Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Lake Tresimenous - Anyone ever win as the Romans? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Edward Wehrenberg
United States
Unspecified
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
My friend and I played two games at lunch today, taking turns as the Romans. Each time the Carthaginians smoked the Romans 6-2.

Now, I understand that not every scenario is balanced, and we're cool with that. But I'm wondering if anyone here has EVER won as the Romans.

As a follow-up questions, I ask you: If you could change the scenario to add balance (at the cost of historical accuracy), how would you do it? Possible ideas we had were giving the Romans 6 command cards from the start, or removing three units from the Carthaginians (one light Cav, 1 Aux, and 1 Warrior).

What do you guys think?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
La cheeserie!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I played a friend on Vassal earlier in November and won as the Romans 6-5. It was close but I was able to pull it out at the last minute due to really good die rolls.

I took the Romans because I figured I would lose but I wanted to play some of the scenarios I hadn't played before. It seemed like the most fair option for me to take the heavy underdogs since I wanted to play the scenario.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've won as the Romans, but it ain't easy.

I honestly think that having some unbalanced scenarios in the C&C system is a good thing. Even if you don't "match play" an unfair scenario, there's still fun to be had in trying to solve the imbalance problem. It encourages you to think about how to play the game in new ways that may make your play stronger in other scenarios. Sometimes your opponent slacks off and then you take advantage.
6 
 Thumb up
0.30
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
brian
United States
Cedar Lake
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BradyLS wrote:
I've won as the Romans, but it ain't easy.

I honestly think that having some unbalanced scenarios in the C&C system is a good thing. Even if you don't "match play" an unfair scenario, there's still fun to be had in trying to solve the imbalance problem. It encourages you to think about how to play the game in new ways that may make your play stronger in other scenarios. Sometimes your opponent slacks off and then you take advantage.

Yes, an excellent summary of my sentiments on the imbalance of most of the C&C scenarios. Well said.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberto Flaibani
Italy
Roma
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chairman7w wrote:

Now, I understand that not every scenario is balanced, and we're cool with that. But I'm wondering if anyone here has EVER won as the Romans.

As a follow-up questions, I ask you: If you could change the scenario to add balance (at the cost of historical accuracy), how would you do it? Possible ideas we had were giving the Romans 6 command cards from the start, or removing three units from the Carthaginians (one light Cav, 1 Aux, and 1 Warrior).

What do you guys think?


I'd say that all historical scenarios are more or less unbalanced, that's just real life. Only "abstract" scenarios could be really balanced. So, don't waste your time trying to re-balancing historical scenarios, rather play them always twice, switching sides. However, if you want to know more about balancement, have a look at the C&CA Results Depository:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/ancientsresults/
more than 400 results are stored there, you can get interesting stats from them.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward Wehrenberg
United States
Unspecified
CA
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
zatopek wrote:


I'd say that all historical scenarios are more or less unbalanced, that's just real life. Only "abstract" scenarios could be really balanced. So, don't waste your time trying to re-balancing historical scenarios, rather play them always twice, switching sides.


I hear ya Roberto, and I agree.

It was more of an exercise type question I had. If you DID have the chance to balance that scenario, how would you do it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Sosa
United States
Newark
Delaware
flag msg tools
badge
I will break him.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll chime in that I also won as the Romans. The battle does appear unbalanced, with the Romans having their backs to the lake and often unable to retreat. However I was able to form a sort of line in the middle of my forces utilizing the HI with leader behind the hills along with the other HI by the lake and marching them towards the Carthaginian skirmishers. Part of the trick to winning this battle is to advance your units towards the enemy so that they have one hex to retreat to. I did this with my end of the column units and managed to get some kills there. But what won me the battle were getting those two leaders and their units together.

I've only played the battle three times however, so I'm no expert!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberto Flaibani
Italy
Roma
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just for joking? Let's say, in order of importance:

- Giving the Roman the same number of leaders and Command Cards the Carthaginian has.

- Changing the Roman initial deployment placing those units one hex far from the lake.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robin Reeve
Switzerland
St-Légier
Vaud
flag msg tools
badge
Looking for a game session in Switzerland? Send me a pm!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
zatopek wrote:
I'd say that all historical scenarios are more or less unbalanced, that's just real life. Only "abstract" scenarios could be really balanced.
I don't fully agree.
Historical situations are unbalanced, most of the time.
But victory conditions can be set, to make the game balanced.
This is a flaw with C&C:A, IMO : both sides have the same victory conditions, most of the time.
Why not, for an example, make the Romans at Trasimene win with less banners than the Carthaginans?
The situation would remain historically acceptable, but the game situation would be more challenging.
The aim would not to make the "real life" Romans win the battle, but would challenge both players to do better than their historical counterparts (and, even if they loose in the 'real life', the Romans can make the Carthaginians "pay" a higher price than they actually did).
I believe that fixing nice victory conditions is one of the major jobs of a scenario designer : it asks more than setting the true life forces and letting the scenario limit itself to a "re-enactment", at the cost of an interesting contest.
In C&C:A, the only solution is to play the scenario twice, switching boards, and comparing the "banner ratio" between both plays.

