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  • Martin Boulter

Clash of Empires Battle System Revealed

Updated: 2 days ago


The Trojan War


The most likely date for the Trojan War was about 1250/40 BC. According to legend the war was brought about by the abduction of Helen, wife of Menelaus , King of Sparta. She was taken by the Trojan prince Paris who took her back to Troy a city in western Anatolia and seat of King Priam. Paris and Hector, the greatest fighter for Troy, were his sons. In retribution the King of the Achaean Greeks (Mycenaeans) Agamemnon assembled a huge armada and sailed to western Anatolia and there waged a war that lasted ten years. In the Iliad Homer’s poetical account of the Greek attack on Troy the poet describes the final days of the war. The core of his writings deal with the acrimonious relationship between the Greek hero Achilles and Agamemnon and also includes the involvement of various vengeful gods who interfere in the affairs of men. The most notable event in the epic story is when Achilles kills Hector in revenge for the death of his friend Patroclus who was killed by Hector. In his turn Achilles is killed by Paris whose arrow is guided to the Greek heroes vulnerable heel by the sun god Apollo. Finally, the siege of Troy ends in a ruse to gain entry into the city (the wooden horse) whereupon the city is sacked and all the inhabitants massacred. At the end of the story, the gods angry with the destruction of their temples and other sacrilegious acts cause a storm to fall upon the returning Achaean fleet causing many ships to be lost.


Clash of Empires


The Clash Battle System may look a bit daunting at first glance but as with any strategy game there is a set procedure to follow. In the case of Clash of Empires the main principles are set out below.


Battle System Procedure


After rolling for Initiative the Battle Roll for each side consists of the following:-


Battle Dice (highest scoring die only).

Plus Combat Rating to Fighting Bonus (dependent upon number of units).

Plus Special Ability (activated by odds or evens Battle Dice).

Plus Advantage Dice (representing numerical, tactical or any other special advantage).


The highest score wins and the difference between the two scores determines the number of casualties.


With the supporting information in the rule book this procedure can be used to recreate any historical ancient battle or any variation thereof.


What follows is an interpretation of the Trojan War using the Clash of Empires: Biblical Conquest Game rules. Please note that the Battle Log can be as basic or as detailed as the players want. The following lengthy interpretation is intended to show how the Clash Battle System can be used to recreate what is essentially a very large and complex battle. Army sizes and composition are speculative. Both armies are made up of Feudal army units. In the rules a Feudal Army is comprised of a group of aristocratic warriors who owe allegiance to a nobleman or King and are each in turn served by an underclass of peasants who fight for them. This army type gets an initial 2D6 Battle Dice and has a Combat Rating (CR) of which depending upon the number of army units converts into a Fighting Bonus (FB). Only the highest scoring Battle Die is used and an odds or evens score is required to activate an army’s special ability. This being Shield Wall for the Mycenaeans and Surprise Attack for the Anatolians. If Initiative is won as well then this special bonus is doubled. To fit in with the legend the heroes take part in the battle only. When the rules specify the use of 1D3 then 1D6 is rolled and the score divided by 2 and rounded up. 


  Example Biblical Battle Log


Domain = Aegean (Mycenaeans)

 

Battle = Trojan War     Date: Year 9 Turn 10 and Year 10 Turn 7 for siege

Initiative

Battle Dice

No. of Units

CR to Fighting Bonus/ Battle Bonus if applicable

Battle Advantage Dice

Total Score

1D6 +1

 

= 5

2D6 = 4 and 1

(Highest Die only)

Reroll of lowest die = 2

 

40

                 

  +12 FB

 

Hero and Shield Wall

Supreme War Leader in Command +1D6

Opponent outnumbered +1D6

 

(2D6 = 4 + 2 = 6)

4 +12 + 6 = 22

Siege

 

Initiative = N/A

2D6 = 1 and 6

32

  +10 FB      

Shield Wall

Supreme War Leader in Command +1D6

Opponent outnumbered more than 2-1 +2D6

Siege Craft +2D6

 

(3 + 4 + 5 + 5 + 1 = 18)

