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"Clash of Empires initial impressions" Topic

Clash of Empires

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chriskrum19 Jun 2012 8:39 p.m. PST

I just got the rules and have been reading through them. I'll try and get some figures on the table this weekend. But my reaction as I go through them is that I'm really sad that GW pulled the plug on WAB.

They seem really colorless, I'm one of those gamers that actually liked fighting for standards, musicians having a purpose (not the battle of the bands of the 1st edition but the house rule/change of making them required for certain maneuvers), even challenges to one on one combat.

The writing and presentation is also underwhelming--the paper feels like it belongs in a magazine and there are full page advertisements in it--this for a book that costs 50 dollars.

The silly change to centimeters also bugs me. Why? Is this meant to disguise the obvious fact that they're lifted entirely from WAB (10cm is 4 inches, etc.). I really hate the cm thing.

Okay, that seems more negative than I intended. I do like that I won't have to rebase any armies. I'm also relieved that there is very little different to the core WAB system regarding charges, responses, shooting etc. It's nice to see morale and discipline broken out as individual stats.

Scott MacPhee19 Jun 2012 8:51 p.m. PST

Yes, you're right on. I too was underwhelmed, but I think the rules may grow on me once I play a couple of games.

TMPWargamerabbit19 Jun 2012 11:50 p.m. PST

Coming from the WAB world I started to notice the "little differences from WAB". Took several games… tended to go the WAB rule path at first, then figured out my mistaken error (I assumed too much from WAB). Still finding "little" differences. The 2cm or 5cm adjustments prevent (take away) many wheeling to combat measurement issues. One single measurement determines cleanly if combat contact is made… then position the miniatures to maximum miniature contact. So clean, especially if cm measuring sticks are used. No weird armies from % based selections. Been playing almost a year now (once a month). Used Roman Republican and EIR, Barbarian, Persian, Greek, Macedonian, Indian armies with no major problems. Romans are not a sure thing in COE. They have been beaten….badly and won with roman style. Generally play 28mm with large 5000 points per side games (in a afternoon). Several AAR on site: link

Overall, it is different from WAB. Just like HC and W&C have there good and "discussion points".


bong6720 Jun 2012 2:56 a.m. PST

I've only played the rules once but I really liked them. To me they play like a cleaned-up version of WAB and not needing standard bearers etc is an advantage as it means you have less to remember. We got a faster game than we would have with WAB and had no problems with the rules apart from a couple of occaisions where we got the CoE rule for throwing spears mixed up with the WAB one.
I've also got the Age of Ravens suppliment, which I think is much better than Shieldwall because it allows for more variety of troop types and allies and having no musicians or standard beares to account for etc. makes it quicker and easier to calculate a list.
All the best,


Scutatus22 Jun 2012 6:11 a.m. PST

Clash of Empires has tried to emphasise the units, the rank and file, the actual armies, rather than making it about the Heroes as WAB so often did. Commanders feature in CoE and even have traits, but they are for the most part in the rear actually commanding as they are supposed to be. They are about command and control, not "let's bring it". Those that were historically more front line sorts (such as Ancient Greeks or Germans) have traits to reflect that but their input is (rightfully I think) downplayed. If you send your commanders into combat there is a real risk they can die, just like any other man. They are after all, one man, with perhaps a small bodyguard not the demigods Warhammer tended to made them. CoE recognises this.

In CoE there is plenty of character and personality in the actual armies, thanks to the flavours of the army lists. Special rules help bring out the character of the various factions rather well. It's just that the personality and flavour is no longer concentrated on the leaders.

As for rules for standards and musicians the designers of CoE have deemed such rules unnecessary. The special rules, such as "drilled", "Shieldwall" "phalanx" or "legion" etc give more than enough character and variety for units already. But of course we all like our colourful standards and musicians, so the rulebook itself encourages us to feature them in our units or command stands. Standards and musicians don't have to be gone – it is perfectly ok to still have them in your units and to still have that character there just aren't any rule/combat bonuses for doing so in CoE, that's all.

Here's a tip: Make one of your Subcommanders an army standard. ;) For that matter, make ALL of your Subcommanders standard bearers! Your command bases can be little diorama stands that can feature several models. Make the most of it! THERE is your character! My command bases for CoE feature the commander, a standard, one or two musicians, and an aide or two. There is no reason why you can't do something similar. And once you've made your characterful centre pieces, those little dioramas that are your pride and joy, THEN you'll sure have something to fight for! ;)

As for centimetres it's changed because that is what is taught at British schools now and has been for quite some time. Inches are supposedly being phased out. It's just that old convention is hanging on rather more stubbornly than the government would like. ;)

There is a conversion table in the book if you want to use inches the rulebook states that is perfectly ok.

Try to bear in mind, although CoE is one big homage/nod to WAB and the familiarity that brings is certainly appealing it is NOT actually WAB. The good fellows that wrote CoE have kept the WAB feel, to be sure, but they have also made changes and come up with stuff of their own. Which is as it should be, since CoE, after all, is a different ruleset.

Regarding the advertising: The advertising is from those companies that kindly supplied the figures that appear in the photos in the book. I don't think that it is too out of order for rulebook and figure maker to scratch one another's back! ;) Such content is pretty much par for the course with many modern rulesets, and in CoE it is far less blatant than the outrageous filler that is in, say, WAB2! (Or any other GW product for that matter).

Personally speaking I rather like the presentation. But each to their own. I also think that, as much as I loved WAB, GEG have improved on it and have the better game. It certainly suits my tastes better. But we all have our own tastes. :D

Stuart at Great Escape Games22 Jun 2012 8:34 a.m. PST

Thanks for the comprehensive commentary!

On advertisers, we have always stressed that we want to support all of the very talented miniature companies that work long and hard to supply wargamers with fantastic toy soldiers. Including the publication of Age of Ravens we have actually changed the paper weight to a heavier one.

Scutatus nailed it with regard to standards, musicians, etc. Having your commanders on a larger base makes them stand out when compared to single figure basing for these models.

Centimetres are more accurate than the old, imperial system. But, if you prefer inches, conversion is simple.

warhorse03 Jul 2015 6:47 a.m. PST

Inches are far, far easier to eyeball than centimeters. It's why it remains (and will remain) the standard for construction in North America.

"Quick – how much should I snip the end of this stud?"

"Oh about a quarter inch…"


Try that with centimetres and millimetres…

Royston Papworth05 Jul 2015 3:44 a.m. PST

Snip off 6mm? :)

Actually, many, many years ago I used to be a Computer Operator and the printers we had used 300mm x 8.5 inch paper…. I could never work that one out…..

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