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Since a child, the designer, like most of those that read it, has been fascinated by Greek Mythology, but most especially the Epic Cycle... as told by Homer & Others. The Trojan War stirs wonder, as it has it all... Personalities, Love, Betrayal, Pride, and Fate / Doom... but the disputed historicity clamors for added investigation, above all. By simulating the War, one can get a better sense of the decisions by the participants long ago.
The designer's investigations for a lifetime has resulted in the design taking the most logical approach to simulating the conflict, with the assumption that the Olympian presence is a key way of showing chance and also placing the Game Participants into the shoes (or straight-jackets) of the Olympians themselves, to better "game" the simulation.
The designer has over 50 years of experience designing games and simulations for his own amusement, and for his friends. This will be the first commercial game he has designed, and the reason is that those he grew up with enjoying historical simulation or sporting conflicts from the past (from Chess to SI, 3M, Avalon Hill, SPI, and others, including dozens of homemade games) have all passed from this realm, and to find new friends in gaming, he needs to enter the public commercial space.
The TROJAN WAR puts you on the throne of Zeus, or one of the other Olympians. You will urge on your favored force to clash in the plain before Troy. You decide when to intervene, or to allow the game system to manage the fighting. Heroes step to the front to challenge adversaries in Single Combat. With intervention of the Gods a constant possibility, no outcome is guaranteed, except cases where Fate & Doom predestination rules the day.
Hektor, Memnon, or Penthesilea vs. Achilles. Diomedes vs. Aeneas. Paris vs. Menelaus. These and many others will find your nerves on end, as your Hero risks death to a rival. If you act too quickly and deprive Olympus of a spectacle, Zeus may send a thunderbolt your way.
The TROJAN WAR is the first of over 50 games that we will be releasing in 2019 and 2020. Series include three Napoleonic Battles and one Campaign (Russia), nine games of the American Civil War (seven featuring RE Lee), two of the Old West (Earp & Custer), six Ancient Battles (three Greek and three Roman), three Great War campaigns, and twenty seven WWII campaigns, plus four Command Series Sets.
The Olympians (Gods)
Zeus is the supposedly neutral Olympian, ruling over all. However, he leans to the Trojans as much as he dares. His wife Hera is fiercely partial to the Greeks (hating Aphrodite, who started the whole thing, enticing young Paris to run away with the Spartan Queen Helen, as his reward for awarding Aphrodite Discord's the Golden Apple ("To the Fairest").
Poseidon, brother of Zeus, Lord of the Seas, backs the Achaeans (Greeks). Athena, daughter of Zeus and Hera, also backs the Greeks. Hermes (Winged Messenger) and Hephaestus (God of Forge & Fire) also support the Achaeans. Thetis (Sea Nymph, Mother of Achilles) is obviously partial to Greeks, convinces Hephaestus to forge Achilles new armour.
Ares, the cowardly but bullying God of War, sides with Troy, as does Apollo (Sun God) and his twin sister Artemis (Hunter), with their mother Leto (Zeus was their Father), and Skamander (the River God).
The Heroes (Leaders)
The Trojan contingent is led by Prince Hektor, first son of King Priam. Hektor is the Champion of his people and adored, but fear that his death will demoralize Troy causes him to be careful about his prowess. His brother Paris (Alexandros) is the less manly younger brother, skilled with the bow, not so much with the sword or spear. Other sons of Priam (half-brothers or full) such as Deiphobus and Helenus play important roles.
Aeneas (mortal son of Aphrodite) leads a Dardanian contingent from nearby shores of the Dardanelles. A fierce fighter, nonetheless requires saving by the Gods for a future mission (the roots of the founding of Rome).
Cousins Sarpedon (son of Zeus) and Glaucus are Heroes from Lycia, both noble warriors.
Other Trojan Allies from distant lands such as the Ethiopians (led by Memnon), Amazons (Penthesilea) and Thracians (Rhesus).
The Greeks are led by Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, older brother of the cuckolded Menelaus (Helen).
Odysseus, Diomedes, Ajax the Greater, Ajax the Lesser, Idomeneus, and many other Heroes lead the Achaean contingents.
Finally, Achilles, his cousin Patroclus, and his son Neoptolemus lead the Myrmidon warriors.
