Available for Pre-Order. ETA FEB 2021.
Violent Schoolmaster Tactical Series
The Violent Schoolmaster Tactical Series (VSTS) is our brand new take on combat from the prehistoric to the late 16th century. This Introduction Module allows players to affordably experiment with VSTS and allows players to re-fight one of military history, along with western civilization’s most decisive moment, the battle of Marathon in 490 BC.
Emperor Darius I of Persia resolved to crush Athens for aiding the Ionian revolt by sending ships and other means of support. Greece, through the development of the city state and democracy created the hoplite phalanx in which each man must hold their space in a tightly packed linear formation packed with over a thousand men with spear and/or shield. The Phalanx in formation became a heavily armed juggernaut that would continue up until the Roman development of Legion tactics. The Persians on the other hand used completely opposite arms and tactics, relying on speed, delay and missile tactics to harass an enemy, leaving the heavy combat to their cavalry.
Athenian democracy was tested as citizens debated what to do as Persians began to unload men, horses and supplies on the shores of Marathon. After 5 days of debate and noticing that the Persian cavalry was being reloaded onto ships for redeployment likely to ravage the rest of the Athenian suburbs, the Athenians decided to act offensively against the Persians while at a numerical disadvantage.
At the beginning of the battle, the Athenian center were pushed back but quickly rallied and outflanked the Persian forces before they could unload enough troops proficient at shock combat. Unable to delay and harass the Greeks by withdrawing and using ranged combat, they ended up getting totally slaughtered by the Greeks as they were completely ill-prepared for hand to hand combat with heavy infantry. Driven back into the sea, the Athenians had achieved a major symbolic victory, managing to severely damage the Persian attempt at establishing a beachhead for a further invasion of Attica from Marathon. The Greek way of war had proven itself as superior to the Persian, which had been the dominant power in the region before this point in history, that all changed with Marathon.
VSTS is inspired by the PRESTAGS set of games from SPI, GBOH from GMT, and Battle Hymn by Compass Games. Wings of each army are activated by chit pull; the combat phase is also initiated by a chit pull followed by an ongoing melee phase after all chits have been pulled. While ranged combat uses a traditional CRT type mechanic, melee combat has players rolling a handful of d10s in search of “hits” against their opponent. dividing the number of dice thrown between all enemy units in front hexes. The base chance for hits depends on the morale of the units involved as well as facing, terrain, the presence of leadership, and more. Units absorb Disruption Points and as they do so, become progressive susceptible to Routing, automatically routing once they reach a level of DP equal to their SP. Exclusive Rules for Marathon are focused on recreating the various speculative conditions academics have argued about in relation to Hoplite combat, Phalanxes drift to the right when mobile, Phalanxes advance at variable rates towards an enemy, Locking Shields as a tactic to create a more shock-resistant Phalanx, as well as loose-formation rules for Phalanxes which allow for limited stacking combined with more maneuverable units. Many of these exclusive rules, if not all, will be present in the first full game of the series considering 4 Battles from Lacedaemonian (Spartan) history.
Game by Ray Weiss
Developed by Matt Ward
Map by Ilya Kudriashov
Counters by Ivan Caceres
Base postage cost: £2.50
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