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Armati

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takeda3325 Mar 2004 1:01 p.m. PST

Has anybody tried the new Armati rules with the new changes?? I heard that the new edition stops with the Age of Cav?? Any thoughts or comments??
thanks

chriscoz26 Mar 2004 7:42 a.m. PST

New Edition stops with Age of Chivalry.

Read through them several times. Will be playing for the first time this weekend. Biggest changes:
- Army lists. More lists, 150 lists ranging from biblical to age of chivalry.
- Point structure a standard army is now core + 75 points as opposed to core + 30 points. Basically the same number of troops, but the values has been altered changing the quality of some armies and giving virtually all lists more flexibility.
- evade rule is different. Now light/skirmishing troops can evade forward, as long as they end up 3 inches further from the threatening unit than before. Changes several dynamics
- Ambush and reserves. New wrinkles put in for these aspects of the game.
- More terrain.
- Almost all the old advanced rules like fatigue are now firmly part of the system.

Although Armati was always very clear, the new edition is even better written. And since most players had been using Armati and Advanced Armati, having everything in one book, with one index makes it even better.

I'll post an update after I play Sat. Night. It is supposed to be Trajan's Romans vs. my Dacians.

Boduognat26 Mar 2004 12:19 p.m. PST

Whip those Roman behinds, and tell us, do warbands get a better treatment then before?

Boduognat, king of Nervii warband

chriscoz26 Mar 2004 12:33 p.m. PST

Yes. Depending on the army. For instance, core Dacians can form deep.

All WB that have 9" move can deploy in the woods in ambush position. If at the beginning of a game turn they are still hidden, they can charge out of the woods their FULL movement (no terrain penalty) if they can make contact with an enemy.

Some WB armies like can put WB in the flank zone (not the Dacians).

I'll post a battle report.

Subodaibahadur26 Mar 2004 5:34 p.m. PST

A simple, somewhat senescent Merkit humbly submits his synopsis of Armati la Deuce or Armati 2d Edition to the non-cognoscenti.

Armati is a games system that attempts to simulate ancient warfare from Biblical times to just before the introduction of gunpowder weapons. There are a number of eras depicted in Armati ranging from Biblical, through Antiquity, Age of Empires, and Triumph of Cavalry to the Age of Chivalry.

The great advantage that Armati has over other rules sets is the clarity of the language used in writing the rules. The rules are easy to understand, replete with examples, and enjoy a large number of very useful diagrams. Moreover, redundancy is common. Frequently, the same critical concept is explained in every section of the rules that it impacts. No shuffling through annotated pages looking for obscure language here. One of the unintended consequences is that Armati is frequently played to a finish from taking the figures out of the box to putting them away in less than three hours and generally in around two hours.

The game is played between opposing armies whose comparative abilities are equalized by a points system that addresses initiative, organizational complexity, and troop types. A typical Armati army consists of 12-16 units in 6 to 9 separate maneuver blocks called divisions. Different types of terrain with differing characteristics are represented. Just as armies are purchased, players have free core terrain and may purchase extra terrain with their bonus points. So, a Gallic army has free woods in its core terrain and may purchase more at the cost of points that might otherwise be spent on troops. This presents an interesting series of choices and terrain-centered tactics to a player.

Each era has army lists that are intended to be representative of armies that existed during that period. Within the same book as the rules set, there are more than 150 armies with more planned for release on the web site. There are 34 pages of rules including introduction and 29 pages of army lists. Armies consist of core units which must be used and a variety of bonus or optional units that may be used within the limitations established by the agreed point size of the armies and the army lists itself. Within a particular period, the vast bulk of the armies are reasonably evenly matched with one or more very good armies. The game mechanics and the points system permit cross period play. Although cross period play is very common and Armati is an ideal rules set for tournament play due to play balance, ease of play, and clarity of language, a number of armies do not appear frequently in tournament play due to the tendency of players to select the best army in their area of interest.

Each army is assigned a starting initiative number. This number is used as a modifier to the die roll on the move-countermove determination and determines the ability of the army to form new maneuver divisions during combat.

In Armati, figures are organized into units. Figures include skirmish infantry, light infantry, light heavy infantry, heavy infantry, light cavalry, heavy cavalry, camels, elephants, scythed chariots, light chariots, medium chariots, and heavy chariots. Units of figures come in standard sizes that are dictated by the type of unit. For instance, all heavy infantry units are 16 figures in size and all light cavalry units are four figures in size. All figures are based upon the standard WRG basing system.

