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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: "I Am Spartacus Card" - Huh? rss

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Scott Ryan
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As a relative newcomer to C&C:A, can someone please explain the thematic relevance of this card?

What has a former gladiator who led a slave revolt got to do with ordering soldiers from vast empires on a battlefield - beyond some tenuous metaphor for "loyalty" or "bravery"?

And mechanically it's so random. You have no idea what will actually be ordered, if anything worthwhile. Swords and flags order nothing, so each die has a 2/3rd's chance of ordering something. With command of 4, you're lucky to order 3x units. Typically it sits in my hand as a dead card, unless really early in the piece I can dump it without imperilling my army/strategy.

The +1 is great for ranged combat ... assuming you throw a green or helmet to actually order troops capable of ranged fire.

And why then are the discards re-shuffled into the main deck? Beyond recycling a few cards you like in the hope they may pop up again and YOU happen to draw them, honestly I don't see the point.

Please excuse my rant. I don't mean to nit-pick. I love this game. It's just that when this card appears, I can't help but audibly groan.

Cheers
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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In Epic, you are more likely to have a command of 6 or higher, so you will probably be able to order 2 or more units of any one given type. Since it is flexible on flanks, it is one of the top 3 cards in an Epic game. With lower command, you can gamble on it when you don't have the card that you need. Later in a game with a high flag requirement it can be nice to know that you won't be restricted to a single unit type if you want to act in several parts of the board. Barring terrible luck on the roll, it is usually more interesting than a Probe on the wrong flank....

In my experience, it gets played (often to dramatic effect).

If you don't have a reshuffle card, then things can get fairly unexciting. People like to play cards such as Line Command; knowing that they might happen again keeps things interesting.

Thematically, 'I am Spartacus' is about collective responsibility in a mass uprising that failed, which may speak to your disappointment :) The Napoleonics version is Elan, another good thematic choice.
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Joe J. Rushanan
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It is always an event in our games when it is played. Memorably, I used it twice in one game (evidently, they didn't believe me the first time).

Walter Hunt always hopes we do the Ryan Stiles as Carol Channing imitation (In response to "Unlikely castings")


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Mark McG
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barmyfongyphipps wrote:

What has a former gladiator who led a slave revolt got to do with ordering soldiers from vast empires on a battlefield - beyond some tenuous metaphor for "loyalty" or "bravery"?


Very little, but the card has to be called something. And of course you can do the whole 'No, I'm Spartacus' schtick. Incidentally, if Spartacus is actually the Commanding General, he gets a bonus on this card of +2 die.
https://www.commandsandcolors.net/ancients/the-game/game-box...

barmyfongyphipps wrote:

And mechanically it's so random. You have no idea what will actually be ordered, if anything worthwhile. Swords and flags order nothing, so each die has a 2/3rd's chance of ordering something. With command of 4, you're lucky to order 3x units. Typically it sits in my hand as a dead card, unless really early in the piece I can dump it without imperilling my army/strategy.


Best time to use it is when you don't HAVE to do anything in particular, and see if it gives you an opportunity.
The worst time to play it is when you absolutely have to do something, and you are depending on this card to make it happen. (because the dice do disappoint).

barmyfongyphipps wrote:

And why then are the discards re-shuffled into the main deck? Beyond recycling a few cards you like in the hope they may pop up again and YOU happen to draw them, honestly I don't see the point.


There is actually some card strategy in this, aside from rejuvenating the deck. Usually it matters only for the low count cards like Mounted Charge, Double Time, and of course First Strike. Knowing First Strike is in the discard pile is a valuable bit of knowledge, since it allows better planning. So holding Spartacus in hand is sometimes more valuable than playing it.
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T. Dauphin
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barmyfongyphipps wrote:

And why then are the discards re-shuffled into the main deck? Beyond recycling a few cards you like in the hope they may pop up again and YOU happen to draw them, honestly I don't see the point.


It also serves to put Spartacus back in the deck. It gives your opponent an opportunity to use it as well--or to clog up his hand, just as it did yours.



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Minot
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There is a card like this in every version of C&C:

BC: 150 = "Battle Cry"
Memoir '44 = "All Out Offensive"
CCN = "Elan" (as previously mentioned)
etc.

The name is mildly thematic . . probably no more anachronistic than anything from "300," and better than "Varus, give me back my legions" for example . . .
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Mark McG
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NimitsTexan wrote:
There is a card like this in every version of C&C:

BC: 150 = "Battle Cry"
Memoir '44 = "All Out Offensive"
CCN = "Elan" (as previously mentioned)
etc.

The name is mildly thematic . . probably no more anachronistic than anything from "300," and better than "Varus, give me back my legions" for example . . .


but I'd prefer "Veni, vidi, vici", or perhaps "Carthago delenda est"

An alternate Greek version would be
"With it or on it!" (Greek: Ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς! E tan e epi tas!)"
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Matt Dangla
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Hi Scott,

I didn't realize that the die roll bonus of the card was also received for ranged combat but now I think you are right.

If I'm not mistaken, the die roll bonus of the other cards are only for close combat.
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Cracky McCracken
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barmyfongyphipps wrote:
As a relative newcomer to C&C:A, can someone please explain the thematic relevance of this card?

What has a former gladiator who led a slave revolt got to do with ordering soldiers from vast empires on a battlefield - beyond some tenuous metaphor for "loyalty" or "bravery"?


Cheers


Yeah.... It's like British soldiers shouting "Remember the Alamo!!" during Operation Market Garden.

The card I can't stand from the whole C&C series is Short Supply. Mercifully, that card doesn't appear in Ancients. I just remove SS from the deck and the game is fine.

