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Author Topic: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval  (Read 4729 times)

Offline seldon

  • scientist
  • Posts: 275
Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« on: April 23, 2019, 04:11:43 PM »
For the last year we have been working on a set of rule to play small/skirmish actions with Ancients or Medievals. And by small I mean 30-60 models in units of between 6 to 12 models each.

We've been showing battle reports and detailing a bit of the rules but haven't started communicating much yet.

Since a couple of outlets have started to talk about it and since I've been a member of LAF for quite some time I think it is only fair that I spend a few minute talking about this project here.



Ok, so as I mentioned the idea is to have a set or rules that allows us to play small actions and it has to feel that way. It is not to play large battles with few models, but to play raids, scouting actions, scavenging ... all those kinds of things. The warbands would have between 30-60 models per side and the game can be resolved in 2hs once players are familiar with the rules. This allows you to use it as prelude to a large battle, for example to determine who wins the scouting.

We want it to feel like a traditional wargame based on tactics, troop types and terrain use. No special dice, no battleboards no other elements. There is nothing wrong with those elements, but you already have awesome rules for that out there so there is no need.

Have a look at two basic forces for a recent AAR.





As you can see the idea is that you should be able to build a nice force with 28s with relatively low model count. We love 28s there are great lines out there but sometimes building a large army... Or even if you will build a large army you can use CLASH while you are getting there.

To give the rules that gritty feeling of small actions and personal combat, our game introduces some new mechanics that deal with how units gain fatigue based on the armor they carry and the terrain they are crossing.

In large battles it is common to have movement rates based on troop types and armor. In our rules for a specific action troops will move the same but the fatigue accumulated is different so over an extended time, the time matching a large battle turn, heavier troops will move less as they will have to stop and rest more often.

This means that
1) Rules are not beer and pretzel, again nothing wrong with that, just not what this is. We have worked hard to make sure rules are streamlined, we use classic D6 and most mechanics are pretty intuitive. We have done a lot of playtesting adjusting mechanics that we saw players struggled with.

2) It is easy to learn the mechanic but it takes time to figure out how not to kill your troops with exhaustion.

3) Heavy troops are tough, but medium and light troops are nasty and they can overwhelm those heavy troops ! This is not a large battle where skirmishers will run away from heavies at the first hard look.. this is their environment... they will dance around you and make your life hell.

As you can see all attention is put on getting the right feel. You guys know how it is, not everyone will agree with every interpretation we have made of ancient warfare. We have done our research but you have to make choices, "do I believe this theory or that theory".  Yet you can be certain the there is a core concept behind them and if you can accept that core principle and understanding of la petite guerre in ancient times we think you will like the rules.

The rules will include full disclosure to the point/troops design system so if you want to come up with your own lists you will be able to do so.

Our first book will be very targeted, Western Mediterranean 4th to 1st century BC. Punic Wars, Greco Carthaginian wars. It will include 7 lists: Italian tribes, Gallic Tribes, Iberian Tribes, Rep Romans, Carthaginians, Greeks , Macedonians in Italy.  We will release a general quick compendium with armies for other periods or you could design your lists as I mentioned.

The rules will be suitable for either pick up games based on points, or for sure historical theme games where there is no points balance, there is just troops, objectives and insurmountable odds :)

They will include nice add ons for this scale such as a specific deployment mechanic that reflects how this warbands encounter each other since they lack vanguards or scouting parties that large armies have.. In fact your force could be the scouting party.

Or the fact that although all troops operate around the battlefield in loose order, some of them have training that requires them to close ranks to gain benefits.

But all of those are adapted to the small encounter. We extrapolate the benefits that a group of hoplites could gain for their training when operating in small actions, even though there would never be enough of them to form a proper phalanx. Or we reflect on combat techniques of romans at a level where really manipular tactics don't come into play.



We expect to have the rules in people's hands by end of year. You can see that we have our initial test prints and all the effort from now until release is cleaning edges, avoiding typos erratas and blunders. If you are spending your money on the book you deserve a quality product.




