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Leder games Oath chatter

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12 Aug 2020 09:37 #313013 by Andi Lennon
I'm still a Wehrle virgin as i passed on Root et al but i have both Pax Pamir 2e and Oath pledges on the way. With Pax the critical fawning was so universal and it's so different from anything else in my collection i simply had to give it a shot, and Oath sounds like it could really hit the spot with one of my RPG groups given its evolving storyline. I've kept out of any investigation during development so my impressions will be fresh once it lands on my doorstep. Gary's write ups sound like it's a supreme story generator though so i'm certain it'll hit the spot in some fashion round these parts.

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12 Aug 2020 09:55 #313014 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
You made a good decision staying out of playtest kits. It is now a vastly more entertaining game than the KS and early test streams indicated. I'm glad I held off from playing it until this version too, though I watched a few earlier streams.

Sufficed to say designing games is a real process.
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12 Aug 2020 11:41 #313016 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Pretty deeply convinced you should not look at the cards getting added and subtracted from your chronicle when you do it---the TTS module does this right, you really want to be surprised by the new elements introduced by a new era in your realm. It also breaks the complacency of a solidly ahead player while your opponent fishes the world deck.
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12 Aug 2020 17:01 #313022 by mc
Replied by mc on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Pamir creates some pretty decent narratives too, but it really helps if you have some grounding in 1840s Afghanistan to see the connections.
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12 Aug 2020 20:35 - 13 Aug 2020 09:39 #313027 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Mezike, Not Sure, sornars and I had a TTS game of this... I did a too long teach (there are a lot of corner case bits) and then we started in. Game also went too long, like 3 1/4 hours which it does not really want to be, I'd love to see it wrap in like 2 to 2 1/2 hours but it's possible that multiplayer is just long with the extra politicking. A lot of that time was fumbling with the systems in the early game, though, including a bunch that I hadn't encountered since I had really only played two players/handed.

I think we were all a little cold on it through the first couple turns, sornars even saying something along the lines of "you wrote those reports and I was expecting more narrative" but after the build up we got into some real weirdo shenigans that paid off strongly in narrative imo. Mezike forced himself to become a citizen, took the people's favor tie breaker, and eventually I decided to come beat him up to take back the people's favor. Instead, I got beat up, then he subsequently stole a relic and even my grand sceptor which I got a huge kick out of---now citizen mezike could promote and exile people and I couldn't! Eventually it came down to Not Sure holding the usurper title losing out in a huge battle to citizen sornars, who had been given the Chancellors armies as I hoped to string the game along in order to buy the people's favor. So at least it came down to a climactic final battle!

One observation I have about the game in the slight negative is that it has some "end of the world" stuff as the turns drag on that make it a bit calculated. That might ease as the systems become more understandable. On the plus side, the card combo economy paid off when Not Sure really got a creative and killer set denizen and adviser cards down which gave him immense powers. The three citizens against one exile thing is interesting in that once you have a bunch of citizens recruiting armies every citizen is going to be absolutely hamstrung by a truly grim lack of actions... so sort of a bureaucracy tax to not invite the whole table into the regime.

Never forget the Chancellor's giant python and weird beast cult court.
Last edit: 13 Aug 2020 09:39 by Gary Sax.
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12 Aug 2020 20:51 - 12 Aug 2020 21:52 #313029 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Also, a couple tricky mea culpas:

Obviously, the secrets bonus on trade just like favor.

The attacking thing is a bit different than we played. The attacker chooses how many dice to roll, so can be conservative, but their force is always made up of all the warbands on their board for retreat/loss purposes.

The battle plan thing I steered you wrong on. Chancellor decides battleplans for all site cards when defending in clear language. But that does not apply Commonwealth attacking that I can tell. They are held by this part of the rule? I'm going to ask: "The attacker may use any battle plans (7.5) they rule, once each"

I am currently asking about that odd situation with the battleplan that can't have other battleplans played with it.
Last edit: 12 Aug 2020 21:52 by Gary Sax.

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13 Aug 2020 03:48 - 13 Aug 2020 03:49 #313043 by sornars
Replied by sornars on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Even when I made that statement some of the narrative was emerging - everyone essentially took control of a single region and were effectively cut off from one another due to Not Sure's chokehold on the Provinces was ensured by a well fortified Narrow Pass.

On reflection the narrative was actually not that bad, the Chancellor (Gary Sax) was challenged by a long lost relative that lead to some early gains for the Commonwealth with the incumbent (mezike) coming out on top after a struggle. Meanwhile the two Exiles dithered around uncontested, one consolidating control of the Provinces (Not Sure), the other (me) amassing favour and becoming the Bandit King. When Not Sure's control of the Provinces put him on the edge of victory, I joined the Commonwealth as a Citizen to steal The Darkest Secret (seems fitting for a Bandit!), preventing a win for the last Exile. A fortuitous oversight on my side meant that on the final turn, mezike fell short of victory as he was one Favour short of buying back the People's Favour from me.

The end game did get kind of mathy but it was still interesting to see how close things came. I definitely need to better understand the battle rules, it was hard to come up with a plan as I didn't fully understand the value of warbands.
Last edit: 13 Aug 2020 03:49 by sornars.
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13 Aug 2020 03:57 #313044 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Yeah, citizenship in the current rules has a lot of ragged edges and clashes and it didn’t help that I went to the dark side in Turn One yesterday. Feels like the Commonwealth is important enough that it needs a whole page that outlines how it plays with everything in one place.
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13 Aug 2020 05:43 - 13 Aug 2020 05:44 #313045 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Re: emergent story, it's interesting how this changes from an individual perspective. Given that the winner gets to literally write the history in the chronicle I find it super interesting that each player has a different (and very personal) view on what happened but only the victor gets to be 'right' - until the next game of course, where the story continues and history can be rewritten. It's something that I really wasn't expecting to come through as strongly as it does, although I'll caveat that a slow game like the one we had yesterday stretches the narrative far more thinly than any session report summary reads.

