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Subject: Expansion 4 Composition - More Blocks rss

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the scrub
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From CSW:

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Hi there! An update on Expansion #4, Imperial Rome

GMT has decided to reconfigure Commands and Colors Expansion #4, Imperial Rome, by adding a completely new Roman army. The price of the Expansion remains unchanged. The total block count (including spares) increases to 293 blocks. The reasons for the decision were numerous, but the primary consideration was that if we did not provide a new army, the red and gray Roman armies would have been increased in size to fight the new battles, and we did not want the holders of expansions 2 and 3 to “repurchase” units they had already bought. You will note by the listing of Imperial Roman units that the army composition is not like either earlier Roman army, and that it is decidedly weaker than its predecessor, the Julian army.

Purple – Imperial Roman Units Light Infantry – 6 units (24 blocks) Light Bow Infantry – 2 units (8 blocks) Light Sling Infantry - 5 units (20 blocks) Auxilia Infantry - 8 units (32 blocks) Warrior Infantry – 1 unit (4 blocks) Medium Infantry – 9 units (36 blocks) Heavy Infantry - 3 units (12 blocks) Heavy War Machine – 1 unit (2 blocks) Light Cavalry - 4 units (12 blocks) Light Bow Cavalry – 2 units (6 blocks) Medium Cavalry – 4 units (12 blocks) Heavy Cavalry - 2 units (6 blocks) Heavy Cataphract Cavalry - 2 units (6 blocks) Leader – 4 leaders (4 blocks)

We have increased the Eastern Kingdom army to reflect the increasing dominance of the mounted units, particularly the light archers and heavy cataphracted cavalry. You’ll get a chance to use armored camels as well. Regular camel units have been provided in case you wish to revisit older battles such as Magnesia and use the Eastern Kingdom army instead of the Greek army.

Tan - Eastern Kingdom Units Warrior Infantry - 1 unit (4 blocks) Light Cavalry - 2 units (6 blocks) Light Bow Cavalry - 6 units (18 blocks) Heavy Cataphract Cavalry - 5 units (15 blocks) Camel - 2 units (6 blocks) Cataphract Camel - 2 units (6 blocks)

We have also increased the Barbarian army – again to reflect the increasing use of heavier mounted units,

Green - Barbarian Units Medium Cavalry - 2 units (6 blocks) Heavy Cavalry - 4 units (12 blocks)

Black Rectangular Wagon Blocks Baggage Wagon (one side), Wagon Laager (opposite side) - (5 blocks)

Black Square Blocks Eight of these blocks are for the Imperial Roman victory banners and two are for Special Unit markers. Each block receives a label on one side only.


We have decreased the number of card holders from in Expansion #4 from four to two, but feel the increase in blocks more than offsets the transfer of the other two card holders to Expansion #5.

Tony


Source:
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@159.f3iRevtjZuH.46@.1dcf...
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Kent Reuber
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I first thought that the CSW post might have been on April 1st. shake I really don't see a reason to create yet another Roman army. While the Imperial Romans look slightly different, the size of the 1/2" infantry blocks don't allow me to appreciate the differences. I end up treating them as just "Roman Medium Infantry" or "Roman Heavy Infantry", whatever the miniscule artwork looks like. Why not just beef up the existing Red/Grey armies?

If C&CA is going to do additional armies, I'd like to nominate another Greek army (e.g., Sparta) so we can do some official Pelopennesian scenarios, and perhaps another Eastern army so that we can port scenarios from Chandragupta. And, eventually, we need some Biblical armies.

I suppose we can take one more big stab at Rome, but after this, let's move on.
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Kevin Duke
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As Tony says, the composition of the army is the key thing. This one has lots of Auxilia, less medium infantry, and a lot less heavy.

They actually did consider just "beefing up" the red army to cover this, but then had to beef up the gray army in order to allow some of the later RCW stuff to work and it just got more and more cumbersome.

By the way, the expansion has FOUR sticker sheets.
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David Sterling
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Nice! This is very exciting news.
While it would be nice to keep the existing armies and just continue to beef them up, I'd rather have armies that are more in keeping with the time.

In future expansions, would the heavy infantry be beefed up for this army?

 
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Allen Doum
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Hectarion wrote:
Nice! This is very exciting news.
While it would be nice to keep the existing armies and just continue to beef them up, I'd rather have armies that are more in keeping with the time.

In future expansions, would the heavy infantry be beefed up for this army?


Doubt it. x4 should just about do it for Rome. More scenarios would be possible.

As for the Heavies, the Gray and Red armies have plenty.
 
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Malcolm
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What the *^&%^#@?

why have so many colours all with the same units?

why on earth did they not go down the rout of making 2 large diverse armies that would cover any scenario?

