. And it doesn't feel right that slower infantry should be able to "dodge" out of the way of cavalry (or at least the cavalry should be able to use any remaining movement to catch up).
  7. 1. No. Stalwart only means that it can always counterattack, it doesn't actually make its counterattacks more powerful. 2. The ability applies to the attacks made by the units ordered by the card. "Before Command" simply means that you check whether it applies (by checking whether you have a blue order token) before ordering the units ordered by the card. True, it's not a very useful ability, but it's essentially a freebie as long as you have the counter (which is not spent by using the tactic, mind you), so no harm done as long as you don't specifically save a counter for triggering the tactic. 3. By the letter of the rules, Toughness 1 applies separately to every attack made against the unit. It is however common to houserule that it only applies against the first hit in a round, lest Rickard Karstark become inappropriately hard to kill. 4. He's the only one who has it as an inherent ability. However, several scenarios give the keyword to other units as specified in the scenario. 5. No. Command cards cannot affect enemy units unless the card specifies otherwise. A unit being "uncontrolled" in this case only means that the unit does not have to be inside Maege Mormont's zone of command. 6. The scenarios that come with each expansion only use units from that expansion and the core game. No published scenario uses units from both expansions. 7. Not by the core rules. Myself, I've houseruled that a captured commander is worth one additional point of morale.
  8. Few things increase the commercial life of a product as much as proper post-release support, and few forms of such support are as cost-effective as harnessing the creative power of the player community. Since scenario play is the core of BoW, more scenarios is more, and it's something the player community should be well capable of giving a hand with. Would FFG be willing to give some kind of "official" support to community scenario-making? Hosting fanmade scenarios (evaluated for goodness, of course) in the support section of the BoW webpage would be a natural way of doing it. Though, it would be neat, user-friendly and consistent to have the scenarios in the same graphical format as the officially released scenarios. Regarding this I have two questions. First, do you at FFG use some utility specially made to make BoW scenarios? If so, could it be released to the community? It would facilitate the making of scenarios, and I can't think of any commercial or other loss for FFG that could follow from doing so. Second, if the first can't be done, would it be too much to get someone from FFG to convert fanmade scenarios to the official format? How about holding a scenario design contest? The Warhammer 40.000 RPG crew of FFG have done fan contribution contests from time to time, with great success, publishing the top few entries on the website.
  9. As for commanders, I could think of an idea for Dagmer Cleftjaw. He, if someone, comes off to me like a stalwart defender, a no-nonsense guy rather than a hotheaded berserker. Here's what I propose: Unit: Blue rank Ironborn raiders (vanilla axe-and-shield infantry with Advance) Unit abilities: Stalwart. Furthermore, each friendly unit next to his counts as stalwart. Commit ability: Flip after an attack roll has just been made against Dagmer's unit or any friendly unit adjacent to it. Your opponent is forced to re-roll the attack completely. This re-roll takes place after any voluntary re-rolls for flanking have been made.
  10. There are two variants of Greatjon Umber - "The Greatjon" and "Lord of Last Hearth", with separate cards. He's the latter variant in the battle in question, which means that he commands a kennelmaster unit. The battlemap only shows the commanders, not what units they're with, that follows directly from their commander cards. Cavalry comes in units of 3 figures, not 4, so the 11 cavalry figures + Rickard Karstark are precisely enough for 12 / 3 = 4 units.
  11. Implementing Armour Piercing by making valour rolls count sounds like a valid way to implement it, but I'd rather have it only count against red rank units. Red units are uncommon enough that Armour Piercing would be a specialist niche ability, whereas blue are (in most published scenarios, anyway) common enough that getting a bonus against them too would not make the unit a specialist counter-unit, but an all-around awesome unit capable of taking on almost anything. As for Greyjoy units, I have a faint memory that spears were relatively common weapons on the Iron Islands, so how about giving them a "basic" infantry unit which has polearms? To compensate, they'd lack the Advance keyword that the other basic infantry units (Stark warhosts and Lannister guards) have. Since Greyjoy doesn't overly do cavalry, it would make sense that they'd compensate by making their infantry better at countering cavalry. The other variant of basic infantry, axe-and-shieldmen, could be identical to other basic infantry. Making the entire infantry core of an army stalwart seems a bit over the top to me, and as something that would remove the tactical element of having to keep solid formations (and disrupting your enemy's) from the game. And it doesn't really imo fit the idea of fierce but undisciplined warriors. Berserkers sound like an appropriate special unit, though I'd think existing unit keywords should be looked at for possible use. How about letting them have Pursuit 1? No infantry unit has as of yet Pursuit, and it catches the image of berserkers surging onwards, carried forth by the momentum of victory. To be appropriately berserk, I'd suggest a keyword I'd call Impetuous. Makes them ignore the first morale result rolled against them as you suggested, but also forces them to always pursue when they can, and make the extra attack if there's at least one eligible target. Finally, it would make them liable to charge without being ordered to - if an impetuous unit is active at the end of the order phase, it must immediately move directly towards the closest enemy it can see, and attack if able. If several enemies are equally close, and there are several ways to move into combat with it, the Greyjoy player may choose how it moves. Hence, they'd get into combat without need to order them, but on the downside, a player who wants them to stay put would have to spend command effort towards it (i.e. it would be legal to give them an order but not move them, simply to get them inactive and thus prevent a spontaneous move).
