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November 14, 2019, 11:10:31 PM

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Author Topic: Disciplina et Virtus, a Sneak Preview of the forthcoming lardy Ancient Rules  (Read 953 times)

Offline Lardy Rich

  • scientist
  • Posts: 495
Lard Island News has an interview with Sidney Roundwood talking to me about Disciplina et Virtus, the forthcoming ancients rules we are working on.  You can find it here: https://toofatlardies.co.uk/blog/?p=7854

I hope to get a match report up in the next few days.

Cheers

Rich

Offline levied troop

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 814
Woo! and indeed hoo! That sounds fascinating, looking forward to the release Rich.
That said, better get my Romans finished.
The League of Gentlemen Anti Alchemists
(We Turn Gold into Lead)

Offline Lardy Rich

  • scientist
  • Posts: 495
Thanks LT. we are really enjoying the playtest stage. Always gun to be developing something fresh.

I took a pile of photos of our game on Tuesday evening only to discover my thumb in half of the.  Well, I hope it was my thumb; it was a large pink blur...

Offline levied troop

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 814
If itís large, donít worry, itís your thumb. If it was small....... :)

I like the thinking behind the two different approaches - the Ďdo as I say and youíll be alright soní  and the Ďexcite the emotions but try to control them until itís timeí. It sounds like itíll make the old blade vs warband struggle much more intersting.

Offline Lardy Rich

  • scientist
  • Posts: 495
You can read a bit of a game report here:https://toofatlardies.co.uk/blog/?p=7862

It's the first game in a mini-campaign we are playing around the time of the time of the Varian disaster. 

A few snaps as per usual. 






Offline Harry Faversham

  • scatterbrained genius
  • Posts: 2142
A hard fought engagement that made for an exciting read!

 :-*
"Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

"I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

Offline Antonio J Carrasco

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 719
Interesting. I like the concept (I would prefer a different period, though... my poison is Late Roman Empire :D) of Sharp Practice for Ancients... although, and following up the discussion about the drill, I find the idea somewhat difficult to implement. I mean, we actually know just the barebones of how Romans trained and fought at the tactical level. Much of it are inferences from equipment, as neither the literary nor the epigraphic sources are particularly helpful in that regard. There is also the problem of Ancient writers emphazising certain "cultural" traits that were, probably, more for the benefit of a Roman audience -and to fit their prejudices- rather than an accurate description of how Roman foes actually fought. Also the focus on close combat as the decision point does leave out of the picture hose foes that prefer harassing tactics (Parthians and Numidians come to mind) rather than shock & awe. Finally, there is another issue: what about Roman agression. We usually have the image of the hairy barbarian launching himself with reckless abandonment against the Roman shieldwall; yet Caesar himself tell us about quite a few instances when it was his Centurions the ones who acted like the warriors of old and attacked recklessly enemy formations/fortifications, without regard to drill nor discipline.

Offline Lardy Rich

  • scientist
  • Posts: 495
Well, the game being played there involved Barbarians against Romans, so the game focussed on that,  The Romans do have several aggressive attack options and yes, the Centurion is there and fighting in the front rank.  In that game, the Romans could have indeed launched their own aggressive charge, but they didn't, largely because they were concerned about their flank and trying to get the Auxilia back into line to protect that.  As a result the Germans attacked first.  Not all things happen in every game.  Undoubtedly the next scenario may see the alternative, with the Romans attacking aggressively; it is certainly to their advantage to get the first punch in. 

One can indeed see the issue of Roman drill as an insurmountable problem, or one can see it as an imperfect but viable opportunity.  Glass half full versus glass half empty.  Lots of the evidence being studied is archaeological rather than historical texts.  One does, of course need to consider bias from the writer, but to be honest it is my job as the rule writer or game designer to try to piece together a plausible model of warfare to present.  Part of the fun of developing a wargame is the opportunity to do in-depth historical research and, with the ancient period use alternative sources, such as archaeology, such as re-enactment groups, such as hagiographic accounts and other imperfect sources in order to attempt to piece together what COULD be the truth about warfare at that time.  Whether I get that right or not will be seen, but that's my job. 

