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This blog presents my different wargames armies, after action reports, campaigns which I have run, some scenarios and a presentation of some of the different rules I play. The pages at the top of the blog contain historical information on the periods that interest me. They are an aid to my poor memory, and not in any way exhaustive nor necessarily correct. As I am an Englishman living in France, some pages are in English and others in French...sorry, I am too lazy to translate...

I hope this blog offers you much enjoyment and some inspiration !

mercredi 1 juillet 2015

The Rise of Rome

Aim of the game
This is a solo campaign, which can be played out with any set of Ancients rules (I use Command & Colors Ancients).
The theatre is Italy, from -348 (just before the beginning of the First Samnite War) to -264 (beginning of the First Punic War), covering 84 years in total.
The campaign is played out over 12 turns each of 7 years.
The player represents Rome, and will achieve victory by investing revenue to improve the civic strength of Rome.

Provinces and Powers
The map of Italy is divided into 19 provinces.  Each province is under the control of one of the nine Powers that figure in the campaign: 

The Romans, controlling 3 provinces
The Samnites, controlling 3 provinces
The Campanians, controlling 2 provinces
The Bruttians and Lucanians, controlling 1 province
The Etruscans, controlling 1 province
The Senon Celts, controlling 2 provinces
The Boeian Celts, controlling 2 provinces
The Tarentine Greeks, controlling 2 provinces
The Syracusan Greeks, controlling 3 provinces

Certain provinces contain a resource.  There are in all three ports, three quarries and three olive trees.

With the exception of Rome, the sovereign (or other equivalent ruler or ruling caste) of each Power has three defining characteristics: Aggressor, Protector and Builder.  These change periodically, when the sovereign dies or the ruling caste is replaced.

A Power is generally Active.  It becomes Inactive if all of its home provinces are controlled by another Power.  A Power that becomes Inactive loses control over all non-home provinces that it controls.
An Inactive Power is the Subject of another, Active, Power, if all of its home provinces are controlled by the Power.
An Inactive Power becomes Active if it regains control of at least one of its home provinces (which will occur if the rival power controlling it becomes Inactive).

There are also two External Powers, Carthage and Epirus / Macedonia.  Certain events may provoke their intervention.  Neither can, however, control a province.

Game Turn

Phase 1 : All Active Powers collect revenue
Phase 2 : All Active Powers check for the death of their sovereign or a change in their ruling caste
Phase 3 : All Active Powers, except Rome, roll to determine if they will launch an attack during this turn.  The target Power of each attack is then determined, in order.
Phase 4 : All Active Powers spend their revenue
Phase 5 : Battles are fought and their consequences determined
Phase 6 : Post-battle phase with the possible intervention of an External Power.


A Subject Inactive Power yields 5 if it is made up of one province, 10 if it is made up of two provinces and 20 if it is made up of three provinces.  The revenue from a single-province Subject Inactive Power may, however, only be spent on Civic Improvement.

If the Active Power controls two identical resources, this brings 10 revenue; if it has a monopoly on the resource (controls them all), they are worth 20 revenue.

Each home province not controlled by the Active Power costs 5 talents of revenue; this cannot however cause revenue to drop below 0.

Change of Ruler or Ruling Caste

Roll 1D6 for each Active Power except Rome, +1 for each turn since the last change of ruler or ruling caste.  If the total is equal to or greater than 6, there is a change.

Reroll the characteristics of the new ruler with 3D10.  The first D10 is the ruler’s Aggressor rating, the second his Protector rating and the third his Builder rating.
Certain Powers apply modifiers to these results:

Samnites :  +4 Aggressor, +2 Protector, -3 Builder
Bruttians and Senon or Boeian Celts : +4 Aggressor, -2 Protector, -3 Builder
Campanians or Tarentine Greeks : +3 Protector, -2 Aggressor
Syracusan Greeks: +2 Aggressor, +2 Protector

Should these modifiers cause any characteristic to drop below 0, it is increased by whatever is necessary to bring it up to 0 and the highest characteristic reduced by an equal amount.

These characteristics are then converted into percentiles, rounded off to the nearest 10%.


Roll 2D6 for each Active Power, except Rome.  

 +1 if the Power was victorious in battle on the last turn.   
-1 if the Power was defeated in battle on the last turn.   
+1 if the Power’s ruler has an Aggressor rating from 51 to 70.
+2 if the Power's ruler has an Aggressor rating from 71 to 90.
+3 if the Power's ruler has an Aggressor rating higher than 90.
 -1 if the Power's ruler has an Aggressor rating less than 30.

If the result is 9+, the Power will attack a neighbouring Power this turn.

In the order of modified dice roll, from highest to lowest, the target of each attack is now determined.
An attack could potentially affect any Active Power which controls a province adjacent to a province controlled by the attacking Power.

Roll 1D6 for each such target Power, adding +1 for that which has the least revenue, +2 for the next-lowest revenue, and so forth.  Add +2 if a Minor Victory over the Power would gain the attacker a Subject Inactive Power.  The target rolling the highest modified die roll is attacked.

The player, as Rome, now decides if he will attack this turn, and indicates his target.

Spending revenue

Each Active Power spends its revenue between Attack, Defense and Civic Improvement.  The relevant ruler’s characteristics (Aggressor, Protector, Builder) determine the split for Active Powers besides Rome.  A Power that is not attacking diverts revenue spend on Attack, Defense.  A Power that is not being attacked diverts revenue spent on Defense, to Attack.

Revenue spent on Civic Improvement has no actual effect, except for Rome.  The Builder rating does however determine the number of Command Cards the Power uses during battle.

The player decides how Rome will use its revenue.

