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    Mar 2nd, 2015 at 14:59:16     -    Brigandine - The Legend of Forsena (PS)

    History - The game was developed by Hearty Robin in 2 April 1998, Japan. It is a role-playing game for PlayStation platform, a North America version was created in October 31 1998 by Atlus. In 2000 a new version of the game was developed by Hearty Robin, it was called Brigandine: Grand Edition. In this version, it was added multiplayer features where could be played with in the maximum 6 players, which one controlling one nation.

    Game Features - It is a turn based game, where nations are battling to control the world. The game is basically divided into two modes, the battle mode, and the preparation mode, they will be better explained later. There are six nation to choose, each nation has a position on the map. Each nation has its captains, and each captain has their own skills to be used in the battle mode. Each nation has their own qualities and weaknesses, it is a rock, paper, scissors rule, where one nation is really good against other; And it is really bad against another one. The map is design with road and castles, each nation starts with a set of castles in the map; And their main goal is to dominate all
    the castles in the map. In order to dominate one castle, a nation has to attack it and win the battle mode. Each nation has some captains and troops, the nation has to organize its troops into their castles in order to defend their castles and to acquire other castles.

    Map Design - There are basic two maps in the game, the preparation map where all the castles are described; And the battle map, where the battles happen. Basically, the preparation map is a map simulation a real world. It has roads and its castles, in order to attack an castle the nation has to have a road connecting both castles. A nation can move their troops between castles in each stage. Those stages are counting as days in the game, so each day a nation can attack castles that are linked with its castle, or it can move their troops between castles, and it also can be attacked by other nations. Choosing the right path to attack and defend is a clever choice is this game, there are not enough troops to defend all castles; So, it is needed a good strategy in order to block the roads with a few castles.

    Characters in Battle mode =>

    Captain: In the game it is called rune Knight, it is the knight of chess to Brigandine game. The battle ends when it dies, so the troops has to protect him or her in order to win. Each rune Knight can lead a certain amount of troops in the battle, it means that a weaker captain may have more troops than a stronger captain(stats compassion). The captain has normal stats as in RPG games like experience, hit point, and mana. As higher its level more troops it can lead, and its skills can deal more damage. Different from troops captains do not have
    permanent death.

    Troops: Troops are types of monster like dragons, ghouls, and fairies. They also have the normal stats like hit points, experience, and etc. However, they change their form when they hit level 10 and 20(maximum level is 30). So, they have a basic type of classes in each character; Where the player can chose with monster it will become. Moreover, each of them has its own weaknesses and strengths. The troops can be crafted into each castle using mana, each nation earn an amount of mana per day depending how many castles they have in that day. They have permanent death, it means if one dragon died in battle you lost it, which make really hard to put your troops at maximum level.


    Two phases of the game =>

    Prepare Phase - This phase is divided by days as said before, each nation can choose adjacent castles to attack, and to move troops between its own castles. It is a pure strategy phase, where players are choosing the best location to defend and attack the enemies player. It is a battle for territory control, and it is one of the most important roles in the game. There are places with is better to be because there are less routes going to that castle, which means that the player can organize its troops in order to protect these routes. If a nation attacks and castle that is empty is automatically take it to itself, but if there are monsters protecting the castle a battle is start(battle map).

    Battle mode: The battle mode is a simulation of the castle battles, so each castle has its different battle map. The map is divided into a hexagonal grid, where each unit occupies one. Some maps have water that normal monsters cannot pass thought, but flier monsters can. The battle is turn based, so each turn a player can move its units and attack the other player or computer's units. The battle can finish in two ways, the rune knight being killed or by retreat. A nation can always choose to retreat in his turn, when retreating there is a chance to the other nation capture some of your units. Moreover, if you rune knight dies and still having alive troops they are all captured by the winner nation. In the end of the battle mode, every alive unit earns experience. In each battle mode, a maximum of the rune knights is allowed. So, the battle finish when all them are dead. If one rune knight dies, and troops that are lead by him stop to move, and there is a chance to the other nation capture it.

    Game Story - There are some stories in the single player mode, where nation are friendly(they can do alliances). And, there are a lot of cut scenes explaining about each rune knights. However, that is definitely not a game to count upon the story line. It is a game, that focus on the strategy side of the RPG. Where, the player feels in a medium age war controlling a whole nation and its troops in order to raise its empire.

