If you wish for a faster game, then A: captured Generals are removed. and B: end the game 6 rounds after the empire goes into full inflation. The player leading at the end of a complete round of play wins.
Also, I have allowed defending or attacking generals along with thier troops to retreat at the end of any combat round. This option is only availible to a legion with a general. Beware, with the new cavalry rules there is a chance they still will be eliminated.
The Variant Combat System:
Combat is simultaneous.Each combat unit add a number of dice which is rolled together, after both players roll, hits are removed. The players chose the hit for thier own forces. Defenders roll first. Then attacker, after units are removed by hits the attacker may retreat, if he choses to continue the attack the defender may retreat, if the defender stands another round of combat takes place.
Each infantry rolls 1 die.
Each cavalry rolls 1 die
Each ship rolls 2 dice.
Example: general invade enemy territory with 4 inf. and faces general with 3 inf. Defender roll 3 dice and the attacker 4. All dice are rolled and 1's or 2's hit. (Use different color dice for different to hit numbers.)
I know it sounds bland but wait till the Combat advantages kick it.
There are two different advantages:Combat and Defence.
Defence advantage +1 if defending in a city region
Defence advantage +1 if defending a fortified city region.
If you have Cav. and enemy doesn't +1 combat advantage
If Legion is led by Caesar +1 combat advantage
Each catapult +1 combat advantage
Combat advantages and how they work. Unlike the original game, my combat advantage work differently.
All defence advantages give player +1 on all thier dice! So Defending a fortified city, all defenders will hit on a 1, 2, 3 or 4!!!
Catapults reduce defence bonus by 1 per catapult. So in the above example 2 catapults would negate the fortified city defence. Catapults also give +1 combat advantage, more on that in a moment.
Cavalry have a special ability, other than giving a combat bonus if enemy has no Cavalry. The ability is in retreat. When a enemy retreats if you have more Cavalry than the retreating enemy you may make a pursuit. For each cavalry in excess to the enemy roll a die. Each 1 or 2 rolled the retreating player loses a unit of his choice. General are captured if thier troops are eliminated in the retreat, also they must roll a d6 if successfull in the retreat, if a 1 is rolled they are eliminated anyhow! If the friendly retreating troops can't be placed in the province they retreated to, they too will be eliminated. Retreating is a dangerous thing in ancient times.
Combat advantages. for each advantage you have, your to hit on 1 die is raised. Example Player a has a +2 advantage so 2 of his dice may be raised by 1 or 1 of his dice may be raised by 2.
Combat advantages and Catapults. Catapults while giving a combat advantage, never give the advantage to themselves or other Catapults.
Example Player A has a legion with a Caesar, 2 catapults and 1 infantry. So he rolls a total of 3 dice, one for the infantry and 1 each for the two catapults. Since the Catapults can't give themselves a advantage, he could give one die +3 or, because of the Caesar, 1 die +1, and one die +2.
Note: the above rules fixes the catapult problem but still keeps them worth the cost in the basic game. The advantage of Cavalry is not in strenght now, but in their abilities to confer a bonus and in retreat. So the cost is still in line with the model. The defensive bonus is very powerful and forces players to invest in catapults to lay seige to thier enemies. Note, I haven't limited the players in what to buy, but rewards the player that buys a balanced force.
The Barbarian Invasion rules:
All the following territories border the Northern barbarians: Germania, Rhetia, Noricum, Pannonia, Dacia, Moesia. All the following territories border the Southern Barbarians: Armenia, Mesopotamia, Arabia Petrea.
Barbarian invasions can begin after the start of the 1st inflation with the player after the one causing the inflation. Barbarian invasions are not manditory. If a player wishes to cause a invasion point to a territory on the list above and roll 1d3 that is the number of invaders attacking that territory. When the players reach the second inflation, invaders rolled will be 1d6.
Northern barbarians are infantry and hit on 1 or 2, they roll 2 dice per troop.
Southern barbarians are Cavalry and hit on 1 or 2, they roll 2 dice per troop and have all the bonuses and advantages of regular Cavalry.
The player plays out the invasions after his normal turn. Fight battles if defenders are in the province. If the invaders win remove all cities, and control markers for that region. Then remove all invaders from that territory.
Each player at the end of thier turn may chose to do one barbarian invasion of thier choice.
These rules are to keep players from stonewalling thier defences, thus allowing a player that is behind a chance to bleed their opponents resources.
Hope you enjoy them. Please feel free to ask questions or comment. I know they are not the best rules, but they work. BTW: I have printed different version of this on a couple of other websites. I go also by the call name Da Black Gobo on those site.
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