Home Forums Ancients Clash of Spears – now visually enhanced with photos!

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    Tony S

    Firstly, let me just warn you all that a) I’m not a photographer and b) I get caught up in games, so no photos after things get interesting.  But there are some!   The figures are at least 45 years old – RAFM and Minifigs.  They were rebased for Clash, as they used to be – of course – based for WRG 5th.  Some of you might be interested to know that they were painted by a young Bob Murch, the talent behind Pulp Figures.

    We tried the deployment rules today.   Just like the main game, they are simple but subtle.  Basically, you are moving hidden deployment markers for your units, to try and out maneuver the enemy.   Naturally, I messed up some of rules (forgot LOS) but they will add a lot more thinking and planning to the game.  Especially if we used LOS – then placing terrain will also require some thought.  Do I get a hill to screen my deployment, or drop a swamp in his area, while keeping the scenario objectives in mind.  There is the temptation to push your units forward as fast as possible…but then they will begin the battle already fatigued.  The fatigue is based on unit type.  Riding a unit of mounted Numidians as far as possible is nothing like getting a unit of heavy triarii to sprint up a hill!  Use your skirmishers like they were used, but advancing them unsupported is also not a terribly good idea.  Decisions, decisions.


    So, there’s some of my battleline after we revealed our hidden units.  Veteran Carthaginian spearmen flanked by a couple of Punic foot.  (I think the Punic foot are Minifigs.  True 25s to be sure.  Who needed sculpting details in the 70s?  Or primer either apparently).  There are some Spanish and off in the distance some Numidian horse.  The treasure chests are objective markers.   Cheesy D&D preprimed castings yes, but we bought them about five minutes earlier and slapped some Contrast paints on them.   Done!  There is only one real marker – neither of us knows which is the real pot o’ gold.

    There’s one of my Commanders, wincing slightly from the brazen braying beside him.

    Some balearic slingers, whom I rushed up to one of the objectives.  (Again, just three colours of contrast paints blocked on it – I really like that stuff).  I figured they’re mercenaries; seemed appropriate.  Those figures were still on the original bases, with some of that new fancy 1980s “flock” or “sawdust and paint” to be a bit more accurate.  I got the jump on my opponent, as not only did I roll to go first in the deployment phase, but he decided to skip his turn because he wished to examine some entrails.  So I got two consecutive moves.  Seems the goat’s sacrifice was not in vain, as Mars gave the Romans a fate point.  Had we remembered to use fate points during the battle, that could have come in handy.  We both forgot.  (I had a two; he had three).     As it turned out, that was the actual objective.  Not to spoil things, but those slingers grabbed the treasure and ran off the board successfully.

    Witness the only photo I took during the actual game.  (I’m a gamer, not a photographer).  My Numidians have been pestering those princeps, and they begin to advance to brush them aside.   Later on I decided to use the horse to attack another move tempting target to their left.  The Romans in the photo interrupted that action successfully, and charged my horse in a most unsportsmanlike fashion.   Horsemeat was back on the Roman menu rather quickly.


    It is difficult for foot to catch light horse in the open, but it can happen.  Clash of Spears doesn’t forbid such things, but instead allows a player a lot of rope to hang themselves.  If you move your horse too close, push them too far in terms of actions and fatigues, you opponent may catch them flat footed.  Or hoofed I suppose.


    That’s one of the things I love about the game.  Despite the temptations, you must know when to leave things be, otherwise you’ll leave your troops in a vulnerable state.  My opponent used his hastati to pursue my slingers and the objective too hard, through some fields.  They got counter charged by some of my fresh punic infantry, and then the slingers themselves then peppered them point blank with stones and destroyed the Romans, and earned their bread.  (Very pedantic and obscure Vegetius reference joke),


    Again, we had a great time playing these rules.  Things felt “right”.   Mostly; I’m still unsure about the fact that in the rules the massively larger and unprotected targets known as “horses” are harder to hit with missiles.  A minor nit to balance the game I suspect.    Very subtle but simple mechanisms.  Both of us felt that we were just scratching the surface of tactical nuances.  Had to think carefully, and plan ahead several moves.


    Two thumbs way up from us!


    Nathaniel Weber

    What an excellent game report. Fun to read and very informative about the game. I love the classic minis too.

    I totally failed to catch this kickstarter. I remembered.it the day after it ended. And that’s even after I talked to one of the designers at Millennium Con. 🙁

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