Wargames To Go 9 - Alesia
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
The usual geeklist where I can record the games I play for the next podcast episode, others I won't make it to (but are interesting to consider), and so on.

I've been wanting to (force myself to) explore a topic other than WW2 and here it is. Julius Caesar's famous Battle of Alesia. I don't know too much about Roman history, and even less about ancients warfare. That means this is a very exciting topic for me to dive into. I picked it because it's a location I can also visit while living here in France, something I hope to do in the month of November.

While there may not be many (any?) movies about this battle, there are definitely a lot of books. The most famous book is the one written by the man himself, Julius Caesar. It's one of those classics that's in the public domain, easily for anyone to find at their local library, online, or just buy a copy. I understand it's still required reading when learning Latin. The book itself has some important history as a piece of world literature.

I've also got an Osprey book at the specific battle, and a historical novel (I think) about the famous 10th Legion.




Actually, now that I start doing some Google searching, I guess there may be a few films out there to track down. (In addition to various military history docs and specials I might find on the Battle of Alesia on YouTube.)

I wonder if I should start with one that variously titled Druids, The Gaul, or Vercingétorix. It's only from 2001, and culminates in the battle. I read it's a French-Canadian/Belgian production...and one of the worst French language films ever made. It's got a 2.6 rating on IMDB! Might be available on streaming, though, and I could always jump ahead to the Alesia part.


-Mark


Subscribe
Blog
Guild
Contact

=========================================================================
Mark Johnson's irregular podcast about small wargames
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: The Siege of Alesia [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Based on the Ancients system, and with a Cyberboard gamebox already that I may use.

Update: Similar story here--so far I've just been gluing up, cutting out, and rounding the corners of the counters. Printed out the map on 11x17 paper (actually A3 since I'm in Europe). I'm not going to bother with Cyberboard--I'd rather play a physical game. I once owned the complete boxed set of Ancients when it was published by 3W, but sold it years ago, unplayed. Now I wish I'd kept it. Anyway, it's free & easy now if we're willing to go the PNP route.





It was a quick game (Verc was captured early), but I saw enough to know that I like this system. I mentioned on the podcast how the simple tweak of allowing the Romans to avoid disorder while moving through friendly counters (no stacking), compared to the Gauls, adds a lot of good flavor. Likewise the way Romans are not required to advance after combat, but the Gauls are. Both show the superior discipline of the Romans. Meanwhile, the Gauls have a double-strength shock/charge that they can use to overwhelm...but they only get to try that once. Good stuff here for me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Caesar's War: The Conquest of Gaul, 58-52 BC [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:7409]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Strategic in scope, but small on the table (and in playing time). This is my kind of game for that scale. (I hope)



Played once solo, and going to play over Skype against a buddy back home later. Rating may improve. Combat system is super simple, as expected. I'm ok with that, even though it may be swingy. The game is card-driven with generic events that sort of give some sense of the history. So does the map, though I hear it has problems (hopefully only placenames). There's something weird about the first turn--I need to re-read the comments & suggestions here on BGG. I think it's best for Rome to play a slow building game until they're unstoppable, which the Gauls try to disrupt. Seeing various celtic tribes fight together feels a little weird, especially if the Germans (not even celts) are in that same mix. Still, short enough that it's going to get more exploration.

(I've heard sister game Belisarius' War is better, but it doesn't include Alesia. )

Update:
Played again, this time against a live opponent via Skype. This small game is perfect for that method. My Romans lunged for an early knockout, came up short, and then were on their heels thereafter. DaveO's idea to pimp out a copy (and combine with Belisarius' War) is a project for when I get home.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Surrender Unto Caesar: The Siege of Alesia, 52 BCE [Average Rating:6.14 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just a little postcard game. Some of those I've liked, others not so much. I don't actually possess this one, so I'm hopeful I can obtain one in the month of November. Perhaps a listener of the show can send it to me in France?