Units are differentiated by the fighting value which is different for front, flank and rear, and fighting under special circumstances such as pikes in woods or scythed chariots versus skirmish infantry; protection from missile fire, and movement rate. Movement rates and archery ranges are comparable to most other main stream rules sets. Very few units, other than mounted units, can wheel and move. Wheels are limited to two inches without penalty and greater wheels are permitted at a cost in combat effectiveness. So, some thought is needed regarding initial placement and facing of units. While redeployment is possible, you will be caught wrong-footed if your player has a better plan manifested in his set up.

Units are either key units or not. The loss of key units determines victory. When an army loses as many key units as its breakpoint, it loses the game. Breakpoint is roughly a function of adding two to the sum of bonus key units purchased divided by two rounding down - resulting in a breakpoint of anywhere from 4-7 in most armies. Some armies have higher breakpoints. A very, very few players play with armies with 3 breakpoints. Generally speaking, armies with very high breakpoints have lots of units and the individual units are not qualitatively as strong as the average. Again, an interesting tactical choice - quantity or quality.

Units are organized into separate divisions with no limitation on the upper size of a division. Heavy divisions are limited to heavy units. Light divisions are limited to light and skirmish units. Each army has a starting number of heavy and light divisions in its composition. An army may only have a number of divisions that are entitled to move equal to the starting number. An army may exceed its at start number of divisions through voluntary and involuntary splits. Any new divisions are permitted to move even though the split may result in a greater number of maneuver divisions than permitted at start. This is somewhat simplified but a more thorough explanation would require too much space. Each split reduces initiative by 2. Voluntary splits are not permitted once initiative is reduced to 1 or 2.

Set up is blind with each player setting up simultaneously behind a screen. Heavy infantry are limited to the central 50% of the table while other units can set up in about 84% of their side of the playing field.

There are fifteen turns. The movement sequence is move-countermove. Move sequence is determined by comparison of die rolls plus the initiative difference with the net high roll determining who moves first and who moves second. This lends itself to the deadly “double move” in which a player moves second in one turn and first in the next some times enabling a flank attack and often resulting in tactical advantage.

Move sequence is archery, evades (if any), determination of initiative, move, counter move, support charge, melee, break off movement, and after combat breakthrough movement.

Archery is resolved by firing at the closest unit with each side rolling one die six and the target adding its protection factor which varies from 1 to 3 with 1 being the normal protection. If the shooter outscores the net target die roll one casualty is inflicted. Heavy infantry can absorb 4 casualties, heavy cavalry 3 casualties, light troops 2 casualties, and skirmish troops 1 casualty. Once that number is reached, the unit is removed from play forever.

Melee is similar except that each player adds his fighting value to the die roll. As flank values are much lower than frontal value, a flank attack is generally successful although there is a low probability of the flanked unit winning. Flank attacks by heavy units are deadly as a flank attack breaks the unit if the flanking heavy unit outscores the defender. This results in a one turn kill instead of the normal 3-4 melee rounds before one unit or the other breaks.

In a similar manner, some troops have impetus. Heavy cavalry have impetus against infantry and light cavalry. Warbands have impetus against infantry. Elephants have impetus against heavy infantry. If a unit with impetus outscores a unit that does not have impetus in melee, the loser breaks - another one turn kill. Heavy infantry who are organized in depth partially escape the effects of impetus.

All in all, I find Armati (2d Edition) to be a good game that gives good results to players who use historical tactics. My set up schemes come straight out of George Dennis’ translations of Byzantine military manuals. They work in Armati. I think that this fact alone says something very positive about the rules. Historical tactics work. Moreover, the rules are clear and the learning curve is about ten games to being a reasonable player. If you are playing against good opposition 25 games makes you a viable challenger in any tournament. If you are looking for accuracy, clarity of rules, ease of play, and fun in a reasonable period of time, Armati is far and away the best rules set going. I should know having been a tournament player since who flung the chunk.

vino196711 Apr 2004 12:14 a.m. PST

Our gaming group gave Armati a try, once we had become too fed up with DBM. Our general impression was that shooting was WAY too powerful, and that manuevering was next to IMPOSSIBLE.

What I would be interested in knowing is whether these 2 aspects (shooting, manuevering) have been altered. Heck, you don't even have to agree with my viewpoint. Even if you thought these aspects were not problematic, you can still let me know if they are the fundementally the same or different in 2nd edition...

mawaliuk14 Apr 2004 2:28 a.m. PST

Hi

I have not seen the new edition yet, but I don't think that changes to shooting or manoeuverability were on the cards.

I don't think that shooting is too deadly, but I know it might seem so after playing DBM!

It took me a long time to get used to how sluggish troops are in Armati - you really do need to plan ahead. You can't stop a flanking move by peeling off a couple of elements to form a flank guard, you need to have troops there in the first place.

