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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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10
Sep 2011
Going to be released in August 2011. Preorder price is up for BP54.95 from Fifth Column Games here: http://www.fifthcolumngames.co.uk/LBpreorder.html

The designer wrote an article about the game in Battles magazine #6 Into the Bastards! It is worthy of a read and it makes the game more appealing.

This expensive game finally arrives after 6 months of preorder! Holy weight! The writing is scholarly but absorbing and entertaining. A lot of food for thoughts. I love it at first reading!

How does the game play? I was not totally satisfied with Great Battles of History (better with SGBoH though) because it put me more into the shoes of leaders in tactical units rather than the overall commander on the field of the day, e.g. Alexander or Darius. I was not totally satisfied with Command and Colors either because it is more a game than a simulation - it does not give me a sense of reality. After playing 3 scenarios of Lost Battles in a row, I can safely say that it is the BEST of both worlds!

After choosing the scenarios, each side is allocated a number of command points, which is determined according to 1/10 of the total Fighting Value of the army. So a larger army would be given more command points. A larger army doesn't necessarily have the initiative on the battle field though as it is determined by the scenario with the side on the left always going first.

For example in Marathon, the Athenians have 63 FV and so they have 6 command points in the beginning. Total command points are further halved if the conditions of the battle field is wet or dusty. You spend each command point to activate a group of units or units individually. A die is rolled when the command point is reduced down to one or zero the first time. The die roll result would add that number of additional command points to the side. A player continues his turn until he spends all the command points to resolve movement or combat or until all units being activated. The other player then do the same. So Lost Battles sequence of play is a basic I-go-U-go structure but wait a minute, this system is realistic and fun! I feel that I was able to act like the overall commander.

There are three types of activations - normal, limited and express. The interesting bit is that in each different types of activations, they cost you different number of commands and then there are different restrictions. For example, in a normal activation, you spend one command to activate a single unit or a group of "veteran" units but you have to spend two command for any other group, i.e. not veteran class units (see how veteran units are factored in as they are "easier" to command and activate). For the activated cavalry units, they receive two "actions", one for other type of units. Since actions are spent to move, attack or change facing, the cavalry can therefore "charge" after making the move, while the infantry can only stop after moving into the next tile. In a limited activation (cost 1 command), a group of any size can be activated. A unit in the group can be assigned as the "lead unit" which can move and then attack, while the remaining units can follow the lead unit but cannot attack. In an express activation, it costs 2 commands for a single unit of any type, 1 for a veteran unit. The above sounds a bit complicated as it seem. With player aid in the game as well as those in BGG here, soon they are just "natural" to the flow of the game!

Attack is resolved with reference to a very important Combat Table, in which combat effectiveness differential is expressed as a number. The number is lower if a type of attacking unit is more effective against a certain type of defending unit. For example, the number is 9 if heavy infantry is attacking heavy infantry but 8 if it is attacking heavy cavalry.

To resolve a combat, you roll two dice and then modify the result with a number of factors. The most common ones are +1 for the combat bonus (with spending of a command point), non-levy unit attacking levy unit, lead unit attacking downhill, and the more curious one to me - hoplites attacking hoplites who did not just enter the tile. This is an interesting way to increase the more bloody results between hoplites ferocity. The final dieroll result is then compared to the combat effectiveness differential number. For a positive combat differential of 1 or 2, one hit is inflicted; two hits if 3 and the attacker chooses to conduct an all-out attack (for fresh unit, not reduced "spent" unit); or two hits if 3 above.

A morale check is required when a unit is eliminated, i.e. it has been inflicted two hits or more. It goes to the "shattered" state and other units on the map have to go for a morale check to see if they go panic. You roll two dice and halve the one with the lower number. The result is adjusted by the Army morale (basically a comparison of the size of the Armies on the board). It is further adjusted by Unit morale according to the class of the unit, distance to the battle just taken place, fresh or spent status of the unit etc. A negative result would cause the unit to panic and rout. If the result is zero, the unit would go panic only if it is in the same hex of the battle.

Victory Points are tallied at the end of turn 10 or when all units from a side are removed from the map. The total fighting value of all spent, withdrawn leader or routed enemy units are the VPs. Each shattered unit worth 2 times the fighting value of the unit while each other routed unit earns additional one VP. Remember the handicap rules on the calculation of VPs though. It is because even though all of your units have gone after morale check, if you have inflicted enough casualties on your opponent, you still have a chance to victory. I think this is an excellent idea to balance the gameplay and historicity, in which your performance is gauged strictly against the performance of your own historical counterpart.

