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2007 NICT List Commentary
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Mark Stone
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
Jim Bisigani, Later Carthaginian
1 1E IB El 2 Crew Jls 106
2 2E (Span) RB LC Jls, Sh 77
3 2E (Span) RB LC Jls, Sh 77
4 2E IC El 2 Crew Jls 105
5 2E IC El 2 Crew Jls 105
6 2E IC El 2 Crew Jls 105
7 6E IB LMI HTW, Jls, Sh 115
8 6E IB LMI HTW, Jls, Sh 115
9 6E RC LMI HTW, Jls, Sh 130
10 6E RC LMI HTW, Jls, Sh 130
11 6E 1/2 IC / 1/2 ID LI Jls, Sh 55
12 6E IC LI Jls, Sh 61
13 6E IC LI B 49
14 6E RC LI S, Sh 58
15 4E (Num) RC LC Jls, Sh 74
16 4E (Num) RC LC Jls, Sh 74
17 2E RC MC Jls, Sh 58
18 6E RC MI Lts, Sh 106
1600


In my opinion, one of the most under-represented lists in tournament play. This is absolutely an "A" list potential, putting in a small group of Alexandrian Imperial, Knights of Saint John, Khmer, and maybe one or two others as the top caliber open tournament format army lists. We're starting to see more of Carthaginians, but it's still not quite as popular as the other three.

This is a complex list with a lot of options, and Jim threads his way through most of those options pretty well. Hannibal in Italy is the strongest variant.

I really like the fact that Jim has avoided the temptation to go with Irr A Spanish, and has included some Reg Cs among his Spanish. This latter is very important. You want infantry who can charge together with the elephants, which means non-impetuous infantry; the Reg Cs are your strongest option here. You do need some irregs for those situations when you want maximum impact at contact, and a mix of Irr B and Reg C is the way to go.

There are some things I would fine tune. As Ewan knows, I hate the solo elephant general; such a waste of points and potential shock power. This is more Irr B Spanish than I would take, and more LC than I would take. I'm also perplexed by the choice of a MC unit, which really serves no purpose.

Recoup those points and you can do a couple of things:
* Put 2 elephants with the CinC;
* Upgrade the African spearmen to HI.

Regarding the spearmen: you have a list rule that enables you to fight in two full ranks. You might as well get the most out of that rule by going with HI in the front and improving your combat power as much as possible.

This list certainly has a max potential of 10. Give Jim a 7.5 for his effort.


-Mark Stone
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:36 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
Craig Scott, Later Achaemenid Persian
1 Takabara AReg.D@ LMI; JLS, Sh (16) 58
2 AReg.D@ LMI; JLS, Sh (16) 58
3 AReg.D@LMI;JLS,Sh (16) 58
4 AReg.D@LMI;JLS,Sh (16) 58
5 AReg.C@LMI;JLS,Sh (16) 74
6 AReg.C@LMI;JLS,Sh (16) 74
7 A7Irg.D@ LI; JLS, Sh (16) 57
8 A7Irg.D/1 C@ LI; JLS, Sh (16) 59
9 AIrg.2C2D@ LI; JLS, Sh (16) 65
10 AIrg.2C2D@ LI; JLS, Sh (16) 65
11 AReg.D@LI; JLS, Sh (4) 22
12 AReg.D@LI; S, Sh ( 8 ) 34
13 Satrapal foot (32)AIrg.D@MI;B 57
14 Satrapal Cavalry (6) AReg.D@MC;JLS 40
15 AReg.D@MC;JLS (6) 40
16 AReg.D@LC;JLS ( 8 ) 50
17 AReg.D@LC;JLS ( 8 ) 50
18 AReg.D@LC;JLS (4) 30
19 Imperial Cavalry AReg.C@HC;JLS (6) 58
20 AReg.C@HC;JLS (6) 58
21 AIrg.B@HC; L, B (12) Saka 121
22 AIrg.B@HC; L, B (12)Bactrians 121
23 ScytheChariotsAIrg.A@HCh;4Hs,u/a driver 24
24 AIrg.A@HCh;4Hs,u/a driver
25 AIrg.A@HCh;4Hs,u/a driver
26 AIrg.A@HCh;4Hs,u/a driver
27 AIrg.A@HCh;4Hs,u/a driver
28 AIrg.A@HCh;4Hs,u/a driver
29 C&C;AReg.A@HC; JLS + PA 150


So first of all, Craig definitely gets the "brass balls" award for even playing this army. This is a great example of how far a history lover is willing to go for an army he has a passionate interest in.

