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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » Variants

Subject: House Rules v.1 rss

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Sami Kilpinen
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Reading the various rules for different C&C-style games, I came up with these for myself.

Disclaimer: I know there's a very puristic atmosphere about C&C here. These rules are for myself. I've played the game enough to understand it a bit by now. Please don't comment if you don't have anything to say besides "this game doesn't need these kinds of extra rules" or "I don't like them".
Again, these are just for me, for fun, and they don't represent an opinion on how the game should be changed for the rest of you.

1. Sticky close combat from BoW, with the following alterations:
a) Any non-light (a unit that does not have the word "Light" in its name) unit that attacks another unit in an adjacent hex engages it.
b) Engaged units can only attack each other. However, multiple units may be engaged with the same enemy unit.
c) An engaged unit can disengage via retreat results, a momentum advance or voluntarily by spending one move (although they are not obliged to move.
d) An engaged unit that disengages receives a free close combat attack roll from one of the units chosen by the opponent. Extra units may contribute one die each. However, the opponent does NOT get to perform a free attack if the disengagement move is taken to a valid retreat hex or is a momentum advance move.

2. Flanking Attack:
a) If a unit attacks an enemy unit that is engaged to another unit in a non-adjacent hex, OR makes a ranged attack via a hexside (that is closest to the attacker) that would counts as such, it gets to re-roll any dice that show a symbol chosen by the attacker after rolling.
b) If a unit is engaged by at least two enemy units, at least one of which non-adjacent, the unit counts as being outflanked.

3.Variable number of blocks / hits (from CCN)
a) Green units have 1 less block / hit (removed when there's only 1 left)
b) Blue units have blocks as normal
c) Red units have one extra block / hit (can withstand 1 hit when left at 1 block)
d) To compensate, the victory banner system is modified: You get 3 blocks from a white unit, a banner as normal from a blue unit or a scenario objective, and a banner plus one block from a red unit. You can exchange 4 blocks at any time for one victory banner.

4. Red and Spartan Medium Hoplite units ignore 1 flag from green units unless the attack comes through a hexside that would make them outflanked (even from a ranged attack).

5. Hoplites:
a) In addition to the normal rules for Hoplites, treat the first unignored flag result as a hit (per attack roll), except if the unit is in an outflanked position in which case such hits are applied normally.
b) Hoplites add 1 die when attacking or battling back, unless they are outflanked or are in any terrain except clear, rampart or fortified camp, in which case they fight with 1 less die .
c) If a cavalry unit attacks a hoplite unit in melee, and the hoplite unit is allowed its bonus die, roll the bonus die before the cavalry attacks. Resolve the hit as normal, except instead of causing a retreat, a flag cancels the cavalry's attack. The flag cannot be ignored, and the units are now engaged.
d)- List of Hoplites per nationality:
- Romans: Heavy Infantry BEFORE the Polybian Legions rule takes effect (in Cannae).
- Carthaginians: Medium & Heavy Infantry before Cannae, Medium Infantry only after Cannae.
- Greek & Other Hellenic : Medium & Heavy Infantry, EXCEPT when the Phalanx rules are used (they take precedence)

Hannibal’s Veterans rule:
From Cannae onwards, Carthaginian Heavy Infantry is no longer considered as Hoplites, but instead has a pilum attack similar to Polybian Legions.

6. Phalanx:
a) Phalanx Infantry ignores the first sword rolled and treat the first unignored flag result as a hit (per attack roll), except if the unit is in an outflanked position in which case such hits are applied normally.
b) Phalanx Infantry add 1 die when attacking or battling back, unless they are outflanked or are in any terrain except clear, in which case they fight with 2 less dice.
c) If an enemy unit attacks a phalanx unit in melee, and the phalanx unit is allowed its bonus die, roll the bonus die before the enemy attacks. Against an enemy cavalry attack they get an additional bonus die for a total of 2 extra dice. Resolve the hits as normal, except instead of causing a retreat, a flag cancels the enemy's attack. The flag cannot be ignored, and the units are now engaged.
d) Phalanx Infantry may not be ordered at all by play of a Double Time Card.
e) Phalanx infantry in any terrain besides Clear cannot be supported.
f) List of Phalanx Infantry per nationality:
Macedonian, Epirote, Successor and in some cases, Greek (as instructed by the scenario) Heavy (sometimes medium) Infantry units from 358 BC to 148BC.

