Veterans System

Newly released Conquest of the Empire by Eagle Games.
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Flashman
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Veterans System

Post by Flashman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:17 pm

This is a full description in one place of my proposed Veteran Legionary System.

It aims to emulate the Roman system whereby a soldier would be rewarded for service by the grant of land at the end of his career and the use of this opportunity to found and expand cities within the Empire.

The value of all provinces is set at a basic 5 talents without a settlement.
With a town the value goes up to 10 talents.
With a city the value is 15 talents.
Finally a province with a capital city is worth 20 talents. There can be only 1 capital city per map section where there are three sections in total vis Western Empire, Eastern Empire, Persian Empire. Some scenarios do not use all three map sections.

In addition to the tax value of provinces increasing with urban growth, towns and cities may give a combat bonus to defenders and will allow limited placement of new units to garrison the province.

When a province is captured in combat the settlement is sacked by the victorious troops and is automatically reduced one step, i.e. a city is reduced to a town. Certain event cards such as earthquakes might also reduce settlements. The old "destroy cities" phase is deleted.

To build up settlements a player can colonise a province by settling 3 veteran infantry in that province per round to improve it one step. This is the only way a settlement can be increased in size.


Assume each player has a pool of infantry units in his own colour. These will always be the backbone of your legions; veterans should be considered supplementary.

In addition there is now a pool of silver veteran infantry units. All players share the same pool of veterans which is strictly limited in number to something like 50 units in total. Veterans are more effective in battle i.e. they hit on 3 rather than 2.

Veterans cannot be purchased. Instead, after a battle, surviving basic infantry can be promoted to veterans (simply exchange the pieces). A player can promote only as many units as the number of enemy combat units destroyed in that battle. If the number of veterans available is small, the winner of the battle gets priority.

The game will be divided into a number of "eras" delineated by the inflation events from the classic rules. In order to create more eras for the game I suggest inflation steps of +5 in costs rather than doubling prices each time.

At the end of each era all veterans on the board retire - return them to the veteran pool. Players, then, should take care to use their veterans to colonise provinces and build up their urban tax base while they have the opportunity.

It will be noticed that the veterans system encourages aggressive play. A player who acts defensively will not see his cities grow and will fall behind his rivals in income and military strength. This should punish players who simply wait for rivals to weaken each other.


For this system I suggest a maximum legion size of 10 infantry (i.e. 10 cohorts) plus 5 auxiliary units (cavalry, artillery).

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Flashman
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Re: Veterans System

Post by Flashman » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:26 pm

Just a quick clarification - veterans are not subject to inflation, that is while the cost of new infantry goes up with inflation, the cost of improving your cities remains at 3 veterans per step.

However as the cost of Roman combat units increases, players will become more reliant on cheap auxiliary units, which cannot be promoted to veteran status hence a steady decline in urban growth. Another factor in urbanisation needed?

One thing that does NOT remain constant is the relative strength of Roman legions versus Barbarian nations, hence every game with Barbarians active will end with the decline and fall of the Empire and rise of new Barbarian kingdoms.

ChristophfromGermany
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Location: Munich / Germany

Re: Veterans System

Post by ChristophfromGermany » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:41 am

Hi Flashman,
you have a lot of interesting ideas, but you like it complicated, that is for sure :wink: . As the spears of the old game pieces of the MB edition were always prone to break easily, I introduced new hand painted figures from HÄT for infantry and cavalry. I just finished painting all of my regular units, but I still have two different sets with foot soldiers: auxiliary infantry and praetorians.
Now I came up with the following simple rules for these additional pieces:
Praetorians (limited to five units per player and one unit per caesar and general) are veteran forces, that cost 15 talents, move 2 spaces and hit with 1 or 2 (representing the two infantry symbols on the Eagle Games combat dice that I do not own - thus I transformed the symbols into numbers). Praetorians are the last unit to choose as casualties and then they need two hits to be removed from game play. They can be rebuilt, however, but the number of praetorians may never exceed the number of your caesar and generals.
Auxiliary infantry (AI) cost only 5 talents, move 1 space and hit with 1 or 2 on defense only. They are not allowed to attack, but this is compensated by the circumstance that they are cheap and the only units that can be placed straight into the different provinces. And they don't need to be accompanied by a leader (except for non-combat movement, of course). But there is a limit, of course :wink: : You can place one auxiliary infantry into a province worth 5 talents and two AI into a province worth 10 talents. If there is a city in this province, you may put one additional AI into it (thus 2 AI in a province worth 5 talents and 3 AI in a province worth 10 talents). If there is a fortified city in this province, you can put two additional AI into it (thus 3 AI in a province worth 5 talents and 4 AI in a province worth 10 talents). Therefore there is an overall limit to the number of AI you can place, too. I like this idea specifically as it gives one more bonus for those players that invest in infrastructure.
I am still painting the praetorians and auxiliary infantry units - they look awesome, just like the rest of the game parts that I painted. Once I am done, I will post the images here. I do have two different kinds of cavalry (auxiliary and praetorians), but right now I am not considering to make use of that, even though they could be distinguished quite easily by their horses and uniforms.
Last edited by ChristophfromGermany on Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
ChristophfromGermany

No decent man can prefer war to peace, because at peace-time the sons burry their father while at war, the father burries his sons. (Herodot)

ChristophfromGermany
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:13 am
Location: Munich / Germany

Re: Veterans System

Post by ChristophfromGermany » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:52 am

Hi Flashman,
I just read your post about »What is a legion« - and »What is a garrison«. Perhaps I add one bonus auxiliary infantry for every Home Province, so that they automatically have a limit of five AI each – of course only as long as no other player has sacked the province and destroyed the fortified city :lol:
ChristophfromGermany

No decent man can prefer war to peace, because at peace-time the sons burry their father while at war, the father burries his sons. (Herodot)

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