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Armati

36 Posts

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Comments or corrections?

Cerdic30 May 2006 6:59 a.m. PST

Looking for feedback from anyone who has played these rules. The command and control aspect seems interesting.

IGWARG1 Fezian30 May 2006 7:05 a.m. PST

I like the rules. In fact, Armati were the first rules I read and played. Very well written and easy to understand game mechanics. I play WAB often, but always willing to play Armati as it offers different "scale" of battle.

Personal logo Condottiere Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2006 7:06 a.m. PST

I enjoy Armati. Have played the rules on and off for years. Armati II is an improvement over the original, in my opinion. Overall, I think they are the best miniatures rules for the Ancient and Medieval period on the market. Simple, straightforward and clearly written (for the most part). Games typically last 2-3 hours at most (unless lots of beer drinking is involved).

Holy Mackerel30 May 2006 7:09 a.m. PST

They are currently my rules du jour! They give a nice representation of what I think an ancient battle should look and 'feel' like. You can see some more info on my website:

miniwars.com

Personal logo Condottiere Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2006 7:09 a.m. PST

The command and control aspect seems interesting.

I found out a number of times just how important it is to keep your divisions together. As your army "falls apart" (so to speak), your ability to win the initiative decreases and thus your ability to control events. It offers an interesting approach to command problems.

There is a very active Armati Yahoo group. I'm sure many there would be helpful.

vojvoda30 May 2006 7:40 a.m. PST

I think they are close to having a Armati II ready to go. In the East there is a good following in the tournaments area. The yahoo group also have a good bit of traffic.
VR
James Mattes

Jacko2730 May 2006 7:42 a.m. PST

They reward good initial set-up and punish poor set-up
Get it wrong or be unlucky with your initial deployment and its all over before you begin.
Thats not to say you shouldnt lose with style even if this happens to you

Personal logo Condottiere Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2006 7:48 a.m. PST

They reward good initial set-up and punish poor set-up
Get it wrong or be unlucky with your initial deployment and its all over before you begin.

Hmmm, just like in history. laugh

Holy Mackerel30 May 2006 7:51 a.m. PST

"I think they are close to having a Armati II ready to go."


Actually, Armati II was released about 18 months ago.

Renaissance Armati is scheduled for a Fall In release (according to Rob Wolsky, the developer).

Holy Mackerel30 May 2006 7:52 a.m. PST

"Get it wrong or be unlucky with your initial deployment and its all over before you begin."


Well, it's not a death sentence. You can recover from a bad deployment, it's just difficult. As John Holly says…'just like history.'

Personal logo Condottiere Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2006 7:53 a.m. PST

Renaissance Armati is scheduled for a Fall In release (according to Rob Wolsky, the developer).

Don't hold your breath. laugh

elsyrsyn30 May 2006 8:47 a.m. PST

Armati II is quite a good set, in my opinion. I like Might of Arms better, but I'd probably put them as my #2.

Doug

kreoseus30 May 2006 8:56 a.m. PST

How does armatti II compare/contrast to DBM ?

AlanYork30 May 2006 9:20 a.m. PST

Armati is like moving around great big blocks of troops, DBM allows you to break it down into smaller groups. Personally I found that Armati allows you to manoeuvre less and that if you made an error in deployment, that was it, game over.

I didn't like them because I felt it took most of the decision making away from me and once I had done deployment the game ran itself. It was like my block of troops, value X runs at your block of troops Value Y and we throw some dice. I always felt we may as well be using blocks of wood rather than models to be honest. Certainly weapon types didn't come into it much, it all seemed a bit hermogenous really.

Having said that, I played Armati 1. It may all have changed under the new version so I can't comment on that.

DBM does suffer from the problems of micro management, an arbitrary command system where players go hunting for the 1 element kill that will tip the enemy over his Army Breakpoint rather than what a real general would do in a real battle and the rules are written in a style that frankly is often unfathomable.

