Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
"Bring Me the Body of Patroclus"
Giant Battle Trojan War
According to the Iliad, when the tide of war had turned against the Greeks and the Trojans were threatening their ships, Achilles “friend” Patroclus convinced Achilles to let him lead the Myrmidons (Achilles retinue) into combat. Achilles consented, giving Patroclus the armor Achilles had received from his father, in order for Patroclus to impersonate Achilles. Achilles then told Patroclus to return after beating the Trojans back from their ships. Patroclus defied Achilles' order and pursued the Trojans back to the gates of Troy. Patroclus killed many Trojans, including a son of Zeus, Sarpedon. While battling, Patroclus' wits were removed by Apollo, after which Patroclus was hit with the spear of Euphorbos. Hector, thinking this was Achilles, then killed Patroclus by stabbing him in the stomach with a spear.
This game deviates from the Homer epic to propose an all out effort by the various heroes to retrieve the body of Patroclus
Achaeans (40 elements)
Command 1: Agamenon of Mycenea with Menelaus of Sparta -- 1xLCh/4Bd (CnC), 2xLHCh/4Bd, 4x4Sp, 1x2Ps
Command 2: Achilles of Phtia-- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 6x4Wb, 1x2Ps
Command 3: Diomedes of Argos -- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 1xLCh/4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x2Ps
Command 4: Nestor of Pylos -- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 1xLCh/4Bd, 4x4Pk, 2x2Ps
Command 5: Odysseus of Ithaca with Ajax of Salamis -- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 1xLCh/4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x2Ps
Achaeans fight as independent commands. Commands are comprised of 8 elements each, demoralized when they lose 3 elements with their general counting as 2.
Break/Demoralized = elements need an extra PIP for a forward move, toward enemy side edge. Per element, not group. Normal rules apply to movement to the side(less than 90d or rear or any movement within the deployment area. board. Not the Big Battle rules for Demoralization
Army loses the game if 4 out of 6 commanders are lost or when 50% of army is lost-- 20 elements lost (not just demoralized).
Agammenon rolls 1D6-1 for PIPs for each command (so it is possible for a command to receive 0 Pips for a bound). Agammenon gets the highest roll, Achilles gets the lowest (but can always move himself if in his chariot if he gets no PIPs), the other 5 get whatever Agammenon gives them. ( When any element contacts Petroclus then Achilles gets the highest die and Achilles rolls and allocates for the generals. If Agammennon is lost before this happens, Menelaus becomes CinC, next Odyessus, next Nestor. Likewise if Achilles is lost after he gains control. )
Trojans (36 elements)
Command 1: Hector (CnC) -- 4x LCh//4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x3Ax, 2x2Ps
Command 2: Paris (Gen) -- 4x LCh//4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x3Ax, 2x2Ps
Command 3: Aeneas (Gen) -- 1x LCh//4Bd, 4x3Bd, 3x4Wb, 2x3Ax, and 2x2Ps
The commands of Hector and Paris are the native Trojans and Dardanians. Aeneas commands the Sea People mercenaries. Hector allocates standard d6 dice as he sees fit, without regard to high and low among all three Trojan players.
Each command is the full 12 elements, and demoralized if 4 elements are destroyed, lost with 6 gone . Thus, the Achaeans have better troops and slightly more of them, but are handicapped by their command structure, whereas the Trojans should have better command/control. Trojans lose if 2 of 3 generals are lost or if army loses 50% -- 18 elements(lost not just demoralized). If Hector is lost then Aeneas becomes the CinC.
For both armies, all chariots have dismounted blades that can be substituted for the chariots for 1 PIP per chariot . The named heroes, only, may also remount for 2 pips per individual. Also the named heroes may use the Big Battle rule for the CinC of adding a +1 once per game after the initial score has been rolled.
Petroclus is dead, in the center of the table. Capturing the body will eliminate 5 elements worth of losses to the side that brings it to their board edge. To move it, an element need only touch it and move as normally. The body occupies no gaming space so it cannot protect an element from attack. If two opposing elements touch it, then they are considered in frontal combat, the winner taking possession. If an element in possession loses a combat, the winner gets it. Only Chariots and dismounted blades can retrieve the body. It stays to front or back of the capturing element that faces the enemy edge.
There are no camps or BUAs. Some areas of Bad Going and a couple of Hills should be placed around the battlefield, but it is vastly just the open plains of Troy.
To increase the game to 10 players (this needs increased space and time)
add to the Achaeans
Command 6: Ajax of Salamis -- 1xLCh/4Bd (Gen), 1xLCh/4Bd, 4x4Sp, 2x2Ps
And to the Trojans (this command rolls his own die, is demoralized with 4 loses, and destroyed with 6.
Command 4: Hittites -- 1 x General in 2-horse 3-crew chariot (HCh), 1 x 2-horse 3-crew chariot (HCh), 2 x 2-horse 2-crew chariots (LCh), 4 x Hittite spearmen (3Pk), 2 x Anatolian or Syrian spearmen (3Ax), 2 x archers (Ps)
Historical note: I first put together my Trojan War collection in 2001. I posted a question to Fanaticus as to how to organize the armies. Chris Brantley suggested this scenario. I added the Petroclus aspect. I ran this game at Historicon in 2002.
I ran this again at the March 2017 Adepticon Convention. It played just as well with DBA 3 as it did originally with DBA 2. Just some slight changes in the army components. Base Width moves speeded up play.
The game had 10 players
Another view, taken by Bill Hupp. Yours truly standing on left.
Chariot combat in the center. Hector's command captured Patroclus' body, defending against Agamemnon's attack. Hector hits the Achaean leader in the flank, but loses. Patroclus' body falls to the Achaean's side which held it for duration of game.
Combat between Nestor (lower left)/Achilles (yellow shields) and the Hittites
Final fighting in center, after loss of Hector
Hector and Aeneas were destroyed so Trojans lost. Achaeans captured the body of Patroclus.