Friday, August 27, 2010

Test Game Debriefing

The refight of the Grant version of Platea has now been fought. I will be posting the actual battle report this evening on the Battlegames blog but will report on the rules here.

In short, having followed the battle plans of both sides as closely as possible, there were tense moments for the Greeks but the results ended up startlingly similar to the original refight which was done using WRG 3rd edition.  Perhaps this proves nothing other than that my rules make it just as hard for light troops to run over a hoplite phalanx as the old rules did but that in itself is reassuring!

On to rule mechanics. I did discover some ommisions, for example, almost all references to flank attacks had been accidently lost during one bit of editing which caused me some grief as I tried to remember   what had been intended, and there some other minor things such as causes of tests mentioned in one section but not another. But as far as how the rules worked I was very, VERY, happy.

Its been a while since I used unassigned cards, a decade or more possibly and I had forgotten some wrinkles when allowing passes and an unlimited number of cards but this has been dealt with now by making sure the deck is an appropriate size before starting.

The one thing that did worry me mid-game was how tough the elite hoplite units were and how easily they recovered their casualties. Since casualties are largely moral I eventually decided not to worry about it with the surprising but historical result that the winner's final losses ended up being much lighter than the loser's despite some hard fights.  That said, the Athenians  found themselves in trouble against the Thebans, pushed back and only a few figures above 1/2 strength. Luckily they passed morale and next turn, the first card that came up was a Greek one and they rallied well and came back to eventually drive the Thebans from the field. If the Theban card had come up first, it might well have changed the fortunes of the day. The rule worked well for the Spartan detachment as well, as they were able to rally off shooting hits almost as fast as they took them, as long as they locked shields and hunkered down. Even so the massed Persian infantry scored enough hits one turn to force a morale check. The odds of failure were small but worrying.

I have fixed the few discrepencies and uploaded the next draft. Hopefully a final draft once some diagrams and examples are added  but there will be more test games. I'm trying to decide whether to  reset the table, rearranging the Athenians and Spartans to be closer to where they should be and allowing the Persians a free hand as to how to attack or whether to swap out the armies. or perhaps do both, there is a whole weekend ahead of me!

Tested version of Gathering of Hosts available here.

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