New FA SNAs

Updated 10 Jan 20

(some tweaks, some additions)

As per Clint’s request on Discord I’ve put together a list of suggested new SNAs for 4th Age. This is just a starter to get people thinking along the right lines and intended to initiate a discussion.

A lot of the discussion for this is taking place on the Discord group (#4th-age-sna) so if you’re interested in taking part either post below or come and join in.

Points to note:

Feel free to suggest totally new ones
Feel free to suggest modifications to the ones I’ve put up (if I can edit my post I’ll update the list accordingly)
Feel free to suggest costings - this I’ve left completely blank as they make a huge difference between something being considered overpowered and something never being picked as it’s too expensive.
Don’t feel free to simply criticise - keep it constructive and come up with alternative ideas if specific ones below aren’t to your liking.

The intention is to distil the list down to a reasonable number (probably 20) which most of us broadly agree on with acceptable costings. To do this I’ll hold a poll where people can vote for, say, their top 5, and then amalgamate the votes accordingly to give a ‘most popular’ result. Then we can hope Clint actions them…

SNA # Ability Cost
1 Nominate an existing non-Champion character to be a champion (bringing your starting total to 3)
2 All Guard (605/610) orders performed at double skill rank
3 -10 to Agent skill for characters attempting to use kidnap/assassinate orders against this nation
4 This nation may use the 496 ‘Build Road’ Order
5 Armies of this nation automatically perform a Recon at the end of their turn (order 925)
6 InfOthr (order 525) actions against this nation reduce loyalty by 5 points less than usual
7 40 skill points may be allocated when using order 725 (Name Character), subject to a maximum of 30 skill in any one area
8 Emissaries may double any character from another nation
9 Armies consisting solely of light troops get +2 movement points
10 May use (new) order 458 ‘Build barges’. Barges cost 500g/timber, may be built on a port or harbour and can carry a maximum of 100 foot soldiers or 50 cavalry. Barges enable armies to utilise naval movement on major and minor rivers. Such movement will be stopped by PCs with fortifications or enemy armies.
11 Characters may move 14 hexes per turn
12 Mage skill is doubled for the purpose of learning spells
13 Pop centres are more likely to report the presence of foreign characters
14 Kidnapped characters will commit suicide if held for more than 2-6 turns
15 If an army commander is killed and there is no backup there is a 50% chance a new commander will step up to take charge (C30). The nation must still pay 5000 gold for this to be successful.
16 Loyalty is neither lost nor gained as a consequence of tax rates, or changes thereof.
17 All pop centres gain +1 loyalty per turn.
18 Create/Improve pop centres (Orders 550/555) actioned at +20 to emissary skill.
19 Influencing done at +20 to Emissary rank (orders 520/525)
20 Commanders issue Threat orders (498) at +20 to Command skill.
21 PCs with Fortifications gain a recon at the end of every turn. Skill is equal to fortification rank x 20 (Tower=20, Fort=30 etc)
22 Plains Hexes generate 20% more mounts and leather
23 Forest Hexes generate 30% more timber
24 Armies may move onto mountain hexes for 2 less movement
25 Characters lost at sea have a chance of saving themselves, returning to the nearest land hex.
26 Militia are more effective against enemy agent actions and may also interfere with enemy emissary actions.
27 Agents issuing a steal order (685/690) do so at +20 to their normal skill.
28 All character skill gains are +1
29 All troops fight at 110% in one nominated terrain type
30 Mage srying spells have no distance limitation and are cast with +20 to the Mage’s skill rank.
31 Armies of this nation gain +5 morale per turn
32 Armour of the nominated type acts twice as effectively as normal
33 (Elves only). Archers have +2 Strength
34 (Dwarves only). Heavy Infantry has +2 Defence but suffers a -1 movement penalty
35 Light cavalry pays 1 less movement point per hex than usual, subject to a minimum of 1
36 (DS only) Armies without food may move at normal speed but lose 10% of their numbers when doing so
37 Ship defence is 4
38 Ship defence is 5
39 This nation may build fortifications and roads at half the normal gold/timber cost
40 Your troops may move directly from 1 mountain hex to another at a cost of 14 movement points and a 10% loss of manpower and morale.
41 Your non-cavalry armies may cross major rivers at a cost of 14 movement points and a 10% loss of manpower and morale
42 You may improve pop centres by 2 levels in one turn. Each improve order will still need to be issued by a different emissary.
43 Your nation gains access to the (new) order 590 Uncover Nation Info. Type - Emissary, level hard. This order may only be performed by an emissary on an enemy nation population centre and will reveal all of that nations selected SNAs and may reveal current tax rate, loyalty of that pop centre and the size/location of any hidden pop centres owned by that nation.
44 Your nation gains access to the (new) miscellaneous Command order 492 ‘Build barricades’ which allows temporary fortifications to be erected on the hex occupied by the commander issuing the order and all surrounding ones (to a maximum of 7). For each selected hex 500 gold and 500 timber must be paid from stores. Barricades last 1-3 turns and stop enemy army movement on that hex. Once an army has been stopped that barricade is removed from play.
45 When your nation destroys a population centre your treasury gains 1000 gold for every rank of that PC (1000 for camp, 2000 for village etc)
46 Gain the ability to learn the (new) Lore spell 431 ‘Reveal Companions’ (hard). Cast upon a named character, if they are within 12 hexes it will reveal whether they are in an army or a company, whether or not they are in charge of that army or company and the names of any other characters who might be with that army or company.
47 Gain the ability to learn the (new) Lore spell 433 ‘Reveal Enemy’ (hard). Cast upon a pop centre within 12 hexes of the Mage it will function as a Scout for Characters with an effective rank of the Mage’s skill +20.
48 Mage defensive spells confer 50% more protection.
49 Mage offensive spells deliver 50% more damage.
50 Gain the ability to learn the (new) Defensive spell ‘Counterspell’ (hard). Cast upon a named character, if they are within 12 hexes and attempt to cast a spell it is cancelled with no effect.
51 Gain access to the (new) order 726 ‘Name Champion’. Costs 25000 gold and allows you to name a new champion character with up to 40 skill points to be distributed across the skills (maximum of 30 in any one area). This order may only be used if you have fewer champion characters than you started the game with.

