Trygve E. Rosenvinge
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In a few weeks time I will arrange a C&C:A tournament at a local convention. I really don't expect more than 6 or 8 players to attend my tournament at most, and the players will likely be entirely new to the game.

I've been looking at the scenarios listed in my books and I believe my tournament would benefit from easy scenarios, where the sides are near equally matched, with little or no terrain, few or no special rules and a minimum of unusual units such as chariots and elephants.

I've found the following five scenarios to be likely candidates:
Cannae 216 BC
Crocus Plain 352 BC
Asculum 279 BC
Arnusio 105 BC
Scirthaea 103 BC

The plan is to pair up the players, then have them play each scenario twice and compare the number of points scored.

Any advice and suggestions would be much appreciated.
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John O'Haver
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Raphia from the first expansion is pretty balanced. No terrain, 5 cards per player, two leaders per side and it plays to 8 Banners.

The downside is BOTH sides have elephants so both have to deal with the pros and cons of the beasts. There are enough blocks in the base set to play it without actually owning the Greeks / Eastern Kingdon expansion. Download the scenario from http://www.ccancients.net/
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Trygve E. Rosenvinge
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scribidinus wrote:
Raphia from the first expansion is pretty balanced. No terrain, 5 cards per player, two leaders per side and it plays to 8 Banners.

The downside is BOTH sides have elephants so both have to deal with the pros and cons of the beasts. There are enough blocks in the base set to play it without actually owning the Greeks / Eastern Kingdon expansion. Download the scenario from http://www.ccancients.net/


I've looked at Raphia. It does seem like a good scenario and while I quite like playing with elephants, I can see how they might confuse and complicate the game for an entirely new player. Plus the Raphia scenario involves more units than some of the other scenarios I'm considering, so I assume it might take longer to play than the others, and the time involved is another factor I must take into evaluation.

I might decide to structure the tournament so it involves proceeding to a final game between the two best players from the first games, and then it's important that the first games last about as long. Raphia might work for the final game though, so thank you.
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Mark McG
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there is coolness to Elephants that would be attractive to new players
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Elephants are cool. But they also produce complex situations in the middle of a battle. If I were teaching new players the game, I'd go the route the OP described and keep Elephants and terrain to a minimum.
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Trygve E. Rosenvinge
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Minedog3 wrote:
there is coolness to Elephants that would be attractive to new players


Personally I prefer atypical scenarios, the kind that involves lots of terrain, special rules and unusual units, like elephants. They did put an elephant on the cover, didn't they?

But my games will involve new and inexperienced players, and I'll need to keep the complicating elements to a minimum for the first game, then possibly gradually introduce them. That aside, what do you think of the scenarios I've suggested?
 
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Kevin Duke
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In the early days after the game was released, it seemed like 1/2 the questions that were asked involved elephants or leaders that were not attached to a unit. And in fact, an incorrect elephant retreat item/ruling made it through 1st and 2nd edition and was only fixed late in the day on 3rd edition.

Yes, there is much coolness in elephants but much complexity as well.

I think you're doing exactly the right thing for folks' first scenarios, and might only add the suggestion of trying to trim down 'unit type' as well. Having archers and slingers in the same scenario is hard for newbies-- "what do you mean they are the same?" It's bad enough with light infantry and Auxilia, since I think newcomers try to learn from "color" more than anything else (reasonable, since the art is subtle and different). That little white outline around the Auxilia circle, the Warrior square, etc, just does not do the job with newcomers.

I've taught a number of newcomers and maybe the best thing is a literal 'practice scenario' that isn't in the book. Take them through the trip with just LI, MI, HI, and a couple cav types and one leader per side. Go through the mechanics-- move, fire, retreat, and yes, "evade" (another toughy). When the basics are down, then you can introduce Auxilia and Warriors and 3 hex shooters and chariots.... I'd still save the Elephants for 'round 3' of the teaching series.

It's not as simple as laying out a scenario and starting to keep track of points in a tourney...but if they're really newbies, do you really want their first die rolls to "count" toward some end result?
Depends on the time you have, I suppose.
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Trygve E. Rosenvinge
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I'm not going to have much time at my disposal, and some of the players will want to join different games once the C&C:A session I'm responsible for is over. And it's a friendly convention as well, so there's no shame in poor luck or playing badly.

That being said, I don't want to make the game unpleasant for them either, and I'll need to give them clear, easily understood instructions, including demonstrations of the various encounters they'll experience, the different cards, stress the importance of formation cohesion and why "white border" means "not what you think it is", just to mention a few of the things I'll have to emphasize. I've taught the game to many of my friends, so I know which details I have to stress and which parts of the game that is going to confuse them.

However, unlike some of my normal friends, I expect that the hobby gamers at the convention will need less time to learn the game. I myself play at least one or two new games every month, and I assume the same to be true of the participants at the convention.
 
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Trygve E. Rosenvinge
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I thought I should let you in on how the tournament turned out, as it was held last Saturday at the convention.

We were four players, which turned out to be a good thing, as I only have two sets of cards and then having more than two simultaneous games would have been impossible. I was counting on a friend to bring his set, but that didn't happen. Of the four of us, only one player was entirely inexperienced with the game and system, the other two were veteran BatteLore/Memoir '44 players and they all grasped the game quickly, the only questions to really arise involved some of the cards, particularly the leadership cards and linked hexes.

I presented them with my list of suggested scenarios and we agreed we should all play the Cannae 216 BC scenario, then switch sides and compare points. I think we originally decided to do four games with the following setup:

A as Carthage vs. B as Rome, C as Carthage vs. D as Rome, then followed by B as Carthage vs. C as Rome and D as Carthage vs. A as Rome

But that didn't happen as one pair of players finished much earlier than the other, so we ended up playing the same opponent twice, which apart from being the less interesting option wasn't much of an issue. One board was set with Grey Romans vs. Carthagians, the other with Red Romans vs. Persians (with Barbarian Warriors), and it worked out very well. I played against the newbie and both games turned out extremely bloody (and we were the pair that finished the first game early), but overall he did very well for a new player, although I feel inclined to blame my poor luck with the disastrous loss of the Roman general Paillus in my second game, playing the Romans.

3-4 uneventful turns into the battle, we had both moved our lines closer together, when my opponent scored a hit with his slingers against the infantry unit Paillus was with. The medium infantry block I removed was my second or third overall casualty, but then my opponent rolled the leader casualty check and the unfortunate Paillus succumbed instantaneously. I guess he took a lead ball to his head. The rest of the battle turned out disastrously, and having two "Mounted Charge" in my hand of four cards wasn't very helpful either, seeing how the Roman cavalry was just there to protect the flanks.
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