Having said that, I hate this list as an open tournament format list. Your elite shock troop type is Irr B HC L,B, an utterly ordinary troop type available on dozens of lists. Your best foot is Reg C LMI JLS,Sh, again incredibly mundane and vulnerable. Any reasonable shock mounted will run over these guys, and any reasonable shock foot will walk right over them.

The gimmick is the 6 scythed chariots, but who cares? Those are easily defused with proper use of LI, LC, or dense shooters. Or really any number of other tactics. This is essentially just free points to your opponent, especially given that there's no real mounted or follow-up threat to couple the chariots with.

The light infantry is crappy, and the amount of shieldless cavalry is pathetic. You have nothing durable to screen with, and nothing potent behind the screen.

Maybe there's a better way to buy the list, but why bother? There just isn't much here to work with. Craig has put a lot of effort into building and learning this army; I'm sure his approach is as good as it's going to get.

I rate this army a max potential of 2, and I'll give Craig the full 2 points for his effort. I'm astonished he didn't finish at the absolute bottom of the heap; a testament to his experience and skill as a player, no doubt.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:25 pm    Post subject:

I'm going to do these two together, since they're the same army and one near and dear to me. First some general comments.

First, I think it's really cool that this army has made an appearance 5 times in the NICT in the last three years. When I think back to the early days of TOG 7th, and the perennial rock - paper - scissors of knights - Romans - pike/elephant, I'm really impressed with how far we've come in expanding the variety of tournament armies, and 10IS is a perfect example of that.

Second, I think it's a great tournament army for good reason. I've commented on this extensively elsewhere, but I'll give a brief recap:
* This is pretty much the most shooting you can buy on 1600 points, and shooting is one viable way to pursue victory;
* The army isn't only about shooting - you have some servicable shock mounted and servicable shock foot, as well as some rough terrain troops, meaning you can have a plan for a wide variety of circumstances;
* The army is incredibly point-optimized - nobody is better than D class who doesn't need to be, your reserves are all A class as they should be, and nobody has a shield who doesn't need one;
* This is the first army in which firelance makes an appearance, and the combination of elephants charging shoulder with firelance-armed foot is absolutely devestating.

There are negatives. You'll be outscouted every game, and so need to plan on deploying correctly and maneuvering in a very compact space. This takes thought and practice. And you will be vulnerable to certain missile resistant armies. I wouldn't want to face either Romans or Japanese with this army.

Overall, in my very biased opinion, I give this army a potential of 9.

With those vices and virtues in mind, let's look at this year's takes on the list:

Quote:
Rick Parrish, 10 Independent States

1 C-in-C 2E RA, HC, L, B, 1/2 Sh, PA 194 1
2 5E RD, 1E RC, 3E HI, Sh/3E MI, LTS, B 122 1
3 5E RD, 1E RC, 3E HI, Sh/3E MI, LTS, B 122 1
4 4E RD LI, B 26 1
5 4E RD LMI, LTS, Sh 58 1
6 4E RD, LMI, B 42 1
7 4E IA LMI, JLS, Sh 85 1
8 4E RD LMI, B 42 1
9 4E RD, LMI, CB 42 1
10 2E IC, El, 3/w B 115 1
11 Sub-Gen 2E RA, HC, L, B, 1/2 Sh, P 124 2
12 5E RD, 1E RC, 3E HI, Sh/3E MI, LTS, B 122 2
13 5E RD, 1E RC, 3E HI, Sh/3E MI, LTS, B 122 2
14 4E RD, LI, B 26 2
15 8E ID, MI, B 57 2
16 4E RD LI, B 26 2
17 4E IA LMI, JLS, Sh 85 2
18 4E RC LMI, JLS, Sh 74 2
19 2E IC, El, 3/w B 115 2
1599


Several important things I would do differently here. I haven't found any point in upgrading the LTS,B units to HI in the front. MI is often the same factor in hand to hand, and you have so much shooting and so many ways to split enemy fire that the vulnerability of MI to shooting shouldn't be a factor. So a lot of points wasted there.

This version has 8 stands or Irr A LMI JLS,Sh. This is way to much. At the end of the day, these guys roll down just as well as Irr C, and they're just JLS,Sh. Having a small reserve of these guys can keep your opponent honest. Having a lot of these guys forces you to actually fight with them, which is precarious.

None of the LMI B or CB units here have shields. They can be half shielded, and should be.

There's an LMI LTS unit and an LMI JLS,Sh unit. That provides a solid defensive force for rough terrain, but really strikes me as too much emphasis on rough terrain. This army expects to fight and win in the open. Don't waste points on building a terrain force you don't really want to have to use.

