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"Sword and spear- first impressions" Topic


Sword & Spear

23 Posts

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420 hits since 2 Jan 2017
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aapch4506 Apr 2014 7:25 a.m. PST

Hey everyone, I recently purchased a digital copy of "Sword and Spear." From tmp member, Marshal Mark.

I did a solo game using the rules on Friday evening, Macedonians vs thracians. I did a rough points estimation based on what I had. It came out to roughly 400 pts a side.

There is no strict basing system, which is a plus, as most of my models are either single based (WAB) or in massive hordes (Hail Caesar).

Measurements are in DU (distance units) which is recommended to be half base width, but can be whatever measurement you want.

I won't give away too many details about the game, but I want go hit a few points.

Each unit has 2 stats, strength and discipline.
Strength is the amount of dice you roll in combat, discipline is the amount required to activate the unit for that turn. Its nice not to have to deal with tons of fiddly troop types and statistics

I love the acticlvation in this game. Every turn, you put an amount of dice equal to your remaining units in a bag. (Different colors for each player) then draw 7 dice, the player with the most dice becomes of the active player. So intuitive.

I wont describe combat here, just because I have already described so many of the rules, but know it is simple, and yields realistic results 95% of the time. (Which is better than WAB and Hail Caesar) it is very quick, and not fiddly at all.

Command rules are very nice, clean, simple. I forgot them for one turn, and my thracians just sat there, and 2 units got routed by the Macedonians. So don't forget that they are there!

Verdict:
I like the rules. I would recommend them to anybody who likes ancients. They pick up fast, you can play any sized game you want ( I'm doing a 4 player conquest of Gaul next Tuesday) its solo friendly, and this game (400pts) finished in 2hr 15m. If I knew the rules better, I could have finished in 1hr40m easily.

Get these rules. They are fun, relatively fast, and easy to pick up.

I hope I didn't give too much info!
Thanks
Austin

Toy Soldier Green06 Apr 2014 8:59 a.m. PST

Where can one find the digital download site to purchase the rules? I searched Wargames Vault but nothing came up.

aapch4506 Apr 2014 9:04 a.m. PST

link

Here, sorry I forgot to mention lol

I hope you enjoy them

Thanks
Austin

warhorse06 Apr 2014 9:22 a.m. PST

I certainly like their movement system – the difference between an advance, and a maneuver is slick, clever, and still quite workable.

I also like the restricted size of a group, and the fact that group maneuvers are advances, not maneuvers. Quite simple, elegant, and realistic.

aapch4506 Apr 2014 9:42 a.m. PST

Warhorse,

I agree, what was done with the movement system was incredibly smart. It made the game.
its not like DBA where large units can zip around the field with ease, but its also not like WAB, where you have to measure every micrometer of a wheel . Its a nice, comfortable in between where if your command is good, and you have decent quality troops, wheels and intricate charges are relatively easy…. but if you don't, then it'll get tricky.
Which, to me, spells realism.

I had a lot of fun with the system.

Thanks
Austin

Marshal Mark06 Apr 2014 11:49 a.m. PST

It's good to hear your game went well, Austin. Thanks for the feedback.

You can find out more about the rules on my website here:
link


I've written a few AARs on here recently, and you can also find them on my forum:
link

warhorse06 Apr 2014 3:14 p.m. PST

I'd recommend a scaled down version (say with 10-15 units per side, similar in size to DBA?). Could you draw say 5 dice instead of 7 each phase?

Skeptic06 Apr 2014 4:33 p.m. PST

Not to be confused with the original Sword & Spear, by Milgamex.

aapch4506 Apr 2014 4:37 p.m. PST

I wasn't aware that there was another game by the title. Sorry for not clarifying.

I've found that in my games, only 7 dice leads to some of my units doing nothing for the game.
Not sure how 5 would do in a small game.

Still a fun game

Thanks
Austin

Marshal Mark06 Apr 2014 11:08 p.m. PST

I'd recommend a scaled down version (say with 10-15 units per side, similar in size to DBA?). Could you draw say 5 dice instead of 7 each phase?

Warhorse, that wouldn't be a scaled down version. That is a normal sized two player game.
Foe example, in the recent Romans vs. Thracians game there were 11 units vs. 15.
TMP link


You wouldn't want less than 7 dice drawn each phase as it would create too wild swings in initiative.

Marshal Mark07 Apr 2014 12:29 a.m. PST

I've found that in my games, only 7 dice leads to some of my units doing nothing for the game.
Not sure how 5 would do in a small game.

