Saturday, 6 June 2015

Ancient Rule Sets

Well, what rules to use, what rules to avoid?

They range from something as simple as DBA (ten infamous pages of simple rules later clarified with a unofficial guide of only seventy four pages [yes that is sarcasm], or even BBDBA), then to as "mind boggling" a set of rules as DBM (for more, ahem, er competition orientated gamers), to what I consider as a cry for sanity and call for good gaming in DBMM (played in good spirit but still suffering from the rules lawyer issue, and its DBMM100, DBM200 variants - there is hope here) or to the still serious but strangely fun rules of Impetus to the novel simulation orientated rules of Strategos II (aka Lost Battles) and a few more in between (such as Armati) I could have mentioned.

I guess it all depends who is going to play them. For me my next task is to entertain an intelligent set of jovial beginners who want to play in a competitive but historically realistic fashion, win or lose. So ,,, Strategos II/Lost Battles gets the call (see below):

A grid based system that avoids most of the common or cunning wargaming wibbles. It is from the academic stable of Prof Phil Sabin from King's College and has playability and historical simulation at its core. Should be fun ;)

The battle I intend to play is The First Battle of Mantinea (418BC) in the Peloponnesian War.


Prufrock said...

Nice one. There's a steeper learning curve than you'd think. It takes a while for the all the modifiers to 'click' in your head, and it can be hard to see how the various elements of the rules fit together to turn it into a game, but if you persevere, by your third or fourth battle you should start seeing the genius in the system.

The at-first-annoying handicap / victory points system is where the 'game' aspect comes in, but many gamers don't see that immediately and can dismiss it without taking the time to understand the rationale behind it. Winning the field is the simulation, but beating the handicap is the game.

Hoplite battles can be pretty wild. I think LB/Strategos is at its best from Alexander onwards, but whatever you do join the yahoo group and use the Durham Wargames group's QRS in the files section there. It is a godsend. I think I would've given up without it.

Cheers, and look forward to seeing how you go!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Thanks Aaron, much appreciate the tips
Before I put the game before my beginner I hope to do as you say and play it four times

Thank way I might be able to guide them better "on the night"

I will certainly look up the Durham Club and teh Quick Reference Charts

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Comment posted on wrong thread:

"Alyways thought this system was more of a model than a game.
Re: DBM etc.
Just ghastly."

In my heart of hearts I agree with you