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Subject: Best Tactical Roman-Era Wargame rss

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Johnpatrick Marr
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Hey All,

I've been inching my way over to the Wargame camp for some time now. I love playing Eurogames, and until recently was an avid miniature wargamer (Hordes and Warmachine). I've given up that hobby as the (time+money):fun ratio is not as favorable as it is for Boardgaming (to me at this time).

Still, I find that Eurogames are not scratching every gaming itch and need something akin to the experience I perceive wargames providing. For instance, even though 2 de Mayo is a short little game, I really liked the simulataneous orders and diceless combat.

Anyway, I'm looking for recommendations of wargames I might enjoy with the background I provided. Also, I'd like something set in roughly the Roman era. That covers alot of history, but as long as Romans are involved in it, either the winning or losing end, I'd be happy.

I ordered a copy of Conquest of the Empire because it was selling somewhere for fifteen dollars, but I do not have high hopes that it is a contender for Best Roman-Era Wargame.

There seems to be some concensus on the best WWII wargames on the market at the moment, but not so much with Roman-era (perhaps C&C: Ancients? which I have not played but am open to when the next printing rolls out). Hence this post! Thanks all.
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cadamec wrote:
Have you looked at the Great Battles of History series from GMT?


For gritty technical detail, SPQR (Deluxe Edition). Be warned - it is rich and detailed. Not for the faint of heart.
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Pone McPoneface
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I would recommend a look at these titles:

SPQR (Deluxe Edition)
Spartacus
Caesar: Epic Battle of Alesia- out of print, but you can still find copies, here or on eBay
The Siege of Alesia
The Siege of Jerusalem (Third Edition)- out of print, but a great game

There are many more titles out there, but these are the only ones I have played. Hope you find one that suits you!
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Wulf Corbett
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The GBoH series are the top of the pile in detailed simulations. For a faster, lighter, less detailed game, try Commands & Colors: Ancients and it's offspring, as you suggest. It's the most popular Roman-era light wargame around. For another suggestion, you could try Avalanche Press' Roman series - Rome At War I: Hannibal at Bay was recently reissued as a good low-cost introduction.
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Mick Weitz
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I have to echo the sentiments of the posters above. However, if you are just exploring heavier or ancient wargames, you should probably start with Commands and Colors: Ancients. It is a good enough game that even if you move on to the more complex (and most excellent) Great Battles of History series, you will still play C&C Ancients as well.

Good Gaming~! Mick
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Johnpatrick Marr
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Hey All, thanks for the instant gratification. I have a lot to look through, but these suggestions seem like exactly what I'm looking for.
 
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Mike Adams
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I would highly recommend C&C Ancients.

I am in a similar position to you, I have 2 children now and don't have the time or money to dedicate to gaming that I used to have. I too have moved to board-games or beer n pretzels wargames such as Axis & Allies War at Sea, Battlelore, Wings of War etc. which can be played in an hour or less.

I brought C&C:A around 2 years ago and have picked the Eastern Expansion set up as well and have played it many times. For my money it is the best game to use the command & colors system as it suits ancient warfare far better than WW2.

You can usually finish a scenario in under an hour once you are familiar with the rules (which are by no means complex) and the games are both tense and fun. I would say that some of the scenarios are quite one-sided, but that just makes it more fun when you manage to pull off the unlikely win,

My one main gripe with the game is that victory is usually achieved by destroying a certain no. of units/generals, This can lead to rather gamey situations where the destruction of one of two weak units(archers/light infantry) becomes the sole aim and other parts of the battlefield become superfluous, but this still doesn't stop me enjoying the game thoroughly (and to be honest we usually fight until one side is clearly defeated irrespective of the victory conditions).

I will admit that I have no experience of other Roman-era tactical wargames but I would hope that C&C:A would not be a disappointment to you.
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eryn roston
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I love Commands & Colors: Ancients
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Barry Doyle
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Another vote for C&C: Ancients. Great game.
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Johnpatrick Marr
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Sounds like I need to start with C&C: Ancients. So I will! Now if only I didn't have to wait for the next printing, I could be putting stickers on blocks tonight! Thanks for the feedback again, this sounds like a good fit and I'll let you all know how it goes.

There are going to be some epic battles between generals Marius (myself) and Calvus (my roomie and strategy game equal) in the near future.
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Hunga Dunga
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niftykracker wrote:
I find that Eurogames are not scratching every gaming itch and need something akin to the experience I perceive wargames providing.

Amen, brother!

Like many others here, I'm also fan of C&C:Ancients.

niftykracker wrote:
There seems to be some concensus on the best WWII wargames on the market at the moment

This threw me for a loop, though. If there was a concensus, I must have missed it!

