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Talking a bit about CLASH of Spears ( well more than a bit )

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  seldon 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #1416207

    seldon
    Participant
    194xp

    Hey Guys, Francisco here, ( one of the authors of CLASH of Spears ),

    I thought it made sense to stop by and talk a bit about the game because since the day on which BoW, now OTT posted a little article about CLASH we’ve had a constant stream of visitors to the blog ( http://www.thewargamespot.com/category/clashofspears/ ) coming from OTT

     

     

    Over the next days I’ll spend some time explaining general concepts of the game and answering any questions that you might have.

    First things first, the need for patience. The rules won’t be out until Nov-Dec this years. We are a new outfit and there is tough competition out there, we need to come out with a quality product and we cannot rush it, no room for second chances in this field. We have been playtesting the rules since September 2018 not only with our local groups in Austin and Atlanta but we also have playtest groups as far as Spain, Poland, Australia… Given some new concepts we are including in the game we needed to see what works and what is a struggle for players and that is why the rules have gone through more than 20 versions as elements are streamlined and adjusted to get the right balance.

    Next let’s talk abut the game concept.

    CLASH of Spears aims to provide rules for raids and small raids in ancient and medieval times. The idea is to have kind of a platoon level game for ancients, and the rules try to reflect those mechanics so the scale could be one figure one man or one figure 5 or 6 men as long as a unit is never a phalanx syntagma, a maniple or any such formation since we will not have rules to reflect such formations. Of course we do observe training and we assume that hoplites on a skirmish action could close ranks to overlap their shields as they are use to do in combat, but many other times they’ll just go into open order if it is the best path to victory. A good example of this is Macedonian pike phalanx, we do have rules for foot companions with pikes, but normally on raiding actions foot companions would change armament to javelins or similar, so we give those options and although the points reflect the troops performance under optimal conditions it will be often the case that your small band of pikemen will be in suboptimal conditions in a skirmish and so except for modelling reasons you will select them with the alternative equipment.

    The balance between “simulation” and game play is tough, and we have worked hard to achieve an interesting game that really feels like a historical game ( even if no game is perfect ) yet it is fun to play and intuitive to understand. If you think about bolt action, everyone would agree that bolt action has interesting mechanic and that it can provide for a challenging game, even if you are a chain of command  fan you’ll accept that bolt action is a well thought out system. Well we want something similar, not a beer a pretzels game, nothing wrong with that, but we want a game where players are constantly engaged in decision making and where these decisions have great impact on the results.

    The key element in our game is fatigue management and command and control.

    Command and control is based on the command points of your characters that are required to keep your troops executing the plan.

    Units gain fatigue every time they perform actions depending on the amount or armor they carry and the terrain they cross. Because of this medium and light troops tend to be the rulers of the battlefield. It is not uncommon to have your one unit of veteran heavily armored hoplites as anchor for your force but without the support of your lights and mediums they will get tired and once they are exhausted troops like peltasts will take them apart, they will even engage them in hand to hand combat if they see that they are so tired that they cannot respond.

    Because of this it is important not only to choose what unit to activate when it is your time to do so but also to decide if rather than activating a unit maybe it is better to rest one of them and help them recover.

    We also wanted to provide a game in the scale of SAGA but we wanted to get back to wargaming basics, the battleboards are fun but not everyone’s cup of tea. For that reason CLASH goes back to basics, dice, tokens, command points.. no special decks of cards, no named characters, you can use any figures, individual basing is best but any base works and the rules are carefully thought so that basing will not impact the game.

    A standard game of CLASH is 600 pts, it usually involves 30-40 figures per side and lasts about 2 hours. The army usually has about 5 to 6 units each of 6 to 8 models, and about 2 or 3 characters. Smaller games can be played and we have tried larger games going all the way to 80-90 figures per side.

    The idea is that you should be able to come to a club with your army, select one of the pick up game scenarios and play a battle, just like you do with Bolt Action or SAGA. Of course if you’d rather do thematic scenarios based on stories or books and similar the rules will work quite well for that given how flexible the army design system is.

    In the book we will have “army lists” for the western Mediterranean theater of war between 4th-1st century BC, so Italian Wars, Punic Wars, Greco Punic Wars, etc.  We will have lists for Iberian tribes, Gallic tribes, Italian tribes, Republican Romans, Carthaginians, Greek Colonies, Macedonian expeditions to the west. Together with the release of the book we will make available the full point and design system including traits for some other periods, so you will be able to use the rules with other troops you might have not covered in our lists. We will also release a compendium with playtest lists for armies going from biblicals to dark ages. All those rules are not final, they could change when an eventual expansion gets released but they will be available to download online as soon as the books is out.

    I think that is a good initial overview, hopefully soon I can post battle reports, examples of game play sample armies etc.. and of course answer any questions.

     

    I’ll try to keep it all in this thread so as not to spam the board.

    OTT is such a gift to the wargaming community that we were very excited when they decided to pay some attention to our humble venture and we want to keep all of you guys informed of the progress we make.

    Cheers

    Francisco

     

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by  seldon.
    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by  seldon.
    #1416214

    captainventanus
    Participant
    1190xp

    Been watching your efforts for a while now, very much looking forward to this.

    #1416216

    robert
    Participant
    9019xp

    Thanks for taking the time to give us such an interesting overview of your game.  The pictures you have included are gorgeous and your rulebook is very well laid out and easy to read.

