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GBoH: Taking it from the top

This blog is to chronicle my playthrough of my Great battles of History collection in mostly chronological order.

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Tunis underway

Ryan Powers
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Another Tyrant: Battles of Carthage versus Syracuse scenario in VASSAL with
Jon
Canada
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This time Tunis. Setup:


I've been taking some map shots for each activation this time (like the photos in my last Hoplite game, but easier.) As usual, they're being tagged. http://boardgamegeek.com/tag/tunis/user/keethrax

Since there will be a lot of images, I think I'm also going to just put replies in when the images for a turn are done, not anytime there are new images.

EDIT: This one got cancelled. We both got busy, and by the time we were available we really had lost connection with this particular game. Plus, we were mainly playing it because Hoplite hadn't been available when we started. By the time we got back to it, Hoplite was an option. Marathon Session report is in geekmod, and I'll have some more commentary on it in a post here once the session clears modding.
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Thu Jul 10, 2014 2:31 am
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Ephesus wrap up

Ryan Powers
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Finished up Ephesus.

Not the finest display of generalship ever, that's for sure.

As Persia, I badly underestimated the threat posed to chariots by skirmishers, and so while positioning my chariots early on, got one hex too close.

I also blew it to some extent with my Persian light infantry, inching them closer when standing in place would have been better.

As the Ionians I somewhat flubbed my skirmisher play.

I violated the wording of a scenario special rule, by moving my the Persian cavalry back towards their own retreat edge. But since that was also towards the enemy, I think that was fine with regards to the spirit of the rule. The point was to keep the lighter/faster Persians from dancing away from the Greeks all day long, since I was charging them instead, I figured it was allowed.

All in all though, as the first battle I've played from Hoplite that uses a wider variety of units, I think it went fairly well. In the end, it came down to who made their momentum roll in the last turn.

I experimented with taking pictures roughly every activation. I lumped some together if the individual activations didn't overlap much. Not sure how that worked out, though it was fun to try a new approach.

Enjoying Hoplite for the most part, will need to play a few more battles before forming enough of an opinion to do a full review. Looking forward to getting some VASSAL games in when that becomes an option, but since it isn't an option yet, Jon and I are playing another game from Tyrant, Tunis this time. Will get a thread going for that one soon.
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Wed Jul 2, 2014 6:32 pm
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White Tunis wrapup

Ryan Powers
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Jon and I called the White Tunis game, and the session report is:

White Tunis: Reinforce success, even if it was unexpected

It was an odd game. Being called before I even suffered any rout points. I probably would have taken a few before he actually reached the threshold, but it was going to be pretty lopsided either way.

This is double odd because the reason I was able to exploit my unexpected success was largely because I was inept at pursuing my original strategy. I just couldn't figure out how to safely move both the left and right infantry lines without exposing them to disaster. I think I actually have it figured out now, but never got to apply that as by that point I had shifted plans.

Jon wanted to double up his hoplites. If you can get them sufficient flank protection, I think this could be devastating. However, getting that protection and getting them stacked up would take quite a few activations, and the relatively poor Carthaginian leadership plus the large numbers of troops makes that tough. All those activations are not being spent getting clear of the map edge.

This was another battle where one side is backed up against the border like the Abolus river.

White Tunis:


Abolus:


When I played that I wrote about the difficulties of being pinned up against the edge. That time it was Syracuse that was pinned. It was interesting to see that I'm not the only one who finds being trapped against the "wall" intimidating.

There are a few more Tyrant: Battles of Carthage versus Syracuse battles that might see VASSAL play, plus I'm soling Hoplite. Hopefully the VASSAL module will be ready to go soon.

EDIT: Jon has added his take on the battle as a comment to the session report. Check it out.
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Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:46 am
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Ephesus underway

Ryan Powers
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Now that I've gotten my feet wet in Hoplite, it's time to go back to chronological. So Ephesus is up next. Hopefully there will be a VASSAL module soon, quite a few of these look like they'd be good PBeM games.

Here's the setup:


As usual, I'm tagging the images and will comment here as new ones are added.

http://boardgamegeek.com/tag/ephesus/user/keethrax
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Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:58 pm
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Tanagra wrapup

Ryan Powers
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Finished Tanagra already, so the rest of Hoplite goes into the more or less chronological queue. Only went two turns. With only one leader per side, that's not a lot of activations.

The session report is already up here. It was mostly enjoyable and I',m looking forward to Ephesus next.

