Differentiating similar Troop Type

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Bill Hupp
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Differentiating similar Troop Type

Post by Bill Hupp » Sat May 12, 2018 12:44 am

Any clever ideas on how to differentiate troop types based the same way? Heavy foot and Elite foot seem to be the biggest issue, particularly for newer players and when playing bigger games like Grand Triumph!

Not a biggie, but wondering if others have ideas.
Last edited by Bill Hupp on Sat May 12, 2018 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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David Kuijt
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Re: Differentiating similar Troop Type

Post by David Kuijt » Sat May 12, 2018 10:56 am

In all the cases I can think of off-hand, the figures can be used to tell the tale. For example, in the Vikings you can (and should) use armored figures for the Huscarles and unarmored figures for the Hird. For the Camillans, the Hastati (with government issue pectorales as their body armor) can be easily differentiated from the Principes (with mail armor). For the Polybians you can use shield color. For Medievals you can use less armored figures for Heavy Foot and more armored for Elite Foot; dismounted Knights are easy to identify.

So which army are you asking about in particular?
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Re: Differentiating similar Troop Type

Post by Rod » Sat May 12, 2018 11:55 am

In addition to the techniques David mentioned.
For my upcoming Hastings game I plan to use colored paint dots on the back side of the stands... to identify both commands and elite vs heavy.

Much easier for new players and also easier for me to setup the scenarios.

I did this with my fantasy game to seperate the orccommmands. It worked pretty well.
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Re: Differentiating similar Troop Type

Post by Bill Hupp » Sat May 12, 2018 1:55 pm

DK,

It was Hastings that triggered the specific thought, but it’s really a generic question. (I did convert some 3BW Archers from the legacy system to skirmishers in Triumph! By popping off the middle figure to have enough archer skirmishers.)

The long established WRG basing standards are a blessing and a curse. They communicate silently to long time Ancients players and clearly make sense within the rules sets as they are used. To those new to the hobby or to Ancients gaming they don’t communicate much of anything.

Since teaching new players seems to be a lot of my gaming time right now, I’ve noticed troop type ‘code’ is something that takes a while to get with the subtle differences being learned last. In the middle of a game with a borrowed army pointing out armor differences doesn’t take much before the 4th time repeated.

Rod, any specific colors chosen? Or do you think a rock or bush or flower clump might work? I don’t think I want to color code the base edges. (I use colored post it strips just peaking out for C&C:A for their Heavy, Medium, Light categories.) I did write E on the bottom of the Elite stands so the player can check themselves when in doubt.

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Re: Differentiating similar Troop Type

Post by David Kuijt » Sat May 12, 2018 2:14 pm

Bill Hupp wrote:DK,

It was Hastings that triggered the specific thought, but it’s really a generic question.
For Hastings, the Huscarles should definitely be distinguished by armor. All the Huscarles would be in mail, almost nobody in the Fyrd would be in armor (since a suit of mail would be worth a small farm, and they'd have to supply their own armor). You should also have the Huscarles wielding mostly two-handed axes, and the Fyrd would be mostly using spears (plus a few swords or one-handed axes for the Select Fyrd).
Bill Hupp wrote: The long established WRG basing standards are a blessing and a curse. They communicate silently to long time Ancients players and clearly make sense within the rules sets as they are used. To those new to the hobby or to Ancients gaming they don’t communicate much of anything.
Actually, they don't make much sense in most of the rules sets in which they are used. They give a bit of information, perhaps, but there is no way to tell irregular Ax(O) from Bd(F) or irregular Ax(S) or Ax(I) or Sp(F)/Pk(F) or Wb(F) if you don't know the army (DBM or MM example).

The cleaned up Triumph basing standards, although still inheriting largely from the old standards, are more use. There are still cases where you can't tell one type from another without knowing the army (Heavy Foot v. Elite Foot being a prime example), but it marks very clearly whether troops are close order (no interpenetration) or open order (some interpenetration) or skirmishers (very free interpenetration).
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Re: Differentiating similar Troop Type

Post by David Kuijt » Sat May 12, 2018 2:18 pm

Bill Hupp wrote: Since teaching new players seems to be a lot of my gaming time right now, I’ve noticed troop type ‘code’ is something that takes a while to get with the subtle differences being learned last. In the middle of a game with a borrowed army pointing out armor differences doesn’t take much before the 4th time repeated.
Bill, take a look at the laser-cut flat counters armies that we had for new players at Cold Wars. We'll have some available (and certainly for looking-at) at Historicon. For teaching new players, they're really the bomb. And you can buy a matched pair of armies (NKE v. Hittites, for example) for $20 or so. wasn't working on that project, so I'm not certain about the price, but I think that's correct.

Did anyone take any pictures of them? Rod?
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Re: Differentiating similar Troop Type

Post by Rod » Sun May 13, 2018 12:52 am

David Kuijt wrote:
For Hastings, the Huscarles should definitely be distinguished by armor. All the Huscarles would be in mail, almost nobody in the Fyrd would be in armor (since a suit of mail would be worth a small farm, and they'd have to supply their own armor). You should also have the Huscarles wielding mostly two-handed axes, and the Fyrd would be mostly using spears (plus a few swords or one-handed axes for the Select Fyrd).
Unfortunately, I have a lot of dudes in mail, but with spears (Select Fryd) for the heavy foot.

All Huscales stands specifically have some or all two handed axes. The Horde (Lesser Fryd) are no armor of course and with many not having shields even in the rear ranks.

The Norman Elite Foot are sword armed and mailed, the Heavy foot are spears with no armor. It's easy for me to tell becasue they are my figures, but still going to use the dots to distinguish commands and help the new players.

We playtested it today and it played brilliantly with the evading Javelin Cavalry and Skirmishers pulling the English out of formation. +1 PIP for backing up the hill (special scenario rule) forced the English to choose between pushing forward vs. leaving stands hangin in the wind.

Funny thing is that at one point this left the English command stand hangin out in the wind and Bishp Odo charged in to take advantage, most of his command bounced except Odo locked, got caught and killed! Posted a bunch of pics on the Triumph FB page.
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Re: Differentiating similar Troop Type

Post by Piyan Glupak » Sun May 13, 2018 5:05 am

One possibility, if you have a lot of sword and axe armed Vikings, is to consider putting most of them on the 40mm by 20mm bases and doing a 'Viking Raider' army. I bought a few extra figures for my Vikings a little while ago but have the feeling that I have too high a proportion of swordsmen and axemen. The 'Viking Raider' army might possibly be the way forward for me, and maybe for others in a similar predicament. At the moment, I want to concentrate on my Bronze Age armies, so detailed thoughts about Viking army conversion will have to wait.

The only opposition for my Vikings that I have currently are Carolingeans. In the in the longer term, I suspect that Anglo-Saxons versus Vikings might give better games under Triumph! than some earlier rules.
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