    Game Strategy - There are a bunch of strategy elements on the game as said before, the preparation phase requires a good understanding of the opponents and the map itself. The battle phases, requires good chooses to move your troops and protect the captain. The game is pure strategy, choosing how to move your troops around and trying to find the weakest point of the enemy nation in order to raise your empire.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Mar 2nd, 2015 at 15:08:13.

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    Feb 10th, 2015 at 17:46:21     -    Truco (Other)

    Truco - Brazilian Card Game


    Introduction:

    Truco is one of the most popular card games in Brazil, it might be played with two or four players. The main goal is to get 15 points before the other player or team, more about the rules will be explained in the rules section. Truco is not played only in Brazil, it is mostly played in south America. Moreover, other countries as Spain, Italy and France also play this game. Some theories say that Truco is a derivation from a game created in France called Truc. However, it is not very clear how Truco was created. There are some different types of Truco all over the world, this log will explain the Brazilian version.


    Rules:

    Deck: The game is played with a French deck, and the cards 8, 9, 10, and jokers are not used.

    Players: It can be played with 2 or 4 players, basically singles or doubles. Each player cannot see the other players hand, but they can communicate using signals to let their partner know his or her cards. In this log, all examples will be shown as a 4 players game because it is the most popular type, and all rules also can applied to 2 players game.

    Cards Ranking: The cards are ranked in crescent order as follows (4,5,6,7,Queen,Jack,King,Ace,2,3), where 3 is the highest and 4 the lowest, the card's suit does not matter. Moreover there is a card in the game that is called "The Joker", this card is higher than every other card in this sequence, note that the "joker" in this game is not the joker's card. The joker is chose every turn depending on a card that is draw, basically every single turn a new joker is chose. Different from normal cards, the joker's suit matters in order to choose the winner card. And its sequence is (Diamond, Spade, Heart, Club), where club is the highest, and Diamond is the lowest. The joker's choosing process will be more explained on the examples.

    Points: The winner of each turn(mini game) earn points, a normal turn gives the winner team/player 1 point. However, the teams could increase this value to 3 calling "Truco". Every time that a team calls "Truco", the turn points is increased by 3. So if one team call "Truco" and win the turn, it would get 3 points instead of 1. More than 1 "Truco" call can be called in the same turn, but they need to be divided between the teams. A same team cannot call "Truco" twice in sequence, team 1 needs to call "Truco" then team 2 calls "Truco"(Turn holding 6 points) and now team 1 can call "Truco" again. This rule will be more clear in the game example, where we call this turns mini games because every minigame has 3 turns. So in order to make it simpler, it will be called mini game.

    Dealing cards: The dealer has to give 3 cards for each player, the dealer shuffle the cards and gives to his or her left player cut the deck. After the cut, the dealer is going to draw a card that will be the card used to choose the joker, which was explained in the cards ranking section. This card is placed in the center of the table faced up, and the card right above to this card in the ranking scale is the joker in this turn, example: drew card is a 7 of diamond(suit does not matter), the joker will be the Queen that is the card right above 7 in the ranking sequence. After choose the joker, the dealer will give one card by one card to all players following an anticlockwise pattern.

    Turns: Each turn could be called a mini game as told before, so each winner of a mini game earn x points(x points depending on "Truco" calls). Every mini game is a best of 3 turns, each turn all players need to play 1 card, the winner of the turn is the team/player that played the highest card in the sequence counting with the "Jokers", which are the highest cards in the turn. So, the winner of 2 turn is the winner for the mini game summing x points to total team's points.

    Game ending: The game ends when a team gets 15 points; In order to get those points the team/player has to win mini games, and in order to win the mini games the team has to win the 2 of the 3 turns of the mini game.

    Truco: Every time that a team/player calls "Truco" the other team can either accept or decline the call, if the team accept the turn(mini game) will be counting 3, if the team decline the call the other team gets the mini game points counting in that instant. Every time that a "Truco" is called, the mini game points is increased by 3 except the first call that is increased only 2.


