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Author Topic: Thinking of starting Successors  (Read 24458 times)

Offline SJWi

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2020, 09:06:08 AM »
I ran a TTS game of Thracians vs Hoplite Greek via Zoom last night. 6 players linked by video with myself moving all the figures and pulling the chits. The “boardgame” aspect of the game makes it eminently suitable for distance gaming.Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it but I can well appreciate why it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

Offline Fremitus Borealis

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #46 on: June 21, 2020, 07:52:35 PM »
I don't have anything productive to add, other than to say that I'm a total n00b (started collecting/painting models literally like 3 weeks before the Corona lockdowns started), but I too have chosen to go the Successors route, so I will be following this thread very closely  :)

First post too, btw :D I've been lurking for most of this year, but have put off starting any threads of my own yet, if only because I don't want to be "that guy" who can't use the search function and starts new threads that have been re-hashed 1000 times already!
"Nice try, history; better luck next year."

Offline Easy E

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2020, 04:57:36 PM »
One thing I find helpful is to not get hung up too much on nationality names in units and focus instead on what they do.  For example, what is the difference really between Thessalian Heavy Cavalry versus Epiliektoi Heavy cavalry from military colonies?  Not much! 

As wargamers, we sometimes get hung up on troops from a specific place, even if they really fight almost the same as a generic, similar unit type. 
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Offline Jjonas

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2020, 05:37:26 PM »
Time and distance do matter for Successor armies. Equipment and fighting style changes over time and within empires.
We are talking about a period that starts in 356 BC with a poor kingdom that overcomes its enemies, and spreads militarily, conquering Persia, and spreading from India to Italy in a period of eighty years.
Then the formed empires Succeeded the Alexandrian collapse, and ruled for a couple hundred years- although they were knocked off one at a time by Rome, and absorbed.
Offshoot empires in hide away places such as Bactria survived in various formats as well.

This means Successor armies are very diverse and troop types matter in many regards, if one wishes to do a detailed presentation of an army. Often troops are interchangeable. Xystophoroi cavalry such as Thessalians could be used as other types in various armies. But styles changed. Some say the Thessalians that went with Pyrrhus adopted the shield and light spears of the Romans, and also copied Tarentine tactics. In Alexander's army, and the Lamian War, the Thesalians seem to be lance armed heavy cavalry. But they shift to a different style later.

Tarentines in early armies would look Italian in make up with round hoplite shields, but later on in Ptolemaic armies are depicted in state supplied gear and small square shields. This is after a space of time that covers 320 BC to 44 BC so fashion does change.

The Seleucid development of the cataphract does not occur until after the battle of Raphia in 217 BC. So cataphracts are a unit type that determines the time frame of the army. Cataphracts are common in some off shoots of Successor armies, such as later Parthian, Armenian,  and Commagene armies, even some in the far eastern kingdoms. But they are not readily useable except in late Seleucid Successor armies.

The Companion cavalry of Alexander was a common component of the Successors but they too changed their styles from army to army. In the Antigonid army in Macedonia the Companions gave up the xyston (lance) in favor of the large shield and lighter spears/javelins. Other agema cavalry became more heavily armored and still used xystons, but became more rare over time. The Thessalian and Macedonian and Thracian cavalry of the Roman Civil Wars is hard to pinpoint but my guess is they had all gone to the shield and spear style as they progressed to the "auxiliary" cavalry role of the Roman Empire.

The basic idea with Successors is whether you wish to collect an Early army or a Successor empire army. The Early armies can mix and match with one another easily - since their gear and troops were pulled from the same pools. Defeated troops joined winners. Local levies dressed the same whether they were ex-Persians or now with Seleucus at Ipsus. Generally early armies might have less uniformity, except for those specific units such as the 'silver shields' that became famous in the wars of the Diadochi.

A lot of the early units can also be core units in a later army. Most phalanxes are generic enough- although many point out that the sarissa length got longer. Arguments for more uniformity in the empire armies make sense. Allied troops suchs as Cretans work for Greeks, Successors, and Romans.

This is a source for unit choices of the period, all you need to do is piece together the DBM code and you can figure out the percentages for various troop types in a great selection of Successor armies.

http://lukeuedasarson.com/AlternativeDBMLists.html

 

Thessalian cavalry are indeed useful units for Successor armies- but they differ from the Thessalians of the Greek Wars. Below a Successor general leads some Thessalians with lances.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 06:02:17 PM by Jjonas »
JJonas

Offline Westbury

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #49 on: June 25, 2020, 05:23:54 PM »
Jeff, really enjoyed that last post, good to have someone talk up the differences and how they change at points in time rather than settle for the generic 'well they're all cavalry anyway', particularly good points made on the Thessalians and Companions. For our project the desire for interchangeability seems to be pushing us towards the earlier rather than the later period and the Daidochi Wars do have plenty of action!
The rules quest continues but I am finding that the current crop are all a bit draw a coloured card/dice/playing card and this is who will randomly move while at the same time tending towards generic troop types rather than specifics which does tend to neutralise any period flavour. Also what's with the 'figures don't matter' mindset? I'm struggling to see the point of painting nice minis if they have no relevance on the base (some of which are really quite large) in terms of counting casualties or even representing a scaled up formation - one figure represents a century or whatever. I'm still nowhere near writing my own though and for this project that's a good thing :)

Offline AdamPHayes

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #50 on: June 25, 2020, 10:13:53 PM »
  For our project the desire for interchangeability seems to be pushing us towards the earlier rather than the later period and the Daidochi Wars do have plenty of action!
 

