In essence, my thinking would be to double up all VPs, so that a Strategy was worth 8, and schemes were each worth 4, making a total of 16 available VPs in a game, allowing for more differentiation of scores. This would allow for greater balance between the difficulty of various objectives. When a Scheme can only be worth 1 or 2 VPs, it's impossible to reward the disparate difficulty levels of the different objectives.
- Strategies to remain unchanged, but all VPs for victory conditions be doubled.
- Each Scheme be worth 4VPs.
- Each Scheme to contain an objective worth 2VP, and a sub-objective worth 1VP.
- Each Scheme to be worth an additional 1VP if announced.
1) The current schemes are not balanced against each other. Some are easy to the point of being free VPs, and some are downright impossible or unrealistic to aim for. There's some argument for the fact that you can challenge yourself by taking harder schemes if that is your wish, but this is just as attainable by having two goals within each scheme, and easy objective and a hard objective. If you want to challenge yourself, you can aim for the full 16 points by trying for the full points for both schemes, or you can settle for just half points for completing the easier objective.
2) At present, it does not benefit you enough to choose to keep your scheme secret. Every time you choose not to announce, you deny yourself one-eighth of your available VPs, and therefore make the game that much harder to win. Announcing schemes is almost always the sensible thing to do, instead of it being a viable tactical decision. Many schemes are not made more difficult by announcing, so doubling the reward is unfair. When the "Announce bonus" is reduced to only a quarter of the Scheme's total points, it becomes less of an auto-take, and we might start seeing secret schemes being played, not to mention a bit of characterful subterfuge, which would be way more interesting!
3) In contrast, some schemes are only realistically achiveable when kept secret. Take Grudge for example, which invariably ends up with the target minion self sacrificing. My only chance to complete Grudge in a competitive setting is to keep it a secret.By reducing the penalty to only 1VP, it becomes a viable scheme again.
Here's what I'd do with the General Schemes list:
I believe the same idea can be applied to the Faction and Master specific schemes. I might come back to them later, but I thought I'd throw it open to people on the forums for their input.
I don't believe any of the above Schemes are overly complicated to keep track of, or to tally up at the end of the game. Compared to a game like Warhammer which might require percentage calculations of destroyed units, totalling up of 1000s of points values of deceased models, etc, I think it's still incredibly simple.
What do you think?