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Klaus Brune
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It's not exactly readily available anymore, but if you happen to find it on eBay or in a thrift store, snap up Caesar's Legions - it's Romans vs. assorted barbarian tribes, with a semi-hidden movement system.
 
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Stephen Harper
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Pretty much I would echo everything said above about C&C Ancients and the GMT GBOH series.

C&C is very evocative of that period to my mind, and is quick playing.

GBOH provides much detail, and is the best detailed system on the period. There is also Simple GBOH, which is somewhat less detailed but not down to the simplicity of C&C.

Ancients are one of my top two or three favorite historical periods, and both these game systems are my top favorites.

With your background in both Euros and miniatures, you would probably like both too. However, I think you are on the right track to try C&C first. If you think that is fantastic, and would like to delve more deeply into the period, then GBOH would be the next logical step.
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Part of the reason why you are seeing so many C&CA and GBOH suggestions is that there simply aren't that many games on the period. There could and should be better games, though. Get a-desinin'!
 
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Bob Roberts

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I'd agree if you're just getting started, Command and Colors: Ancients is a good place to start.

If you're up for some serious reading on simulating ancient warfare, and an excellent game as well, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World by Phil Sabin.
He takes a very detailed look at what we actually know, how it has been applied in other simulations/games and then develops his own simulation system. The game itself can be played with miniatures, but is well suited to playing with counters and a map, or via VASSAL or Cyberboard (there are modules for both available).
 
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Mark Buetow
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All good recommendations. I'll toss this one in too:

Battleground It's miniataures without the miniatures! The Fantasy version is a very fun game.
 
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michael connor
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Don't forget the old SPI PRESTAGS classics: Legion and the earlier (and better!) Centurion. Much simpler than GBOH, yet more detailed than C&C, these earlier games are still high-quality. I would suggest adding the variants suggested in the CSW folder http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?13@760.Ua6SaVl3gWu.65@.ee6e... in order to 'upgrade' them. They're still around and can be picked up pretty easily.
 
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Kent Reuber
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
The GBoH series are the top of the pile in detailed simulations. For a faster, lighter, less detailed game, try Commands & Colors: Ancients and it's offspring, as you suggest. It's the most popular Roman-era light wargame around. For another suggestion, you could try Avalanche Press' Roman series - Rome At War I: Hannibal at Bay was recently reissued as a good low-cost introduction.


Agree 100%. You can check out the rules in advance:

- C&CA: http://www.gmtgames.com/t-GMTLivingRules.aspx#cca
- Avalance Press "Rome at War" series (which includes Hannibal at Bay): http://www.avalanchepress.com/pdf/RAW5.pdf (this is really a rules summary, not the complete rules)
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Doctor X

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There's also Warhammer Ancient Battles.
 
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Richard Maurer
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For Card driven strategy games, I would recommend Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage and Sword of Rome.
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Todd Pytel
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Rindu wrote:
Part of the reason why you are seeing so many C&CA and GBOH suggestions is that there simply aren't that many games on the period.

Well, not so many games anymore. Twenty or thirty years ago, there were lots of Ancients games being published. AH by itself had several back in the day, and some were quite good sellers (like Caesar: Epic Battle of Alesia). I'm guessing the demand for such a wide range of titles just isn't there these days, so you're mostly left with C&C:A for the light wargamer segment and GBoH for the grog crowd. This is not so surprising, given that (at least in the States) there's a lot less study of Greece and Rome in most high school and college curricula.
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p55carroll
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I'll just throw in a plug for Ancient Battles Deluxe. Inexpensive, good, easy to get into, small, fast-playing--and the Roman era is included along with most everything else ancient and medieval. Check out the expansions too.

Come to think of it, you'd want Ancient Battles Deluxe Expansion Kit 1: Elephants at War for Romans.


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Johnpatrick Marr
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tppytel wrote:
I'm guessing the demand for such a wide range of titles just isn't there these days, so you're mostly left with C&C:A for the light wargamer segment and GBoH for the grog crowd. This is not so surprising, given that (at least in the States) there's a lot less study of Greece and Rome in most high school and college curricula.


That is a pity, but not a problem I had. For better or for worse I had to take Latin every year between 7th grade and Sophomore year of college. And there's not much to talk about aside from those crazy Romans. So many words for "kill" and so few for "love"!
 
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Andy Kelly
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While they don't exactly fit your criteria, you'd probably enjoy The End of the Triumvirate and Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage.
 
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Dan Owsen
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Don't forget Simple GBoH as a possible starting point for the GBOH series. It's still a step above C&C ancients factory in detail but strips out some of the complexity from GBOH.
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