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Fog Banks and Eternal in Deathmatch Games
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How do you deal with Fog Banks and Eternal in your deathmatch games?
Both are used exactly as written for the standard game, with no modifications for deathmatches.
23%
 23%  [ 4 ]
One or both are modified to avoid the known problems. (Please explain any and all modifications.)
58%
 58%  [ 10 ]
Both are banned completely in deathmatches.
17%
 17%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 17

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woelf
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Subject: Fog Banks and Eternal in Deathmatch Games   PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:39 pm Reply with quote

A recent discussion in the fleets (armies) section brought up some interesting issues about the effects of Fog Banks and the Eternal keyword when used in deathmatch games. So it doesn't derail that discussion, I thought I'd bring it up here to see what everyone else thinks about it. They're older issues that have been known for quite some time, yet they rarely ever seem to get mentioned.


In short, if played exactly "as-is", each of those two things are arguably game-breaking and have a strong potential for causing stalemated games:

1) A ship in a fog bank cannot be attacked or affected by the majority of abilties, so without some way to remove the fog bank or give an enemy ship a move action, a ship (or multiple ships!) could hide out there indefinitely, leading to a stalemate.

2) Given a high enough build total, it is entirely possible to create Eternal ships that cannot be destroyed permanently, cannot be captured, and cannot even lose any of their crew unless several (two or more) cancellers are used. The ship can keep coming back over and over again until it eventually wears the opposing player down, or if more than one player uses a setup of that type both can keep coming back endlessly, again leading to a stalemate.

---------------

For the purposes of this poll, how do you handle these two items in your deathmatch games?

Comments/explanations for all answers would be appreciated.
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bookwyrm

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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:59 pm Reply with quote

My group has a house rule where a ship MUST leave a fogbank (and can't re-enter the same fogbank) the next turn she's given an action after entering the fogbank. Therefore a ship can't remain indefinetely inside a fogbank. This rule is used for all games, deathmatch or otherwise.

As far as eternal goes, we usually ban eternal altogether during deathmatch games. In our big "campaign" games a ship can use eternal once per game day; after that it can only return to the playing field by being "bought" with gold (non-eternal ships can also be bought back with gold if they're sunk; the eternal keyword makes it to where you don't have to lose gold to get back a lost ship). In normal games eternal can be used an unlimited amount of times (there have been games where I've sunk the same ship three or more times!).


Last edited by bookwyrm on Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:00 pm Reply with quote

Yarr! Where's the rum?!? (Isn't that supposed to be option number 4?)
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:40 pm Reply with quote

These problems have never appeared in our games (we just beat each other up with die rolls and when someone gets really angry, they forget their strategies and focus on destroying the other) except with Eternal. We decided that if a ship with Eternal is sunk and is the last ship remaining in the fleet, then it is considered as sunk.

Fogbanks, we usually put a limit of 3 turns or so on it, but no one has every stayed in a fogbank for more than 2 turns. They tend to be neutral ships in a major combat scene that are "observing" the scene, but as soon as it's over they leave and resume their business.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:13 pm Reply with quote

For deathmatches a ship can enter a fog bank any time but must leave it and get to its home island before that fleet can be considered for victory. In other words the game can't end with ships in a fogbank - it leaves the game in a limbo state - and rightly so as a 'lost ship' is in limbo and is lame and useless.

To address the practice of hiding in fog banks and then jumping out to attack then hiding back in the fog bank - in deathmatches it was decided that there is a percentage chance the ship gets lost for a time so: every time the ship rolls a 1 to get out - it is stuck and must roll a 6 to successfully leave the fogbank again - after rolling the 6 successfully it rolls the die normally to see which exit point to use. Every once in a while someone gets stuck in a fog bank at the end of a game but no system is perfect. After rolling the 1 the ship is compelled to leave the fogbank so it is required to roll each turn to try to get out. This is kind of a variation of a rule from Monopoly governing players in Jail who hide in there to avoid landing on properties and paying rent.

Now some players will try to hide all game in fogbanks. If it is obvious someone is parking there to avoid combat until everyone else is killed then jumping out to be counted for victory points - any player can declare 'shenanigans' - if the privateer agrees he/she will roll a d6 at -1 (minimum 1) to determine the number of turns the ship can remain in the fogbank. After leaving it cannot re enter that fog bank for 2 turns.


Last edited by bootstrapbill on Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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czamora
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:31 pm Reply with quote

We play eternal exactly the same way t_g plays it. And we do a similar thing that bookwyrm does with buying ships, except that you can't resurrect sunken ships unless they are eternal, costing no gold.

