Battle Cards

Discussion of the upcoming Battle Card system for TRIUMPH!
Scott Kastler
Levy
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Battle Cards

Postby Scott Kastler » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:08 pm

I like the idea of the battle cards. They allow some variability without modifying the core rules. Will they cost points to an army?

Scott

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David Kuijt
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Re: Battle Cards

Postby David Kuijt » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:09 pm

Some are zero points; some are negative points; most are positive points.

Some examples:

Kallapani (Mounted Infantry): some stands in some armies have mounts that give them greater mobility. Still fight on foot; can't remount after they dismount, blah blah blah rules. +1/2 point per stand with this ability.

Fortified Camp: some armies (Marian Roman, Ancient British, various others) had better-defended camps. Cost 1 pt; gives +2 to camp defense over normal. Loss of the camp counts as the loss of 12 points rather than the usual 8.

Plodding Commander: various possibilities; one is that an army with a Plodding Commander must deploy all its troops before the enemy deploys any. -1 point (maybe -2).

Camel-mounted Troops: various examples from history. Palmyran cataphract camels; Tuaregs; lots of examples of a stand or two of Bad Horse. Camel-mounted stands gain the following:
  • Dunes or Oasis are treated as open terrain for them, for all purposes
  • +1 in close combat against Knights, Elephants, or Cataphracts (does not apply for Cataphract Camels or Knight Camels)
  • Knights or Cataphracts: not shattered by enemy Elephants.
Cost is 0 per stand for Knights or Cataphracts; 1/2 per stand for others.

All of these are army-list limited. You cannot take camels to mount your Medieval French knights -- only Tuaregs are allowed camel-mounted knights. You cannot take a plodding commander just because you feel like it -- but if your army is the Spring and Autumn Chinese you can take one to represent Duke Whatshisname who when presented with an enemy army caught while crossing a river at a significant disadvantage famously said something like "I may be the sad representative of a faded dynasty, but I am not so lacking in honor as to attack an enemy in disarray." (quote certainly mangled, but something like that).
DK

Andreas Johansson
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Re: Battle Cards

Postby Andreas Johansson » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:12 pm

David Kuijt wrote:Palmyran cataphract camels

Palmyran cataphract camels? Is that a slip for Hatrene (the WRG identification), or is there reason to ascribe the things to Palmyra too?

A very brief look round the 'Net - and I don't have time for anything else ATM - leaves me with a terrible suspicion the whole thing may be mythical: the one original source that pops up is a passage from Herodian that mentions armoured (kataphraktous) men on horses and camels, which certainly doesn't need imply anything Johnny Wargamer would understand as cataphracts.

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David Kuijt
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Re: Battle Cards

Postby David Kuijt » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:43 pm

Andreas Johansson wrote:
David Kuijt wrote:Palmyran cataphract camels

Palmyran cataphract camels? Is that a slip for Hatrene (the WRG identification), or is there reason to ascribe the things to Palmyra too?


Arabo-Aramaean, then? Yes, Hatra, not Palmyra.
Andreas Johansson wrote:A very brief look round the 'Net - and I don't have time for anything else ATM - leaves me with a terrible suspicion the whole thing may be mythical: the one original source that pops up is a passage from Herodian that mentions armoured (kataphraktous) men on horses and camels, which certainly doesn't need imply anything Johnny Wargamer would understand as cataphracts.


It certainly seems unlikely; we were just going with "established wisdom" on the issue. If you find out anything more, please let me know.
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Andreas Johansson
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Re: Battle Cards

Postby Andreas Johansson » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:04 am

Hatra would be Arabo-Aramean, yes. Ca AD 200 it was an Arsacid vassal.

I'll look and ask around a bit if there's any other sources with more detail when time permits.

Andreas Johansson
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Re: Battle Cards

Postby Andreas Johansson » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:39 pm

OK, having googled a bit more and had a chat with Duncan over at the SoA forums, I've gathered the following:

Herodian appears to be the only source. His wording is compatible with either armoured or unarmoured camels. Duncan feels that the wording suggests armoured beasts - I'm more inclined to think that if something so exotic were meant Herodian would have been explicit.

What is clear is that the riders are armoured and armed with substantial spears. Oddly, translators disagree whether the spears are thrown or thrust - the latter seems more likely as the spears are described and as big and the Greek verb appears to be a derivative of otheo "push". Whether the camels are armoured or not, we seem to be looking at "heavy camelry".

The Hatrene connection appears to be speculation on Nigel Tallis' part. It may be right, but as the only actual attestation is in the army of Artabanus IV of Parthia, the Parthian list is the one with the best claim to include them.

Part of Nigel's reason was that Hatrene art features many camels - but seemingly no armoured ones.

So what does this mean in Triumph! terms? Allowing the Parthians to field camelry seems clearly justified - Herodian portrays them as an important part of Artabanus' army, tho he gives no proportions - but what troop type is less clear. If the camels really where armoured then presumably indeed Cataphracts, if not, then what? Knights? There's no indication that they charged harder than Artabanus' cavalry. Bad Horse is always an option I guess, but they are said to have caused the Romans considerable damage. Less clear that Hatra deserves any camelry - googling the ones in Hatrene arts are not just unarmoured but seem to be engaged in peaceful pursuits when shown with any context.


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