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May 5 16 1:16 AM

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One thing I've been giveing some thought to is possibly introducing some variation to the to-hit scores in v2.  I am planning to keep the current 6+ for melee and 8+ for shooting but with a very few modifiers:-

Veteran -1
Raw +1
Disorder +1

Thus a disordered raw unit would hit on an 8+ in melee and a 10+ if shooting.

This change is quite a big one as it would boost veterans and restrict raw troops. Do people think that the to-hit modifier would slow play unduly?

Best, Simon

ps I'd take away the modifiers on ammo supply so that veterans and raw troops woud have equal amounts.

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#1 [url]

May 5 16 3:22 PM

Dear Simon,

I really like this idea! It makes sense to me that Veteran/Raw units would differ from Normal units not only when defending, but also when attacking. So, yes, count me as a supporter of the possible change!

I should also tell you that my Dad and I played an absolutely thrilling Seleucid (me) vs. Polybian Roman (my dad) game two weeks ago. While the Seleucids had the Romans on the ropes from the get-go, they were shocked and horrified when, in a single turn, the Romans not only captured about a third of their victory medals, but also drove Antiochus and his Agema (who I imagined were having a mid-battle snack) off the board (!). Fortunately, Antiochus managed to reenter the battle and salvage the situation, but at no small cost. The Seleucids won, I believe, by only three victory medals. Games don't get more dramatic than that!

Based on our admittedly limited experience with Polybian Romans in "TtS!", I can also tell you that both my dad and I were pleased to hear that you are considering rewriting the Polybian list to make the legionary units Normal-sized as opposed to Small; somehow it didn't seem quite right to us how quickly a unit of Hastati/Principes/Triarii could "pop" (!).

Thanks again so much for a simply outstanding set of rules! I can hardly wait to see what you come up with for V. 2!



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#2 [url]

May 5 16 4:44 PM

Worthy of playtesting -- it would indeed make the difference between the Veteran Danube Legion and the more typical one's VERY dramatic. Right now regular Legion seem "okay-ish" versus German Warriors. I wouldn't mind seeing them perform a bit better, although the points cost may well have to increase.


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#3 [url]

May 5 16 10:31 PM

I think it will absolutely need play-testing; my worry is whether it will slow play as people try to recall whether or no their unit is veteran, regular or raw. I think it'll be OK, though.... and I will need to think about points as you say.

Hi Justin, I'm glad to hear you and your dad are still battling away! If the Polybian legions are beefed up, I'll also need to provide an option for a beefed-up phalanx to take them on.

Best, Simon

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#4 [url]

May 6 16 3:50 AM

Hi Simon,

I think there is a lot to be said for this sort of chrome, but are you sure there is a problem to be fixed? I would be wary of changing too many things at once so that you cannot identify the consequences of each. I also think you might be in danger of creating "supermen" of the 1970s rules imperial guard sort. Veterans shoot, save and melee with a 2 difference as opposed to raw troops? So for shooting, vets hit 40% of the time, raw troops 20% of the time. For meleeing they hit 60% of the time as opposed to raw troops 40% And if that is not enough, they save their hits an extra 20% of the time. Is this a bit like piling Pelion on Ossa? Disorder, as it affects all troops, is I think, a lot easier and I would be in favour. Perhaps you might think of having a basic set of rules, with an added chrome annex for those who want to complicate matters?

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#5 [url]

May 6 16 4:06 AM

Hi Simon,

Personally I like the hit numbers as they are and with Raw troops having less ammo. Not only is it nice and simple but (and this may be me) shooting can be a bit ineffective as it is needing 8+, 10 for disordered Raw formed Bow units would need many sacrifices to be made before the game!

Any way to chip in the topic I've been thinking about range bonuses -  +1 for each box closer.  So Javelins would hit at 7+ all the time (1 box is max range), Slings and   Bows  7+ 1 box away then 8+, Longbows 8+ then 7+ 2 boxes away and 6+ 1 box away etc. For artillery give a +1 bonus at 1 box away then 8+ for the rest?

Pilum - hit on 6+ unless unit is disordered or Small?  They are a unique weapon potentially devastating in attack and defence based on their weight, design and numbers used  so beefing them up a bit could be argued for - and no need to worry about resupply as they're better. But then I play lots of games with Legionaries in one form or another so could be a teeny bit biased :)


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#6 [url]

May 6 16 1:11 PM

Hi Millinary,

The difference in shooting hits does concern me somewhat, but I think the difference in melee would be an improvement. Do you recall what hard work those Caesarians experienced in your Pharsalus game trying to hack through the Pompeian recruits? I don't want veterans to be super troops but I feel their offensive capacity is a tad underpowered compared to that of their historical counterparts.

Having run with optional advanced rules in this version, I think I'd prefer not to in the next; we always end up playing all the rules, anyhow. What I would do is suggest that novice players avoided veteran and raw troops in their first game or two until they had the mechanics under their belts.