We've never had issues with fog banks though, we just play a straight-up I-will-destroy-you game (hence the "cannonfury")
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:27 pm Reply with quote

Our deathmatch games are few and far between, and neither has really been a problem because we simply don't build those "invincible" ships and generally don't bother with fog banks.

If Eternal did become a problem, I like the solution of allowing it to work only once. It'll still give a big advantage over comparable non-Eternal ships, but would make it a lot easier to get rid of those ships without needing a bunch of cancellers.



I like some of the ideas above for fog banks - forcing ships to leave after X-number of turns should help limit the usefulness of burying support ships with Mycron or 0LR crew in the fog.

I've never tested it, but an idea I've considered is to make all fog banks dissipate and reform over time. Set a spare d6 on each one with the 6 showing, and then for each turn that ships are inside the number goes down by one (or even one per ship inside). When it hits 1, the ships are forced out and the fog bank is removed. Each following turn the die counts back up, and when it gets back to 6 the fog bank is placed back on the table. It's a little fiddly, but it would definitely keep ships from camping out there and would be more realistic than simply saying they have to leave after so many turns.

It would also allow for some tactical moves, like where a badly damaged ship could make a run for a fog bank that was about to reform.
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bootstrapbill
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:28 pm Reply with quote

woelf wrote:
Our deathmatch games are few and far between, and neither has really been a problem because we simply don't build those "invincible" ships and generally don't bother with fog banks.

If Eternal did become a problem, I like the solution of allowing it to work only once. It'll still give a big advantage over comparable non-Eternal ships, but would make it a lot easier to get rid of those ships without needing a bunch of cancellers.



I like some of the ideas above for fog banks - forcing ships to leave after X-number of turns should help limit the usefulness of burying support ships with Mycron or 0LR crew in the fog.

I've never tested it, but an idea I've considered is to make all fog banks dissipate and reform over time. Set a spare d6 on each one with the 6 showing, and then for each turn that ships are inside the number goes down by one (or even one per ship inside). When it hits 1, the ships are forced out and the fog bank is removed. Each following turn the die counts back up, and when it gets back to 6 the fog bank is placed back on the table. It's a little fiddly, but it would definitely keep ships from camping out there and would be more realistic than simply saying they have to leave after so many turns.

It would also allow for some tactical moves, like where a badly damaged ship could make a run for a fog bank that was about to reform.



I have always thought that it is more true to the nature of fog banks that they should be a bit unpredictable - obscuring and clearing in such a way that a ship can't totally rely on it for complete cover. Anyone with any experience with actual fog will know what this means. There should not be an issue with declaring something like 'Lord Mycron's ability can't be applied while in a fog bank' - some crew's abilities could legitimately be hampered if the ship they are on is unable to see/navigate in a fogbank.

I must admit I can't comment on Eternal ships because I don't have enough game experience with them.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:42 am Reply with quote

strawfoot wrote:
Yarr! Where's the rum?!? (Isn't that supposed to be option number 4?)


The rum is in the fogbank!

I can't stand when Eternal is used even in a regular game. Because we all know during the war of 1812, when the Bonhomme Richard went down it magically appeared back in port! But nevertheless, my boys loved using it in games. I never told them they couldn't use Eternal in death matches, but they never did anyway. I think they just knew!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:36 am Reply with quote

strawfoot wrote:
Yarr! Where's the rum?!? (Isn't that supposed to be option number 4?)
I wanted actual answers. Wink
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:14 pm Reply with quote

rustyhook wrote:
strawfoot wrote:
Yarr! Where's the rum?!? (Isn't that supposed to be option number 4?)


The rum is in the fogbank!

I can't stand when Eternal is used even in a regular game. Because we all know during the war of 1812, when the Bonhomme Richard went down it magically appeared back in port! But nevertheless, my boys loved using it in games. I never told them they couldn't use Eternal in death matches, but they never did anyway. I think they just knew!


Bonhomme Richard was during the revolution Wink (I think)
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czamora
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:51 pm Reply with quote

It was. During the mid-Revolution (I believe) is when the famous duel with the HMS Serapis occurred.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:38 pm Reply with quote

the_grandmaster wrote:
It was. During the mid-Revolution (I believe) is when the famous duel with the HMS Serapis occurred.


There we go! Now I remember. She was a merchantmen converted into a fighter that fought the HMS Serapis off the coast of England (I think), one of the few naval battles that took place during the revolution, and the US won. She sank however, but the crew took the Serapis back home. Although the cards don't make sense, making the BR a 5 mast and the Serapis a 3 mast schooner
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:25 pm Reply with quote

I commented on that in a review I wrote on my old user, and it made even less sense to make the two two entirely different prototypes. The Serapis was a frigate, not a schooner.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:08 am Reply with quote

You're all right. It wasn't the war of 1812. My brain farted.
But you get my point though.
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