Stephen R. Welch
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Chandragupta brings the art of war in ancient India to GMT’s popular Great Battles of History Series. The new game has been posted to GMT's P500 site and is already receiving an enthusiastic response.

Beginning with Chandragupta Maurya’s victories over the Nanda clan, the game follows the brief but rapid rise of the Mauryan dynasty, from Chandragupta’s expulsion of Seleucus from the Indus river valley to the conquest of the last independent kingdom on the subcontinent, Kalinga, by his grandson Ashoka. The Mauryan empire became the largest and most powerful in India’s history – a distinction that would remain unchallenged until the arrival of the Mughals some 1,700 years later.

Chandragupta simulates the traditional “four-fold” division of the Indian military system, with the elephant corps reigning supreme, and the hordes of light infantry regarded as little more than fodder for chariots’ wheels and trampling pachyderms. Chariots still play a prominent role on the Indian battlefield of the era, but the cavalry, with its versatility and endurance, is a potent competitor. In Chandragupta, victory goes to the commander who can master the unique aspects of the differing Indian military “classes” – the professional, lifelong soldiers called Maulas, the mercenary levies, unpredictable tribal allies, and the militias of the powerful trade guilds. While Maulas and mercenaries are commanded under a single hierarchical command structure, the tribals and the trade guilds are led by independent chiefs.

Units include cataphracted elephants, “heavy” four- (and sometimes eight-!) wheeled chariots, and even an “elCH” unit – yes, elephant-pulled chariots. Rules include Combined Chariot/Infantry and Elephant/Infantry lines, Dharmayudda or “just” warfare, Guild enmity, and Tribal loyalty. EL units can even breach camp walls and pull down city gates (if they don’t rampage first).

Fans of GBoH will appreciate the exciting variety in Chandragupta’s scenarios, from huge set-piece battles on flat plains, to tribal suppressions, a night assault on a military camp, and street fighting in the city of Takshashila. Chandragupta is the 13th volume in the series.

Battles:

* Pataliputra (319 BC) – Chandragupta’s mentor, the Brahmin Chanakya, brashly challenges the Nanda dynasty with a cadre of mercenaries.
* Maghada (317 BC) – Chandragupta again confronts the Nandas, who are this time led by the formidable general Bhadrasala.
* Mayalaketu (317 BC) – Chanakya attacks the turncoat general Mayalaketu and his rebel army in camp.
* Takshashila (316 BC) – the Thracian general Eudamus, allied to Indian king Ambhi, defends the city of Takshashila against Chandragupta’s assault.
* Gandhara (304 BC) – former officer of Alexander the Great, now “Master of Babylonia,” Seleucus I Nicator crosses the Indus river to invade Gandhara, and is confronted by the Mauryan army at the river’s banks.
* Revolt in the Provinces (275 BC) – Chandragupta’s grandson, Ashoka, brings a relief force to lift a rebel siege of Takshashila and rescue the aging Chanakya who is holed up in the city’s palace.
* Khashas (274 BC) – Chandragupta’s son, Bhindusara, puts down a confederation of the independent Khasha kings with an attack on their mountain strongholds.
* Kalinga (261 BC) – the most famous battle of the Mauryan era, Ashoka’s army attacks the kingdom of Kalinga in a huge – and bloody -- set-piece battle.

Chandragupta is now available for pre-order at http://www.gmtgames.com/gbchand/main.html.

See also the ConsimWorld Forum at http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@673.OOpocgdQtuZ.6@.1dd17....
 
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Loveland
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Already preordered.
 
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John Farrell
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This theme really turns me on but I'm afraid it'll be all "wargamery". I love C&C:A, but can I love a game with chits? Will it take about 10 hours to play? Will the rules bet 64 pages long? I so wish I could like this game.
 
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Elijah Lau
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Hi Stephen,

Looks interesting. If I take the plunge, this'll be my first GBoH game! I'm interested to know which historical sources you used for your research. Much appreciate if you could post a bibliography list here, thanks.

And I second your comment at the CSW forum on looking into the later Indian empires. To wargamers like me who live in Southeast Asia, events like the Chola invasion of Srivijaya are obviously of great interest.
 
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Stephen R. Welch
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Thanks so much for your interest and support, Scott!

SRW
 
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Stephen R. Welch
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John,

This is definitely a game "with chits," but if you like the subject matter, you may want to give it a try. I've tried to include a variety of interesting terrains and scenarios -- there are several small engagements on half-maps, but also large set-piece battles; victory objectives include the usual routing thresholds but also scenarios with territorial objectives.

If you're worried about overly dense rules and games that take longer to play than the actual battles occurred in real time, you'll be encouraged to know that Chandragupta will come ready to play with the "Simple GBoH" rules. So, if you have the SGBoH rulebook, you can play Chandragupta's scenarios with the simplified rules right out of the box. SGBoH fans find that the games are quicker to set up and play, don't take as long to play, and have much less counter fiddling.

Steve
 
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Stephen R. Welch
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elijah234 wrote:
Hi Stephen,

Looks interesting. If I take the plunge, this'll be my first GBoH game!


Elijah -- I dearly love the GBoH series, so I heartily encourage you to take the plunge.

Quote:
I'm interested to know which historical sources you used for your research. Much appreciate if you could post a bibliography list here, thanks.


It took about two years to research and design the game, and most of that time was spent on the research. Historical data was NOT easy to come by, but I did manage to find several good works by Indian scholars on the military system of the era. Their bibliographies led to tracking down primary sources such as the famous Arthashastra, the military and political treatise written by Chanakya (aka Kautilya), Chandragupta Maurya's prime minister and consiglieri.

A bibliography will be included with the game's rules (provided there is space), but I also plan to include comments on the research in a series of weekly e-"articles" about the game on CSW. If there is interest here at BGG, I'll post them on BGG as well.

Quote:
And I second your comment at the CSW forum on looking into the later Indian empires. To wargamers like me who live in Southeast Asia, events like the Chola invasion of Srivijaya are obviously of great interest.


The invasions of Chola are certainly an interesting topic, especially fun gaming prospects if naval battles would be involved. The challenge, as always, is in finding the historical data, though Chola may be less of an issue (than was Chandragupta) because his campaigns took place much later. I've jotted your suggestion down in my "possible future projects" notebook.

Steve
 
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Trevor Murphy
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Man, you had me at 'randomized elephant movement compass.'
 
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Elijah Lau
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SRWelch00 wrote:

A bibliography will be included with the game's rules (provided there is space), but I also plan to include comments on the research in a series of weekly e-"articles" about the game on CSW. If there is interest here at BGG, I'll post them on BGG as well.


If you could post them on BGG, that'll be cool.
 
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Mark Stadel
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I also pre-ordered this ... its nice to see some ventures into new wargaming areas/eras (and it seems like others think so too!). I'm hoping this is a continuing trend ? ...
 
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Stephen R. Welch
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nomad001 wrote:
I also pre-ordered this ... its nice to see some ventures into new wargaming areas/eras (and it seems like others think so too!). I'm hoping this is a continuing trend ? ...


Thank you, Mark, for your pre-order!

This could very well be a continuing trend -- I have ideas for further modules and game volumes dealing with post-Mauryan India, and Richard Berg, one of the original GBoH designers, is exploring ideas for a game on ancient China. There is a lot of rich historical material here for more game possibilities.

It's quite exciting ...

SRW
 
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