Its not like ASL where each nations unit have different characteristics is it? do we really need 6 or 7 different coloured light infantry?

personally i would have liked to see each expansion introduce new unit types & terrain but stick to just the 2 colours and say "use gray for roman & brown for british in this scenrio"...

anyways... just more stuff to buy, sticker, store and sort through...

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Michael Novean
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Great move IMO. I like getting the purple army. Yes stickering all those units is a pain but I do like having each different evolution of the Roman army be represented by different blocks.

And it is lot easier for me to swallow the price of Expansion #4 when I am getting more bits. As simple-minded as that seems, I bet many others besides just me would hesitate to spend $60 on 160 blocks, some terrian, scenarios, and card holders. Now x4 is in line with x1 and x2 (accounting for increasing costs).
 
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Kevin Duke
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Malcom's is not the first person to say, "why not just have generic armies and call them different things for different scenarios?"

Couple reasons I can think of.

It's been done. Several times. And it's never been as successful as having "specific" nationalities.

Second, the armies really ARE different from each other, due to the make up of units...altho I'll admit, it would have been possible to have "comprehensive" generic armies if the unit selection was large enough. But they didn't. There really ARE national differences-- just more subtle than ASL.

But there's no mandate to buy more anything. You can take your base set and play many of the scenarios that have been released, just calling them whatever army names involved...as long as the unit's cover what are needed in the scenario.

I understood the "why not generic" question along about Expansion 1, maybe Expansion 2. Why it's suddenly an issue now is harder to figure.
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Malcolm
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aye,

i see all your points - but personally i would have liked to see the 2 colour idea...


kduke wrote:


I understood the "why not generic" question along about Expansion 1, maybe Expansion 2. Why it's suddenly an issue now is harder to figure.


i mention it now as it sounded like they had decided to 'beef up' the roman armies but have now changed their minds... which i find a bit of a shame.

[it would also have been nice to have built up armies big enough to have single colour armies in the 'epic' games]
 
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Kevin Duke
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Well, RCW beefed up both Roman armies.

And, actually, several of the new Epic scenarios CAN be played with the blocks from just one army.
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Craig Stosser
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Oh, NOW I get it!

I was confused by the initial post:
“…the primary consideration was that if we did not provide a new army, the Red and Gray Roman armies would have been increased in size to fight the new battles, and we did not want the holders of expansions 2 and 3 to “repurchase” units they had already bought.”

I have all three expansions. I compared the unit manifests of the Red/Gray Roman armies against the expansion 4 Purple one and discovered that not many units would need to supplement the Red/Gray armies to get the same composition of the Purple one.

3 Light sling units, 2 Auxilia, 2 Light Bow Cavalry, 2 Heavy Cavalry, 2 Heavy Cataphract Cavalry, and a leader. About 40-some total blocks. So why do an entirely new Roman Army and why the comment about “repurchasing”?

Well, I hadn’t reread GMT’s Exp. 4 announcement. Only expansions 1 & 2 are needed to play expansion 4. Expansion 3 is NOT needed!

That’s good news. Someone just starting out in C&C:Ancients has one less expansion to buy in order to get to the latest battle sets.

As for me, I’m going to save myself some stickering and only sticker the 40 or so purple blocks needed to bring my Red/Gray Roman army up to the Purple army composition. I don’t mind having a few different-colored units on one side. (Maybe I’ll even paint them Red if I feel especially anal on the day expansion 4 arrives.) By doing that, I’ll have a whole bunch (100+) of spare purple blocks to use for a Spartan or other player-made army.

I’m very happy with how this expansion is turning-out. So if I don’t have this figured-out right, I hope the troll doesn’t set me straight and ruin my day…zombie

 
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Hmmmm.... trolls.... See, I used to think I was a troll a long time ago, but then I realised I am actually a zombiezombie
 
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I disagree totally with the addition of a new colour.

The excuse given: "They don't want holder of expansions 2 and 3 to "repurchase" units they had already bought." does'nt hold water. The units are the same, we already have the same stats for them...just the block colour will now be purple. They are the same units!

As for the suggestion that generic units does'nt work. I agree...and having TWO Roman armies with different stats for the different units for different time spans (Julian, Marian) is ungeneric enough.I don't want generic armies either, I want flavour, however two different Roman armies is plenty of flavour for a game system like this.


There is two ways to go about this:

1) Beefing up the Red and Grey armies: This is a great way to advance this game system. There is already different stats for 3 different Roman armies, Republican, Julian and Marian. This is the most flexible method for adding diversity.

