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"Do You Play Ancients Boardgames?" Topic

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29 Sep 2015 2:22 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian17 Apr 2015 9:23 p.m. PST

Do you play boardgames set in the Ancients period, without miniatures?

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2015 9:54 p.m. PST

It's been a long time since I pulled them out, but I'm not averse to playing the old SPI PRESTAGS series of Ancients-Medieval games!

Roderick Robertson Fezian17 Apr 2015 10:19 p.m. PST

I started my wargaming with Avalon Hill's Alexander. Though I haven't played a chits and hexes game in decades.

piper90917 Apr 2015 10:50 p.m. PST

Sure. Conquest of the Empire (with new home-brewed rules), Caesar's Legions, Druid, Imperium Romanum, The Conquerors. Maybe a few more I've lost track of. Oh, Peloponnesian War and something on the Second Punic War whose title escapes me.

Ivan DBA17 Apr 2015 11:03 p.m. PST

I've played Hannibal a couple times, and always mean to use it for a DBA campaign. I own but have never played Successors, which is a very similar game.

Used to play Conquest of the Empire quite a lot when I was a kid, though it is one of the weaker games in the GameMaster series.

Temporary like Achilles17 Apr 2015 11:20 p.m. PST

Yes, plenty. Pax Romana, Commands & Colors: Ancients, Empire, Bellum Gallicum II, The Victory Point Games game on the Roman Civil War, Solitaire Caesar, Hannibal… There are lots out there.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2015 11:25 p.m. PST

I have played lots of different ancient board games, just not recently.

Forager17 Apr 2015 11:38 p.m. PST

Not lately, but I still have Trireme and Imperium Romanum II. Used to have Rise and Fall, but sold it.

Weasel17 Apr 2015 11:50 p.m. PST

I wouldn't mind but I don't own any.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2015 3:20 a.m. PST

I both play Ancients Boardgames and ancient boardgames. grin

Gorge J18 Apr 2015 3:40 a.m. PST

Before returning to miniatures, I would try find S&T magazine in the book fair. They may have a game or I make a primitive challange.

Charlie 1218 Apr 2015 3:57 a.m. PST

Sure. Have a good number of the old SPI, AH and others that I drag out every now and then.

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2015 4:28 a.m. PST

Yes, the games that form PRESTAGS and their predecessors, Decision Games' Ancient Warfare series, Avalon Hill's Caesar: The Battle of Alesia, Alexander and Bill Bank's Ancients game.

Mute Bystander18 Apr 2015 5:01 a.m. PST

Gave away 100s of SPI games including all their older ancients games decades ago.

While I still have a few now none of them are of those eras.

Most of the SPI were too complex for a simple evening with war game buddies (all miniatures fans,) too "niche" for family and non-war game fans, and – finally – we had cats for decades even after allergies suspected (when diagnosed for self and daughter we allowed animals to die of age/illness but did not replace.)

Cats and Chits = Chaos

waaslandwarrior18 Apr 2015 5:25 a.m. PST

If Command and Colors is a board game, yes!
Played most scenario's of the basic box at least twice.

I have also played several games in the GMT Great battles of History series. But that is a while ago now.

Kenntak18 Apr 2015 5:42 a.m. PST

I play Commands & Colors: Ancients sometimes, and used to play Decision Games' Ancient Warfare series, Avalon Hill's Caesar: The Battle of Alesia, Avalon Hill's Caesar's Legions, SPI's the Conquerors, Imperium Romanum II, Civilization,GMT's SPQR series, and others.

Who asked this joker18 Apr 2015 5:45 a.m. PST

Bill Banks Ancients, CnC Ancients are two that come to mind. I have some of the PRESTAGS titles but have not played them (recent acquisitions). I used to play SPI games a lot but have lost my propensity for complex rules. As Mute Bystander says, SPI games are a bit too complex for a single evening.

BW195918 Apr 2015 5:51 a.m. PST

Yes, Command and Colors: Ancients

Dynaman878918 Apr 2015 5:58 a.m. PST

Just picked up Commands and Colors Ancients too. I have owned AH's Alesia but not played it yet.

Martin Rapier18 Apr 2015 6:01 a.m. PST

Not many, mainly Civilisation. As above, I have loads of ancient boardgames, but very few Ancient boardgames. WW2 and Napoleonics were my boardgame 'thing'.

If CnC Ancients counts, I play that. But with figures, naturally.

Sobieski18 Apr 2015 6:24 a.m. PST


Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2015 6:50 a.m. PST

Have a few and still play them occasionally. Alesia, SPQR, Chariot. I only play miniatures occasionally too. No opponents any longer and my eyesight is poor so reading the counters can be a bit tough.

