This blog has not seen Romans and Celts since August 2013. They've been safely packed away after my first attempt at writing the Dark Crucible rules was abandoned. There's been no inclination to revisit them, especially as my rule-writing exploits has turned to Project–Hood, Project–Out Of Time and more recently an adaptation of Zombicide Black Plague as a skirmish arena game. I've found my attention floats from one of these projects to the next in a merry-go-round fashion, moving on when the motivation tires.
|Romans hold the hilltop|
In a bizarre twist of fate, I found myself back writing out stats for Romans and Celts this weekend as myself and Bull arranged a last minute play-test morning. The latest incarnation of Project–Hood was reaching a plateau where things needed to be tested thoroughly. However, I took the basic ruleset and stripped out all the resource management and unique characters. Back to absolute basics. I then converted the character list so we could play with basic troops alone – the Romans and Celts as we have plenty of models for those.
|Celts taunt the Romans!|
I love sitting in isolation trying to conjure up new mechanics and fun iterations of things I've not seen used before. I love putting it all down in a document and refining things, then refining them some more. However, it doesn't matter how much things make sense on paper, the one thing I have learned is that they do not often survive the first round of play-testing.
We played through a simple king-of-the-hill type scenario, nothing complicated but there was an objective rather than random skirmishing. Then we simply talked through options and directions, rolling out specific encounters to see how things felt. Many of the mechanics I was completely sold on previously fell apart quite quickly in the hands of another player. Our discussions and thought process evolved over the four hour spell, and what we ended up with is quite far removed from the 9am document.
I made a tonne of notes whilst there and came away to distill them into something logical, playable and balanced (if that's possible). I'm hoping these core mechanics, once more concrete, will form an underlying basis for a couple of these rules projects at least. Time will tell.