It also has variety going for it. At the Society of Ancients Battle Day we fought Paraitecene from 317BC and the two armies had a plethora of different units units in their armies apart from the core of phalangites. There were: Cretans, Tarentines, Lykians and Pamphyllians, Medes. Thracians and Indians. As well as a bunch of less well described contingents. The Battle Day is a very good place to see how different sets of rules deal with the same scenario. 

Our small group always take along Piquet and for the Successor period Archon 2 is the specific supplement. These are a card driven set of rules, but it is the standard turn sequence (move, shoot, charge, melee, rally etc.) that the cards are used to represent. This provides a lot of fog-of-war and edge of the seat  action but leave the decisions of which units and where firmly in the players' hands. The "official" scale is that a four stand infantry unit (usually 12 figures) represents 500-700 men. A cavalry unit of 8 figures about half that. We of course tinker to our hearts content with all aspects including figure scale and the rules are resilient enough to cope! We have also found that it is possible to have a good game with just 6 units a side or 20.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 10:43:11 PM by AdamPHayes »

Offline Easy E

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #51 on: June 26, 2020, 02:53:25 PM »
Jeff, really enjoyed that last post, good to have someone talk up the differences and how they change at points in time rather than settle for the generic 'well they're all cavalry anyway', particularly good points made on the Thessalians and Companions. For our project the desire for interchangeability seems to be pushing us towards the earlier rather than the later period and the Daidochi Wars do have plenty of action!

The rules quest continues but I am finding that the current crop are all a bit draw a coloured card/dice/playing card and this is who will randomly move while at the same time tending towards generic troop types rather than specifics which does tend to neutralise any period flavour. Also what's with the 'figures don't matter' mindset? I'm struggling to see the point of painting nice minis if they have no relevance on the base (some of which are really quite large) in terms of counting casualties or even representing a scaled up formation - one figure represents a century or whatever. I'm still nowhere near writing my own though and for this project that's a good thing :)

It is good you have a relatively clear idea of what you want from your game.  That will make picking out the rules and models you want much easier. 

Offline Westbury

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #52 on: June 28, 2020, 03:48:48 PM »
Kind of intrigued about the Piquet rules - looked them up, some positive comments about them. Have I got this right; you need to buy the core rules and then the period specific supplement?

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #53 on: June 28, 2020, 04:46:10 PM »
Impetus 2nd Edition.

Offline Atheling

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #54 on: June 30, 2020, 06:12:32 AM »
Kind of intrigued about the Piquet rules - looked them up, some positive comments about them. Have I got this right; you need to buy the core rules and then the period specific supplement?

I haven't played Piquet, which is a bit of a shame as everything I've read seems to point to the rules being a decent 'simulation' of the fog of war.

I'm quite sure that you need the core rules and the relevant supplement.

Offline AdamPHayes

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #55 on: June 30, 2020, 11:01:03 PM »
Kind of intrigued about the Piquet rules - looked them up, some positive comments about them. Have I got this right; you need to buy the core rules and then the period specific supplement?

That’s right. The basic rules are a fairly generic horse and musket but the supplements have all the period specific rules, card decks and army lists.

Offline Westbury

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #56 on: July 01, 2020, 04:44:18 PM »
Also been watching YouTube clips of Swordpoint, thoughts anyone?

Offline Westbury

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2020, 09:28:19 PM »
Now play tested Vis Bellica, didn't hate them but equally didn't love them.
I think I have convinced myself that the one big base approach doesn't do it for me, I'm not convinced by the 'make each base a vignette' argument particularly where densely packed troops like pike are concerned - so the bulk of most Hellenistic armies and there is no sense of attrition, one minute the base is there the next it's not - this was certainly the case with VB.
But the whole point of going through this exercise was to find what I liked, so tick in the box there. Going to try Simon's Civtates Bellantes next.

Offline Atheling

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2020, 07:19:21 AM »
Also been watching YouTube clips of Swordpoint, thoughts anyone?

There used to be quite an in depth vid by Medieval Warrior but I noticed that it's been removed. MW does have a quick run through but it's not as good as the former vid.

Also, look for Bob Stradling's videos as they explain the basic mechanism in detail but don't show a game being played, at least the last time I looked :)

Offline Zingara

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Re: Thinking of starting Successors
« Reply #59 on: July 15, 2020, 05:19:36 PM »
Good luck with this project Ian. Certainly a huge undertaking to go from scratch, particularly in 28mm. With some of these unit is there / unit is not there type rules, you could elect to remove a rank or a stand of figures to represent the "attritional" aspect. Have you an idea of how many units you want a side to fit on your wargames table and give room for manoeuvre ? How deep would you like your phalanxes from the aesthetic point of view ? 4 seems common. Do you want your phalanx in sub units eg groups of 4 by 4 or a bigger formation ? I don't get the impression that there was a lot of manoeuvre by the phalanx as a whole, and Pete's experience with the Sealed Knot would speak against a ballet of the spears.

I look forward to seeing how this develops.

 

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