Tgunner18 Apr 2015 6:52 a.m. PST

Not any more. Just 3W's Ancients and GMT's Great Battles of History. The first was a stand-by, the others were a lot of fun to read and collect, but I never quite got my head wrapped around the rules. The computer versions were different! I played the stew out of them! Great game when the computer worries about the mechanics for you!

advocate18 Apr 2015 8:13 a.m. PST

Command & Colors Ancients is what I play now. In the past I've played several others which have tended to be strategic rather than tactical.

legatushedlius18 Apr 2015 8:57 a.m. PST

Can't stand boardgames! Really tedious!

RavenscraftCybernetics18 Apr 2015 9:16 a.m. PST


piper90918 Apr 2015 11:20 a.m. PST

Ah, just remembered AH's "Successors", which I own but have not yet played. Also, I must be one of the few who enjoyed SPI's "Fall of Rome" solitaire game, and once the errata came out that clarified much of its hastily assembled and incomplete rules, I played it voraciously for a long time.

Feet up now18 Apr 2015 12:32 p.m. PST

Played legion from SPI just after Christmas with my bruv. He played Romans and I was the Parthians in the Carrhae scenario .
He wiped out a lot of my guys mid way to make it close but I won in the end. A great easy to learn game with generic counters that allow for many encounters with Romes enemies in the scenarios.

Maxamillion275818 Apr 2015 1:31 p.m. PST

Ancients – still great

Personal logo Shaun Travers Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2015 3:58 p.m. PST

I haven't for many years but yes, played lots of ancient boardgames and own quite a few as well. While most of them were at an operational scale and not reproductions of actual battles (otherwise I could just get out minis and play), it was Bill Bank's ancients that set me down the path of finding fast play ancient mini rules, and an inspiration for my own rules.

Oh, and piper909 – I loved the first version of Fall of Rome also and played it many a time. So that is at least two of us.

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2015 5:22 p.m. PST

I used to, many years ago. However, many were more complex than miniatures rules, and didn't seem to have the panache or enjoyment of a miniatures game.

In a way, I blend the two when I try out a new set of rules. I normally make up counters to represent the bases required and play a few solo games to get a feel for the rules and see whether they are worth my time pursuing.


sillypoint18 Apr 2015 5:59 p.m. PST

Civilisation, Chess?

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2015 7:48 p.m. PST

Conquest of the Empire
Risk: Godstorm (okay, that's a stretch, but it's thematic).
I briefly owned the 300 game of Thermopylae (yeah, I know). It was interesting, but too simplistic and forced in its play. After a few times, my gaming buddy and I lost enthusiasm for it, so I sold it.
I'm tempted by C&C, because I really like the Battle Cry system, but the cost of C&C for what you get (a bunch of wood blocks and stickers) is hard to justify for me, especially for a gaming experience that is likely to strongly mimic two games I already own.
I have an old Metagaming micro game of galley combat that I havem't yet tried out, though I'd like to.
I haven't tried any of the classic SPI/AH style games because I'm not a big fan of complex boardgame rules; I prefer simple and straightforward, so I'm warry of those. But in the right circumstances, I'd give 'em a try.

Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2015 8:06 p.m. PST

Yes. An old S&T game, Armageddon, is one of my favorites and one of the few boardgames where I have played every scenario. Given it was published over 40 years ago and used standard troop types, it still gives a good game. One unique aspect is the emphasis on leaders. These are graded on their ability to move units and to affect combat. So you have some forces where the leaders are great at moving the forces, but don't contribute anything to the combat and others where the leaders have a huge impact on combat, but only affect movement of the units they are stacked with. It also went with the "chariots charged into melee" approach though some suggested revisions made the chariots into mobile archers. I suspect that chariots played different roles in different cultures and times.

Sobieski18 Apr 2015 8:59 p.m. PST

Shogi. Greatest boardgame ever. But it's not ancient.

vtsaogames19 Apr 2015 12:32 p.m. PST

Used to play Decline and Fall a lot. It requires 4 players and they always make me play the Romans. It involves book keeping. They call me Pennius Pinchus.

Don Manser19 Apr 2015 4:52 p.m. PST

Great Battles Series. They play like miniatures games.


emperator26 Apr 2015 10:56 a.m. PST

anyone around the Columbus GA area interested in playing ancients boardgames…..have practically the entire gmt great battles of history series. Shoot me an email @ My name is Charlie

OSchmidt27 Apr 2015 6:03 a.m. PST

All the time. Ancient board games are fun. Wei-Chi, Shogi, Shaturanj, Game of the Sacred Wary, Lions and Jackals, Senat, The Jungle game, Ma Johng.

Bob Runnicles29 Apr 2015 7:34 a.m. PST

I own a complete set of GMT's Great Battles of History boardgame series (up to 15 games now!) and have really enjoyed them all. Also classics like AH's Siege of Jerusalem and Alesia. They are eminently playable in a single session and are generally far more historically accurate than most (point based at least) miniatures games. Much quicker to change subjects too without needing months of painting time :)

MarescialloDiCampo29 Apr 2015 8:05 a.m. PST

Used to in old S&T days…

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