If you use the historical deployments given in the game (here is the only quibble I found with Lost Battles - the historical deployment map is too small for two players to read at the same time!), you start the scenario on turn two. Otherwise, you can always choose to use free deployment rules, which is encouraged by the game designer Philip Sabin himself, as the design is built up from free deployment premises.

There are so many scenarios to choose from in this package that it is simply a pure fun in itself choosing the one for a game. There are individual campaign rules which link the given scenarios altogether. Different level of victory and defeat are determined after the end of the scenario. Campaign victory points are awarded to the players according to the respective levels who completed the scenarios. This way, even if you lost one scenario, you still have a chance to come back in a campaign by winning the remaining scenarios.

There are still many chromes that I haven't touched upon yet. For examples, there are many leaders in the game as it covers a lot of history. There is a system called "Empire Strategic Game" that links the game (essentially a tactical game) to a strategic aspect. I expect the system, just like many other chromes in this game, would enrich the main system and gameplay system only much more, not less. Overall, I couldn't stop recommending this game to anyone who has the interest in the ancient period, whether your are a board wargamer or miniature wargamer. Grab a copy while stock lasts! This is THE game if you ever only bring one copy of ancient wargame to Robinson's Island. The game is an everlasting glory in itself - value expounded if you manage to get a copy of the accompanying book as well. It proves that academic wargame designer can also work, not just dry number-crunching military wargame or commercial wargame. It captures the best of both world. Yes, the bar is raised again. Lost Battles is a perfect illustration of how to combine both simulation and game together. (And no, I am an independent wargamer and I bought this game with my own hard-earned money.)

2012-05-14
Owned
Want To Play
Piero
Italy
Florence
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What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face.
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10
Sep 2011
watching closely

UPDATE
I've read the book and played the Marathon battle solo.
Interesting. For now some of the nuances of the system elude me. I understand that most people will find this game unreasonably complex, not to say convoluted.
I like it as it is, but for now choices seem a little low as the inflexible nature of the warfare is well portrayed. But is this also a fun game?
As for now I'm hooked and want to play again. I envision the battlefield and the things I've done and could have done differently. In a way it looks like a toolbox to tinker with and explore many different hypothesis and outcomes.

UPDATE
I like this game. Even if I think that there's a low possibility of influencing the battlefield once the wheels are set in motion.
For now this is an "8" for me.

UPDATE
I read the amendments to the rules, and the introduction of the die roll for command points after the expenditure of the other points is going to add a lot of tough choices and excruciating tension to the game.
This is going up to a "9"!!

UPDATE
I finally cracked. Not only this game is relatively simple, it also packs a lot of tension in a tight and historically plausible way.
I'm really an enthusiast of this system and an unashamed fan.

UPDATE
I've ordered the separate rules and charts! How happy I am!
2011-11-21
Want To Play
Gionata Dal Farra
Italy
Lessolo - Ivrea
Piedmont
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Video meliora, proboque. Deteriora sequor
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10
Aug 2015
Want To Play
David
New Zealand
Auckland
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May the Great Spirit Bless all who read this.
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10
Nov 2011
For the enthusiast of ancient warfare this is a remarkable package. A simulation and game in one that allows players to recreate ancient battles based on the available historical evidence. You not only get the game itself with first class components you also get the book the game is based on, containing the inside story of the game mechanics and the logic behind it all. This is an exceptional production and gaming experience. One of my all time favorites.



2013-07-22
Owned
Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
Scotland
Motherwell
I aten't dead yet...
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10
Sep 2011
I have actually purchased the Hardback version of the enclosed book from Amazon and it is a well thought-out tome and an inspiring read. I have now received TWO copies (Don't ask) of Lost Battles. The production values are excellent and, being basically a figure gamer, the system allows me the closest experience to fielding several miniature ancient armies as I can get without the expense of buying and painting metal. I have always loved ancient wargaming and studying ancient history but, because of the scope that covers centuries rather than decades, could never afford to start collecting 28mm figures since I don't believe in playing ahistorical games using point systems.

Thoroughly deserves the 10 for the game system and the production values.
2011-09-18
Owned
Stephen Foulk
United Kingdom
sunderland
Tyne and Wear
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10
Oct 2011
Scored and 8 for the production values and after skim reading the rules.

