Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
29 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Criteria for choosing Ancients Wargame rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
D Conklin
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm in the process of picking a rule set for wargaming in the Anceints era. As part of making the choice I have attempted to capture the criteria that is important to me to use in making the decision.

Anybody have any comments on the validity of any of the following criteria, arguments on why a particular criterion is valid or invalid, or suggestions about criterion that should be included or excluded?

All comments/arguments/suggestions welcome!

Thanks!

A rules system that is usable for the entire Ancients period (Biblical -> early Medieval) - basically I want to learn the rules once and be able to use them in several different periods. This obviously introduces challenges because a lot of different technologies existed during that time frame (from chariots to siege weapons to longbows), but a good system should be able to handle it all.

Easy to Setup & Play - my time is precious and the sad truth is that a game that takes forever to setup and play will probably stay on the shelf.

Plays fast - kind of the same point as the previous point, but more specifically turns are quick enough that you aren't bored waiting for your turn, and even that you may be able to squeeze in more than one game in a single evening (asking a lot, I know)

Engaging/elegant combat system - at the end of the day, no matter how much "chrome" the rules have, the thing you will be doing most is combat. If the combat system (the way you actually attack and defend) is not engaging or elegant in some way, I'm not going to want to play. If it is boring, too "fiddly", too complex, or just intangibly "feels" awkward, it will be a big turnoff.

Straightforward to translate real historic battles into game terms - a big draw for me to this time period is being able to re-fight historic battles. Do the rules allow for and/or support easy implementation of these kind of scenarios?

High availability of army lists - goes along with the previous point and the first point. Does the system provide army lists to use for different periods/armies? I'm no history major, so having someone do the hard work of putting these lists together is a big plus. It is ok if these are supplements, as long as they are available.

Point-based system - very important for game balance when creating new army lists or scenarios. I hate games where the designers have put together a system of rating combatants' relative strengths but don't give you "the formula".

Good simulation of Ancient battle - this is a big one...the rules system has to "feel" like you are truly fighting an Ancient battle (taking for granted that historical sources of info are sketchy at best). The more the system allows you to think and use strategies/tactics that approximate those of an actual commander during those times, the better! If it plays more like an abstract strategy game, or clever/esoteric game mechanics take center stage, it loses the flavor of a simulation.

An "accepted" rules system- what I'm getting across here is that the rules are used by a critical mass of people: enough that supplements, articles, scenarios, and interesting variants are available. I'm not necessarily looking for the be-all-end-all system or to swallow one particular manufacturers product line to the exclusion of all else, just a well respected/tested/supported system. The rules out most home-made free systems.

Low entry threshold for figures - Given that figures cost money and require time for painting, the lower the number of figures needed to field an army, the better.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Embark
Japan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You were very specific in what you were looking for out of an ancients game. Unfortunately, I don't think that there are any rulesets that fit every one of your requests. It's a trade off between realism (longer games with more units required) and abstractions (shorter games, less units).


I will give you a little to chew on though. On the longer heavier end of games, you may want to check out Field of Glory. It was designed by the guys at Slitherine Software (made a few pc wargames published by MATRIX GAMES) and published by Osprey Books.

It's average play time is around 3 hours and requires a substantial investment in miniatures to get a force together but it's the best ruleset I have seen in terms of realism and seems to be pretty well supported as far a historical games go. The rules are written in narrative style and there are army lists out for a number of eras that you can purchase to focus on a certain period.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/31542


On the other end of things you have De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA). It came out almost 20 years ago but is still relatively popular (at least around the Cleveland area). The big thing with DBA is that most details are abstracted and the game only requires 12 stands of miniatures. This takes the play time down to 30 mins to an hour or so and cuts back on the investment you make in minis before you get to play. The rules are dry and very concise so it may take someone showing you how the bounds work but once you see a play through, it's an easy game to play.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/299



If you wanted to play something while you built your forces up, DBA based minis are completely compatable with Field of Glory. You could get some DBA games in while the rest of your army was on the painting table. When you get enough for a FoG army, you could switch to that ruleset.

As with anything, the biggest determination in what you play, is going to be what those around you play. So you may what to check your local gaming groups and hobby shops to see what everyone else has picked up. Otherwise, it's going to be a while before you get enough lead painted for two opposing armies to face off against each other.




