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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Rules suggestions for my Gallic/German army. rss

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Mark Crocker
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In the craft sectiom of "Sally's Boutique" (aka The Salvation Army Thrift Store), I found a bag of wooden squares in two sizes...3/4"x3/4", and 1&1/4" x 1&1/4" and figured I could use them for something. The small ones have either a number or letter on one side, while the large ones have an image (star, circle, dog, cat, etc.), while all backs are black. These were obviously from a child's game or learning tool. But now they are a Gallic army, as large as either of the armies that came with the original C&C:Ancients game. The squares are only 1/8" thick, and will not stand up, which is OK because I only stickered the original pieces on one side, and play the game with the blocks flat, anyway.

I downloaded some of the label scans from these very pages, then printed them on full size label sheets, then went about composing my army according to what my impression of a Gallic or German army would look like. With the exception of a single unit(4 squares) of archers, and a single unit of slingers, all of the rest of the squares were stickered with MEDIUM infantry only...no lights or heavies. I figure to use all of these exactly as the printed rules show.

On the larger squares I have some leaders and some MEDIUM cavalry, and again figure to use them pretty much as standard rules state. But on 8 of the large squares, I have affixed 4 labels each (showing 8 figures) of MEDIUM infantry to represent some kind of massed horde or warband. Therein lies my problem. I need rules suggestions to both represent the initial impact, momentum, and bloodlust coming from the horde...but also rules reflecting the fragility and lack of control over such a unit. So far my thoughts have led me to these.
1. Two squares make a complete unit. (Should I make it 3?).
2. They use 6 (or maybe even 7 or 8 dice).
3. Leaders cannot stack with them, or even help them in ANY way. They are (once ordered), essentially leaderless and are guided by their own success or failure.
4. They ignore the first hit (or perhaps the first 2 hits) thrown against them.
5. On dice thrown against them, both the banner icon, and the LEADER icon count as retreat...but,
6. They ignore the first 2 retreat results.

I'm trying to create units that are initially impossing, but once broken are REALLY broken. So am I on the right track? I would appreciate any additions, subtractions, critiques, or insights.
I'll try to put something into the images section, but beware...both the images I've taken, and the user(ME) are of dubious quality.
 
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Barry Kendall
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If they're an extra-large, raucous, rowdy mob multiple ranks deep and jostling for positions of honor at or near the front, yelling and clashing spear on shield and only generally knowing where the point is on the enemy line where they want to impact, I'd suggest charging them double the orders cost. In other words, to order such a horde costs the equivalent of ordering two "normal" units.

I'm not sure I'd treat them this way, though. The "warbands" in standard C&CA, representing in some cases Gauls in Carthaginian service, work pretty well as is.

Given that in Germanic armies there were units of seasoned warriors, less seasoned warriors and youths, I'd treat them as standard warband type, standard light infantry (but with an extra attack die until a casualty is inflicted, as with medium warbands) and slinger and archer units, with standard light cavalry and a few mediums.

Give all the Foot types the ability to battle the turn they move into woods.
 
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HMS Iron Duke
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I disagree about warbands being leaderless. This would be a tribe/clan led by a chieftan of some sort. Make them have a leader. Maybe not for each warband unit but every 2 or 3 in the army must have a leader. Somebody to lead from the front and all that.

I think they should get a bonus on their initial swing from the shock of charge and should probably ignore the first flag. Perhaps balance that by subsequent flags being a double retreat.
 
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Kevin Duke
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But "leader" in C&C terms is very different from what anyone would have in reality.

Scipio was certainly not the only "leader" in the roman army at Ticinus. Ilipa's description specifically mentions the "two armies"of Hasdrubal and Mago "united," but has only one leader in the game.

Perhaps every warband had a leader, but so did every legion.
 
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Mark Crocker
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Mike Sisson...I just have a hard time believing that anyone could control a frenzied warband, once they've been launched. To me it is just a different unit, with different properties. My "invented" army still has a number of 4 block medium infantry units, able to be commanded as in the standard rules (cav. , too). A Roman officer would have known that a barbarian horde as both frightening and fragile, all at the same time. I'm just looking for a way to reflect this into game play.
 
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Patrick McIntyre
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My two cents worth...

I think the warrior unit is fine for reflecting Gallic ferociousness.

