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Jan 27 17 5:22 AM

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Hi and congratulations on this fine little system image

here are some random comments ( can't help it - being a game designer myself)

1)Lances vs Pikemen  I would forbid the use of lances in frontal charge vs pikemen, no need to explain why...

2) Rus army list  Rus rank and file really shouldn't get the option to upgrade to extra 2HW. It turns them into super-vikings, which they weren't. Really there is no reason to make tham more powerful than the Viking Hird. Rus infantry were for the most part spearmen ( shieldwall category is adequate here) who are only reported to use a one-hand axe as a secondary weapon and on rare occasions. They were pretty solid so one or two upgradable to veteran is an option. 

3) Generals in army lists I find it a bit confusing sometimes: for example the Raiders and invaders list of Late Antiquity ( they are a few lists with the same issue) lists "Attached generals 1-3 for a cost of 4," but then lists "upgrade to heroic: all, for a cost of +1". Doesn't that mean that all generals must be heroic? If so, why not write "attached heroic generals 1-3 for a cost of 5"? Not sure I got it right...

4) Allies  I think it would be a good idea to aplly the DBM system to akllied contingents, that is, a fraction (I would recommend half) of the minima and maxima. Combining two armies with the current requirements and a 130 points limit leaves most allied options out, which is a bit sad.

5) Demoralization strangely the current rules seems to me to go against the simplicity postulate of the rules. First, recording the victory points for each command and having to keep track of each command's losses during the game is a lot less simple than keeping track for the whole army. Second, apllying demoralization on a command basis may seem a good idea, but it actually has a perverse effect: if the number of generals abstractly represents the global leval of training and discipline of an army, then a higher number of general means smaller commands, means that demoralization will happen a lot faster than for armies with large commands. A Roman army with 4-5 generals will have commandof  two units, meaning that when one is lost the other immediately suffers the harsh demoralization penalties. If you play a Gallic army with two commands of 6 unist each, it will take a lot before you see any demoralized units. It should be the opposite.
In addition, making camps attached to a specific command is kinda artificial, as baggage was generally the supply train of the whole army, undifferentiatedly. attaching them the a small command often makes that command super resistant to demoralization while the neighbouring command isn't, which is hard to justify

I would recommend calculating demoralization on an army basis because:
1) it is simpler to calculate and keep track of during the game
2) it does not contradict the logic of better trained/disciplined army being less vulnerable
3) it makes camps and baggage effect more realistic 

( I would recommend making charging for demoralized units a difficulty factor, rather than forbidding it altogether, in order not to "paralyze" the demoralized army. Also, the army should remain demoralized even if it later regains enough victory points to go abover the threshold, as it should simulate physical fatigue as well as moral pressure)

6) Heroes  Now here's something I confess I don't like in the sytem. First, it seems to me that "heroes" are more appropriate to heroic fantasy wargaming than History. Heroic actions, specially actions that would have a perceptible effect at the scale of the whole batlle, were exceptionnelly rare, and when reported, often more fiction than reality. In addition, when such actions happened, they were spontaneous manifestations of courage, and not "assets" that a commander could place here or there, to trigger at his best convenience, as part of his battle plan, so they are really best represented as "incorporated"  in lucky To Hit or Saves.
Also, they are overpriced in the game.
But hey, I guess some players may like that "Warhammer" fantasy feeling about heroes, so having a "0-1 heroes" per army list is ok to me, if a player really wants one, as long as those who do not subscribe to that are free not to have any. (In which case, I would make heroes removable only on a sucessful To Hit - opponents still have a chance to save- in order to make them more cost-effective).

But what I don't get at all, is that most lists have " or 4 to 8 MANDATORY heroes!!!!!! Now, besides the frustrating aspect of forcing players to spend points on an historically very low-cerdibility addition to their army,  of very little use for its price, it seems to me that it completely defeats the very definition of a hero, that is, a very exceptional phenomenon!!!! If EACH battle features SEVERAL heroes on EACH side, even for Middle Earth standards that's crazily exaggerated. Are there any examples of historical battles reporting MULTIPLE significant heroic actions from MULTIPLE sources from BOTH sides ??

Please, if you don't remove heroes altogether which seems to me the best solution, make them rare, and most of all, not compulsory!!

(I also tend to find the mandatory "half or more" heroic generals a little too widespeard in the list, I would keep such high prerequisite for "Impetuous" lists, and for others make it optional) 

anyway, keep up the good work, 

I'm very much looking forward to the evolutions of the system


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#1 [url]

Jan 28 17 7:59 AM

Rally: I would add a " in range of an enemy missile-armed unit" to the conditions giving a -1 penalty to the save.
It makes sense, since the unit attempting to rally would somehow still be under some sort of fire, but it is also important because in TtS units can rally back all their hits, and so units have the possibility of soaking up all the enemy's ammunition and then rally back to "unscathed" status. This should be made at least less easy by adding this penalty.

Any comments on the suggestions above?

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#2 [url]

Jan 29 17 9:27 AM

Sorry I've not had time to reply 'til now- I have been very caught up with writing. This will be brief!

1) Sensible
2) Probably sensible
3) Yes- the lists have been written over the period of a couple of years and some of the earlier lists could do with some rationalisation. It's finding the time... I could do with an assistant editor!
4) Yes I am planning to do just that!
5) Demoralisation will come out in v2. There is a new "rout test" that we are trialling in "for King and Parliament"- it is exciting* and there is no book-keeping.
6) Heroes. They don't work exactly as I intended; I'll think about them, coming into V2. Fewer, better heroes might be a way to go.
7) Rally is the least satisfactory aspect of the rules; this will become rather harder in v2. in fKaP we are thinking about prohibiting it within an enemy ZoC. There are other ideas that I have for limiting it, too, but those are for another day!

Sorry for the brevity; I am juggling cooking a chicken with editing an Avar list. :)

Best, Simon

*For exciting read terrifying. ;-)

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#6 [url]

Jan 30 17 7:33 AM

Do you play ECW? I could send you the whole draft.

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#9 [url]

Feb 5 17 5:51 PM

Great chat...

This conversation is really interesting and has the effect of making me wait for the second edition.  I got the first edition and we played the game with some success.  Unfortunately a few of the guys were less enthusiastic and when there was mention of a second edition it whipped the rug from under our TTS feet!  Any idea when this will come out.  I am dying to really give this system a go properly but am loath to work against our group's tradition of playing Armati when a more developed system is coming.

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#10 [url]

Feb 6 17 3:14 AM

Well V2 proper is still at least 18 months away and might be rather longer- I will publish the ECW and possibly one or two more sets of "powder" rules first. So confident am I that V2 is some way off, that my hall currently has 10 boxes of a second print run of v1 stacked up in it. :-)

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#11 [url]

Feb 6 17 9:12 AM

Ah, good to know, Simon. Will the errata sheet be expanded to include some of your new ideas as a transition to V2? I will definitely be picking up any games you produce (perhaps not fantasy...) I am increasingly thinking about grid games as a design approach. I think it is well understood that they are more efficient and 'cleaner' but they are less obtrusive than hex games given the ease by which they can be represented on the table. Thanks for the feedback and really looking forward to your future games.

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#12 [url]

Feb 6 17 9:59 AM

I'm planning to produce a separate "supplement" which will be a PDF that can be read in conjunction with the rules. I'm working on it now, but in parallel with other things*, so it might be 2 weeks or it might be two months.

*ECW, army lists, events... and basing!

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