The War of the Dark God / Throne of Cofain
Frequently Asked Questions list
List of questions answered here:
- Q: What do the small markings to the left of hex numbers mean?
Normally the presence of units in a hex is shown on the map by a small marking
immediately to the left of the hex number.
See the help page on map symbols
not documented in the rules.
- Q: Can I get non-player nations to change their policy towards my nation?
No, not in "War of the Dark God" or "Throne of Cofain" as these are scenarios
in which the sides are pre-set.
- Q: Why is the game called "basic", is there an advanced version?
Originally there was only one version of the game system. The first couple of
test games revealed that the game was too complex for newcomers - simply
too many rules to learn. On the other hand, die-hard veteran fans were
clamouring for more features and even greater complexity. I therefore
decided to split the game system into a "basic" version and an "advanced"
version. For the basic version I stripped the original system of some of its
more complex features. The most important changes were:
For the advanced version of the game system, I intend to keep most of
the features of the original system and add a couple of new ones, the most
a trade system to allow trade of resources in cities (and taxation of
non-player trade). Availability of resources (and therefore also prices)
would be partially governed by a net of caravan routes and sea trade routes
which would be affected by e.g. the activities of enemy armies or
pirates/bandits in the hexes they go through, and would motivate some
patrolling of the most vital routes.
- "Hex edge" positions were removed. In the original system units
and locations could be positioned at seven different sub-positions within
a hex: in the centre or at either of the six edges. To move from the centre
of one hex to another you first moved to the hex edge and then on into the
other hex, and armies could be blocked by enemies guarding the hex edge to
cross. Battles could be fought across edges in a battlefield composed of
two different terrains, and features like rivers, bridges and fords
would also be present in the battle field if they were on the strategic map.
Ships and aquatic units could move along river hex edges. Removing the
edge positions means that in the basic games units move directly from hex
centre to hex centre and also removes some complexity having to do with
a move across half a hex not necessarily taking a whole number of phases.
It also means that it is a lot harder to get scouts or even whole armies
through enemy lines as there are simpky fewer positions to be in.
Ships were removed and replaced by an abstract naval movement system. Ships
used to be separate units but it was a pain for most players to properly
coordinate the movement of land and sea units for transportation.
Half the time, the fleet would move off without the army the player intended
it to transport, or an army would not be dropped off as it should.
Battle tactics were cut down to a bare minimum of five choices (flee, avoid,
defend, attack and charge). In the advanced game you can specify any
combination of 6 movement tactics, 3 melee tactics, 3 missile tactics
and 7 placement options for combinations like "attack in the front
defer melee use missiles if safe", "receive in the middle prefer melee" or
"penetrate in the extreme front never use missiles".
"Reaction" was removed. This governed how your units reacted to enemies
spotted on the strategic map and was one of "ignore", "stand", "engage"
and "evade". In the basic version everyone has the equivalent of "stand".
Inexperienced players had a lot of trouble with this because they tended
to confuse it with their battle tactics and put their armies on "engage"
which would mean their armies often ignored their orders to chase after
small unimportant enemy armies, or even scouts.
The "transfer" order was introduced to make direct transfers of resources
between players possible. In the advanced game you have to load the
resources on wagon trains and actually move them across the map, with the
delays and chances of interception that this implies.
The concept of "rebels" was removed. Units which were not paid would rebel
in the original system but in the basic version they are just dissolved.
The tax and villeinage system was simplified so that income is now fixed.
In the original system you could change tax rate and villeinage rate to
increase your income short term but at the cost of losing population
Construction of roads and bridges was removed. This was rarely used anyway
because players generally preferred to use their resources for more troops...
The ability to hide was removed. Hidden units were harder to spot (of course)
and would move around at half speed. The reason for removing hiding in the
basic version was that players often forgot to un-hide their units
and therefore were unexpectedly stuck with the reduced move speed.
A better way to solve this problem would have been to make the move order
automatically unhide all units and then introduce a special "sneak" order
for when you want to move around hidden. Hiding has actually made its
way back into the basic game with these modifications in the May 2002
edition of the rules.
With the experience of the many basic games which have been run I now
feel that the old navy system should probably not make it to the advanced game.
I will probably introduce a more detailed version of the abstract naval
system from the basic game (remove the sea lanes and allow river movement
and free ocean movement but also require a minimum of one full ship assigned
to each embarked force to stop scouts from going all over the place).
- Q: When will the advanced game be offered then?
When the player base is large enough to warrant it. As it turns out, the basic
version of the game system is quite complex as it is and most players are
quite happy with that. But when enough people have played the basic game
and are asking for more so I can reasonably expect an advanced game
to fill up quickly it will be offered.