I had my first game of TravelBattle- see more pictures of my painted units here. I took the Reds against the perfidious Blues.
Each player divides their equal units into three brigades to their liking. It’s an IGOUGO system, with foot moving one space and cavalry moving two. Units must start in continuity with their brigade commander. Combat is resolved against adjacent squares by rolling 1D6 per unit and comparing highest results- elite troops may reroll. A difference of one is a pushback one square and an inability to move next round. A difference of two forces a retreat to the board edge and a high chance of routing completely, and a difference of three or more is unit destruction. First player to destroy two enemy brigades is the winner! And that is pretty much it, barring some minor rules for squares, artillery and terrain.
I created one purely cavalry brigade and two identical foot brigades, aiming to hold the enemy on my right and crush him on my left. My opponent, General Amnese, had a grand battery to my right and two brigades with a mixture of foot and mounted attacking my left.
Click to embiggen:
|Blues approach the Red-held farm as troops in the forest hold the cavalry at bay.|
|A back-and-forth in front of the farm- note the repulsed troops on the far horizon|
|On the right, the brigade commander seizes an opportunity and charges the guns- it ended badly.|
|Desperate fighting around the farmhouse|
|Last stand of the Reds.|
I lost, with both my left brigades being eliminated. It took about an hour, including fiddling through the rules. Importantly, we had fun.
TravelBattle is an aesthetically charming game from the Perrys. Once assembled (and preferably painted!) you've got everything you need to play in a foam-lined case- figures, terrain, rules, dice. I do think that it is a decent all-in-one package. And the figures are lovely.
But it is not without issues, principally rules-related. TravelBattle has the air of a vanity project from the deservedly successful Perry twins. They have pictures of their original 6mm set in the rulebook, and have transformed their figures and terrain into a new lovely plastic form. The ruleset appears complete, but is unpolished. Better formatting and illustrated examples would be welcome.
General Amnese thought it was an interesting starting point or toolbox for rules tweaking.
For more variety, compatability, and historical accuracy in figures; you'd be going with 6mm metals (with the time, effort, and transport issues).
For a clever game with portability, replayability, and a great number of varied factions, have a look at Manoeuvre (but no miniatures).
For a fantastic scenario-driven tactical quick play game, I don't think you can go past Commands and Colors Napoleonics.
All of which leaves TravelBattle as a bit of a niche game in an already niche hobby.
It was weird things like the fact that you retreated to the *nearest* base edge. This meant that if you pushed the battle close to the enemy baseline you could, in theory, end up retreating to their baseline. It seemed to be one of those rules that had an intent, but where the wording hadn't been thought through.ReplyDelete
I think the order of cmoabt wasn't clear as well; Some things affect adjacent combats, but we weren't sure if all combats were resolved simultaneously (so the effect applies if it was there at the start, even if a combat result removes it), or if the results of one combat affected the resolution of the next. As hardened DBA/HOTT players we went for the latter, as we like choosing the order of combats in order to get knockon effects, and it means that you don't have to remember things.
As you say, it seems to be a vanity project; lots of attention give to the look and style, and less to the actual game, half of which is still obviously inside the Perry's heads.
The order of combat was a real headache. Considering it is the key game mechanic after dice rolling, it really needed to be more clear. I agree that it is in their heads, and needs to be on paper!Delete
Looks fantastic. Every boy should have one!ReplyDelete