Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Second Last Thing You Want is Another Big Mouthful of Nerve Puppet

So, last night, again with the Duel of Ages - Kozure proposed a few rules variations, based on our discussions of the last time we played DoA.

The variant rules we used were thus:
We will play Duel of Ages with four platters, all domes, the Lith Strategica key, all labyrinth keys but none of the expansion adventure keys. There will be six characters per player. Characters will be assigned randomly, but each will begin the game armed with a weapon that is suitable for the character by consent of all players. Each character will also begin the game with one piece of equipment suitable for the character (mount, armour, equipment). Any disagreement over whether a piece of equipment or weapon is suitable for a character will be resolved by die roll. Each team has one single-use "veto" to veto any piece of equipment or weapon which they deem imbalancing. As this game may become deadly, if any player is reduced to two characters or less, a replacement character will be chosen randomly (also with starting equipment as above) will spawn in during the reinforcement round in the turn FOLLOWING the death of the fourth character to be killed. In this way, no player will ever be reduced to less than two characters.

Piles of equipment will be shuffled, but within their category (weapon, mount, armour or "other"). When drawing cards as a reward from the labyrinths, characters may draw from any of the four piles indicated.

Teams were KozureEasy vs. Shemp?????, and the fact that characters started out appropriately equipped infused the game with bloody mayhem, right off the starter's pistol. The biggest effect of our rule changes was to create a large number of op-fires, which resulted in injured or dead characters, which in turn created an impetus towards further combat, trying to even the number of players and deny the other team a point. (A very centralised style of platter and key placement also contributed to the mass mayhem.) The black team (S?)'s Wilder and Princess Sunglow were offed almost immediately, as were Suva and Frostdancer of the white team (KE). Further problems were created by a vast number of pets running around - the Hawk, Crawler, Gryffalcon, Black Bear, and Muffin all made it into play.

Another effect was that labyrinth challenges had less value, since characters were already equipped, and otherwise occupied trying to kill each other. The first two hours of play saw only one successful challenge occur! Things picked up a bit after the number of characters thinned out a bit, but the poor rolling of the black team doomed it to a 4-1 loss, in a match that was closer than the score makes it appear.


MVP (tie): Sir Gawain, on a horse, wearing kevlar, with the M-60 and Private Sanchez, in a frilly cape, with spines, both for the winning white team.

LVP: Adigan the Mouse accomplished NOTHING. At least Jolie took a potshot at Dr. Hume and unleashed Muffin.

MAP:(Most Annoying Player). Likely the Shifter, with an accellerator tube, who just wouldn't die, and ended up getting to make 24 (!) improvement rolls over the course of the game - becoming quite tough in the process.

Survived (White): Dr. Hume, Dr. Memnar, Smoke, Sir Gawain, Whip Vypyr, Sterling Jack, Ghengis Khan and Gregory.

Survived (Black): Jedediah Smith, the Nerve Puppet, Corporal Janus, Adigan the Mouse, Jolie La Ravissant, Shifter, and Rider-of-Comets.

Dead (White): Suva of Orion, Private Sanchez, Marcus Aurus, and Frostdancer.

Dead (Black): Wilder, Princess Sunglow, Thump, Homer Morgan, and Jade the Unicorn.


  1. Maybe we should consider going "campaign rules" with DoA, and removing Killed characters from future games - could help to ensure that we get to try out different characters from time to time. Thoughts?

  2. I'm not sure about the campaign rules... some characters are more likely to die than others (combat oriented ones, for example). We could simply make a "used" vs "unused" pile.

    I would also like to commemorate the the event which (I think) inspired the name of the post.
    Sanchez, in his frilly cape, using his outstanding targeting abilities to nail huge amounts of enemies with his spines (4 op-fire!) was ultimately defeated by one of the more epic pile-ons of any game I've seen (on what turned out to be the bloodiest hex of the board, as verified by an enormous pile of equipment left behind by other poor souls). In the distance, a badly damaged Sir Gawain chose to brave an attack by the Nerve Puppet to shoot at that large pile of ennemies with his area attacking M-60!!! The result, 1 ennemy dead, 2-3 more within 1 point of death. Meanwhile,the Nerve Puppet missed it's killing blow, denying team black a zombified, m-60 toting knight!