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"Tactica Expectations?" Topic


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Buck21512 Jan 2020 5:05 p.m. PST

I lucked out and found (then purchased, of course!) a pristine copy of the ancients rules, "Tactica" at Half Price Books here in Everett, Washington (somebody must have needed money very badly to part with this gem). I already own "Warhammer Ancient Battles", "Hail, Caesar", "Clash of Empires", "Classical Hack", etc., so my question goes to the more experienced ancients gamers: what can I expect from "Tactica" that other ancients rules sets do not have? Thanks!

Personal logo D6 Junkie Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2020 5:13 p.m. PST

I really enjoyed the original Tactica.
Played many games of Byzantines vs Persians and Arabs.
Very fixed unit sizes, big armies. Simple combat system,
rigid movement. Original setup was extremely important if you were not one of the flexible armies. I always enjoyed the games, usually came down to the wire.

Personal logo The Nigerian Lead Minister Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2020 5:42 p.m. PST

Deployment determines the course of the battle. Blow it and you lose. Entertaining if the matchups are even.

Perris070712 Jan 2020 5:48 p.m. PST

I played in a Tactica game at Historicon two years ago. Most fun experience of the whole tournament. It was a game that got more and more exciting as it went on, and was not decided until the last turn. Great fun!

JimSelzer13 Jan 2020 2:00 a.m. PST

99% of the time the player who wins 1st move wins the game. My group has tossed these rules into the scrap heap along with DBA and Shock of Impact and many others. We play Hail Caesar these days

Caliban Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 2:38 a.m. PST

Try it and see – then maybe move on to Tactica II. It has much more flexibility while still retaining most of the straightforward mechanisms. It's no longer a case of who deploys best pretty much wins…

Lucius13 Jan 2020 4:44 a.m. PST

I played a lot of Tactica back in the day, Deployment is everything. If you deploy poorly, you can't recover.

That being said, Tactica 2 is a better game, as it took parts of Armati, and folded them in. 30 years of playtesting and evolution make a difference.

The original Tactica book WAS a gem, that helped drag wargaming production standards to where they are today. Lots of unfair venom was directed at the game. A lot of old-timers never forgave Arty Conliffe for breaking the sclerotic stranglehold that WRG had over ancients.

BTW – if your Tactica games ended with the first player to move always winning, then you were playing the game poorly, incorrectly, or both.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 6:34 a.m. PST

"BTW if your Tactica games ended with the first player to move always winning, then you were playing the game poorly, incorrectly, or both."

Quite agree! As in all games there is a small learning curve but not much. Some of the most exciting ancient games I've ever played were with Tactica. Many games went down to the last combat or even the last die roll. Tactica made Ancients fun again after the sterile laboratory of WRG.

Using the few modifications published in the Courier and army lists from Armati (Tactica 1.5?) made the game even more exciting.

charliemike13 Jan 2020 9:30 a.m. PST

I agree with Lucius and Big Red, at our club we played "Macedons vs Indians", "Romans vs Carthaginians", "Byzantine vs Sassanids" (and many more) a bajillion of times, often two games in a row changing sides.

Most of the times we enjoyed a tense game, undecided until the last turn, often with both sides on the verge of defeat or victory.

Usually the quickest defeats happened after someone had a "brilliant" idea about deployment (and sometimes it was me).

Pan Marek13 Jan 2020 10:03 a.m. PST

Our group plays it alot. But it IS quite rigid. Light cav seems to not be much more than lousy hev cav.
I'd really like to try the new version.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 11:38 a.m. PST

Tactica, as written, was rigid and you can certainly play it that way. However, using the Courier mods and the Armati army lists the game opens up.

But really, once battle was joined, how much command and control did most generals in ancient times have over their armies?

Pan Marek13 Jan 2020 12:37 p.m. PST

Big Red-
That, apparently, is the foundation upon which Tactica is built. But my playing it suggests that its before battle is joined where its perhaps too stiff.
And, as I said earlier, particularly with cavalry.

Condottiere13 Jan 2020 12:37 p.m. PST

But really, once battle was joined, how much command and control did most generals in ancient times have over their armies?

Virtually none, thus making Tactica realistic in that regard.

Lucius13 Jan 2020 1:05 p.m. PST

Pan Marek, Tactica 2 has an evasion mechanism for light cavalry. Playing a light cavalry army like the Huns was always tricky under Tactica, although they could give Late Romans a good run, every time.

I haven't yet played the Huns under T2, but my Numidian LC seem to have been given a more useful role in the Carthaginian army than they had under the original Tactica.

DFLange Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 4:13 p.m. PST

Arty has done much to strengthen light cavalry in Tactica II. They can now disorder heavy units if they attack them in the rear or flank. This is in addition to getting double die for the flank or rear attack. He also added a mod that allows the horse archers of armies like the Huns to evade right through their own heavy cavalry without penalty to either unit. Light cavalry is much more valuable now than it was in the original Tactica.

Pan Marek13 Jan 2020 11:43 p.m. PST

Lucius-
Good to hear.

Jefthro329 Jan 2020 5:20 p.m. PST

Hi Buck215
What you get from Tactica other than other rules? Well I can't answer that question but I can answer what I get, basically the rules are simple and realistic and always fun to play and go down well with our small group .
We get that from some other rules too , but I have a soft spot for Tactica as we have never had a bad game.
Have had a couple of good games of Tactica 2 – played 2 games so far but have always been a fan of Tactica the original version.

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