Hi Mark, it's a tough life for the soldier in a raw unit! I suppose raw troops would need to become relatively cheaper. Interesting regarding the hit chances you suggest. I had been thinking about increasing saves at longer ranges, as the penetrative power of the weapons decreases. Of course the accuracy does, too. Perhaps we could increased the chance to hit for bows to 7+, but added +1 or even +2 to saves at range 2 for bows. It could work either way, i suppose, decreasing the chance to hit or increasing the save. Pilum; I don't want to beef that up much, it's relatively powerful as it is. I suppose it is a heavy hitting weapon; could have a minus on saves. All needs a lot of thought.... and a lot more play-testing.

Best, Simon

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#7 [url]

May 7 16 12:36 AM

Hi Simon,

Yes, I do recall Caesar's problems in that game! But I also remember that in the play tests Caesar cut the Pompeians apart as if they didn't exist. And in the game you mentioned it was so close that the Caesarians were probably within one move of victory themselves. If I thought the scenario identified something which might require a fix it was the time it takes to drive off Pompey's cavalry. Hard to do in time for the extra legionaries to drive in on Pompey's flank and win the battle, as in reality. The one thing which I wonder about is that no-one runs away in TtS? A brilliant set of rules, and ones which bring real fun back into gaming, but is this an area worth thinking about?


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#8 [url]

May 7 16 2:02 AM

Hi Mollinary,

At one stage there were morale tests for adjacent routing units. An issue was that there can be up to 17 units within one box of a unit that routs so there was a heck of a lot of testing to do. Sometimes a second unit would rout and the testing would need to be repeated. There was something a bit depressing about it, so I came up with command demoralisation instead. I wouldn't be adverse to some system for rout tests, though, if simple. Perhaps the player causing the rout could nominate one or two adjacent units to take a morale test (ie make a save).

Best, Simon

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#9 [url]

May 7 16 2:30 AM

I think I am with Mollinary on this; i'm not sure there is anything broken that needs fixing.

When i first came to TtS!, I was surprised at the low probablity of an attempt to hit succeeding. 30% for average troops when fighting and 18% for shooting. Allowing for rallies and failed activations, you have to play a lot of to-hit cards to remove enemy units. Having played a reasonable number of games, it seems to work out fine, but it makes me very wary of reducing further the effect of fighting/shooting. As others have said, this proposal greatly reduces the effect of raw troops. I think it turns them into traffic lights - they may delay you but nothing more.

If the problem is that veterans aren't effective enough, then maybe that can be looked at, but the army lists may then need purging so that only 'real' veterans get the upgrade and the 'veteran' upgrade is very rare and expensive. No more 'veteran' upgrades just for better armour (see the comment about Genoese crosbowmen on page 18 of the rules). There would probably need to be a separate upgrade for better armour that only affected saves. Other complications are that the improved ability that gives 'veteran' staus may only apply to one characteristic of the troops. Veteram archers may have better shooting but be no better than normal troops when it comes to combat. And it is the unit as a whole that must be veteran.

I can see the downgrade for disorder. At the moment, it is quite hard to eliminate a disordered unit, particularly as it may get a chance or two to rally. This makes the difference between normal units and light units more marked, since normal units have the rally option never available to lights. However,  I think all that needs is a negative on the save when disordered. I don't see the need to downgrade further the fighting of disordered troops.

Mollinary, taking your point that no-one runs away, maybe mounted that are disordered should retreat a box after a melee, and the enemy have the option (not compulsory) to follow up into the vacated box. That way it is harder for cavalry to hold ground. I don't think it should apply to infantry, and there would have then to be a rule to cover the case where there was a second unit in the box. This change has the disadvantage that it is harder to get a prolonged flank attack on mounted troops, but maybe that is right as mounted troops would tend to get out of the way as soon as they could.

Simon. I'm not worried about 'chrome' causing delay - most reasonably experienced players will know their troops. But I think the proposal just makes raw troops too poor. In most of the period covered byv TtS!, I suspect the difference between raw and normal wasn't that great. Even troops trained to fight as individuals were rarely trained to fight in large numbers, which the units in TtS represent. A collection of experienced fighters doesn't make a veteran unit. There were very few 'professional' armies.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay. I really like the rules; what look like small differences in troop types already have quite a significant effect.


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#10 [url]

May 7 16 4:43 AM


I think there may be real mileage in forcing cavalry who lose a melee to retire a box. The follow up could depend on troop type as to whether it is compulsory or voluntary. For example, I am giving a lot of thought to ECW Modifications at present, and your idea really gives the option of forcing some less well disciplined troops to pursue their enemies with a simple and well understood mechanism. Like you, I love the rules, but I think I agree with all your comments! Is this a question of great minds thinking alike, or fools seldom differing. - don't answer that!


