Differences between the 1982 Titan rules and older versions

Last updated on August 5, 2001.

For more information on Titan see my Titan Home Page.

Below is an updated version of a usenet posting made by Jim Bolland. It is posted here with his permission. (The markup was provided by a third party, as a fix to some long lines in the original text I received from Jim. Two different people sent me markup fixes and I tweaked one set to work with my stuff here.)

Differences Between Titan Versions

(This is a re-organized version of a usenet posting I made in August 1999.)

Gorgonstar published the original Titan in 1980 and the Battlelands supplement for Titan in 1981. Avalon Hill published its version of Titan in 1982. The Battlelands supplement turned the original Titan into almost what the Avalon Hill version is. Following are lists of the differences between the original Titan, the original Titan plus the Battlelands supplement, and Avalon Hill's Titan. I have attempted to list all significant differences (and a few cosmetic ones.) As far as I know this comparison is complete, but I might have missed some things. Any questions or comments are welcome.

Differences between the original Titan [1980] and Battlelands Titan [1981]:

1) This is the Masterchart for the original Titan:
Tower:     Gargoyle OR Centaur OR Ogre
Mountains: 2 Lion -> 3 Minotaur -> 1 Dragon
Hills:     3 Ogre -> 1 Minotaur
Swamp:     3 Troll -> 1 Wyvern
Marsh:     2 Ogre -> 1 Troll
Tundra:    2 Troll -> 3 Warbear -> 1 Giant
Woods:     3 Centaur -> 1 Warbear
Desert:    3 Lion -> 1 Wyvern
Plains:    2 Centaur -> 1 Lion
Jungle:    2 Gargoyle -> 3 Cyclops -> 1 Behemoth
Brush:     3 Gargoyle -> 1 Cyclops
Note that all Creatures native to Brush and/or Jungle are found only in Brush and/or Jungle in the Masterchart.

Note also that Wyverns are the only intermediate dead end in the Masterchart. The "Never mind about Giants and Dragons" strategy didn't work as well when collecting Wyverns instead of Hydras.

Archangels, Colossi, Gorgons, Griffons, Guardians, Hydras, Rangers, Serpents, Unicorns, and Warlocks were added in Battlelands Titan.

2) The original Titan has no mulligan on the first roll of the game. The mulligan was added in the Battlelands supplement.

3) In the original Titan, a 7 Creatures legion may not move. In Battlelands Titan a 7 Creature legion may move (but may not recruit more Creatures.)

4) The original Titan uses Battleboards, not Battlelands. Each Battleboard has 3 hexes on the attacker's side and 2 hexes on the defender's side with terrain features in some of the hexes. They are sort of like miniature Battleboards. Battlelands for each terrain were added in Battlelands Titan. In my opinion the Battlelands make the game better and, unfortunately, longer.

5) The original Titan has no Range Strikes.

6) Flying Creatures had much less advantage on the Battleboards (original Titan) than on the Battlelands (Battlelands Titan).

7) The original Titan has something called the Reckoning. In the Reckoning one player (the Beckoner) is the attacker in a battle against all other players COMBINED on a special Battleboard with space for up to five defenders. The Battlelands Titan rules suggest that the Reckoning was intended to shorten the game. It may have shortened the game, but only a little. In my experience, once a player got to the point where they thought they could take on everyone at once, they were either very wrong or they were more than powerful enough a while back. In the second case the game had actually gone on longer than it needed to.

8) Water based ink! The original game came with instructions that strongly suggested that all the parts be sprayed with hairspray to seal them. I followed those directions and I've never had any problems. The Battlelands supplement pieces were screened with oil based ink - no problem.

Differences between Battlelands Titan [1981] and Avalon Hill's Titan (AH Titan) [1982]:

1) The AH Titan rules are much easier to read. The original Titan and Battlelands Titan rules are printed in a difficult to read font. It is almost a script font.

2) The AH Titan rules are easier to understand. The original Titan and Battlelands Titan rules are confusing in one particular way. They use the terms Strike-factor (for the attacker's Skill-factor) and Target-factor (for the defender's Skill-factor.) The AH Titan rules use Skill-factor for both the attacker and defender which is MUCH clearer.

