Author Topic: The Catalan Company  (Read 13415 times)

Hannibal

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The Catalan Company
« on: November 16, 2011, 08:11:13 PM »
Awhile back, I posited the idea of a historical Monsters & Mercenaries set, a faction that could be used as mercenaries in any army.  History is full of mercenaries from the Thracians and Saka, to Hannibal's Gauls, to the late-medieval Condottas and German Free Companies.  Heck, the Greeks were the itinerants of the Mediterranean, and they showed up in Persia, Egypt, Italy, and North Africa.

One little foot note that I discovered when I started playing historicals was the Catalan Company of the East.  This band of tribal hill warriors and Spanish knights became embroiled in conflict with the rump of the Byzantine Empire, inflicting such serious damage that supposedly to this day the words Catalan and Almughavar has the same connotation to Greeks that the word Vandal has to Western Europeans and their cultural descendents.

I tracked down The Catalan Vengeance, an out-of-print book from which most historical games draw their conclusions.  I did this because I didn't really like the way Field of Glory represented them (the game has some serious flaws), and I thought the BGFW would do a more elegant job of it.  I pitched the idea to Chad, and while I appreciated my enthusiasm, he felt they were far too much of a historical footnote to sell on their own (and he was leery of packaging them with another, more popular, faction like was done with the other Historical sets).

So my loss is the community's gain!  I figured I'd throw the faction up to the community, well, just because.  I haven't gotten Chad's approval to put up approximate costs, so the units currently won't have them.  If he does, I'll amend it.

But first, some history:


In 1282, the War of the Sicilian Vespers broke out.  It was a struggle between the Spanish king of Aragon and the French Angevin king of Sicily for the island.  The Aragonese king raised a company of mercenaries composed of among other things the fierce warriors known as Almughavars.

The Almughavars hailed from the northern regions of Spain, including Catalonia, Aragon, and Navarre.  These folks withstood the Muslim invasions of Spain in the 7th and 8th century by heading higher into the hills and fighting raider warfare in the time honored tradition of guerrillas everywhere.  They were remarkable in that they were both fierce and disciplined in combat (outside combat, not so much).  They could move fast through very rugged terrain, attack a Muslim settlement, and then flee before reinforcements arrived.  Although they could stand against heavy cavalry, they proved very effective troops in running down the lighter Berber-style horsemen of the Iberian Muslim kingdoms.

The average Almughavar wore little to no armor, growing his hair and beards long.  He carried a spear, 2 heavy javelins (called azconas), and short stabbing sword.  They were the literal descendents of the Iberians that followed Hannibal into Rome, their weapons unchanged since the Romans copied them (naming them Pila and Gladius Hispaniensis).  

Despite their barbarian appearance (and make no mistake, these were the hillbillies of the middle ages), the Alughavar understood two very modern principles of warfare:  1) there are no rules, and 2) defeat an enemy mentally first.  Almughavars routinely held their own against European heavy cavalry because they engaged in unchivalrous tactics like aiming for a man's horse.  And before a battle, Almughavars would strike their blades against against stones, causing them to spark in the pre-dawn gloom while they chanted "Aur! Aur! Desperta Ferro!"  ("Listen! Listen! Iron, Awaken!").

These fierce warriors accompanied the Aragonese king to Sicily and fought until the very end of the Sicilian Vespers, 20 years later.  However at the conclusion of the war, no one wanted these mercenaries around, as mercenaries without a steady paycheck become bandits with a quickness.

Enter Roger de Flor.  This man was a D&D adventurer in every sense of the word.  Starting as a galleyman, he joined the Knights Templar as a captain of a galley.  During the Siege of Acre, instead of helping all escape, he began auctioning off seats on his ship to the highest bidder.  He was expelled from the order and began engaging in piracy against Christian and Muslim alike, until he was excommunicated.  A true mercenary, he signed up with the Catalan Company during the Vespers, and at its conclusion contacted the Byzantine Emperor, offering the services of his company.

The Byzantine Empire at this point was just recovering from its sack and dismemberment during the 4th Crusade.  It had recaptured Northern Greece, but regions of Attica, the Peloponnese, Epirus, and the Aegean Islands were still ruled by foreigners (French dukes in the former three, Venetians in the last).  Worse, the Seljuk Turks had pushed west and conquered large parts of Anatolia (western Turkey), a very wealthy region, and were threatening Constantinople.  

A quick map: http://www.westpoint.edu/history/SiteAssets/SitePages/Ancient%20Warfare/45CatalanCompany.gif

The Catalan Company sailed east in 1303 with 1,500 knights, 1,000 conventional infantry, and 4,000 Alughavars.  They were received with fanfare in Constantinople, with de Flor being named Grand Duke and married to the Emperor's niece.  Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse almost immediately.  In Constantinople, a riot broke out Almughavars and Genoese.  After the Catalan Company shipped out, but before engaging with the enemy, they fought with a contingent of Alan allies resulting in all but 1,000 Alans departing from the army.