Regarding folks "repurchasing" units they already have? Make owning the previous expansions mandatory. I would suggest that the vast majourity of folks who will purchase #4 already have the previous expansions anyways. If this is a huge concern for GMT, fine it also would not bother me to "repurchase" units from the previous expansions. How many extra units are we really talking about here anyways? The real "repurchasing" would only have to be of Red Blocks anyways because the Grey Blocks are already in the base game....so if it REALLY is a concern...then just beef up the Grey blocks!

Beefing up the Red and Grey blocks also frees up the purple colour for a NEW army! C'Mon...folks I play with want NEW amries to play with...Egyptians, Huns, There are tons of great armies out there to avoid the "generic". Heck...go Biblical, this system screams biblical and there are dozens of armies to expand upon. How about South America? Aztecs, etc.

2) Publish yet another Roman army in a different colour that will be mostly comprised of the same units as the other Two Roman armies, just to please the extremely small percentage of folks who will buy Exp. #4 and not Exp. #2 & 3. Bad Idea.

I really like this system but I think GMT/RB seriously needs to look at the big picture. Games like this have the potiential to develop a huge loyal following...but not if they drop the ball and keep offering yet another "patch" expansion based around Romans. I encourage the developers to start....Thinking Big!

Follow the DBA logic...an archer is an archer is an archer no matter what uniform he is wearing...they all function the same on the battlefield...so make all archers basically the same. Just give each nationality a special nationality trait like MM'44 to avoid the generic. Now thats a great idea for this game system!

Finish off the Red and Grey Roman armies properly, then start developing new Armies that follow in the same foot steps to avoid the Generic. But start publishing WHOLE armies instead of armies that span multiple expansions like you have with the Romans...learn from this mistake and DO NOT add yet another block colour for the Romans....please.

Peace
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Craig Stosser
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Thunder really hit it on the head.

Just top-off the Gray Roman army with the additional 40 or so blocks.

Then pass the savings from 100+ blocks less onto the loyal customers by reducing the price by $20. cool
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I must agree almost 100% with the previous two posts.

The "system" is already somewhat filled up with Romans, and we still don't have Hoplite-style units for the Persian HI (which were Greek and Ionian mercenaries.). We still don't have an official "second" Greek Army for Greeks vs Greeks, but GMT is proposing a THIRD Roman Army.

To me there are a myriad other Armies worth doing, and pretty darned soon. I do like the "flavour" of the expanded Romans, but I personally would love to see other armies, or a beefing up of the Successors for instance. The Greek theater feels very scantily-clad in terms of unit depictions compared to the Romans.

Please GMT, reconsider this, as this is potentially a "Bridge too Far" for the CC:A system.
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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I only expected a third Roman army for a much later period, Byzantine, if it is done one day. Imperial Rome is not so further away, a different unit art is not really needed. And new units like cataphracts would have been added to the Roman red army anyway.

The only valid argument could be the "repurchasing" one, but since Exp#4 seems more targeted to CCA completists, I don't see how anyone could consider buying Exp#4 without buying Exp#3, the cheapest one with almost all the scenarios for the Roman CW.

If GMT has spare blocks and wants to put them in Exp#4, I agree that making a 2nd Greek army, or as Bevan said completing the Greek and Persian armies so that Successors battles look better, would be a better move. But then they would need to add more Greek scenarios!

I guess that's too late for this one, but could be a good idea for the near future...
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Well said, Miguel.

I sense GMT could end up dropping the ball on this one if they are not careful. It does seem weird that they want yet more unit art for yet more Romans, but we still have to use Eastern or Carthaginian blocks for Greek vs Greek...

I mean, why not just use Eastern Kingdom blocks for Imperial Romans? The arguments for 3 separate Roman armies and only one Greek make no sense whatsoever to me.
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They could do it either way as far as I'm concerned, but I am happier to get a new army that reflects the composition of the (Late?) Imperial Romans.
 
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Kevin Duke
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Quote:
I mean, why not just use Eastern Kingdom blocks for Imperial Romans?


Well, for one thing, there are a number of battles between EK and Imperial Romans. EK is being beefed up with heavy cavalry and mounted archers-- lots of the latter. It really is a very different army.

And as a matter of fact, EK does show up as a "Roman" army for one of the latter RCW scenarios-- a Constantine vs Licinius battle-- when a very much "eastern" Roman army is one of the opponents.

 
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FWIW Kevin, I just don't see why that Imperial Roman Army will need its own blocks (I would be just fine with one of the existing Roman Armies since I am no expert on the subtle differences in Roman uniforms) but we are on Expansion #4 and there is still no official "Spartan" Army with which to fight the Greek vs Greek battles (Succesors, and Thebes/Athens/Sparta) for instance.