3) The Power-factor for Archangels is 8 in Battlelands Titan and 9 in AH Titan. In Battlelands Titan I have seen people surprised to lose their Archangels a lot more often than in AH Titan.

4) The Power-factor for Serpents is 16 in Battlelands Titan and 18 in AH Titan. This can really affect your recruiting strategy, especially in the early or middle part of the game. I like the AH version better because it leads to more significant battles earlier in the game.

5) The Range-strength for Rangers is 1 in Battlelands Titan and 2 in AH Titan. This change is more significant than the change to Archangels and Serpents. In AH Titan, Rangers are much stronger. In Battlelands Titan, a legion is not likely to recruit a second Ranger unless there is no other choice for recruitment or the legion is about to split.

6) The Range-strength for Hydras is 3x2 in Battlelands Titan. This means you get 3 separate range strikes of Range-strength 2. In AH Titan, Hydras have a Range-strength of 5. I REALLY like the split range strike. I can see 2 reasons why Avalon Hill took the split range strike out: 6 dice may be too many for this Creature and it is much simpler to not have this one strange exception in the rules. If you want to try the split range strike in AH Titan, use range strikes of 2 dice, 2 dice, and 1 die in whatever order you think best. (Now you know why the Hydras on the Character counters have 3 heads.)

7) The Battlelands Titan rules increase a native Creature's Target-factor (Skill-factor) when it is defending from Brambles (against a normal attack) or the Volcano (against a rangestrike.) The AH Titan rules were changed to increase the Strike-number after it is calculated instead. These rules yield a different Strike-number is when the striker has a Skill-factor of 2 and is not native to Bramble (Guardian, Ogre, or Troll), the target has a skill factor of at least 3 and is native to Bramble (Gargoyle, Gorgon, or Behemoth), and the striker and target are in adjacent Bramble hexes. The Strike-numbers are 6 and 7 for Battlelands Titan and AH Titan, respectively. Since the AH Titan rules don't tell you what to do about a Strike-number of 7 and it could never happen in Battlelands Titan, I think Avalon Hill should have just kept the old rules. The semi-official fix for this case is to use the rule that a 6 always hits.

8) In Battlelands Titan, non-flying non-native Characters are *slowed* when entering a Bramble or Drift hex. A flying non-native Character is slowed when exiting a Bramble or Drift hex at the start of its move. In AH Titan all non-native Characters are *slowed* when entering these hexes. Non-flying Characters are not treated differently. The Battlelands Titan rule almost always affects only Angels and Archangels in the games I've played. I think the AH rule is much clearer and it makes Angels and Archangels a bit tougher in Bramble and Drift hexes.

9) The legion markers have different symbols.

10) The Battlelands Titan Masterchart shows the Range-strength for each Character in parenthesis (i.e. Gorgon 6*3 (3)). All the Range-strengths are listed in a separate table too. This is useful, especially for novice players. The AH Titan Masterchart does not need to show this information because the Range-strength of a Creature is ALWAYS half of that Creature's Power-factor (rounded down.)

11) In Battlelands Titan, the counters of each type of Character are numbered. This is useful for anyone wanting to know just how many of a certain Character are out on the board.

12) The Battlelands Titan rules list the total number of each Character type available. This is one place where Avalon Hill really goofed. You need to know exactly what pieces your game has so you can tell if you've lost any! The Character Chart (3.5) in the AH Titan rules should definitely list the number of each type available.

I like the Avalon Hill version better than the Battlelands version, except that I miss the Hydra's multiple range strike (it was just plain fun.) Avalon Hill should definitely have listed the number of each type of creature and kept the old rules for Brambles and the Volcano (point #7.) I could be convinced to play the original Titan a few times as a curiosity, but I like the other versions much better because there is no Reckoning.

One possible way to shorten the game is to use the AH Titan rules and the original Titan Characters and Masterchart. The game is shorter. I have not played it that way enough yet to decide if I like it. The TITANplus variant listed in the Avalon Hill rules is probably similar.

Jim Bolland (jbolland@charter.net)

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