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"Which Ruleset Best Handles Homeric Combat?" Topic

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17 Jan 2015 8:45 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Mar 2013 11:50 a.m. PST

Which published ruleset does the best job with combat set in the time of Homer's Iliad?

doc mcb16 Mar 2013 11:56 a.m. PST

PRIDE OF LIONS will handle it very well as soon as I get the prayer cards done for the Olympians. Assuming by "combat set in the time of Homer's Iliad" you mean the clash of armies on the Plains of Troy, with heroes and gods and demigods swaying the battle but with the lines of spearmen still decisive. The Exhort and Rally table was based on Agamemnon driving around in Book 2 (iirc) using praise and bribes and shame to motivate various subordinate leaders and their troops.

If you mean instead Achilles versus Hector or other such one-on-one fights, then not.

Cyclops16 Mar 2013 12:08 p.m. PST

On a smaller scale I would have said Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game from GW. The heroes dominate while the masses die in droves but are still dangerous. Sounds very Homeric to me.

Pictors Studio16 Mar 2013 12:12 p.m. PST

Warhammer does a very good job too. The lists in Chariot Wars supplemented by the WI article produces a fantastic game with the Gods intervening and the heroes really showing what they are worth.

Before that came out I had modded some 5th ed. WHFB to do a similar thing. If you made the big heroes some of the general type characters, reserving the stats of Chaos lords for Achilles and Hector you get some really good games too. The magic system was used for the intervention of the gods.

It was pretty neat. I should pull that out again and see if I can put a game with that now that I think about it. We've always used WAB since that was released but the older version had some neat things and made the heroes even more heroic. Maybe even too much, although while that was a problem in WHFB 5th it worked pretty well in an Iliad version of the Trojan War.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian16 Mar 2013 12:21 p.m. PST

…Assuming by "combat set in the time of Homer's Iliad" you mean the clash of armies on the Plains of Troy, with heroes and gods and demigods swaying the battle but with the lines of spearmen still decisive…

Better than I could have said it. grin

doc mcb16 Mar 2013 12:35 p.m. PST

It is challenging but not impossible to handle the presence of the gods on each side. I'm thinking cards. The Trojans would have a "Zeus sways the battle" card that should at a minimum increase the effectiveness of every Trojan unit, and might do more than that such as allowing Trojan rerolls (of bad results)and/or forcing Greek ones (of good results). But of course the Greek deck would include "Hera borrows the girdle of Aphrodite and seduces Zeus, who then falls asleep" and the "spoiled brat princess Athena wraps daddy Zeus around her little finger", either of which would negate the Zeus card. I think all of that would be fun and generally balanced and off-setting. We'd ignore the REAL reason Troy fell, which was that Fate demanded it.

Pictors Studio16 Mar 2013 12:50 p.m. PST

That is what the cards did in the WI article. There were cards like "Zeus inspires the troops" and "Apollo panics the enemy" as well as cards like "Ares takes the field" where a God actually shows up on the battle field.

It works great.

Dale Hurtt16 Mar 2013 12:59 p.m. PST

Gang Warfare in the Age of Bronze was designed for this specific purpose.

vojvoda16 Mar 2013 1:46 p.m. PST

I have alwas enjoyed Homoric Hack and used it for the most part for my armies in the period.

James Mattes

Dave Crowell16 Mar 2013 3:11 p.m. PST

I find Homeric Hack is brilliant for wargames with the feel of the Illiad.

King David from Venexia also does a pretty good job.

Both are in he heroic mold, not strictly historical simulation.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2013 5:56 p.m. PST

I have used hordes of the things many times to play Homeric battles on the plains of Troy, gods and all.



John the OFM16 Mar 2013 7:53 p.m. PST

I played in a game that Pictors Studio ran a few years ago.
Agamemnon (me) had a series of amazing dice rolls and ended up behind the Trojan lines having all kinds of (perfectly legal witin the rules) adventures.
I actually took Troy singlehandedly, drove off a goddess, and seized Helen all by myself.
I forget if I gave her back to my brother, or kept her for myself. grin

It was a game where every single die roll broke for me, including getting the two Greek chariots flanking me killed so I could shoot through behind the Trojan lines.

Pictors Studio17 Mar 2013 8:11 a.m. PST

Your side was getting crushed so you decided to dash off to Tyre with your prize and spend the rest of your days getting harassed by the most beautiful woman in the world to fix the toilet.

dejvid16 Aug 2014 7:03 a.m. PST

If we are talking about the time when Homer actually wrote the Iliad then Dux Bellorum should be a contender.

Lion in the Stars16 Aug 2014 10:30 a.m. PST

I would have to agree with Lord of the Rings SBG or maybe the War of the Ring for more unit-centered combat.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Aug 2014 10:52 a.m. PST

Anything But a Doh! … oh, the Iliad.

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