6 + 10 + 18 = 34

Player A: - Supreme War Leader = King Agamemnon who is personally leading is army in the field. After a protracted period of hostilities between Mycenae and Anatolia an armada of Mycenaean ships (over 1000 war galleys) lands an invasion force of 40 Feudal army units (50,000 troops incl. 4000 chariots) on the coast of western Anatolia (Wilusya). The Mycenaeans get +1 to Initiative because they are attacking from the sea. They draw up their battle lines on a wide plain before the city of Troy. Both sides roll 5 for Initiative so there is no tactical advantage. The Mycenaeans have a powerful hero in their ranks, namely Achilles which means that they can reroll their lowest scoring Battle Die to have a second attempt at an odds or evens score. They roll a 2 which with the 4 gives them two even numbers and therefore they can now activate their special ability Shield Wall. Thus, owing to their large body covering shields and an impenetrable wall of spear points the Mycenaeans can reduce their opponent’s Battle Roll (Total Score) by 1D6. They roll a 3. If they had won Initiative as well this would have been doubled to 6. This together with their advantage dice score of 6 gives them a total score of 22. The difference between the Mycenaean and Anatolian scores is 9 which means that the loser suffers 75% casualties and the winner 20% casualties (8 units) on the Casualty Table. The Mycenaeans go on to besiege Troy for nine monthly turns and by Year 10 Turn 7 the Anatolians are out of supply. Thereupon, the Mycenaeans storm Troy and with the aid of a siege engine known as the ‘wooden horse’ they break into the city and massacre its inhabitants. Unfortunately for the Mycenaeans when moving their navy back home they roll a 1 and are caught in a storm losing 70% (1D10 x10%) of their ships.


Domain = Wilusya (Anatolians or Trojans)

Initiative

Battle Dice

No. of Units

CR to Fighting Bonus/ Battle Bonus if applicable

Battle Advantage Dice

Total Score

1D6  

 = 5          

2D6 = 6 and 1

(Highest Die only)

Reroll of lowest die = 5

 

35

 +10 FB        

 

Hero and Surprise Attack

None

6 + 10 – 3 = 13

Siege

 

Initiative = N/A

2D6 = 5 and 1

 

 

10

7 (Out of supply)

   +3/+2 FB

                         Surprise Attack                         +3

Supreme War Leader in Command +1D6

Defending Stronghold with Fortification upgrade = +4D6

 

(3 +3 + 4 + 1 +5 = 16)

5 + 2 + 3 + 16 = 26

Player B: - Supreme War Leader = King Priam but he is not personally leading his army in the field although he will be coordinating the defence of the city. Having received significant reinforcements from Hatti and the rest of Anatolia the Anatolians decide to give battle with an army of 35 Feudal army units (43,750 troops incl. 3500 chariots). A score of 5 for Initiative means that there is no tactical advantage. The Anatolians also have a powerful hero in their ranks, namely Hector which means that they can reroll their lowest scoring die to have a second attempt at an odds or evens score. They roll a 5 which is less than 6 their highest scoring die and still doesn’t give them odds or evens Battle Dice. Therefore, they are unable to activate their special ability Surprise Attack. They have no battle advantage dice and furthermore they must deduct 3 from their score because of the Mycenaean Shield Wall which gives them a total of 13. This results in a major defeat and 75% casualties (25 units). The remnants of the Anatolian army take refuge inside their stronghold Troy and prepare for a long siege. Due to a fortification upgrade they can hold out for 2D6 monthly turns and Troy’s impressive defences gives them +4D6 battle advantage dice. For how long they can resist the Anatolians roll a 4 and 5 which means that they can last for 9 turns before going out of supply. They will then lose 1D3 army units per turn due to hunger disease and desertion. When their time is up, they roll a 6 which equates to the loss of 3 army units and -1 to their Fighting Bonus. This now becomes +2. During the subsequent storming of the city the Anatolians fight ferociously and in the street fighting even manage to pull off a surprise attack (odds or evens Battle Dice) +3. This, however, is to no avail as the difference between the Mycenaean and Anatolian total scores is 8 and an army defeated in its stronghold is automatically destroyed.


         

The Mycenaean army led by Agamemnon fights a major battle against the Anatolians before the gates of Troy in western Anatolia. Figures by Irregular Miniatures from their 20mm Biblical range. Painted by Silurian and from the author’s own collection. The numerical strength of each army is denoted by blank coloured poker chips. Game board from the Clash of Empires: The Biblical Conquest Game.


What was probably the historical city of Troy was discovered in Turkey in 1873 by Heinrich Schliemann (1822-90). It is generally accepted that the Trojan War was associated with a venture by the Mycenaeans a rich and powerful civilization of the Aegean whose chief stronghold was Mycenae in the north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It may even have been the case that the Mycenaeans were so weakened by their expedition against Troy that it precipitated their own demise at the hands of the Sea Peoples. It is significant that their dynasties end about this time.



Sources

Cotterell, A. 1989: The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Myths & Legends. Cassell Publishers Ltd.

Eagles, R. 1990: Homer - The Iliad. Published by Penguin Books Ltd.

Mellersh, H.E.L. 1995: Chronology of the Ancient World, 10,000 BC – AD 799. Helicon Publishing Ltd.

Stillman, N.R. and Tallis, N.C. 1984: Armies of the Ancient Near East 3000 BC to 539 BC. A Wargames Research Group Publication.


Article Front Page Picture

Ancient Greek Phalanx. Trojan War. Retrieval Patroclus Body Homer Pottery, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece. From Farsala 510-500 BC. After Alamy. (IY04212203)

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