It strikes me that Italian Wargamers are notable in two respects:
- They are better looking tan the rest of us (although we don't set the bar to high it must be said)
- They are writing some very interesting set of rules: Breaking News and Impetus spring to mind.
The other day I stumbled apon a free hex-based set of Ancients rules called Anticamente. I thought they might answer the question we have been asking ourselves, namely: "what shall we do with all those figures we painted for SAGA?
The game is hexed based, which is important for me because I am little over rulers at the moment. The game is also designed for a number of 10mm figures in a base, but I could see no reason why their concept of base didn't fit in with one 28mm figure on a base; so we gave a go.
Orders are represented by placing face down counters in hexes. Then both players turn the counters over to reveal their carefully laid plans. The orders commit units to: attack, hold or movement, but in an interesting twist you must commit units to executing their orders in groups or singly. This requires some careful thought, and in the picture below you can see an Norman general in a pensive mood.
The players then carry out their orders alternately by one group of hexes, or by a single ungrouped hexes.
All aspects of the battle are executed, and shown on the table; which feels good after SAGA, where I found the "cheeseboard" to be a little distracting. Below the Normans are persecuting my poor Irish Kern. Bases in contact are in good order, the single bases are "units that have bounced out of combat shaken".
The thing I found about the rules, it you have to play them to understand them. At first so many rules seem to be missing "how do forests affect pikes?", "where are the rules for warbands". I found that these things only make sense once you start playing a game through.
For example, warbands are not super Roman "quick-killers"; instead they are very cheap, and as long as they die while attacking, their demise of no account in winning a battle.
By tomorrow I will be up to my third game, and I must say, I am intrigued!