Finally, where's the firelance?! That's the whole reason to play the army, so take all you can get!

A small point, but it's worth making the generals EHC. It only costs you 4 points a stand, and since they're the only shock cav you have you want to make them as durable as possible.

Call this a 5.

Moving on:
Quote:
Mike Lewis, 10 Independent States
1 1 C-in-C Reg A HC L B Sh 158
2 2 2-in-C Reg A/C HC L B Sh/- 118
3 2 Line Cav Reg C HC L B 70
4 6 Spear Reg C MI LTS B Sh/- 118
5 6 Spear Reg C MI LTS B Sh/- 118
6 6 Spear Reg C MI LTS B Sh/- 118
7 6 Spear Reg C/D MI LTS B Sh/- 106
8 2 Elephants Irr C 3 with B 115
9 2 Elephants Irr C 3 with B 115
10 4 Tribes Irr A LMI 2HCW/JLS Sh 85
11 4 Tribes Irr A LMI 2HCW/JLS Sh 85
12 4 Tribes Irr A LMI 2HCW/JLS Sh 85
13 2 Skirmishers Reg C LI B 22
14 2 Skirmishers Reg C LI B 22
15 2 Skirmishers Reg C LI B 22
16 2 Skirmishers Reg C LI B 22
17 2 Skirmishers Reg C LI B 22
18 2 Skirmishers Reg C LI B 22
19 4 Bowmen Reg C/D LMI B Sh/- 58
20 4 Bowmen Reg C/D LMI B Sh/- 58
21 4 Bowmen Reg C/D LMI CB Sh/- 58
1597


This is a better configuration for the shooters, with shields for the LMI and no unecessary HI upgrades. This version places even greater reliance on the Irr A troops, and has no regular loose order hand to hand troops to bolster them. That means even in rough terrain the troops presented will be brittle, and it means the Irr As have to fight and do well for the army to do well.

There's an extra cav unit here; I understand the temtpation for this, but wouldn't spend the points. Your cav are a reserve, not a way to win. Again, the generals should be EHC, not HC.

And again, no firelancers! Come on, guys, this is a key troop type for this list; take it.

So a slightly better version, but still just 6 out of 10 overall.

And that, folks, almost completes our review of the 2007 NICT. I believe the only list we haven't covered is Dick Hurchanik's Japanese. I'm not in possession of that list, so Frank or Scott will have to post it for commentary.


-Mark Stone
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:15 am    Post subject:

I want to thank Mark for his comments as this was my first attempt at list creation for the NICT but I could only play what I owned. Since the NICT Derek has given me some advice and Rick has provided additional shooters so next years version will be different.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:51 am    Post subject: Dick's Japanese

Looking through my lists I don't see Dick's Japanese...so Scott will have to post that remaining list.

Frank
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:07 am    Post subject:

Two points:

1) You missed my list. I am curious what you two thought of it. Probably missed it because both players running Han Chinese happened to be named Steve. Smile

2) Would it be possible to get all of the lists in one file, like in previous years?
We find it useful here in Jacksonville.

Steve Rawls
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:40 am    Post subject:

Hey, Steve.

'Cut.'


'Paste.'

C'mon, they're only one syllable. Even Derek should be able to cope Wink.

[The absence of peanuts on later lists is generally that I didn't have a lot useful to add. Does anyone really want a treatise on minimaxing the Low Countries for open tournament play? Am I really going to argue about 10IS? Can I persuade the audience that Later Achemenids are a killer force? Nah.]
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:36 am    Post subject:

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the later Achaemenids, Ewan.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:44 am    Post subject: Later Achaemenids

Run a ton of crap foot, cav minimums, and all the Saka L. Maybe 3 or 4 scythed chariots to keep enemy off balance. LMI Takabara a must working with the Saka as a second wave behind the chariots. Might even look a the Indians to get the elephants. Buy 3x 48 MI B ID units. Learn to play very well and you may have a chance. Hard list to run.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject: Later Ach. Persian

The problem with the Later Persian list is that you CANNOT combine the Iphicratid Hoplites or Greek Peltasts (solid foot troops) with Saka, Indians, or Bactrians. Not that you really want to buy the Indians given you only get 2 Irr C elephants.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:16 pm    Post subject:

