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Subject: GBoH's next chapter rss

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Adam Siler
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This discussion is about my favorite game series and where it's heading.

Great Battles of History already features some of the great commanders and armies of the ancient world. Many of the games are even cross-over capable for competitive play. You can take this as far as you want, even down to an ASL style points for any force available.

The next planned game in the series is titled "Warring States." The focus is Ancient China in the early warring states period. My impression so far is that it's about time. There are lots of movies being made about this now, and a lot of them import, so the interest is out there. For books, Ralph Sawyer provides more information than anything I've ever seen. Chariots will be a big factor in the early battles, I'm guessing. My interest is in seeing how this style of army will operate, and how it will contrast with a later style Chinese army. With how much lore about ancient China there is, I think that the subject has a lot of untapped potential. I'm looking forward to the best tactical game for pre-modern warfare to take on the subject.


Also on the horizon, according to the Chandragupta site at consimworld, will focus on Vedic India. There will be a big focus on chariot battles and ceremonial warfare, but not elephants!
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Pete Pariseau
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I have every GBoH game published so far, but these planned games...ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz....
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Enrico Viglino
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Definitely up for these!

I'd like to also see whether real campaign systems
can be built for more of the existing stuff.


Terrain is the tough part.

Another interesting period might be the Meso-American fighting,
both before and during the european conquests.
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Ryan Powers
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Peter Pariseau wrote:
I have every GBoH game published so far, but these planned games...ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz....


As opposed to a fourth (fifth?) Caesar game? The China one will be sweet if done right. Don't know enough about the second foray into India to have an opinion.
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Adam Siler
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calandale wrote:
Definitely up for these!

I'd like to also see whether real campaign systems
can be built for more of the existing stuff.


Terrain is the tough part.

Another interesting period might be the Meso-American fighting,
both before and during the european conquests.


I agree with that! Of course, it may not be fun playing the Incas when they are basically waiting for Pizarro's men to get up the mountain. Maybe there are some decision opportunities. Worse would be a simulation of the Noche Triste, where you send thousands of unarmored Aztecs vs a TQ 9 conquistador unit of 300 men with a heroic leaders. The most famous battle is really not the kind that GBoH excels at. The most likely case will be battles that resemble Okehazama from Samurai, where the majority of the gameplay is about where to move in limited time. The pre-European scenarios would probably play more like Chariots of Fire, in that ranged fire does more damage and there are few units that are used to shock.

I think it's mostly that the 16th century is overlooked, even in naval warfare, where there are more opportunities for a simulation.

All that said, I'm still more interested in the Ancient China theme. If it wasn't obvious enough, I would like to see how the top commander and his force stacks up against Alexander or Hannibal with the tournament rules.
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Justin Hoffman
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keethrax wrote:
Peter Pariseau wrote:
I have every GBoH game published so far, but these planned games...ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz....


As opposed to a fourth (fifth?) Caesar game? The China one will be sweet if done right. Don't know enough about the second foray into India to have an opinion.


Absolutely agree with you here. I think Rome is just about played out in this series. I think the China game could be truly great--and could also be SPQR-huge (and expandable) depending on how far they want to take it.

As for the Indian game, I'm not sure I see the appeal of Vedic India other than it being "not Alexander->Rome"). Part of that, though, is that I keep hoping for a foray into the Mughal period (though maybe it would be more in line with the Musket and Pike series; I'd hate to have another Lion of the North entry)
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Adam Siler
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dogmatix wrote:

Absolutely agree with you here. I think Rome is just about played out in this series. I think the China game could be truly great--and could also be SPQR-huge (and expandable) depending on how far they want to take it.

As for the Indian game, I'm not sure I see the appeal of Vedic India other than it being "not Alexander->Rome"). Part of that, though, is that I keep hoping for a foray into the Mughal period (though maybe it would be more in line with the Musket and Pike series; I'd hate to have another Lion of the North entry)


I don't think they can ever do too many Rome games. There are always the wars of the Kingdom and Early Republic for the conquest of Italy. One game or module can cover a big section of this history, just like Barbarian did. We still need Philippi, Carrhae and Marc Antony's near east campaigns. Most original would be the later Empire campaigns, from Milvan Bridge on up to Adrianople. A base game could get it started and modules could make it at least as expansive as Conquest of Gaul, if not SPQR. Command and Colors already did it, and the appeal is that the armies will be of a different type than the Legions of SPQR, with lots of diversity in its auxiliary units. More than anything, I want to see the siege of Carthage and the Third Punic War.

That said, I would rather see China done first. It is only second in interest to me after the Second Punic War, and offers far more opportunities for expansion.

It only seems logical that an era that produced a figure so widely known as Sun Tzu should be a priority for wargaming.

