Battlegame Review Posting

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Battlegame Review Posting

Postby Korderellin » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:46 pm

Please post any reviews of the Imperial reign-themed battlegames here. Reviews should be detailed, and give a clear understanding of how the game went, what worked well, what didn't, and what tweaks could be made in order to make the game even better. Reviews will be awarded resources or even potentially extra turns in the game for the park in question.

Again, reviews posted to Facebook, but not posted here (and vice versa), will not be awarded anything, so please remember to post them in both places!
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Re: Battlegame Review Posting

Postby Quiet » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:17 pm

Amtgard "Hot Potato"
An 50’ radius arena, with an impassable border.
A reeve with a timer and a whistle/bullhorn/loud voice.
A 'hot potato': A throwie, a spellball, a rock would be ideal. Something brightly decorated and unmistakable would be ideal, as well as something with a handle or strap on it would also work well, allowing players to ‘wear’ the hot potato and still fight easily with multiple weapons.
Players all start in the arena. A 'hot potato' holder is chosen at random by the reeves. This person starts with the hot potato, which is timed to go off at a random time, chosen by the reeves. Reeves may opt to do a ‘count-down’ on the timer, which may spur players to greater urgency.
Players fight in free for all style. Death count is 10 seconds for all players. The hot potato holder must fight and kill another player in order to relieve themselves of the hot potato. That player may then run away, and attempt to survive.
Players are in a free-for-all with each other for survival. All wounds count, so it’s entirely possible to leg someone nearby and run, leaving them easy bait for the hot potato to finish. It’s a spud-eat-spud world.
When the hot potato goes 'off', reeve will blow a whistle, and the player in possession of the hot potato dies, and is out for that round. The person closest to the hot potato (determined by reeve or by obvious eyesight) will be the next holder of the hot potato.
The winner is the last person alive at the end of the game.
As rounds progress, reeves are encouraged to begin restricting the borders of the arena in various ways, by pulling borders inward, adding terrain or obstacles, and so forth, to decrease the available space for players to run to, and generally causing more mayhem.


We ran this game today at the park, with 25 players, in an enclosed space roughly 30' x 100'. We ran into some immediate problems concerning the structuring of the game, which led to alot of confusion. Essentially, once the 'lay on' was called, the person holding the hot potato was surrounded by attackers, and noone else did much of anything other than watch the proceedings. It played out somewhat like a spawning zombie battlegame tends to, only one person remained the zombie, instead of the typical slow death of the survivors until one remains.

In order to combat the rather dull pacing of the game, we implemented 'Spudlings', minions for the hot potato's wielder, who acted as a team against the 'living' players. Once four or five folks had exploded, and come back as spudlings, things rapidly got out of hand, as with only the one hot potato in play on a random timer (thank you, app store), it turned into a rather endless brawl of trying to get more and more people to explode with the hot potato, instead of simply being killed, counting to 10, and respawning elsewhere. Lots of confusion was had, and after awhile, we called the game when only a few folks were left 'unmashed'.

In order to combat the pacing issues, the spudlings seemed fairly effective. They got the 'living' players involved that weren't actively avoiding the potato, and kept everybody in play instead of having folks sit out, which sucks. After a certain number of spudlings, the living players were no longer able to withstand them, and fell rapidly even when working together, due to simple numbers.

The win condition definitely needs a change-up. The last living person should be the 'winner' of that round, instead of the last person to 'explode', especially with spudlings everywhere. It made it nigh-impossible to tell who was alive, spudded, or otherwise.

Things that worked well was making the hot potato into a dagger, which any class could wield in combat easily. Timing was kept with an android phone and a 'Random Timer' app, which was set between 15 seconds and 1:15 seconds to go off, and wasn't re-started until the potato had changed hands and everybody knew what was what. Additionally, once 6 or 7 spudlings had spawned, it felt very similar to a Warlord game, with lots of free-for-alls running around a largish warlord band.

Either folks need a reason to kill each other, or the hot potato needs some other condition to pass it. I'm debating adding 'The holder of the hot potato may pass the hot potato off to ANY dead player, killed by ANY reason", as that would make everyone much less trusting. It would combat the living players all teaming up.

All in all, definite pacing issues, and game structure needed some work that I didn't anticipate. The concept could be useful, though, even if only for the 'random timer' element.

