SCENARIO DESIGN: Wizard Kings and the Pillage Rule

Friday , 19, August 2016 5 Comments

When I dashed off a few notes about the fantasy battle game my son and I were playing to death, I was really taken aback by the response: a good half dozen people reached for their wallets…! In order to help people get the most value from their brand new copy of Wizard Kings, I’m going to share the scenario I’ve been developing with my son:

  • Maps: Play on maps 14 and 15. (The other two maps in the core set create a fortress effect that we are trying to get away from.)
  • Forces: The weaker player chooses any faction and selects 50 points worth of units and picks one of the maps to set up on. The stronger player picks one of the remaining factions and map. (Note: we play with two “Heroes and Treasures” block expansions and feel this is ideal for a good game. We got some good games with less, but we like it better with more blocks and greater variation between the various factions.)
  • Set up: Each city on your map must have at least one block at the start.
  • Production: Cities do not produce any gold points during the build phase.
  • Pillaging: If one or more blocks remain in a city hex on their opponent’s map at the end of a turn, they may choose to pillage it. Bump up an invading block by a number of steps equal to the city’s value. If the invading blocks are “maxed out”, they may bring a new block onto the board with a number of steps equal to the city’s value.
  • Advanced Scenario: Use all four maps. Each player gets two factions. Roll initiative separately for each faction. (We suggest trying this with allies being unable to enter the same hex.)

Design Notes:

Our object is to have a quick, violent battle game that punishes “turtling”. I think we have it!

One tactic that we have done in sessions with this is to start out flying units at only one step and then sending them past the front in order to pillage undefended cities. Another trick is to attack a city with a strong Chaos block; it has a chance of getting its step back after going berserk! An aggressive army can spread out around a city. If the “turtle” attacks one stack, another can move in! Finally, cannon fodder can be used to slow down a concentrated force while elite units blitz their enemy elsewhere.

There is one last problem we are working on with this: what happens when each player dominates on an opposite flank? This results in breakthroughs where both players get their cities burned to the ground. If one faction retreats to favorable terrain, there is no way to wipe them out! I am thinking that maybe the first person to occupy three enemy cities wins the game. I am not yet sure if that is the best solution, though.

Anyway, if you try our scenario, please let us know how it went in the comments!

5 Comments
  • Looks interesting. I’ll get another readthrough on the rules soon, and hopefully play after that.

    • Jeffro says:

      The stacking limits and the limits on movement through a hex side take some getting used to, but after that it’s easy. The ability to reorganize your forces after a victory is easy to overlook, though.

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