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#11 [url]

May 7 16 4:59 AM

Hi Roger,

Thanks for your thoughts Roger. I certainly don't want to slow play down; I'd much rather go the other way and speed play up by making things more brutal. :-)

I think the problem in my mind is that veterans aren't tough enough relative to raw troops. I think veterans should be eating raw troops, with a side of mobs, for breakfast. But I do note that there will need to be fewer of them, they would need to be more expensive and raw troops would need to become cheaper.

Regarding armour, it might be an idea to take armour out of morale, such that you might get "Swordsmen, armoured, veteran, shock missile" as you suggest. This is something I've been kicking around for a future fantasy version. One merit of this would be that well protected troops, such as knights, who currently rally rather too easily at present would be brought into line. I could then reduce the number of veteran troops in the army lists, which will need to be rewritten. A downside is that it takes longer to write it than legionary, veteran.

Regarding routs as mentioned by Mollinary above, I gave this some thought whilst shopping this morning. "Rout test; one unit (picked by the player on the other side) that is adjacent or in the same box as the lost unit must test or become disordered. If there are units in the same box or directly behind the lost unit it should be chosen from these. If this causes a loss then another unit will need to test in turn." I think this would be very workable and would speed up the game. It wouldn't apply to light units, everyone is used to them running away. ;-)

BTW There will be a rally back for cavalry in v2.

Rules changes for V2 are going to need a lot of thought and a lot of testing. I'm right at the start of writing it and we are effectively in the brainstorming stage- it's the perfect time to think the unthinkable and kick around different, radical rules. Many of these won't make the final cut, but I'm sure we can come up with some super creative ideas that will add lustre to V2 without a net increase in complexity. So all comments and ideas are very welcome indeed!

Best, Simon

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#12 [url]

Aug 26 16 3:05 AM

Hi All
I thought it would be simple to have a route test, when a command is demoralised surviving units in the command immediately makes a save, it would then either pass, recieve a disorder or disappear. Just a thought from the peanut gallery.

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#13 [url]

Aug 30 16 12:08 AM

Come to this one a bit late but If possible I'd like to see the To Hit # left alone if only for the ease of use.

Currently, the only modifiers are for the saves and it is much easier not to have to check modifiers for both. I accept it is not a long list proposed but one of the beauties of TTS is the streamlined simplicity of combat and I would not like to see it go the way of other rulesets and become enslaved to ever growing modifiers. It works as it is but if a change is needed then perhaps add the change to the save modifier - eg, "-1 Raw charged by Veteran" and/or "+1 Veteran charged by Raw". At least this way the modifiers are all in one part rather than both To Hit and Save.


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#14 [url]

Aug 30 16 1:29 PM

I agree there is a nice simplicity to the hit system, I like the minimal approach, vets save easier. But if anything does change I would hope there is a change in points to reflect the troop quality, or perhaps just have less vets in each list, something along those lines, up to the bat I guess.
Peanut Gallery 

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#15 [url]

Aug 30 16 11:37 PM

Hi all, I don't think it's likely that I'll change to-hit numbers, the 6+ / 8+ works pretty well and is so easy to remember. I would like to plat test some sort of simple morale test when units are lost or perhaps when a command becomes demoralised.

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#16 [url]

Sep 5 16 4:49 AM

I will also vote for keeping the to hit numbers as they are. This means that you only need to look up modifiers for saves, and most of the time the card played makes it obvious they did or did not save - only in the middle ranges is it even necessary to look them up the vast majority of the time. The 9+ to hit for Disordered units shooting as used in the ECW plates to is simple enough, though.

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#17 [url]

Sep 5 16 6:20 AM

Having played the game at a show this weekend with some novices (amongst more experienced players), I have come to the conclusion that it would indeed be better to keep the numbers the same as at present (except for the 9+ for disordered units that hit on an 8+, which is a very straightforward innovation). There's plenty to take on board in the first game or so.

Perhaps there's a different way to differentiate the best of the veteran units and the worst of the levies; I'll think on it.

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#18 [url]

Sep 5 16 7:03 AM

You could simply make the unit itself Heroic - ignore enemy ZOC's for rallying, can replay 1 missed to hit card in melee per turn, and have the ability permanent. That would make them very tough without needing much in terms of new rules.

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#20 [url]

Sep 18 16 12:59 PM

Hi all,

I'm thinking thathat the numbers as they are are fairly sound. Melee seems to work well, and there are the +/- that can affect performance. Regarding the "to hit" score of 8, I already feel that it is difficult enough to draw an 8+ out of the bag, without making it harder for the weaker troops to hit. To need a 10 for the less able troops would, I think, make people frustrated and make the rules less appealing.

My veteran Macedonion troops such as the Agrianians, Cretan archers and Rhodian slingers are already threatening mutiny as they find an 8 very difficult to draw!!!!!!

Maybe a 7 forfor veterans, but I agree with Molina Ryan and question if a change is needed.


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