DBM have improved in play balance of late though, with heavy infantry coming more into its own and cavalry and "super skirmishers" no longer being the all conquering battle winners. You CAN actually make out what the rules mean if you really stop and think, but even as an experienced player, I often scratch my head and wonder what it is the author is trying to tell me!

Personally, if I had to chose between the two, I'd play DBM which though not being perfect are a lot better than they were. The best set of Ancient rules I've ever played, in 24 years of Ancients gaming, is Piquet, but I only have one opponent there so I mainly play DBM.

Deserter30 May 2006 9:25 a.m. PST

I have been playing Armati for 10 years and I love it.
You find a detailed description of the rules, loads of additional army lists and a forum at this site warflute.org
Armati 2 covers ancient and medieval periods
The new Renaissance version is playtested now

Personal logo Condottiere Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2006 9:32 a.m. PST

I didn't like them because I felt it took most of the decision making away from me and once I had done deployment the game ran itself.

This is how battles should go. Once joined, there was little a general could do. You are right, about DBM though: far too much micromanagement.

It was like my block of troops, value X runs at your block of troops Value Y and we throw some dice.

This describes many rules, including DBx games. Roll element forward, make contact, roll dice, compare scores, result: recoil, destroyed, etc.

Certainly weapon types didn't come into it much, it all seemed a bit hermogenous really.

Really didn't historically either. I think many gamers suffer from the WRG syndrome of identifying weapon types, rather than morale and training, as the most important aspect of a battle. I think Armati does a very good job of moving away from that outdated mode of thinking, but in some respects, it doesn't go far enough.

Steve30 May 2006 10:22 a.m. PST

The good thing about Armati is that it uses the same basing as DBM, so you can play either. I agree with the statement about the setup being all important. It was a joke that you didn't have to play the game, you could see who would win after the setup. Pick it up and you'll probably have a good time with it.

royaleddy30 May 2006 12:07 p.m. PST

armati is a very 'clean' set of rules. the rules are well written and after a couple of games you'll pick up most of them. i use them for biblical and E European renaissance. they use element basing so any DBx army would be fine. theres none of all the element alignment malarky that you get in DBx etc. i really can't be bothered with that.
a couple of minus points are; i don't bother with the exhaustion record keeping. too many bits on the table. and i can't recommend it if you have in-heavy forces. inf move straight ahead or wheel 2 cms.inf v inf would be a grinding match, which may be historical (eg hoplites) but not much fun.

reddrabs30 May 2006 12:13 p.m. PST

"Really didn't historically either. I think many gamers suffer from the WRG syndrome of identifying weapon types, rather than morale and training, as the most important aspect of a battle."

couldn't put it better – I like Armati

AlanYork30 May 2006 2:40 p.m. PST

"Really didn't historically either. I think many gamers suffer from the WRG syndrome of identifying weapon types, rather than morale and training, as the most important aspect of a battle."

I think we have gone too far to that extreme though. Yes it was silly in the old days of the triple armed Late Roman Legionary Death Machines of WRG 6th edition. But troops armed themselves with pikes for a reason, with pila for a reason, with long thrusting spears FOR A REASON.

I think weapons and armour DID come into it, otherwise why did the Romans, for example, waste time on producing scutum, lorica segmentata and pila? I'm not saying that equipment should be the only deciding factor, but it shouldn't be ignored either. I felt Armati 1 did ignore them.

Yes, it may well be realistic that once the set up is done there's not a lot else to do…but it's not exactly much fun either is it….? May as well use blocks of wood, see whose are placed best, and then pick 'em up and do it again! It's just a matter of game balance versus realism I guess.

AlanYork30 May 2006 2:42 p.m. PST

Sorry about the capital letters by the way, I'm not shouting, I just can't find a way to do italics!

McHargmg30 May 2006 4:54 p.m. PST

I keep coming back to Armati for a couple of simple reasons.

- I can read the rules, and understand what the author is trying to say. I may not alwas agree with a particular rule, but there is very little doubt as to how to interpret it.

