Design Notes – Scenarios and Complications

One of the things that caught people’s imaginations with In Her Majesty’s Name was the range of scenarios, and the additional scenario complications. We have put a lot of effort in bringing these concepts into Daisho and ensuring that they are well-detailed and properly balanced.

Now most skirmish games have scenarios and the ones in Daisho cover all the normal bases such as breakthrough, capture the flag and king of the hill etc.. However, in Daisho every scenario has been adapted to reflect the game’s setting, and quite a few are utterly unique.

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Illustration by Tony Yates.

For example in one scenario the objective is to prevent your opponent’s leader from committing seppuku, and in another you must prove yourself worthy to receive a terrible secret from a hermit, sitting under a tree surrounded by a wall of flying knives. More terrifying are the scenarios in which you must escape from an erupting volcano or from a tsunami.

On (honour) is important as it measures your success in a scenario. Your victory will be determined by how much On you can accumulate. The scenarios have carefully balanced On rewards and several have the On split between different objectives so it isn’t winner takes all. Remember that you also get On for taking out your enemies. Keeping an eye on the On situation will lead to interesting tactical dilemmas.

In campaigns On can be spent to improve your buntai and to recover from losses in battle. So getting every last point may be key to your eventual victory.

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Illustration by Tony Yates.

It is in the complications where our range of games differs from most other rules of this type. Each complication adds a layer of difficulty to a scenario that will modify your tactics.

Imagine being in a small town where you have to slay your opponent’s leader. However, this is no free fire zone for there are authorities who may intervene if you begin setting the place ablaze and there are armed civilians who may object to you get too close to them. Also your patron may not be happy if too many locals get caught in the crossfire.

There are other complications that bring in such elements as heavy rain, mist, snow, twilight and night fighting. For those of a religious persuasion there are processions, praying monks, sacred ground and even a ‘Place of Perfect Harmony’.
Some scenarios require or recommend certain complications and most landscapes recommend them as part of their hazards.

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Illustration by Tony Yates.

Currently there are seventeen scenarios, seventeen complications and ten landscapes, which gives us  a little short of three thousand different combinations, and that’s if you only have one complication per scenario

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