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The Lost City of Ashra!

Posted December 30th, 2011 at 12:14 PM by kolakoski
Updated January 26th, 2012 at 12:57 PM by kolakoski
Well met!

I will be hosting the Gang of Four at my place on January 20, 2012, with this simple scenario, inspired by the classic 1945 Tarzan and the Amazons.






"The Treasures are here, here, here, here, and here," the Ninja said. All are closely guarded by Warriors."

The Captain thought a moment. "We need to divert their attention. Ideas?"

The Ninja spoke again. "They value their Sacred Trees above all else, save, perhaps the life of their Great Priest, Acolarh. A threat to either or both should do the trick."

"Not everyone will like the idea of killing trees, or priests for that matter," the Captain said. "But they'll get over it somehow. Being filthy rich will help."

Four groups of Explorers have joined forces to find the Lost City of Ashra, and are about to enter it. Inevitably, they will form secret alliances, and then . . .

The Lost City of Ashra!

The Map. There is a Glyph of Rannweig, under Acolarh, at the top of his Tower ("Acolarh's Tower"). There are 5 Treasure Glyphs: 1 under a Warrior of Ashra near the Great Evergreen, and one on top of each of the other 4 Towers. There are 9 WoA: 1 WoA as aforesaid near the Great Evergreen, 2 WoA on the level of Acolarh's Tower below Acolarh, 1 on each of the Towers next closest to the entrance on either side, and 2 on each Tower closest to the entrance. There are 2 Outcrops, the hexes around which serve as Zap Zones (name contributed by Shedim Kabal) where the Treasure Glyphs are "zapped" out of existence (awarding Victory Points ("VPs")), on the end of the map farthest from Acolarh's Tower.

[This was taken before modification to add the second half of the Map]











The Explorers. 4 players (the Gang of Four, naturally ) with pre-made armies of 600 points apiece (including no Marvel or customs, official or not), each player's army to fill no more than 12 spaces, placed, a card at a time, as in Heat of Battle, outside the City (adjacency to other players' units allowed), on any non-Sand hexes outside the City, which armies will be formed into two teams, teammates being determined at random after the third round. No Explorer's army may contain Acolarh or the Warriors of Ashra (the "WoA") (Acolarh and the WoA, together, the "Amazons"). Teams may have two of the same unique hero/squad. The Explorers may then (after HoB placement) move anywhere on the Map, including into the City, but may not attack any units (other Explorers' or the Amazons'), nor place any OMs on the Amazons, nor may they pick up (or Mage Hand) any Treasure Glyphs, although they may move onto them, until the beginning of round 4. Prior to round 4, all Explorer units are considered "friendly" to each other, and may move through each other if not engaged (to any Amazon), etc., while the Amazons are always treated as "enemies" to all Explorers, that is, even prior to round 4, Explorers will be subject to leaving engagement strikes from the Amazons. After round 4, the teams of Explorers are considered, of course, "enemies" to each other. Each turn, as usual for Gang of Four team games, each team rolls for initiative, and then each team decides for itself (based on the situation) which member goes first. Thus, the order of play is: Initiative winning team - player 1, other team - player 2, Initiative winning team - player 3, and other team - player 4.

The Amazons. Acolarh is on the top level of the 2-level Tower ("Acolarh's Tower"). One of the WoA is adjacent to the top of each ladder, except for the two ladders on the second level of Acolarh's Tower, and one is on the Treasure Glyph near the Great Evergreen (as opposed to above the entrance, as in the photos). Each player will have a card for the WoA in front of him (teammates can share a card), in addition to his own army cards, and may place one, and only one, of his Order Markers upon it each turn, beginning with the third. No OMs may ever be placed upon Acolarh (unless he becomes Mindshackled). The WoA cannot be moved in such a way that they would risk falling damage, nor may Amazons attack Amazons. WoA may not risk Leaving Engagement Attacks, for which purpose all Explorers are considered "enemies," even those Explorers on the team of the player controlling them (which otherwise would be considered "friendly"). Thus, you may not move WoA out of engagement with any Explorer's units, even your own. Acolarh stands on the Glyph of Rannveig (Wind), and bestows his grace (Leaf of the Home Tree Aura and Ullar's Amulet) upon the WoA. He may be Enslaved, Moon Frenzied, Mindshackled, etc., may be moved by Chainfighters, Wyverns, Knockback, Jotun's Throw, etc., and, of course, may be killed.

