First game a success but needing some rules clarification

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First game a success but needing some rules clarification

Post by toomuchcoffee »

This weekend I inducted my daughter and her friends into the next level of nerd-dome, tabletop wargaming!

For simplicity, I modified the rules a bit for Dux Britanniarum, placing them on two teams with their characters represented by Status II nobles, rather than each of them commanding a full army. I made the champions Status I nobles and replaced two Desperare cards with two Audacia cards to make up for the loss of the Status III commander.

Anyway, we all had great fun, however, there were a few questions that came up with the rules that I could not figure out. I'm hoping for some clarifications...

1. The rules list the things a noble can do with CI and the things an activated group can do, and I feel like that section can be read in a couple different ways. Say, for example, that I want to attach a noble to a group, form them into a shieldwall with another group, and then move the formation into contact. I'm thinking that's 1 CI to move the noble to attach, 1 CI to form the shieldwall with two groups, and 1 CI to activate the formation, which can then move into contact with the enemy for a total of 3 CI. Or is it 1 CI to move/attach and 1 CI to activate, with the activation allowing the formation and movement to take place?

2. What are the "unit" cards for, like British Unit One? I thought uncommanded groups happened at the end of the turn...

3. There is a mention of a max hand size, but no mention of what that maximum is. I set it to six shared Fate cards for each team, although I considered setting it to three per player. If a player purchases a Fate card, may she still discard and draw at the end of the turn?

4. There is a conflict with the rules for nobles in combat and the Hero of the Age card. The card states that the risk of taking a hit is doubled, so the noble should dice on a 1 or 2 instead of a 1; however, the rules in the combat section state that the roll is based on how many men are dead. In our case, we had 10 hits on 6 Levy + 1 noble, with 5 of those hits turning into kills. Read one way, the noble a 2/6 chance is quite different from a 5/6 chance in terms of the noble taking wounds. Futhermore, what happens when the kills exceed the number of men? Let's say 8 of the 10 hits were many times do I roll for the noble? If I dice and the kill misses then noble, then the 8 kills more than wipes out the rest of his 6 man group, do I roll again to account for the extra 2 kills to see if the noble is still standing? If the noble takes a wound from a killing hit, is the man who would have been killed saved?
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Re: First game a success but needing some rules clarification

Post by Munin »

1. It's a bit more complicated, and depends on whether or not the two Groups the noble is trying to work with are already a Formation or not. Combining two Groups into a Formation can be accomplished with a CI, but single Groups cannot form a shield wall. So in your example, it would take 1 CI to move and attach to one of the Groups, 1 CI to combine the two Groups into a Formation (assuming the second Group was close enough to do so), and then 1 CI to change that resulting Formation from mass into shield wall. For a Status 3 leader, this doesn't give you anything left over to then activate that final shield wall Formation. Essentially, that leader has spent all of his time and energy getting his men organized.

The Status 3 leader could have used his third and final CI to activate the unit instead of reorganizing it into a shield wall, but then it would have activated as a mass Formation. That mass formation could be ordered to move, at which point it could spend one of its 3d6" of movement changing into a shield wall, using the remaining 2d6" for actual movement (or be limited to 1d6" if the front rank is levy).

Groups of soldiers may form or leave a Formation as an activation, but there's a sort of "order of operations" problem here. This is generally most useful for uncommanded units (which can use their activation to join a commanded Formation or create a Formation with a Group that is already commanded). And of course Groups activated in this way will lose 1D6 from their total movement allotment creating or joining a formation.

The trick of when to activate versus when to use a CI is highly situational, and will often depend on the terrain through which the unit is moving and the proximity of the enemy. With a large formation of levy with no nearby enemy, for instance, it might make sense for a leader to spend 1 CI to activate them, have them move 3D6" forward, and then expend another CI to form them into a shield wall. But if the enemy is only 8" away, it might be better to activate them, have then spend a D6 of their movement forming a shield wall, then move forward 1D6" limited by their quality. That way, you don't run the risk of them getting into contact with a nearby enemy before they can get their shield wall up.

2. The "unit" cards are for harassing troops (skirmishers) or light cavalry. This is contrasted with "missiles" which is explicitly archers.

3. The max hand size is 5, unless altered by a pre-game condition like rolling a the best result on a rousing speech (which increases your hand size by one). In terms of using a CI to purchase an extra card, you can only do this once (per leader) and it must be the first CI you expend. Further, if you do spend a CI in this manner you may NOT discard and draw at the end of your turn (this is clarified in the "Dux Rules Clarifications" download). If you ever find yourself over your hand limit, you must play or discard down to your hand limit by the end of the noble's activation.

4. The clause just prior explains this: "If his group suffers one man dead...". Doubling that 1 gives you a roll of 2 or less. Consequently, if you suffer 3 men dead in the group to which the noble using "Hero of the Age" is attached, he is automatically going to suffer a wound.

In terms of extra hits to leaders, our house rule is to take things in blocks of 6, with every complete block of 6 kills guaranteeing a hit on a leader, and anything left over dicing for a hit. So for instance, if a unit sustains 9 kills, it guarantees one hit on a leader and a 50% chance of sustaining a second. If that same leader had been operating under "Hero of the Age," then the number of kills used for determining hits to the leader would be doubled (to 18!) which would be three "blocks," and thus a guaranteed three wounds! Any "extra kills" left over on a unit in excess of its size after a leader has sustained whatever wounds he's going to take are lost. So if a Group of say 4 men with a Status 2 leader suffers 9 kills, all 4 warriors are dead, the leader is guaranteed to take at least 1 wound, and has a 50% chance of taking a second (reducing him to 0 CI and killing him outright). The extra four (or possibly three, depending on how unlucky the leader is) wounds are discarded.

We find this is better than simply dropping all of the kills in excess of the unit size on the leader, as we find that excessively punitive. Getting your entire Group wiped out is bad enough. :)
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