On another scale and time, I have an old game "France 1940".
The victory conditions for the Allies are not to win the real life war, but to prevent the Germans from taking Paris (and other objectives) before a given date.
The situation remains historical, but the designers did a nice work by giving the looser a true challenge.

Many wargames have "progressive victory conditions" (e.g. tactical victory, marginal victory, decisive victory). That helps a player who is loosing to try not to hand the best victory to his opponent - i.e. make him "pay the cost" to have it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erick Sais
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I also won as the Romans, but I was dealt really good cards (I love that FIRST STRIKE card)or is it AMBUSH? Either way, playing that card at the right time can truly turn the game around.

I agree the scenario is unbalanced but winning when your expected to lose is a GREAT victory.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberto Flaibani
Italy
Roma
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Robin, this way you do not balance the scenario, you balance just the game results. Exactly as if you switch sides in a two games match. The scenario structure keeps unchanged, and the original Ed's question keeps unanswered:

Quote:
As a follow-up questions, I ask you: If you could change the scenario to add balance (at the cost of historical accuracy), how would you do it? Possible ideas we had were giving the Romans 6 command cards from the start, or removing three units from the Carthaginians (one light Cav, 1 Aux, and 1 Warrior)

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gisli Sigtryggsson
Canada
Amherst
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Out of three games as the Romans I won one as well. It was against an inexperienced opponent mind you and I had a bit of dice-luck going for me. I managed to attack on the right and force the initiative so his attention was taken away from all those easy targets along the lake shore. Lucky dice followed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robin Reeve
Switzerland
St-Légier
Vaud
flag msg tools
badge
Looking for a game session in Switzerland? Send me a pm!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
zatopek wrote:
Robin, this way you do not balance the scenario, you balance just the game results.
You seem to mix up the scenario with the historical situation.
The scenario is part of the game, it is not the historical situation.
Modifying the victory conditions, without touching the Orders of Battle is clearly modifying the scenario.
My point is that one can keep the historical "(un)balance", and tweek the victory conditions, so that the scenario remains challenging for both opponents.
What I am expressing here is not new. It is among the basics of scenario design, that any experienced wargamer will recognize.
As an ASL scenario designer, I can say that one of the most important factors for a scenario balance are the Victory conditions.
zatopek wrote:
Exactly as if you switch sides in a two games match. The scenario structure keeps unchanged, and the original Ed's question keeps unanswered
I was answering to the idea that balancing a scenario could only lead to depict a non historical situation. So I was not adressing Ed's question directly (excepted that a VC change could be a nice solution to his problem).
Tweeking the victory conditions is certainly not "exactly the same" as switching sides in a two games match.
Taking the Lake Trasimene case, it gives a better possibility for the Roman to "win" (gamewise) the scenario.
Switching sides would simply result in choosing between two Roman defeats.
That is not my definition of "exactly the same".
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Takacs
Italy
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think I agree Robin. Changing the victory conditions changes the perceived balance of the historical situation. Say for example that the victory conditions are changed so that the Romans need 2 flags less to win. This would impact the tactics employed by the players and create balance that did not exist during the historical battle. This just does not seem as satisfying as fighting the battle as is, unbalance and all and then switching sides. Further, I think balancing the scenarios through modified victory conditions would be difficult and problematic. I can already hear the arguments that the victory condition modifications for scenario Y need to be modified further . . . .

Modified victory conditions would be a good variant, but I do not think it should be part of the base game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robin Reeve
Switzerland
St-Légier
Vaud
flag msg tools
badge
Looking for a game session in Switzerland? Send me a pm!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I get your point, Ken.
But if the Romans must score as many banners as the Carthaginian, will the former really act more historically? I really am not sure, as they will have to be much more agressive than their historical counterparts to attempt to win that way.
By giving less banners to win to the Roman forces the Carthaginian to do better than a simple "slaughter" and develop more subtle tactics.

Now I believe that victory conditions modifications would be about the only way not to touch the historical layout (e.g. the real forces in presence).
Otherwise, the scenario won't be a representation of a historical event anymore and the idea that one can create a balanced game challenge only by being historically inaccurate would be confirmed.
Many (most?) wargames don't give both sides the same objectives, as C&C:A does most of the time - and in real life, sides did have different objectives. As said before, I am not expressing an original idea: it is something most wargame designers do.

The major question I would ask myself as a designer would be : How can I create a challenging game situation without taking too much distance from the historical situation?
The answer "Let the game keep unbalanced" is not a satisfying answer to the problem, IMNSHO. It is an easy, cheep one.

In the wargame "Siege of Jerusalem" (Avalon Hill), the Zealots don't win by preventing the Romans from conquering the city, but by preventing them to do it in a given time.
Imagine what the C&C:A system would do with that situation: Romans would always take the city and win (there would be no question that they would always score more "banners" than the Zealots). The unbalanced historical situation would generate an unbalanced game. Poor design.
One must make a difference between the game and the historical situation.

Of course, above all this debate, we must remember that C&C:A (and any other wargame) is not a real "enactment" of historical events. It remains a game and only a game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.