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Friday, February 23, 2007

Official Word: Call to Arms

Battle MapThe latest post on the official DoW blog gives us more insight into the workings of the exciting new Call to Arms expansion.

The Call to Arms rules are used to create customised armies when only the battle map’s terrain has been defined. (Note we can see on this sample map new ‘ridges ‘terrain, which will be included in the expansion.)

CardsThere are two drafting modes: Impromptu, for friendly, short set-up time sessions; and Organised, for veteran gamers wanting more control.

The mechanics are designed to simulate medieval deployments by using the concept of Battles or Guards: the vanguard, which led the column of troops on the march, the middle, which followed, and the rearguard, which closed the column.

These Guards would then deploy abreast opposite the enemy, with the vanguard moving to the right wing, the middle to the centre and the rear to the left.

English GuardsPlayers draw Deployment cards to specify the type and composition of these units. Choices may be influenced by the terrain (units deployed on impassable terrain must be instead deployed on your baseline or first row of hexes); your reserve (a card held in Reserve cannopt be fully deployed; instead two of units are deployed on your baseline); and initiative (cleverly, the player with the most Green units outside of his Reserve ‘out-scouts’ his opponent and starts the game)

Feudal Levy tokensIn Organised mode players choose their own decks to draw from, and if you cannot raise the troops you’d like from the common Army pool when they need to be deployed, you’ll have to call on Feudal Levies, represented by Feudal Levy tokens of the appropriate colour. During deployment these are exchanged for units of equal or lower rank.

CardsSpecialist cards introduce another interesting aspect to Organised deployment, allowing you to develop interesting card combos (though you can only select two per game) to modify the deployment process and complement your troop or War Council selections.