The Amazons Have Bows. The range for the Warriors of Ashra is increased to 5 for this scenario.

Falling Trees.



The C3G Christmas Special Falling Trees will be used in this scenario.

The Victory Conditions. The team with the most Victory Points (out of 13 total) after 12 rounds wins. VPs are awarded to each team as follows:

2 VP for killing Acolarh.

2 VP for destroying the Great Evergreen.

1 VP for destroying each of the 4 Evergreens (other than the Great Evergreen).

1 VP for the each of the 5 Treasure Glyphs carried back to either Zap Zone (the hexes adjacent to the Outcrops). The Treasure Glyphs (face down, normally trapped) are Brandar's Chest, Bracers of Teleportation, Potion of Healing, Ring of Protection, and Belt of Giant Strength. When used, the Temporary Treasure Glyphs are transforned/converted to Brandar's Chests, rather than destroyed, and may still be carried to the Zap Zones for VPs.

My army for this scenario:

Spoiler Alert!
Total Comments 25

Comments

Old
kolakoski's Avatar

So Little to Do, So Much Time

Well met!

During this holiday week, I have had plenty of time on my hands here at work, not only to analyze and build armies for the upcoming Avalanche!, but even to lay out this scenario, albeit without anything in the way of a Map except for some of the terrain it will include. For certain, there will be a central tower plateau with a double-width staircase winding its way to the top, with 2 Great Evergreens and 4 regular Evergreens, surrounded by other, lower plateaus, 1 BftU's worth of Shadow, 1 TJ's worth of Jungle, and some Water, Swamp Water, Swamp, and even some Sand.

I believe the Victory Conditions, terrain and Neutral Force rules make for an interestingly deep scenario, without too much complexity.

I'll post some pictures of some trial Maps soon.
Posted December 30th, 2011 at 12:40 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Updated January 2nd, 2012 at 12:26 PM by kolakoski
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

Map & Scenario Finished!

Well met!

The Map & Scenario finished (picture to soon come)!
Posted January 1st, 2012 at 10:21 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Updated January 1st, 2012 at 11:56 PM by kolakoski
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

Reasons

Well met!

The City fills most of a standard card table. Another card table's terrain will all be outside the City. All the rules about initial placement and army size are to accomodate a map that is a bit smaller than the Gang is used to.

The VPs are set to try and balance the weight of each objective.

The Neutral Force is designed to require judiciousness in its use.

Added a general description of the scenario.

This is the deepest, richest scenario I have yet produced. I am very proud of it, and hope some of you will be inspired to play/comment upon it.
Posted January 1st, 2012 at 11:39 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Updated January 2nd, 2012 at 12:26 PM by kolakoski
Old
chas's Avatar
"Dibs on the Amazon!"
--The Flash, First JLA animated episode

I like the creativity combined with simplicity, and am looking forward to using 600 juicy points. Thanks for the 'big' army allocation.

Questions:

1. You say the Glyph VP is awarded in your start zone. But individual TGs give no point as such, you only get one for the most. Do you mean 'the credit for the TG toard a VP?'

2. Can you also win by elimnating the opposing team of explorers?

3. Is the VP for killing the most enemy earned by an individual or the team?

4. So after the teams are randomly chosen, you're suddenly engaged with enemies here but not there (your teammate's pieces)? Not sure how this is going to work, but an interesting wrinkle.

