I am still stuck on what abilities to give the Aztecs, but I like the ideas from both readers about giving the Aztecs a "Capture" Saga ability. I am thinking that after the melee the opponent takes additional fatigue if they lost at least one figure in the melee, representing the stress of having a fellow unit member captured by the Aztecs. An interesting twist might be to play out the imprisonment, allowing the other side to rescue the victim. That may be too involved for general rules, however, and might be better for a "Flower Wars" scenario.
|Tlaxcalan Battle Board|
Most of the abilities are duplicates of other factions, with no real modification to the ability or dice required. There are a few exceptions, however.
The Attack Pool was initially for Shooting only, but I later thought that they might be too crippled in melee, so added the ability to play it in Melee.
The Harassing Fire ability is modeled after the Welsh Holy Ground, except that you can slow enemy unit movement only if they could be fired upon. This represents using ranged weapons as a movement inhibitor, something I think is a clever idea. However, as I added a limitation I lowered the dice requirement from Uncommon to Common, which may end up being too powerful. (That is why this is a "draft"!)
The Show of Strength ability is stronger than the original of the same name. In the original you have to win a Challenge in order to trigger the ability. As this "just works" I decided to up the dice requirement from Uncommon to Rare.
The question becomes, are the abilities in total too powerful? Although they are almost all exactly the same as existing abilities, their combination is what can make something "broken". Another question might be is there too much focus on shooting? If the enemy gets within range to charge, are they too vulnerable?
The faction abilities are:
The Warlord is equipped with an atlatl and darts (acts as a Javelin-armed Warlord).
The Hearthguard are the Zoomorphic Suit wearers (crocodiles, jaguars, coyotes, etc.) and are armed with melee weapons and shields.
The Warriors are either armed with bows (Armour value of 3 instead of 4 against shooting only1) or melee weapons and shield.
The Levy are either armed with slings or bows.
I hope to get a four-point test game in today and answer some of those concerns. I will still be playing my Aztecs as Anglo-Danish, so I have access to two-handed weapons, but those Norse-Gaels are starting to look mighty interesting! Challenges seem like they might fit right in with Meso-American warfare. I may have to switch.
If you are a Saga buff and you have an opinion on the strengths or weaknesses of this battle board, feel free to comment. I also welcome comments from Meso-American buffs who have an idea on what should be modeled.
Speaking of the model, I consider using the Saga rules for this type of warfare not so such as representing skirmishes, but to represent a small slice of a large battle. This warfare was very much a battle line like the Dark Ages, where groups would surge forward and fight for 15 minutes or so before they would fall back and be replaced while they rested. A game of this represents one of those surges.
1 I realize that the Franks set a precedent that bow-armed Warriors have an Armour value of 3 against both shooting and melee, however they are shieldless troops. It also seems, to me, that it is unbalanced against the crossbow, which also has a reduced Armour value, but in turn reduces your opponent's Armour value. So it seems that bow-armed troops are penalized more than slingers or crossbows. As my troops have slung shields while they are firing (think something similar to Cretan archers, as shown to the right), I give them the Armour penalty against shooting only.