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A players contribution, taken off our recently-archived message boards
This time I shall be examining an aspect of Coppertwaddle that confuses many players at the outset, but is a tremendously powerful tool in one's route to victory: the ability of the higher Threlms to give a strength bonus to another similarly-ranked Threlm in your playing area (Domain).
This ability is commonly referred to as 'bestowal' and is only usable during the Robbing phase of any player's turn but, as a Threlm ability, either player may make use of this gift to affect the outcome of a Robbing attempt. However, bestowing goes beyond simply adding a number to another number, as we shall see.
The following explanatory notes originate from the second issue of the early 1980s UK gaming magazine IMAGINATION, which reached the lofty heights of 12 issues before being discontinued; some blame the economic climate at the time, though I personally blame the rise of the 48K Sinclair Spectrum!
(taken from IMAGINATION Issue 2, March 1983. Author: Fraser Chatsmith)
The primary utilisation of bestowing is to boost a Threlm's power. For a robbing player, this is seldom used, as the bestowing Threlm will always contribute more as a Robber itself than it can ever 'bestow' to other Robbers in the same Domain.
With Father Time proud, the Noble rank offers a potential Robbing value (RV) of 10, whilst using his ability will reduce this to 5.
Similarly, a fully-utilised Peasant rank affords an RV of 10, whilst a bestowed Spleen reduces this to 4.
However, consider the situation where a high-power Noble has been made a Peasant with Of A Bastard Line. As a Peasant (now), it cannot participate directly, as a Robber, in the robbing of a Noble Threlm from your opponent, but its ability still applies to 'any other Noble…in your Domain', thus it can still provide a boost if required.
Even though Father Time has been made a Peasant (with Of A Bastard Line), he can still boost the Noble RV from 13 to 14 (Spleen is currently a Noble thanks to A Long Climb).
Similarly, Spleen can still boost a Peasant RV from 7 to 10, if required.
In defence, bestowal allows Threlms not adjacent to the target of robbing, to boost the power of either the target or another supporting Threlm, thus boosting the defensive total. Most often, this scenario is used by high-power Peasant Threlms to boost the supporting Peasant beneath a targeted Noble.
The Leper's defensive value (DV) is initially 11, thanks to adjacency support from Father Time, Trepaner, and Lecturn. However, using Spleen to bestow a bonus of 3 to Lecturn further boosts The Leper's DV to 14
This, however, is not the most common defensive use of bestowal. As long as a player has more than one Threlm of the appropriate rank in their domain, his/her opponent will be unable to rob any bestowal Threlms until they either divisor the Threlm, or remove valid beneficiaries of this ability from the Domain, i.e. you've got to get a bestowal Threlm on his own before you can pinch him!
Although Father Time seems vulnerable, he can boost his DV to 9 with the assistance of Mount Ararat, but he cannot use his ability to escape a Robbing altogether. However, Mount Ararat is secured by the existence of Father Time (to which he can bestow +3); in addition, Spleen may turn to his fellow Peasant, the Mount, in times of Robbing trouble!
An interesting, if difficult to achieve, situation can arise when one player utilises bestowal Threlms to boost the power of The Leper, thus bringing larger prey into this diseased individual's range of destruction. In fact, it is a most satisfying moment, when one is able to 'infect and destroy' your opponent's Bentham Fish or Spleen!
The Leper, blessed with a birthday and boons from both Mount Ararat and a Peasant Hemlock, is now an angry Power of 9 during this particular Robbing; woe betide any opponent's Fish!
In a recent match with a fellow Twaddler, I was able to restrict his ability to rob my Nobles by constantly boosting the Leper during the robbing phase forcing him to protect his Old Hag by covering both it and The Curmudgeon (which he also had in his Domain) - this delay was enough to buy me valuable turns to play Threlms and re-enforce both Domain and my hand of cards.
Of course, it is all very well being the benefactor, but what recourse is there for the innocent victims of this benevolent oppression? Coppertwaddle provides a number of tools in the fight against unwarranted generosity:
More commonly recognised as Compass, The Wheel, Capstan, and Sextant, these popular Favours negate completely a Threlm's special ability, rendering Bestowal useless! They also provide a short route to isolating a bestowal Threlm in advance of Robbing it, because it will no longer be able to 'cover' for protection.
What better way to remove a bestowal from the Robbing equation than to, well, remove him from the equation! Beware a surprise 100 Buttons, or an unheeded Inverse Du Capitaine.