7. Square (represents a circle, rectangle, square or other closely ordered formation): Auxilia, Medium and Heavy infantry units may form a square similar to CCN as a reaction to an enemy melee attack.
a) The unit cannot be outflanked, and ignores the first sword result in melee. A unit in square always counts as being supported.
b) A unit in square may only make one attack while it remains in square.
c) If a cavalry unit attacks a unit in square in melee, roll the battle back die before the cavalry attacks. Resolve the hit as normal, except instead of causing a retreat, a flag cancels the cavalry's attack. The flag cannot be ignored, and the units are now engaged.
d) A unit may form into a battle line again by expending one movement point.

8)Pilum: Roman units with the "Polybian Legions" ranged attack capability replace it with the Pilum rule:
a) A unit with Pilums rolls an additional ranged attack die before any combat which it starts unengaged. As a ranged attack, only a hit symbol or a flag have any effect.
b) When battling back, roll the die before the enemy makes its attacks.Resolve the hits as normal, except instead of causing a retreat, a flag cancels the enemy's attack. The flag cannot be ignored, and the units are now engaged.

9)Optional rule: Pyrrhic Victory
Instead of the game ending the moment a player reaches the victory banner level, play until the end of the following player's turn. If the following player reaches the same amount of banners, it counts as a "Pyrrhic" or moral victory for the player who got the required number of banners first, but if he gets more banners, he wins the game.

Sometimes the standard end condition leads players to do things that would be tactically very stupid in order to grab the last banner, like sending a lone unit out of line to pick off a single unit in an opposing line. By changing the end condition we discourage go-for-broke moves and keep pressure on both players to use good tactics clear through to the end.



Phew, that's enough for tonight, maybe I'll continue tomorrow.
But this represents the Joe Bisio-like house rules pack that tries to add flavour and new historical tactics in, hopefully without breaking the game.
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Mark McG
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White units? Do you mean green? Or is this a Finnish thing?
 
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Kevin Duke
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Quote:
These rules are for myself. I've played the game enough to understand it a bit by now. Please don't comment if you don't have anything to say besides "this game doesn't need these kinds of extra rules" or "I don't like them".
Again, these are just for me, for fun, and they don't represent an opinion on how the game should be changed for the rest of you.



You know, if these are "just for me," then you don't need to publish them in a public forum, do you?

And if you publish them in a public forum, it's pretty cheeky to try to control the responses. So you only want responses from people who say, "Damn, these are F'ing brilliant. Why hasn't anyone thought of these before?"

Quote:
I've played the game enough to understand it a bit by now.


Clearly you have not. And citing Joe Biseo-- who has no clue how the game works-- just proves it.

Instead you're one more noob who played a little, hasn't really gotten a glimmer of understanding yet, and thinks it will be much more "fun" after your improvements.

Enjoy!
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Dave Briggs
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Well Sami, I hate to bust your bubble, but the real world doesn't work like that. You can't post something on a public forum and then tell everyone that they can't comment on what you've written. What do you think a forum is, anyway? Despite your wishes I will comment on what you have written, if you don't like that then...well...welcome to reality.

Like Kevin said above, after reading your house rules, I get the feeling that you haven't played the game very much. The units are green, blue, and red. For some reason you are calling the green units white. I've played hundreds of CC:A battles and not once have I mistaken the green units for white.

Unfortunately the house rules you have written will break the game. It's okay and sometimes necessary to add special rules to a specific battle to fine tune that battle but those are always specific to the scenario and the fewer the better.

Reading your house rules gives me the impression that you read over the rulebooks but haven't played enough battles to achieve that level of enlightenment that makes this the excellent game that it is.

The only thing that I really objected to was your desire that no one critic your rules. That's just not going to happen on an open forum like this.

