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Leder games Oath chatter
OhBollox wrote: I'm on board for John Company 2e despite owning 1e. Chap knows his business.
Same here. We've had a good time (for lockdown) playing JC on Tabletop Simulator.
There's a lot of game stuck into that box, even with the weird packaging constraints and the early-designer missteps.
Not Sure wrote: I'm still of the opinion that that I'm interested in whatever gets delivered.
I stopped watching the back-and-forth months ago, and I'm just waiting for it to settle down and ship. If it takes a while, whatever. I'm not going anywhere anyway.
Somewhere upthread a few of us said "might be a disaster", but Cole's track record was still worth the price of admission to me.
This is basically where I am. I like every one of his designs that I've played. But I've been distracted by many other things recently, so I haven't bothered to follow the back-and-forth and various design debates on BGG. Sure, there's a possibility that I'll be disappointed, but Root, Vast, and Pax Pamir are still near the top of my list to be played whenever gaming is a possibility and I feel pretty safe in thinking Oath will be, too.
Personally I like it. As Cole says, the original version was adding overhead for players with a variety of calculations leading to a single roll of a bunch of dice, but I also imagine it was causing stuttering stops at high-intensity moments. It sounds so much cleaner now, defender chucks some dice and commits warbands to set a target number, attacker chucks dice against it and can kill off warbands to make up the difference. All the combat related cards now just add or remove attack dice. Net result is the same spread of results as the old system, but now the defender is actively involved and there is no break in the action.
Cole might be an obsessive tinkerer but I do like every evolution made so far.
I do think it makes the rolls require a bit basic addition/subtraction looking at dice, though.
No opinion on eliminating liabilities and such.
Gary Sax wrote:
I do think it makes the rolls require a bit basic addition/subtraction looking at dice, though.
Sure, but that is easy to do at a glance and a world of simplicity ahead of the CRT with multiplication, division, and rounding of fractions as well as simple addition. I'm no stranger to a CRT but I just don't see them as necessary if there is a simpler alternative that yields similar results.
OhBollox wrote: www.dicebreaker.com/companies/wehrlegig-...-oath-root-pax-pamir - Not just an Oath interview, but some interesting stuff from Cole and Drew Wehrle.
Thanks for this, I love seeing behind the curtain a bit.
One thing that resonated with me here was how they like the discussion around games as much as playing a game, and using car rides as excuses to hash ideas out.
The car rides to and from Heroscape tournaments were often nearly as enjoyable as the events themselves.
This shit writes itself. Court noble starts a civil war, is resoundingly beaten and driven to the hinterlands as the king consolidates and develops a police state in the realm (very effective order cards), then in the hinterlands slums finds out that he is the unknown bastard son via his intelligence network (darkest secret), whereupon he takes the people's favor by showing off an ancient family relic (sticky fire).
An individual game of this is super short so I think this sort of stuff is just going to be a blast.
Because Red won last game as a citizen, that meant that the massive empire built up by the previous Chancellor (I'm making them Black) was still intact. The relic hunt was the goal in this game and this time the Chancellor was much more careful to control and keep an eye on the People's Favor since it's the tiebreaker if there's a citizen---wary of the long lost heir coming back again since it was probably still in the chronicle mix. Only two locations were unexplored and tons of denizen cards remained face up and in play at the start. So the Order suit police state was INTACT and already ruled, which made it almost impossible to move around (toll roads) and trade within the massive existing empire (curfew).
Black player therefore hung around in the frontier of the empire at the salt flats to gain secrets and money and grab a relic hoping to campaign against the site and control accursed toll roads. The Chancellor quickly dropped in with his initial army and battle plan, protecting the site and forcing Black to try something else out since the empire was extremely locked down. Black moved out to the uncontrolled hinterlands (still had to burn favor---toll roads) and found only the uncontrolled wastes. During all this the Chancellor collected more relics in the empire and was in a commanding lead with the people's favor, prepared for a citizen heel turn.