About the shaky moral, how about having them only ignore a flag if adjacent (or with) a leader, as opposed to just being adjacent to another friendly unit. Good flanking should cause them the break pretty easily.
 
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Kevin Duke
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You know, the really amazing thing about C&C A is how good the game is, how much fun most people say they are having with it, and yet how it somehow "inspires" people to go do something else.

I'm not knocking the guy who started this thread-- he is one of a number who are doing this, and in fact I found myself cogitating what sort of things I could put together to simulate another nation/power that fits into this period.

And I'm not really talking about the people who want to "make it more authentic." That is a different phenomenon, which is pretty common.

I'm talking about how many people want to "expand" the game into other nations and periods.

The style has varied-- while there are many Punic War battles uncovered so far (1st, 2nd, and 3rd), and scenario makers could work for a long time with exactly what came in the box, instead we have a number of folks greating Greek battles, Macedonians V Persians, and here German warbands. I've seen references to Troy. And lots of looking for fantasy things. While a lot of this is just "I want," a surprising amount is more of the "I'm going to build..." variety.

I'll wager none of these people--myself included-- have found time to play 1/2 the scenarios that come with the game. And yet, we are inspired to try and spin something extra and probing others for ideas on how to do it.

Again, I'm not putting anyone down-- I've followed the same siren's song myself.

I'm just wondering WHY it is that it's happening so much with this game. When BC came out, folks were all over conjuring up additional ACW battles. I don't recall anyone calling out for Franco Prussian War or Mexican War only a few weeks after they started playing. And with Mem44, folks were calling out for MORE tanks and troop types and terrain/regional types-- not calling out for or trying to create Korean War or Arab-Israeli War stuff.

What is it here that creates this "design frenzy"?
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Hi Mark,

Germans were known for their fury and I can suggest a first blow with additional dice. Or units that go berserk once they are engaged in combat.

However, the German fury is already represented by the warrioir units as can they are able to move twice and must attack.

As for the berserk units, have a look at the elefant rules that can trample units.

As for the Gallic armies, look at the warrior units again. I think this is the best representation of their tactics and moral.

Once you are done, pls post it as I am very curious.
 
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Mark Crocker
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kduke's right. I've played way less than half the scenarios, so he's got me asking myself why did I start fiddling around with units and such?
Well, mostly because I had the blocks, the labels, the time, and the intrest. I've always been interested in ancient northern European barbarians, too. But most of all I just have a compulsion to make my copy of a game unique...something a little different component wise. Sometimes as simple as exchanging play money for poker chips, or gluing one sided die cut counters to a penny to make them easier to pick up (as I did with the faction markers in "Blood Feud in New York"). Or replacing the cars in "Daytona 500" with micro-machines. Plus I look for all variants, and if the variants include new components, it's even better. It's my hobby, and my habit. Plus, while I enjoy the game, I guarantee that I will not be buying any of the expansions.

I tried to up-load a picture of my blocks to this site, but was rejected because it was too fuzzy. I'll try again soon, using someone else's camera. The labels are, after all, a picture of a picture of a scan, and while fine up close, lose something in the transfer.

Again, this army is 85% normal 4 block infantry units, 3 block cavalry units, etc. The only thing different are the large blocks with four labels each on them. They take up most of the hex area and could only be played by stacking in a single hex. So I've got another idea.

What if the "horde" blocks occupied one hex per block...but as long as they stayed adjacent to each other...they would still be considered a single unit (able to operate when you have one of those pesky "order one unit" cards). If the frontage straddles two battlefield sections, then they are valid units for either. They get initial combat bonuses as previously mentioned, but when forced to retreat, they retreat twice as far (panic). Any friendly unit in the retreat path, must also retreat until a path opens up. Again, I'm looking for something initially powerful, but inherently vulnerable.

I've enjoyed all of the input here.
 
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Kevin Duke
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the idea of a unit hord being X # of blocks but occupying more than one hex is interesting.
The first question I have is about combat. Do these multiple hexes attack multiple other units?
Probably
But what happens when the enemy attacks just one hex and gets a valid retreat result? The whole unit retreat?
Probably.

What happens if a battle back against one of your blocks causes a retreat (2 hexes, as you say) and other blocks don't have to retreat, either because they were more successful in their attacks or they didn't attack at all? Does the entire hord suffer a retreat result applied to only one part of it--
That would be the simpler mechanic.

