Successor Wars try Swordpoint Rules from Gripping Beast (reposted form TMP)
Myself and Paul Rigby trotted out our venerable Ptolemaic and his well painted Seleucids in 28mm for our holiday morning game fest. This would be our second play of the new Swordpoint rules from Gripping Beast, developed by Martin Gibbins.
Ptolemaic vs. Seleucid SP Game report 01-16-2017
1250 pts. Jeff Jonas vs. Paul Rigby. A 4'x8' table was enough room for this sized game.https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8 ... e=591F9EA6
My shiny shields were better than his, this time.
Our two army lists were similar, and were gleaned from Gripping Beast's website- four or so phalanxes, and formed light infantry, one elephant, and light troops. The Ptolemaic player wisely had Thracians.
Both had one elite heavy cavalry unit, and one line cavalry. The Seleucid had horse archers and skirmish cavalry, while the Ptolemaic side countered with Tarentine cavalry. Both sides had Cretan archers, and each had two other units of javelins or bow skirmishers.
Both armies had a full allotment of commanders.
Deployment—Hidden . Scenario 3.https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8 ... e=59083E9A
I set up the table with my lovely BigRedBatShop Plains design battle mat, 8' x 4', 15cm grid. Terrain was simple, just some hills channeling the action to the decisive center.
Initially I was at the mercy pf the turn sequence. Paul kept us on target. It is so asymmetric that I have not quite figured out the flow. We have learned to hoard our momentum chits, and not blow them on initiative. By the end of the game I was getting it.
Generally the Seleucid cavalry pushed hard on my left flank and I pushed onwards to my right flank. The centers slowly developed since the heavy foot wanted to stay in phalanx. I did push two phalanxes at 8" moves… I don't think that was wise… losing phalanx for the whole turn until after the next charge phase means folks will simply not do much full moving… plus we need markers to show a unit cannot be shieldwall—or, conversely, a marker to show the unit is in shieldwall.https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8 ... e=590F0F85
Missile fire removed skirmishers stands but mostly bounced off formed troops. Having to shoot at the closest or greatest threat means there isn't too much room for converging fire.
My expensive Cretan archers ran because they took two full casualties, lost a stand and failed there 8 or less—they never rallied— without a Commander nearby they simply loped off the table.
Missile fire was mostly ineffective against formed troops except that the Seleucid Cretans did get a "D" result against my heavy cavalry that dogged them for the rest of the game. "D" for discouragement—means they lose combat easier and suffer other minuses.
After fits and starts both our right wings offed the other's left wing. His left wing routed because of an elephant terror test. On the other wing, his elephant routed a 40 figure phalanx by terror. Terror is quite effective. Cavalry just run away and evade elephants. This left things up to the phalanxes.
However I found the Terror rule to be far too powerful. A substantial part of my battleline simply ran off because they rolled a 10, and were not going to rally soon, or ever on a 4. Without a staged response this makes the elephant overpowered. As a comparison, in WAB an elephant caused terror against cavalry but only Fear against infantry-- this meant when a large unit failed its Cohesion (in this case) it simply suffered adverse combat effects, or couldn't charge. i keep looking for a section that reveals we did something incorrect here, but have not come across it.https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8 ... e=591A285D
Once the phalanx's engaged we expected the game to heat up… but things kind of went flat, no push, no casualties, a stalemate. Then I rolled box cars and his general croaked. That really put an end to it as his line broke up due to panic checks.
Generally the game owes its framework to Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB). It uses multiple figure bases instead of individual figures. The rules streamline a lot of the old issues of WAB making game play faster. Commanders are no longer superhero style characters. Many of the rules work similarly to the comfortable past, others have nuances. The turn sequence is sort of an alien thing to me. The momentum system has a learning curve, eventually one figure out when to hold them and when to spend them. The key part is remembering when to earn your momentum points.
The rules have gone to extra lengths to clarify mechanics, which is great. There is even an index which helps immensely. There are many army lists in the works, some already published. We cobbled our lists from already posted sample lists on the internet.
Generally the game flowed as expected of this kind of period match. The flank forces tried to force the action. I delayed on my left and bought time, but broke through his left. The game would have been tighter if his general had not been eliminated, I (apparently wisely) kept mine behind the lines. Our only concern was how to heat up the phalanx battle in the center, but we admitted we are using preliminary lists.
Some things were apparent. Thracians with halberds were very effective, this is because the two tier wounds system of the past has lost one step-- magnifying halberds and other +1 modifier effects.
Skirmishers had no real reason to engage each other as shooting is much more damaging than hand to hand combat.
We found some charge/counter-charge anomalies when multiple units were charging.. luckily the rules sorted those out, rather than resorting to the old dice off. The strangest anomaly was when the above Thracians impetuously charged the enemy cavalry in flank.. but the enemy cavalry declared their own charge, but then had to receive the charge even though the cavalry charge order is higher than infantry.
So in summation the game worked as a Hellenistic battle. I think with specific period tweaks this can be a nice competitive game set because the games do move fairly fast. We concluded about five turns in a two hour time frame, and had reached some conclusion.
Still learning, but improving. We hope to try Republican Romans vs. Pyrrhus soon.
I think a real test will Indians with elephant and lots of archers en masse.
BigREdBat's Shop battle mat, I really found the grid useful since pre measuring is not frowned on in these rules:
Plains design battle mat, 8' x 4', 15cm gridhttp://bigredbatshop.co.uk/collections/ ... -15cm-grid