Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tannhauser for Beginners, Day Two…

Well we’re back again with another, intro to the “art” of Tannhauser.

Today, we’ll be covering the basics of game setup, movement, and combat. And tomorrow we’ll be covering some other “Actions” and more of what Command Points can do.

It’s all that and a bag of chips, after the jump.

Before we begin, I have to say Tannhauser is best played with two players and all of these “How To”s will assume two players.

Let’s begin by talking a little about Game Modes and set up. Game Modes are different ways of playing Tannhauser, basically they set up different win conditions. Now, the Tannhauser rule book starts you off with just Deathmatch Mode, and you won’t see the rest of the other five modes until page 28. In my opinion this is good because Deathmatch is the best mode to learn the rules for movement and combat, with out the worry of narrative or objectives. However after a few games you want to move on to the others. Story Mode is the mode Tannhauser is made for, this is where you play through a scenario, and try to do more than just kill the other guy. But, before you graduate to Story Mode play a couple games in Objective Mode, so you get a feel for what a mission might be like.

Now, let’s move on to game set up. We’re going to be playing a little Deathmatch on the Ksaiz Castle Map, because as I said before it is the best mode for learning Tannhauser. The rules for Deathmatch Mode are on page 9. The first thing you see is Command Points, we’ll look at these a little more later, but for now remember that each team gets TWO of them. (We’ll be using only the components in the box, so you’ll see the little Command Point tracking tokens found on page 24.)

Next are the Crate Tokens, they look like this…

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On one side is a piece of equipment, and on the other is well… a Crate. You need to shuffle these up equipment side (face) down and place them on any circle on the board that’s black. The board will look like this when your done.

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As always click on the pictures to make them larger…

Now you can see the “map” board, the crate tokens, and the Command Point tracking tokens. Next we’ll move on to team building and equipment selection. For a Deathmatch one would imagine there might be a lot of combat, so you would think using a character’s Combat Pack would be best, and for the most part you’re right. So for this basic intro game all characters will be equipped with their Combat Packs. Also just for my sanity and time, we will only be using three characters per team as opposed to five.

So, who should you bring…

Well in Tannhauser there are two kinds of characters, there are people with actual names like John or Hermann, and these are called Heroes. The others are the unnamed masses of soldiers, and they are called Troopers. In a standard team you must have THREE Heroes and TWO Troopers. This means in a normal game with only the core components you don’t have any choices, but as you add on the expansions for Tannhauser your choices grow almost exponentially. On another day we’ll cover “Advanced Team Building, and Equipment Selection”.

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Now, in the above picture you can see my teams for our little Three on three demonstration match, they each have only one Hero and the two Troopers. Let’s stop for a minute and look at who’s on my teams and a little bit about why I choose them. For a Deathmatch I wanted to go with either big guns or grenades, since the Reich don’t really have any BIG guns, I brought Karl who has a grenade in his Combat Pack, for the Union I brought John their leader who has a nice balanced Combat Pack and a relatively large gun. Of course in the Core Game the Troopers are chosen for me, as there are only two to pick from.

OK! Now all that boring setup stuff is done, let’s blow some stuff up and start a turn…

First thing we do is called the “Setup Roll”, each player rolls one die and the highest number wins his choice of Entry Point and Initiative. An Entry Point is a space where your figures may “enter” the board, it looks like this (see below).

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And Initiative is simply who gets to go first, so lets roll shall we…

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Now in the image above you’ll see the one thing I’m using not included in the Core Game, and that some light colored dice. Also note as I mentioned yesterday all dice in Tannhauser are ten sided.

So for our demo today the Union are using the light dice and the Reich the black ones, so the results of our Setup roll; is the Union wins, and choses the “Front Door Entry Point”, and gets to go first this turn.

On to movement, as we discussed yesterday each character has a Movement Value, that equals the number of circles they can travel.

So it’s the Union’s turn what can they do?

The Union has three characters to use and the player must first choose one to “Activate” once active that character may move up to his current full Movement Value (from now on I’ll use the French abbreviation DV, why DV so you won’t confuse it with Mental Value (MV) and preform ONE Action, Actions we’ll cover in a little bit. So, let’s Activate John MacNeal he’s a Hero and has a DV of 7 so he can move 7 circles. See Below.

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If you click on the above image you can see where I counted out the 7 circles that John MacNeal moved through, you’ll also notice some of these symbols (below). (you may also notice that the wrong figure is in the picture, it will be the correct one in future images)

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These are movement penalties and cost 2 move point to pass through. They are generally found on stair cases and other rough or hazardous terrain.

Now that John has moved, what else can he do?