Update - these rules have blown me away - I've been playing ancient wargames for 40+ years and so far these have really hit the sweet spot for me; less than a 10 would be churlish
2011-10-03
Owned
Reinhard Mueller
Germany
Gauting
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10
Sep 2012
rules are convoluted but work like a clockwork.
2013-02-09
Owned
Nigel Wright
United Kingdom
Ruddington, Nottingham
England
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10
Sep 2011
I'm only just starting to scratch the surface of this game but it oozes quality both in terms of the physical components but also in terms of the thought and development that has been put into the simulation.
2011-09-22
Owned
Preordered
Ken Takacs
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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10
Feb 2014
Owned
Severus Snape
Canada
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"She who dares, wins, Prime Minister."
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"I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back." Brian Hanrahan
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10
Oct 2011
I know that it is both hyperbole, as well as cliche, but I feel that Lost Battles takes the concept of ancient tactical western warfare and sets a new standard for other games to emulate. This is not to say that it is the "best game ever," not when there are so many other good titles available to us. But the depth and scope of the thinking that made this game is impressive.
2011-12-04
Owned
Eric Lai
Hong Kong
Happy Valley
None
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10
Dec 2011
Excellent study of ancient warfare, at first the map and counters are seemingly abstract, especially with the orthogonal movement system, but after a few plays you'll realize that all aspects of terrain, diagonal movement, ancient units were tightly integrated into the mechanics within the rules. Its absolutely elegant and innovative. Tonnes of fun, fast to setup. Excellent simulation.

P.S. Its much much better historical simulation than C&C Ancients. After just a couple of games of Lost Battles, you'll be addicted.

Tip: Download the user made player-aids here on BGG, they are excellent and almost essential compliment to the player-aid included with the game. http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/72086/my-players-aid

Highly recommended.
2012-05-13
Owned
Dave Daffin
United Kingdom
Ledbury
Herefordshire
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10
Apr 2015
A high level wargame system that tackles over 40 ancient battles, using an intelligent academic model to recreate battles, in probably the most realistic manner seen in a wargame
2015-04-01
Owned
Want To Play
Mark Jones
United Kingdom
Cardiff
Wales
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10
Sep 2011
Owned
Michael Akinde
Norway
Oslo
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10
Sep 2011
This is - hands down - the best game/simulation of ancient warfare out there. I've owned each of the predecessors: Legion, Strategos, Strategos II and the Lost Battles book. I now also own the boardgame. Need I say more?

Executive summary: this is a must-have game for anyone interested in ancient warfare.
2011-09-23
Owned
Prev. Owned
Slava Zipp
Russia
Moscow
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10
Sep 2011
Played around two dozens games with hardback rules book
and 3 with boxed set.

It seems at first that it is difficult to get all various movement and battle details right. But after two or three games its all settled in the head.

- Game mechanics is completely different from "conventional" wargames approaches and gives very unique feel about it.
- Each game is very tense
- You do feel like an ancient general while playing. You think in terms of real battlefield. There is no micromanagement.
- You can win even if you completely annihilated due to handicap system which leaves intrigue in most unbalanced fights
- System is very deep. So there is long process of mastering it.
- Complete softback Lost Battles book coming together with the game. This is itself very good read on obscure topic of modeling ancient battles.
2011-09-24
Owned
Gav DBM
United Kingdom
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10
Sep 2011
Best simulation of ancient battles available anywhere (and I speak as a player of many ancient figure wargames and some boardgames) - playable, realistic and with an excellent handicap system (so you can lose the battle as per history but win the game).