From my point of view in our game yesterday, Captain Cloudface was the true heir whose family had been banished to the Hinterlands by a scheming foe. When I staked my claim to the throne and forced myself into the Commonwealth the incumbent evil emperor attempted to sway the people against me but clearly my charisma shone brighter as I had far more favour amongst them and they rallied behind my claim. The Purple Pretender then pulled together his retinue and toured through his lands with the arrogant intention of swatting me aside, but things worked out very differently for him as his clarion call for civil war fell on indifferent ears and the military incursion against me failed. I then literally pulled his pants down and sent him packing by stealing his magic shield and using a conspiracy in his court to take hold of the Sceptre, the icon of power.

At this point I had pretty much become the de facto ruler and just needed the war for supremacy to end in order to cement my name in the history books, however there was still more to come. The Midnight Sneak took on the mantel of the insurgent Bandit King (and as an interesting aside I had previously spurned the opportunity to take the Bandit Crown, preferring instead to focus on regaining my birthright through a conspiracy - it could have played out with so very different a story) and The Yellow Streak starting his own breakaway kingdom by closing off the Provinces and gaining immense power through a strong army and many ancient relics. The latter was so powerful they would subsume 'my' kingdom into theirs unless I could do something about it. My only option was to leverage the popularity and romance of the Bandit King, viewed by the common people as a charming scoundrel, a loveable rogue, and a downright ornery bastard. After touching him with my mighty sceptre I scrubbed him down and gave him some fancy robes and a minor title in the court then sent him to do the dirty work against our mutual flaxen foe, in a Sneak v. Streak face-off. Which he did a little too well and in the process stole away the hearts of the people, my people, and kicked me back out to the Hinterlands in dirty rags and with an empty purse. If only I had spent a bit more time gaining favour amongst the people I could have pulled things back but, alas, decadence got the better of me and I ended up huddled in the palaces of the cradle just as wizened and despised as the former chancellor while a better man turned on me and took everything away.
Last edit: 13 Aug 2020 05:44 by mezike.
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13 Aug 2020 09:25 #313052 by JoelCFC25
Replied by JoelCFC25 on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Question for you guys--I've only gotten as far as trying the walkthrough in the playbook, so not everything is solidified in my mind.

When campaigning, among the many things you can target is someone else's pawn, with the prospect of banishing them if you win. It seems like you'd usually want to banish them to the Hinterlands, right? If for no other reason than to make them burn supply getting back to a location further in they might want to use. Though I guess this depends on the size of the discard pile in the Hinterlands--that could actually help them depending on what's in it. Is there more subtlety to banishment than that, or do you think you'd rarely be including a pawn in your targets?

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13 Aug 2020 10:12 #313056 by mezike
Replied by mezike on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Banishing a pawn also burns half their favour which can also be really useful at times.

Where you send them is really situational - the Hinterlands might be a safe zone for them with good location cards, open spaces to play more cards, a big discard stack, maybe there's a portal/coastal route/catapulting giant down there which makes it easy to get out again, and so on. Whereas the cradle might be a dead zone for them or with another enemy parked and ready to cut them down again.

In the game we are talking about I spent almost the entire time in the Hinterlands and my game only regressed when I stepped out from there - if I had stayed on the periphery I probably could have earned enough favour to swag the People's Favour at the very end to steal the win. It's not so bad a place to be depending on the nature of the game.
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13 Aug 2020 10:48 #313059 by JoelCFC25
Replied by JoelCFC25 on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Thanks, that really helps. It's far from a straightforward decision.

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13 Aug 2020 11:09 #313061 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Leder games Oath chatter
Got to love the reply guys in the official bgg rules question thread giving their interpretation of what the rules are for confusing rules they acknowledge don't provide guidance.

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13 Aug 2020 11:55 #313070 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic Leder games Oath chatter

Gary Sax wrote: Also, a couple tricky mea culpas:

Obviously, the secrets bonus on trade just like favor.


I looked at this afterwards, and I think we may have done it twice-wrong.

The rule in 5.5 is "Place two favor [...] Take one secret from the shared bank for each of your face-up advisers that matches the suit of the card"

So where coins is 1+ advisers, secrets is only the advisers. That boosts the power of those "acts as an extra" cards quite a bit, or encourages matched sets. It also means if you want a Secret, you have to go track down a matching site to play on.

The attacking thing is a bit different than we played. The attacker chooses how many dice to roll, so can be conservative, but their force is always made up of all the warbands on their board for retreat/loss purposes.

The battle plan thing I steered you wrong on. Chancellor decides battleplans for all site cards when defending in clear language. But that does not apply Commonwealth attacking that I can tell. They are held by this part of the rule? I'm going to ask: "The attacker may use any battle plans (7.5) they rule, once each"

I am currently asking about that odd situation with the battleplan that can't have other battleplans played with it.


I can only think the player has the agency there, and if he uses the plan that invalidates the others that it overrides anything the Chancellor does.
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13 Aug 2020 12:00 #313071 by Not Sure
Replied by Not Sure on topic Leder games Oath chatter
The Hinterlands isn't necessarily any worse that anywhere else, especially since it has 3 locations. The travel costs are high, but it's going to depend on whic cards are out. In our case, the two linked Coast cards were both there, so sailing the edge of the Hinterlands was cheaper than moving around any other zone.

Of course, from my perspective I'd built a relic-worshipping band of mercenaries in a well-guarded hilltop keep, keeping mostly to myself. Then the entire country banded together, gave each other fluffed-up titles, raided the royal vaults, and then conspired to steal my shit when I looked like a threat.
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