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The Miniatures War College
Advenio paratus. Egressus melior paratus.
D&D Miniatures strategy and analysis.

January 20, 2005

Evacuate, the template formerly known as Ultra-Quick Strike

The two new formats that wizards introduced today are not really entire formats in their own right, much like in third edition a vampire is not really a moster in it's own right. These two new additions are really templates to existing formats that subtly tweak the rules but dramatically change the strategic implications of the game. I will refer you to the article at WOTC rather than re-state the formats here.

My favorite is the second template, named "Ultra-Quick Strike," mostly for it's potential. There are two problems I see with it. First, the name has got to go; it's got quick-strike in it which it really has nothing to do with. The template has nothing to do with the quick strike last man standing hoser which is the deining victory condition in my opinion. In fact, once you move your next to last creature off the board technically you lose at that point. Instead for a name I recommend "Evacuation," since really what you are adding is the ability to evacuate the battlefield and call the game based on points.

The second problem is really related to where I see the potential to this template. As currently stated you can leave by your own exit squares at any time. In fact it's only your own exit squares and not your opponents exits. This is too unbalancing to ranged bands in my opinion. Consider a warband that consists entirely of Inspiring Marshals and Elf Pyromancers playing off of the Assembly (Rubble) Tile. It is concievable that you could win at the end of the first turn by moving the pyromancer into position with the marshals, blasting a low HP figure with the fireball, and running off of the board after firing the bait spell. I've played paintball games like that on really small fields, and it isn't a whole lot of fun. It may help with the time problems in 200 points, but the irony is that with so much measuring for line of sight in time may expire even before the tiles are set up.

To fix this I recommend a minor change that brings it closer to another format in the minis rule book that has a problem of it's own. The tweak would be that you can only voluntarily move your own figures off of an opponent's exit square. This is much like Reconnisance in Force, except that is solves a major problem unbalancing it towards large fast tanks. With Reconnisance in force Malice LRD will almost always win since it can fly it's dragons off the board and score 83 points without any fight, and since they fly nothing can really stop them. But if they don't score points it merely makes the Large Red Dragon very strong rather than abusive. But if there is another tweak, in that the point value of figures evacuated cannot exceed your total VP scored. This limits the drive by to somethign more of a crash by. This then makes the dragons strong, but not strictly the strongest.

So now I present the new and improved Evacuate Skirmish Scenario Template:

Evacuation [Template]

Number of Players: Any, but works best with two.

Warbands: Warband construction is as usual.

Terrain Setup: Setup is as usual.

Victory: Victory points for destroyed creatures and occupied tiles are awarded as usual.

Ending the Game: Evacuation differs is in its ending condition. The game ends when only one player has figures on the battle grid. Any figure may voluntarily exit the battle grid by an opponents exit square, but only if the total point value of all evacuated figures would be less than the controlers current VP total. Figures doing so are removed from the game without scoring victory points for any player. In all other respects the creature counts as eliminated once it leaves the battle grid.

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