Superb production values - lovely components
2011-09-24
Owned
Preordered
Steve Bishop
United Kingdom
Lytham St. Annes
Lancashire
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10
Oct 2011
Top, top game I can't say anymore than I said here....
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/713680/or-champagne-and-cavi...
2011-10-20
Owned
Willy Schneider
Germany
Quadrath-Ichendorf
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10
Oct 2011
Owned
paul lieberman
United States
Piscataway
New Jersey
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10
Oct 2011
Owned
Roland W. est. 1984
Germany
Unterriexingen
Deutschland
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10
Feb 2012
Owned
Pavel Hammerschmidt
United States
Federal Way
Washington
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10
Oct 2011
Owned
Alessandro Cimalacqua
Italy
Roma
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10
Mar 2012
Owned
Ron Balla
Canada
Windsor
Ontario
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10
Jan 2013
Owned
Want To Play
Javier Dropez
Spain
Barcelona
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I would rather be here
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Auda will come to Aqaba because it is his pleasure...
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10
Nov 2012
Excellent! Great game system. An splendid simulation. Playing the battles while reading through the historical commentaries in the book is very informative and interesting.
2013-04-07
Owned
Roger Morley
United Kingdom
Hastings
East Sussex
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10
Dec 2014
Owned
Karl Bays
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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9.5
Apr 2012
Owned
willial butler
United States
patterson
California
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9.5
Oct 2011
Have played previous versions of the rules (Strategos, strategos II). Good system for ancient warfare. excellent components. Mainly use the rules for miniature games. Have also used rules for other battles not covered in game
2011-10-06
Owned
Preordered
Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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9.5
May 2013
I've played Lost Battles off and on for the last couple of years now, and my evaluation of it has wobbled between "excellent" and "perfect". The game is unique in its treatment of ancient battles, and thus difficult to compare to others. But I think I'm settling in at a 9.5 - not quite perfect, but really quite remarkable.

So what unique strengths does Lost Battles have? Several, but maybe the most significant is its choice of a grand tactical scale - a step removed from most ancients wargames. For veterans of other games, LB can seem far too abstract at first - there are no short range missile attacks, explicit formations, precise troop positions, or exploitable holes in the enemy line. At first this just seemed coarse to me, but I eventually realized it serves two important purposes.

First, as described at length in the accompanying book, it's more true to the little we actually know about these battles. Extant sources are vague and often contradictory, so the designer's approach is first to develop a plausible large scale model based on surveying the entire era's battles. He then uses that model's implications to supplement and evaluate the sources' details of troop numbers, qualities, and positions. Compared to other games, it's a very humble approach to the history. Rather than make a historical judgment and design a scenario around that, the designer encourages players to tweak details of troops and deployment to explore historical ambiguities - and the scale makes it effortless to do this.

The second main benefit of the game's scale is how well it puts the player into the role of battlefield commander. You might choose to have an entire wing of your army hold back, or to have another one press harder in combat to try for a breakthrough, but you don't order Hoplite Unit C to advance 20 paces. The focus is always on the bigger picture. This is closely related to the game's design-for-effect approach, unusual in ancients games. It's not, for example, "How should skirmishers work given what we know about skirmishers?" It's "How should skirmishers work in order to make the overall results plausible?" There are individual rules that seem awkward or arbitrary on their own but ultimately encourage armies to behave historically. Unlike other games I've played at smaller scales, I never feel like the rules let me "game the system" by using units in ahistorical ways to gain an edge on a combat modifier. And when I sit down to research a battle further after a game, I can see the same choices I focused on in the game reflected in the historical accounts.

Lost Battles certainly has other strengths beyond its choice of scale - the morale system is innovative and dramatic, free deployment allows for incredible replayability, and the leadership rules do a credible job of modeling the impact of generals and champions without much effort. But in comparing Lost Battles to other competing titles, it's the scale that's the most noticeable difference and the one with the most implications.

So what's not good here? Primarily, it's that the game's novel perspective breaks some expectations of a wargame and leads to some clumsy rules. As noted above, getting past the apparent lack of detail in the scale is the first part. But another consequence of that scale is that players can feel like spectators to the die rolls, especially once the battle is joined after the initial jockeying for position. There *are* important choices to made throughout - one should not underestimate the value of paying for a combat modifier or of properly sequencing their army's attacks. But it's not quite the same as coming up with a brilliant strategem to exploit some subtlety of the enemy's position. Once the battle is joined, you're playing small ball to incrementally improve your odds.

The rules are a bit different story. They're fundamentally simple, and the game plays quickly (two hours or less). But you definitely feel how the game was developed from an academic, modeling perspective rather than a typical gamer one. There are a lot of exceptions or subtleties in places you don't expect, sometimes with important strategic implications (how key zones interact with rivers, for example). And the combat system, fundamentally just a 2d6 with a target value, is burdened with an enormous list of wordy modifiers that do most of the game's modeling of troop types and terrain. I've played a couple dozen games of this now, and while I can get to the point of playing fast, I don't think I'll ever get to the point of the game feeling *smooth*.