Well… nothing, as you can see above he’s all alone, so let’s continue. After his move the Union player’s turn is over and play alternates to the Reich player. Who chooses to send in the powerful melee fighter the Stosstruppen. the Stoss as he’s called, is a Trooper with only Hand-to-Hand weapons. (See page 21 for a little more info.) He also has a DV of 7, and because the Union won the Setup Roll, he must enter via the “Stairs”. (below)

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And again because the board is a little empty that’s the end of his turn, and play returns to the Union player. Now play continues till all the characters have activated and the Game Turn ends. The next turn begins by resetting the Command Point Tracking Tokens to Two, and rolling the Initiative Roll to see who goes first.

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So let’s begin Game Turn Two…

As you can see above, the Union won the Initiative Roll and can go first, with a 10 there isn’t anything the Reich can do about it.

Let’s go, the Union player again starts with John and moves his seven circles, but this time he does something a little different. If you look in the Rule Book on pages 24 to 27 you’ll see everything you can do with those Command Points (CP) sitting there. Two of those things are “buy” an extra move point, and increase a static value. So, if the Union player spends both his CP he can “buy” a move point and increase John’s DV by one. That’ll give him a total DV of 9, just enough to get him into the hall. Now this is risky but if it works out the Union play will be in a favorable position.

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Now there’s a lot happening here in this picture, so let’s go over it piece by piece. First, you can see the Union player has no CP left. Next, you see John has moved into the hall and now shares a purple “Path” with the Stoss. This allows John to take an Action and Attack with his Flash Gun MK1. For more detail on preforming the Attack Action see page 21.

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Now in this close up we can see John’s Attack roll. He rolls five dice because the Flash Gun he has is a “Automatic” weapon as denoted by its traits (see page 47). And he rolled 2, 5, 5, 7, 8. Next if we look at John’s character card we see his Combat Value (CV) is 6, and if you recall 10-6=4 so any die showing a 4 or above is a “hit” (success). But wait if we look at John’s Special Item, “Night Eyes”, we see he can add +2 to any single die in an Attack Roll. So that means he scored FIVE hits, pretty good.

Next let’s look at the Stoss’s side of the fight, when your attacked you make what is called a Shock Roll, this is almost always four dice, and each success (hit) on your Shock Roll cancels one from the Attack. Now if we look at the picture we see the Stoss rolled a pretty good 10, 10, 9, 2 (in Tannhauser a 0 on the die always means 10). So he easily canceled three of John’s hits. So what about the two he didn’t cancel? Well they they become Wounds, in other terms the Stoss would loose two hit points.

So let’s see how that affects the Character Sheet for the Stoss.

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As you can see above, his Health Indicator Token has moved down TWO rows, placing him on his last row and on death’s door step. Now the Reich player can use CP to “Shake Off” one of those Wounds, and save his Stoss from death a little longer. So the Reich player spends ONE CP and “dials” the Health Indicator up ONE row.

Now, back to John for one second, he’s used up all his movement and his action, so that’s the end of his turn and play now passes to the Reich player.

Now the Reich player Activates his wounded but extremely dangerous Stosstruppen. He only has Hand-to-Hand weapons so he needs to be Adjacent to (in the circle next to) an enemy to attack, so he moves 3 circles to the right, to be adjacent to John and uses his Action to Attack with his “Demon Taint” (weird huh). Let’s go strait to the close up.

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Now look at pages 44 and 45 there you’ll see all the Stoss’s equipment and the first thing you should look at is the “Demon Taint”, it is a “Weapon, Hand-to-Hand” meaning it has a range of “Adjacent” or 1 as I mentioned a second ago, and normally when attacking you would roll only four dice. However if you read the special rules for it you’ll see you get to add a die for each Hand-to-Hand weapon the Stoss has (including the Demon Taint itself). So if you go back up to the image of the Character Sheet for the Stoss, you’ll see he has a Knife and the Demon Taint, so he can add two dice to the usual four for a total of six. And he rolls 9, 8, 7, 7, 6, 2, wow this is gonna’ hurt. The Stoss also has an item called “Supernatural Strength” which allows him to use his highest CV no matter where his Health Indicator is pointing, and as we can see above that is a 6. So, he scored 5 hits.

Now for John’s Shock Roll, John’s Stamina Value is a 5 so he needs to roll five or higher to cancel at least four of the Stoss’s five hits. And John rolled 10, 7, 3, 1, not good. he only canceled two of the five and suffers THREE wounds (see below), and the Union player has no CP so he can’t “Shake Off” one.

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You can see here John’s new status and the Union’s lack of CP to do anything about it.

The Stoss now still has 3 move points to use if he choses and when he’s done, play will again return to the Union Player.

Well I hope that gives you a basic understanding of movement and combat in Tannhauser.

That’s all for today.