    Example: T1 = Team 1 | T2 = Team 2 | (T1, Truco) = Truco called by team 1 | p = mini game total points(as the pot in the poker) =>

    Game start p = 1
    (T1,Truco) p = 1
    T2 Accept p = 3
    (T2, Truco) p = 3
    T1 Accept p = 6
    (T1, Truco) p = 6
    T2 Decline

    Team 1 gets 6 points from this turn(mini game).


    Game Example: In this section, it will describe an example of the game play for 1 mini game.


    Team 1: Player 1 and Player 4
    Team 2: Player 2 and Player 3

    d = Diamond q = Queen
    c = Club j = Jack
    h = Heart k = King
    s = Spade a = Ace

    ==================================================================================================

    Turn 0 - Dealing cards and joker

    Player 1 = ([k,c],[q,s],[a,h]) *
    Player 2 = ([4,d],[3,s],[k,d])
    Player 3 = ([j,h],[2,d],[k,h])
    Player 4 = ([5,s],[7,d],[k,s])



    () = Represents the player's hand.
    [x,y] = Represents one card, where x = card's value and y = card's suit.
    * = Represents the dealer in this turn.
    - The card [j,d] is the drew card to determine the joker, in this case the joker is all king cards.

    ===================================================================================================

    Turn 1

    Player 1 = ([q,s],[a,h]) *
    Player 2 = ([3,s],[k,d])
    Player 3 = ([j,h],[k,h])
    Player 4 = ([7,d],[k,s])

    Table cards: {[4,d],[5,s],[2,d],{[k,c]}


    {} = Represents the cards played in this turn in order, note that the first player was the next one from the dealer in a anticlockwise pattern, in this example Player 2.
    -Team 1 won this turn, with player 1 highest card [k,c]. Note that this card is a joker, that's why is higher than [2,d].

    ==============================================================================================

    Turn 2

    Player 1 = ([a,h]) *
    Player 2 = ([k,d])
    Player 3 = ([j,h])
    Player 4 = ([7,d])


    Table cards: {[q,s],[3,s],[k,s],{[k,h]}


    -How player 1 played the highest card in the last turn, he has to start on this turn.
    -The highest card on this turn was [k,h] played by Player 3, so Team 2 won the turn. By now the mini game is tied 1 for both teams.

    ==============================================================================================
    Turn 3

    Player 1 = () *
    Player 2 = ([a,h])
    Player 3 = ([k,d])
    Player 4 = ([7,d])

    Table cards: {[j,h]}

    Player 1 calls Truco

    Team 2 Accept call

    Player 1 = () *
    Player 2 = ()
    Player 3 = ()
    Player 4 = ()


    Table cards: {[j,h],[a,h],[k,d],{[7,d]}


    -Player 3 is the first on this turn, he starts playing the card [j,h], so player 1 see a chance to call "Truco" because he has a card higher than him. So he calls "Truco", then Team 2 could accept and the mini game would be counting 3 points or they could decline and team 1 would get 1 point. However, They accepted the call because player 2 has a joker of diamond in hand, and knowing that the joker of club was already played he is pretty sure that he has the highest card on the game.
    -So as told before, the highest card on this turn was [k,d]. And team 2 won the mini game adding 3 points to their total points. This process is repeated until a team gets 15 points.




    Strategies:

    Truco is a turn based card game, some of its strategies are similar to poker. You can bluff calling a "Truco" when you do not have a good card, and even though get the points. There is also strategy that involve the player's time to play, if player one start playing and he knows that the other player in his team is going to play a high card is better he plays a card with low value. However it may be trick some times, as the game showed above, the team 1 has ([k,c] and [k,s]) cards against the team 2 ([k,d] and [k,h]). In theory team 1 has higher cards than team 2, but team 2 won the mini game because they knew how to play the cards in the right time(second turn [k,h] was higher than [k,s]), which means that team 1 wasted a joker for nothing. It is basically a game where you have to play as a team, and make sure that you are playing the cards in the right time.



    Additional rules:

    - Truco cannot be called when 1 team has 14 points.
    - When both teams has 14 points the players have to play their cards without see them. This turn is called Dark Hand(maybe the translation is not that good, sorry).



    This entry has been edited 7 times. It was last edited on Feb 10th, 2015 at 18:52:31.

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