Keep playing the game. Play it alot. I think you will find that you don't need those house rules after all.

I will end this with something I've said many times: You can play this game any way you want and with any rules you desire. But, it's a shame to miss out on the elegant interaction of the games components by covering them up with too much clutter.

There, that wasn't so bad. Have fun playing the game, no matter how you want to play it. After all, fun is the ultimate goal.
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Todd Rewoldt
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Though I am firmly in both the "this game doesn't need these kinds of extra rules" and "I don't like them" groups, I do enjoy entertaining all matter of house rules with C&C games and discussions about the rationales for them.

So, serious, good faith questions to follow - setting no argumentative "traps"

I assume "white" units are Auxilia (they have the white circle around the green circle to differentiate from the other light units), and as such none of the rules you stated apply to the light infantry, slingers, bowmen, etc.? Those just operate per the normal game rules and are excluded from outflanking, etc.?

I don't think I understand the conditions for outflanking - is it just supposed to be anytime two (or more) non-adjacent enemy units are adjacent to a unit? And then the bonus is that, if say, the unit being attacked were medium/blue and the dice results were red,green,green,swords, the two green results could be re-rolled for additional effects (hits, banners, etc.)? I may have missed this explicitly, but for the Hoplite rules, where any non-ignored banner results count as hits unless the target is "outflanked", because those banner results already count as hits - is this to mean that any outflanked unit does not get to retreat from banner results, rather must remain on its hex and take unretreated hexes as hits?

Not sure if you are up to it, but I would be interested in hearing the reasoning for modeling tactics the way you are attempting to do so with these rules. Again, I think that the rule set as is does a terrific job of modeling flanking, line clashes, mounted vs foot, etc. ("this game doesn't need these kind of extra rules - because they are already built into the combat resolution and movement rules" is long version of the name of a group to which I belong ), but talking about modeling particular tactics/events through rules is fun to me. Happy to hear your thoughts.
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Sami Kilpinen
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I knew my disclaimer couldn't keep you away, Kevin. You're the sort of guy who enjoys demeaning others above everything.

As for your insipid and unwelcome commentary, let me dismiss in the style you are so fond of.

1. I do not need to publish anything. However, publishing them might do a service to a few people more intelligent and open-minded than you are. Clearly I care a lot more about people like them than people like you, and hence, after much consideration, I must admit, I went ahead and posted them with a big disclaimer. But trust me, posting them here was not the reason they were made.

2. I don't control any responses, as you've proven. It was a request, plain and simple, and I knew people like would exercise their right to ignore it. And no, I didn't want only praising comments, I wanted intelligent discussion (including criticism).

3. I am sorry again, my omniscient better-than-me friend, but who are you to tell me what I have done and haven't done?

4. And you, sir are just one more better-than-thou troll who tries to take people to task for daring to suggest anything outside the norms. You're the sort of conservative that give conservatives everywhere a bad name.

And frankly I know a lot more about what's more fun for me than you do, sir Internet bully.


The rest of you were a lot more polite, but you still missed the point. I've heard the arguments that you need to keep playing hundreds of games in order to understand how beautiful the game is and do forevermore away with house rules as you are enlightened in the love of pure CCA.

I haven't played hundreds of games, but I know also that won't happen with the normal rules. I'm more of a wargamer than a board gamer when it comes to games like these, and there are many that I would simply pick up first (even in the hex and board category, Anticamente is one that's pretty darn good).

In any case, the main point is that most of you believe that you know fun for me better than I know it myself. The game may well be worse as a commercial design like this (too much clutter etc.) but as a fun game for me, these go a long way towards helping. As for brokenness, many of the scenarios are inherently unbalanced and the challenge is to see who does better in mirror games - or simply one game for fun.

Oh and yes, white is green. I've come to think of them as whites due to the outer ring colour being white.
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Sami Kilpinen
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First off, I wanted to ensure that you all understood that a request to not post a reply that ONLY says "I don't like this" doesn't mean you aren't allowed to say it. It was merely a wish, that you would extrapolate why, if you said so, with constructive criticism. Many of you did so, but I tried to make you understand that I've heard most of what was said before (about playing x times to understand how the game works, how the game is perfect as it is and anything else will break it etc etc.)

