|The set-up. It was about 20 minutes work to mark out the grid.|
We played two games, sticking to the basics and leaving out some of the more advanced rules. I can certainly see why these rules have been so well received - they are obviously the product of a clever mind, being original and easy to grasp. Just like everyone says, using grids does away with fiddly measuring, and using the cards also speeds things up. In fact, we played through the two games rapidly and easily. Leaving out some of the more subtle rules detracted from the game a bit, I reckon - but this was hardly the fault of the rules.
|With the inclusion of a good, old-fashioned 'march' rule, units get into action quickly.|
|The use of grids doesn't necessarily mean that the battles appear too formal and tidy.|
Downsides? I had the feeling that the games were over a bit too quickly, for my personal taste. A bit too 'wham, bam, thank you ma'am', if you know what I mean. But adding in more of the game detail that we deliberately left out may fix this. Certainly, I would need to spend more time making sure that the parameters for my various unit types were set correctly - this is very important in any set of wargames rules, but particularly so for ancients with such a variety of troops.
|"We were just standing there minding our own business when this bunch of Numidians when galloping past right behind us!'|
Once again I find that 'grids' doesn't mean 'boring'.
The author, Simon Miller, has quickly acquired a reputation for being available to answer online questions, and being very open to suggestions and critiques. This is greatly to his credit, as is the availability of army lists and amendments as free downloads. Well done sir.
|Elephant/heavy chariot face-off.|
As the pictures show, with a little care the cards can be kept off the actual playing area, so they needn't become too intrusive. Overall, this brief taster left me keen to investigate further and learn more. I had to be strong with myself and hold back my natural wargamer's instinct to buy the book straight away (it's very well presented and written, by the way). Yes, the benefits of being careful with your cash go to the strongest.
To get the view from the other side of the hill, see Steve's own blog post.
See you again soon.