But suppose you move the hord and are adjacent 3 enemies, and your very first attack goes sour and you are forced to retreat on the first battle back? Do the other two attacks end and those blocks retreat too?
Do they make their attacks and then retreat, regardless of the result?

Starting to get sticky. Not impossible, but it will take some careful thought.

Hmmm.

Okay, here's one thought-- you want them tough but fragile. Say they can ignore the first retreat result in a given battle (per normal rules for full strength warriors) and also get "support" and "leadership" benefits against retreating-- but any block that DOES still have a retreat result, after all this, simply dies.
The remaining blocks are unaffected (other than the hord being one block smaller). That's a cleaner way of handling the permutations, and achieves one of your initial goals.
 
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Jeff Paul
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First off, let me state that I am sure we have all tweaked rules. It is part of the fun when we get a new game. But (and you knew this would be coming..)

I am always impressed with how well CC:A captures the feel of ancient battles with so few rules (OK, let's be realistic, when I say "feel", I mean my own personal "gamer percieved notion" of what the commander would sort of sense when fighting an ancient battle - and probably has very little to do with reality - but I digress).

My point is that CC:A does a great job. So, when tweaking, one has to answer a few questions:

1. Can I use an existing troop type to represent the new troops?
2. If I introduce a new rule/troop type does it:
a. capture the "feel" better than an existing troop type?
b. does it do this with the same elegant simplicity?
3. Am I having fun?

Well, the answer to 3 for you is obviously yes - so continue tweaking! But, from my perspective, I think you may be adding needless complexity to an elegant system. Want a germanic horde? Use LOTS of warriors. And have LOTS of leaders. That way you will almost always be able to use the inspired leader card rushing a horde (multiple hexes) of them forward. The lots of leaders means that they won't retreat much - fighting to the death to honour their leaders. Of course, as the horde's die (and they will) - the leaders will often die as well - giving the enemy multiple banners (and this makes sense - a horde seeing its heroes die (ie leaders) could deflate it).

CC:A is a great game due to its elegant simplicity and abstraction. Tweaking endangers this. But keep having fun!
 
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Paul Dobbins
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kduke wrote:
You know, the really amazing thing about C&C A is how good the game is, how much fun most people say they are having with it, and yet how it somehow "inspires" people to go do something else.
[...snip...]
I'm talking about how many people want to "expand" the game into other nations and periods.
[...snip...]
I've seen references to Troy. And lots of looking for fantasy things. While a lot of this is just "I want," a surprising amount is more of the "I'm going to build..." variety.
[...snip...]
I'll wager none of these people--myself included-- have found time to play 1/2 the scenarios that come with the game. And yet, we are inspired to try and spin something extra and probing others for ideas on how to do it.
What is it here that creates this "design frenzy"?


I plead guilty on the Troy front, it being a subject on which I've spent a lot of time thinking, gaming, etc. Obviously, Command & Colors is a game system that appeals to me. Several years ago Steve Burt wrote an interesting article for Slingshot, journal of the Society of Ancients, that described his adaptation of Battle Cry for ancients. I have been interested in the system since then. In some ways Burt's adaptation was better than Richard Borg's, in others, not so good. I have no particular interest in the scenarios that came with the game, and frankly some, like Cannae (which I've played 5-6 times), is so unlike the historical battle it is a wonder it is called Cannae at all. But my Troy variant is shaping up as a pretty cool piece of work; perhaps Richard will have a Troy module someday as well -- I'd love it. In sum, there are gamers who buy a system game like CCA who are more than capable of tinkering with rules, components, etc.
 
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sam faraci
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The Troy scenario sounds interesting Paul,when you've finished it i hope you post it as id love to play it.
 
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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+1 on Troy!

Indeed, I've already begun with a "two-men scenario", a home-made adaptation of En Garde to the Hector vs Achilles duel:



Who knows, you could solve combats between heroes on this separate board, much funnier than dice...


 
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Paul Dobbins
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That En Gard variant looks super. At some near future point I'll share what I've been up to.
 
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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TurkeyWest wrote:
That En Gard variant looks super. At some near future point I'll share what I've been up to.

Looking forward your stuff. I posted a PDF file of the En Garde board you see in the pictures, but still waiting to be approved...

 
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