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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Classifying Units for At the Ends of Empire

This is another ‘note to self' but it might be of interest.

As I work my way through the various protagonists for At the Ends of Empire I’m beginning to give some thought to how units should be classified. 

I think the Romans might be represented with the elite troops being, well… Elite, so high Combat and Defence Dice and Specialist bonus all round, Ferocious, and Stubborn for the infantry. 

The differences between Comitatenses and Limitanei are a bit more nuanced and I’m minded to reflect them in the number of Lull Cards in the Roman deck. The more Limitanei the more frequent the Lull’s. This is because the Limitanei are unused to fighting in big formations and won’t respond as quickly to orders as the Comitatenses.  Otherwise I’m inclined to give them both similar combat and defence capabilities.

I’m also thinking that the legions should have more resilience than most so a high Defence Die and Stubborn Defence option for them I think.

For the non- Romans I think the great divide is between the full timers and the part timers. Part timers might well be brave but their combat skills and resilience will not be as good as the professionals.  That said they were closely tied to their leaders and poor performance in battle meant retribution at home -if all survived.

A mechanism that required leaders to invest Morale Points to keep the lesser troops in combat might reflect this well and present a nice tactical dilemma for the player.   Morale Points could be used to increase the chances of a Ferocious attack but might be needed instead to ensure the part time warrior/farmers kept on fighting.

Alternately, simply and perhaps more historically justified; Barbarian armies could opt for more Leader bases (costly and potentially vulnerable) whose presence with the ordinary warriors would keep them fighting.

Barbarian full timers are high quality troops and should present a challenge to all but the best Roman soldiers. Most of them lacked armour - a disadvantage against the better equipped Romans. For barbarian aristocrats’ Ferocious attacks, Specialist for missilery and a Stubborn defence can be available as appropriate.

Finally another note for when we get to the Jutes of Kent.  Gavel Kind persisted in Kent until 1926. 

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