Author Topic: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"  (Read 1351 times)

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Offline ArizonaTank

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Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« on: July 30, 2017, 07:44:43 PM »
Just started, a 4 player game of GMT's recently released Time of Crisis, based on the turmoil in Roman Empire during the 3rd century AD.  Each player has a faction vying for their place in history. 

Red - ArizonaTank
Blue - DM
Yellow - Barthheart
Green - JasonPratt

The game is using that wonderful, and no cost uber gaming tool..."Vassal"  This is a PBEM game...actually we are using Google Drive and Google Chat to help manage the game and pass files back and forth.

The pic below is the opening setup.  Ready for the first turn.  Well, neutral governors have to be placed...but almost ready.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 07:47:05 PM by ArizonaTank »
"Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden."   Grantland Rice, New York Herald Tribune, October 18th, 1924. 

Notre Dame wins at Army, 13 - 7, Oct. 18, 1924

Notre Dame undefeated 1924
Coach: Knute Rockne


Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 08:47:31 PM »
So, if you're an absolute newbie at the game -- and I know I am -- here's what that map means. Sort of.

The Empire at this time has twelve regions (as far as this map/game is concerned). You can identify them on the map because each one has a set of numbered squares (usually 0 to 4) under a little square with what looks like a forum. Here at the start, we've each chosen a region to have our influence in: each of us is a family with political ties, and we all start with a governor of a region under our control. If we can install a governor in the Italia region, he'll be the Emperor, but there are also ways to set up regions as alternate Roman Empires. Governors (and Emperors) come and go, but we the players remain the power(s) behind the scenes.

So each of us starts with one governor ruling a region; those are the circle tokens in our colors, placed on the "1" of those regions. The numbers 0 to 4 (or 0 to 8 for Italia) represent the influence of our governors in their regions.

Each of us also starts with one Legion and one Militia in the capitol city of our starting regions. You can't see much of the militia squares right now, because the Legion squares are on top. Militias guard cities and cannot be moved. Legions can be moved, but we have to bring generals into our families' control, and then put them on the board, and then assign Legions to them -- then the Legions can move. (I think Legions can move in and out of capitols without generals, though.)

Those are the basic military chips of the game, and for game purposes each chip is equivalent to each other, which means each militia chip is as strong as each Legion chip, which makes all my nostrils flare but I understand the point for game balance. ;) I chose the only Cyraenica Legion for my starting region of Africa, for historical color, but strictly speaking it doesn't matter.

Rome has twelve regions on the map. Roughly counter-clockwise from the top left those are: Britannia, Gallia (AzTank is there), Hispania, Africa (me), Aegyptus (Barth), Syria, Galatia, Asia (DM), Thracia, Macedonia, Pannonia, and last but never least (until the rise of Byzantium anyway  >:D ) Italia.

Each of us can freely choose any region to start, except Italia. I rather wanted to be "Philip the Arab", first Christian Emperor, who ruled toward the end of this period for a few years -- but I didn't want that enough to choose a start in Syria, where I'd be swarmed by more barbarians than any other region! (Also I had two other players nearby, hemming me in a bit.)

From that standpoint, the best choice is either Britannia or Africa, and Africa gave me a little more legroom. Thus my rationale. But players can send legions around the map by sea, so Barth (in Egypt) could move an army into Britannia if he wanted to pay enough to get it there. By sea that would only be a four space move for him, and in this game there's no way to block sea travel! -- also there's no risk of sea attrition. (Armies can't end a turn in the ocean, though.)


How am I going to win the -- ---- uh, I mean, how does any player not just me win the game?  :arr:

The game ends in one of two ways. (1) one player, currently the Emperor, reaches 60 legacy points (i.e. victory points). On any turn that happens, that's the final turn, but everyone who hasn't played the turn yet can still play out and try to outscore. (2) Diocletian is shuffled into the deck as one of the final four or five cards (I think one of the 5, but I don't recall for sure), and if he's drawn as an event that instantly ends the game. Whoever has the most legacy points wins.

You may be asking yourself, "Self, I see only 40 points on the track at the top of the map. So how can 60 points be tracked?" Well, each of us has two scores, each with a chip that has our color. One score is "legacy", and that has a maximum of 40. (I don't think points can be taken away, btw.) The other score is "Emperor", and it tracks the number of turns that each of us controls an (undisputed!) Emperor. This also has a maximum of 40. Each of our total scores adds up from those two -- sort of. The player in first place for Emperor Turns gets a bonus of 10 legacy points, and down from there, with ties each scoring the same points. So I could have control of an Emperor at the end of 40 turns, and I'll only score 10 points from it. How does this convert into the 60 legacy points needed to trigger the auto win? Danged if I know!  :D :hide:

(I'm presuming for now that this is either a mis-print in the rules, or that the Emperor Turn score counts like legacy points for this purpose, until the game ends and the Emperor points are converted down as noted.)