Against the Turks, the Catalan Company won resounding victories.  At Cyzicus they surprised them with a night raid and butchered an entire besieging force in their camp.  After that they marched 120 miles into central Turkey, including an incredible forced march of 80 miles in a 24 hour period.  Perhaps more impressive is the Almughavars brought their wives and children on campaign with them, and they kept pace.  Outside Philadelphia, the Catalan Company defeated an army of 20,000 Turks, butchering all but 1500 infantry and cavalry.  From there, they subjugated the Anatolian cities of Sardis, Magnesia, and Ephesus.  They had done all this in barely 18 months of campaigning.

Unfortunately, the Catalan Company had done very little to earn good will among the Greeks.  Beyond the outright battles they fought with allies and rivals, the Almughavars treated the formerly Byzantine regions as conquered territory.  The Greeks had expected to be liberated, and they found themselves occupied by barbarians more savage than the Turks.  The Turks were creating a new empire and so made token attempts at integrating the Greeks into it.  The Almughavars pillaged openly, operating under a "we bought it, so we can break it" mentality.

After these conquests, the Catalan Company returned to Gallipoli for the winter, with the intention of venturing further East into Turkey come the spring.  Their numbers now included 3,000 Turk and Turcopole mercenary cavalry.  However, the Byzantine Emperor had decided that the Catalan Company was more trouble than it was worth.  He also feared that de Flor intended to establish an independent Anatolian kingdom (a not-unfounded fear).

de Flor was summoned to Constantinople with 300 knights and 1,000 Almughavars.  At a dinner with the Emperor's son, de Flor and his men were murdered by the same Alans that had fought with the Catalans earlier.  The Byzantines then sent out an army to destroy the leaderless remnant of the Company at Gallipoli, numbering 200 knights and 1200 infantry.  Despite their numerical superiority, the Greeks were defeated.

Thus began the Catalan Vengeance.  For two years, the Catalan Company raided and ravaged the Thracian countryside.  They sacked Rodosto, brutally hacking apart every man, woman, and child in revenge for what was done to their brothers and their leader.  Although they had no siege works and so could not sack the walled cities, no Greek army could stand against them.  The emperor was forced to watch as the Catalans burnt the undefended outskirts of Constantinople.  So thorough was their domination that the two year pillage of Thrace ended not because they were forced out, but because there simply was not enough places that they could pillage for food.

One fascinating episode during the vengeance was the Battle of Gallipoli.  In 1306, the Catalan Company left their camp in Gallipoli and pursued the Alan force that had murdered their leader.  The 9,000 Alani were fleeing north-west to their homelands.  The Catalans caught up with them and butchered all but 300 in perhaps their most difficult battle.

Meanwhile, a contingent of Genoese mercenaries, at the Byzantine Emperor's behest, attacked the poorly defended camp at Gallipoli.  The Company's quartermaster, Ramon Muntaner, had at his command 7 horsemen, 133 infantry (mostly sailors and wounded Almughavars), and all the wives of the Catalan Company.  So he equipped the women and had them defend the walls under relentless Genoese crossbow barrages.  One wife refused to leave her post despite being wounded five times(!) in the face(!).  She stated that she would not surrender the honor of fighting in her husband's place, except in death.

Finally the Genoese had run out of arrows, and the general berated them for being turned back in their assault of the walls by women.  Muntaner ordered his 6 remaining horsemen and 100 infantry to prepare to assault!  He had them discard their heavy armor now that the enemy had run out of ammunition, and opened the gates.  The surprising ferocity of their attack sent the Genoese reeling.  Their general was cut down in the first attack, and the will of the attackers was broken.  They fled and would have been cut down by the exhausted Catalans of Muntaner's garrison were it not for a small company of Genoese reserves.

When the main body of the Catalan Company heard of the attack on their camp, they raced back and secured it.  But now the Company was at an impasse.  They had exacted what revenge they could, and the countryside was barren.  Worse, despite receiving reinforcements Spain and Sicily, the lords of these reinforcements clashed with the leaders of the Company.  The Catalan Company had begun to consume itself.  This growing rivalry persisted as the Catalan Company decided to head west, into Thessaly and down into Greece.  These struggles ended in bloodshed, and the expulsions/departure of some of the lords (including the famed Muntaner, who left more of disgust).

Once in Greece, the Catalan Company was hired by the French Duke of Athens, Walter de Brienne.  The Catalan Company captured 30 castles in Greece, turning de Brienne into the undisputed master of central Greece.  But in an astounding example of not-paying-attention-to-what-happened-next-door, de Brienne chose to not pay the Catalan Company for their efforts.