Hope this helps at least a little.


Ben
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Roberts

Unspecified
msg tools
Avatar
Three recommendations:

Basic Impetus Free download
http://www.dadiepiombo.com/basic2.html

Warrior KingsFree download.
1st edition is recommended, still available on the Yahoo group here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/warriorkings/?yguid=237327261

And this one doesn't meet several of your requirements but just might be the best available attempt at "simulation" of ancient battles:
Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World and or the earlier version:Strategos

I've played a lot of the available ancients rules out there, from WRG 4th on up. Up till recently I had been mostly playing Big Battle DBA, which I still think is a pretty good game. But Basic Impetus has really impressed me. It gets rid of some of the geometry problems that afflict DBA and its kin, and gives a fast playing game with a good "feel".

Warrior Kings is a little difficult to get your brain wrapped around but gives a very good game once you do. It is in the process of having a second edition done by the current owner of the game, but from what I have seen he is needlessly complicating what was a pretty clean set of rules as written by the original author. Luckily the original is still available as mentioned above. It does not have a large ready made player base, which is a pity as it is a fine game.

And Lost Battles/Strategos is worth a look just to see what a scholar of the period has to say about how ancient battles were fought.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like you're talking about a miniatures game, so I'll add another voice to the recommendation for De Bellis Antiquitatis. The inexpensive rulebook comes with extensive army lists, so you can instantly pair up historical armies. And the game covers the whole period you mention.

In addition, when you're ready for something a little bigger and more complex, it's a natural step up to De Bellis Multitudinis and De Bellis Renationis.

Meanwhile, if you want a fun board wargame that's easy to get into, provides lots of historical scenarios, and gives you a good taste of the ancient/medieval period, try this:
Ancient Battles Deluxe

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rowan Lawrence
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
flag msg tools
mb
So, looking at this, my initial thought was that you seem to be looking for a miniatures game, but, with a couple of small hesitations, I'd recommend Commands & Colors: Ancients if you're serious about most of these criteria. Let's go through them.

dc0nklin wrote:
A rules system that is usable for the entire Ancients period (Biblical -> early Medieval)


Yup, if you use the excellent fan-built material out there at http://www.ccancients.net, there is a lot of flexibility of periods. You might have limitations early and late in your selected timeframe, but there are mods out there that will help.

dc0nklin wrote:
Easy to Setup & Play


God yes, more than any miniatures game I've ever seen.

dc0nklin wrote:
Plays fast


About an hour most of the time. This is fast for a wargame.

dc0nklin wrote:
Engaging/elegant combat system


Exceedingly elegant, if you aren't too put off by limitations on command and control from the card system. Combines attrition and manoeuvre as legitimate strategies better and more simply than many other wargames.

dc0nklin wrote:
Straightforward to translate real historic battles into game terms


Yes, so much so that it's already done for you.

dc0nklin wrote:
High availability of army lists


Yup, if you use the excellent fan-built material such as ScenarioX out there at http://www.ccancients.net. Army lists at your fingertips.

dc0nklin wrote:
Point-based system


See previous comment.

dc0nklin wrote:
Good simulation of Ancient battle


This is where C&C:A really stands out. There's a fine line between too much and too little simulation. Too much and battles feel like they're pre-destined, uncontrollable or boring. Too little and they feel cheesy. I find that C&C:A effectively simulates the decision-making process of an ancient general, within the constraints of imperfect command and control. To give you an idea, if you play the base set campaign (Rome Vs Carthage), there is a very real advantage to understanding historical Hannibalian and Scipionic tactics and employing them intelligently, and the system gives you realistic opportunities to execute them.

Yes, this is done in an abstract way, using cards, and a hex grid. But in truth, it is not a simulation of an *ancient battle* but of *ancient generalship*. And it does that in a refined and elegant, but still reasonably accurate, way.

dc0nklin wrote:
An "accepted" rules system


C&C:A seems quite popular, so you shouldn't find a lack of people to play with.

dc0nklin wrote:
Low entry threshold for figures


Here's where C&C:A really wins. No entry threshold, no figurines. Buy the game, and maybe some expansions, and you're done. No fiddly painting either.

