Ars Tactica Mod - WIP ("realistic" recruitment mod)

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    • Ars Tactica Mod - WIP ("realistic" recruitment mod)

      Time for my first attempt to an homebrew variation of the game.

      From the perverted minds of a "military anthropologist" (me) and an historian specialised in ancient warfare ( @SlaveToThePyre ), here comes the (WIP) Ars Tactica.

      What is the purpose of this mod?

      Introducing some realistic ways of playing an army with more manouvre and less list building tricks. Such an army should be built with the idea of commanding a coherent mass of soldiers, recruited in a realistic way. Also, we wanted to introduce a more incisive "command&control" factor, by introducing the "junior officers" and putting in evidence the importance of order communication through command groups.

      Does limiting the list building mean a more boring army?

      Not necessarily. The idea is to make your core troops more important to achieve victory, but on the other hand we're planning specific thematic "contingents" (such as cavalry vanguards, etc.). Also, we're thinking about creating a wider weapon choice, but we don't want to alter army books, so we're still thinking how to introduce, for example, a wider range of pole arms.

      Other features:

      we introduced a scalable 1500 pts contingents system, which should enable groups of players (and newbies) to start new armies and keep building them while starting to play as as soon as they have 1500 pts worth of contingent.

      Also, we're trying to differentiate the Line formation into two different rules, to give a better idea of an "horde" army and a disciplined "phalanx-style" army.


      Criticisms, comments and playtests are welcome!

      Here is the wip file: dropbox.com/s/vuquqr2v2m91pss/…tica%201.0%20wip.pdf?dl=0

      @Taki we're also testing your deployments and objectives to eventually put them inside the mod, if you allow us to eventually do it. Also, I will be happy to have your feedback on this wip.

      @oste lollo @Grahf if you have comments :)

      Last but not least: @Calisson ;)

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    • First read thoughts:
      Good read (except the "bonut" page 6).
      This has great potential for new players, with small chunks of 1500 pts, which can be swallowed with friends one at a time.

      Second read thoughts:
      Page 4 Deployment:
      I like the type 7 and 8.
      Maybe add a suggestion to play a series of games with the same opponent and the same army, changing deployment types, with a progression:
      7, 8, 1, 2, 6, 5, 3, 4. Rationale: start with the simplest.

      p.5 Command Group: unclear.
      What happens with units for which only a champion is possible, but no musician and no pennant? Is the mere champion enough to consider full command?

      p.6: Junior Officer: his, not its.
      Safe flanks: wording to improve, for example as:
      A unit engaged gains a +1 bonus to its combat score for having, within 3” on one flank, one or more friendly unit with at least two ranks; if both flanks are covered that way, +2 is gained instead.
      Rationale: it seems wrong to let two units cover the same flank.

      Overwhelming battle line:
      if an engaged unit has a front wider by at least 2 models than the enemy unit... bonus...

      Cumulative Discpipline Penalties
      Not sure about the usefulness of these three. A bit more complexity, for which gain?

      Page 7: Phalanx formation: Please no list of units.
      Either give it automatically to any unit with exactly 6 or 7 models per rank and no character with mismatching base, then it is a player's choice.
      Or just say that it is any unit of infantry equipped with spears.

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    • Some issues

      Your wording in the case of core is not a tax is very confrontational, you should perhaps remedy that.

      The points limits imposed on characters disallow units like the Exalted Herald or other high priced mounted options, you should examine that, because while this game set is a different game it should still allow people to use their collections

      Hottest day/snowstorm should affect the units you mention as being unaffected, further I don't think the game effects are correct

      Cumulative Discipline Penalties are too fiddly, they will be forgotten very often, to aid against this you could make them be a benefit for the enemy rather than a bane on a player, or you could make them one time effects (like take panic tests)

      Don't agree that troops would get flaming arrows automatically for shooting at targets in buildings.

      Queen of Pants


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    • Thank you both for the suggestions, I'm going to improve and apply them on the next versione.

      Issues to discuss:

      Calisson wrote:



      Cumulative Discpipline Penalties
      Not sure about the usefulness of these three. A bit more complexity, for which gain?

      Page 7: Phalanx formation: Please no list of units.
      Either give it automatically to any unit with exactly 6 or 7 models per rank and no character with mismatching base, then it is a player's choice.
      Or just say that it is any unit of infantry equipped with spears.
      The idea behind the penalties is to have players thinking twice before sacrificing a unit or the general. Also, the point about losing an entire contingent is tied to the idea that losing the flank or the center of your army could lead to a general crumble of the line.

      No list of units, the main idea is to divide the armies between those using phalanx (more disciplined) and those using hordes (orcs, demons, etc.).

      We're still discussing about exception (iron orcs for example).