Games in eastern settings are proven to be doable. Samurai and Ran started this trend. The funny thing is that those generals read the texts from Ancient China's wars and put maxims from the Art of War on their banners. They even renamed some of their keeps after ancient Chinese cities to make a point. This is all abstract and not covered by the game, but it ties in well. The religious roots of the samurai go back to ancient India, and we've seen that game released. It's time to do the Warring States. Even the name of the period is as obvious a choice for a war-game subject as can be.

one last note - I did see on consimworld some talk about a Glory-style game being made about the British Conquest of India, and another game covering the Mughal period. I don't remember any other specifics though
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Ryan Powers
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LgRangeContactPatrol wrote:

I agree with that! Of course, it may not be fun playing the Incas when they are basically waiting for Pizarro's men to get up the mountain. Maybe there are some decision opportunities. Worse would be a simulation of the Noche Triste, where you send thousands of unarmored Aztecs vs a TQ 9 conquistador unit of 300 men with a heroic leaders. The most famous battle is really not the kind that GBoH excels at. The most likely case will be battles that resemble Okehazama from Samurai, where the majority of the gameplay is about where to move in limited time. The pre-European scenarios would probably play more like Chariots of Fire, in that ranged fire does more damage and there are few units that are used to shock.


I would envision it as being very much like Chariots of Fire provided you could find enough information to do it in the first place. And like Troy which really goes past what Chariots Of Fire is all about, one or two with Europeans at the end would be more of a "bonus".

It's so beyond my area of historical knowledge though that I am clueless whether the information is even there to make this sort of thing feasible. A lot of Chariots goes beyond just pushing it a bit in the "historical information available vs level of detail in the game" area. To me it seems like this would be far worse yet in that regard.
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I am up for any of these. Slap a GBoH sticker on something and I will buy it.

I had forgotten that they were looking into a game set in China. Should be interesting. Vedic India might be fun as well. Perhaps along the lines of Chariots of Fire? Beats me. Will it sell though? Again...beats me.

Even the good old Roman stuff has me intrigued. I recently read a book on Constantine the Great and mentioned on some thread here that a game featuring his battles would be cool. Big ones, little ones, barbarians and even a famous one (Milvian Bridge). Fits in nicely between all that Caesar stuff and Cataphract. The evolving Roman army getting all full with Germanic troops .... ohh...ahhh...
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Adam Siler
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keethrax wrote:

I would envision it as being very much like Chariots of Fire provided you could find enough information to do it in the first place. And like Troy which really goes past what Chariots Of Fire is all about, one or two with Europeans at the end would be more of a "bonus".

It's so beyond my area of historical knowledge though that I am clueless whether the information is even there to make this sort of thing feasible. A lot of Chariots goes beyond just pushing it a bit in the "historical information available vs level of detail in the game" area. To me it seems like this would be far worse yet in that regard.


The only downside is that, unlike the Chariots of Fire game, it doesn't represent any civilization that makes a permanent impact to the development of world history. Ancient Sumer is an obscure subject, but it is also important to study for its place in history. The Aztecs, Incas, and their tribal opponents are dead civilizations that generate less interest in as far as how they shaped their political landscape before the arrival of Europeans.
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Adam D.
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It will interesting to see if they can come up with information on these battles. Especially given the problems just figuring out where some of Alexander's battles were fought or how many guys were there within 100,000...
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Enrico Viglino
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LgRangeContactPatrol wrote:


I agree with that! Of course, it may not be fun playing the Incas when they are basically waiting for Pizarro's men to get up the mountain. Maybe there are some decision opportunities. Worse would be a simulation of the Noche Triste, where you send thousands of unarmored Aztecs vs a TQ 9 conquistador unit of 300 men with a heroic leaders. The most famous battle is really not the kind that GBoH excels at. The most likely case will be battles that resemble Okehazama from Samurai, where the majority of the gameplay is about where to move in limited time. The pre-European scenarios would probably play more like Chariots of Fire, in that ranged fire does more damage and there are few units that are used to shock.


Yeah, I think the pre-european stuff would be more interesting,
but it would be cool to get to explore the early contact situations
as a bonus.

I wonder if the pure 16th century stuff might be better
handled with M&P.
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Capt_S wrote:

Even the good old Roman stuff has me intrigued. I recently read a book on Constantine the Great and mentioned on some thread here that a game featuring his battles would be cool. Big ones, little ones, barbarians and even a famous one (Milvian Bridge). Fits in nicely between all that Caesar stuff and Cataphract. The evolving Roman army getting all full with Germanic troops .... ohh...ahhh...


For Roman, I'd rather go EARLIER than SPQR.

Maybe there's something already out there I'm not aware of,
but it would be neat to see projections on the development
of the army.
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Adam Siler
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calandale wrote:


For Roman, I'd rather go EARLIER than SPQR.

Maybe there's something already out there I'm not aware of,
but it would be neat to see projections on the development
of the army.