What's with T'pau all over the place in my life these days? Your using her photo here continues a week of watching an old STNG with a ship named for her in it, and seeing that actress in both old Have Gun Will Travel episodes and just yesterday in the Twilight Zone Marathon! 'Art thee Vulcan, or art thee Human?'
Posted January 2nd, 2012 at 06:46 AM by chas chas is offline
Updated January 2nd, 2012 at 07:00 AM by chas
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

Answers to Questions

Well met!

1. Exactly! Fixed.

2. If they have already assassinated Acolarh, and locked up the VP for Treasure Glyphs, no!

3. Good one! I'm going to insert an option for both.

4. Again, you have it right (I think). You have two rounds to prepare, knowing that two thirds of the remaining units on the Map (besides the WoA) will be hostile.

I saw T'Pau in STIII last week (reminding me of her existence), but she was not as good as in the one in the original series. If that one had been cast as the Amazon Queen in Tarzan and the Amazons, Tarzan would never have been permitted to live!

Also, I did not wait for the arrival of my second Great Evergreen before building the Map, and it has no Swamp, and only a little Swamp Water (around the Palm Trees at the entrance to the City). There is now a large central plateau, containing the Great Evergreen, surrounded by six 9-hex Walkways, a 2-level Tower (3 above 7) at the end of the City opposite the entrance, two small staircases (with attached 3-hex Towers), a third of the way from the 2-level Tower towards the entrance, one on each side, and a 5-hex Tower walkway (with small staircases) near each end of the entrance, which consists of the 5-hex road piece (with one railing) from RttFF suspended from a pair of Towers at each end. Each of the four staircases has an Evergreen on the center well. Access to Acolarh and all of the Treasure Glyphs are blocked by WoA, and unreachable except by Phantom Walkers (or, perhaps, a Brunak carry) for the first 2 rounds.
Posted January 2nd, 2012 at 09:28 AM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Updated January 2nd, 2012 at 04:55 PM by kolakoski
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

Truncated Pictures

Well met!

Posted some pictures of the Map. Will redit them at work tommorrow.
Posted January 2nd, 2012 at 01:45 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Old
chas's Avatar
AE couldn't drop due to WIND glyph, so why think about them? Or could they..?
Posted January 3rd, 2012 at 06:25 AM by chas chas is offline
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

AE?

Well met!

My bad! I forgot about that. However, one could draft the AE and/or flying units in anticipation of clearing the Wind glyph. Cyprien, anyone?
Posted January 3rd, 2012 at 11:15 AM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Old
Filthy the Clown's Avatar
That is a visually appealing map. I love the sacred trees in the middle of the battlements.
Posted January 3rd, 2012 at 12:20 PM by Filthy the Clown Filthy the Clown is offline
Old
Johngee's Avatar

Awesome

That's got to be my all time favorite TARZAN Episode. Also, that's a GREAT Map K., and I LOVE the whole concept of "Themed Battles" that the Gang of Four have been playing and bragging about, thanks for posting them for us to envy. I wish I still lived in Monmouth County and could be in NYC within an hour to join you guys. Now I may have to borrow this scenario some time and host my own HS "Play-Day" at my new place on the southern shores of New Jersey, if anyone is interested in driving to Cape May County to join me.
Posted January 3rd, 2012 at 04:24 PM by Johngee Johngee is offline
Old
chas's Avatar
1. '"Clear" the Wind Glyph?' Making up more rules in your head that you're not sharing with us today, K.?

2. Your proposed army makes no sense to me at all. But that's a good thing!!! Maybe I'll win for a change... (Edit after K. changes his army). You are a coward from a race of cowards, unless you end up being my team mate...

3. How many hexes does a falling tree affect if a castle wall/rampart is in the way of it falling on both affected hexes, as it appears on this map? Will it remain leaning as a sight obstacle (my preference) or be removed after it falls? Or will you consider it shattered, and affecting both hexes anyway, even if when unshattered it can't physically fall on the second hex? Finally, if a tree falls in a Lost City when we're all away from the table getting a snack, does it make a sound? I just don't know...
Posted January 4th, 2012 at 07:56 AM by chas chas is offline
Updated January 7th, 2012 at 07:36 AM by chas
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

Original Concept - With Map Pictures

Well met!

