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Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization» Forums » General

Subject: Your opinion: Phalanx vs. Legion rss

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Anthony Rubbo
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Your opinion: Phalanx vs. Legion

Since Keith is putting the effort into fixing a few of the cards in the new edition of Through the Ages, I wanted to throw this suggestion out there to hear your opinion.

In the current version of the game (and previous version, I believe), we have the following two tactics cards, which are identical in the value they add to the army:

Phalanx: Infantry-Infantry-Cavalry
Legion: Infantry-Infantry-Infantry

Sure there were some phalanxes supported by cavalry, and sure the were some legions compromised completely of infantry, however I think the primary useage of the two tactics would suggest that if you're going to boil the ideas down to just a grouping of 3 units, then these should be reversed to retain the "feel" of the army at hand. BUT, I really don't know all that much on the topic, so I turn to y'all!

Below are some websites found after a quick search, but I'm sure there are historians here who would be happy to offer their expert opinion, plus I trust the designer and would LOVE to be taught how the current printing is the one worth keeping.

In the end for me, it's just felt weird throwing down a Phalanx formation w/ cavalry, and a Legion of just infantry, but again, I defer to those more in-the-know.

Thanks!

- A

http://digilander.libero.it/tepec/falange.htm
http://numbera.com/rome/strategy/legform.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_formation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legion
 
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Peter Walsh
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This is another fine mess you've gotten us into.
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Not an expert by any means on this question, but under Philip and Alexander the Macedonian Phalanx was supported by cavalry pretty famously was it not?
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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I think it would be better to leave them the way they are rather than make a change just to add more historical accuracy. If you need to fix rules to make the game work that's one thing, but rules changes in an already-published game should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
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Lee Fisher
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Certainly it isn't a rule change. It is just a question of swapping the cards to make them more intuitive. Based on the wikipedia, Legion makes more sense with the cavalry.
 
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Vlaada Chvatil
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Hello Anthony,

I understand your point of view, and it can be correct. On the other hand, I think the original point of view can be correct, too. Tactics cards are relatively abstract and allow more points of view.

The I-I-I formation should be probably named Heavy Infantry and the I-I-C formation Ancient Army (to stress they used cavalry in ancient armies but the role of infantry was higher than in the Medieval Army). To add more flavor, I decided to name Heavy Infantry rather Legion (because of typical picture of well organized and disciplined heavy infanterists - legionaries - marching shield to shield to crush the enemy), and the other Phalanx (because of Alexander the Great, one of my favourite historical leaders, who developed the use of phalanx to perfection - especialy in combination with his famous cavalry). I understand this may be not intuitive, but I think it is not so bad to make me to rename cards for the next edition.
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David desJardins
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LemonyFresh wrote:
In the current version of the game (and previous version, I believe), we have the following two tactics cards, which are identical in the value they add to the army:

Phalanx: Infantry-Infantry-Cavalry
Legion: Infantry-Infantry-Infantry


Not true. Legion is +2 and Phalanx is +3.
 
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