Wait, did I mention barbarians? ... ..... {checking} Yes. Yes I did. There are five barbarian factions scattered around the borders of the Empire. You can see piles of their huts on the board for each faction homeland. Those huts turn into active hordes in various ways, and the hordes surge out into Imperial lands under various conditions. I'm sure we'll be getting to this later because it's highly important to the game. Hordes, if I understand correctly, do not attack per se, just mess with the influence of governors in a region, eventually leading them to be removed. There are three barbarian chiefs which can and probably will be spawned by event cards, and they give hordes some defensive bonuses. Also, each player has the power to bring hordes permanently under our command in certain circumstances. This is helpful for several reasons, but partly because there's a hard limit to the number of legions and militias which the Empire can support: once those chips are on the board somewhere, that's all. (I'm not sure yet if they go back into stock when they get destroyed, or if they're put out of the game. I haven't read the combat system yet.)

The last thing each of us did in our Turn 0, was choose five cards from our stock of available cards. Each of us has his own stock of cards, and we all start off with the same kinds and numbers: 3 cards each of military, senate, and populace, each worth one point of its type. We'll play those cards during our turns to do various actions corresponding to our colors, including buying stronger cards of those colors with special event types on them. As we play our cards (sort of like mana to power up our abilities), we discard them into our discard piles. Any new cards we buy go into that discard pile, too. Once all our available cards have been drawn, the discard pile becomes the new available stock of cards. Note: these cards aren't dealt out randomly -- we can choose any five available cards we wish. We don't have to play them all on a turn, either, but we must select up to our maximum of five cards at the end of each of our turns. This will be clearer in operation later, I hope. (Our opponents can't see our cards until we play them, so I'm not telling now which starting five cards I chose: but they'll be some mixture from among those three starting types.)


That's it. From here we start the first turn. Since Barth and I are learning, and AzTank has a little more experience than DM, he's taking the first turn and we're going "clockwise" in the initial order that he gave. After my first turn, DM will get the "First player" token and I'll become 3rd player and Az will become last player -- and so on for the rest of the game. (This game doesn't have ways to alter the progression of player order, so far as I know yet.)
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 08:53:38 PM by JasonPratt »
GROGS OF CRISIS -- a four-player mp of GMT's boardgame Time of Crisis, set in the decades before Diocletian.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2017, 06:53:46 PM »
Just getting started and already my home province of Aegyptus is overrun with barbarians!  #:-)
Not a great start. But I have managed to install a governor in Syria who is sympathetic to my cause.

I'll still have to deal with barbs... maybe next turn...  :knuppel2:
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 09:11:11 PM »
Syria == Barbie Mansion. Have fun with constant barbarians!  :D

Moar Nomads rolled on my turn, but they didn't feel numerous enough to go anywhere yet.

I spent 3 pop on Limes (just to be different and thus stupid, for not increasing my support early like everyone else), then 1 red and 1 blue on recruiting a general and a governor respectively.

For those who are following along at home: they aren't on the map yet, but are now "available" on my game mat. I'll have to pay again to place them somewhere on the map (or for the governor, to have a chance at placing him.)

The Limes is (are?) on the map, as a regional improvement chip. They force all incoming barbarians to flip back over to inactive, even if they surge past me into Hispania. (You're welcome, Az!) I suspect however that they go to active anyway at the end of my turn, instead of staying inactive. (The rules do not seem clear about this?)

The Limes will permanently give me an extra point of score, per turn, for holding this area, as long as I hold it! It is entirely possible that someone investing in a lot of early senator power will oust me early, and then I'm very much screwed if not yet quite out of the game.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 08:35:56 AM by JasonPratt »
GROGS OF CRISIS -- a four-player mp of GMT's boardgame Time of Crisis, set in the decades before Diocletian.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 07:58:37 AM »
Syria == Barbie Mansion. Have fun with constant barbarians!  :D

Moar Nomads rolled on my turn, but they didn't feel numerous enough to go anywhere yet.

...

Well if all the rest of you would stop rolling up Nomads, it would be so bad....   :timeout: :pullhair:
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 08:34:27 AM »
Someone did roll a Frank on Turn 1. So there's that.

