Armies question

Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion

Grand Lodge

First, (just to verify) everyone, whether at your location or not, encounters Armies (usually) since the wording doesn't specify "at your location". I had to explain that to someone this week and compare it to Demonic Hordes barrier and the wording on that card as opposed to barriers that everyone at a location encounters. (The previous week we were all at the same location when we encountered an army.)

Second, he understood that there are multiple checks and that each character must perform a different check ... IF CHOSEN. The Demonic Platoon has a Combat check of 19 or multiple checks (including Arcane and Divine) of 11. SotR Scenario 1-2E uses Demonic Platoon as the henchmen. Harsk encountered one of them and I decided to do the combat. That meant only I had to encounter it, right? However on another turn, Kyra encountered the henchman and decided to do the Arcane, Divine and Perception checks split up amongst the party.

So you can choose either side of the OR for armies and depending on the number of checks noted in that section, that's how many people (if available) must make the checks. Two Combat means that only two of three/four must make the check.

Are we playing that right?

Every character makes a check. The OR is just how different difficulties are formatted

It's not choose one side of OR and only do that side.

Grand Lodge

Any time there's an OR on the check to defeat or acquire, it's a choice.

Let's take a look at three Army barriers: Undead Company, Worldwound Cadre and Demonic Platoon.

Undead Company: Combat, Combat, Divine OR Melee, Stealth, Fortitude.
- so that's either two Combat checks and a Divine check OR a Melee, Stealth and Fortitude check. If you have three people, each would do a check on either side of the OR. If two people, only one check on either side. But if you have more than three players, we've always read it as only three needed to make checks in this instance.

Worldwound Cadre: Combat, Combat OR Diplomacy, Knowledge, Ranged, Stealth.
- that's just two Combat checks available OR the other four checks. Again, we always played it that only two players had to perform Combat checks OR up to four had to perform the other checks.

Lastly, Demonic Platoon: Combat OR Arcane, Knowledge, Divine, Perception, Diplomacy
- only one Combat check required versus all the other available checks.

Why isn't it choose one side or the other and only perform the required amount of checks (per number of characters)?

Was there a FAQ entry I missed?

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Theryon Stormrune wrote:

Why isn't it choose one side or the other and only perform the required amount of checks (per number of characters)?

Because one player's OR choice has no influence on other player's OR choices.

(I don't have my box in front of me but IIRC) the army does bad stuff unless every character defeats it. If a character doesn't defeat it because they fail, or evade, or don't make a check, the army is undefeated.

Grand Lodge

Rob is correct. Everyone has to participate. The "Or" is simply to differentiate the different difficulties. And none of them can be repeated.

Grand Lodge

Interesting. We've been playing these barriers that the player encounters the card and decides (educated decision) which set of checks to perform. We didn't play it as if everyone had a choice of OR but there was one choice of OR and we had to perform those checks.

Sovereign Court

I'm with Rob and Sloth, and Sloth explained pretty well why the "OR" is there -- to differentiate difficulties, not to pick one side or the other. Everyone fights, you just get a lower difficulty for picking certain skills.

Out of curiosity, are there any armies yet with less than 6 options, that not everyone would have to fight in a full game?

Shadow Lodge

All the armies I saw had 6 options. I also read it as the others.

Take Undead Company:
Check to Defeat

If you have 4 players, 2 could take combat 16, 1 could take Melee 12, the last would have to choose Divine 16 or Stealth/Perception 12

Grand Lodge

Okay, convinced. We'll start performing the checks the other way.

I know Theryon already conceded the point; but for anyone else who happens to wander by looking for an answer to this question and want's something more official in terms of support for the consensus opinion I offer the following text from the AD2 Preview Blog ( nture-Deck-2):

"When you encounter an enemy Army, all characters must face them, no matter where they are. (After all, armies are really big.) Characters must each attempt a different check from among those listed on the card."

I'm a month late to the conversation, but this card has killed my playgroup again. After losing my first 6-person group to the B scenarios, I finally managed to find 3 other players willing to play give this expansion a shot, and we made it to Adventure Deck 1 without any casualties (finally!)

We recruited 2 more players, and started having fun through Adventure Deck 1, facing a few challenges, but still no deaths.