Fighting Battles

Following the same order used to determine the target Power of each attack, battles are now fought out.
The specific province targeted is the one that will yield the most revenue on the following turn if it is conquered.  The effect of resources and of the creation of a possible Subject Inactive Power must thus be taken into count.  If several provinces tie, preference goes to those that contain a resource.  A die roll is required to decide between several options.

If the targeted province belongs to a Subject Inactive Power, the army of that Inactive Power will defend.  In all other cases, the army of the controlling Power defends.

The attacking Power will have a 80 point base army (for Command & Colors).  To these are added the revenue spent on Attack.
The defending Power will have a 80 point base army.  To these are added none, some or all of the revenue spent on Defense (a Power subject to several attacks, including attacks on a Subject Inactive Power, may wish to spread out their defense).  10 points are added if the Power is not attacking this turn.  10 points are deducted if the Power is being attacked twice this turn, 20 points if three times, etc.    For this modifier, attacks against the Power and a Subject Inactive Power it controls are considered as separate.

Rome always uses 5 Command Cards.  A Power with a Builder rating less than 20 uses 4 Command Cards, a rating of 20 to 39 gives 5 Command Cards and a rating of 40 or higher, 6 Command Cards.

The maximum number of Generals (FRD) that an army can include are as follows :
Rome; Etruscans; Syracuse : 1 General per 35 pts
Campanians; Tarentum : 1 General per 40 pts
Samnites; Bruttians and Lucanians; Senon Celts; Boeian Celts : 1 General per 50 pts

Playing the game on the tabletop

Battles involving Rome, or one of its Subject Inactive Powers, are played out on the tabletop.  Other battles may be played at the choice of the player (for example, if they are of particular strategic interest), or may be resolved using the Battle Result Generator below.

This follows the rules set used, with attacker and defender already determined.  Terrain types available for the battle are indicated on the map.

Each Power may integrate into its army list an allied corps from any Subject Inactive Power they control, which is not itself under attack this turn.  The rules set used for play indicates the restrictions, if any, on such allied corps.
For Command & Colors Ancients, an allied corps cannot represent more than one-quarter of the total points value of the army and all units of a specific ally must be deployed adjacent to at least one other unit of the same ally.

Battle Result Generator
Both sides roll 2D6 and choose the highest die.  They then add +1 for each 20 (full) points in their army.  In the case of a draw, the dice are rerolled.
A difference of 3 or more indicates a Major Victory; otherwise the higher scorer wins a Minor Victory.

Consequences of the battle

The consequences of a battle on the campaign map are determined immediately.

If the attacking Power wins a Minor Victory, it takes control of the target province.
If the attacking Power wins a Major Victory, it takes control of the target province, and one additional adjacent province belonging to the same enemy Power.
If the defending Power wins a Minor Victory, there is no change to the campaign map.  If the defending Power wins a Major Victory, it takes control of one province belonging to the attacking Power.

The Roman player chooses which provinces he takes control of; otherwise the province taken is determined as if it were the target of an attack.

In Command & Colors Ancients, a Major Victory is defined as one in which the winning side has either lost less than 50% of the casualties required to break it or has lost less than 75% of the casualties required to break it and has more intact Light Cavalry (LC, LBC) and Medium Cavalry (MC) than its opponent present on the battlefield.

If the modification of the campaign map renders the next battle in line impossible (because no province of the target Power is adjacent to a province of the attacking Power), the attack is cancelled.  Any revenue spent on Attack is diverted to Defense.

Intervention of an External Power

At the end of each turn, roll 2D6 both for Carthage and Epirus / Macedonia to see if they intervene in the Italian Peninsula, if they are not already present.  A result of more than 12 indicates an intervention.

Carthage adds +1 to the die roll for each 10 revenue gained this turn by the richest Power.
If a Subject Inactive Power has been created this turn, Epirus / Macedonia adds +3 for each province of that Power (and hence will only intervene when such an event occurs).  Should several have been created this turn, consider the one with the most provinces or, in case of a tie, the one created first during the turn.

The army of an External Power is 100 pts strong.  It occupies one (and only one) province.  The province it occupies is not controlled by any Power, but control of it reverts to its previous owner as soon as the External Power’s army leaves it.

The Carthaginian army will appear in a random coastal province.
The Epirus / Macedonian army will appear in a random province adjacent to the Subject Inactive Power created during the turn but not one belonging to the player (Rome).  The Power of which it is a Home Province is the one paying the Epirus / Macedonian army and is immune to its attacks.

The army of the External Power always attacks during a turn, and always attacks first (should both be active, roll a die to decide which goes first).  The target Power is determined in the usual fashion, but the target province is purely random.

The army of an External Power is removed from the campaign map immediately if :
-          Its only target is immune to its attacks or contains the army of the other External Power
-          It is defeated in battle

Otherwise it diminishes by 10 pts at the end of each game turn.

Winning the Game

Should at any point in the campaign, Rome no longer exert control over any of its home provinces, the player has lost the game and is in great disgrace !

At the end of the 12 turns, the player (Rome) counts up the total amount of revenue that he has spent on Civic Development throughout the game.  This represents Rome using its wealth to improve civic cohesion, build up an autonomous but diversified urban elite, reinforce its Republican institutions, embellish the city to encourage civic pride, and so forth.
He then loses 5 points of Civic Development for each turn that each Roman home province was under the control of an enemy Power.

If the total is 250 or more, Rome’s destiny as a major power in the known world is assured.
If the total is between 180 and 250, Rome will durably dominate Italy but will never succeed in dominating the Mediterranean.
If the total is between 150 and 180, Rome will never be anything other than a provincial power.
If the total is 150 or less, Rome is destined to rapidly disappear from the world scene!

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