When my friends and I play Armati we tend to use 2 or more Intro scale armies rather than 1 Optimal scale army. We feel that this gives a more interesting game with more Divisions. It was playing this way that finally got me to like the system, as before I had found having teeth drilled without painkillers more enjoyable!

John

RockyRusso14 Apr 2004 6:00 a.m. PST

Hi

I havent looked since the beginning, are they still doing 9 cohort legions?

R

(Change Name)14 Apr 2004 8:38 a.m. PST

I am disappointed to see that they are maintaining the WRG basing for 25mm troops. It's an old style of basing which is suited to the size of figures produced 20 years ago, rather than the size of the figures currently being produced. I simply is not realistic to mount a figure which is over 20mm wide on a 15mm frontage. In this day and age, it is inexcusable for a game designer to stick to something that does not work, or at least, does not offer other options.

For me, this is a major impediment which will largely keep the rules on the "Games I Never Play" shelf. Yes, I might try a game or two for grins and giggles, but I will never invest the time needed to become proficient with the rules because I know I will be persona non grata at any official events.

KenFox14 Apr 2004 9:50 a.m. PST

They didn't keep the WRG style basing. They kept the Armati style basing. ;)

If you can only fit 3 heavy infantry on a stand, I doubt anybody will complain. The mounted figures are often more difficult to base than foot. As long as your opponent can tell the heavy from the light, don't worry about it.

If you have a very persuasive personality, convince everybody you play against to upgrade to 80mm frontage. As Armati says:

"Any basing system may be used as long as both opponents are based similarly and adopt the same Unit Size Scheme."

Tarzan14 Apr 2004 6:25 p.m. PST

Even DBM says use whatever frontages you like as long as everyone uses that same!

(Change Name)16 Apr 2004 8:32 a.m. PST

I think that the smarter approach is the one taken by Warrior: create a third 30mm scale using the 80mm frontage.

The problem arises in the tournament setting (which, fortunately comprises less than 10% of my gaming) where gamers can be extremely snotty about things like basing. (This is not a problem in either WAB of Medieval Warfare, where the basing standards are much more flexible.) Of course these same gamers ignore the simple solution of placing a card the size of the larger bases under the smaller bases. Maybe the problem is more with the tournament community than with the rules?

In any case, I am reluctant to make the investment in studying a new set of rules if there is even the possiblity that I will have to beg another gamer to let me use my own figures (which are mounted individually for WAB.) There are too many other rules out there.

In any case, it was a problem which was easily avoided, but which the game designer chose to ignore.

KenFox16 Apr 2004 5:50 p.m. PST

Not sure about "smarter" -- it's just a different approach to game design.

The different base sizes create interesting and natural game effects. The slight (in my experience) inconvenience of basing figures to those standard sizes is worth it.

I'd have no problem playing "home games" against your 80mm elements. If you want to play in tournaments though, I think it's best if you stuck with standard 60mm elements and just used one less figure than the rules recommend.

How many opponents have given you flak for that? Plain bad sportsmanship in my opinion...

(Change Name)16 Apr 2004 9:08 p.m. PST

You're right in the sense that this really is a tempest in a teapot. As a practical matter, I am now basing all of my figures individually (for maximum flexibility), so the size of the element (sabot) really dictates how many individual figures will be placed on it. Depth might still be an issue for me because I then to use bases which are 1" deep to accomodate exceptionally large figure bottoms.

I have only run into this problem, sort of, in a WAB tournament. However, I quickly pointed out that WAB has no basing standards -- so we just ended up matching figures. As a general rule, I avoid situations where the problem might arise, choosing to play in tournaments with rules where basing is not an issue.

KenFox17 Apr 2004 4:06 a.m. PST

WAB has no basing standard in the same sense that DBx and Armati have no basing standards -- use the one written in the book or choose your own. WAB bases still need to be consistent between opponents. Cavalry 20mm fronts vs infantry 15mm fronts makes a difference in how many models fight. Give cavalry small bases and the point cost changes.

I think if you're willing to negotiate with WAB tournament opponents, then negotiating with Armati opponents won't be a problem.

(Change Name)17 Apr 2004 8:53 a.m. PST

Of course another, but somewhat silly, solution would be to have oversized figures on a "regulation" base. For example, most of my figures are mounted individually, one 3/4" x 1" stands (I don't need no stinking metric system). Just get a series of regulation 60mm x 20 mm magnetic element bases and put the oversized figures on them. When one does measurement, pull the figures off the element, move the element, and put the figures back on. Two turns of this, and an opponent will agree to just about anything!

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