Scott Ryan
Australia
Footscray
Victoria
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Just did an initial run through, using the extended example in the playbook (scenario 4) and continued on through turns 6 and 7. There’s a bit to digest, but I think I played most of it right and feel I have a better grasp of the basic game mechanics and procedures, albeit a few small rules errors made along the way.

From first play, a few observations and questions if I may. For those more experienced in Genesis, feel free to make any comments/answers:

I really like the historical feel of the game. Lots of neat elements to capture a sense of the period – slaves and peasants, construction, tribute, revolts, manpower limits, treasury, chariot technology, random turn order (upheavals/instability), barbarian invasions etc. Big tick for theme and general game play.

Chariots didn’t seem to get used as much as I thought they might. Defenders tend to hide in their fortified cities. Am I missing something here, tactically speaking? One query: if a city’s DS gets reduced to 0, a subsequent attack on remaining enemy defenders may include chariots, correct? i.e. defenders don’t get to skulk in the city’s rubble.

An inferior force with a decent king can inflict some serious damage on a much larger force, especially if the gods (die roll) are with them.

Query: If a lone King in a (home) city is attacked by an advancing army, what happens to him?

Tribute: the risks (revolts) seem to outweigh the rewards (a few silver), so choose cities carefully to gain tribute. Trying to quell a city in revolt deep behind your lines is a pain in the backside, especially for the Egyptians, whose thin trade routes back to Thebes are especially vulnerable.
Query: If a player’s unit/s dies from isolation as a result of revolt and hence loses control of the city, the revolt ends, the marker removed and the city resumes independent status, yes? (which ironically opens a trade route again)

Recruit: The “one Recruit Action” mentioned in the Rules p.6 (3.2 Sequence of Play, E. Activation Phase, point 3. Action Segment) I assume does not mean the player can only recruit in one city that AM phase. It means you may recruit in as many available cities as you are willing to pay for, but each city can only recruit infantry once (i.e. max. 2 units per city) per AM phase?

Forces seem to coalesce into a single stack (or two) controlled by a king who, like a mobile panzer division, cuts a swathe through a line of enemy territory. The rest of the map is dotted by peasants, slaves and/or 1 unit inf occupying cities for purposes of control and construction, as well as larger inf garrisons (3-5 BP) in vulnerable/important cities.
Just on that, once an inf unit or group of units gets left behind, it’s pretty hard for it/them to rejoin the main bunch at the front via minor moves, since these actions should mostly be used for construction, and only one unit can move per minor action anyhows. Tedious. Best hope is the king comes and escorts them into a useful position, but that might waste a king’s major move.

The Egyptians need to seriously protect their home ports from barbarian invasion. Next, the Canaanite ports as they advance north.

It might be just the nature of Scenario 4, or maybe the way I played it, but the Egyptians and Hittites crushed the poor Mitanni in a sandwich. I’m assuming other scenarios have greater play balance overall?

These are some initial impressions. Welcome any insights you might have to share.


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Richard Hellsten
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Thatcham
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barmyfongyphipps wrote:
One query: if a city’s DS gets reduced to 0, a subsequent attack on remaining enemy defenders may include chariots, correct? i.e. defenders don’t get to skulk in the city’s rubble.

Correct, the defenders can only use the city if it is fortified (DS > 0).

barmyfongyphipps wrote:
Query: If a lone King in a (home) city is attacked by an advancing army, what happens to him?

A King not stacked with infantry or chariots is considered a Non-Combat Unit and eliminated as appropriate.

barmyfongyphipps wrote:
Query: If a player’s unit/s dies from isolation as a result of revolt and hence loses control of the city, the revolt ends, the marker removed and the city resumes independent status, yes? (which ironically opens a trade route again)

Yup.

barmyfongyphipps wrote:
Recruit: The “one Recruit Action” mentioned in the Rules p.6 (3.2 Sequence of Play, E. Activation Phase, point 3. Action Segment) I assume does not mean the player can only recruit in one city that AM phase. It means you may recruit in as many available cities as you are willing to pay for, but each city can only recruit infantry once (i.e. max. 2 units per city) per AM phase?

Yup you have it right.

I think the game is great. It provides an almost beer and pretzels game of Bronze Age campaigning. The big stacks are exactly what should happen in the game, Kings go campaigning for their own personal glory.

I think there are two flaws with it. The first is that the end of the game can be a bit fiddly as the last chits can have an overwhelming effect on who wins. The other is that the game is not balanced. The players need to understand this and adjust accordingly. If left alone, the Hittites normally win in my experience. If the Mitanni and Assyrians war with each other all game and are then disappointed that they don't do well, thats on them, at least after the first game. If people play the game enough times this will balance out.
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Scott Ryan
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Thanks for your prompt reply and answering my queries.

RAVENBURG wrote:
The big stacks are exactly what should happen in the game, Kings go campaigning for their own personal glory.


Yep, that's pretty much what happened. The Hittites actually had 2x stacks of decent size forces, one in Charchemish, the other up north in Ergani. This allowed their king to switch between the two and pincer the Mitanni, who had to split their forces, with Egypt coming up from the south. They were totally cooked. Their king died alone in Nisibis and by game end, they had 3EW!

Looking forward to trying a few other scenarios and see how they play out. I'll bear in mind your advice about the Mitanni-Assyrian penchant for conflict allowing the Hittites to gain the spoils.

Cheers

 
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