We then ran a game of 'The Floor is Lava', because we're big dumb geeks up here and we had the materials.
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Re: Battlegame Review Posting

Postby Korderellin » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:48 am

This is an awesome review! NH is awarded one extra turn. Great job!
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Re: Battlegame Review Posting

Postby Quiet » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:16 pm

Amtgard "Battleship"
2 Teams, 10+ players, Full Class
Each team is awarded 5 "Ship Designations", or enchantment strips, each denoting a certain "Ship" enchantment. Additional players play as per normal.
1 x 'Carrier' = 5 Points of Natural Armor
1 x 'Battleship' = 4 Points of Natural Armor
1 x 'Destroyer' = 3 Points of Natural Armor
1 x 'Submarine' = 3 Points of Natural Armor
1 x 'Patrol Boat' = 2 Points of Natural Armor
The 'win' condition is the first team to kill the other team's 'Battleship' player, effectively a 'Kill the King' style of battlegame. The 'Battleship' player should be designated a Game Item, thus preventing Sanctuary, CoP, or Teleportation delaying the game. I hesitate to add any additional abilities to each enchantment ('Submarine' with 1 x Teleport/game, etc), as full class games get complicated enough, though in a militia-style game, that might be more applicable.
Play three to five rounds, players are free to swap the Ship Enchantments each round.
Fire away with your critiques, I'm sure there's something breakable in this idea already.


We ran this battlegame today, and overall, it was very well received by the populace.

In order to signify the different ships, we simplified it somewhat by using the enchantment strips we had on hand, each representing a different value in armor points.

Yellow Enchantment Strip - 2 Points of Natural Armor (Patrol Boat)
White Enchantment Strip - 3 Points of Natural Armor (Submarine & Destroyer)
Red Enchantment Strip - 4 Points of Natural Armor (Battleship)
Yellow & White Enchantment Strips - 2+3=5 Points of Natural Armor (Carrier)

A battlefield approximately the size of a standard jugging field (100’ x 50’, thereabouts) was laid out using orange cones. In order to test the game mechanics without too much complexity, we ran the game as a ‘militia’ style game, using armor, projectiles and open weapons instead of full class for the first round.

Players were divided by equally separating archers and people wearing actual armor into two equal-in-skill groups. The rest of the players were then encouraged to pick a side to roughly balance gameplay. It was decided that in order to promote proper game balance, the first dead player on the winning side would go to the losing team, ala Ditching.

Enchantments were explained thoroughly prior to play to help newbies understand the mechanics of sectional armor, with a quick overview concerning arrows vs. armor, to make sure everyone understood how it worked. Players wearing actual armor were allowed to stack their armor points if they wore a ‘ship’ enchantment, as actual armor has disadvantages, and discouraging actual armor wear seemed counter intuitive.

Players started behind the cone line on each end, lay on was called, players charged each other. Rounds lasted on average about two minutes apiece, depending on the round. Some rounds the battleship was singled out and killed early, other times the battleship was successfully defended by teammates, others they simply stepped out of bounds and were called ‘dead’.

One team lost about three times in a row, but the players adding to their team each round soon balanced out the disparity, and rounds started to go in either direction in a very balanced, back and forth style. Several times it came down to the two battleships with a few extra players battling it out to decide the round.

Players seemed to enjoy having a large amount of armor, and the explanation beforehand seemed to minimize confusion effectively. Play continued for about 20 rounds until reeves called for a water break. Overall, some folks had been skeptical of the game initially, then found it very fun and engaging. Some suggestions:

Have the player who kills the battleship switch sides instead of the first dead player on the winning team. The ‘core’ of each team remained very similar throughout the game, with minor or newbie players swapping hands. A ‘ring the bell’ style of player trading seemed more likely to add variety to the game and reward the ‘killer’.
A lack of throwie projectiles was noticed, which might have different effects on the gameplay. There were three archers in play, ranging from new to experienced, who had definite effects on gameplay, targeting the 2 and 3 point targets with regularity.
There was many instances of players accidentally stepping out of bounds and dying. Strapping tape, rope or some other continuous barrier beyond orange cones would reduce that somewhat.

Players had a water break, then the game was played again, with a slightly larger field (120’x60’), and played in full class. (Battleship was considered a game item to prevent cheese.) The criticisms from last round were considered, and the ‘killer’ was traded teams if they got the battleship, and more cones were added.

Rounds lasted somewhat longer this time, as people had many more abilities to account for, and the players were more familiar with the gameplay at this point. Fights were more protracted and lengthy as folks had many special abilities that prolonged lifespan, though several factors were very powerful, such as armor breaking swords, destruction arrows, and a few teleporters.

There was some confusion during the full class game, as we had been using enchantment strips to denote ships, which got confusing when people started using class enchantments. The rule of thumb became ‘Do they have enchantment strips? Hit ‘em till they stop swinging.’