Comments and thoughts please…

Rob

1 Like

40 Gain access to the New order 590 Uncover Nation Info - Type Emissary, Difficulty Hard, Order Code - UNCNAT, Required Info - Nation ID and type of information. The type of information can be Tax rate, Hidden |PC, Capital, etc. The emissary must be on an enemy PC to give this order.
41 Access to a new New Spell - Super Scry (Hard) which gives 19 hexes (2 away from the central hex)
42 Access to a new New Spell - Artifact search (Average) - similar to a scry but will just give a symbol in a hex if an artifact is present there but no army or PC info. Could belong to a character or be an uncovered hidden one.
43 Access to New order 729 - Name Champion. This costs 25k and the new character can be 40 points spread over their stats. The Champion can only be named if you have fewer than your allowed number of Champion characters (which in FA is 2). Note this absorbs SNA 7 within it and combines with the eternal Champion idea.
44 Access to New order 438 - TRAIN MILITIA - Type - Command Misc, Difficulty - Average, Order Code TRNMIL, Required Info - None. This order allows for the militia on a PC to improve the reports of enemy characters on the PC that turn and helps prevent against agent actions for that turn. The idea behind this is that single command skill characters have a second useful ability they can use when recruiting on a PC.
45 Access to New fortification type Barricades. These require 500 timber and are errected like a normal fortification. They have only a minor defensive capability (say 100) but will stop an enemy army from moving through the hex but are destroyed in the process.

Many good proposed SNAs here. Here are a couple I think that will realy impact the game:

Mountain dwellers:
Your troops may move from one mountain hex directly to another. Costs 14MPs This will make mountain hexes somewhat less defendable and realy change the dynamics around the mountain ranges

Rafters:
Your non-cav armies may cross major rivers from any of your PCs without needing a bridge. It cost 14 MPs. (Maybe 25% lost troops too?)

Master builders:
You may improve PCs any number of levels in one turn (need as many emis as levels…)

Martin

Rather than a new SNA a small cost to put starting characters into the starting army would be nice.

Rob - so many great ideas in your list!!!
I will say that beyond implementation, the hard part will be balancing SNA cost.
Also, what about more than 4 SNAs? I think a max of 6 should be considered. I can see putting together a nation design that had multiple of the lower costs army SNAs plus Hire Armies Fee (for example)

Things I love:

  • SNAs that make combat mages actually interesting to consider
  • terrain movement SNAS (cross river/mtns)
  • SNA that gives a chance to pull C30 out of the ranks in an army that loses its sole commander. May I suggest a modification to this one? I think army morale should play a heavy role in chance of success, maybe even be the chance of success. i.e. a 100morale army would promote someone for sure (presuming 5kgold). Agree it should cost 5k gold.

Ones I’m less fond of are the ones that diminish character play. If we wanted just a wargame, we wouldn’t play MEPBM. the character play is a huge part of it. So making InfOthr and other character actions significantly less effective seems broken. The game already is tilted toward rapid military deployment as the way to win. These SNAs further that tilt.

