Discussion of the upcoming Battle Card system for TRIUMPH!
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David Kuijt
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Post by David Kuijt » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:06 pm

The general objective is for Triumph! battle cards to be a mechanism for adding depth and historical flavor to a game of Triumph! without dominating or significantly overshadowing the underlying game engine.

The initial approach focuses on battle cards that are specific to particular army lists. Some examples are:
  • Skirmish Screen, where an army may use some stands of skirmishers as a screen in front of Elite Foot or Heavy Foot (usually) to increase their effectiveness against enemy mounted, warband, and warriors. One example used at Fall In and Historicon was the Berber Heavy Foot of the Fatamid army.
  • Mounted Infantry, where an army may have some stands of foot that start the battle mounted (with increased movement in open terrain) even though they fight dismounted. Examples include some Assyrian foot (Kallapani), Kyrene Hoplites, HYW English bow, and many others.
  • Fortified Camp, where an army has much better defended camps than usual for ancient and medieval armies. Marian Romans are one good example, although there are many others.
  • No Camp, where an army does not deploy a camp at all. This can represent cases like the Hussites at Kutna Hora, who had no camp, or the Mongols at Mohi where their strategic camp was outside of the range of possible enemy attack during the battle. Note that not all horse armies would have this option -- the Huns at Chalons had a camp that was involved in the post-battle interaction and could have been assaulted.
  • Standard Wagons, like the Carroccio of the Italian Commune armies and many Feudal German armies of the same period, or the wagon of the Battle of the Standard in the 12th century between the English and the Scots.
  • Sacrificial one-shot military attacks that cannot be well represented as fighting stands, like the scythed chariots of Mithradates and Darius, or the rolling flaming logs that were a tactic of the Ancient Spanish, or the stampeding cattle used by many sub-Saharan African armies.
Army-list battle cards are envisioned as a controlled mechanism for introducing special rules and in-battle events that are specific to a particular army list, or a small set of army lists, but not available to all armies. The individual army lists in Meshwesh will be annotated with the battle cards relevant to that army list. In most (possibly all) cases battle cards will not act as surprise ("Gotcha!") cards, but will be information available to both players from the start of the game.

This is a conservative approach to battle cards; if at some later point we consider expanding this concept to adopt a less-limited approach it will be possible to do so without invalidating this work on Army-List focused battle cards. It is possible that a less-limited approach with more surprising cards would be have significant value in Fantasy Triumph!, as one possibility.