Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Making some Err-Urs

After the last game of "To Ur" I decided to make some changes. I wanted to get away from saving rolls, if I could, and make some other minor changes to areas where the game had some loose ends and illogicalities. As it turned out I hadn't exactly broken the system, but I did blunt the effectiveness of some units to produce fewer casualties in combat. This isn't necessarily a problem for the overall game design concept, as the central mechanism is the "Fear Test", in which it is determined which unit is gaining the moral ascendancy. However, it does make things slightly less interesting for the players, so I will need to look at that again.


I had two players. Steve took the aggressors...


... and Phil took the defenders. The scenery was quite open so I could see the main mechanisms work. It was a mistake to put the trees on the flanks, and the deployments should have had the light troops screening the heavier ones.


As it was I loaded the flanks with light troops, and Phil didn't disappoint by pushing them forwards to provoke an encounter.


Steve took up the challenge and closed to javelin range.


The battle carts engaged. In response to Phil's charge Steve's lead battle cart unit came off badly from its Fear Test, and dropped back behind its supports. That meant the Support unit was slightly "mushed up", but counter-attacked none the less. Steve lost the combat, and was slightly pushed back. This wasn't too bad, however...


...his General was killed as a result, which was a less than optimal outcome for him.


He fared better in the light infantry encounter in the woods.


With the loss of his General Steve's remaining battle cart unit retired as well, leaving quite a hole in his centre.


He was able to throw a lot of light troops at the village, however, in an attempt to evict the defenders.


Phil turned his remaining cart and attacked the flank of one of Steve's units already engaged in combat. It failed a Fear Test and broke.


Steve has taken the village, and is pushing on through the woods/orchards


He has also managed to rally back one of his broken battle cart units to shore up his centre.

The game stopped there. The new modifications weren't a complete success and a number of things came up that I hadn't dealt with in in my original rules, - either that or I forgot how I'd resolved these issues in the past. Going to need to make a few changes.

I learnt a lot from this game, and I still like the way it works. The Fear Test does what I want, much to the frustration and occasional annoyance of the players. It is possible to win the combat and have your morale go down. What this represents to me is a unit becoming downhearted because although they think they're winning their opponents refuse to break. Alas for the game this happened several times, with outcomes looking a bit perverse due to the equivalent of a double 6 being rolled quite frequently. Sometimes, to paraphrase, 1 in 36 chances come up 9 times out of 10.

Still, not as bad as one of our other MNG's who lost a game recently on a dice rolling chance of 1 in about 47,000. That's tough.



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