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"Bella Contra Barbaros Ancient Rules" Topic


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548 hits since 24 Feb 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 12:33 a.m. PST

OK, so I have something of a countdown to the Publication of these new rules… I`m aiming for mid-April this year.

The title will be Bella Contra Barbaros.
This has undergone some changes as I have had to seek some advice with the Latin!
Anyhow, it means; "Wars against the Barbarians".


They include Rome's wars with the barbarians from 100BC to 100AD; from the reforms of Marius to the Dacian War of Trajan.

I`ll post some test-game photos to remind you if you`ve seen my postings on this before!

Close order test game…

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Watling Street…

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battle array for a Roman army…
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Testing stratagem cards…

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Impetus rules test…

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kodiakblair25 Feb 2017 8:13 a.m. PST

Avidly waiting on mid-April here Mike :-)

MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 11:41 a.m. PST

Here`s some information about special features in Bella Contra Barbaros rules…

Firstly, the combat resolution:
The combat rules are not dice-heavy.
In Grand Manoeuvre rules, the modifiers that most dice systems use (for flanking, disordering, and other tactical advantages) are instead significant points in determining the combat results.
The dice play a less of an important part, usually only adding one point in the combat calcluation unless the combat element has impetus and then two dice are used.

Stratagem Cards:
There are some interesting ancient period flavours in this one.
I`ve included many of the stratagems mentioned by Frontinus and Polyeanus these stratagems are played with cards selected by players, or at random for the game set up and the game itself.

Inspirational Pre-Battle Speeches:
There are also pre-battle speeches which may give the player some game advantages.

Heroic Death Rules:
Added to the mix (and only if things are going badly for the player) is the possibility of an heroic death for both barbarians and Romans the Roman version of this being called the "devotio".

Scenario Booklet:
8 Historical Battle Scenarios.
Vercellae 101 BC
Mutina 72 BC
Histria 61 BC
Sabis River 56 BC
Arbalo 11 BC
Volcaean Marshes 7 AD
Mons Graupius 83 AD
First Tapae 86 AD

Army Lists:
Extensive Army Lists for most wars and campaigns with Barbarians
Providing for historical balanced armies but also with provision for points selections for Romans and Barbarians.

Photo: working on army lists in the scenario booklet…

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Terrain Generation Rules Booklet:
A battlefield terrain generation rule booklet has specific terrain rules for each major war.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 12:28 p.m. PST

Interesting. I like that it is focused on a specific time frame and subject. Is it strictyl D6, or are many dice used?

MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

Hi Nick,
Yes, d.6 are used throughout the rules.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 12:41 p.m. PST

How many figures in an average Roman Army?

MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 12:47 p.m. PST

An average, Roman army being a consular army these had 2 legions each had 4-5,000 men and would be represented by 8-10 bases/elements.
So heavy infantry are scaled at 500 per element.
How many figures per base is very much up to players.
I`ll be providing QRS`s for 3 base/element widths: 30,40, & 60mm.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 12:52 p.m. PST

Nice, so more tactical than say DBA.

MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2017 1:05 p.m. PST

Yes, there are markers used for:
open and close order (open or being the default setting)
wedge/boarshead
testudo
…and simple tests are used to change to these formations.

Elements become disordered but may rally from disorder
But the again, disorders may increase to reach morale levels and then at critical points whole lines of battle/commands are tested for their morale reactions.

MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2017 12:56 p.m. PST

Right so, fairly busy today as I worked on…

Scenarios, (various points for umpires to note rearding special rules).

The army lists – numbers of scorpions per legion, legionary skirmishers, how different types of troops can be arranged into commands etc…
Some introductory notes for umpires and players too.

Made notes in the rules about wedge formations and how they work… shooting on the unshielded side of infantry targets, flank and rear attack conditons,… and working out what photos i need to illustrate these points in the rules.

I`ve been getting the stratagem cards rules edited and ready to print on to background images – there`ll be 34 stratagem cards plus two blanks. 19 in-game tactical ploys and deceptions and 15 major operational deceptions.

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MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP09 Mar 2017 10:16 a.m. PST

We printed and laminated a couple of Bella Contra Barbaros stratagem cards yesterday a test to see if I had aligned the image boxes on the file pages correctly and if the type was good once laminated…. I was pleased with the results. I will add a double or triple line around the image box to help with the cutting of the paper with a guillotines. We used 80gsm, but if not laminating, a thin card would do as well, if maybe not quite so durable.

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MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2017 11:55 p.m. PST

About a month from now we should be set to go…

As you may just make out from above photo of the double envelopment stratagem card, I`ve added base widths and depths (BW`s & BD) to game measurements for the shorter distances; push-backs, intervals, and support distances.
Otherwise, measurements throughout the rule set are given in three options for 30/40/60mm base width sizes.
I`ll be providing 3 Quick Reference Booklets each with ranges and distances in one of those scales.
Players different base widths can select the closest approximation to these three scales.

These things will hopefully make the rule set more acceptable players with various basing styles.

Deuce0315 Mar 2017 3:47 p.m. PST

Will you be at Salute! by any chance?

MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2017 11:47 p.m. PST

No Tom,
I usually have to work on weekends.
Maybe I`ll arrange something later, but until then I`m pretty much limited to keeping you all posted via TMP or FB.

MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2017 7:59 a.m. PST

Some skirmisher hit markers i`m supplying with the game…

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They print out at 25x20mm and darker than they appear here
Along with these hit markers, there`ll be others provided for Roman and barbarian formations, and close order.

MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2017 11:28 a.m. PST

A little update.

Much of the writing is finished and now it`s time to illustrate with photographs.

I`ll be starting these this week; examples of basing in different scales, Roman battle arrays, illustrating points in tactical advice given, flank and rear attacks and shooting on unshielded sides of medium and heavy infantry. These and a few photos to break up the text and to provide a little eye-candy perhaps?

Most of these illustrations will be omitted from the black and white, ink-saving copies of the rules.

There will also be 3 quick reference rule booklets in three base width scales – 30, 40 & 60mm base widths.

MichaelCollinsHimself Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2017 11:49 a.m. PST

Some photos showing battle arrays and figure basing…

Roman Legion in triplex acies (three lines):

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A typical barbarian warband command:

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A Spartacus Revolt "Unit" (warband, horde & missile skirmishers):

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Roman & barbarian cavalry basing 15mm and 20mm scales:

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Roman artillery basing for 15mm and 1/72nd scales:

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Chariot basing 1/72nd scale.

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