    #1416218

    torros
    Participant
    11709xp

    Yup I have been watching from afar for sometime and the game sounds intriguing.  What got me looking further was the initial setup come a kind of hidden movement  that you employ

     

    Looking forward to learning more about it in the future

    #1416224

    limburger
    Participant
    7413xp

    @seldon

    interesting … I like the use of hidden movement at the start and the effect it has on units.
    Small skirmish games can make for interesting narrative campaigns.

    How many scenarios ?
    Will there be a campaign system ?

    Any tips on creating tables that are fun to play with these rules ?

    Are there characters named Asterix and Obelix for the Gallic tribes ? 😉

    A beginner friendly system for skirmishes within any period is always good to have.
    And it is nice to have an alternative to SAGA

    #1416237

    seldon
    Participant
    194xp

    There are 6 base scenarios for pick up games covering different types of actions like scouting the enemy army, foraging, etc.. They are all suited for pick up games.

    We have a campaign system but that would be release on expansions since it would be too much to fit in this book and we are still in playtest mode for those. It is aimed at pick up games initially but you will see that a campaign system will fit right into it, also it would be a great system to play a scouting battle before going to a larger battle with bigger armies.

    The idea is to get players playing ancients and building armies in 28mm without busting their budget.

    By tables you mean standard armies ? , yes I have quite a bunch from the many games that we’ve been playing. I’ll post them over the next days as I post details on how you build forces.

    I absolutely need figures to do Asterix and Obelix, my Romans don’t have segmentata, but I think I could live with that. I’ve been reading Asterix and Obelix to my kids, it is interesting that is not that well known here in the US ( I’m from Argentina originally ).

    The rules have some sophistication, the mechanics are not hard to pick up but it takes time for players to understand how to be effective. I will give more details in the future but a common mistake is that since units can execute 3 actions people want to use them all , but at the end of the turn for each action you didn’t take your troops recover fatigue, and while units that are fresh activate as soon as command points are spent units with fatigue have to pass activation tests, so new players tend to push their units and they get exhausted and they get destroyed…  So first games are slower while you are learning the rules but faster cause your troops die faster 🙂 .. then as you learn, you have incorporated the rules but you know how to make the troops last.

    Although we have a QRS ( two sided ) there is only two tables that are consulted and you learn them quickly, the rest of the mechanics are modern in that they don’t need tables. It is a D6 system totally intuitive in the same concepts as WAB ( we started wargaming with Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd edition ), all the key elements are on how you activate and manage fatigue..

    There are also some interesting mechanics regarding how units interact in combat…

    I will try to give more details over the following weeks and months…  We need to keep you all guys interested until the book comes out end of year 🙂

    Hopefully we’ll get a playtest copy to the OTT guys for them to try and have fun. Gerry caught the rules very quickly we did a mini game, my iberians vs his Syracusans and we fought ourselves to a bloody draw when on the last turn we both failed our force break test !

    I will also post about how the hidden deployment works, I promise it is not cumbersome and it really solves how to do your initial deployment, on your first turn you are right in the action…

     

    Francisco

    #1416255

    torros
    Participant
    11709xp

    Not sure about the 28mm bit. I’ll be playing in either 10 or 15mm multibases

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  torros.
    #1416257

    seldon
    Participant
    194xp

    There are no templates, except “command range” and “unit cohesion” so you should be able to use 10mm or 15mm without needing to change the distance.

    Distances are in inches, so you could always changed them to CM or x2CM if you prefer, but I see no problem with that since there is no “base geometry” to account or worry…

    One of my main playtesters here is doing his dark age armies in 15mm for CLASH of Spears ..

    One of our playtesters in Spain decided to do “large skirmish” sharpe practice style so he used 6mm figures in bases of 4 or 5 and treated each base as a figure in CLASH and said it worked well..

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  seldon.
    #1416340

    torros
    Participant
    11709xp

    I presume basing doesn’t  really matter as long as everyone  is using around the same sort of sizes

    #1416342

    avernos
    Keymaster
    13253xp

    Great to see you on here giving out some more information @seldon the interview was too brief and really only scratched the surface.

    I really enjoyed the game I had and the system is simple enough to pick up in a very short space of time, yet complex enough to mean you are immediately faced with tactical choices.

    I see Kurtus from dash of elan is also a fan. 🙂

    Keep up the great work you’re doing

    Gerry

    #1416343

    limburger
    Participant
    7413xp

    @seldon I meant tables as in tabletop. It’s the one thing that is needed to help beginners, because the terrain can make or break a game.
    Both Dropfleet commander and Killteam show how to set the terrain/obstacles for a given scenario so it isn’t an empty space of nothing with a few objectives.

    #1416349

    avernos
    Keymaster
    13253xp

    @limburger I can understand needing that for scifi. But all you have to do is look at google earth for board ideas.

    #1416353

    limburger
    Participant
    7413xp

    @avernos one can Google anything even scifi terrain, but the convenience of having at least the basic elements of a hobby within a single rulebook is not to be underestimated.

    The trick with good google results is also knowing the right keywords.

    #1416354

    avernos
    Keymaster
    13253xp

    how about italy, or greece or north africa?

    If people don’t know what our own world looks like I really don’t think there is much chance that they’re picking up games

    #1416405

    seldon
    Participant
    194xp

    Yes, Dash of Elan did a FANTASTIC mini review when we sent him the playtest version.

    I will email you today to send you a playtest package.

    I’m happy to be in this forum and very glad you enjoyed the mini game.

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