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"Troops on Parade, Alexanders Macedonians" Topic

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887 hits since 3 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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yarkshire gamer03 Sep 2018 9:58 a.m. PST




A second instalment of my Troops on Parade feature, reviewing some of my figure collections.

This time it's a chance to see Alexanders Giant Phalanx (ohhh…Matron), you don't get that opportunity every day ! 15mm Xyston figures

Hardly ever gamed with as I have never found a set of rules for Ancients, most sets are designed for competition or points based games or in other words everything I hate, didn't take to Hail Salad either.

Lots more pics and info on't blog.

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

JJartist03 Sep 2018 10:26 a.m. PST

Very impressive display in any scale.
I too have fewer opportunities to game because of the disparate nature of rules.

Miniature gamers often want the competition, I do too. But set in a framework. The problem with ancients gamers is their rules get lumped together in large pots- so late Romans get to battle with early Alexandrians. This is a nice way to run things, but not the only way.

I have always had my, most enjoyable competitive events in situation where teams were allied in a cause within their own time frame against historical opponents.

Army lists themselves are an attempt to create a historical army and competitive framework with their foes. Tournaments often bring out the worst in lists since they cannot be perfect.

Actual historical re-fights are difficult to balance, often you only get one shot to get people, the play surface and time to play it out. The inherent bias towards Alexander's army makes it even harder to fine tune.

My observation over the last twenty years is that if people really wanted to find out who the best gamer is-- they should be forced to use the same army. But that is an extreme that although people think they are on the top of the heap because their Byzantines beat the White Company army of 12 bases, there really isn't any real yardstick that measures the variables.

Your lovely Alexandrian army is of course one of the top armies in any ancient rules system, with its only limits being less armored cavalry and also is by nature a combined arms force. Applying combined arms is difficult to master, but once the curve is passed, such tactics often gains a harsh reputation as being too unbalancing.

But what I'm struck with when I see your assembled host is- how many Persians would be needed to confront that!
Well done.

yarkshire gamer03 Sep 2018 10:56 a.m. PST

Hi JJartist,

Competition just isn't for me, I prefer to try and recreate battles as they were or take on the challenge of a scenario rather than a one on one to see who the best commander is. I don't want to try and balance my games as historical general never did that. Napoleon was never quoted as saying "leave the Guard off table, it will take us over our points limit"

The big battles I have done in the past with them have been vs a large Greek army in a la Chaeronea. Is their anyone out there with a Persian Army to match ?

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2018 11:23 a.m. PST

Nicely done!

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Sep 2018 11:33 a.m. PST

Very impressive!

I'm working on Persians and Indians, but in 28mm, so that won't help much. ;-)

Desert Fox03 Sep 2018 11:35 a.m. PST

Great looking army!

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP03 Sep 2018 12:42 p.m. PST


Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2018 7:44 p.m. PST

Very impressive.

wmyers05 Sep 2018 7:23 p.m. PST


They look very good! Shame not to play with them. Perhaps try your hand at making your own set of rules?

What about Warhammer Ancient Battles? War and Conquest? Commands and Colors (sic) Ancients?

yarkshire gamer05 Sep 2018 8:05 p.m. PST

Cheers wymers,

I have a half finished set of rules for the period but time restraints stop me from finishing them off.

Got a the Alexander book for WAB which was rather good, if I remember correctly the rules seemed to struggle with our size of game, although l had forgotten about them so may revisit.

I do recall War and Conquest but never looked at them whilst I thought CandC was a board game.

Cheers for the suggestions will investigate

Regards Ken
The Yarkshire Gamer

wmyers06 Sep 2018 8:48 a.m. PST

Hi Ken,

C and C is a board game but many people play it with miniatures. I have never played it myself, but it looks interesting and has very high reviews.

From what I have seen, it is played on hexes and these hexes are merely increased in size to allow miniatures on them.

War and Conquest is written by Rob Broom who was involved in Warhammer Ancient Battles. It is touted, by many, to be a much streamlined and well rewritten version of WAB. Like a V3.


Pauls Bods06 Sep 2018 10:23 a.m. PST

700! Very Impressive!

JJartist06 Sep 2018 11:08 a.m. PST

"Got a the Alexander book for WAB which was rather good, if I remember correctly the rules seemed to struggle with our size of game, although l had forgotten about them so may revisit."

---> Thanks! I agree that playing large games of actual battle OOB's were problematical with WAB. The games can give a historical result, but the time investment is often greater than the reward. For awhile I was tweaking the WAB system to make something I called affectionately as BBWAB or Big Battle WAB- which streamlined many of the features of the game that were related to the more "heroic" and role playing elements that slowed down WAB games.

In the intervening years the various versions of WAB-like games have attempted to streamline play. War and Conquest, Clash of Empires, and Swordpoint take much of the WAB style of game and try to simplify the stats and number of steps to get results.

To The Strongest is a great set of rules for the Hellenistic period and offers the ability to play large games with mass on big tables- as that is what it is geared towards.

Hail Caesar, and in fact any game, can be geared to a historical scenario, but understanding the trade offs when unit sizes are the key factor in determining the OOB's can be frustrating.

C and C is a board game that many like with miniatures since it is set up for scenarios of actual battles.

One of the things that board games often do better than miniatures games is create compelling nuances of victory in historical situations. In WAB usually Alexander is going to win at Granicus. But what defines win? If he loses half his army to do it, is that a win? I usually played my scenario such that if Alexander lost three or more units, or any one heavy unit he loses, but that made it really challenging.

Of course one of the most compelling criticisms I often receives of the AtG game samples was I listed too many miniatures, but that was difficult to pare down and allow a representation of the various units as well- still 390 Persian figures is a lot!

Those are the toughest things to balance in miniature games, because people rarely wish to play the same game over enough to achieve a well balanced scenario.

Charge The Guns06 Sep 2018 11:22 p.m. PST

A truly stunning array! Looks great :-)

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Sep 2018 6:04 a.m. PST

"one of the most compelling criticisms I often receives of the AtG game samples was I listed too many miniatures"- is it possible to have too many miniatures in an ancient big battle game? The more, the merrier, I say! :)

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