If barbarian hordes get pounded militarily, do they just go back home inactive (to their inactive stack I mean) to randomly respawn later? Or do they permanently depopulate?

Come to think of it, same question for our militia and legions: do they go back to their general inactive pool stacks, or are they removed from the game? In the limited timeframe of the game, seems like depop would be the rule.
GROGS OF CRISIS -- a four-player mp of GMT's boardgame Time of Crisis, set in the decades before Diocletian.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 08:45:03 AM »
I rolled the Frank up... all of you others rolled Nomads....  :knuppel2:

Section 8.1
Killed barbs go back into their respective inactive homelands piles.
Killed barb leaders are removed from the game.  <:-)
Killed legions and militia get returned to the supply stacks to be used again.
If all legions of an army are eliminate, the General goes back to the Available Leaders box.  O0

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 08:48:40 AM »
 <:-)

Could be worse. You could have rolled the Goths. How the heck they get to Syria I don't know, but there's a 50/50 chance you'd be seeing them eventually.
GROGS OF CRISIS -- a four-player mp of GMT's boardgame Time of Crisis, set in the decades before Diocletian.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 08:49:53 AM »
Speaking of Goths, I promise I'm getting back to DC:Blitz soon, now that I've shuffled down some other things from the past two weeks.
GROGS OF CRISIS -- a four-player mp of GMT's boardgame Time of Crisis, set in the decades before Diocletian.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 08:51:21 AM »
<:-)

Could be worse. You could have rolled the Goths. How the heck they get to Syria I don't know, but there's a 50/50 chance you'd be seeing them eventually.

Goths have to get through Galatia first... so there's that....

Not sure where you get 50/50 chance though.... 33% chance they got to Galatia and then to Syria only if they have more than 3 units invading....
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 08:54:00 AM by Barthheart »
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Offline Barthheart

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2017, 08:51:55 AM »
Speaking of Goths, I promise I'm getting back to DC:Blitz soon, now that I've shuffled down some other things from the past two weeks.

No worries, I haven't been exactly speedy on my returns...  :buck2:
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2017, 09:00:05 AM »
Not sure where you get 50/50 chance though.... 33% chance they got to Galatia and then to Syria only if they have more than 3 units invading....

Nah, don't have the map here at work, and was too lazy laconic to check upthread if I had forgotten a third path for them.  :cowboy:
GROGS OF CRISIS -- a four-player mp of GMT's boardgame Time of Crisis, set in the decades before Diocletian.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2017, 05:11:18 PM »
For those following along at home, here's what the end of Turn 1 looked like:



Barth and I are currently tied for the lead at 2 legacy points, but since I'm the only person who chose not to increase my support and/or my regional holdings this turn, I'm likely to fall behind for a while. (The legacy points are tracked on the top with counter marked with the wolf of Romulus/Remus fame. Az' marker is stacked under Dave's.)

Az, playing red, has not only increased his support governing Gallia to 2 (we all start at 1), but has also got together an army (a general plus at least one legion, exactly one in this case) and marched into the regional capitol of Hispania. This might make it easier for him to replace the Hispanic governor later, although this early in the game I'm unsure about whether the chances aren't already at maximum (due to the governor being at 1 support.)

A Frankish horde is gathering to his north.

Dave, playing blue in Asia, hasn't taken an army anywhere yet (I think he may have two stacked in his capitol, I don't clearly recall), but he's getting ready to, and has upped his first governor's support to 2.

Barth, playing yellow down in Egypt, has had to deal with an early annoyance of 2 surging Nomad tribes -- possibly with a 3rd or more on the way as well (though those might go my direction next); so although he did raise support the nomads knocked it down again. Barth is the first of us to install an allied governor, though, in Syria. (Az is likely to be next, I imagine, in Hispania.)

You can see me down in Africa doing nothing yet but forting up against the Nomads. But I have plans. ...plans.  >:D
GROGS OF CRISIS -- a four-player mp of GMT's boardgame Time of Crisis, set in the decades before Diocletian.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2017, 07:37:01 PM »
In case I said so earlier, which I probably did (because I was saying it elsewhere in various places): I was mistaken about the player order cycling clockwise each turn. While that might be an interesting game variant, the rules don't mention it. So Az goes first each turn, then Dave, then Barth, then me.
GROGS OF CRISIS -- a four-player mp of GMT's boardgame Time of Crisis, set in the decades before Diocletian.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Grogs of Crisis - 4 player "Time of Crisis"
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2017, 07:54:38 PM »
My turn is complete.... still have barbs up my ass.... yes that is as fun as it sounds....  :buck2:
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