Tuesday, 9 June 2015

First game of To the Strongest

Last week we played 'To the Strongest' by Simon Miller (aka BigRedBat). It was a small Punic Wars affair with a couple of armies worked out by Simon as a taster game. 

I had marked out my table with a few pins to mark the square grid, I set out the troops and terrain (rough ground counted, but the trees were just for the 'aesthetic') before the game started and Graham and Peter diced for which side they played. I have to admit that we stumbled through the game, frequently looking things up and getting things wrong anyway. This isn't a bad thing, first games are always a learning tool, and often the best way of learning is by trial and error.

Even though we played certain things wrong, the game was thoroughly entertaining. We approve of games with a  built in 'fog of war', and the basic mechanics of the game provide a great deal of this. You are never in full control of everything. A plan, and sound tactics, are essential. The game bundles along at a fair lick. Something of consequence is always happening. The card play (there are no dice in TtS) is easy and easy to follow.

Overall, we were very impressed with To the Strongest. We fought this action out to a conclusion in about two and a half hours - not bad for a first game. This week we will do it all over again. This time I'll do a proper report.

I'm going to need to sort out some new gaming aids. We had to use pennies for ammunition markers because you need so many. I'll also need to get some 'hero' markers / pieces. I'm glad that I decided to keep the decks of mini-playing cards from Christmas crackers over the years as they were just the right size; full size playing cards might be a bit big, especially if there are two units in a box.

To the Strongest are available at the following link, and thoroughly recommended:



Phil said...

What a very impressive game, once again!

Dave Huntley (sheepman) said...

Up at the Border Rievers club in Northumberland we have been playing To the Strongest for five weeks running, an absoloutley cracking set of rules and one we would thouroughly recommend. Using various Hoplite and/or Macadonian armies each game has come to a conclusion in an evenings play with know one being sure what the result was going to be till almost the end. Swearing is in fact compulsory up here but believe me new hights were reached as the various cards were turned over and even the best manouvers suceeded or failed. I have been looking for a satisfactory set of ancient rules for a long time and believe this is the one. Couldn't recommend them more.

Simon Miller said...

That looks stunning James! Are those pins sprayed to match the terrain? A very good solution.

You might like to try using MDF chits drawn from a pot rather than cards. I find the cards a little more exciting, but the chits would blend into your scenery and are less intrusive.

Best, Simon

Der Alte Fritz said...

It is a good looking game regardless of the rules.

BTW, sorry to have missed you at Partizan.

Simon Miller said...

Dave Huntley, that is a hilarious review- do you mind if I use that as a testimonial? Simon

DAF I was also sorry to miss you at Partizan, I couldn't get away from my table in the other room. The game looked fabulous!

Gonsalvo said...

I must admit that "To the Strongest" seems intriguing to me as well, with fairly novel game mechanics. Yet another different use of Cards!

Joseph.Cade said...

Our local group loves this set of rules, it's easy to learn but full of constant decision making by the players. And it's fast, important for our group so we can finish a game in a night.


Hi Simon, I like cards too. The pins were just plastic topped drawing pins that I painted then stippled in the same household emulsion paint that the table is painted with.

DAF, yes that was I pity. I've been so busy this year that my 'surfing' hasn't been what it usually is and I didn't know you were in the UK.

The game has been reset for tonight. Looking forward to it!

Barry Lee said...

I echo Dave's comments. Excellent set of rules and by the way perfect for tournament games, regardless of swearing.

Caliban said...

Finally a use for something from Xmas crackers! Thanks for the report, James.

Simon Miller said...

The pins are such a good idea James, if one has foam boards like the TSS ones. Thanks all for the kind words!

Michael Peterson said...

Brilliant table with some very fine looking shields, particularly in the last shot. It looks just as good as one of your SYW games, even better when one counts the elephants!

Jonathan Freitag said...

You always set such a beautiful table!