Variant (07 jan. 04)
By Fabio Bernardini
those who find that Romans, as depicted in the game, are too powerful, here are
a couple of Optional rules that I tested extensively with all scenarios in the
boxed game and most of the modules (sometimes more than twice). The following
rules are simpler than they look at first glance, I just tried to cover any gap
describing them extensively.
to say that I really love this game and I’m grateful to Mark Hermann and
Richard Berg because they gave me the chance to fulfill a long dreamed whish:
recreate all those battle whose deployments were shoved in every of my history
book since elementary school.
also playing SGBoH, but I slightly prefer the GBoH, that is the reason of my
effort in trying to melt the SPQR older version and the one that came up on 1994
(not the SGBoH version).
(A) A Roman
Tribune or Praefect (or Proconsul) within his OC command range, wishing to issue
a line command, must roll against the OC strategy rating. If he fails, he can
either issue individual orders or let the opponent decide whether or not
activate the leader who would go next. Once the latter is finished (he can try
momentum) or if the opponent declined to activate his leader, the roman who
previously failed his die roll can now issue automatically a line command (if he
wishes so). The next roman leader now attempts to issue a line command,
following the same procedure as above.
If all non-roman leaders are finished (besides the OC) and there are
still non-activated Tribunes or Praetects, they can go now, rolling the die
against the OC strategy rating. A result higher than the OC strategy
rating prevent the leader from issuing line command (individual orders are
allowed), no second attempt is allowed.
that are not within their OC command range don’t get this treatment, when
activated they roll against the OC strategy rating, if they fail they can only
issue individual orders immediately, the opponent doesn’t get the opportunity
to activate one of his leaders.
The only exception being the Praefect Equitium: for the first turn only they are treated as if within range of their OC even if they are not.
In Cavalry battles (those of Equus), ignore this rule)
Change (B) If
in your opinion this is too complicated (it’s not…believe me), you can use
this option (is basically the SPQR first edition rule):
Roman Leaders can issue automatic Line Command
during the first turn.
with the second turn they can issue LC only if in Range of their OC and by
rolling against his Strategy Rating (add +1 if any of the units in that
line are in an enemy ZOC), if unsuccessful they can only issue Individual
they are not within their OC command range, they roll the die, if they get a O
or 1, they can issue line command, otherwise they are finished
Addition: Other than what described in the standard rule, all
units with at least the same MA can expend movement points when beginning the
activation in an enemy ZOC in order to change facing or move out of that enemy
unit in a ZOC of an enemy unit with same MA cannot leave the ZOC and then move
adjacent to the same or another enemy unit.
units leaving a ZOC of an enemy unit with same MA must undergo a TQ check, if
the die roll is higher than a unit’s TQ, it takes a number of hits equal to
the difference between the die roll result and its TQ.
units are not AS when attacking HI or MI frontally, but the Clash
of Spears and Sword Chart is so changed:
attacking HI (or BI) frontally use column 9 (not 6)
attacking MI frontally use column 11 (not 8)
the Shock Superiority Chart provided with the module “War Elephant” can be
used, treating Recruits Legion as HI, thus not AS against HI and MI (Even if
that column was there to be used just in “Caesar, The Civil War”, I
always use this rule at Cannae with the 8 legion version).
Bid method Variant: Instead
of just subtracting the bid to the Rout level, after completing set up, remove
Roman unit from each legion with the following order till reaching the total
points you bid (rounding up. Example: if you bid 40 points and removed units for
a total of 39, you need to remove one more unit):
Adjust the lines to close the gap possibly created.
Redo the math to find the new Roman Withdrawal Level.
Example: if the Roman army consists of 350 TQ Pts and the
Rout ratio is 35%, a bid of 80 points will adjust the Withdrawal Level
from 123 to 95 – (350-80) x 0.35 –
This give quite a different approach to the battle, the Non-Roman Player
would have the feeling to actually win the battle, not just because the Roman
lost a small portion of his Army
No Pilum Variant:
those of you whom, like me, are tired of dealing with Missile NO markers on top
of Legions, I came up with a variant that achieves 2 goals: 1) you get rid of
them (at least those destined to LG units), 2) helps balance the game a little
bit (those tough Hastati and Principes don’t really need that extra asset) .
When using the above reaction fire a legion scores a hit on a die roll of 3 or less.
and 3 to make up for the missing pilum, 5 to counter balance
battles like those in the Jugurta Module (SPQR) or Ruspina (Caesar, the Civil
Wars) where, for a change, Romans don’t have a chance to beat those riding
devils without the help of pilum.
the battles in C3i n°8 using it and I believe the Roman still have a nice edge,
but a reduced one. Moreover, far fewer Missile No marker to deal with scattered
all over the battle field.
the Rout Movement phase all routed units still on the map count as if
eliminated, when determining whether or not the army reached its ROUT LEVEL.
FOUR-APPLY RESULTS:……Addition: Whenever
a defending unit receive more than 2 hits, it can opt to reduce the number of
hit by one performing a retreat of one hex, provided that the hex into which it
is withdrawing is vacant (not even friendly units are allowed), not in an enemy
zoc and further away from the enemy attacking unit/s.
This option is not available if all attacking units reach a number of
hits equal or greater than their TQ.
following is an attempt of streamlining the convoluted pursuing rule. It gives
the off-map cavalry units a reasonable chance to get back in the battle (I never
saw a cavalry returning from the regroup box with the original rule).
cavalry that pursues off -map is placed directly in the Regroup Box with a
“pursuit” marker on top. Every time its Overall Commander is activated,
either by normal or momentum activation phase, all cavalry units in the Regroup
Box are moved back into the
battlefield with the following procedure:
At the end of
the OC’s activation every cavalry unit, with a “pursuit” marker on top,
must move its printed MA toward a Leader that can command them, starting from an
hex of the enemy retread edge, it cannot move adjacent to an enemy unit nor can
use missile fire, it defends and use reaction fire normally though.
cavalry units that re-entered the map in previous OC’s activations but still
with a “pursuit” marker on top (see below), are also moved in the same
If the cavalry,
at the end of its movement, is within that Leader’s command range, the
“pursuit” marker is removed and the unit is “back in play”,
eligible to be activated by any Cavalry Leaders in future activations of the
same turn, but in its moved side.
it is still outside that Leader’s command range, the procedure above is
repeated whenever the OC is activated again (it could be the next activation if
the OC succeeds in his Momentum Dr), till when the cavalry will be “back in