Now I realise this may not be the type of game you were looking for when you posted this, and to be fair things like DBA have their own form of awesome, but it struck me that most of your criteria were a little tough for a minis wargame to execute well, for a variety of reasons. If you're going to have to compromise (which, let's face it, you are), you might as well keep C&C:A in mind.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
flag msg tools
"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
badge
"Today is the yesterday you won't be able to remember tomorrow" -Pinkwater
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yet another vote for De Bellis Antiquitatis. Let's check your criteria:

Quote:
A rules system that is usable for the entire Ancients period (Biblical -> early Medieval)

Check.
Quote:
Easy to Setup & Play

Check.
Quote:
Plays fast

Check.
Quote:
Engaging/elegant combat system

Well, this one's personal taste, but I think it works.
Quote:
Straightforward to translate real historic battles into game terms

Check.
Quote:
High availability of army lists

Check.
Quote:
Point-based system

Check.
Quote:
Good simulation of Ancient battle

Well, that's personal opinion, again, but it works for me.
Quote:
An "accepted" rules system- what I'm getting across here is that the rules are used by a critical mass of people

Check.
Quote:
Low entry threshold for figures

15mm are fairly cheap, but if you're *really* cheap, you can simply use cardboard pieces the size of bases and write the names of the units on them!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Roberts

Unspecified
msg tools
Avatar
sos1 wrote:
Yet another vote for De Bellis Antiquitatis. Let's check your criteria:

[
Quote:
Point-based system

Check.


DBA does not have a points system. Its sister game Hordes Of The Things does however.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
badinfo wrote:
sos1 wrote:
Yet another vote for De Bellis Antiquitatis. Let's check your criteria:

[
Quote:
Point-based system

Check.


DBA does not have a points system. Its sister game Hordes Of The Things does however.


To clarify, DBA has something even simpler and quicker than a points system: pre-defined armies. There are extensive army lists which tell you just how many of each type of unit you need.

Every army in DBA consists of exactly twelve "elements" (bases with figures); so all you need to know is which twelve you need for a given army.

Some experienced players complain that the twelve-element standard means you'll sometimes end up with unbalanced games (because an army with twelve strong units will beat an army with twelve weak units). But there are many, many armies listed; many of the matchups are balanced; and it takes some experience to find out what's balanced anyway. By the time you get that much experience, you might want to expand to De Bellis Multitudinis (which, I believe, does use a point system).

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
flag msg tools
"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
badge
"Today is the yesterday you won't be able to remember tomorrow" -Pinkwater
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
badinfo wrote:
DBA does not have a points system. Its sister game Hordes Of The Things does however.

D'oh! Forgot that - I switched to HotT so long ago I forgot DBA didn't have a point system.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
D Conklin
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Themistokles wrote:
So, looking at this, my initial thought was that you seem to be looking for a miniatures game, but, with a couple of small hesitations, I'd recommend Commands & Colors: Ancients if you're serious about most of these criteria.


Now I realise this may not be the type of game you were looking for when you posted this, and to be fair things like DBA have their own form of awesome, but it struck me that most of your criteria were a little tough for a minis wargame to execute well, for a variety of reasons. If you're going to have to compromise (which, let's face it, you are), you might as well keep C&C:A in mind.


Strangely enough, as I have begun sorting through all the possible games, this one (with the slight variation of using miniatures instead of blocks) has risen to the top of the pile.

DBA is the other top contender, but the warnings everyone gives about it being "hard to understand" and "needing someone who knows the game" scare me off.

Field of Glory seems be too complex/time-consuming for my purposes at this point...maybe it is a rule set I can grow into later.

The initial intent of the post was not necessarily to get recommendations on which game fulfills the criteria, but to analyze the criteria themselves...ie, are these valid criteria for picking an Ancients wargame? Are there other criteria that I did not think of? Are my expectations unrealistic?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
flag msg tools
"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
badge
"Today is the yesterday you won't be able to remember tomorrow" -Pinkwater
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think your expectations are unrealistic.