- The games finish in 2-3 hours. When I say finish, I mean just that. The games always finish with one side "breaking" , and the other side wins. Normally the games are close at the end.

- The game rewards a good setup. This has been mentioned before. I like that, some do not.

- The rules are fairly priced, and the army lists come with the game.

- There is an active online forum mentioned in an earlier post that keeps the Army lists alive (sometimes a bit more "alive" that I would prefer:-)

- All this goes together to make the game very fun to play.

Some drawbacks (some of which have been mentioned, and some of which might be seen as positive depending on your tastes)

- It is an abstract game. You have "units" which are typically two or four stands for infantry, and two stands for cavalry.

- The combat system is abstract as well. You have fighting values to thr front, flank and in terrain. You compare those numbers with a head to head die roll on a d6. Outscore the other person, get a hit. Different units take different numbers of hits before they die.

- The command control is abstract (are you getting the picture yet?). You can control x number of light and heavy divisions (groups of troops whos edges touch) depending on the army list. You have an initiative number also based on the army list. A head to head die roll (d6) at the beginning of the turn which is modified by the initiative number, and the winner picks who moves first in the turn. This allows for the dreaded "flop" where you go last in one turn, and first in the next.

- Flank attacks are really (I must emphasize really!) devestating. In tournament play, the game many times devolves to the great flank attack hunt.

All that said it seems to give results that most people buy. It feels about right. Overall it is a great game at what is designed to do. It gets you playing ancients fast and furious. I freely admit since it is so abstract it is not for all. Appologies if this post was too long. My favorite ancients game by far.

McHargmg30 May 2006 4:56 p.m. PST

I keep coming back to Armati for a couple of simple reasons.

- I can read the rules, and understand what the author is trying to say. I may not always agree with a particular rule, but there is very little doubt as to how to interpret it.

- The games finish in 2-3 hours. When I say finish, I mean just that. The games always finish with one side "breaking" , and the other side wins. Normally the games are close at the end.

- The game rewards a good setup. This has been mentioned before. I like that, some do not.

- The rules are fairly priced, and the army lists come with the game.

- There is an active online forum mentioned in an earlier post that keeps the Army lists alive (sometimes a bit more "alive" that I would prefer:-)

- All this goes together to make the game very fun to play.

Some drawbacks (some of which have been mentioned, and some of which might be seen as positive depending on your tastes)

- It is an abstract game. You have "units" which are typically two or four stands for infantry, and two stands for cavalry.

- The combat system is abstract as well. You have fighting values to thr front, flank and in terrain. You compare those numbers with a head to head die roll on a d6. Outscore the other person, get a hit. Different units take different numbers of hits before they die.

- The command control is abstract (are you getting the picture yet?). You can control x number of light and heavy divisions (groups of units whos edges touch) depending on the army list. You have an initiative number also based on the army list. A head to head die roll (d6) at the beginning of the turn which is modified by the initiative number, and the winner picks who moves first in the turn. This allows for the dreaded "flop" where you go last in one turn, and first in the next.

- Flank attacks are really (I must emphasize really!) devestating. In tournament play, the game many times devolves to the great flank attack hunt.

All that said it seems to give results that most people buy. It feels about right. Overall it is a great game at what is designed to do. It gets you playing ancients fast and furious. I freely admit since it is so abstract it is not for all. Appologies if this post was too long. My favorite ancients game by far.

chriscoz30 May 2006 5:03 p.m. PST

I'm a big Armati fan. It is true that the initial set up is important, but reserves make a difference (new reserve rules in Armati II make it even more important). The new terrain rules, basically adding terrain, also allows you to recover from bad setups.

It is also a very clearly written set of rules. Games usually take about two hours to complete.

Remember, this is an abstracted set of rules. The weapons, armor … are all subsumed into the fighting values and the types of units, basically forcing you to use troop types as the authors thought they were used in history.