I am aware how support rules and blocking retreat hexes, for example, simulate flanking. I'm also aware that people who are already fans of this game will not want to play house rules with it. That's not my goal. I'll play with like-minded people, or by myself. Simple as that. CCA is amusing enough of a game and easier to setup than a full table miniatures wargame to play solo, if you play each side without thinking about the other other side's deck.

I know many of you don't like CC:N and its block rules, and even more of you dislike Battlelore and BoW, but they are both valid games with their own fans, even if they are not pure CCA. BoW out of the box is more broken as a design than these rules, yet they produce a fun game for a lot of people.

Why am I doing this to to CCA, you ask, and not any of the multitudes of wargames? Well, firstly, I like CCAs basic design, the card play, the basic dynamics - and frankly trying to integrate those into other games would be much more of a mess. Second, I want to get some joy out of the components I do have already have.

There's just something about CCA that Lost Battles just doesn't have, the fun factor. Naturally I wouldn't want to ruin that, but it's a matter of further playtesting to see if that is endangered.


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Mark McG
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Glabro wrote:

Oh and yes, white is green. I've come to think of them as whites due to the outer ring colour being white.


mmm.. not any clearer I'm afraid. Green covers Light Infantry, Light Bow, Light Sling, Lt Cav, Lt Bow Cav, Lt Barbarian Chariot and Auxilia (and I suspect I've forgotten some).

Considering 'White' as having a white rim, could mean Auxilia, Lt Barbarian Chariot and Warrior units.

Outflanking.. mentioned as an exception several times, but how is outflanking defined? I'm not familiar with BoW so that reference is opaque to me. Can ranged fire qualify for outflanking?

Squares.. did that ever happen? I think Carrhae the Legions formed a box around the baggage, but not squaring up individual units. I've just never heard of this tactic in Ancients.

Whatever else, the rules should try and be technically specific enough to be understood within the extended ruleset. There are a number of terms in there that need defining. 'Non-Light' for example.. does that include Auxilia or not?

I'd consider all these re-written as potential Scenario special rules for the right (historical) circumstances, except Rule 1 which seems to offered as a universal change, and that would be a game-breaker IMHO. How does Momentum advance work in that situation? Is it suppose to be only intended for Foot units, or is Cavalry stuck as well?
 
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Sami Kilpinen
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Minedog3 wrote:


mmm.. not any clearer I'm afraid. Green covers Light Infantry, Light Bow, Light Sling, Lt Cav, Lt Bow Cav, Lt Barbarian Chariot and Auxilia (and I suspect I've forgotten some).

Considering 'White' as having a white rim, could mean Auxilia, Lt Barbarian Chariot and Warrior units.


A lot of my units are custom counters (I tried to share them earlier, but was not allowed I think), and I was looking at those. Perhaps in an error made long ago, I made them all with the white ring surrounding the green. Hence the error of calling them white.


Minedog3 wrote:

Outflanking.. mentioned as an exception several times, but how is outflanking defined? I'm not familiar with BoW so that reference is opaque to me. Can ranged fire qualify for outflanking?


Defined as being engaged by at least two units, at least one of which in an outflanking position (should be made clearer, thanks!)

Minedog3 wrote:

Squares.. did that ever happen? I think Carrhae the Legions formed a box around the baggage, but not squaring up individual units. I've just never heard of this tactic in Ancients.


Square should really represents more often a circle or a rectangle, but in any case it's a closely ordered defensive formation. Covered in games like Hail Caesar!

Minedog3 wrote:

Whatever else, the rules should try and be technically specific enough to be understood within the extended ruleset. There are a number of terms in there that need defining. 'Non-Light' for example.. does that include Auxilia or not?


Another good one. Light means any unit with "light" in the name (like Light Bow, Light Slingers etc.)

Minedog3 wrote:

I'd consider all these re-written as potential Scenario special rules for the right (historical) circumstances, except Rule 1 which seems to offered as a universal change, and that would be a game-breaker IMHO. How does Momentum advance work in that situation? Is it suppose to be only intended for Foot units, or is Cavalry stuck as well?


