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Monday, April 12, 2010

ZOC / Zone of control!

Hello Boardgamer!

Yesterday I reported about the game-board and terrain hexes due to the last interview with Mr. Kouba and today I want to inform you about the ZOC!

I think, that every boardgamer knows the meaning of ZOC; but there is a short description from Wikipedia:

"In board wargames, zones of control (ZOC) represent the tiles adjacent to tiles occupied by objects. For example, in hexagonal tiled maps, the six hexagons adjacent to the hexagon occupied by a unit would be considered to be in its "zone of control.""

That's a basic description, which doesn't match (regarding the controlled hex numbers) with the one in our game, Battles of Westeros!

Now, designer Rob Kouba explains us how commanders play part in controlling units.

During a game, it is possible to order any units on the battlefield, as long as that unit is “controlled.”

(BN: Here is the key word: "Reserves!" That makes this game, really a new one, with new ideas! Maybe, we can even go the battlefield with some selected units and can build anywhere an ambush with the rest!)

Controlled units are units that begin in a hex within a commander’s zone-of-control (ZOC).

A commander’s ZOC in the core set (no matter which House) is two hexes.

This means that any unit within two hexes of a friendly commander is controlled.

Why is this important? Because typically only controlled units can by ordered using Leadership cards.

Additionally controlled units have a stronger immunity to the effects caused by the enemy.

Also, many helpful effects can only be triggered or used by controlled units.

We’ll cover these effects, as well as Leadership cards, in future previews... so keep checking back!

Said Mr. Kouba!

So do I!

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Battles of Westeros" - boardgame's battle-map and terrain hexes!

After we are informed about the basics of combat, today we'll have a look on the game-board and some of the terrain hexes.

Like in Battlelore (think on Epic expansion!), there will be two different set-ups.

The first one has the battlefield lengthwise between the two opponents. This provides for more depth in your ranks but not so much maneuverability on the flanks.

The second is a standard horizontal set-up placed between the two players.

To this second set-up, you can place additional boards to the basic one and so expand the battlefield and fight with larger armies. (BN: somehow an epic design!)

Regarding the game-board there are no fundamental differences to the Battlelore board! Different board designs gives FFG (and us with our house rules!) to build scenarios with different victory conditions!

After the players decided which scenario to play, terrain overlays should be placed!

Like in all strategic games, terrain is one of the key elements.

There are eight types of terrain hexes and eight types of terrain tokens that modify the hexes they are in.

Plains, which armies can quickly cross!

Roads: good constructed paths that allow better movement than plains hexes.

Rivers: impassable boundaries for each unit on the battlefield!

Fords: A shallow break in the river that allows units to cross, with a slower rate.

Hills: A slight elevation in the land that allows ranged units to fire over other units. (over!! FINALLY!)

Forests: Large areas of trees that make movement difficult and limit the effectiveness of some units.

(BN: We are waiting since "Battle Cry", impassable terrain hexes! Such as those with big rocks or higher hills or very thick forest, which could make the game more interesting!)

And Larger map tiles with combined hexes as river, hills or forest!)

Who knows, maybe one day!

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Battles of Westeros" boardgame and new battle tactics - the flanking maneuver!


After a long time, which we needed for our removal to Sri Lanka, here we go again!

During the creation of BOW, Mr. Kouba primarily wanted to focus on the different capabilities between individual units.

Of course, in a battle game, combat capabilities are the first things to be compared.

After going through the books and picking apart especially Lannister and Stark differences, he founded the basic differences of units (indicating quality of equipment and battle prowess) out.

Armour, weapons, training, experience, morale, mounted or foot; those are all basic phenomenons, which could be affect the battle.

One of the key elements during an ancient/medieval battle is the flanking maneuver.

A so called “engagement system” is added for this key element to the game.

Before attacking a target unit (with a melee attack), a player first checks to see if the target is “engaged” with another unit.

To present an engagement on the board it will be used the so called “engagement tokens”!

If there is no engagement token present, the attacking player places an engagement token between his unit and the target and resolves the attack normally.

But, it is also possible to attack an engaged unit.

In this case, no further engagement token is placed since the attacking unit is considered as a flanking unit.

The flanking unit, after rolling dice during an attack may choose a particular die result and reroll all dice showing that particular result once.

In this manner an attacking player can engage with a weak unit and sweep in with a devastating flank attack from a stronger unit.

For a flanking maneuver are the cavalry units ideal candidates.

As described in our previous message, the combination of quick movement and hit reduction against infantry units makes especially the red cavalry very strong.

But we may never forget that even the strongest units could be encircled by a mob of inferior soldiers and destroyed.

That means, watch your flanks even when you are trying to flank your opponent!