You can find more info here:
http://www.thewargamespot.com/category/clashofspears/

you will find the intro to the rules: http://www.thewargamespot.com/introducing-clash-of-spears/

Some gameplay examples: http://www.thewargamespot.com/roman-legionary-vs-carthaginian-warrior/

some battle reports: http://www.thewargamespot.com/fighting-the-greek-invaders/

Well.. have a look... hopefully it is something that catches your eye and you'll join us in the Clash of Spears on the second half of this year.

regards,
Francisco Erize






« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 04:30:03 PM by seldon »

Offline D. Brownie

  • librarian
  • Posts: 114
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 07:32:56 PM »
I'm very interested! I Hope I'll dust off my historical minis.... :D

Offline Ethelred the Almost Ready

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 654
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 07:50:04 PM »
This looks great.  I am very interested in this.  Roll on second half of the year.

Offline has.been

  • mastermind
  • Posts: 1341
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 10:29:00 PM »
Sounds interesting. Ancients were my first love & you are right,
there are so many nice 28mm ancients out there.

Offline Wiegraf

  • librarian
  • Posts: 113
    • Steepled Hat Studios
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2019, 01:38:53 AM »
Have also been browsing through the game pics and play testing material, though yet to play test myself. The game looks absolutely beautiful for those skirmish type scenarios before the massive rank and file battles break out. Cannot wait to see more content as it comes, and to start playing myself.

Offline Antonio J Carrasco

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 599
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2019, 06:47:50 AM »
Interesting. I read your sample of combat/activation and I must say I like very much the interaction of fatigue/melee/activation. Particularly, because it puts a premium on keeping fresh units in reserve, which is something that usually is lacking in many wargames. Those Carthaginians in your example would have been much more cautious with their activations if the Romans would have had fresh troops nearby!

Offline D. Brownie

  • librarian
  • Posts: 114
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2019, 07:55:53 AM »
The deployment system based on Armour/fatigue for me Is very cool and adds a lot of strategic flavour to the whole game...

Offline AndrewD

  • schoolboy
  • Posts: 7
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2019, 10:20:19 AM »
This looks really interesting - I'll be following this closely. Best of luck with development of these rules!  :)

Offline seldon

  • scientist
  • Posts: 275
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2019, 12:28:43 PM »
Antonio, yes... as I was writing the example I worried that new players would see it and take the wrong tactical advice. Those veteran troops are in a very fragile state, and what they do in the example should not be attempted if the enemy has a close by reserve. But as an example of combat it worked.
Your analisis is spot on, to be a good vommander in Clash managing the fatigue of units and fresh reserves is the key to victory.

The deployment system is really a lot of fun and it sets the batlle in an excellent way, in the AAR you will usually see the engagement phase reflected. It is a pretty fast system, and it is fun to see who outmaneuvers the other.

Thanks tomall of you formthe positive comments.

regards
Francisco
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 02:11:45 PM by seldon »

Offline Erik

  • scientist
  • Posts: 263
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2019, 09:22:50 AM »
This one will definitely go under my Chrismas tree. From Erik to Erik  lol.

We use Lions Rampant at the moment, but I look forward to what sounds like a bit deeper rule set.


Cheers
Erik

Offline Arrigo

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 936
  • errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum est
    • Forward HQ my new blog where you can laugh at my crappy photos!
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2019, 02:04:33 PM »
The deployment system based on Armour/fatigue for me Is very cool and adds a lot of strategic flavour to the whole game...

cannot resist... it is a skirmish game, the adjective strategic is out of place...  lol I really dislike the overuse of the word strategic. In this case tactical is more  than appropriate.

Looking forward to see more of the game...  ;)
"Put Grant straight in"

for pretty tanks and troops: http://forwardhq.blogspot.com

Offline seldon

  • scientist
  • Posts: 275
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2019, 02:10:03 PM »
True.. tactical is sometimes left behind..

I think in that case he meant that he feels it might reflect more strategic elements in what is a tactics focused game...

