Once again, I am asking James a question, but I am putting it on the forum because I always find the observations of others enriching and valuable, especially when they prevent me from making a grievious(sp?) error. James, would you like to try a campaign played this way?Rationale
I find the building tree concept, while considered a sin qua non for campaign games, to have its limits. I like it because one gets to play with a variety of army construction permutations, as well as some battle set up modifications as well. I am less enchanted with it when it means that the first few turns of the game you are just anxious to get to the mid-game so you can build a more robust force. I also find it a bit of a stretch to be able to build infrastructure and recruit between battles. To answer these concerns I offer this variation, which may have limited scope and appeal (it maybe limited to only me
). I only suggest this for two-player campaigns and have no suggestions for multi-player versions.
This campaign system is called the "Arms Race." In the Arms Race version you call the regular kingdoms turns "Grand Strategic" turns, where after the build phase each person secretly selects either a red (attack) command card or a blue (Pass) command card which they then simultaneously reveal. If both have passed then proceed to phase 5 record keeping, skipping the Victory Point record as those are not used in this version, and following the rest of the record keeping phase.
If Either or both have selected a red card then you fight a "season" of as many as six turns. If, at the end of six turns, no one has captured the enemy homeland, the campaign "season" is deemed over and with out conclusion, play then proceeds to the next Grand Strategic turn. During each "season" players may use only the buildings they have constructed so far in the Grand Strategic Turn(s) to determine recruitment. There is no building between battles of a "season." At the end of the "season" record the position on the Campaign Track and continue on to the record keeping phase of the Grand Strategic turn.
Playing a Season
Write the campaign track on a piece of paper, I suggest doing this across the bottom of the campaign record sheet, (Faction homeland) 1 2 3 4 5 (Faction homeland)
where the actual factions playing are written in the homeland. The first turn of the season starts at 3 so circle the 3. If only one player chose to attack then he is the attacker, otherwise determine as per the basic rules. If only one player chose to attack and if any
special situation is drawn, the special situation is automatically Unexpected Engagement and the defender is considered surprised and only he suffers the affect of the card. If the card with Unexpected Engagement is actually drawn then it is played as if a 1,2 had been rolled and effects both players. This special situation rule only happens on the first turn of a Season.
When a battle is over determine the victory level, if it is a draw the circle remains at its location, if it is a minor victory move the circle one space closer to the loser's homeland, if it is a major victory move the circle two spaces towards the loser's home land. When the circle reaches the homeland it can move no further, play a homeland defense.
Homeland defense: When playing a battle in a faction's homeland, play as normal, but if the attacker wins any victory level for the battle he wins the game. At this point the campaign is over. If no victor is declared after six turns, proceed to the next Grand Strategic turn and leave the circle around the position it was at, as this is where the next campaign season begins.
After any battle a player may sue for peace. If both players agree, then end the season. The space occupied by the circle is negotiable, so a player may entice his opponent to accept the peace proposal in exchange for giving up some spaces on the Campaign Track. If an agreement cannot be reached then the Season resumes...
In this version a campaign could be over as quickly as the third battle of turn one. It could also be fought inconclusively for a total of 60 battles. I am assuming, in general, most of the time, the campaign turns will progress until someone attacks and then the campaign will end within six turns. But who knows?