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  #1  
Old November 27th, 2013, 12:05 AM
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Just a Game with Friends.

I had some company over for a nerdy double date. Understand that I haven't played much in the past few years, and my wife had only just learned about the game. My friend had played one game prior and his girlfriend was entirely unfamiliar with table top games as a whole.

I believe we went with 4 teams of roughly 550 points each. My wife, who is rather ruthless and prefers victory to fun, chose an Army of Fourth Mass line and 10th Regiment, as well as Marcus.

I went with Tor Kul Na, Finn, Thorgrim, Eldgrim, and the Airborne Elite. I was teamed with my Wife. I expected her to do most of the fighting with a wave of bayonettes. I wanted to suicide mission with my Vikings to either augment my Airborne Elite (if they came in late) or Tor Kul Na, who would be my heavy hitter on the tail end.

My adversaries fielded a fantasy army of Elves, monks, various Elf wizards, and the Knights of Weston. They were more interested in fun and thus didnt focus on any real strategy.

The battlefield was not built with an actual game in mind, but was rather constructed as a way to show off my old toys that I had been tinkering with, and to just finish so that my friends who were in town could get down to playing.

There is a mountain on one corner of the map. A highway stretching around the map and over a river and through a swamp. A river dividing the map roughly in half, and trees and ruins to block line of sight. We shuffled in four glyphs: initiative+8, range+4, Defense +1 and attack +1, opting to place three in the river, and one on the high ground, shuffled at random.

Lay of the land


My AE were able to deploy on the first round, and, perhaps unfairly, I deployed to the Highground above their lines.




This created an effective buffer zone that not only gave us the initiative glyph, but also setup the first round of my turns. The name of the wizard escapes me, but the one with the little dragon on his shoulder was unfortunately killed within two turns to my troops.




Liz advanced her line of Red Coats, whilst I spent the occasional turn moving up my Viking champions along the road. I anticipated at some point to be set upon by monks and lose my AE. This happened in short order. All the while, Lisa and Weston's forces slowly advanced to the river, making some gains as a battle for glyphs waged back and forth.






And then, it was Monks to the rescue, but perhaps too late.





Had this been done sooner, many more of their troops would have made it across the river and it may have been more of a fair match.

The Red Lines Sweep the Field


COMBAT ENSUES!







And the Time was up.
It was basically over. None of my viking champions had been slain, my Marro Giant remained behind the lines, as did three untouched squads of 4th Mass. Liz had almost two squads of the 10th Regiment still deployed, but the damage had already been done.

We all had fun, and Lisa and Weston came away with a greater understanding about the game mechanics and basic strategy(and understanding synergy).

Weston did a better job at trying to have fun and making it enjoyable for Lisa. We also adopted a "Defender makes the call" for any line of sight dispute, though we do use laser pointers typically for ranged combat. (this made for some 'sniping' from my AE into the ruins below through the broken windows on top.)

Another lesson learned is bigger isn't always better. A mass of troops is fun, and I had hoped to trample stomp my way to victory, though we did feel bogged down at times. My newer table and setup still utilizes the hexagon shape, but is smaller in dimensions (23 Hexes across, to 25). That is a difference of 374 hexes to 584 if my math is correct. All in all it just means more action-less turns, and melee troops have a lesser value on the larger board.

I consider it a victory for re-familiarizing myself with the game, and a victory on learning to focus more on fun than on domination.

I would however like some input

How can I make my maps better?
Can Tactical Symmetry(i.e height advantage on one side and road advantage on another) equate to a balanced map?
What is the largest effective river width for play-ability and aesthetics?
Do Glyphs fulfill the role of giving something to fight over effectively, and give more meaning to the combat?
Has anyone tried a larger army with troops entering the battlefield in waves, at different rounds?
How can I make these gatherings more fun?

Theophilus.
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  #2  
Old November 27th, 2013, 08:38 AM
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Re: Just a Game with Friends.

A laser pointer! That's clever, I might have to try that next time.

Good battle report. If I have any input it would be that the wide river through the middle with only one bridge on the side, particularly with the massive scale of the board, tilts the advantage far in favor of ranged attacks.
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  #3  
Old November 27th, 2013, 11:26 PM
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Re: Just a Game with Friends.

Just my two cents...
Making maps better? All depends on what you are going for. The BOV discussion thread is great for a lot of thoughts on tourney type maps. And looking through the various map threads shows some really neat ideas. I favor compact maps so the battle gets going pretty quick. Roads help with that.
Balanced asymmetric map? I think that's a tough one. Height advantage on one side can be hard to balance. Strong glyphs on the low side can help, as well as a lot of LOS blockers set up so the "high" side can't just camp out and snipe with range if the "low" side approaches. There's the thread about the asymmetric map workshop here http://www.heroscapers.com/community...ad.php?t=23021 that I found interesting.
The river? Two is the widest I have used where it didn't severely hinder game play.
Glyphs. If the glyphs are strong enough, they can really direct traffic to certain parts of the map. I always try to also place them so that they aren't easy to hold on. Not on height, shadow, behind a lot of LOS blockers, that sort of thing. (Unless trying to balance out something else). That way they see a lot of action. I try to stay away from the Attack +1 because I think that can be too strong some times. Defense, move, and wound glyphs are what I try to use as "strong" glyphs. Strong enough to fight over, but if your opponent holds it, you still have a chance.
I never tried the reinforcement thing, sounds interesting though.
More fun? You sound like you had a pretty good time. We had a NHSD get together last month with a lot of people not familiar with the game. We made a bunch of themed (and relatively easy to use) armies. We then picked armies by drawing names. I think premade/mostly balanced armies helped the newbs out. I can't think of much else to make it more fun other than popcorn

Your terrain looks awesome by the way. Glad you got to play the game again.
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Old November 27th, 2013, 11:46 PM
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Re: Just a Game with Friends.