Here we are in Adventure Deck 2, and suddenly this henchman comes up. Unfortunately nobody in our group has stealth. So here we are burning blessings to try to get my Seoni to pass a stealth check (since I was the best candidate for it), and by the grace of the gods I manage to succeed, but our Seelah player had an unfortunate Fortitude roll and failed. Then it went downhill from there. I was never able to pass another Stealth check in subsequent encounters, and after it became hopeless, we just quit. The group is now unwilling to continue unless someone is willing to scrap their character and play someone with Stealth. Unfortunately, we're all pretty attached to our characters, so it seems we're stuck unless we come up with another solution.

The promo ally Chuffy Lickwound carried the last check-roller of a six-character squad through this, so if you have that ally you might just add it to the right deck. But you might not have this.

Some people have house-ruled that one or more of the checks can be duplicated. I think that'd be better than abandoning the game.

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I am going to chime in and agree with Dulcee. Armies are very difficult on a six player group. It is not just that at 6 players there is no choice for the armies, since every roll must be made, it is that all 6 people need to succeed. More people needing succeed is just harder.

We have a 6 man band (Alain, Imrijka, Balazaar, Enora, Ekkie, and Aedowyn). Earlier we lucked out and dodged most of the Undead Companies [though we had the "fun" of having a character with no Fortitude doing the Fort check with 4 blessings to succeed]. But then we hit Siege of Drezen.

Even with every character having the skills listed for the checks, we were left unable to complete the scenario. Those checks were hard enough that they required resources to be spent to succeed, but if one person got unlucky (or didn't spend enough) it is wash. Not only did we not succeed, but the 1d4 combat damage did a good job of knocking out most of our hands, so we'd have to wait almost a full round to have the resources to attempt again. Anyone who plays 6 players knows that losing a round is the kiss of death, that is 1/5 of your blessings deck right there.

This is just the curse of having six players. If each of you gets up to a 90% certainty to make your roll, that means as a group you only have a 53% chance of succeeding on this Barrier since if one of you fails, all of you fail (for reference, a 4 player groups at 90% is looking at a 65% and 3 players a 72%). Getting up to a 95% percent certainty gets you to a 73% (81% for 4 players, and 85% for 3 players). But a 95% will take some work. We'll use Imrijka as an example:
Imrijka goes for the Ranged 12. She has skill ups in Strength, so she has a 1d10+5 (we're assuming her mythic path adds to strength also). She only has a 30% if she gets no aid. An additional die, like from a blessing, only gets her to 85% (a bit too low). She need sat least another d4 (like a Sage's Journal or the recharge from a Caravan Guard or Balazaar tossing a monster). So we're looking at most likely 2 expenditures to get to 95%. Even Enora, with her 1d12+7 needs a bit of help. She needs either a d10 or 2d4 to get to her 95%+ roll.

Every character is expending some form of resources on this check, with a failure rate of about 27% for the group. These henchman are costly, draining each member of the group of at least 1 to 2 cards (even if the cards are recharged they aren't present for the next check, so it is still 'expended'). And then, you need to do this 5 more times, but most likely more, since if you're keeping up the 95% success level per player, the likelihood of doing 6 of these barriers without a failure is around 15% (a 4 player group is looking at a 43% chance to make it through without failure, and a 3 player looking at 65%).

We tried 4 more times. We always failed. We never even spawned the Citadel. Eventually the group decided that we had to do something beside bashing our heads against the scenario over and over. So we split into 2 groups, each doing a 3 person run. It feels cheap, but it seemed to be our only option.

Hi All-

I think we've been playing this correctly (with the various army henchmen), but I am very confused about the Villain Heart of the World Wound. The checks to defeat are:




There are only two of us playing, so I assume we would just do the Arcane and Divine 25 and completely ignore the 40. Does that sound right?

That's right. The key is that each character must attempt a different check, so you probably only need to go for the 40's if you have 5 or 6 characters or if you have two characters that are great in either Arcane or Divine but none of the other skills.

right. that makes sense, it just seem odd that there are options for arcane/divine 40 and ALSO arcane/divine 25. so with easier options it does seem like you'd only ever use the 40s with 5 or 6 characters, as you say.

this one feels different than the army henchmen where the big numbers (usually 40) are for combat and then the non combat checks are lower. it seemed odd to have two non-combat checks repeated, but at lower checks.

thanks for the reply!

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