Another very good point. Momentum overrides engagement and breaks it.

This was very constructive, thank you!
 
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Sami Kilpinen
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A much more valid question, Miguel, is why you are reading, let alone posting, in a house rules thread in the variant section? One would think you would be best served not venturing to the variant section of the forum at all!

I do things that I enjoy. Do you enjoy trying to "convert" people away from house rules?

This post does not threaten normal CCA, which is a very good design on its own right, at all. Why then do you get your knickers in a twist about posts like this? Just ignore, move on, live and let live.

Now I might seem like a hypocrite questioning your logic in posting here, while at the same time telling you off for questioning my desire to post rules like these, but frankly there's a vast difference there.

Mostly, I did this for Joe Bisio's scenarios that are already house ruled heavily, but replacing their hoplite, phalanx and outflank rules with ones I think work a bit better.
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Dave Briggs
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Glabro wrote:
As for brokenness, many of the scenarios are inherently unbalanced and the challenge is to see who does better in mirror games - or simply one game for fun.


This illustrates exactly what I meant by gaining an enlightened appreciation of the interactions of cards, units, and dice through multiple playings.

I have the core game plus all the expansions and there is not one scenario that can't be won by either side. Yes, some are "unbalanced", but like American football there is a built in "any Sunday" rule. Any scenario, using the rules as written, can be won by either side. This to me is the ultimate experience, winning the unbalanced battle. It may only happen once in twenty plus playings but it can be done.

That's why I am a "purist". This is a finely tuned game and I appreciate its unique charm.
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Sami Kilpinen
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And I am confident that same element will be retained, any given Sunday.

Don't take offense at the "pure" thing. Someone who enjoys the game as it is is simply a fan of the game.

However, someone who needs everyone to conform to his ideas, to the point of demeaning people who don't, deserve to be called a lot worse than a "purist", but I'll leave that up to everyone's own imagination.
I simply raise my hand in a one-fingered salute at them and go on my way and keep on posting.

If they're bothered by that, then that's a win in my book.
 
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Steve Duke
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Glabro wrote:
I simply raise my hand in a one-fingered salute at them and go on my way and keep on posting.


Well you are showing that you are all about being classy....shake

I didn't see anyone being 'demeaned' in responses to your suggested house rules. Maybe that's a translation issue?
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Sami Kilpinen
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A more suspicious person would take that as being taken to task over my command of the English language.

But let's not worry about that (I'm not that suspicious). By the way, are you and Kevin related?



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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Sami, the one thing that variant posters rarely do is report on how their variant ideas play out in repeated contests against other players. Some detailed session reports from you and your friends that have tried your variant rules would be very instructive and enlightening.
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Mark McG
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sduke wrote:

I didn't see anyone being 'demeaned' in responses to your suggested house rules. Maybe that's a translation issue?
kduke wrote:

Clearly you have not. And citing Joe Biseo-- who has no clue how the game works-- just proves it.

Instead you're one more noob who played a little, hasn't really gotten a glimmer of understanding yet, and thinks it will be much more "fun" after your improvements.




If it is a translation issue, then I also mistranslate Kevin. I don't necessarily disagree with Kevin's comments, but it is expressed dismissively and more to the point, Kevin does this regularly to people. There is no particular need for it, and it does create a spirit of 'elitism' in the forums. I don't find that necessary. End of the day, somebody has fun making house rules, others comment on them. Who cares.

Turning to a more important consideration, do you boys have a sister named 'Daisy'?

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Steve Duke
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Mark, 'dismissive' I can agree with.

It's probably based on years of experience with folks like this guy who think, after a couple of playings, that they can and need to 'improve' the game.

Once you've seen the same movie a dozen times, you generally should be able to predict the ending.


No sister.
 
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Matthew M
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Remember - if you see something you want to react negatively to, flag it and forget it.


Using the icon serves two functions - first, if enough users flag a post then it will be collapsed from general view. Second, flagging posts helps bring them to the attention of the forum moderators.

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