Mixing armies from the three periods...

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Mixing armies from the three periods...

Postby geekgrrrl » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:58 pm

I'd love to do a campaign at some point based on the early Muslim expansions into Europe, and especially the invasion of Gaul that was ultimately routed by Charles Martell. It's a fascinating period of history I haven't really seen explored anywhere.

It would involve mixing factions from the Crescent & Cross expansion with those of the core Dark Ages books though, so I've been wondering: Has anybody here mixed factions from the three different periods? While the rules are obviously the same for all three settings, I wonder how the various battleboard abilities interact with one-another. I've only played the core Viking Age factions, and while I've read the rulebooks for C&C and for Aetius & Arthur, that's a poor substitute actual play time.
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Re: Mixing armies from the three periods...

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:00 am

We (PWG) are pondering this very issue at the moment, as we plan our next campaign. Some club members are favouring running an Eastern Viking Age Campaign, while others want a Crescent and Cross campaign. As a compromise, there is a thought to allow some (determined by historical accuracy) of the Crescent and Cross factions into the Eastern campaign.

But opinions on this differ. Purists are arguing we shouldn't mix the two rules. We have in the past, happily pitted, say, Hospitalers against Scots, but they were very casual games, and no-one was deeply pondering game balance and board interactions. And while I am personally happy to, on the face of it, mix C&C and Viking Age, I have some niggling doubts. I can't help but think that the C&C boards "feel" different. Like they weren't written to interact with Viking Age boards. And the C&C factions are much more flexible with regard to dogs of war units - creating a more amorphous feel to the armies - you can have a Crusader army with plenty of Turkish horse archers, for example. This might constitute an advantage for the C&C factions.

One way of dealing with this is to rather rely on the semiofficial boards published in Wargames Illustrated for Arab armies. We are already allowing the WI Steppe Nomads board to be used in an Eastern Viking Age campaign, so its not a stretch to allow the other WI board/s. These predate the C&C boards, and might sidestep some of the concerns.

But outside of the context of a campaign or a tournament, I say, mix away. Especially if you are trying to create historical battles. And if lists need to be tweaked to more properly represent the forces, tweak away. Moors vs Franks? For sure! (My Moors are itching to bash both Franks and Spaniards, and a local player is building an Ottonian Frank list that no doubt will see action (together with their Byzantine mercenaries) against Sicilian Saracens in southern Italy... Endless possibilities...

Hope this helps...

PS: A&A is too new to us to provide any feedback on board balance. But I did note that it includes a section on "backdating" the force lists for some of the Viking Age boards - Welsh, Irish, for e.g. - to allow the boards to be more happily played against the boards from A&A.

PPS: Its worth noting that the only word in the rulebooks on this matter is the stipulation that C&C Dogs of Wars/VA Swords for Hire are not interchangeable, which implies the authors anticipated that players would mix the periods....
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Re: Mixing armies from the three periods...

Postby geekgrrrl » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:48 am

Thanks for the feedback GAZ. As you say, outside of tournament play it's less of a concern, but I am a stickler for rules & game balance ... ;-D

The Eastern Viking campaign sounds awesome - after rewatching 13th Warrior for my article a while back I got quite intrigued by that corner of the Viking Age - another horribly under-explored setting. I did find a Russian movie, "Viking", which I still have to watch, that is set during the Rus Princes era. I've watched the opening minutes of it and it looks really fun - I think it'll be well worth a download if you get the chance.

Whichever campaign you guys do end up running, I can't wait for the campaign reports like the ones you did for the last campaign. :clap:

PS. I wasn't aware of the Wargames Illustrated Arab armies you mention - My internet hunting mission for the weekend has just been defined. Thanks!
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Re: Mixing armies from the three periods...

Postby geekgrrrl » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:49 pm

geekgrrrl wrote:PS. I wasn't aware of the Wargames Illustrated Arab armies you mention - My internet hunting mission for the weekend has just been defined. Thanks!


Had a good look, and while I managed to track the board down, the rest of the rules for the WI Arabs evade me. Board looks interesting though. ^_^
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Re: Mixing armies from the three periods...

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:02 pm

I recall someone in the club having the relevant issue of WI. Have asked all to search for such. Will let you know if I track it down...
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Re: Mixing armies from the three periods...

Postby geekgrrrl » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:13 pm

Oooooh. Thank you kindly! ^_^
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Re: Mixing armies from the three periods...

Postby Hyogai » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:33 am

Don't mix stuff, okes get the moor in.
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