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Subject: Game idea..or maybe it exsists already!? rss

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Aaron Gelb
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I was reading a book and it took place in the 800-900's. The fighting, when to armies clashed, was not much more than two shield walls, coming together, more or less a pushing war with shields met, swords and spears poking, slashing and whatnot. When I read it, I thought of C&C:Ancients because of the way there are two lines fighting for position, but the shield wall in the book wasn't as epic (no elephants, etc) as it took place in england/northern lands. I also thought of warhammer and the like games, but i was really wondering if anyone thought about making, or knew of a game that specifically tried to simulate the shield wall battles of old. Not including miniature games, or battle lore...are there any others like it? The book i was reading was Cornwell's Last Kingdom series.

If a similar game hasn't been made, maybe it would be a bit like command and colors, but shorter and not as large, due to the fact that it would be more specifically two war bands exchanging blows in the shield wall, with minimal movement etc..if anyone has read those books you may know what i'm thinking of. I'm just bored at work, i thought i'd pose the question.!
 
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Antonio Chavez
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I'm not sure, but maybe Men of Iron can scratch that itch... it's a nice game, anyway
 
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Aaron Gelb
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oh wow, that game does look nice... lots of fun to play?
 
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Lewis Pulsipher
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Do you think this would be a very interesting game? Fighting then was vey simple, just barging forward. What choices would the players have to make?

I've designed a simple Battle of Hastings game (nearing blind testing) that reflects the Saxon use of the shield wall (which they learned from the Vikings). The Normans didn't fight the same way.

Lew Pulsipher
(Britannia, etc.)
 
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Antonio Chavez
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asgelb wrote:
oh wow, that game does look nice... lots of fun to play?


I got it two weeks ago and haven't played it yet (I've been on an Ambush binge). But I read the rules and they look really interesting. Much simpler than most wargames, but quite harder than most Euros. Plus, the maps and counters are top notch. I would recomend it if you like the theme.
 
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Dan Wilkinson
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I think it is a good idea for a game, especially a 'quick' wargame. This type of combat is very under-represented in wargames in general as far as I can see.

I suggest you check out this ruleset:

http://perfectcaptain.50megs.com/hoplomachia.html

This is a miniatures ruleset for greek hoplite battles, so somewhat removed in time and space and representation from your idea, however the shield wall is the dominant element of hoplite battles, so it may have some ideas you can use. I particularly like the attention to period detail in these rules (try and find the rule about sacrificing a goat to add morale at the crucial stage of the battle for example).

The battles you describe sound like they are primarily dependant on formation and morale as opposed to manouever, so a system like C&C may not be well suited to your needs. You may also have little need for terrain since most such battles are fought on flat or gently sloping fields. It all depends what you wish to simulate and to what level of detail.

Accordingly I think you should focus on the detail of how the battle line is drawn up, on the morale of various sections of the line etc. The board could be fairly abstract, in order to focus on the issues outlined above. A large hex map may not be the best way to go - perhaps squares would be better, or even no board at all.

A pushing type battle such as you describe would probably be a finely balanced affair with small differences in strength at a given portion of the line proving conclusive, or with auxilluary troops such as cavalry on the flanks, or archers perhaps providing the deciding factor. If that's the case then the gameplay ought to be designed to provide this feeling to the players.

Sounds like an interesting project. Please feel free to send me a geekmail if you have any ideas you want to bounce of someone.


 
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Aaron Gelb
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thanks all, i'll let you know if I come up with anything. Check out cornwell's last kingdom trilogy..(i think its called the warlord series)..great books about the danish invasion in what is now known as england.
 
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David Redpath
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There was a set of rules published in miniature Wargames, many years ago, called the Dark Age Infantry Slog, which were quite good and maybe could be adapted, but not sure where you find a copy now.

James Dunnigan did a game in S&T a while ago on large scale ancients battles, called 'Men At Arms', issue 137, which had some pretty good basic rules and scenarios which seemed to me to cover the period well.
 
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