We got a game going.
That however is not what is important. What is important is the moment we sat down to start. Things looked off kilter. As some wise player said who has played Hannibal Rome v Carthage a few times more than me “two CU is not a huge difference or delta in fighting force” .
While the idea of 5k per CU is a form of absolute number there is more to a Strategic battle game with cards and ‘stuff’. We need to easily incorporate the relative differences.
This is why as my Facebook commenter prompted to my mind, that the Percentage difference between 2 armies at 2CU is likely more akin to 5-10%.
In fact in this instance even the Battle Card numbers were identical. Which leads us to our second problem.
Battle Cards draw in very subtle elements to the fight in conjunction with the Strategy cards. This is going to require some case by case reasoning, as the STRATEGY cards IN hand could impact play also (i.e. No Numidian forces, or loss of a battle card). Not playing them would change the dynamics of the Strategic level of the game.
This is not a balanced battle on the board here!
Some battles unlike this one have uneven BC counts or a player has a killer Strategy card to thwart some aspect of the battle.
So what to do?
For our first problem I took the difference in Forces to be relative, not absolute. We are now testing with 5% difference in size per CU. So the overall size stays the same 8CU v 6 (40k v 30k), but we will scale both armies DOWN to with 5% per CU or in this instance 10% of each other or within 4k.
What does that do and what should it look like? Well we are in Africa, Both sides own a province of region and both sides have other ‘garrision’ forces lying about the region. They would BOTH have Numidian levies of some type.
So for the Romans rather than the 4 Roman Legions we discussed we take just three. One is a trained ‘African version’, and we drop one ‘regular’ Legion, plus a handful of LI and MI and one LC (light/medium Inf. and Light Cav).
On the flip side we boost up the Carthaginian forces with some extra LI and MI and remove a SK or two. The ‘look of the opposed forces is now more approximating what I might have seen in one of 30-40 GBoH battles in the past. The LC is still kind of light, but we must assume Hannibal has the bulk of the LC in the Carthage ‘universe’, so I added some less capable Iberian Lancers on the Right Wing.
Almost time to roll some dice!
What about that second problem? The Battle Cards and Strategy Cards held in hand that impact battles.
I think for each battle we need to draw the relevant # of Battle Cards, and see what the tally is. The regional impact will drive force mix, as we have done here.
Thus a Battle in Spain will have more Iberian and Gaulish troops for Carthage than it might in Sicily.
Each player will then declare the cards they want to use from their strategy hand. This will be the final force mix impact.
The Battle Card count represented as a # of Elite activations is still appealing to me, but I think the ‘types’ of cards might matter? Or do we care? If someone pulls 6 Left Flank cards vs 2 do we want to represent that? Or is the point to avoid that!
Which leads me full circle back to the idea of Elite Activations per the difference in the # of Battle Cards. This would still work I think even when both sides have a 4 Rated leader and a card differential.