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Arbela: Gaugamela, 331 BC» Forums » General

Subject: Arbela AAR rss

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Stephen Clark
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I recently completed a first play through of the game and posted pictures of even numbered turns on Consimworld.

The Macedonians won on turn 8 (marginal victory, having taken 4 of the Persian's advanced areas).

Very interesting game loosely based on (but a bit simpler than) Berg and Herman's GBoH/Simple GBoH board games. Neither side (esp. the Persians) can activate all units on any given turn, so the main decision making is where to activate. The Persians need to carefully move units from Reserve to the Deployment areas since the first line of guys are likely to suffer at the hands of the Macedonians (as they did historically). Once units are deployed, movement is pretty limited (as it was historically), mostly straight ahead.

Interestingly, in our game the Companion cavalry did not fare well (lost 2/3 of them), but they kept the Persians busy while the phalanxes in the center and allied cavalry to the left-center moved up and attacked.

There is a free setup version (which we haven't played, yet) that likely evens things up a lot.

The cards are very nice and the rules pretty tight.

I've uploaded a 3 page battleboard and play aid for the game.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Iam interested but concerned that this will be another unbalanced Bergian Macedonian love fest. Thoughts?
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Stephen Clark
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Well, the Macedonians did win the battle historically! Darius was a pretty terrible leader, and the Macedonian army was simply better though smaller.

I've only played the game once, so hard to draw conclusions. The game rules claim that playtesters reported a 60/40 split in favor of Alex.

The free setup version would likely help the Persians some as they can replace the lame chariots in the front with heavy cav, but their army just does not have an answer for the phalanxes and hypaspists. As long as Alex protects their flanks, they look to me hard to beat.

My son refused to advance on his left wing, denying my Companions any sort of flank attack like happened historically. However, I then just moved up a 2 wide swath of phalanxes with some allied heavy cavalry on their left.
 
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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ClashFan wrote:
Well, the Macedonians did win the battle historically! Darius was a pretty terrible leader, and the Macedonian army was simply better though smaller.


It is hard to judge since we don't have Persian sources. That said, Darius III showed resilience and flexibility as a commander on the strategic level. He erred in seeking battle, but at Arbela he came closer than most to beating Alexander.

The conquest of Persia was no certain thing, but Berg usually seems to make it so, which means...why take the time to set up and play? Even if Darius III was unlikely to win it would be nice to have victory conditions that are good, like win if you at least do better than Darius III. Does it have that?
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Andy Nunez
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Even if Darius III was unlikely to win it would be nice to have victory conditions that are good, like win if you at least do better than Darius III. Does it have that?

Well the Persians can win an Auto-Victory by killing Alex, otherwise there are 3 levels of victory for either side, plus a draw option. But only one side can win, there's no Persian Marginal vs. Macedonian Strategic level of victory comparisons.
 
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Stephen Clark
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Well, the game does not have a rule forcing Darius to flee the battle as he did historically, so in that sense I guess Darius can "win" the battle by simply staying and fighting?

Other than Alex's death, the Persians can win by controlling 4 or more of the Macedonian side's Advanced row of areas. That is a marginal victory. More areas controlled = greater victory.

I do find the victory conditions in the game a bit odd and vague.
 
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Don Cooper
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Darius lost. Enough said. He was a weak politician that used mass over elegance. No tactical skill whatsoever.
 
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Andy Nunez
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There's a new review of The Battle of Arbela here:

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/arbela-richard-bergs-compelli...

Seems to like it too.
 
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Captain Nemo
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ClashFan wrote:
Well, the Macedonians did win the battle historically! Darius was a pretty terrible leader, and the Macedonian army was simply better though smaller.

DUMASCLUB wrote:
Darius lost. Enough said. He was a weak politician that used mass over elegance. No tactical skill whatsoever.


Really? How much do you know about him?

(1) He had just won a Civil War, including the reconquest of Egypt.
(2) He outmaneuvered Alexander at Issues and ensured Gaugamela was fought on ground of his own choosing.
(3) He clearly inspired his subordinate generals to great efforts of valour

That his opponent was one of the great leaders of history should not diminish appreciation of his considerable abilities.
 
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Robert Edward

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(2) He outmaneuvered Alexander at Issues and ensured Gaugamela was fought on ground of his own choosing.

HAH! And still lost BIG TIME! Even ran away!!!!
 
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