Good Ancients Match-Ups

Started by steve_holmes_11, 22 June 2020, 01:18:40 PM

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We heard most of that the first time round. Have some tea and chill out a bit, dude.
I have not the pleasure of understanding you. Of what are you talking?


Looks like we are all right and all wrong.  :D  8->

You Tube follow up from the original article.



LOL, looks like I nailed it with 2 of the top 3. Nice link. I'm checking out their website.


Quote from: Waremblem on 31 October 2020, 07:34:51 PM
LOL, looks like I nailed it with 2 of the top 3. Nice link. I'm checking out their website.
A complete fluke that I stumbled upon it while doing something else. The original written article did the rounds of the websites a year or two ago.  It does depend on:
(1) How well American sports analysis can be used for military engagements in history [ very dubious]
(2) The accuracy of the input data [very suspect]

However, it is at least something.


Happy new year all: A bit of a thread hijack back to its roots.

My search for good match-ups have led me through a re-appraisal of several sets of rules.
Having quickly rejected those with a "Legions can't lose" bias, I found a few other dissonances between contemporary accounts and the tabletop experience.

Bear in mind here that ancients will  never me my "big main theme", so I am looking for something quite different from the committed ancientist, and especially the competition gamer.

One concern was over the number of AARs where the battle hinged on one unit making a neat little move, or using a special rule.
This set in a context of two long lines pushing into mutual contact.
The plucky sergeant holding the line seems a thing that appeared with the fighting style, and possibilities offered by the breachloading rifle - and more so when a magazine was added.
I felt a degree of historic dissonance here. Too much control of troops in contact - perhaps.

A bigger one was the effect of foot skirmishers in ancient warfare.
Once again I'm left with the impression of age of rifle Jagers - admittedly Jagers who don't aim very well.
I've tended to view the ancient LI skirmisher having some very specific roles.
* Scouting (AKA contesting the enemy skirmisher)
* Holding camps and difficult terrain, and ambushing from those locations.
* Specially trained ones could also operate as missile contingents for formed foot - or support chariots and foot.

My thesis is that playing out scouting according to normal rules really slows down the main event of the game.
I thought through some alternatives.
* A scouting phase similar to Chain of Command where players could commit their Psiloi with little expectation of their returning for the main battle. (Either occupy scouted terrain, or filter away as the big boys arrive).
* Combine the better psiloi with forme units for a bit of shooting and flank support.

It's all a little far fetched using my main rulesets, so I got onto Google (other search engines are available) and rediscovered Philip Sabin's Lost Battles.
This appears to be extremely abstract with few troop types, some general formulae for combat, and played on a very limited (5 x 4) grid.
It clearly lacks many of the buttons that dedicated ancientists enjoy pressing, but I figured it might work for me.
Bonus that it provides lists and battle reports for around 25 ancient battles form the Greco-Persian, Hellenistic and Republican Roman eras.
Perhaps there is a semblance of "Good match ups".

Searching for the book found the price at £25 - rather higher than I'd punt for a speculative set of rules.
I then found that a slightly earlier version of the rules (without the book's design notes) was on sale for £6 under the title Strategos II.
I've ordered these and will post a bit more after I've read them.