Marcus Brutus30 May 2006 5:32 p.m. PST

One of the best written set of rules out there. A complete set of rules and not just some good ideas put on paper. With that being said, the command and control is a bit too restricted and arbitrary. The combat system is quite boring. And its too bad that the different weapons systems have no impact on the game. So we've been trying to recitify these problems by making some simple alterations to the game which are making it a lot more fun and interesting.

Personal logo Condottiere Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2006 7:10 p.m. PST

But, weapons do make some difference in Armati (not as much as other games). For example, pikes deployed deep deny knights impetus, but if deployed wide, knights still get impetus.

All I can say is that it is a matter of taste, since all rules are fantasy anyway. I just prefer it to a system that pretends that Swiss halbardiers from 1476 fight in the same manner as Roman legionaires of the 1st Century (an example I've used before). Factors are given for each unit based on the author's understanding of the unit's effectiveness in battle historically. Using the Swiss again: a pike formation has a fighting value (FV) that is higher than many other units for the same period when fighting to its flank I suspect largely do to statements made by various historians that the Swiss had the ability to receive a charge on its flank while still moving. So, weapons ae factored in to a cetain extent.

Paulisper31 May 2006 2:26 a.m. PST

"i don't bother with the exhaustion record keeping. too many bits on the table. and i can't recommend it if you have in-heavy forces"

That to me, is missing out on one of the best bits of chrome in the game and I feel this adds an important dimension to the play, otherwise those heavy cavalry with impetus just keep on charging around with little to reflect their diminishing cohesion, morale and energy levels…..

P.

Marcus Brutus31 May 2006 4:58 a.m. PST

Hey John, you use one of the few examples where weapons type actually makes a (small!) difference. Too bad that principle in the rules wasn't passed on to all weapons systems. What makes the whole thing so interesting is that all units are listed with prefered weapons type.

Personal logo Condottiere Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2006 6:08 a.m. PST

Longbows are treated differently, as are crossbows and (in the early version of the rules) handguns. There are many subtle weapons differences in Armati. You have to look for them. I think that the rules have a nice balance though with regard to weapon systems.

mawaliuk231 May 2006 7:09 a.m. PST

Hi

I don't enjoy straight Armati, but played with 2 or more armies a side it is great. In other words, instead of playing at Optimal Scale, use multiple Condensed Scale armies. This makes things rather more forgiving and spares you either deploying, deciding you have screwed up and surrendering or soldiering on knowing that all is lost from the start.

John

Bob Runnicles31 May 2006 7:54 a.m. PST

Who sells Armati 2?

Holy Mackerel31 May 2006 8:09 a.m. PST

'Who sells Armati 2?'

Wargames in Tridelphia is the US distributor, I believe.

chriscoz31 May 2006 12:40 p.m. PST

Pikes, longbow. Roman Cohorts, warband, schilton, shieldwalls…all these have specific rules where they a little differently than a normal unit of the same type. But this type of "chrome" is not onerous.

John,

We've played alot of "double" armati and it is fun. Sometimes too forgiving, but that usually helps me.

Bob Runnicles01 Jun 2006 5:57 a.m. PST

"Wargames in Tridelphia is the US distributor, I believe."

Cool, thanks.

Marcus Brutus02 Jun 2006 6:00 p.m. PST

Pikes, longbow. Roman Cohorts, warband, schilton, shieldwalls…

These are a combination of weapons types and formations. They are a step in the right direction but hardly sufficient to my thinking. Unless you have a specific army you will rarely see them used in a game. So for instance I have a Norman army and none of the above matter. I do allow the Normans to field Xbow. Again, I mention that the army lists give each troop type with their dominant weapons system. Wish that this listing actually made a difference in the game. On further thing, the actual lists are terrible in many respects. Refering to the Normans one would think from the list that the Normans were essentially a cavalry army which is, of course, ridiculous. We have made up our own lists to give more rounded armies.

Personal logo leg1on Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2006 3:49 p.m. PST

What scale(s) is Armati II designed for?

Mod'able to use others?

Thanks,

Legion

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