OK, folks. Last NICT list. Really (unless someone can unearth Dick's Japanese list):
Quote:
Steve Rawls, Han Chinese
1 CinC RA w/ B in 4hrs Lch, 1 4hrs RB Lch 1 w/ B PA 145
2 Sub RA w/ B in 4hrs Hch 1 w/ 2HCT, 1 4hrs RB Hch 1 w/ B 1 w/ 2HCT P 104
3 Det: 2 RB LMI Jls, SH 45
4 2 4hrs Lch, 2 w/B RA RB 61
5 2 4hrs Lch, 2 w/B RA RB 61
6 4 RB LHI 2HCT, CB SH RA 150
7 4 RB LHI 2HCT, CB SH RA 150
8 4 RB LHI 2HCT, CB SH RA 150
9 4 RB LHI 2HCT, CB SH RA 150
10 2 RB HC L, CB 76
11 4 RD LMI LTS, SH RC 62
12 6 RD LMI CB 58
13 6 RD LMI CB 58
14 2 RB LHI Jls, B, SH 70
15 2 RB LHI Jls, B, SH 70
16 4 RD LI B 26
17 4 RD LI B 26
18 4 RD LI B 26
19 2 RB LI B 26
20 2 RB LI B 26
21 2 RB LI Jls, SH 30
22 2 RB LI Jls, SH 30
1600


This is a pretty interesting take on Han Chinese. I'm not sure what Steve's intent was, having not seen it in action, but I can actually imagine running something like this and not having a terrible time.

You have enough small LI B units to force march and throw up an initial screen behind which the rest of your army can deploy. Being highly regular and almost all having 3 march moves, your army can actually form up behind that LI screen in an organized manner, concentrating where you want to concentrate.

Enemy lights won't be very effective against this army. There's enough dense shooting to blow away most LC, and the light chariots can menace when supported by shooters (we've had this discussion previously). The LI JLS guys are subtle and clever. Put them next to a LHI 2HCT unit and they can keep enemy LI from screen off the LHI 2HCT. The LHI soak up the LI shooting, to keep your own LI JLS,Sh from getting shot, and then the LI JLS,Sh charge off enemy LI saving your LHI from the chore of dusting off enemy LI.

Most interesting is the use of the LMI detachment behind a HCh. This is an augmentation to chariots that I started thinking about years ago, and that Frank Gilson and I have talked about a lot. The nuance is that JLS-armed foot behind chariot models do get to fight, unlike JLS-armed foot behind elephant models.

Look at some sample math based on slamming into an 8-stand MI pike unit with everyone rolling even. The chariots can't be impetuous, because of the foot attached behind, so we get:
* Pikes are 16@3 -1 (facing 2HCT) = 2 = 32. That's 1 CPF against what counts as an 18 figure chariot unit.
* Chariot horses are 8@2 +1 (charging) -1 (facing pike) = 2 = 16.
* Chariot crew is 2@2 and 2@2 +1 (chariot 2HCT by list rule) = 4 + 5 = 9.
* Chariot detachment is 4@3 +1 (JLS) +1 (charging) -2 (facing pike) = 3 = 10.
* Chariot total is 16 + 9 + 10 = 35. That's 1 CPF against a 32 figure unit.

So the chariots actually win on even die rolls, recoil the pike disordered, and get to follow up. That's quite potent.

You only get one such unit (it's pretty expensive), and you can only apply this pressure in one such place, but that gives you a big capacity to punch a hole somewhere that your opponent expects to be able to stand firm, and with the LHI 2HCT guys waiting in the wings you have a lot of exploit potential.

I think this army still has trouble holding frontage, and so needs a terrain pike or two to narrow things down. I also think the LI screen is not high quality enough to hold up for very long and that unfortunately the shock units need time to grind. That's not a good combination; you run a real risk of having a flank collapse before you've broken a key enemy line unit.

I give Steve an 8 for this effort, which is as high as I'm willing to go with Han.

By the way, if you like the dynamics of the chariots with LMI detachments behind, it's worth looking at Zhou Chinese. In this case your chariots are irregular and the detachment you put behind is Irr B LMI JLS. That means the whole can charge impetuously, and also means the whole is much cheaper than the Han unit exhibited here. Thus you can get two or maybe three such units and apply strong shock power on a broad frontage. The Zhou also work well with Northern Barbarian allies; it never hurts to have LMI 2HCW,JLS,Sh (front rank) / 1HCW,JLS,Sh (back rank) charging impetuously next to your chariots. Or to have them charging alone against the elephants that chariots don't want to face.

Shang can get Zhou allies and accomplish much the same thing, but it's tough to do on 1600 points given all the other requirements of the Shang list. On 2000 points Shang could be very interesting as an example of this kind of army.

