Sunday, 8 January 2017

Premature and perpetual decay

That's how Gibbon described the entire millennium that the empire of the East lasted between Arcadius and Mehmet. It also describes the state of my Siege of Constantinople game which has rather fallen into desuetude.

As a recap, the game was based on the Ottoman final assault on May 29th 1453, via the approach suggested in the WHAB Siege & Conquest supplement. The scenario features the three successive attacks which the Ottomans launched on the same section of wall, the intention being that the defenders would be so worn down that they would eventually be overwhelmed (1). The problem that I have been encountering is that my chosen rules - To the Strongest! - aren't very good at slow degradation over a period of time. Their two hits and you're dead structure combined with the ability to rally back to full strength don't really fit the bill, which is a shame because everything else can be handled quite nicely within the framework of activations at differing levels of difficulty.

I tried a proxy whereby the first wave - the bashi-bazouks - made the job of subsequent attacker easier, rather than causing casualties to the defenders as such. I got the mechanics to work, but it just didn't gel thematically for me. Much pondering has failed to deliver a solution, so I think I shall pack it all away, set something else up and let the problem simmer in the background of my mind for a while.

(1) This may or may not be what happened on the day. You can take your pick from sally ports left open, artillery breaches in the walls and/or the fanaticism of Hasan the Giant.

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