From an earlier post on 12/28/2011:


Here are a few pictures of a map I free built a couple of days ago. I plan to build a larger version (2 cardtables, with a plastic sheet, if I can find one), with more Castle stuff, for February's Gang of Four meeting, which I plan to host in the living room of my apartment, a rare departure from the usual location (chas' Game Palace). Barely a concept at this point, I laid it out in a previous post:

"For my next scenario, I'm contemplating using the WoA as a Neutral Force again, but with a mechanic similar to some forms of poker with which you may be familiar. Each player will have a WoA card, in addition to the cards for the rest of his/her army. One (and only one, to prevent players from making the WoA do all the work, or just moving them back and forth) OM may be placed on it each turn."

Given the problems with height/flyers that the use of Castle stuff usually present, I'm toying with the idea of a WoA-generating portal at the highest elevation in the Castle, and placing a Glyph of Rannveig up there somewhere under one of the WoA, which would be more tactically interesting than merely declaring a permanent state of Wind. Kudos go to my wife, Babs, for the pictures, taken with her cell phone in poor light.








I think you all will agree that the current map is much better!
Posted January 4th, 2012 at 08:47 AM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Updated January 4th, 2012 at 08:53 AM by kolakoski
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

More Qs from chas . . .

Well met!

1. '"Clear" the Wind Glyph?' Making up more rules in your head that you're not sharing with us today, K.?

In this case, "clear" means killing Acolarh. Once he is dead, and no longer standung on the Glyph of Rannweig, units will be able to fly (at least until another unit is moved onto it). The whole idea of ther being a Wind glyph, as opposed to just declaring there to be a permanent Wind condition, was to add another tactical wrinkle to the scenario.

2. Your proposed army makes no sense to me at all. But that's a good thing!!! Maybe I'll win for a change...

Spoiler Alert!


3. How many hexes does a falling tree affect if a castle wall/rampart is in the way of it falling on both affected hexes, as it appears on this map? Will it remain leaning as a sight obstacle (my preference) or be removed after it falls? Or will you consider it shattered, and affecting both hexes anyway, even if when unshattered it can't physically fall on the second hex? Finally, if a tree falls in a Lost City when we're all away from the table getting a snack, does it make a sound? I just don't know...

The rules for the trees say nothing about terrain blocking their falling damage, so it doesn't. They are also "destructible objects," so, when they are destroyed, they do not remain on the Map. Finally, Trees never fall of their own accord in the Lost City, so your last question is moot.
Posted January 4th, 2012 at 09:53 AM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Updated January 4th, 2012 at 12:55 PM by kolakoski
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

Thanks, Johngee! But . . .

Well met!

That's got to be my all time favorite TARZAN Episode. Also, that's a GREAT Map K., and I LOVE the whole concept of "Themed Battles" that the Gang of Four have been playing and bragging about, thanks for posting them for us to envy. I wish I still lived in Monmouth County and could be in NYC within an hour to join you guys. Now I may have to borrow this scenario some time and host my own HS "Play-Day" at my new place on the southern shores of New Jersey, if anyone is interested in driving to Cape May County to join me.

. . . why don't you have an avatar?
Posted January 4th, 2012 at 02:16 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Old
kolakoski's Avatar

Another Precursor

Well met!

From an October post of mine:

I have built many maps, especially early on, that looked good and played badly. The main problem for me is/was that height, winding staircases/wells, mountain paths, and castle walls/walkways, looks great, but plays to the unfair advantage of flyers and ranged units. Finding a balance is difficult. One of the ways I use to address this problem is through scenario writing. If there are no flyers and/or ranged units allowed, or they are severely disadvantaged, height is no longer an issue. Also, if a Heat of Battle type placement of units is used in the initial setup, then the players' units have equal access to any existing height. Ultimately though, those features that are both aesthetically pleasing and playable must be ascertained, through experience and perusal of the various fine map-making articles herein.
Posted January 6th, 2012 at 11:11 AM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
 
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