Thanks to ATO for sending me a review copy of this postcard game. I've played a couple others in this "series," and have a few others. So far, I've always been kind of underwhelmed by the game, even while I saw it has promise. Some would say "of course" because it's so minimalist. That's not my issue, though. I just don't like juggling die roll modifiers, and wanting some rolls to be high, others to be low, just aggravates my sense of game design. It's not a real problem, just an annoyance. Which is why I really wish these games were available as smartphone apps. Then the tedious parts of the combat resolution and the postcard-thin counters would evaporate, and you'd be left to explore and replay the interesting situation and historical model that's in here. Since the postcard games use similar area maps and poker-deck-driven mechanisms, I'd think they could all be built around the same core engine. I'm not a software guy, though, and could be wrong about this. My 3-star rating splits the difference for this game. As a physical wargame it's probably 2 stars, but as an app it would be 4.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Video Game: Ancient Battle: Rome [Average Rating:8.42 Overall Rank:3226]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


I forgot to mention this one, which I've started playing. As I'm mentioned before (probably during the Waterloo episode), there's something about these nearly standardized Hexwar adaptations that leaves me cold. What is it? They certainly LOOK great, and they share enough of their combat system to show you that it makes sense by traditional wargame standards. Same for terrain & movement. The computer adds easy fog of war. What's not to like?

Some of it is the waiting around for the animations. I always tap the screen to speed those up. The other is the attritional combat system, like having 10 steps for each counter. In theory this greater granularity should be better than the coarse steps of traditional cardboard counter systems. It bugs me, though. I end up with these fragmentary units that cannot reform with other units, cannot withstand any more fighting on their own, and get in the way. Is that more realistic? Perhaps.

Other standard digital wargame complaints are how a scrollable map doesn't provide the visibility of physical one. Also the inability to play a specific map/scenario, but being forced into a campaign.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Alésia, 52 Av. J.-C.: César contre Vercingétorix [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:8664]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pretty sure I remembered to bring this one with me to France. Would be good to see how Vae Victis treats the battle.

Update: Yep, definitely brought it. This is an early Vae Victis title, it was back before they included diecut counters. Instead, the counters looked fantastic but need to be mounted to some backing material and cut out. I've done this enough times now that it was relatively easy, even in France where finding "Elmer's" glue proved elusive. I used an empty wine bottle as my rolling pin to flatten out the counters & distribute the glue. How French!


I've since cut them out and used my corner rounder to make them look as nice as possible. I know it's kind of silly to spend this much time on a game I don't even know if I like yet, but some weeknights I'm too brain-fried from work to dive into the actual rules, but I can handle sitting there and working on the counters. Anyone else like that?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Alesia 52 B.C.: The Jurassian Hypothesis [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just ordered a used copy here on the BGG marketplace. I guess this alternate location hypothesized for the battle has been somewhat debunked, but it's such a cool idea: explore the alternate possibility with a wargame!

Update: After some difficulty, I managed to meet the French wargamer at our shared commuter rail station, where we exchanged money for product like it was a drug deal. He'd already mounted the counters, and laminated them or something. That kind of gave my counter-rounder some difficulty, but it worked out. Hopefully this game literally uses the same ruleset as Bey's above game, and it's just a new map to explore. (Though the counter mix seems quite different, so I'm not sure.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Also Ran [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Games below this point are ones I won't get to, but are included for discussion purposes (i.e. please comment!)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1967] [Average Rating:6.49 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Surely the lightest game that (vaguely) relates to the topic.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Caesar at Alesia [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1886]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A classic if there ever was one. I've heard it's a pretty simple & playable game, despite its size. I don't own it, and won't get to it, but I imagine it's the Alesia game some of my listeners will have already played.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: The Siege of Alesia [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:4086]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The focus is spot-on for me, but the scale and play of the game isn't my kind of thing. (Berg's games generally don't sync up with my preferred type that focuses on overall feel rather than more detailed rules.)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Vercingetorix: Twilight of the Gauls [Average Rating:6.21 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another Berg game, and this one even less of a good fit for me due to the higher scale (all of Gaul) and multiplayer approach.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Caesar in Gallia [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:7676]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another larger strategic game, so not for me. But I'd still like to obtain this someday, because I want the accompanying article. (The game sounds cool, too, but I doubt I'd get to it.)

Update: I purchased the Premium Library for S&T, so during the next year I can read most/all of the back issues. It doesn't include the games, just the magazine.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Gergovia [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Even "Simple" GBOH is probably more than I'd like in a game, and I don't have access to this anyway. I list it because I wish there were other options to include Gergovia in this podcast episode.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Caesar: Conquest of Gaul [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:2701]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't have this one, either. Just including it because I read the Living Playbook linked at GMT and saw a battle right within the modern boundary of Paris. That's a "battlefield" I could visit...even if it's now the neighborhood south of the Eiffel Tower.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.