When the Catalan Company openly revolted and began ravaging the countryside, de Brienne gathered nearly every Frankish lord in his dominion (almost 6,500 heavy cavalry) as well as 24,000 infantry (of varying quality) to crush the 7,000-man Catalan Company at the Battle of Halmyros.

Sadly the battle wasn't much of one.  The Catalans anchored their flank with forest and a lake, then diverted a river onto the field, flooding it, but the water was concealed by the high grasses.  When the heavy cavalry charged, they quickly became bogged down into the newly created swamp.  The nimble Alughavars picked apart the knights with their heavy javelins and spears.  In one battle, the collected pride of French chivalry and rulers of Greece were wiped out.

The Catalan Company now found itself in control of that territory.  So they settled down, creating the Duchy of Neopatria, which was nominally a vassal of the King of Aragon.  The duchy lasted until ~1390, when it was overthrown by another mercenary company of Navarrese.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 11:01:09 AM by Hannibal »

Hannibal

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 08:56:01 PM »
The Catalan Company

The theme of the Catalan Company is pure and simple:  offense.  The core of the army is their cavalry and the fast moving Almughavars.  The remainder of the army are auxiliaries and mercenaries that either came and went during the years of 1303-1310, or were never made up a large contingent.  So while they do hit fairly hard, they lack that jack-of-all-trades 200 pt unit.  Their generic swordsmen and spearmen are very unreliable.

Fitting with their theme, all their faction specific Command Cards are Red or attack-oriented cards.  Their checkbox ability represents the fearsome reputation that was well earned.  The Ambush ability represents their true strength:  an army of medium infantry should have been able to defeat the enemies they did.  A large part of that is that the Catalan Company controlled the terms of the engagement by forced march, choosing where a battle would be fought.

Edit #1:  Added points costs.


Desperta Ferro! Spend a CA to mark the box.  Erase the box before rolling to hit.  Unit gains (+1) +0/+0 and +1 Cge this turn.  Engaged enemy units have -1 Cge this turn (regardless of how many units use Desperta Ferro).  This counts as playing a command card.

Forced March:  If playing Catalan Company as a stand alone faction, you may spend up to 80 pts during army selection to purchase terrain.  Each small (5”x4”) terrain piece costs 40 pts and a medium (10”x11”) terrain piece costs 80 pts.  You choose the type of terrain (i.e. forest, hills, marsh). Place terrain before deployment, replacing existing small/medium terrain of your choice with purchased terrain.  If there is no terrain or more purchased pieces than existing ones, purchased terrain is not placed..


Almughavars - Core - 242 pts
O:(5)6/5  D:2*/1  Rge: 3.5"  Cge: 13  Mve 5"  4G 2Y 2R
Pila.  D:+1/+0 vs ranged attacks

"Inured to toil and fatigue, rapid in march, firm in fight, reckless of life, eager for close combat, their warlike ferocity eclipsed that of the Greek and Roman legionaries."


Cavalls Alforrat - Core - 290 pts
O:(6)6/5*  D:2*/2  Rge: -  Cge: 12  Mve 6"  3G 2Y 2R
Cavalry, Impulsive.  O:(+0)+0/+1 and D:+1/+0 when charging.

Fighting a la jinete, these knights went into battle on unarmored horses.


Turcopoles - Core - 161 pts
O:(4)5/5  D:1*/1  Rge: 10.5"  Cge: 11  Mve 6"  2G 2Y 2R
Cavalry. D:+1/+0 when charging.  Ranged attack is LOS, no Move & Shoot penalty. When Direct Controlled may treat Rear Arc as Front Arc for ranged attacks.  No Desperta Ferro box.

Although they made a large portion of the Company during the Vengeance, the Turks and Turcopoles did not trust their Catalan employers.


Almughavar Scouts - Core - 79 pts
O:(3)5/4  D:1*/0  Rge: 5"  Cge: 12  Mve 5"  2G 3Y 1R
Skirmishers, Javelins.  D:+2/+0 vs ranged attacks

Smaller groups of Almughavars served as vanguards for the main force.


Greek Swordsmen - Standard - 162 pts
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  Rge: -  Cge: 11  Mve 3.5"  3G 4Y 3R
No Desperta Ferro box.

Before and during the Vengeance, Greek fortune seekers flocked to the Company in seek of plunder.


Greek Spearmen - Standard - 181 pts
O:(6*)5*/5*  D:2/2  Rge: -  Cge: 11  Mve 3.5"  3G 4Y 3R
O:(-1) -0/-0 when charging. O:(+0) +1/+0 vs. cavalry or large units. O:(+0) +0/+2 when holding vs. charging cavalry or large. No Desperta Ferro box.

The era of the mighty Greek hoplite was well past, their descendents battered by enemies on all sides.


