Monday, 27 February 2017

OGAM Japanese - thoughts on upgrading

I want to see if I'm heading in the right direction. The launch of the latest Sengoku wave has crystalised a few ideas.

We've just finished a long, rambling succesful campaign that involved several rulesets. The smaller games both started the campaign and served as useful sidelines that grew organically out of the main action: 1 raid, 1 ambush, 2 rescues. I'm hoping that the new rules will allow me to do the same with an OGAM campaign.

Making OGAM more Japanese – the Celtic and my Greeks focus on the legends. Fair enough, the heroic Boast also applies, although in Samurai warfare opponents tend to seek out human opponents of the same level and monsters of a higher. So attacking a lesser target should be seen as unheroic, to be left to foot soldiers.

Ideas- please comment, pull apart, playtest!

The structure of the force should come from the “main” or “commanding” legend: Warlord, Legendary hero, Shugenja, Major oni, Religious leader or (possibly!) one of the Dragons-.

Warlords & heroes are self explanatory. Shugenja may be hired by a Diamyo or God to field a more unconventional force of beasts, constructs and goblins. Major Oni may raise a force as if they were Diamyo, with lesser Oni taking the part of Samurai and goblins as footsoldiers. Humans may be part of the force. Good servants of bad master, neh?

Religious leader, well which religion? An Abbot with a force like Ikko Ikki? A Shinto lord? I'm toying with the idea of allies. These usually have their own agenda- target. Lets say you have an Abbot Legend with 2 units of monks. Their target is the Oni on the other side. IF the Oni are deployed on the wrong (or right) flank they will attempt to manoever to engage or hold until the way is clear. May be a morale type test of leader. Once the Oni are killed they will retire.

Another version is the locals under their Shinto priest, with the bodyguard of albinos, who will defend the village but not move beyond. On the other side, the Shugenja has a goblin contingent that wants to raid the village rather than die ingloriously.

A main legends (mortal) bodyguard, a unit of max 4, one per side. Costs ½ normal except any shooting ability and constructs at full cost. Movement rate and any trait like dashing must be shared by legend. Unit stays in contact with legend and gets in way of any attack or missile. The unit does not take separate morale tests or invoke. On death of the protected the unit will attempt to remove the body or stand over and commit seppuku.

Upgrading the Shugenja-
Enscorcered hero. (Going Tomoe Gozen here) A hero has been captured and either a “personal” version of labyrinth so they act as a bodyguard as above, or the hero acts as a legend BUT may act in an uncharacteristic way, such as targeting the weaker and refusing combat. Should cost as normal-?

Enscorcered beast. A non human, not construct legend that acts as the bodyguard above, costs ½?

Upgrading the Bard. (Think Ji-ninja) The bard can use their Inspire to free the hero or beast. Costs the 2 activations, but must be LOS and within a long – so a bodyguard unit might help! If successful, the target rolls 2 reaction dice immediately- the free reaction allows them to move, must disengage in combat. Second a morale roll, a third activation used from the hero and or bard will add +1. 3 passes, free will is restored and the hero may swap sides or commit Seppuku if already acted dishonorably. 2 passes the hero will flee the field in disgrace. 1 Pass and the hero will be frozen on the spot or be transferred to the bard as bodyguard. Fail, will remain enscorcered.

Beasts go through a similar process: 2 fails and will flee the field by shortest route, regardless of what is in way-. 1 fail, will become attached as bodyguard to bard. 3 successes the beast will retire off the field without engaging any unit unless has a natural hatred or faced by opponent that has already attacked it, in which case it will make an impetuous charge.

I've ordered the complete pack of the new wave (and a few more bits-) and I'll do a review and suggestions next. Oh damn, I'm going to be playing OGAM a lot-!