  12. I haven't got far enough in the books to get much of an idea of what House Martell uses, but if light troops are their thing, maybe both light cavalry and skirmishing infantry (think Roman velites or Greek peltasts style) would fit. As for rules, they could have the profiles of "basic" infantry and cavalry, though with Skirmisher replacing Advance and Pursuit respectively (and pretty much always be of green rank). Or, if that makes them too good compared to vanilla green infantry and cavalry, maybe make them discount rolled Valour results like archers do (which makes sense, as skirmishers used for harrassment wouldn't fight with as high intensity as troops getting stuck into melee). Another thing worth minding, I think, is to possibly expand existing special units to other houses. Peasant militia, for one, should be quite ubiquitous and fieldable by anyone (except maybe Stark and Greyjoy, whose subjects should be hardier than most and count as green infantry at least). Pikemen, too, I'd think should not be quite as common, but at least known by a few more houses. And crossbowmen too, for that matter, though I don't know whether I like the Aimed Shot keyword as it is. I'd rather have crossbowmen be a counter to heavily armoured troops, I'd propose a general crossbowman unit which swaps the Aimed Shot keyword for the keywords Armour Piercing (see OP) and Off-Balance.
  13. It occured to me that expanding BoW on your own should be quite doable by using common wargaming 20mm scale miniatures, it's something I'm feeling tempted to do (though I'll of course see what FFG comes out with, it does seem like they mean business re expansions to BoW). So let's brainstorm a little. What unique unit types would be relevant for what houses? I'll start with Targaryen, assuming battles take place during Robert's Rebellion. I propose spitfires, pieces of artillery firing pots of dragonfire at the enemy. They're mentioned in A Clash of Kings when Cersei prepares the defence of King's Landing, and it's mentioned now and then that Aerys II was obsessed with fire and of using dragonfire for military purposes, so it isn't much of a stretch to assume that spitfires were around already by his time. The novels don't (as far as I remember) describe them in detail, so I'd assume it's something with a bow like a ballista, but firing a pot rather than a bolt. What effect should pots of medieval napalm have? I'd think it's a weapon whose efficiency would to a significant extent be a result of the terror effect of sticky flaming liquid raining down on you. I'd suggest the following: The spitfire fires at a range of 6, rolling 2-4 dice depending on rank. Only flag and valour results have an effect. Each valour result inflicts one casualty (regardless of target rank; rolled shields have no effect). If at least one flag result is rolled in the attack, one additional flag result is inflicted (similarly to Last Hearth Lancers in Wedge formation). Furthermore, if at least one casualty is inflicted by rolling valour results, yet another one additional flag result is inflicted. This would make it a unit not very effective at killing stuff, but the more effective at disrupting formations and depriving enemy units of stalwartness. Finally, as a piece of field artillery, it should be appropriately cumbersome. Move 1 OR attack seems appropriate to me. With only two figures, it will be appropriately vulnerable to attack. It should further never be able to count as stalwart. Flag results rolled against it in melee would always inflict an additional hit instead. Then, House Baratheon, another key player I propose halberdiers, a unit that would both be able to make use of formations and fulfil a niche which no unit so far does: A counter to heavily armoured troops. The first formation would be spearwall, i.e. using the pointy ends of the halbers like spears. They gain the Polearms keyword. The second formation would be hacking assault (for want of a better term), i.e. using the axe blades. It would give them the keywords Advance and Armour Piercing. The latter is a new keyword of use against red rank units. If a struck red rank unit has Heavy Armour, it is negated. If it doesn't, it only counts as a blue rank unit for the purpose of determining damage inflicted. I can't think of any more house-specific troops at the time, though there's a specific kind of unit type quite relevant in real medieval war that's missing from the game: Skirmishers of different kinds. While foot skirmishers were more relevant during the ancient than medieval age, light cavalry has been used for hit-and-run throughout the history of war. Green rank cavalry as currently in the game is only marginally faster than the other, and doesn't really have any ability to make a hasty retreat. Therefore, I propose the following keyword: SKIRMISHER Engagement tokens are never placed between this unit and another (this means that it cannot be flanked). Whenever the unit is attacked (not counterattacked!), the first hit scored against it is converted into a flag result. Also, units pursuing it cannot make an additional attack against it (pursuers can move and attack other eligible targets normally). However, the unit can never ignore flag results because of any effect (stalwart, etc), nor can it ever counterattack. If it cannot retreat due to blocked retreat path, it suffers casualties normally. On first sight it might look like skirmishers would be too hard to kill, gaining an effective cheap version of Toughness(1). However, it should be obvious that pretty much all skirmishers would be of green rank anyway, making it not too hard to inflict two simultaneous hits against it. What do you think?
  14. Meh, I'd like a wholly new faction capable of being fielded independently. There's so much more in Westeros than Stark vs Lannister, I wish they'd tap into that. An expansion adding a whole independently fieldable house wouldn't have to be that much more expensive than the wardens expansions. If they can make profit of a core game with two houses + other components sold for 80€, it should be possible to sell a single independent house for 40€. Or make it 50€ to allow for more unit types and commanders (five would be quite enough; "basic" infantry, cavalry and archers, and two special types per house).
  15. Well, when you order him, he is active, but becomes inactive as a consequence of executing that order. After all recently ordered units have executed their action, you use his commit ability. Example: Rickard and a bunch of nearby cavalry are active. -You play a card which allows you to order a few units. You order Rickard and a bunch of cavalry to attack the enemy, taking care to move so that as many as possible end up adjacent to Rickard -You execute their attacks, inflicting maximum pwnage -After you've resolved the attacks, you flip over Rickard's card and turn Rickard's flag and the flags of all adjacent cavalry to the active side And the next time it's your turn you can, if you have the means, use the rallied cavalry for more carnage.
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