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fragmaster2

Victory Conditions discussion

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Copy-Pasting from BoardGameGeek here in order to spark a discussion:

 

Just to promote more conversation as we wait for new announcements I decided to ressurect this thread regarding BattleLore's victory conditions.

Let's begin:

The low Victory banner requirements in some {most?} scenarios are just about the only thing bothering me about this game and I wanted to ask about your opinion.

In my experience most BattleLore scenarios seem to end a bit prematurely and I feel that this creates a lot of "kamikaze" situations where a player decides to break his formations in a very un-tactical way and attack in order to gain that last Victory Banner he needs to win.

I'm aware that the same thing can happen even when you are playing with higher Victory requirements but at least in that case you have actually played enough turns to actually "feel" and "see" why you won/lost.

In scenarios with low Victory Banner requirements {I consider 6 or less Banners a low victory requirement when the armies are consisted by 13-15 units} you can't actually "feel" that your army was losing the battle and routed, which is what your opponent reaching the Victory requirements represents. I hope I'm making sense...  preocupado.gif

I know all I have to do is change the Victory Banner requirements to something higher but as I hate using house rules I want to hear other opinions regarding game balance.

My questions are:

Do you think that increasing the Victory Requirements can possibly "break" the official scenarios balance? {if there is any that is gran_risa.gif }

Does this increase give an army using units of one of the races {Goblins, Dwarves} an advantage?
{Typically armies with Goblins have more troops than armies with Dwarves. I'm talking about Call to Arms here.}


Plus I have a variant rule regarding victory requirements {Yes, I know I've said that I hate them happy.gif } that I want to try in my sessions.

I was thinking about using the victory requirements of Up Front. In Up Front the side that has lost 50%+1 of its units, routs and loses.
I think its a good rule and it actually gives armies with Goblins a small advantage that they should always have had anyway and by that I mean strength in numbers. I think that the official Victory requirements of the game make "strength in numbers" underpowered as a Goblin {or any other multiple unit} army's tactical advantage.

What's your opinion about the subject based on your experience with the game?

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To me it is a matter of how long you want the game to last. We have set higher victory conditions on a few occasions because we wanted the game to last longer.

Another thing we have done (while increasing the number of victory banners required) is, if you completely wipe out the opponent's flank or center then all adjacent areas are frightened (or normal in the case of dwarves or supported units).  If my opponent later starts a turn with two units in the destroyed flank then units in the adjacent areas return to normal status.

For example, if I clear out every unit of my opponent's left flank then his center is now frightened and rules for frightened units apply for all units that occupy the center of the board. If, on a subsequent turn, he is able to move two or more units into his left flank and keep them there until the start of his next turn, then all units in the center return to their normal status.

This variant just makes the game a little more challenging and it lasts longer.

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Let me preface my comments by saying that any changes, house rules, etc., are fine by me - I am not out of hand against any such adjustments to the game.  However, I do feel that many of the attempts to change mechanics in BL (and other C&C games) are made a bit prematurely, before attempts are made to adjust to the original game mechanics.

FragMaster said:

The low Victory banner requirements in some {most?} scenarios are just about the only thing bothering me about this game and I wanted to ask about your opinion.

In my experience most BattleLore scenarios seem to end a bit prematurely and I feel that this creates a lot of "kamikaze" situations where a player decides to break his formations in a very un-tactical way and attack in order to gain that last Victory Banner he needs to win.  

I'm aware that the same thing can happen even when you are playing with higher Victory requirements but at least in that case you have actually played enough turns to actually "feel" and "see" why you won/lost.

 

In scenarios with low Victory Banner requirements {I consider 6 or less Banners a low victory requirement when the armies are consisted by 13-15 units} you can't actually "feel" that your army was losing the battle and routed, which is what your opponent reaching the Victory requirements represents. I hope I'm making sense...

With the hit rates in BL being relatively low, if the kamikaze-style tactics are adopted too early in the game they will not only be ineffective, but also will make for relatively easy pickings for the opponent to capitalize on - assuming that opponent has shored up their own formations.  If both players play recklessly, then yes, the games will likely play out with little rhyme nor reason aside from the best cards and timeliest rolling winning out - a very random feeling experience.  However, if both players (or at least one ;) ) play with an awareness of the victory conditions, allowing those and the onboard situations to dictate or influence when to take risks and when to employ safer tactics, etc., then the games do take on a more complete feel to the battle.

 

I know all I have to do is change the Victory Banner requirements to something higher but as I hate using house rules I want to hear other opinions regarding game balance.

My questions are:

Do you think that increasing the Victory Requirements can possibly "break" the official scenarios balance? {if there is any that is gran_risa.gif }

They will certainly change the overall tempo of the game, and if one side's success is more dependent upon a point at which having lost a certain number of units their forces' overall effectiveness drastically decreases, then yes it is a possibility.  Ultimately, it just changes the odds and timing of certain decisions being effective, so in that sense, to me anyway, it is impossible to "break" a C&C scenario.  The victory conditions and initial set-up determine the initial balance, the cards and dice rolls and (biggest factor, in my opinion) decision making in response to those determine how the balance will shift throughout the game. 