Another option, BTW, would be Ancient Battles Deluxe from Victory Point Games. This is a re-implementation and modernization of the old Ancients games from Good Industries and 3W - fairly simple hexgrid system that plays pretty quickly. There are two expansions. VPG games are inexpensive, but have cardboard chits that require, more than most, counter clipping.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dc0nklin wrote:

DBA is the other top contender, but the warnings everyone gives about it being "hard to understand" and "needing someone who knows the game" scare me off.


If you want to try before you buy, you can open up a free account here, and play DBA online (hotseat, against yourself, or online with others):
http://www.dbaol.com/

It's not a difficult game. The only problem some run into is that the rulebook is written in an unusually "compressed" style (with a bit of British flavor), so you have to read closely and pay attention to the examples; otherwise you'll probably miss something. It's ideal to learn from an experienced player, but if you're a good reader and diligent about applying the rules, you can manage solo. I did.

Btw, the online version, linked to above, uses an older edition of the rules. There's a revised version out now with a couple new features. But take a look at the online game and see if it appeals to you. Won't cost anything (at first).

Also, Ancient Battles Deluxe is a fine ancients board wargame. It's been called the board-game version of DBA (and it's probably no accident that its acronym is ABD).

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hamilton
United Kingdom
Stockport
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dc0nklin wrote:

DBA is the other top contender, but the warnings everyone gives about it being "hard to understand" and "needing someone who knows the game" scare me off.

There is a very good document called I think the DBA encyclopedia available online that does a much better job of explaining DBA in a language normal people understand.

Found it: http://www.wadbag.com/DBAGuide/

Quote:

Field of Glory seems be too complex/time-consuming for my purposes at this point...maybe it is a rule set I can grow into later.

FoG is my current ancients game of choice and I would say that while the rule book is a lot longer than DBA that the game isn't actually that complex.

Where FoG doesn't really meet your criteria are:

Length of play - (2 1/2 hours for a game with 'starter' armies) and 3 1/2 hours for games at the more normal point level.

Number of miniatures - You are looking at 2-300 miniatures per army for a normal sized army.

I was at a FoG doubles tournament last weekend where there were 46 teams so 92 players competing. It was a very enjoyable weekend and to date all the FoG tournaments I have played have been very memorable.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
N.D. Tepe
United States
North St. Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Its a little obscure, but check out Strategos II:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/13686
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hammy wrote:
dc0nklin wrote:

DBA is the other top contender, but the warnings everyone gives about it being "hard to understand" and "needing someone who knows the game" scare me off.

There is a very good document called I think the DBA encyclopedia available online that does a much better job of explaining DBA in a language normal people understand.


Here's a central site for all things DBA:
http://www.fanaticus.org/DBA/index.html
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Roberts

Unspecified
msg tools
Avatar
ndtepe wrote:
Its a little obscure, but check out Strategos II:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/13686


Mentioned in the third post of this thread, and discussed somewhat as well


To the OP:
I do recommend the WADBAG Unofficial Guide to DBA if you are interested in learning DBA. But as someone who has played DBA for years, I will again recommend Basic Impetus. Read em both, play em both and see what you think. I grant that DBA has a much larger player base, but it has been around much longer.

Basic Impetus is getting some recognition though, player bases have to start somewhere lol. And in spite of being translated from Italian by a non-native English speaker it is far easier to understand than DBA
The author also maintains a regular online presence, answering rules questions within a couple days, something you aren't likely to get for DBA, at least from the author, though the guys over at fanaticus.org are very good about answering questions.

@Steffan: Are you playing HOTT ancients? Or straight HOTT?


@Patrick: I think DBM is falling out of favor since Phil released De Bellis Magistrorum Militum. From what I've been reading a lot of DBM players have either moved on to the newer DBMM or switched over to FOG, though of course there will be some die hard DBM holdouts, heck there are still folks who haven't moved on from WRG
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
flag msg tools
"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
badge
"Today is the yesterday you won't be able to remember tomorrow" -Pinkwater
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
badinfo wrote:
@Steffan: Are you playing HOTT ancients? Or straight HOTT?

I play HOTT. Sometimes with non-fantasy armies, it's true, but usually with some humorous fantasy element. I like a strong element of "fun" in my games - we like to laugh.