The Forces (Greek City-State armies, Trojan and Allied armies)
Included are diagrams of the forces (Orders of Battle). The Catalogue of Ships (Greek) and the Trojan Battle Order are delineated. Also, a chart of which Hero killed which Warriors is also included.
Each scenario begins with setup, which entails selection (some mandatory) of forces with their associated Leader Heroes. The scenarios...
Death to the Foremost Man! Initial Landings
First Battle of the Hosts (Achilles is absent, sulking)
Helen's Gaze, Menelaus v Paris
Deeds of Diomedes, Diomedes v Aeneas & Aphrodite & Ares
Trojans Victorious, The Battle for the Ships
Patroclus Dons Achilles Armour
Achilles New Armour, Hektor v Achilles
Aethiopis, Penthesilea & Memnon v Achilles, & Paris & Apollo
Little Iliad, Ajax, Philoctetes, Paris, Neoptolemus
Also, a Campaign Game, where though Fate still has a sway, the sequences and forces are not predestined, and either side may use strategies to suit a long fight.
For Troy, Victory is the Greek Army sailing for home. This happens when enough Greek Heroes have died or left the fight, taking their fighters home. If Hektor dies, eventually the Achaeans will grind down the remaining Trojan and Allied Heroes, so his survival is paramount.
For the Greeks, nothing less than the complete sacking of Troy and recapture of Helen will vindicate the decision to go to war. Unfortunately for the Greeks, a true siege is not possible. Therefore, they must find a way into the walls of Troy. As the capture of the Palladium (The Luck of Troy) is a prerequisite for Olympian help in conceiving and executing the way into Troy (Trojan Horse). They must destroy enough Trojan Heroes and forces first, however.
The Greek Wall along the western Troad needed to shield 1186 ships, as well as provide quarters for between 60,000 and 120,000 Greek Warriors and their helpers. It's over 10 km long in the game, and would have incorporated any physical features (mounds, hills, village settlements) available. For the Greeks, it was worth the effort. They could not lay a proper siege of Troy, because of the topography and distance from the sea. Protection of their ships was paramount, as the threat of their burning was Troy's best chance of the Greek Army's destruction.
The Troad was the region around Troy, a three kilometer wide plain between the sea and the main river, Skamandros. A perfect ground for facing off against the opposing host, both Armies attempted to control the ground west of Skamander... as keeping the Greeks from Troy's Walls and the Scaean Gate was the purpose of Troy deploying it's Warriors outside the city.
No dice! Even though Achilles and Ajax are portrayed on an ancient Amphora as playing a table game with what appears as dice...
The Trojan War uses Playing Cards (two standard 52 card decks, not provided) to regulate Game Play and resolve variable events, such as Single Combat and other Hero's deeds.
Game Scale... the mapsheet hex scale is 500 meters per hex, allowing frontages of up to 5,000 warriors in triple line formation with reserves, with no voluntary stacking of counters.
Counters (game pieces, wooden discs with labels) are representations of the Forces involved (anonymous helmet front) with their Hero Leaders (named back, in English & Greek, with Combat Factor and Fate indicator, plus Trojan Horse participant star). Each disc counter is a force between 2,000 and 5,000 fighters... attrition from each battle wears down the armies in rough proportion, with the Deaths of Leaders (Heroes) creating greater loss levels (Leader and counter are moved to Hades!).
Setup, Battle of the Hosts...
Second Turn Movement Phase...
Second Turn Challenge Phase...
Second Turn Single Combat...
The Gods Intervene...
Second Turn Combat Phase...
Third Turn Movement Phase...
Third Turn Challenge Phase...
Why Cards and not Dice...
This is a fairly complex issue, as it deals with concepts most Gamers don't pay much attention to. Also, the roll of the die (or dice) is such a tangible feel, that Gamers take for granted that dice rolling should be part of the game.
But die rolls are always and forever independent tests... straight up probability trials with absolute and constant ratios. If you roll snake eyes three times in a row, and the dice are truly fair (not biased), your odds of another snake eyes is the same as it ever was.
Some simulations work better with other probability models.
Risks and challenges
There are no serious risks involved, as the designer's career as an engineer, statistician and graphic artist provides understandings in advance of all issues, as all design work will mirror professional experiences, such as they overlap the design and production functions of the game itself.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)