Some time later the debunkers found out that he had- at least in part been guilty, perhaps, of some terminological inexactitude. This did not detract from the book being readable or the TV series being amusing.
.This really appropos of not much except that the Twats Tiny Tactica Tournament didn't happen as planned because of chaps crying off at the last minute.
Nevertheless 3 of us turned up at the pub- still wanting a bit of Ancient amusement of a more or less historical nature. So as a light alternative to Tactica I put a couple of the old "Classics" in my bag and told the lads if they didn't fancy Tactica how about either Terry Wise or Don Featherstone (actually Tony Bath). In other words we were going back to our Roots !
It quickly transpired that Terry Wises' ancient rules didn't really work and I still can't fathom the melee system so we switched immediately to Tony Bath's set in Featherstones War Games of 1962 vintage. This without any dislocation or disorganistation or indeed any change at all of either army. Like many older rules both these sets are "figure-driven" rather than "mechanism-driven".so it means that you can paly either as you like.
Troops were 15mm- my own Marian Romans- commanded by Andrew and Shaun our resident Ancient Man using his Samnites. I umpired and this was really an exercise in seeing if theses ancient Ancient rules would work with two armies based differently and with no points systems or army lists or other modern fol-de rol to get in the way. Yes I know the Marian Romans never fought the Samnites but Shaun reckoned that they had never yet been out of the box and it was time. So we streached a point. Andrew commanded the Romans . Shaun simply emptied his box of Samnitesand battle commenced. . No points systems or Army Lists were harmed in the making of this game.
|My 15mm Marian Romans . All Blue Moon. Mostly painted by John Reidy.|
You know what, I've played a hell of a lot worse. It quickly transpired that there is little new under the sun. I'd not played these at all since school with Airfix Romans and Ancient Britons with a few Hong Kong rip offs to add variety. (I recall some plastic Greeks that were basically pantographed down version of Britains ) They felt a lot like a cross between WHAB and Tactica- especially WHAB. The IGOUGO system slows things a bit but that could easily be altered to an "orders and Simultaneous movement" system without touching the actual mechanisms- which are dead simple.Dicing for "initiative" (ie choosing to move first or second) add a bit of spice
Morale could do with a bit of fiddling, simply to vary the troops quality but basically the rules are pretty sound and faster moving than WHAB and possibly WRG 5th or 6th though we'd need to play a few more games to be sure of this. Like Tactica these were a little dice heavy but not so badly that it took the game from the players control. The players were always in charge of their own decisions.
These rules were of course a simple introductory set and none the worse for that. By today's standards definitions were a bit wooly and certainly would not suit the "win at all costs" types who need to have the far end of a fart defined to stop them cheating. It would be no big deal to add a little more period specific detail if you wished but all the basics are covered for those who have a modicum of useable brain cells.
|Crunch Time- Just before the deciding melee. Shaun's Samnites in the more open order will get chewed up by the Roman mincing machine..|
For the record the Samnites went down to a bloody defeat after an heroic resistance. The main Mellee in the centre swung back and forth but the Linen Legion could not quite match the power of the better armoured Romans Legionaries. What luck was about did seem to run Andrew's way(for a change did I hear muttered?) but it was still a very enjoyable exercise as well as going some way to proving as Andre put it- "You don't HAVE to pay £30.00 for a book full of pictures and a few rules"
I will have another bash at these simple rules with different armies. But equally I'll still use Tactica or WRG or possibly Hail Cesar as the mood take me. After all its not simply about finding a game you can win at is it?
Once again our thanks go to Jean the Landlady- in extra measure- for providing a splendid Christmas dinner with all the trimmings as well as the usual fine beer.
Looking forward to some good games next year- Including the postponed TWATS Tiny Tactica Tournament.