But Black had the darkest secret, bought early due to the quick 2nd secret from the salt flats, and searched the world deck cheaply grabbing the vision of rebellion (face down) before travelling to the last undiscovered site, the hearth three card site whose name escapes me. There they drew the Bandit King from the world deck, conquered the site and dropped their last two warriors there, and then unleashed Bandit King at that site. This upended the ENTIRE GAME and broke the police state apart like an egg---all sites lose one warrior and open sites count as having two bandits. That meant except for the two locations that the Chancellor had garrisoned with two warriors (Cradle and Salt Flats), everything was again bandit controlled! The Chancellor reconquered the deep woods at some cost because of the bandit king, in order to gain access to its hearth denizen with a big bank and nomad edifice. Then they bought a relic. This proved to be their undoing.
The final turn, Black, cast off in the hinterlands holding the site with the bandit king, dropped a secret for a 3rd and 4th coin and then bought the people's favor, revealing the vision of rebellion (hold the people's favor). The Chancellor had just cashed out buying a relic and had huge board position but no favor---their only chance was to get money at a nomad with only one coin, recruit as much as possible, and head out to the hinterlands and engage in a climactic, low odds battle to gain the people's favor. They lost the campaign, and Black was crowned Chancellor on the back of a successful rebellion with the people's fickle support.
Sacrilege to talk about something I've only played three times and is a playtest version, but the mode of play already suits my tastes a little better than Root, which is about exploiting your faction's advantages and probing at how well the designers have balanced the game. This game is about *finding* and putting together combos which may be conditionally broken in a single game. Play feels very creative and no one is ever out of the game, though their probability of finding some card they need may be small if your opponent has a grip on the objective. Moreover what card will be "broken" is completely conditional on the game state, objectives out, and card chronicle you're playing with. I do worry about the beat on the leader dynamic with more players, but I suspect more players will lessen the card combo emphasis and up the coalition and meta dynamics.
Again, this game seems to swing back and forth a couple times and then ultimately someone hits the winning combo with a gambit and wins, at least with two players. It is immensely exciting and since it is a nice short game, with a clear mechanic to rerack, it is not unsatisfying at all. I'm trying to be measured in my enthusiasm but it's hard! The Bandit King play and board effect was just so absolutely chef's kiss perfect, I'd say it was a fluke---except long lost heir came up in last game and did the same thing (it came up in this one as well but the Chancellor was guarding against it so not useful).
This was a people's favor game, which interestingly is actually the money/economy focused game because the easiest way to win the people's favor is to spend money on it and then feed money in to keep the favor. The new Chancellor (Black) had relatively little on the board this time, since most of the board was swept by the previous game. But his close ally the Bandit King nevertheless started in the cradle, making conquering incredibly difficult, while the Chancellor started in the dark woods gazing at the previous regime's ruined edifice. With a good draw of woods cards on a woods location, the Chancellor discarded the ruined edifice with a power and replaced it with another woods card---a game-changing card as it turned out, Memory of Nature. Memory of Nature moves favor up to the number of beast cards on the board to the beast favor stack from another stack. So every turn, the Chancellor could take 2-4 money with a secret out of something Red was likely to cash out from, replenish the beast stack with Memory of Nature, and by the end drop a third secret to pick up 2-4 more favor.
This was an economy game. Red conquered the other card in the cradle, the fertile valley, and tried to fight back with hearth cards (orange) but wasn't picking them up, they've been thinned out of the chronicle a little by game 4. There was a late charge to try to use the conquering vision, and red used Roving Terror to discard the Memory of Nature, but the Chancellor simply moved over to the salt flats, conquered it, and drew it from the frontier discard and played it again. It never mattered anyway because Red couldn't churn the deck enough to get the third vision out when vision wins get activated.
Anyway, this game was less dramatic but still really neat as it showed off the game as a fun little engine game. It's *very* efficient to stay in the Cradle and Frontier if you get an engine set up there. There were a few battles, especially against some beefed up barbarians as red became increasingly desperate and tried to win on a vision, but there just was no way out of the powerful favor engine the Chancellor had built, when combined with some advantageous advisers (a magical armor alchemy card and a strong personal army due to another beast card advisor that helped mustering).