Inquiry after the game was met with some interesting disparities. When asked which game players enjoyed more, the more technical, ‘stickjock’ players who lots of fighting talent tended to prefer the militia style game, as it was more straight forward and rounds tended to chain together more quickly. In contrast, newer players, casual fighters or flurby types tended to enjoy the full class battle more, as it allowed them to use their cool class abilities, and gave them more options to play with, if they were outclassed by a better fighter.

In general, the game was exceptionally well received. Some minor tweaks improved gameplay somewhat and helped mitigate a few minor concerns, but the game was basically a hit.
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Re: Battlegame Review Posting

Postby Korderellin » Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:14 pm

Northern Holdfast is awarded 2 building materials for the review of Battleship.
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Re: Battlegame Review Posting

Postby vardos5000 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:09 pm

Hungry, Hungry Amtgarders
Militia style battlegame
The players play in a large 50 to 100 ft square with entrances at the 4 corners. The reeve will randomly throw out 20-30 spell balls near the center of the field, and the players will separate into 4 even teams. The players, when lay on is called, will try to grab as many spell balls as they can and take them to their team entrance. 45 second death count, and players come alive at their entrance. A player can only grab 1 spell ball at a time and may carry their weapons or shields at the same time as the spell ball. The game ends when all of the spell balls have been collected. The team with the least amount of spell balls picks a player from the team with the most spell balls and the game starts over.


Girly's review posted on the facebook page:
Battle game review: So today we play tested the hungry hungry hippo game that was posted recently on the Fort Collins page. First of all let me say that we didn't mark off the field with rope so this created a problem of players going out of bounds and others having to go off the field to go after them. In addition whether the field was marked or not the balls went off the field several times and we're thrown back in. Many people did not like this game because it was very physically demanding. The 45 count respawn time seemed very long and we shortened it to 30 count which some still thought was too long. We thought that a 20 count would be better and also that after your whole team was dead that instead of waiting for a count that everyone could come alive again.

Vardos review:

I helped reeve this game, and it was quite easy to reeve. We only had enough players for about 4 people per team. We had no rope, but since we had four teams, we used baskets to mark team entrances and they also helped serve as a boundry for reeves. It was reasonably easy to keep players inbounds. We used a lot more balls than recommended. About 100 plastic balls, I believe. Games may have gone on longer than they should, because of this.

As a reeve during the first game, I found that the 45 second death count was far too long. That may have been because of the limited number of players. We moved the death count to 30 seconds, which was better. Players asked if they could hit the balls towards their area, I said yes, and immediately regretted it...I then said no, and threw back balls that had been hit. Otherwise no issues with the first game.

Another game later where we moved the death count to 20 and if an eniire team was in the respawn zone, that team would come alive all at once. Doing that helped, as it seemed to help balance the offset of skill levels in between teams, from what I am told. We also moved the baskets in a bit. No issues arose with the second game that I know of, but I did not reeve the game, nor did I participate in it. From what I am told, they added some kind of monsters during the second game. From the way it looked from the field, players had fun with it, but I can't give any real review of the second game other than vague secondhand information.
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Re: Battlegame Review Posting

Postby Kain » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:10 am

Hungry, Hungry Amtgarders Review: NH

Set-up: I decided to use cones instead of rope to set up this game, and I made the play area more circular than square. First, I created the four entrances about 25 paces apart. This seemed big enough for our number of players. I clearly marked the entrances with a flag in between two cones to trip people. Unfortunately, no one tripped. I also placed one cone in between the entrances that was a little recessed out to make it more of a circle; we didn't seem to have any problems with players or game items going out of bounds. After I had the players pick one to two other players that they wanted to play with, I picked the teams, knowing that the game would balance after each round. I tried to make them even numbers and strength. With the rules, one main question I got was "can I throw the balls." I said no. We also used about 30 - 35 spellballs, with some throwies added in. I figured that the game would go longer with more spell balls. In the first round, I spread the balls out near the center.

Gameplay: Everyone seemed to enjoy the game. They felt that it was fast paced, but that it was tiring because of the running involved. After getting feedback from the teams, I decided to move the death count from 45 seconds to 30 seconds. This made the game very fast paced and made people more tired. It was an easy game to reeve, and I was mainly calling shots, but I had to watch out for players who would hit the reeve thinking that they were a player too because the game was so frantic. In the third round, I put the spellballs together in a tighter pile in the middle instead of spreading them out. The feedback I got on this was that the players really liked it as it made for longer games and changed the tactics. I saw several tactics being used by each team. Some teams were opportunistic and just grabbed the spellballs at every opportunity. Other teams had one to three players attempt to guard the spellballs for as long as they could while the rest of the team ran back and forth with the spellballs. The latter seemed more successful, but it was difficult to tell as control over the center was always changing.