Does this increase give an army using units of one of the races {Goblins, Dwarves} an advantage?
{Typically armies with Goblins have more troops than armies with Dwarves. I'm talking about Call to Arms here.}

In general, yes.  If a particular army is larger unit-wise than another, and the victory conditions call for higher banner totals, then as the end game approaches the larger army will likely have increased in relative strength to the smaller army.  However, in this game, a well used small group of heavier hitting units can be formidable even if at a numbers disadvantage.
Plus I have a variant rule regarding victory requirements {Yes, I know I've said that I hate them happy.gif } that I want to try in my sessions.

I was thinking about using the victory requirements of Up Front. In Up Front the side that has lost 50%+1 of its units, routs and loses.
I think its a good rule and it actually gives armies with Goblins a small advantage that they should always have had anyway and by that I mean strength in numbers. I think that the official Victory requirements of the game make "strength in numbers" underpowered as a Goblin {or any other multiple unit} army's tactical advantage.

Similar to my response above, shifting victory conditions isn't a problem in this game as far as making it "broken" etc., but it will change how the particular scenario plays out.  Even with set equal banner conditions, the side with greater numbers does have an advantage in that they will be able to pull back units of lower morale (less figures, weakened, however one wants to describe them) and replace them with "fresh" units without losing overall attack strength in having fewer units that are combat ready.

And, apologies, cranking this out at lunch, please address any comments I've made that aren't very clear or make no sense at all gran_risa.gif

 

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You might like to take something from the Epic Battlelore rules and make a player have to win by two VP to actually win the scenario.  That'll prolong a close game but allow someone who's getting smashed to just take their lumps and move on.

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I like using the variant from Commands & Colors: Ancients, when you hit the correct number of vp, your opponent has 1 turn to tie you. If they tie you continue playing, if they exceed you,  you have one turn to catch up, etc.

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FragMaster said:

Plus I have a variant rule regarding victory requirements {Yes, I know I've said that I hate them happy.gif } that I want to try in my sessions.

I was thinking about using the victory requirements of Up Front. In Up Front the side that has lost 50%+1 of its units, routs and loses.
I think its a good rule and it actually gives armies with Goblins a small advantage that they should always have had anyway and by that I mean strength in numbers. I think that the official Victory requirements of the game make "strength in numbers" underpowered as a Goblin {or any other multiple unit} army's tactical advantage.

What's your opinion about the subject based on your experience with the game?

 

We have been playing a home brewed system in which I play an all goblin army versus an all dwarf army versus and all human army.  Yes, we made a three player variant.  I like the idea of 50% +1 because the majority of my units are green and lack the power to hit hard enough to win banners as quick as the dwarves and humans.  Not sure if my opponents will go for this though enfadado.gif

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toddrew said:

And, apologies, cranking this out at lunch, please address any comments I've made that aren't very clear or make no sense at all gran_risa.gif

 

Everything was clear. Don't worry. happy.gif

My thanks to everyone for their answers. I'm still playing with normal victory conditions and I don't really want to change anything but there were times that a scenario ended too quickly and it was really annoying.

P.S. {Let's stir up more trouble...} demonio.gif

Plus, I think that having greater Victory requirements wouldn't have caused sooo much fuss about the FF/HR/RR cards. {which I personally believe are OK as they are and don't need any home rules...

FIGHT! preocupado.gif

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Well, I have finally come to play a scenario with full-fledged custom war council (i.e. we played the 9th scenario from the base game). - I don't have that much time so I progress rather slowly with the scenarios... Maybe that is also why I am not that much on the edge with the missing news from FFG, whereas by now I start to understand people complaining.

Anyway... commenting on HR/RR/FF... well, my opponent (who has started playing the game with me, so no further experience than me) decided that a cleric 3 would suit him well (also had commander 1, warrior 1, wizard1), whereas I was with the spider and only took a cleric 2, commander 2 and wizard 1 iirc. I had a bit of bad luck with the initial card draw which gave HR, FF and chain lighning to my buddy. Well I got RR some time later, but there is no water in that scenario but lots of woods and hills ;)

I got hit hard with both HR and FF and started to understand the moaning about these cards, especially in this scenario. I had started the scenario strong, quickly ripping up his goblin flank with my dwarfes and leading 4 to 1 and otherwise with very healthy units. After HR and FF in subsequent turns (yeah, he saved a lot of lore...and he sure ruled the dice) it was 4 to 4, my dwarfen flank was crippled to near defeat and the rest of my army badly weakened. But no reason to give up, right? I forced my troops into formation again and fought back. To make a long story short I was thrilled to win in the end by 6 to 4 :D

So while this first encounter with those nasty cards showed me the devastation which can come from it, I still believe in all the other aspects of the game. There is luck of course - I could have had one of his cards... but then again my dice rolls mostly were luckier - but also planning, foresight and lot of other things. And I for one os happy as hell that victory conditions were "only" 6. Because after that cleric onslaught I was playing against time with my weakened troops. So while of course HR/FF/RR could quickly end the game, sometimes fleeing to victory is the last chance for its victims.

Ok...I always tend to write too much for what I actually have to say ;) I just think that those cards and "low" victory conditions have no greater effect on each other than other factors like luck of the dice and planning.

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