Syrian Houses


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Here are the houses I've been working on. They're a bit plain as yet - they need some staining and weathering (as do the walls), and probably some details too, but as someone pointed out, though they're aimed at the third century AD, there's nothing to stop me using them right up to the present day, so I need to be a little bit careful about, for instance, putting amphorae (Roman wine jars) on the roofs, or anything like that. I might make some little bases with 'removable' details on though - just a few things to make them look 'lived in'.

I've been thinking more about siege rules - hard to avoid now that I've got the basics of both a celtic 'Oppidum' and a Middle-Eastern town! started out by realising that AVGVSTVS to AVRELIAN wasn’t going to work - it’s designed for battles, and is aimed at situations where one figure represents thirty or so real blokes. The ground and figures scales are all to cock - so (for example) unless I wanted a game in which my model of the Palmyrene Gate at Dura Europos was 100 metres long, I needed to change some stuff.

I then began thinking that I’d use WAB and its ‘Siege and Conquest’ supplement - there are lots of good ideas in there, and it handles ‘skirmish-style’ games very well - it takes ‘Big Men’ and groups of figures in its stride, in a way that simply A2A can’t. But on re-reading WAB, I remembered some of the reasons why I’d written A2A in the first place - not least that I find the IGOUGO turn sequence tedious in the extreme, and a lot of the mechanisms are clunky... For instance, why use 3 D6 rolls to resolve combat, when you can achieve just the same effect with a single D10 roll?

So... To re-write A2A. Change the ground and figure scales (increasing missile ranges, and tweaking movement to suit). Alter the C&C rules to reflect the more down-to-earth ‘worm’s-eye-view’ of the rules. Beef up the rules for ‘obstacles’ and think about movement on/along ramparts, and about how command radii might work...

And then realise that perhaps, just perhaps, I might be in danger of reinventing the wheel here - why not look at TooFatLardies’ “Dux Britanniarum” first, and see if it could easily be modified to suit? There’s an awful lot of ‘period flavour’ in Dux Brit, carefully interwoven into the rules. Stripping the thing down to the bare bones and replacing that with the flavour of the ‘Imperium’ and its enemies might not be so easy.

Much head-scratching to be done methinks!

Copyright Dr. P.C. Hendry, 2010