Final Verdict: I would give this game an 9/10 because I was surprised about how successful it was and how little I needed to change it. I might suggest running it in the middle of the day and not running it for too long. It is definitely a fast paced game, and it is a good practice of battlefield awareness and teamwork. The hardest part would be getting a hold of enough spell balls for a large sized group. I also liked the flexibility of the game; it could be made to fit a large or small sized group just by changing the size of the field and the number of spellballs.
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Re: Battlegame Review Posting

Postby Korderellin » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:11 pm

Awesome job, all! Glad people are enjoying the games!

NH is awarded another two building resources for the review of Hungry Hungry Amtgarders, and Crimson Dawn is awarded an extra turn for their review of the game, as well. Keep em coming, folks!
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Re: Battlegame Review Posting

Postby Quiet » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:30 pm

Yahtzee Game Review:

Amtgard "Yahtzee"
2 Teams
Two teams do battle in a fairly normal Ditching format. Teams fight to the death, winning team eliminates the other team first. Winning team gives their first dead player to the losing team in order to balance out imbalance.
Every 3-5 rounds, the reeve takes aside a set number of players, and applies various effects to them. The effects can be beneficial, detrimental, or a trade-off in power. The effects should be identical for both teams to maintain balance, so no team has an undue advantage.
Reeves decide what the next effect is by rolling three 6-sided dice, and consulting the following chart:
[Not Possible]
[Not Possible]
03. Triple Snake Eyes - Everybody drops one weapon/shield. Weapon swapping on death becomes necessary.
04. Everybody spins around 20 times before fighting.
05. Weapon Swap - All players transfer their weapons to the player on their right.
06. Heavy Shields - All players wielding shields may not carry weapons. Either drop your shield, or your weapon.
07. Budget Cuts - Reeve takes away a weapon from several players, equal numbers from each team.
08. Throwie Influx - Each team gets two throwies in additional to ditch weapons.
09. Spellball Influx - Each team gets one lightning bolt.
10. Two players on each team are blessed with six points of magical sectional armor.
11. Everyone is legged from the onset. Players are considered ‘leg on death’.
12. Everyone loses their left arm.
13. Everybody loses their right arm.
14. Everyone is Fragile (Wounds Kill.)
15. Everyone has 1 point of sectional armor.
14. Monsters! - 1-3 players get turned into monster on each side.
15. A goblin that comes alive again in 10 seconds.
16. A minotaur with shield breaking weapons.
17. A golem with ten points of magical sectional armor.
18. Armor is invulnerable.
19. Torsos are invulnerable.
20. Metal shortages - trade two swords for two daggers
21. Must dance while fighting.
22. Switch hands.
23. On your first fight, Shinobi rice war.
24. Throwies only. (Requires many many throwies)
25. Hunger games in a line
26. Pool rules - no running
27. -Simply ran out of good, cheeky ideas-
30. Roll Twice and apply both effects simultaneously.

Teams fight in typical ditch fashion, with things changing every 3 rounds. There is no real win condition to this game format, as ditch style games tend to be played until everyone get tired of playing. Play through each variation in turn, skipping the dice rolling, if an ‘endpoint’ is desired.

We played this game the week after Dragonmaster, and it seemed like it was a fairly amusing success. Only requirement was having dice on hand.

'Reeve' would roll, or have nearby spectators roll, as it definitely seemed easier to blame them for bad rolls. There was alot of finesse required, as often times the same numbers would come up, but the fix was pretty simple, as rolling another dice and adding it to the result often fixed the problem.

In general, the game was very low-key, very relaxed. It felt very much like a typical ditch battle. Players definitely enjoyed the variety, the various quirks that resulted from each game scenario, and the only complaints seemed to be game-related, i.e., oh god, he rolled 'everybody's legged, my poor knees'.

The game didn't seem to have a real 'win' condition to it, as ditch style battling typically goes round to round. Players left and joined as per typical to ditch style gaming, and there wasn't a real need to 'win' beyond round by round.

I added several more dice, and was wracking my brain for additional results, but simply ran out of ideas that weren't horrifying or just silly, or similar renditions of other rolls.

All in all, a very entertaining, low key game style for 'end of day' combats, definitely. Plays very much like warlord, kill your killer, other styles of games meant to slowly wear out the players at the end of the day.

Please feel free to add other 'conditions' for dice rolling. I just ran out of ideas.
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Re: Battlegame Review Posting

Postby Korderellin » Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:02 am

NH is granted two building resources for the review of Yahtzee.
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