      Taki wrote:




      The points limits imposed on characters disallow units like the Exalted Herald or other high priced mounted options, you should examine that, because while this game set is a different game it should still allow people to use their collections

      Hottest day/snowstorm should affect the units you mention as being unaffected, further I don't think the game effects are correct

      Cumulative Discipline Penalties are too fiddly, they will be forgotten very often, to aid against this you could make them be a benefit for the enemy rather than a bane on a player, or you could make them one time effects (like take panic tests)

      Don't agree that troops would get flaming arrows automatically for shooting at targets in buildings.
      Yes, we're discussing on the point limits on characters. At now the rationale behind limiting them is to avoid huge character builds with small numbers of troops. Also, this rules set is thought for people that would like to use their entire collection of models (if you have 50 Warriors of the dark gods and you want to use all of them and not just 24). In my mind I expect people interested in such rules to try to field more often 6.000 points than 4500, and at 6.000 pts you can field the general with 900 points, allowing both Exalted Herald and characters on dragons. The idea is to give the army some realistic proportions.

      The problem with weather is to give those exceptions some draw back on other conditions. But I don't see the point in giving undeads the effects of tiredness. Worth discussing some alternatives.

      Both your suggestions on CDP are extremely interesting, one time panic tests particularly (remind me of something 5th or 6th edition I think).

      Troops with flaming arrows: worth thinking again about it. My idea is also to discard it if we'll apply your secondary objective with the terrain sabotage feature.

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      Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.


      Armies of Fluff: because narration is important - a blog about fluffing your army.
    • VisconteDimezzato wrote:

      The problem with weather is to give those exceptions some draw back on other conditions. But I don't see the point in giving undeads the effects of tiredness. Worth discussing some alternatives.
      Spells can fail due to weather perhaps, there is magic in storms, like the cleansing nature of rain for example, or that undead would become flammable in high heat (as they don't retain water). I think the limiting factor here is that you're thinking solely as a human. What would piss you off about maintaining machines for example in those conditions? That's basically what undead are, spell powered automata. Supernals are even more subject to the magical/emotional powers of weather, as they're beings of magic (sympathetic and otherwise)

      Queen of Pants


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    • Already subscribed but writing to let you know that this thread is pure diamond. :)

      I've persuaded my gaming group to try this out in our next game.

      The contingent system is brilliant as is the safe flanks rule.

      Have you considered adding some sort of 'pushed back' rule to the close combat result if units are fighting face to face without threat to flanks or similar condition?
      All things wargaming. My super entertaining hobby blog where anything wargaming related can happen.

      "I heard a television interviewer once suggest that the use of dice made battlegaming on par with Snakes and Ladders and such like games of change. Well, he was being just stupid, or trying to take a rise out of his guest. It is in fact the imponderable which does give reality to 'Battle' and, as we shall see, does cause the players to make proper allowance for the unlikely or even seemingly impossible, which, as we read, did happen surprisingly frequently in the annals of war."
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    • you mean something like the losing unit being pulled back if not falling back and locked in combat?

      Thank you for the support!

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      A jackal, O Karna, residing in the forest in the midst of hares regardeth himself a lion till he actually sees a lion.


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      Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
      (Hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,
      Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.


      Armies of Fluff: because narration is important - a blog about fluffing your army.
    • Yes something like that. Or break test could have more outcomes than hold or flee as our current rules has:

      If the unit has safe flanks it breaks only when rolling over it's natural discipline. If the unit passes the test it stays where it is and if it fails it is pushed back 2".

      Might try that too when I next have time to play. :)
      All things wargaming. My super entertaining hobby blog where anything wargaming related can happen.

      "I heard a television interviewer once suggest that the use of dice made battlegaming on par with Snakes and Ladders and such like games of change. Well, he was being just stupid, or trying to take a rise out of his guest. It is in fact the imponderable which does give reality to 'Battle' and, as we shall see, does cause the players to make proper allowance for the unlikely or even seemingly impossible, which, as we read, did happen surprisingly frequently in the annals of war."
      -Charles Grant
    • I'm not familiar with 3rd ed rules but similar rule existed in warhammer ancient battles. Can't remember exact details on that though.

      Mechanic like that would create longer lasting battle lines which the main rules for 9th age doesn't do that well. Flanking would be then more essential in order to break enemy with some certainty.
      All things wargaming. My super entertaining hobby blog where anything wargaming related can happen.

      "I heard a television interviewer once suggest that the use of dice made battlegaming on par with Snakes and Ladders and such like games of change. Well, he was being just stupid, or trying to take a rise out of his guest. It is in fact the imponderable which does give reality to 'Battle' and, as we shall see, does cause the players to make proper allowance for the unlikely or even seemingly impossible, which, as we read, did happen surprisingly frequently in the annals of war."
      -Charles Grant