But it works fine with just spears, blades, knights, riders, heroes, generals, shooters, warbands, and strongholds, all of which have historical counterparts. Heck, you can even come up with historical (or pretty darn close to it) counterparts for paladins, sneakers and lurkers.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
D Conklin
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dc0nklin wrote:


Engaging/elegant combat system - at the end of the day, no matter how much "chrome" the rules have, the thing you will be doing most is combat. If the combat system (the way you actually attack and defend) is not engaging or elegant in some way, I'm not going to want to play. If it is boring, too "fiddly", too complex, or just intangibly "feels" awkward, it will be a big turnoff.



While I've "got you all here"....

I've thought of another criterion along the same lines as the one quoted above. As I'm looking at various rules, it seems one of the things that varies widely is the approach to command & control.

Whether it be command pips (with or without random factor), straight IGOUGO with every element on the board, perimeter influence by leader figures, or "card driven" commands...there's a lot of variety and I'm finding that this single design decision will have a huge impact on the game. So here's what I came up with:

Command & Control - The way elements are ordered to take action in the game must in some way simulate the "fog of war". Straight IGOUGO is just too abstract for my tastes. I'm not particular about exactly how C&C is implemented as long as it in some way simulates the difficulty of controlling a force in an ancient battle.

Thoughts?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
dc0nklin wrote:
dc0nklin wrote:


Engaging/elegant combat system - at the end of the day, no matter how much "chrome" the rules have, the thing you will be doing most is combat. If the combat system (the way you actually attack and defend) is not engaging or elegant in some way, I'm not going to want to play. If it is boring, too "fiddly", too complex, or just intangibly "feels" awkward, it will be a big turnoff.



While I've "got you all here"....

I've thought of another criterion along the same lines as the one quoted above. As I'm looking at various rules, it seems one of the things that varies widely is the approach to command & control.

Whether it be command pips (with or without random factor), straight IGOUGO with every element on the board, perimeter influence by leader figures, or "card driven" commands...there's a lot of variety and I'm finding that this single design decision will have a huge impact on the game. So here's what I came up with:

Command & Control - The way elements are ordered to take action in the game must in some way simulate the "fog of war". Straight IGOUGO is just too abstract for my tastes. I'm not particular about exactly how C&C is implemented as long as it in some way simulates the difficulty of controlling a force in an ancient battle.

Thoughts?


Well, FYI:

DBA works on a "PIP" (Player Initiative Points, I think) system. You roll a die at the beginning of each turn, and the number (with a modification or two) tells how many of your grouped "elements" (stands of figures) you can move. The ones you can't move just sit there till some future turn. So, it's mostly IGO-UGO, but with a command-control limit. The system rewards you for keeping your units grouped together and in formation (but it can be tough, because combat results tend to break up your formations).

ABD (Ancient Battles Deluxe) is more intricate (but still simple and playable). You roll for initiative, then for command points; and you can use command points to have your units move and fire prior to the melee phase. During a turn, players switch off, each moving or firing one formation (group of units) at a time. Later, during the melee phase, players take turns resolving hand-to-hand combat, one unit at a time. There are also leader units on the board which sometimes dramatically influence what you can do (a key to playing well is to place leaders thoughtfully each turn).

CC:A I haven't played, but presumably it works like other games in the series, and I've played Battle Cry. This is a card-driven game. You hold several cards in your hand, and you can play them to move, fire, and do other things; but generally the cards limit you to doing something only on the right flank, only on the left flank, or only in the center. So, you have to pick from the options shown on the cards in your hand.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Smooth seas make the voyage more pleasant.
badge
A ship in port is safe, and that's just what ports are for.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
badinfo wrote:

Basic Impetus is getting some recognition though, player bases have to start somewhere lol. And in spite of being translated from Italian by a non-native English speaker it is far easier to understand than DBA
The author also maintains a regular online presence, answering rules questions within a couple days, something you aren't likely to get for DBA, at least from the author, though the guys over at fanaticus.org are very good about answering questions.