If you take Livy at face value, then there are no lack of battles. The tactics described sound more like a mix of Conquest of Gaul and SPQR, with lots of charges, rallies, and capturing of fortified positions. Some people complain that routing is too generous in GBoH, but I disagree. If the army is historically prone to disintegrate, the OC's leadership rating and inability to rally reflects this. On the other hand, in battles like those in Rome's early wars, it wasn't so much about a fatal charge but rather about winning the momentum of the battle and managing to outlast the enemy or succeed at the main point of attack. In other words, like Leuctra without the Hoplite collapse rule (which still makes sense, as a rule, when put in the proper context of Hoplite rules of war). This whole "casualties mostly took place during the route" is an oversimplification. I like games where the issue may be in doubt, but due to more than one factor. Prussia's Glory and the American Revolution systems factor morale levels and momentum into the game well. GBoH doesn't need that - the rules already exist for casualty depletion, rout points, and rallies. They just need to be implemented right.

On the development of Roman warfare, a book I'd recommend is "Soldiers and Ghosts" by JE Lendon. There are too many themes in this book to summarize, but the development of the early Roman army seems to be a competition between the attributes of courage and discipline. Aggression may win the the day, and heroic combat has its place, but there is also a need to hold the line. Really makes for an interesting study and it is useful for visualizing how an early Republic army would have fought.


On the 16th and 17th centuries, I think that the best direction to go would be with the Polish-Ukrainian Wars. I made a thread about it. I ask where the interest is in all of those famous novels like Taras Bulba, Fire and Sword, and so on. Musket and Pike, I think, could cover everything
Not Pavia: That should be a GBoH game. Men of Iron I can't comment on, because I haven't played the new Infidel rules yet.
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Justin Hoffman
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LgRangeContactPatrol wrote:

On the 16th and 17th centuries, I think that the best direction to go would be with the Polish-Ukrainian Wars. I made a thread about it. I ask where the interest is in all of those famous novels like Taras Bulba, Fire and Sword, and so on. Musket and Pike, I think, could cover everything
Not Pavia: That should be a GBoH game. Men of Iron I can't comment on, because I haven't played the new Infidel rules yet.


The Polish-Ukrainian wars and the various Balkan conflicts would probably make for great entries in the M&P series. I hadn't thought about that whole subject area in a hell of a long time but, you're spot-on. That would make for some interesting gaming.

Another topic that comes to mind and one I'm not sure is covered that well in the existing series is the Italian city-state wars. Guelphs and Ghibellines is out there but I'm not familiar with much of anything else save for maybe some magazine games. Seems like it would fit in the Men of Iron/Infidel timeframe, though I suspect there are more naval and political considerations that would need to be incorporated. I'm not sure the system lends itself to that [though like LRCP, I haven't yet cracked the Infidel box yet; maybe there's something in there].

To get back to GBOH, I do understand the desire for "earlier than SPQR" games but between the 4 Caesar games--Gaul, Alesia, Alexandria, Civil Wars--Cataphract, and the huge number of additional modules published in C3i [seems like nearly every issue for the last 8 years] (along with Barbarian) for SPQR deluxe, it just seems to me that there are other topics to be mined in some greater depth/detail before returning to the 800-pound gorilla in the gaming room that is Rome. If there's material to be had [I'm not well versed in the history of the period, so I can't just point to something], I'd love to see some additional modules for Ran and Samurai first. That said, I suspect that Rome is to sword & sandal gaming as the East Front is to treadheads--it will always outsell the more niche topics.

That said, to basically undercut my own position above, one of my most eagerly awaited titles for 2012 is the GBo Alexander reprint. I'm really looking forward to a consolidated and expanded set.
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Brett Dedrick
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This might be a little out there but I think you could do the John Carter of Mars series with GBOH.
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Enrico Viglino
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brettdedrick wrote:
This might be a little out there but I think you could do the John Carter of Mars series with GBOH.


I'd buy that in a heartbeat.
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calandale wrote:
brettdedrick wrote:
This might be a little out there but I think you could do the John Carter of Mars series with GBOH.


I'd buy that in a heartbeat.


Does it come with a Dejah Thoris action figure?
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calandale wrote:
Capt_S wrote:

Even the good old Roman stuff has me intrigued. I recently read a book on Constantine the Great and mentioned on some thread here that a game featuring his battles would be cool. Big ones, little ones, barbarians and even a famous one (Milvian Bridge). Fits in nicely between all that Caesar stuff and Cataphract. The evolving Roman army getting all full with Germanic troops .... ohh...ahhh...


For Roman, I'd rather go EARLIER than SPQR.

Maybe there's something already out there I'm not aware of,
but it would be neat to see projections on the development
of the army.


That would be very cool. I think the earliest they have gotten with the Romans still had them employing the manipular legion from SPQR. I have no idea really what came before that. Mob fights a la West Side Story perhaps?