I can only surmise the demand must be far superior for yet another Roman Army than for any other blockset...

 
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Well, taking into account that the name of Exp#4 is "Imperial Rome", it's out of the question to have a 2nd Greek army! And this 3rd Roman army has been added "for free", so it is a good deal from GMT anyway.

However, I was having a look at the blocks that would have been needed for the Red Roman army to fight Imperial battles:

- LB/LS: +2
- Aux: +2
- LBC: +2
- HC cataphract: +2

And that's all! Assuming that you own Exp#3, but as I said above, I cannot understand someone interested in Rome buying #4 and not #2-3, which have mounted boards and plenty of scenarios interlocking with the first ones proposed in #4.

I don't think you will need the 3 Roman armies at the same time for any scenario, so having 2 Roman armies is all you need. On the other hand, just having a look at my chronological scenario list, you'll see that the Greek period has been scanned very quickly, and that many important battles (not skirmishes like the many Carthaginian-Roman ones we have had) have been left out. No Chaeronea, no Cunaxa, no 1st Mantinea, no Mycale...???

I think that only the Peloponnesian War provides plenty of battles and scenarios much more interesting (fights around Amphipolis, landing at Pylos...) than many skirmishes GMT has been making for C3i, for example. Plus the whole Theban-Spartan conflict before the PW, plus all the Successors battles that have been skipped... And if you add to all those the ones that have been made in Exp#1, I think that a 2nd Greek army would not be too much.

I hope that they'll think about it for future C3i/Exp. And just because Rome was a unified state unlike Greece, I don't think Roman CW battles were more important or military significant than Greek civil wars.

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Kevin Duke
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Quote:
However, I was having a look at the blocks that would have been needed for the Red Roman army to fight Imperial battles:



Ah, but what would have been needed to have TWO Roman Imperial Armies that could fight against each other? That would mean beefing up the gray army (by a lot) as well, and-- if art matters-- be a real stretch.
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Miguel, I have no idea what GMT has planned for the future, but based on your posts here I'd say there is enough material for two Greek modules!

Even though the system is four years old and we're but a few months away from a release of two expansions and a third reprint of the core set, I still think of the game as a "new" one. I'm also happy to get anything new for the game--C3i scenarios and all--and won't quibble too much about how I get it.

I'd like to see a Biblical set, as many Greek modules as the history can support, Byzantines, Medievals, battles in India and China...yes to everything! The order that it comes out is not a big concern for me.

I will say this for the current way GMT is doing things: when you walk up to a table of C&C:A players, you can tell which module they are playing by the color of the blocks. That will often prompt questions of what battle is being fought, discussion of the history, the game-play, etc. Experienced observers can get a fair understanding on the situation between the two players just looking at the color blocks and types of units involved.

If we had blocks in just two colors, it wouldn't be so easy. Folks might ask what module is being played, but a lot of battles would have a visual sameness about them--even if the sticker art is different. Terrain would be your biggest clue as to what battle is being fought. Not that satisfying kibitzers and observers is an essential element of the game. Just that color attracts attention and being able to ask an informed question about the game you're watching is an entry into a conversation.
 
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GMT seems to be going for a lot of detail in one nation...and I think much more can be gained by broadening the number of nations represented.

Now we have:

3 Roman armies
1 Greek army
1 Eastern army
1 Carthage army
1 Barbarian army

The Eastern & Barbarian armies are woefully generic, and it has already been pointed out that the Greek army sure could use expanding. But the next expansion is yet ANOTHER Roman army?!?!

Once again, I can see expanding the Red and Grey blocks to cover more periods, as Miguel pointed out, it would be a small number of blocks for the red army...they Grey is not that short. Adding a whole new Roman army with its own color just seems....wasteful. Maybe the name ought to be Commands & Colors: Romans!

Peace

PS. I seriously love this system and my comments are only because I want the game to become a true classic. I would hate to see this system wither and die....it has SO much potiential. DBA is a great comparasin...the rule set is 21 years old and has a huge following....because of its broad appeal.

Peace
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I suspect if one thinks that the many cavalry skirmishes bewteen Roman and Carthaginian "armies" of 1000-2000 men were anything as crucial as the cataclysmic Thermopylae/Plataea/Mycale trio, I respectfully submit one doesn't really know much about Ancient history.

One can only speculate what Rome would have been had the Persian Empire been successfully expanded into the Aegean and beyond. The catastrophic defeats of Persian hosts at the hands of the Free Greek states marked the end of Persian expansion, and paved the way for Alexander's conquest of Asia.

You could almost say the story of Mark Anthony and that famous Ptolemaic Queen began at Thermopylae, although that's a bit of a stretch I admit.
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