Great Battles of History series (GMT)


Great Battles of History series (GMT)

Tactical ancients game.

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Latest Activity: Apr 19

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Comment by Brendan Clark on March 10, 2014 at 7:56am

I am currently solo testing 'Syracuse', which was published with the Vae Victis magazine in 2012, and simulates the epic Athenian siege of Syracuse in 415 - 413 BC. I am interested in this struggle for a numbers of reasons: I've been involved in  playtesting GMT's soon to be released GBoH Hoplite game (which does not itself cover this particular struggle); I've recently read Donald Kagan's excellent 'The Peloponnesian War'; and I have a fascination (maybe even an obsession) with exploring two game levels: strategic/operational and tactical.

The Syracuse game seems to have some potential for doing this. That is, using an operational game for its own mechanics, such as siege assaults, events, supply and attrition; and as a means to generate tactical level scenarios. The smaller tactical level clashes in Syracuse are nothing more than minor engagements or skirmishes and can be quickly simulated using the combat results table, combat modifiers and rules found in the game.

Where the generated scenario is larger and more critical, the players could, by agreement, play it a different scale with a tactical rule set, such as the soon to be released Hoplite game, using the balance of forces and leaders that feature in the operational game (though in this case the leaders would have to be replaced by leaders of the tactical game, by player agreement or die rolls).

For this, I would introduce some adjustment to the Syracuse game to allow forces that come into contact with the enemy in adjacent zones in the same activation impulse to combine on a tactical game map. For example, in the first turn of my solo playtest of Syracuse, such a scenario would have generated the following force sizes (applying the Syracuse game unit scales):

Athens: 5750 Hoplites; 2,000 archers/skirmishers; 300 cavalry.

Syracuse: 5750 Hoplites; 1400 Peltasts.

In the GBoH Hoplite game, this would convert to about:

Athens: 7 counters of Hoplite units, 5 units of light infantry archers and perhaps 2 Skirmisher units, and 1 cavalry unit.

Syracuse: 7 counters of Hoplite units and 5 Peltast units.

By Hoplite standards still a small scenario but one that could be played out within a context that has consequences for the operational game.  Higher TQs would be given to Athenian, Syracusian or Mercenary units and lower TQs to Allied units (these distinctions are specified in the Syracuse game).

I’ll continue to explore this to see if Syracuse generates potentially more substantial tactical scenarios.

Comment by Hudson on July 17, 2013 at 6:10am

I am looking to learn SPQR. I have a shaky grasp on it. I need to see it played and have it taught a tad bit to clear some concepts. Looking for VASSAL opponent or teacher to help out. I am on Skype, Ventrilo and available M-F 5pm -10pm. (USA CST)

Comment by James Hodson on June 3, 2012 at 5:53am

Just began playing Ran and finding the change from linear tactics something of a challenge. Samurai aggression, hara-kiri and severed heads add 'colour' but contingent flight certainly causes tactical planning problems even for the apparently dominant So-Taisho. I shall endeavour to persevere and gain maximum satisfaction from mastering the system. Any advice for getting the most out of the system would be appreciated

Comment by Joseph on February 1, 2012 at 6:58pm

You should use only the "Caesar: The Civil War" rules. SPQR is a separate game although the rules are similar.

Comment by Gilbert Collins on January 31, 2012 at 8:28pm

I just cut out the counters to "Caesar: The Civil War" while watching the 1964 film "Fall of the Roman Empire". It took a good 3 hours just to do that. That's a good sign though, if I go to that much trouble to punch them out it's a game that I'm definitely going to give some time to.

Although I realize it is a later era, the 'system' is similar. When playing a scenario of "Caesar" do players play using the latest generation of SPQR rules or stick to the rules inherit to 'Caesar'. Understanding that there are some minor exclusive 'Caesar' rules you have to take into account.

Comment by Enrico CS Viglino on January 31, 2012 at 7:53pm

My plan is to put all of SPQR up that I have, before moving on to any other really big tasks. 

Comment by Gilbert Collins on January 29, 2012 at 7:55pm

Enrico, love your videos. Especially your Great Battles of History series. I think now I am wedded to the system. My son and I tried the Great Plains scenario today. A little long to play but I'm sure that as we get more familiar with the rules we will be able to speed up a little.

Hope you get around to more SPQR videos.

Comment by Enrico CS Viglino on January 29, 2012 at 5:29pm

Been dropping a bunch of SPQR vids here (in the video section).

Please take a look - if you like the DAR (during action reports),

it's probably easier to follow/find either from my youtube account, or 

the link on BGG.

Comment by Gilbert Collins on January 8, 2012 at 11:16am

Ok, I have owned the "Great Battles of Julius Caesar" volume for years but have never really got into the system. I have ordered the SPQR Deluxe edition.

I love the 'look' of the games but I'm not sure if I like them as 'games'. Maybe, simulations but not real games. Too long to set up and play.

So, maybe I'm buying these for the 'information' contained there in. So the verdict is still out on these as I'm just ' wading ' in to the series.

Comment by Krokmitene on February 8, 2011 at 12:10pm


Just received my Samurai game box and waiting for SPQR & Ran to come.

Will soon start to burn candles for a fast reprint of GBoA...

New to the games, I'll begin by the Simple GBoH set of rules (already read but need practice) before diving into the Japanese History Volumes or the original version of the rules.


An Idea about where or what to begin with ?


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