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"Review of Sword & Spear" Topic


Sword & Spear

16 Posts

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Ancients
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Marshal Mark22 Nov 2014 11:19 a.m. PST

Matt writes about my Sword & Spear rules on his blog, playingtheodds:

"I found Sword & Spear breathed new life into a period I am not overly fond of playing in. The game we played was engaging, with innovative mechanics which kept their consistency across actions. In this case a simple system means ease of playing, not a lack of depth, and it was enjoyable to discover the subtle nuances built in to the rules. Even though I am not an expert in ancients/ medieval battles, and it is not one of my core wargaming periods, I would consider this to be my system of preference for gaming in that era."

Read the full review here:
link

craigjwoodfield22 Nov 2014 12:12 p.m. PST

What I am interested in is whether this system splits armies into distinct periods, or whether it encourages 'fantasy' match ups, such as New Kingdom Egyptians against HYW English.

HANS GRUBER22 Nov 2014 12:36 p.m. PST

What I am interested in is whether this system splits armies into distinct periods, or whether it encourages 'fantasy' match ups, such as New Kingdom Egyptians against HYW English.

How do rules encourage fantasy match-ups? In the end its up to the players how they use the rules. Are you asking if they encourage tournament play? This is were you see the most non-historical games.

FABET0122 Nov 2014 1:42 p.m. PST

Every time you play a battle that there is no historical record for your playing fantasy. Even when you play a historical battle it becomes a fantasy on the first die roll or non historical move.

Guthroth22 Nov 2014 1:55 p.m. PST

Craig, such distinctions are down to the player, not the author. Yes, there is a generic points system, but no one makes you play WoR against NKE, so just don't do it :-)

That being said, S&S is a very interesting system. It has re-vitalised our games after we became disillusioned with FoG, Hail Ceasar etc.

I recommend it heartily.

raylev322 Nov 2014 7:24 p.m. PST

Every time you play a battle that there is no historical record for your playing fantasy. Even when you play a historical battle it becomes a fantasy on the first die roll or non historical move.

nah…you know what he meant.

pogoame23 Nov 2014 2:27 a.m. PST

must also say that is has revitalised the ancients in our group

Alex

Marshal Mark23 Nov 2014 3:53 a.m. PST

What I am interested in is whether this system splits armies into distinct periods, or whether it encourages 'fantasy' match ups, such as New Kingdom Egyptians against HYW English.

Well there are no different rules for different periods, if that's what you mean, so players are free to play any army against any other army. However, the rules encourage historical match-ups (under the Scenarios section it says: "This type of game works best when the two opposing armies are historical opponents…". ) We have only ever played historical match-ups, and I can't see this changing (other than when we have played actual fantasy games with the rules).
In my experience most ancient / medieval games played at clubs or games nights are historic match-ups it is only really when you get tournaments that you see lots of ahistoric games, or when players only have a limited choice of armies to use.
There are around 50 battle reports posted by players on my forum I think only one of these is not a historic (or historically feasible) match-up.
link

Craig Woodfield24 Nov 2014 10:24 p.m. PST

I'm not sure a single line counts as encouragement, and a lot of the chatter I have seen locally is about tournaments – a new iteration of the DBx/FoG fantasy scene.

Still, I will reserve judgement until I actually play the game, and as a friend has lent me the rules that might happen soon. But a lot of ancients rules have come and gone over the years without standing out from the pack.

The restrictions on mixing different types of heavy/medium foot doesn't lend itself to historical scenarios, is one of my immediate observations.

cheers

CW

Marshal Mark24 Nov 2014 11:49 p.m. PST

The restrictions on mixing different types of heavy/medium foot doesn't lend itself to historical scenarios, is one of my immediate observations.

I'm not sure what you mean here. The army list restriction you are referring to is to stop you having a mix of different interpretations of the same troop type, and is there to discourage gamey, ahistoric army building.
Why doesn't it lend itself to historical scenarios ? Maybe you could give an example of what you mean?

craigjwoodfield25 Nov 2014 11:16 a.m. PST

My friends and I just refought Mantinea using Hail Ceasar.

Both sides had a mix of hoplite types – following the letter of your rules, you can't do that. Seems aimed more at tournaments than allowing historical re fights.

Cheers

CW

mashrewba25 Nov 2014 11:31 a.m. PST

Well if it's a historical thing there is no problem -the rules won't fall apart. There's no dispute that Greeks had all sort of guys with different armour, it's more about having Gallic warbands as close order or maybe a looser order in the same force if the feeling is that it was either one of the other. You're free to apply your own take on the historical evidence.

HANS GRUBER25 Nov 2014 12:32 p.m. PST

The is the 1st sentence of the Army List Guide:

"The Sword & Spear army lists can be used to create typical armies for use in pick-up type games. They should be treated as guidelines, and you should also use your own knowledge and research to guide you as to what troops should be available for each army in a given place and time".

Clearly, nothing in S&S prevents players creating their own army lists for historical refights.

In addition, the way the Later Hoplite Greek list is structured allows a wide mix of hoplite and other troop types.

Marshal Mark25 Nov 2014 2:23 p.m. PST

As I pointed out above, and mashrewba also mentions, this restriction is to stop you mixing different interpretations of a troop type. For example you may believe that Imperial Roman auxilia should be classed as heavy foot, or you may believe they should be medium foot. What you can't do is have a mix of both in the same army.
The restriction makes absolutely no difference to the hoplites in the greek lists because the different choices are separated out as different lines, rather than being a choice of how to classify one troop type.

Marshal Mark25 Nov 2014 2:35 p.m. PST

Seems aimed more at tournaments than allowing historical re fights.

Certainly not. When I wrote them I had no expectation of any tournaments ever being played with them. I wrote them to play games with in my group, and then thought I would try publishing them and selling them.
The rules have proved to be quite popular in Australia and a group of players have organised a small tournament at Cancon. The rules are hardly competing with the likes of FOG and DBX on that front, and nor do I expect them to.

Dexter Ward26 Nov 2014 6:36 a.m. PST

Craig wrote:
Both sides had a mix of hoplite types following the letter of your rules, you can't do that.
----------------
There's nothing in either the rules or the Later Hoplite army list preventing a mix of different types. Maybe you misread something.

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