I did run into an oddity when using some LC to attack the rear of an already engaged unit. I mention this in the notes of the session report, and have split that subject out into its own thread. Since I don't want it buried in the session report or hidden here in the blog. Please head over that way and comment if you have something to add.

All in all though, I had a pretty good time. Trying to get the timing right with the hoplites is going to be interesting between the unpredictable activation order due to the chit pulls and the randomly determined speeds. Looking forward to figuring it out in later Greek on Greek action. But for now, Ephesus beckons, and so it will be Persians on one side.
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Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:11 am
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Tanagra underway

Ryan Powers
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First shot at Hoplite. Playing Tanagra first before reverting to more or less chronological order. It will give me a chance to play with the new rules in a very simple situation.



There's the setup. I've created a tag for images (http://boardgamegeek.com/tag/tanagra/user/keethrax), and as usual, I'll comment on this thread when images are added.
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Sun Jun 8, 2014 8:21 pm
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Back to Magadha -- Failed again

Ryan Powers
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Having wrapped up Mt Ecnomus, I need to get another solo game going. However, I currently have The Finnish Trilogy 1939-1945: Winter War 1939-1940 (Vol. 1) taking up the table space that my solo GBoH games usually do. With that in mind, I'm going to attempt to use VASSAL to return to some Chandragupta battles.

I've attempted to use VASSAL for solo games before, but I always seem to run out of steam before finishing when I know I have the physical copy lying around as well. One exception was Silent War; that one ran better in VASSAL than in physical form. The random ship draws were much smoother for one thing. Now that I'm missing some pieces for Chandragutpa, this is probably the only way I'll finish these up; hopefully that will provide the required motivation.

On the positive side, screen shots are way easier than trying to get a decent camera shot of my current setup, so I may try one / activation or something similar. There are two versions of this battle, and a coin flip says I'll be trying the camp assault.
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Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:16 pm
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Ecnomus wrap up

Ryan Powers
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I just finished up the Battle of Mt Ecnomus. The session report can be found here: Mt Ecnomus: Charging uphill is no fun

This one is another gem in the Tyrant set. Causing me to bump my rating back up to a 10. It had slipped all the way down to 9.5, boy what a fool I was.

Jon and I had considered this one and White Tunis for our PBeM, and decided on the latter due to Ecnomus relying more heavily on SK and such leading to probably more reactions which tend to make email play a bit trickier. In my solo play, it seems like it wouldn't have been too big of a problem in hindsight, but still almost certainly more of one that we'll face in White Tunis. We shall see, that one is still in it's first turn.

If you're looking for a short playing Alexander/Tyrant game I highly recommend you check this one out. Syracuse has surprise, but a major time constraint.

In my playing, terrible pre-shock rolls for Syracuse put them behind the 8-ball from turn one. A lost activation for Carthage when Atarbas got injured (didn't OW him when I had the chance because he had a unit in front of him that didn't end up holding, so the advancing attackers caught him.) Just as Syracuse was stabilizing things, a timely trump by Hamilcar G. ensured the limited number of activations would make recovery very dificult, and so it was.
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Mon Apr 7, 2014 1:38 pm
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Skirmishers attacking Chariots rules quesions

Ryan Powers
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I just posted a question over in the Alexander forum that relates to the ongoing Tyrant game vs
Jon
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I don't want the answers here, because that's less useful in general, but wanted to give it some exposure here in case that gets me an answer more quickly.

In any case, here's the link:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1147420/mechanics-of-skirmis...

Note: The answers received aren't really necesary for strategy. If the number of hexes works out (haven't fully counted them all out yet) I'll likely make the move I intend either way if a preliminary roll allows me to. Just need to make sure I'm not short-changing Jon or myself in the execution.
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Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:37 pm
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White Tunis underway

Ryan Powers
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While Mount Ecnomus is going on as a solo game, I've started up another VASSAL game with
Jon
Canada
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Since Chandragupta games seemed to be a bit too heavy with reactions between lots of missile troops and cavalry and elephants, etc we're giving Tyrant a shot.

Stealing the existing setup shot from the existing gallery, will update here with shots of the game in progress as they occur. Will also try to add some notes as we go, but might need to keep some under my hat if they're the type that might give Jon any ideas.

Setup:


As usual, the images of the game in progress can be found: http://boardgamegeek.com/tag/white_tunis/user/keethrax
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Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:20 am
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