Just to provide a BGG link for this game: Basic Impetus


@Patrick: I think DBM is falling out of favor since Phil released De Bellis Magistrorum Militum. From what I've been reading a lot of DBM players have either moved on to the newer DBMM or switched over to FOG, though of course there will be some die hard DBM holdouts, heck there are still folks who haven't moved on from WRG [/q]

Thanks! I'd never heard of DBMM till just now. Didn't know I'd fallen behind in my ancient-miniatures knowledge.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hamilton
United Kingdom
Stockport
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Thanks! I'd never heard of DBMM till just now. Didn't know I'd fallen behind in my ancient-miniatures knowledge.


DBMM was released in early 2007, FoG appeared in early 2008. I would say that in terms of tournament play that 80-90% of DBM players have already switched to one or other new system.

For example at the Burton doubles in 2007 there were 60 or so DBM teams, in 2008 there were 40 DBM and 16 FoG, this year there were 46 FoG and 12 DBM. Of the 12 DBM teams at least half were apparently intending playing FoG in 2010.

Quote:

Command & Control - The way elements are ordered to take action in the game must in some way simulate the "fog of war". Straight IGOUGO is just too abstract for my tastes. I'm not particular about exactly how C&C is implemented as long as it in some way simulates the difficulty of controlling a force in an ancient battle.


To add to the good summarys above.

FoG - Each unit (battlegroup or BG) can move each turn but the maneuvers it can actually perform are restricted by the type of troops and the situation they are in. There are times when a BG will not be able to move or where the only available move is so bad it would be stupid to do it. There are also times when troops will take things into their own hands and do something you don't want them to.

Overall FoG has IMO less command control limitations than the DBx series. That said having played DBA if you roll 1 on your PIP dice two or three times in a row you might as well conceed the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hamilton
United Kingdom
Stockport
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just a thought, you might like: Warmaster Ancients that has a very unusual command control system. For me it is far more suited to a WWII game than Ancients but there are people who like it a lot.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon K
Netherlands
Zaanstad
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just to eleborate a little on C&C:A, there are also cards that let you move elements that are grouped around leaders, elements that are in "formation", elements of certain types (ie Heavy, medium, light) and so on, across the board. You are NOT limited to just ordering units on a certain part of the field.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Roberts

Unspecified
msg tools
Avatar
Well I had another post but BGG crashed in the middle of it lol.

To sum up, very few ancients rules have what I would consider "realistic" command rules. Most give FAR too much control, supposedly in the interest of a better game.

Take a look at the computer game Legion Arena by Slitherine Software, I think there is a demo. It is pretty close. You arrange your forces, give them their initial orders and then you don't have much input from there on. You can use your leader's initiative to redirect units but it is very limited. Probably pretty close to the real thing. Tactica was similar, and caught a lot of flack for it. Most ancients rules I've played allow maneuvering that would make drill teams envious.

Warrior Kings was pretty good on this count. Once you start a unit moving it must keep moving at least half speed until it makes contact or reaches a major terrain feature.

There is a huge thread on command radius on TMP right now, seven pages and a couple hundred posts. While mostly concerned with Napoleonics there is some interesting information there. It was pointed out that even in the Napoleonic era generals did not constantly issue orders. The average seems to be 4-6 orders over the course of a battle. Not counting their initial orders. Compare this to the average wargame, where orders are changed nearly every turn
We've learned this lesson playing Kriegsspiel, the commanders who develop a good overall plan and stick with it tend to beat the micromanagers who change orders for every unit at every opportunity.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
D Conklin
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
badinfo wrote:
To sum up, very few ancients rules have what I would consider "realistic" command rules. Most give FAR too much control, supposedly in the interest of a better game.

Take a look at the computer game Legion Arena by Slitherine Software, I think there is a demo. It is pretty close. You arrange your forces, give them their initial orders and then you don't have much input from there on. You can use your leader's initiative to redirect units but it is very limited. Probably pretty close to the real thing. Tactica was similar, and caught a lot of flack for it. Most ancients rules I've played allow maneuvering that would make drill teams envious.


Have you seen the "standing orders" rules in Battleground? From one of the reviews:

Each player also has a limited number of commands they can give each round, and there are more units on the field than you can command at one time. However, you have the ability to give Standing Orders, commands that a unit will follow round to round until their objective is achieved or a new command is given.


That sounds right along the same lines as what you described. Smacks of more realism to me!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
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.