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This is my personal space about YMG's Battleground: Fantasy and Historical Warfare miniatureless miniatures game. If you love miniatures wargames, but are put off by the expense in time and money of collecting and painting all those figures, this is the game for you! If you are unfamiliar with Battleground simply click on the tutorial link below and watch a quick sample combat. Next, click on the forum link and meet some really great folks who will be responsive and answer all your questions. If you are already familiar with BG:FW&HW this site is an adjunct to the forums where I put up my own brand of replays and and stuff that just wouldn't fit in the forum (but I'll post links!).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kingdoms variant: Crystal Vale Campaign

The Crystal Vale is a pleasant enough sounding valley in the Runegard Mountains, but every summer during the season it becomes the most fought over, hotly contested, and bloodiest land in the known world. In short, it becomes a "Battleground."

Life can be very good in the world, magical furnaces in each realm ensure that there is enough food, warmth, and light for everyone in the land. The magical furnaces insure good harvests, good fishing, all manner of convenience and luxury items that go into making a viable world. All that you need is to keep a steady supply of Mana crystals feeding the fires.

If you don't have mana crystals life becomes nasty, brutish, and short.

Mana crystals feed the fires that provide all the wonders that a magical fantasy world can provide. The trouble is, they are hard to get and there is never enough and they eventually burn out.

The Crystal Vale is where mana crystals are found. Every spring fresh mana crystals boil to the surface from fiery depths. Rangers, freebooters, and other adventurers delve into the vale when the snow recedes to find the "Crystal Blows." They rush back through one of the narrow passes to bring news to their faction of the whereabouts of rich mana crystal deposits. Armies, ready and waiting, descend into the vale with their harvesting tools and pack drakes to get the crystals out of the vale and bring them home.

There are never enough crystals to feed the furnaces that provide all that a society demands as its right and competition is fierce. Who will return successful and who will return empty handed?

Oh yeah, and there are the dragons too. Dragons love to collect the crystals and hoard them in their lair...

The Rules

Each Crystal Vale Campaign turn is played in two phases. Each phase consists of a number of battles equal to half the number of players. The Collection phase and the return phase. In the Collection phase factions battle to collect Mana Crystals and in the Return phase they try to capture the mana crystals from each other.

The Collection Phase

The Collection phase has 1/2 as many battles as players (i.e. In a four player game there are two battles fought by each player). Opponents are randomly chosen

There are two facets to a Crystal Vale Collections phase battle that are new to Battleground:Fantasy Warfare: A Crystal Blow and a Crystal camp.

A Crystal Blow is represented by a piece of paper 2.5" X 3.5" ideally suitably colored. Sleeve this in a card protector and write the value of the Crystal Blow on the card when it is determined. Alternatively, just use a spare map card.

When issuing Standing Orders label one unit as carrying the Crystal Camp. This represents the equipment and pack drakes used to collect and pack out the mana crystals. Along with the Crystal Camp include any crystal cards you may have already recovered/captured (just place them under the camp card after setup). During the battle, if a Crystal Camp Card is the only card in base to base contact with the  Crystal Blow it may move on top of it and in subsequent turns it may attempt to move it off the map board on its home edge. If it does this the player wins. If the unit with the crystal camp is destroyed the opposing player writes Crystal Camp on any unit in base to base contact and captures any Mana Crystals held by that unit, if the unit was destroyed by ranged fire or if for any reason there is no unit in base to base contact with it when it is destroyed, then the first unit to come into base to base contact with the unit captures the Crystal Camp (in this situation leave the destroyed unit card on the map until the Crystal Camp is captured. Crystal camps may change hands more than once. When an army surrenders it loses its crystal camp to its opponent. A player must keep track of all crystal camps in his possession and must assign one to each unit in a battle.

Collection phase procedure for generating a battle:
1. If multiple players, randomly determine opponents.
2. Use deck 5 and randomly select a map.
3. Roll 2d6 and consult the table below:
Special Situations and Dragons table.
     2 - draw 2 special situations. Each player draws a card and rolls to generate a special
           situation that effects only him.
3,4,5 - generate a special situation normally.
6,7,8 - Nil
9,10 - Red Dragon
    11 - Ancient Red Dragon
    12 - Ancient Red Dragon and Red Dragon!

Dragons are placed on top of the Crystal Blow with a Hold Standing Order. They breathe at the first unit in range, roll randomly for ties. If two dragons, they are placed back to back and the ancient red dragon will pivot to face the nearest enemy unit and the red dragon will remain in rear edge to edge contact. If a dragon fails a courage test it is eliminated (it decided the crystals weren't worth it and flies away).

Place Crystal Blow in the Center of the map. Roll a D6 to determine number of Mana crystals in blow (1=1, 2-5=2, 6=3) and write that on card.

The player whose Crystal Camp exits his home edge with the Crystals wins, if no one exits with the crystals then play as per Total warfare except ignore regular Victory Point rules and instead the winner collects all the Mana Crystals.

Return Phase

Now the factions are trying to get back home with as many mana crystals as possible. To Generate battles for the return phase follow the regular Kingdoms rules except ignore any scenario card that does not use total warfare to determine the victory conditions. Again, winner collects all mana crystals. To determine who battles who each player rolls 2D6 and adds one point per mana crystal they possess. Starting with lowest total, each player selects an opponent until all have rolled or been selected. The Return phase has 1/2 as many battles as players (i.e. In a four player game there are two battles fought by each player). Roll to determine opponents after each battle.

At the end of the Return phase each player totals their Mana points to see who has the most and wins the game by having the happiest populace.

Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions or comments after playing!

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