As usual, it's been a busy time, though we have so far managed to squeeze in a game of Sword & Spear (the first set of rules, where having actually bought the first edition from Lulu, I didn't actually play the game until buying the second edition from Great Escape Games.
That said, the game concepts haven't changed much. Now, Ancients isn't really my thing, but I always loved the sound of the mechanisms at work here.
There are nice turn mechanisms employed, where:
- You draw seven dice from the 'bag' in a turn segment, and each player assigns these by colour (reminiscent of 'Fire Team' a little). There are enough dice there to represent each unit - though the draw dictates the sequence of action.
- This allows emphasis on unit activation, sequence of activation, and 'fog of war' in one neat mechanic.
- You can't always rely on being able to move everything you'd like therefore; (in the game below, the 'undrilled' Gauls sat and debated chaos theory rather than actually getting their collective asses in gear).
- Combat is simple and decisive (and bloody), which doesn't actually matter that much as the key is managing your resources and allocating your best dice result for activation to those areas where 'the fire is hottest'.
A nice elegant game design. Must play more of this. I wasn't always a big ancients fan, though these rules could quite easily turn the tide.
Another major decision here was to use single large bases and simply mark off hits for each base. I really like the sizes chosen and the number of figures per base. 3"x1.5" is the way to go. It also allows quick and relatively small games, and covers a pretty wide period (including the odd R.E.Howard inspired Conan style mash up).