Archive for May, 2007

You have paid the price for your lack of vision — The Emperor

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Finding the enemy in Armageddon Empires is no simple matter.  While it’s true that no two armies can remain in unstealthed in the same hex unless one is besieging the other, stumbling around trying to make contact with the enemy is likely to lead to disaster.  It will also waste a lot of Action Points which means you’ll have less of them to spend on drawing cards, building armies, and deploying heroes, units and facilities to the game board.  The wasteland is a big place even on a normal size map.  There is hope however.  Some units have a special ability that allows them to see into adjacent hexes.  It reads like this:  Recce S6, R1.  Translated it means that the unit has the recce “special ability” with an observation strength of 6 dice up to a range of 1 hex.  In order to be able to see anything short of the nonstealthed enemies that you bump directly into, you have to make hidden dice roles to “observe” the enemy.  Actually the computer does this for you automatically and reveals to you the enemy units that have been spotted.  This is done on two occasions during a round of turns.  Once at the very begining before any turns have been taken but after initiative has been determined.  Second anytime you or your enemies moves an army.  Observation strengths remain in a hex during the round of turns and an enemy army that moves into a hex must roll against the observation dice or be revealed. When an unit with a recce special ability moves, it projects new observation checks onto the game board.  Enemy units in those hexes must pass the observation checks or be revealed. The amount of dice that an army recieves to roll against an observation check is determined by the following formula:

detection dice = 3 – (num unit cards in army / 3)

 So an army comprised of 1 or 2 cards will have a detection dice pool of 3 dice.  3, 4, or 5 card armies will have 2 dice.  6, 7, and 8 card armies get 1 die.  Armies with just a hero have a detection dice pool of 3 dice.  Facilities get the following detection dice pools:

Strongholds, Outposts, Infrastructure: 1 die

Laboratory, Academy, Air Defense Center: 2 dice

Intel Center: 3 dice

Resource Collectors: 4 dice

The strength of an observation check is calculated as follows:

observation dice = base obs strength – range – terrain modifier

Yellow bordered terrain hexes (i.e. desert, wasteland etc.) have a terrain modifier of 0.  Brown bordered terrain hexes (i.e. hills, crags, badlands etc.) have a terrain modifier of 1.  Dark brown terrain hexes (i.e. mountains, swamps, etc.) have a terrain modifier of 2.

Both die pools are then rolled by the computer during an observation check and if the observation dice roll (observor) is greater then the detection dice roll (army) then the army is detected and displayed on the board or to the AI.  The spotted army will remain observed until the hex no longer has an observation check in it or the army moves into a new hex (either observed or not observed)

Stealth:  Some units can use a special ability to go stealth if every unit in an army has the stealth ability.  Stealth status means an army cannot exert control over a hex but all observation dice strengths are cut in half unless the check is a “sniffer” check.

Here is an example of how this plays out.  The Empire of Man has an army consisting of a single Imperial Rangers unit card.  He has been using it to scout out the Mutants front lines.


The Imperial Rangers unit card has the special ability Recce S6 R1 which allows the card to project observation checks onto the game board.  The computer takes care of this automatically so all you will ever see are the results of the checks and only those that are successful.  Here’s an image of what the observation checks would look like if they were written on the game board


You can see the gold game bit occupying the badlands hex in the middle of the board that represents the Imperial Rangers army.  Projected around it are the observation checks that its special ability would generate.  The red number represents the total dice pool that would be used to try and detect enemy armies.  This happens at the beggining of every round of turns and also as armies move on the board.  If an enemy army moved into one of the hexes surrounding the Rangers army then it would have to roll against the observation check for that hex and come up with at least as many positives as the observation roll to avoid detection.  If the Imperial Rangers army moves new observation checks are projected into neighboring hexes and rolls are made to detect any enemy units there.  Here is a screenshot of what happens when the Imperial Rangers army moves one hex to the south east.


As you can see, when the Imperial Rangers army moved into the new hex its observation checks detected the Mutant army called the Immortals consisting of a Drakon unit card.  The stack up of the dice that were rolled went somthing like this.


Finding the enemy in Armageddon Empires is half the battle.  Not only will you have to scout out your enemy’s stronghold and outposts but you had better keep an eye on your own frontier as well, or you’re likely to have a killer stack waltz in from out of nowhere and ruin your entire day.