Overall, super creative and definitely shows a thorough knowledge of the game. well done.

OK - rather annoyingly it appears I only get 1 edit of the original post. I’ll see what I can do to change that, but in the meantime here’s the updated list (this one just includes some new suggestions/ideas at the bottom rather than tweaking anything already on the list).

Something that does need to be stressed - the introduction of any new SNAs is, in my mind at least, dependent on the SNA limit for each nation being lifted or abolished (it’s currently a maximum of 4). I am hugely in favour of maximum customisation!

There have been some great ideas but it’s probably time now to draw the suggestions to a close and start thinking about costs - this is the truly difficult thing to get right as they are the balancing mechanism. Use the existing SNA costs as a guideline and give it your best shot - I’ll update the list with another column containing suggestions or averages (depending on how many people participate).

Get stuck in :grinning:

SNA # Ability Cost
1 Nominate an existing non-Champion character to be a champion (bringing your starting total to 3)
2 All Guard (605/610) orders performed at double skill rank
3 -10 to Agent skill for characters attempting to use kidnap/assassinate orders against this nation
4 This nation may use the 496 ‘Build Road’ Order
5 Armies of this nation automatically perform a Recon at the end of their turn (order 925)
6 InfOthr (order 525) actions against this nation reduce loyalty by 5 points less than usual
7 40 skill points may be allocated when using order 725 (Name Character), subject to a maximum of 30 skill in any one area
8 Emissaries may double any character from another nation
9 Armies consisting solely of light troops get +2 movement points
10 May use (new) order 458 ‘Build barges’. Barges cost 500g/timber, may be built on a port or harbour and can carry a maximum of 100 foot soldiers or 50 cavalry. Barges enable armies to utilise naval movement on major and minor rivers. Such movement will be stopped by PCs with fortifications or enemy armies.
11 Characters may move 14 hexes per turn
12 Mage skill is doubled for the purpose of learning spells
13 Pop centres are more likely to report the presence of foreign characters
14 Kidnapped characters will commit suicide if held for more than 2-6 turns
15 If an army commander is killed and there is no backup there is a 50% chance a new commander will step up to take charge (C30). The nation must still pay 5000 gold for this to be successful.
16 Loyalty is neither lost nor gained as a consequence of tax rates, or changes thereof.
17 All pop centres gain +1 loyalty per turn.
18 Create/Improve pop centres (Orders 550/555) actioned at +20 to emissary skill.
19 Influencing done at +20 to Emissary rank (orders 520/525)
20 Commanders issue Threat orders (498) at +20 to Command skill.
21 PCs with Fortifications gain a recon at the end of every turn. Skill is equal to fortification rank x 20 (Tower=20, Fort=30 etc)
22 Plains Hexes generate 20% more mounts and leather
23 Forest Hexes generate 30% more timber
24 Armies may move onto mountain hexes for 2 less movement
25 Characters lost at sea have a chance of saving themselves, returning to the nearest land hex.
26 Militia are more effective against enemy agent actions and may also interfere with enemy emissary actions.
27 Agents issuing a steal order (685/690) do so at +20 to their normal skill.
28 All character skill gains are +1
29 All troops fight at 110% in one nominated terrain type
30 Mage srying spells have no distance limitation and are cast with +20 to the Mage’s skill rank.
31 Armies of this nation gain +5 morale per turn
32 Armour of the nominated type acts twice as effectively as normal
33 (Elves only). Archers have +2 Strength
34 (Dwarves only). Heavy Infantry has +2 Defence but suffers a -1 movement penalty
35 Light cavalry pays 1 less movement point per hex than usual, subject to a minimum of 1
36 (DS only) Armies without food may move at normal speed but lose 10% of their numbers when doing so
37 Ship defence is 4
38 Ship defence is 5
39 This nation may build fortifications and roads at half the normal gold/timber cost
40 Your troops may move directly from 1 mountain hex to another at a cost of 14 movement points and a 10% loss of manpower and morale.
41 Your non-cavalry armies may cross major rivers at a cost of 14 movement points and a 10% loss of manpower and morale
42 You may improve pop centres by 2 levels in one turn. Each improve order will still need to be issued by a different emissary.
43 Your nation gains access to the (new) order 590 Uncover Nation Info. Type - Emissary, level hard. This order may only be performed by an emissary on an enemy nation population centre and will reveal all of that nations selected SNAs and may reveal current tax rate, loyalty of that pop centre and the size/location of any hidden pop centres owned by that nation.
44 Your nation gains access to the (new) miscellaneous Command order 492 ‘Build barricades’ which allows temporary fortifications to be erected on the hex occupied by the commander issuing the order and all surrounding ones (to a maximum of 7). For each selected hex 500 gold and 500 timber must be paid from stores. Barricades last 1-3 turns and stop enemy army movement on that hex. Once an army has been stopped that barricade is removed from play.
45 When your nation destroys a population centre your treasury gains 1000 gold for every rank of that PC (1000 for camp, 2000 for village etc)
46 Gain the ability to learn the (new) Lore spell 431 ‘Reveal Companions’ (hard). Cast upon a named character, if they are within 12 hexes it will reveal whether they are in an army or a company, whether or not they are in charge of that army or company and the names of any other characters who might be with that army or company.
47 Gain the ability to learn the (new) Lore spell 433 ‘Reveal Enemy’ (hard). Cast upon a pop centre within 12 hexes of the Mage it will function as a Scout for Characters with an effective rank of the Mage’s skill +20.
48 Mage defensive spells confer 50% more protection.
49 Mage offensive spells deliver 50% more damage.
50 Gain the ability to learn the (new) Defensive spell ‘Counterspell’ (hard). Cast upon a named character, if they are within 12 hexes and attempt to cast a spell it is cancelled with no effect.
51 Gain access to the (new) order 726 ‘Name Champion’. Costs 25000 gold and allows you to name a new champion character with up to 40 skill points to be distributed across the skills (maximum of 30 in any one area). This order may only be used if you have fewer champion characters than you started the game with.
52 Mages casting the spell Scry Area (415) will view an additional ring of hexes around that provided by the original ability (an additional 12 hexes)
53 Allows you to specify which hexes your characters start on (must be within 3 hexes of your capital). Additionally, if you began the game with one or more armies, you may specify which characters command those armies and you may also allocate other characters to travel with each force if wanted.
54 Allows you to subdivide your starting army into any number of separate forces and the starting pop centres of each of them (they must begin the game on one of your existing pop centres). You must have sufficient number of characters with command skill to lead each army and the applicable characters will be assigned randomly to each separate force.
55 You may perform ‘capital only’ orders at any one of your MTs or Cities.
56 Mage healing spells add to the current health of the character until the end of the turn. This may take the character over 100 health.
57 A nominated character with mage skill gains an additional order slot that may only be used for casting the spell Research Artifact (412). This is considered totally independent of any other actions the mage may take so the character could, theoretically, cast 2 Research Artifact spells in 1 turn with no penalty.
58 Your light troops are always considered fed.
59 For every 1000 light troops in an army (rounded down) that army will create 1 War Machine per turn. Once created the WM is subject to the usual maintenance costs.
60 Your orders will always be processed ahead of any other player that hasn’t chosen this SNA.
61 Move Turn Map (Order 942) may be issued by any character and the map may be moved by an additional hex in any direction.
62 Move Turn Map (Order 942) may be issued by any character and the map may be moved by an additional 2 hexes in any direction.

