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

March 28, 2005

Asymmetric Encounters

One of the things I noticed at last wekeends tournoment that 200 point games ending on time are just not satisfying in some way. And I got to thinking, it didn't feel too much like I was playing D&D either (partly because I'm not). Think about it, how often are both you and whatever your antagonist are going for is exactly the same? Usually it's not. Often one has the upper hand in some fashion and the other is fighting to defeat it. And that got me to think about a differnt type of format that would probobly make a minis game feel more like D&D: Asymmetric Encounters.

Here is the brief summary: in an asymmetric encounter one side has an objective and the other side's sole objective is to frustrate the first team. Let's call them attackers and defenders. Actually, let's pretend it's football and call it offense and defense. For example one side wants to rob the caravan and the other wants to defend it. One side wants to rescue the princess and the other wants to stop it. Etc. Etc. These are more classic D&D type encounters.

But how would you score it in a game? In football the winner is determined (generally) by which offense scored more points than the other offense, and the defense gets no credit. So in an Assymetric Encounter you would play the same encounter, but switch sides. Only one side can score, and a match winner is determined by who scores more when they are on offense. Constructed properly they can provide a satisfying resolution even if time is called.

But that presents a rather difficult tourmoment problem: we cannot realistically double the size of the tourney. So my thought: cut things in half. 6 figure limit, 22x17 map, half hour limits (added together makes for an hour round). And the most importiant: pre set maps. Thats like 10 minutes in some games. Each round would have a different encounter (or each table would have a different encounter) and each encounter would have a different scoring criteria for the match. Encounters could even have a schedule like the triad format.

As a brainstorm, here are some encounters. I'll write up some more of my thoughts later.

Caravan Raid
Map: Forest Caravan Road (relativly straight 4 square road short way across map)
Setup: Defense sets up first, with 3 2x3 wagon counters (one is a decoy). Offense then sets up on the short sides of the map.
Special Rules: Raiding: When an offense piece bases a wagon, they can make a DC20 + level of defenders threatening it save to get a "treasure" from the wagon. If the decoy is raided it is not discovered as a decoy until successfully raided. Treasures can be taken or given to another figure as an attack replacement. Destroyed attackers drop treasures that can be picked up by other attackers as an attack replacement. Each treasure wagon has up to 3 treasures. Attackers with treasure can run off either short end of the board.
Routing: Defenders rout off of either side of the road. Attackers rout off of either of the short sides of the map.
Scoring:First criteria is who scored the most treasure. If tied, the attacker that lost the least points of creatures. If still tied, the attacker who scored the least defenders points (being a robin-hood high value-low blood raid).

Prison Escape
Map: City Prison
Setup: Defense sets up first anywhere on the map, with no more than 2 figures per room. Offense then sets up in the prison room.
Special Rules: Delayed Response: defenders can do nothing until they have had LOS to a defender or an active attacker.
Beaten Down: Attackers start with half their hit points.
Blocked Doors: Attackers moving through a door make a DC20 save if threatened by a defender.
Routing: Attackers do not rout. Defenders rout to the city street. Once on the city street attackers are scored as Victory Points. Minons and summons never count for victory.
Scoring:First criteria is the most escaped prisoners (2 goblins is better than one snig), minions and summons do not count. Second is the value of the escaped prisoners, again minions and summons do not count. Third is most un-activated defenders, fourth is highest value of defenders eliminated.


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