Atually it wouldn't make any difference in that respect. In each turn all of the dice are drawn from the bag, so the number drawn in each phase wouldn't mean less units were activated across the whole turn. What it would do is increase the liklihood of one side getting significantly more dice than the other in that phase, which would imbalance things somewhat. With 7 dice drawn each phase, it is normally 4 vs. 3, or 5 vs. 2, which means the player with less dice still has a good opportunity to react.

aapch4507 Apr 2014 7:00 a.m. PST

Hey Mark,
Yeah, we realized that we had played activation wrong.
After we do another game, we will let you know how well the rules actually work… sorry about that error!

WE also forgot about rear bonuses, which would have swung the game much better. So once we play another game, we will let you know how the system works, officially.

Thanks
Austin

Marcus Brutus07 Apr 2014 7:27 a.m. PST

Probably a good idea to play any system a few times before posting a battle report. I know from experience that I've gotten a lot of things wrong on the first play through. And the second!

aapch4507 Apr 2014 7:36 a.m. PST

Once we get the hang of the rules, we will post an official AAR. This was supposed to be my first impressions on the rules….. I just happened to get something wrong ^.^ lol

I'm not sure what we are going to do after our conquest of Gaul game… any ideas?
Maybe a Samnite wars game? Battle of Sentium? (warbands, hoplites, skirmishers, chariots, slingers, archers etc.)
I want to do as many variations of troop types as I can with this system, to playtest it properly. I want to do Mark justice, after all his effort in writing these rules.

Again, sorry for my mistake on the activation rules!

Thanks
Austin

Marshal Mark07 Apr 2014 1:07 p.m. PST

Yeah, we realized that we had played activation wrong.
After we do another game, we will let you know how well the rules actually work

And hopefully you'll like them even better then !

I want to do as many variations of troop types as I can with this system, to playtest it properly. I want to do Mark justice, after all his effort in writing these rules.

Thanks but you also want to make sure you get to grips with the basic mechanics first. I find it can actually be useful to play the same match-up two or three times, with relatively straightforward armies to start with. Then when you are really comfortable with the rules, gradually introduce extras.

Don't worry about making mistakes though – as Marcus Brutus says above, everyone makes mistakes at first with a new system. Whilst I think the rules are quite clearly written (and they have been thoroughly proof-read by one of the playtest team), many of the mechanics are quite different to other sets so take a bit of getting used to. The next release will have diagrams and more detailed examples, so this will aid understanding.

dooger05 May 2014 1:06 p.m. PST

We had our first game with these rules last weekend and promptly arranged a further two games. Very interesting mechanics for initiative and combat, and movement is elegantly handled. The rules are well laid out and explained clearly, and we found that all the questions we were asking initially were addressed in them. We are looking forward to the scheduled games but first impressions were very good indeed. The forum is very helpful and we'll shortly be asking a few questions and making a few suggestions on there.
So far so good…

Marshal Mark07 May 2014 4:14 a.m. PST

Hi dooger, glad to hear you enjoyed the game. I'd appreciate it if you would you tell me a bit more about the game you played and how it went. What armies did you use, what was the result and did the outcomes seem to make sense, that sort of thing.

Capt Flash05 Aug 2014 3:20 p.m. PST

Any reason why this game isn't available from Sabers Edge or Wargames Vault? I'm one who likes an instant download upon paying…
Thanks.
-Edgar

Marshal Mark09 Aug 2014 1:58 p.m. PST

Well I'll e-mail it within 24 hours, normally much quicker than that. So not instant, but you get it pretty quickly.

BombAlleySAM19 Aug 2014 3:00 a.m. PST

Is there any mechanic for the Hastati/Principes line relief manouevre, which is almost a necessity when I am using my Republican Romans!

mashrewba19 Aug 2014 1:37 p.m. PST

No -you have to go to Impetus for that -there is no interpenetration (matron)except for Lights.
I bet I've got this all wrong…

HANS GRUBER20 Aug 2014 8:00 a.m. PST

Is there any mechanic for the Hastati/Principes line relief manouevre, which is almost a necessity when I am using my Republican Romans!

For anyone interested in different opinion on Roman warfare in the republic – see Hans Delbruck on the "Manipular Phalanx":

link

Marshal Mark20 Aug 2014 9:21 a.m. PST

Is there any mechanic for the Hastati/Principes line relief manouevre, which is almost a necessity when I am using my Republican Romans!

No, as one unit in Sword & Spear would represent both the Hastati and Principes, so it would be happening within the unit.
There is a thread discussing this issue on the Sword & Spear forum
link
I have just added a couple of suggestions to this thread for optional rules as to how line relief might be represented within the unit (allowing the legionary unit more opportunities to rally hits, representing the effect of the line relief).

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.