Rich


Offline Antonio J Carrasco

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 719
Rich

I was commenting on the interview, rather than the game...

As I said I find the idea intriguing and actually very interesting. My post wasn't thought as criticism, but trying to pick up your brains on the subject of tactics in Ancient period. See, thing is that I have always believed that as a consequence of having realtively few literary sources, focused on the "big picture" we have been missing most of what we could call the "Roman way of war". I strongly suspect that for many, if not most, Roman soldiers it was the raid, the rescue op, the escort duty or the chase of raiders the most common experience of their service under the eagles.

However, I have always found difficult to understand the how. How it was planned a raid? What were the dispositions to protect a convoy? Who participated? What was the ratio auxilia-legionaries calculated for each operation? And as for the barbarians... we know that at least quite a few of them had previous experience of serving under Rome; some, as Arminius, had fought as auxilia, and as Teutoburg proves they knew how to plan and put in action a complex operation. Were they as "barbaric" as Roman authors wrote? Or did they their own "drills" and we are just pressuming they didn't?

As I said, I feel that the challenge is daunting. I admire your pluck at tackling it head on!

Offline Lardy Rich

  • scientist
  • Posts: 495
I take your point entirely about the very grey nature of the subject.  As you say, I'm sure that the majority of a soldier's service, especially in the Auxilia but also the Legions, was the low level 'grazing' activity that lay somewhere between policing actions and war. 

Even when one finds well considered texts from authors such as Goldsworthy the feeling is that there is a very large dollop of supposition abd guesswork going on.  Goldsworthy, in fact, is a very popular source for wargamers as he has the guts to fill in a lot of blanks with some very brave conclusions.  An unkind commentator might even use terms like 'guesswork'. 

As to detachment sizes, I think we have to presume that what troops were told off for particular operational duties would simply depend on what was available. My thoughts are that far from being a large homogenous force, the Romans fielded a whole range of units, some in formally organised units but also more local allied troops than we normally think of for our Roman armies who were used at local level for ancillary duties. But that's all part of my on-going research.

As to the tactics of the barbarians, the best source for understanding the way they fought us to examine their weapons, but that doesn't tell us much about the way they were organised and how they behaved on the battlefield in terms of Command and control.  You are absolutely right about Arminius/Hermann.  I think it is unthinkable that having been trained to fight in the Roman manner that upon returning to his tribe he would revert to some kind of cave-man style of war.  There must have been some transfer of knowledge and lessons to be learned. Ditto for the Batavian who revolted under Civilis who had a similar training to Arminius. The challenge for me is to examine the texts as broadly as possible and then draw what conclusions I can.  So basically make the same guesses as Goldsworthy has.  Fortunately I'm only designing a game, not having the balls to present my conclusions to academic scrutiny! 

Very interesting to hear your thoughts.

Rich.

Offline blacksmith

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 617
    • Javier at war
I'm looking right now at Victrix's ancients to buy a couple of boxes for disciplina et virtus. Can you tell me if ancient Iberians will be represented in that ruleset?
TIA

Offline fluffy05

  • scientist
  • Posts: 301
    • One Painters Crusade
Our group is keen to see how the game progresses.  The article took the time to answer many of the questions we had and we are looking forward to more TFL greatness  :D

Thanks for taking the time to share.
'The German today is like the June Bride; he knows he is going to get it, but he doesn't know how big it is going to be.' - Gen. Richard "Windy" Gale, 6th Airborne Division Commander

Offline Commander Carnage

  • scientist
  • Posts: 235
Excellent, I look forward to this. @ Lardy Rich how about a video play through of Dux Britanniarum while you've broken out the swords and shields?
"Just don't roll a one!"