Anyway, I hope this shows that some creativity with chariots can bring to light some interesting tactics that haven't been fully explored in tournament play. Kudos to Steve for giving us an example of this.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:50 pm    Post subject:

Mark Stone wrote:


Look at some sample math based on slamming into an 8-stand MI pike unit with everyone rolling even. The chariots can't be impetuous, because of the foot attached behind, so we get:
* Pikes are 16@3 -1 (facing 2HCT) = 2 = 32. That's 1 CPF against what counts as an 18 figure chariot unit.
* Chariot horses are 8@2 +1 (charging) -1 (facing pike) = 2 = 16.
* Chariot crew is 2@2 and 2@2 +1 (chariot 2HCT by list rule) = 4 + 5 = 9.
* Chariot detachment is 4@3 +1 (JLS) +1 (charging) -2 (facing pike) = 3 = 10.
* Chariot total is 16 + 9 + 10 = 35. That's 1 CPF against a 32 figure unit.

So the chariots actually win on even die rolls, recoil the pike disordered, and get to follow up. That's quite potent.

-Mark Stone


Actually, during our long analysis of such chariot units, they don't beat pike or hoplite foot. You have pike only giving a -1 to the chariot horses. The full contact numbers with no die roll are:
Chariot Unit = 31 casualties
Pike Unit = 32 casualties

Very close, but requires the Chariots to roll up while the pike cannot. Note however that if the chariot unit only hits the pike unit with ONE element it deals 16 vs. 16 casualties, tieing (but not generally inflicting a CPF, yet not taking one.) The pikes do have to be MI here (which they usually are.)

Let's look at a Zhou HCh instead, with Irr LMI JLS detachment charging impetuously.

Two element frontage of pike is 16 @ 3 +1vs. impetuous -1vs. Ch LTS is 40 casualties.

The Irr HCh from Zhou deal 40 casualties also...so still a tie (unless you add the optional JLS crew in the Spring and Autumn period in which case the chariot unit slightly wins with 41, but then your detachment is Irr C.)

Note that these Zhou HCh can slam into almost all other infantry quite well. The just don't like elephants (but note that Spring and Autumn can have some Irr foot that can stand up to such.)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:41 am    Post subject:

Well, thanks to Frank for catching my error. We've run this math before, and I just did it in haste today.

However, my general point was not "chariots can beat pike" but rather than "chariots backed by LMI detachments make powerful, durable shock troops." I stand by that claim, and it's an aspect of the Han that Steve's list takes advantage of.

You do get more potent chariots when chariots and detachment can be impetuous, but the armies that can do that (Zhou, Shang) lack the quality of support troops that Han get. The upshot: there are some viable chariot armies out there, and some interesting choices to make about which ones to play and how to configure them.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:29 am    Post subject:

joncleaves wrote:

I am sticking with it for now, having made adjustments based on my experience with this at the NICT, which is almost all the experience with it I have so far. My Warrior playing time is extremely limited nowadays.


This off-hand comment by Jon sparked a more general question on my part:

While it's one thing to have an analysis of NICT lists, I'd be really curious to know from the participants why they chose the particular list they did.

For example, I fully expected Jon to be playing Polybian Roman, and was quite surprised when he submitted Ming. The comment above implies that Jon did not make the decision to go with Ming enough in advance to get a lot of practice with it. Which raises the question: why the late interest in Ming? And raises the more general question: what motivates list choice by the NICT participants in general?

I'll go first, harking back to 2005, to give an example of what I'm looking for:

I've often espoused the idea that in an open tournament format missile fire is over-powered. If I really believe that, then it should influence my choice of army. After much analysis, I concluded that 10 Independent States was the most effective missile army one could get on 1600 points. So my motivation was entirely based on game mechanics and strategy.

Other motivations might be historical interest in an army, or simply interest in the color/pagaentry of an army. Chris Cameron's interest in Skythians (Cold Wars 2006) and Dave Lauerman's interest in Seleucids (recent thread on this forum) are examples of the former. Many player choices for Japanese, Aztecs, or Incans can be an example of that latter.

There might be other general types of motivations I've not mentioned. And whatever your general motivation, there's a story about what led you to the specific army you played and why you felt it fulfilled that motivation.

So: NICT 2007 players, why did you pick what you picked?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:49 pm    Post subject:

I picked Ming because:

- I do not play much Warrior any more so I am not painting Warrior. Which means no Polybian Romans got painted, which means I had to pick from what I had or could borrow.

- I prefer playing things other people do not play. I have Han, but other people have picked them up since I started with them. Ditto Med Spanish. So, it was Welsh or something borrowed. I looked at a combination of lead I could borrow and armies not being played. Found I could make a Ming list from my collection, Scott's and Kelly's.

- Didn't matter that I have little play time with Ming as I have little play time now with any Warrior army.

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