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I have a frequent gaming group of 4 players. Two of us form the hard center of the group, who drop the cash on the terrain and have tons of armies. The other two are friends who love the game and even attend tournaments and the likes with us. The problem is that whenever we try to start a campaign for one of the systems, it never gets off the ground. It's not a matter of conflicting interests, as we can play whole 1-30 campaigns of Dungeons and Dragons together. Rather, it's a matter of playing ability!
We have four players of varying ability/styles, as follows:
Player A- ruthless tactician, smashes opponents armies as thoroughly as possible while clamping down his own territorial gains with a strong defense network
Player B- very careful player. He will send a force against you, and is prepared to send in back up or even retreat from an area if need be. His territory grows slowly but steadily, and eliminating his armies is nigh impossible.
Player C- a decent tactician on the maps, but when it comes to fighting engagements on the battlefield, his armies are simply crushed. He's smart enough to retreat or avoid a battle, but that obviously won't win you a campaign- fighting is necessary for taking claimed territory and defending your assets!
Player D- a horrid tactician on both the map and the battlefield. Often, the other 3 players will descend upon him as he is an easy kill.
The methods that we use to play are often similar to Mighty Empires. We play campaigns combining BFG with 40k, or just 40k, or we play MightyEmpires. Often times, Players A and B will start rolling across the map and knock the other players out very early on.
We've included several non-combat/metagame rules on things like building castles and towns, or assembling fleets, taxing your settlers for resources, searching for mines, and even trading between the empires.
I'm asking you, fellow LO'ers: How do we even the playing field so that there's actually chance for C and D to claim victory, and therefore a reason for them to play? It's really depressing, because with supplements like Planet Strike coming out, and Summer soon upon us, campaign games are looking more and more enticing!
Unite your two weak players with a strong player each. Bring in a rule so that both players have to play games. A little bit of thinking has me thinking like this-
There are two 'sides' with two players per side.
Every player has armies that move around the maps, as you normally do.
Each player also has a General counter that they can move around. This represents them.
Here's the clever bit- if an army ever has to fight without a General being present then the whole army is at -2Ld and you can't take a Lord level character (or some similar penalty).
This means that while both teams will want their best generals at each battle, it just won't be possible to get them there and the other team player will have to fight the battle. See what I mean?
This will also lead to cool scenarios like trying to assassinate the Generals if they try to travel between armies. If you have a couple of 'occasional' players they can get involved as Mercenary Generals, at some determined cost to the hiring players' team.
Hope this helps!
EDIT: Huzzah! 2000 posts!!
Double Edit: This is pretty much for WHFB but the same concept applies in 40k. Then you can use droppods and valkyries to move your generals. Aeronautica Imperialis?
Triplo-Edit: You could use the experience point system for your Generals too, from way back in WHFB or Mordheim. I have to stop thinking about this now and go study.
Last edited by The Paint Monkey; May 20th, 2009 at 02:24.
No more NG spearmen, thanks! Now I need some pump-wagons!
Get the two better players to come up with a game mechanic (extra points, apoc strategic assets, etc), that give the weaker players a boost and make the overall game more challenging.