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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Better than Battle Cry and, if so, how? rss

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meepleonboard
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I recently had the carpet pulled out underneath me by Battle Cry. I bought an as-new copy back in March and finally got it to the table for my partner and me to play a couple of weeks ago. Having tried it online I was desperate for it to be a hit, but it really bombed. Neither of us was 'into' it, despite my interest in the historical period, and we both agreed that it felt too much like play a card, roll some dice, move some little soldiers, and so on.

This was a real disappointment, as I have a hankering for something war-like, but it would need to be something my other half will play. I am reluctant to give up on Borg's system so early, also hesitant about paying a fair whack of money to get something which is also going to fail.

For what it's worth, BattleLore is out of the question (price, also we don't do elves and the like), and Memoir '44 doesn't tickle us at all, although I've played it online a fair bit.

This leaves C&C, although only the Ancients iteration would do it for us. I would be interested in giving this a go, although I would be keen to hear what it does better than Battle Cry and why, also if it is simply a polished version of the same system or not. Our impression was that Battle Cry was just too simple and that we weren't really involved in much decision making of any depth at all, although that may say more about us than the game.

Also, if anybody has any impressions of something like Washington's War or even Claustrophobia I'd also be keen to hear them, especially how they relate to something like Battle Cry as far as one-on-one goes. Both are on my radar, and, for the record, I have 1960: The Making of the President, Stronghold (don't mention the elves!) and Wars of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York on the shelf waiting to be played.

We play a variety of games, almost exculsively in two, normally to a maximum length of about one and a half hours, if that's helpful to know. It may be that games of this ilk are just not for us, but I'd like to believe that isn't the case, for now, at least.
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Steve Duke
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Nick, you are not alone in your assessment of Battle Cry.
The history of that game is that it was deliberately 'simplified' to allegedly make it appeal more to the masses.

You can do a little searching on here and find some 'house rules' that add greater depth and flavor to the game without a whole lot more complication, but the rules give you more of a period feel that perhaps you are looking for.

As published, I agree, it's a pretty vanilla game, possibly good as an intro to new gamers but not much holding power beyond that. So I'd check out the house rules and if you can't find them, send me an IM and I'll point you in the direction.

Secondly, CCA has that increased depth that was taken out of BC. "Better" is a subjective word so I'll just say there is more substance to the game, more options, and it feels more representative of the period it is trying to portray. I was not really an ancients fan--still am not--but I play CCA more than any other game in my collection.

Good luck and don't give up!
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Derry Salewski
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Which battle cry were you playing?
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fishhaid
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My experience was similar to sduke's: I played (and liked) Battle Cry to an extent a couple of times, but haven't played it since I got C&C Ancients. The biggest difference to me was the card system seemed better suited to the Ancients time period and had a more thematic feel.


Having said that, I would warn that since the card system is pretty much the same thing, if Battle Cry "bombed", Borg's system may not be you and your partner's cup of tea. Try a different system first, or try C&C with your partner before you buy?
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Having a light, plastic miniature tossed at you from across the table by your SO is far more desirable than a C&C:A Elephant Unit. Trust me. Those suckers hurt.

Anyway, C&C:A has an added layer of complexity when compared to Battle Cry. If that is not something to be afraid of regarding your SO, go for it. I'd try to play it online first or at a gaming event somewhere to see if you like it. It takes work to get this game to the table. You have to sticker hundreds of blocks and a full set of dice. That puts off some people.

My GF loves Battle Cry, and I hope to get her to play C&C:A at some point in the future, but I gotta take it slow and not alienate her to Wargames by making bad choices.
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meepleonboard
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Thanks for the responses, genuinely helpful.

I was playing the 150th Anniversary edition, although the only online version I could find is for the original. I've picked up that the rules were slightly different, but it was really the issue of depth which disappointed us the most, although maybe we have matured into 'proper' gamers over the past couple of years and hanker after something a little more involved, with a touch more chicanery.

I still haven't given up on the whole C&C system, but I agree that it might be worth trying it out first, or maybe trying to pick up a used copy which I could always sell on again. My SO is not too keen on online board games, however, so it might be a case of biting the bullet (or the sword in the case of C&C:A) and just giving it a go.
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Derry Salewski
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The 150 edition definitely is deeper, and if you really want the civil war, there's no reason you can't incorporate some of the more advanced parts of napoleonics into it.

I played the original online a ton, and definitely rank it a couple points lower than the newer one.

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David Bohnenberger
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The linear system is best suited to pre-gunpowder warfare. There are some rule additions that really make a difference, too, especially the "battle back" rule. C&C:A is the best of the series, by far.
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jeff miller
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I know I sound like a broken record when this subject comes up, but I'll say it again anyway. Although I enjoy CC&A, and Battle Cry on occasion, Napoleonics is the best of the Borg system IMO. Also I would definately reccommend Washington's War. It is my favorite CDG.
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Kent Reuber
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nickster1970 wrote:
This leaves C&C, although only the Ancients iteration would do it for us. I would be interested in giving this a go, although I would be keen to hear what it does better than Battle Cry and why, also if it is simply a polished version of the same system or not. Our impression was that Battle Cry was just too simple and that we weren't really involved in much decision making of any depth at all, although that may say more about us than the game.


It still has the same card play mechanics, but there are a lot more unit types with individual rules. For example, light units can evade from attacks without the use of cards. And all units can battle back if they aren't eliminated and don't retreat, again without a card.

What about Samurai Battles as an option? There are fewer unit types than in ancients, so there are fewer special rules to keep in mind, but the Honor rules and Dragon cards are nice options.
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Dave Briggs
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One thing that I might add about CC:Ancients is something all "beginners" should understand. No matter what you think of the game mechanics when you first start playing, keep playing the game. Because once you have enough experience with the different unit types and the card deck, the game will take on a whole new level of play. You will start to see interactions and combinations and the game will take on a life of its own.

So play, play some more, and keep playing. You will be rewarded. Trust me.
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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scifiantihero wrote:
The 150 edition definitely is deeper, and if you really want the civil war, there's no reason you can't incorporate some of the more advanced parts of napoleonics into it.

I played the original online a ton, and definitely rank it a couple points lower than the newer one.


A simple, out-of-the-box tweak that is also in the Napoleonic game is to say that Sabers only score hits at a range of 1 hex. That'll help in keeping your troops alive a little longer.

A small piece of advice on play: use terrain to your advantage and don't be in such a hurry to close with your opponent. Also, when you finally do decide to close the gap, do so in force!

I think if BC:150 needs any help, it only needs a little.
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kentreuber wrote:
nickster1970 wrote:
This leaves C&C, although only the Ancients iteration would do it for us. I would be interested in giving this a go, although I would be keen to hear what it does better than Battle Cry and why, also if it is simply a polished version of the same system or not. Our impression was that Battle Cry was just too simple and that we weren't really involved in much decision making of any depth at all, although that may say more about us than the game.


It still has the same card play mechanics, but there are a lot more unit types with individual rules. For example, light units can evade from attacks without the use of cards. And all units can battle back if they aren't eliminated and don't retreat, again without a card.

What about Samurai Battles as an option? There are fewer unit types than in ancients, so there are fewer special rules to keep in mind, but the Honor rules and Dragon cards are nice options.


This is a good, historical battle game that feels like a blend of C&C:Ancients and BattleLore. However, be prepared to spend a good afternoon or more in assembling the pieces.
 
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