 :)

Hey let the first one of us who has never used strategic when we meant tactical cast the first dice..

I know I'm guilty of that :)
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 02:14:46 PM by seldon »

Offline mkultra99

  • assistant
  • Posts: 34
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2019, 02:33:08 PM »
come on man, get this hype train rollin'. do a kickstarter or somethin'. good thing I just obtained a bunch of greeks and will hopefully have them painted by the time the rulebook comes out. Please tell me you are going to do armylists/stats for dark age/medieval...

Offline Arrigo

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 936
  • errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum est
    • Forward HQ my new blog where you can laugh at my crappy photos!
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2019, 03:38:02 PM »
kickstarter for rules= how to create a mess with stretch goals, and put unduly pressure on the author... and then having people complaining the delivery is late

Seriously, today there is always this kickstupid hype for everything, and to be quite honest often it is not warranted. Plus it creates expectations that sometimes are beyond the control of the people behind it (like printing service's snags and so on).  I think that the rules will be released when they are ready and the team behind them will be satisfied.  Right now the rules are getting some exposure, allowing us to judge our own interest while the  rules themselves are fully polished. Better to have a superior product later than an inferior one now just because people yelled... maypo maypo!

I was just reading some rules that appeared to have never been proofreaded (sentence repetitions, backward grammar, some sentence cut in half here and there). worst the designed (that right now shall be remain unnamed) was a bit dismissive of the problems. Frankly put a couple of weeks of proofings should have solved that...  shall I add that this anonymous designer in the follow up game, made some of the same mistakes and even made plain wrong errors (marine artillery regiments portrayed as marine infantry) in the order of battle? 

Quote
If you are spending your money on the book you deserve a quality product.

This is something I appreciate, plus it is something that we see less and less in the hobby.

Hype is good for tasters... but patience is the virtue of the wargamer!  lol

Take your time! Anyway I am not planning to quite the hobby (too many troops painted and still to paint!) 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 03:40:15 PM by Arrigo »

Offline seldon

  • scientist
  • Posts: 275
Re: Clash of Spears - Small Actions rules for Ancients/Medieval
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2019, 08:09:53 PM »
So here is the deal on how we are going about it.

Yes, we will get the hype going as we get closer to launch, we just didn't want to generate momentum before we knew that we could deliver the final product.

We are being as careful as possible with proofreading. Nobody is perfect but we have proofreaders going over the text and correcting any kinds of issues ( such as excessive use of passive voice :) )..

We have also engaged playtesting groups that have received the rules, have no contact with the authors and have been playing as per own understanding. This has helped us identify mechanics that they struggled with or things that we though clear but that were not and maybe needed some additional examples.

We still continue to do playtesting to work the blance of the lists, again no system is perfect but we want them functional and not broken.

When it comes to army lists the book will include the 7 already mentioned. Those lists have had extensive research, we've utilized material such as Storm of Spears and many other books on the subject and consulted extensively on the many publications available such as Ancient Warfare and such to come up with what we believe to be reasonable lists.

Obviously that takes a lot of work and to do that for all the possible periods the rules could cover is not feasible within the release timeframe.

So we came up with a Compendium that covers about 20 lists from biblical armies to dark ages. Those lists don't have the same amount of extensive research and playtesting of the main 7 lists.
They serve as place holders for people to play and enjoy. We will also provide the design system so that if the players say.. "well I think this guys should have this trait or these weapons" they can adjust it.

But at least if you wanted to play Normans vs Vikings right out of the box you will be able to do it. And this allows us, if the rules are liked, to expand with more detail into other periods with other publications.
We also have rules for character development, campaigns, and other elements that could follow up if the rules  are liked.

For all these reasons we need to target Q3/Q4 of 2019. We want to be very careful and not be rushed, but as I said we didn't start talking about any of this until we were ready so we are confident that we can deliver within that timeframe.

I know that it is hard to wait but 6-8 months should be bearable and I think you guys will find that it is a solid robust system that is sophisticated and fun to play.

regards,
Francisco