Ortus Regni - Medieval Tactics or Logistics
New Battle rules. More control, less fate.
These two new rules allow you to experiment with altering the strength of fate in your battles. These two alternatives are not designed to be played in concert, but as two different approaches. We like the use of Banners in Medieval Tactics particularly, but offer the simpler Logistics option as well.
Heroism has its benefits
Medieval combat was prone to all manner of disasters and unexpected outcomes. Everything from a muddy field, to a lost courier, to rotten bread for the march, or a prophetic sign in the clouds could ruin an otherwise secure victory. However human heroics cannot be discounted entirely. History is replete with gifted individuals who seemed to possess the ability to challenge fate... with bold acts and brilliant strategy.
New Battle rules
In this variant both Earls in the fight can have a chance to attempt to alter the result of a Battle Result card if it goes against them using Banner cards.
Sequence of battle
Once an attack has been declared, and forces have been fielded on both sides, draw a Battle Result Card as normally done:
- If the Battle result goes against one side in the battle - is Attacker Wins or Defender Wins - then whichever Earl that result has gone against may immediately play a Banner card to attempt to turn that result into a Normal Battle result.
- But if it is a Church Decides card and if there is an Earl who controls the Church then they will still decide what the result of the battle is. This choice cannot be altered by heroism, charisma, wisdom, or bravery.
If no Earl has Church control then it is a Normal battle.
Altering your Fate - Using Banner Cards
If a Battle Result card, other than Church Decides, goes against an Earl they then have the opportunity to immediately play a Banner card from their Hand to force a Normal Battle result (no additional Battle Card is drawn).
However, if they do choose to play a Banner card in this way their opponent can then counter that Banner card by playing a Banner card of their own!
When one Banner card is used to counter another this proceeds like a Political Struggle. With the original Earl having the opportunity to play a second Banner card. Which, in turn, could be countered by a second Banner from their opponent, etc.
- Thus you need to have more Banners out than your opponent to win the contest that day, and force a Normal Battle.
All Banners played in this struggle are discarded when it is resolved.
Vikings - The Vikings cannot play Banner cards, of course, and so any Earl who can force a Normal Battle by playing a Banner card cannot be countered and prevented from doing so. Earls have the advantage of knowing the tactical landscape of their homelands better than the invaders do.
This happens exactly as specified in the normal rules of Ortus Regni. Earls merely have an alternative way to gain a Normal Battle result if a Battle Card goes against them.
An Earl using a Lord heavy deck now has a way to avoid the occasional - and often inevitable - catastrophic battle result. Avoiding that terrible fight that would otherwise wreck the fortunes of all your powerful Lords!
Other deck styles can also benefit form more secure battles, of course, or aim to foil the heroism of another Earl by playing Banners as counters to such attempts. This is an important change in the dynamics of Ortus Regni.
Even Land & Market Town decks, may benefit from the new ability of Banners to achieve a Normal Battle. Stopping that one major battlefield ambush from slaughtering your Army, without your soldiers inflicting their own damage.
Battles in this variant of Ortus Regni will be more regular and normalized. This added predictability has several knock-on effects, but it does not nullify the wide spectrum of Ortus Regni deck design strategies. In fact, the extra Banners that an Earl might stock up on - to heroically control their fate on the battle field - might weaken their deck's strength in other ways.
LogisticsPreparation and supply in the medieval world were more elaborate than many might imagine, but the cost of endemic warfare was not trivial for those engaged in it as a profession.
When a Battle is declared either side might choose to avoid using the Battle Deck for that Battle. This is done by choosing to discard a card (any card) from your Hand.
You have spent the necessary resources to ensure that you suffer no terrible surprises in the campaign ahead.
- When an Attacker declares the target of their Attack and what forces they are fielding they also decide if they want to discard a card from their Hand, and opt out of using the Battle Deck for that fight.
If the Attacker does not choose to use Logistics, then the Defender also has that choice when they are fielding defending forces into the Battle.
Thus only one combatant needs to discard a card, but either could do that to remove the Battle Deck from that battle.
- If neither Earl chooses to use Logistics then the standard Ortus Regni rules apply and a Battle Card is drawn to determine the outcome of the battle.
If Logistics is used - and no Battle Card is drawn - then the battle is simply resolved as a Normal Battle.
- But if a player has Church control then they can choose to nullify any Logistics attempted in a battle that they are in. In other words, they can force a Battle card to be drawn… and trust in divine intervention.
This variant has the power to make multiple battles a linear clash of damage points and strength. It tends to speed up the resolution of the game, as dramatic twists of fate on the battlefield are lessened. However, it can get expensive to drop a sequence of cards from your Hand to ensure a predictable campaign. The Earl doing this will also tend to have less Towers, as their "surplus to needs cards" are being spent to ensure Normal Battles.