Now if Greece and the Eastern Kingdoms makes it's p500 reprint, than "I am Sparticus" will be ok again.
 
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Mark McG
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Cracky wrote:

Yeah.... It's like British soldiers shouting "Remember the Alamo!!" during Operation Market Garden.


but "Whoa Mohammed" makes perfect sense??
https://www.quora.com/World-War-II-How-did-Wahai-Muhammad-be...
 
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Scott Ryan
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decius wrote:
Hi Scott,

I didn't realize that the die roll bonus of the card was also received for ranged combat but now I think you are right.

If I'm not mistaken, the die roll bonus of the other cards are only for close combat.


Hi Matt

Yes, the question came up in a game recently. The Spartacus card says "battle" and a quick check of the rulebook confirmed ranged and close combat as two types of "battle" (p.7).

I also double-checked later on BGG just to be sure and found a post on this very question:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/626159/i-am-spartacus-quest...

And I'm pretty sure you are correct regards dice roll bonuses of other cards applying only for close combat, but I might be reading the fine print a bit more closely/carefully from now on, just to be sure.
 
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David Bohnenberger
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For one thing, the movie "Spartacus" is a main driver of the theme and mechanics in this game.

As for the reshuffle, it is to prevent card-counting.
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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Minedog3 wrote:
"Carthago delenda est"


To be thematic, you should just say that every turn. Even if Carthage isn't involved in the current battle.

Minedog3 wrote:
but I'd prefer "Veni, vidi, vici"


'Alea iacta est'? Fits with the mechanics.

Minedog3 wrote:
An alternate Greek version would be
"With it or on it!" (Greek: Ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς! E tan e epi tas!)"


I feel that this should be used to order up to 4 weakened units from any sections, which must attack (with +1 dice).

A C&C Sci-Fi version of the card would have to choose between 'Never give up, never surrender' and 'The day is not yet over'.
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Todd Carter
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mlvanbie wrote:


'Alea iacta est'? Fits with the mechanics.



I think this is the only rename I think could be better than "I am Spartacus." Good job!
 
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Scott Ryan
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Minedog3 wrote:


Very little, but the card has to be called something.


Indeed. Semantics, semantics.

With this is mind, I offer a few suggestions in the spirit of others here, though not in Latin. These are all interchangeable and can be used and played depending on game circumstance:

1. "Throwing Snowballs at Hell" Card (a.k.a random piecemeal card)
2. "Leave 'em in the Lurch" Card (when you can only order 2 out of 4 units you NEED to move-combat because of the darn dice)
3. "List Clogger" Card (AFL vernacular)
4. "Command 4, Draw Again" Card (special dispensation to ditch and redraw)
5. The "Nothing's Happening Here, Let's Go Hang Out on the Appian Way" Card (probably in poor taste)
6. "I Am Spartacus" Card (for scenarios actually involving Spartacus and slaves - radical, I know)


I jest, of course, to underline the general experience I have had with it in the 30 or so games of the first seven scenarios I have played in the base game. Early impressions suggest it is a rather weak card, which can hobble a player - especially with Command 4 - who doesn't have the luxury of simply holding onto it or play it to merely "see what happens".

With that said, it does sound like it has more application/agency in Epics and the Spartacus-themed scenario (obviously). And the good points about using it to strategise the card deck to advantage (if you can afford to) are very insightful, along with the benefits of rejuvenating the deck to offset predictability/card-counting.

I'll see if i can give it a bit more love in my next few games.

Thanks all for your contributions. I enjoyed reading them, both the serious and light-hearted/witty.


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Robin Reeve
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Stanley Kubrik.
Kirk Douglas.
Spartacus.
Movie.
 
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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In this picture you can see different versions that were proposed in a custom Spanish deck (top row):


IaS with Kirk, Strength & Honor with Rusell, and Alea Jacta Est with gladiators. I would choose Alea Jacta Est with a leader silhouette!
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Derek H
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mlvanbie wrote:
I feel that this should be used to order up to 4 weakened units from any sections, which must attack (with +1 dice).

A C&C Sci-Fi version of the card would have to choose between 'Never give up, never surrender' and 'The day is not yet over'.

For SciFi (and I did propose a SciFi version of C&C many, many, er, moons ago on this site), I'd prefer: Today is a good day to die!
 
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Mark McG
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gamesbook wrote:
mlvanbie wrote:
I feel that this should be used to order up to 4 weakened units from any sections, which must attack (with +1 dice).

A C&C Sci-Fi version of the card would have to choose between 'Never give up, never surrender' and 'The day is not yet over'.

For SciFi (and I did propose a SciFi version of C&C many, many, er, moons ago on this site), I'd prefer: Today is a good day to die!


Abaddon

every turn has a Spartacus roll.. !!!
 
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Michael Van Biesbrouck
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gamesbook wrote:
mlvanbie wrote:
I feel that this should be used to order up to 4 weakened units from any sections, which must attack (with +1 dice).

A C&C Sci-Fi version of the card would have to choose between 'Never give up, never surrender' and 'The day is not yet over'.

For SciFi (and I did propose a SciFi version of C&C many, many, er, moons ago on this site), I'd prefer: Today is a good day to die!


That would be best reserved for a game including the Battle of Little Bighorn. Klingons like to appropriate Earth culture. Ideally it would be prefixed by 'Hoka hey', which is sometimes translated 'Let's roll' (seems anachronistic to me, but squeezing in a cute joke by quoting Crazy Horse more accurately has to be worth doing).

Galaxy Quest deserves more respect.

As mentioned above, Abaddon ignores command cards entire in favour of an activation roll.
 
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