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Bellum Gallicum II» Forums » General

Subject: Combat's broken rss

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Stuart Tonge
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Rotherham
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I broke this one out again for a try. I had a memory of not liking something about this and wanted to have another look.

It was the combat system.
The problems are many, and though there are most likely easily solved with some house rules I haven't yet done that (I've just gotten COIN 'Falling Sky' and will try that first), and i'm not sure I have the will to rewrite it.


A few of the things I noticed:

Combat in general doesn't do a lot of damage much of the time.
A 1/2 result in a pitched battle for example flips half your units but then you get to immediately attempt to rally all flipped units. The Romans have a high chance of immediately rallying and taking no damage. The Gauls less so (approx 33%) and the Germans are pretty hardy also.
(you could also rephrase this as 'the Gauls just cannot beat the Romans, period and the Romans will take zero casualties slaughtering them')

Losses are all allocated by the side taking them - the Romans will therefore tote around cavalry and auxilia for this purpose and rarely if ever take a legionary as a hit. The same is true for forced marching. As the Romans I did it without every worrying and simply flipped a slinger as necessary.

In combat only the second result matters, so you can get a great first result which the enemy subsequently rallies from and then a poor second result in which you take few casualties but then run away.
That would be kind of OK if not for the pursuit rules which say the winner can butcher the enemy with their cavalry. Your own cavalry doesn't prevent this and so to me combat often feels like very few hits are scored but then cavalry goes out and kills even if outnumbered by enemy cavalry, which doesn't make a lot of sense.

Similarly skirmish actions frequently result in a one hit result which flips a counter and does nothing else. That's only very marginally better than no result in most cases.

Sieges can be a very bad deal for the besieger as it goes on number of units, not strength - so a veteran legion is no better than a unit of auxilia. Also you must roll on the siege table and so can take casualties this way rather than simply standing and waiting for the food to run out.

As an example I tried the intro scenario which has a small but tough legionary army versus several tribes of Gauls.
Neither side has 5 units together and so field battles cannot occur.
I played this several times and the Romans never managed the historical result. All the Gaul need do is withdraw into their Oppidia (hill fort) and the Roman cannot really touch them.
Even if they don't the skirmish table is so wishy-washy that the Roman has to roll lucky to do much.

There are other issues I found such as the supply depot rule basically saying 'apply -2 to Roman supply checks' but doing so in a big heap of text and having counters that seem unnecessary.

It's of course possible that I just didn't *like* the combat system, btu I found it in general to not do very much. Ancient battles were usually decisive but in this game most often they are not.

If anyone does disagree please don't be put off and reply - maybe I am doing something wrong somewhere?
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Stuart Tonge
United Kingdom
Rotherham
South Yorkshire
flag msg tools
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mbmb
For anyone who may come this way I did re-write the combat system and make a few other alterations. You should be able to find it in the files section.
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