Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Beaver Wars - Scores after 3 turns of play

I thought I would publish the scores in the Beaver Wars campaign as we have finished 3 turns. The campaign is intended to last 12 turns, so we are one quarter of the way through. It is a very tight race for the lead, with three tribes separated by one point. The Ojibwe, Seneca, and Miami are ahead of the other three tribes by a significant margin. However, if you examine the numbers in each of the four categories in which they earn points, it will be easy to make up ground. For example, the Ottawa and Potawatomi will jump at least 3 points once they trade in a bundle of beaver pelts.

Victories in battle is also another category with a razor-thin margin. Four tribes have one victory each in battle. Obviously, the scores in this category will likely space themselves out as we proceed through the 12-turn campaign. Fighting successful battles rewards a tribe in at least three ways. If the battle was a successful invasion, that increases the number of towns under a tribe's control. Naturally, it also raises the total of battles the tribe has won. Perhaps more importantly, it is the way a tribe's warriors earn experience points (XP). Simply by surviving a battle, and not running off-table, earns a leader, warrior, or Indian youth one XP. So, a tribe that has most of its braves survive a victory will rack up the points quickly. This has the effect of modeling in margin of victory in an abstract by simple way. The best way for a tribe to amplify its victory even more is to come home bearing enemy scalps. Each figure earns 1 XP per scalp it collects in battle. This rule not only reflects the Indian outlook on war, it also encourages the player's troops to act like Indians and take risks to secure the scalps of enemies they've slain.
Open up! We bring beaver pelts for trade...never mind our warpaint...!
The big rewards for fighting successful battles is to encourage the players to go to war with their opponents. The campaign is meant to reflect the vicious warfare that occurred in the Ohio Valley between tribes seeking to secure its rich hunting and trapping grounds. The beaver was dying out in the East -- too many Indians and whites were trapping them to satiate the demand for pelts in Europe (used to make hats, which were all the fashion rage, at this point in history). Furs were the currency of Indian tribes to obtain European goods they were coming to depend upon, more each year. They needed firearms, gunpowder, metal tools, and many were beginning to switch to imported European cloth. Whichever tribe gained control of the Ohio Territory would be better-armed, richer, and thus, more powerful.

The emphasis on battles to earn campaign points should reflects this. A campaign of peaceful Trap & Hunt turns would not be that exciting. I expect my players are learning this now, and we will continue to see multiple battles per turn, from this point on. We meet again on this coming Sunday, so we will see if my prediction runs true! The campaign rules will be published upon completion of the playtest as a supplement to our Song of Drums and Tomahawks miniatures rules.
Many scalps will adorn the lodges of the tribes of the Ohio Valley as the campaign progresses

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