Well met!

Good report and pics! As to:

How can I make my maps better?
Can Tactical Symmetry(i.e height advantage on one side and road advantage on another) equate to a balanced map?
What is the largest effective river width for play-ability and aesthetics?
Do Glyphs fulfill the role of giving something to fight over effectively, and give more meaning to the combat?
Has anyone tried a larger army with troops entering the battlefield in waves, at different rounds?
How can I make these gatherings more fun?

There are numerous threads about mapmaking in the Maps & Scenarios forum. That being said, a few personal suggestions:

Rotational Symmetry, as it guarantees a balanced map.


Bi-lateral symmetry can work, too. The extreme height in the map below was mitigated somewhat with the Glyph of Rannweig (no flying), but that and the generally tight quarters make this a flawed map.


Less flawed, but not as pretty is the map below.

dok had this to say about Shrine of Death in particular,


and my maps in general:

One thing you should probably try to do on this and other maps you've posted recently is to move the desirable bonuses off of high ground. A lot of your elevated terrain is next to jungle, and the power glyph is on elevated terrain. If, in stead, you have the jungle next to relative low ground, and put the glyph in a low spot, you create more incentive for players to stake out those areas of the map, as well. As it is, the map looks like a few really desirable spots with kill zones between them.

The following map was a raw response to dok's comment.

The size of the river doesn't matter as long as it is not too difficult to cross - with plenty of wide fords or bridges. Don't make it too difficult for melee units to engage - in fact, do everything you can to help them, like including lots of LoS blockers and Road. Don't build too high - that favors flyers and ranged units - even though height is pretty (see The Lost City of Ashra map, above). Glyphs are good to put on the ends of maps to provide alternative foci from the center. There is a point of diminishing returns for army size, waves, etc., especially with 4 players, and in map size. It's more fun to play more games with fewer points on maps such that contact is not unduly delayed nor precipitous. Winning/losing and/or making mistakes won't matter as much, if games are short and intense. Impose a 10 Round time limit. With extreme rookies, have a few pre-made armies/cores for them to choose from, if they wish.

P.S.:
d by hose!



Next Generation


Last edited by kolakoski; November 28th, 2013 at 12:20 AM.
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  #5  
Old November 28th, 2013, 12:43 AM
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Re: Just a Game with Friends.

There are so many well-designed maps on this site that I usually just go with one of them.

If you want to let your friends have some choice, maybe you can put together 6+ armies that work well together and are relatively balanced and let everyone choose from this pool.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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Re: Just a Game with Friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serenity View Post
There are so many well-designed maps on this site that I usually just go with one of them.

If you want to let your friends have some choice, maybe you can put together 6+ armies that work well together and are relatively balanced and let everyone choose from this pool.
Wonderful idea. Six sounds about right for choices. You do not want so many that people are spending too much time looking through the cards.
Also you could each roll a d6 to randomly pick your armies.
I think going with pre-builts is the way to go, as you can showcase various synergies and combos that make 'scape great.

I like using Treasure Glyphs. It is always fun to get something and they put more emphasis on Heroes over squads. Each team could even start with a random Treasure.

For maps I would avoid anything that has perches for the AE or Dragons or other such figures. Water is murder for hand to hand figures, so keep that in consideration, it can make for some awesome small maps though if no one has range. If you are using water, it is a good time to use Vipers.

Enjoy.

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With the intimacy of destruction, One knows what it is to be alive
The empty sky holds no reflection, for sorrow
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Old November 28th, 2013, 04:26 PM
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Re: Just a Game with Friends.

Alternately, you could assemble pods of creatures at lower point totals (200-250) and let people pick from various pods.

For example, one pod might contain Krug and 2 squads of grut archers while another could have two squads of Axegrinders and a dwarven hero. You'll want the pods to be roughly equal in points and power, but I think some variance is fine as long as each pod has its own synergy. If a pod has less synergy or is just not as powerful, perhaps you let it go over in points a little. That way you could have the elven wizard pod, but maybe their point total ends up around 300+. Then you can have a snake draft of pods with everyone getting 2 of them.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 09:07 PM
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Re: Just a Game with Friends.

I like both the pre assembled armies and the pods concept, As a matter of fact, for the last game with my wife, I had made 6 armies, and we have agreed to not use the same armies until all have been used.

I appreciate the feedback.

Theophilus.
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Old November 29th, 2013, 09:47 AM
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Re: Just a Game with Friends.

Before we got into C3G we used to use these random lists.

Someone else has more random charts like this. I will keep looking for them.

A cloud can change its semblance, yet retain its will
With the intimacy of destruction, One knows what it is to be alive
The empty sky holds no reflection, for sorrow
- Eslo Rudkey
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  #10  
Old February 13th, 2014, 07:58 PM
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Re: Just a Game with Friends.

I just want to say, that even though this is from 2013, I hope you post another Battle Report cause I enjoyed reading this one.

Sounded... 'real', I guess, as opposed to the mostly-mechanical descriptions of the others I read.
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