Overall, the occasional clunks in the rules are the only thing that keeps this game from being perfect for me. It's reasonably fast to set up and play, provides genuine insight into history, and includes a vast range of scenarios. If I were to keep only a single ancients wargame in my collection, Lost Battles would be an easy pick. Even with the game now OOP, there's simply no other title that fills this niche, and the game's huge scenario selection, high replayability, and great production values make it well worth hunting down.
2013-05-18
Owned
nanonerds 3
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9.5
Feb 2013
Robert Stuart
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
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9.5
Oct 2014
Unique; a truly great contribution to ancients wargaming.
2014-10-17
Owned
Germany
Osnabrück
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9.25
Mar 2012
Lost Battles does not use hidden information, therefore it plays well solo. It already includes many scenarios (listed on the Lost Battles wiki page), so an expansion is not needed.
With rules that are not too complicated and its short setup and play times it fits perfectly in my busy schedule.
And it looks beautiful!
2012-03-27
Owned
Want To Play
David Ells
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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Here the truceless armies yet / Trample, rolled in blood and sweat; / They kill and kill and never die; / And I think that each is I. // None will part us, none undo / The knot that makes one flesh of two, /
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Sick with hatred, sick with pain, / Strangling -- When shall we be slain? // When shall I be dead and rid / Of the wrong my father did? / How long, how long, till spade and hearse / Puts to sleep my mother's curse?
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9
Dec 2010
Owned
Preordered
Darren Webber
United Kingdom
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9
Dec 2010
Owned
Gerald Gan
Philippines
Quezon City
NCR
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9
Jul 2012
Owned
For Trade
Paul Evans
United Kingdom
Wolverhampton
Staffordshire
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9
Mar 2012
Owned
Detlef Dölling
Germany
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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9
Nov 2011
Owned
Shaun Osborne
United Kingdom
New Mills
Derbyshire
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9
Sep 2011
Rating based on components and customer service only.
2011-09-22
Owned
John Kennedy
United Kingdom
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9
Sep 2011
Owned
David Murray
United Kingdom
Driffield
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9
Sep 2011
Well I am not normally one to gush - but after 8+ plays both solo and face-to-face and I have yet to find anything about this game I do not like. The components and gameplay are both excellent and the speed and depth at which it plays is refreshing. A very solid 9 for now but on current form this might be going up soon...
2011-09-24
Owned
Toni & Guy Ferger
United States
Portland
Maine
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9
Oct 2011
Owned
Andrew Chapman
Australia
Norwood
SA
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9
Nov 2011
Owned
Riccardo Chiaveri
Italy
LAINATE
Mi
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9
Sep 2011
Owned
L. SCHMITT
France
Alsace
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9
Oct 2011
An excellent study, game and book together. Not as fun as SPQR, but far more convincing as a simulation !
2014-01-21
Owned
david white shark
France
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9
Oct 2011
Owned
bertrand d
France
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9
Oct 2011
Very good simple simulation game for Ancient warfare.

The Hoplites battles are really good high level understanding tool of Greek 4th Century BC History.
2011-10-22
Owned
Frank Prisciandaro
United States
Long Island City
New York
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9
May 2012
Got the game today 4/18/2012 , decided to splurge and treat myself for my 52nd birthday, it's 7 days away but who cares.
2012-04-18
Owned
Want To Play
Andy Cowen
United States
Union Springs
New York
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9
Dec 2012
Wonderful game, loses .5 points for tiles that warp
2011-12-05
Owned
joe quintana
United Kingdom
E Sussex
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9
Nov 2011
Owned
Ryszard Tokarczuk
Poland
Kraków
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9
Nov 2011
I`m enchanted by Lost Battles. It`s not a game on ancient battles, rather sort of intellectual vehicle/tool to explore particular battle situations. As GBoH player I`m amazed that most of my sessions in LB take no more time than 2 hours.

Ruleset is very different than what I`m accustomed to, but that doesn`t mean it is bad - it just means that after several battles I`m still not sure if I`ve got all details and procedures right. For any kind of problem there is a helpful community though.

The best thing for me personally is inclusion of several hoplite battles which have clearly their own flavor. In GBoH I`ve often felt that hoplites are a liability, in LB they`re a force to be reckoned with.

I hope to find some time in the future to create my own scenarios, which doesn`t look to difficult - that`s another virtue of LB.
2011-11-13
Owned
Rolf Van Ishem
United States
Queen Creek
Arizona
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9
Dec 2012
Nice components with tons of scenarios for many years of replay-ability. Well done system that has a historical feel.
2012-12-15
Owned

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