Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Campaign Week 4: Preparing to Play One Side as "Mine"

To my knowledge, Chronicles of Blood (CoB), a freebie download on WargameVault, has the distinction of being one of the few sets of rules advertised as being designed specifically for solo play. Now, that said, it does not feature an incredible AI, but rather, it codifies into the rules certain techniques familiar to solo wargamers to increase suspense/tension and give advantage to the solo opponent. In this case, the rules provide some general enemy control guidelines, a fixed turn limit, and a table of negative things that can happen to you, the player, each turn depending on the results of a roll on a d4.

While CoA may not be ground breaking - I've seen all of these ideas before - they have provided me a good bit of fun. I contemplated using them wholesale with only some modifications for genre for my next campaign game, just for giggles, as they are written for regimental battles (but I use them for fantasy skirmish).  I'm going to hold off on that for now. Rather, I'll follow their example, and combined with Memoir of Battle, I'll regard one side, Riesling, as "my" side with the system weakening my ability to play favorites. This is something I do often in 1:1 skirmish games but have yet to try in a 1:many game.

Random Events to Put a Damper on My Day
adapted from Chronicles of Blood to fit my campaign/genre/rules

At the start of every other turn, roll 1d4. On a 1, roll 1d6 on the following table:
  1. Equipment failure - Vehicle breaks down, will require repair (2 turns, can be non-consecutive, of successful start rolls) OR (if I switch to traditional artillery), powder wet, had to break open new keg - no artillery for 1 + 1d2 turns.
  2. Traitors - one base of natives turns on their nearest allies and attacks them on the enemy's activation - stand is permanently lost and under control of enemy for remainder of battle. Does not get added to enemy roster for campaign purposes.
  3. Ambush - (1-3) place one enemy stand (3 strength points) if available in the grid space adjacent to one of my units to engage in melee OR (4-6)out of nowhere, archers or/javelin troops hurl their missiles and then disappear (Roll 4d6). Attack is directed against unit nearest an edge of table (dice for ties) or cover .
  4. Enemy Reinforcements - Restore the weakest enemy stand to full strength. Dice for ties.
  5. Deserters - my lowest strength stand flees the field.
  6. Miscommunication - The stand furthest from leader(s) is affected. If more than one, randomly determine by die roll.
    • 1-2 The stand moves forward full movement immediately and makes no further action on my turn - if encounters enemy in adjacent square or can't advance as result then melee ensues. if friendly stand, then takes 1 damage to reflect loss of cohesion. If goes off board then out of play remainder of game. 
    • 3-4 stand immediately retreats one full move towards baseline - if a full move would take off table then unit is out of play. If would land on grid space with another unit,takes 1 point of damage to represent loss of cohesion, if an enemy the enters melee. 
    • 5- 6 Stand takes no actions this turn but may defend itself in melee if attacked.
I'll also use the stipulations from Chronicles of Blood that the solo opponent (Sauvignon-Blanc) always gets initiative.

To better guide decisions for the enemy, I'll be using the Solo DBA Fuzzy Rules from Solo Wargamer for Sauvignon-Blanc's tactical decisions and of course either Mythic, IN-RADIC or RPG Laboratory's Story System as needed.

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