Rob

Many thanks for your supportive comments!

I take on board your feelings about reducing the character game - but I’ve tried to provide a huge spread of ideas, many of which enhance or strengthen the role of characters (such as the obvious counterpart to your concern with making InfOthr less effective - there’s a suggested SNA that gives +20 to Emissary skill to perform that very action…). The idea is to simply provide a hugely improved degree of customisation which will enable players to make some truly unique nation designs to play to their own strengths and interests - or simply try something wacky for fun.

Inevitably if the whole list were to be taken and implemented (which it won’t be, but bear with me) there would - just as inevitably - be some ‘broken’ combos which just worked too well. Kind of like naming agents at 40 and also having +20 to kidnap/assassinate. It would take some time for them to be found and perfected but they’d be there. To that end I’d really also like the SNAs to be monitored and adjusted as needed. SNA X being chosen a lot? Fine… raise it’s price incrementally by 1000 until it stops being the SNA of choice. Conversely, lower the price of lesser used ones. Nearly every game should have something slightly different available making each one potentially a unique experience. Hell, that’s my thought anyway - probably so much pie in the sky, but a guy’s got to dream, right?

Thanks again for your input.

Rob

1 Like

Please consider my comment on army morale mattering on whether the promote a C30 from ranks thing succeeds. A high morale army should be much more difficult to dissipate and a low morale army should be much easier.

Also can people bear in mind that the setup spreadsheet would need to be recoded for some of these SNAs and there’s a poor unpaid person who does that. SNAs that change the setup are possible but will be work to code into the setup.