As for the Medieval period, I would be all over that too. Whether it be GBoH, MoI or whatever (too early for M&P I should think). I know that Vae Victis did many, but they are a bit difficult to come by here. GMT does Swiss pikemen sounds good to me.
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Capt_S wrote:
calandale wrote:
Capt_S wrote:

Even the good old Roman stuff has me intrigued. I recently read a book on Constantine the Great and mentioned on some thread here that a game featuring his battles would be cool. Big ones, little ones, barbarians and even a famous one (Milvian Bridge). Fits in nicely between all that Caesar stuff and Cataphract. The evolving Roman army getting all full with Germanic troops .... ohh...ahhh...


For Roman, I'd rather go EARLIER than SPQR.

Maybe there's something already out there I'm not aware of,
but it would be neat to see projections on the development
of the army.


That would be very cool. I think the earliest they have gotten with the Romans still had them employing the manipular legion from SPQR. I have no idea really what came before that. Mob fights a la West Side Story perhaps?


The problem may be that the record's not accurate enough to know.
Thinking something that shows where the Triarii/Velites come from,
if there's a reasonably supported theory.

Quote:
As for the Medieval period, I would be all over that too. Whether it be GBoH, MoI or whatever (too early for M&P I should think). I know that Vae Victis did many, but they are a bit difficult to come by here. GMT does Swiss pikemen sounds good to me.


Yes - I've been craving the MOI stuff to be covered by GBoH as
it is. Yeah, MOI's good, but I'd rather the detail.
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Adam Siler
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I've said it before, but I wish that Devil's Horsemen had an expansion for the battle of Kulikovo Field. It would fit right in and it's so logical. I'm willing to give Men of Iron a shot, but considering that they covered Mansourah (of all things) in a Mongol themed game, they should at least have that one.
Or do one better by focusing on Russia. Call it Rise of the Czars or something. The earliest battle is Kulikovo, the rest are during the reign of Ivan the Terrible and other battles against the Tatars. Also, on a side note: Musket and Pike, with expanded cavalry rules, could do Eastern Europe very well, I think.

I'm not opposed to Men of Iron. I'll give it a chance with the new rules. I just think that if it's designed to cover feudal style armies of 20,000 men or less.


On early Roman warfare: Everything I've seen indicates that the preferred method of fighting was in a pseudo-phalanx style formation, although in all of the classics, swords are mentioned as often as spears. It probably was less rigid in character than the Greek Hoplites, due to the terrain and style of war (emphasis on fortified camps and towns). One of the thing I like about the GBoH system is that LI, MI, and HI are not tied down to any one method. The designation is used to describe their approximate level of equipment and effectiveness of weapons, because there is no way to be sure on many of them, and because arms were interchangeable. For example, Hannibal's HI in the Italian campaign can represent those men who, as stated by Livy, armed themselves with captured Roman equipment. I guess they just painted them differently.

In that regard, my guess for a Warring States period army would be maybe 10% Chariots, 20% LC, 30% MI, and 40% Sk* (crossbowmen or self-bowmen, depending on year).
All that is before the Han and post-Han periods, where the Cavalry was more advanced and largely handled by auxiliaries, and chariots were obsolete.
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I would think there's a bit of room here with medieval Europe and the Crusades. I know some of this stuff has been covered but not comprehensively. What about the 100 years War? There must be some good stuff in there beyond Agincourt and sieges... hmm, I dunno.
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I think one of the projected M&P games dealt with eastern cavalry, which would be fine by me. Fluid battles can be a lot of fun.

I think you might be on to something about the early Roman stuff Adam. It must have been while reading the rules from SPQR that I came across a reference for triarii being the vestigial remains of their earlier phalanx system. That would jive nicely with what you said.

Oh, let's see what that source of all my quick info, Wikipedia, has to offer on the subject. Checking now... Yeah, they are described as being much like the Greeks (with spears) up to the 4th century. Mentioned is a levy size of 9,000 comprised of 6,000 hoplites, 2,400 light armed (who would evolve into velites eventually - interesting) and 600 light cavalry. Take that for what it is worth.

It also mentions that big ol'battles were pretty rare and that most fighting was raiding and skirmishing. Hmmm.

All pretty cool stuff really.
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TheCollector wrote:
I would think there's a bit of room here with medieval Europe and the Crusades. I know some of this stuff has been covered but not comprehensively. What about the 100 years War? There must be some good stuff in there beyond Agincourt and sieges... hmm, I dunno.


There must be some battles that the French won. No (non)? I mean, they eventually come out on top in the affair. Must have done something right. Maybe some of those battles would be fun.
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PS - Just to state the obvious, it is threads like this one that make me love the wargaming community here on BGG*. Games, history, gastory, himes... all balled up in a nice package.

I would hate to lose it.

* You big lugs you!
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