++Benches and Military Units++

A couple of important event and rules updates for everyone.

For many years now, we’ve held a large stock of benches that we’ve distributed to players before and after every event. In recent times however this practice has become less and less effective as the number of benches has slowly diminished while the number of players has massively increased recently. As a result there just aren’t anywhere near enough benches for players to use in their camps reliably anymore and sadly we don’t have the people to collect more benches in off the field at the end of the event

At the same time as that is happening we’ve been focussed on improving the usability of the communal game areas like the Hub, the Hall of Worlds, and the encounter tents. We’ve started putting more benches in these areas - and we want to ensure that there are enough seats there to ensure that everyone who wants a seat can get one. Unfortunately that is very difficult if players assume that they take “spare” benches from these areas back to their own camps.

For that reason we’ve taken the difficult decision that we’ll no longer provide benches to the players from the tavern area at the start of the event. The benches will be kept solely for use in communal game areas prepared by Profound Decisions like the Hub or the Hall of Worlds or in communal game areas that Profound Decisions supports in some way or other like the Anvil field hospital or the Anvil Library. Quite a few players had got this message at the events when they spoke to the red caps - but we failed to communicate it clearly to everyone, hence this update now.

I realize that some players will be disappointed that the benches are no longer freely available, but the reality was that there was simply not enough for the number of players we had. We were down to something like one bench per sixty players and while we realize that some groups were able to grab loads of benches by turning up early - increasingly most groups were just having to go completely without. This change will hopefully enable us to make sure that there are enough benches for people in the key game areas like the Military Council tent or similar and that will mean everyone has a much fairer chance to use the benches in those areas than the previous grab what you can approach.

So from E2 onwards you won’t be able to take one of the PD benches from anywhere on site unless you have explicit authorization from a member of the site team (the crew in red caps) to do so. Our red hats will deply the benches to all the tents that need them at the start of the event, so there should be no reason for any player to need to take a bench from one area to another. If you do see a player moving a bench from a tent during the event, it will be because they missed this update, so please just let them know that the benches are not for general use and are not to be removed from the tents they are placed in.

==Military Unit Optimisation==
The existing rules for the way military units supporting armies and rituals cast on armies interacts with the benefits provided by the order are demonstrably flawed. Because neither military units nor rituals take casualties there was a clear and obvious optomisation strategy around orders that maximise casualties. Cycle armies on overwhelming assaults or similar and put every military unit on the army taking the hit each season for maximum benefit and minimum cost. While military units could go anywhere the Empire had only some ability to maximise the benefit of this strategy but now that the allocation of military units is effectively tightly controlled by the Military Council, it becomes trivially easy to ensure the optimum outcome.

At the end of the day the Military game isn’t intended to be some complex tactical board game - it’s a rough framework for us to use to determine the outcome of the military campaigns. But it is inteded to support a wide range of different strategies to ensure that the focus is on the roleplaying involved in the allocation and disposition of armies and the orders issued to them. Having a single clear optimal solution that always provides the best possible outcome in all situations really undercuts the design purpose of the entire military campaign system.

Because of that we’ve taken the decision to change the way both military units and rituals interact with army orders. From now on, the benefits provided by military units and rituals will not be affected by any bonuses gained by army orders but they will take any penalties that arise from orders that are issued. Obviously that makes the rules slightly more complex - and does mean that it is still preferable to empower aggressive armies where possible, rather than cautious armies. However after much deliberation we’ve settled on the this option as the best compromise between simplicity of rules and diversity of strategy.

This change will take effect from event two onwards - meaning it will apply to all military actions undertaken by armies in the military campaign following this coming event.

In other news we’re hard at work on the Winds of Fortune for the next event. We’re running a few days late, but our target it still to try and get them up on the wiki this weekend if possible.

This weekend is also the late booking deadline - so don’t forget to send payment for the event by midnight Sunday if you haven’t already done so.