Greek Archers - Standard - 113 pts
O:(4)5*/5*  D:1/1  Rge: 10.5"  Cge: 10  Mve 3.5"  2G 3Y 2R
O:(-0)-2/-2 when engaged.  No Desperta Ferro box.

The self-bow wielded by Greek archers dated back to the Persian Wars, and had been obsolete even then.


Catalan Crossbowmen - Standard - 117 pts
O:(3)5*/6*  D:1*/1  Rge: 17.5"  Cge: 10  Mve 3.5"  2G 2Y 2R
Skirmisher.  Ranged attack is LOS.  No Desperta Ferro box.  O:(-0)-2/-3 when engaged.  D:+2/+0 vs ranged attacks.

Spanish men-at-arms armed with a weapon deadly enough to punch plate.


Alan Cavalry - Standard - 140 pts
O:(4)5/5*  D:2*/1  Rge: -  Cge: 11  Mve 7"  2G 2Y 2R
Cavalry. O:(+0)+0/+1 and D:+1/+0 when charging. No Desperta Ferro box.

Savage allies of the Catalan Company would become fierce enemies and murderers of Roger de Flor.


Muntaner's Garrison - Elite - 142 pts.
O:(4)5/5  D:2/1  Rge: -  Cge: 13  Mve 3.5"  3G 3Y 4R

The wives of the Catalan Company stood against a company of Genoese mercenaries, and sent them reeling.


Cavalls Armat - Elite - 400 pts
O:(6)6/6*  D:2*/3  Rge: -  Cge: 13  Mve 5"  3G 2Y 2R
Cavalry, Impulsive.  O:(+0)+0/+1 and D:+1/+0 when charging.

Armored and riding barded horses, these knights were reckless in their quest for glory and wealth.


Vesper Almughavars - Elite - 328 pts
O:(5)6/5  D:3*/1  Rge: 3.5"  Cge: 14  Mve 5"  4G 3Y 2R
Pila.  D:+1/+0 vs ranged attacks

From Spain to Sicily to Anatolia and finally to Greece, these men had fought their way across the northern Mediterranean for 30 years.


Command Cards:

Take no Prisoners:  (2) Play before rolling to hit with an engaged attack.   Your unit gains (+0)+1/+0 this attack and if it does at least one point of damage (before damage prevention), do another point of damage.

Hit & Run: (2) Play on an engaged unit before rolling to hit.  Your unit gets (+2)+0/+0 this attack.  If your unit is engaged only on the front at the end of the Post Combat Courage Phase, it may rout without suffering Free Attacks.  At the end of the rout move, rally your unit.

Avenge your Kin: (2) Play on an engaged unit before rolling to hit.  Your unit gets (+0)+0/+1 this attack.  Your unit rerolls any failed Rout Checks this turn.

Arago!: (2)  Play during your Movement and Command phase.  Gain 2 Command Actions, which may only be used to mark Desperta Ferra! Boxes, change a unit's Standing Orders to Close (no modifiers), or to rally a fleeing unit.

The Catalan Vengeance: (2) Play on an engaged unit during the Movement and Command phase.  That unit gains (+2)+0/+0 for engaged attacks this turn.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 11:57:48 AM by Hannibal »

Zelc

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 04:46:45 PM »
I think this is an interesting faction, and I thought the history lesson was really cool!  

Just one gameplay note, however.  I think mercenary factions should have a disadvantage that is counteracted by their faction ability.  For instance, M&M units tend to have low courage, but have a checkmark ability that boosts their courage.  That means it's harder for other factions to take these units.  The danger is if you make mercenary units normal cost, then certain factions designed around lacking a key unit type suddenly have access to those unit types.  For example, by printing the Alan Cavalry in this current form, every faction now gets access to cheap cavalry.  To prevent this from happening, mercenary units should be weaker in some way.  In order to make the mercenary faction viable, their faction ability should be better than average to counter the weakness.

So, maybe give all their units Stupidity, unless playing the actual faction.  EDIT: Actually, a better idea might be to give all their units a (5%?) cost increase, but allow them to hidden-deploy any of their units on/adjacent to a terrain piece as a faction ability.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 04:52:15 PM by Zelc »

Hannibal

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 03:09:59 AM »
Quote
and I thought the history lesson was really cool! 

Yeah obviously I think the bloody history of the Catalan Company is pretty cool, and while I wish it could be something other than my white proxies, sadly its just such a historical niche.



Quote
I think mercenary factions should have a disadvantage that is counteracted by their faction ability.  For instance, M&M units tend to have low courage, but have a checkmark ability that boosts their courage.  That means it's harder for other factions to take these units.  The danger is if you make mercenary units normal cost, then certain factions designed around lacking a key unit type suddenly have access to those unit types.

Yeah, I obviously don't ascribe to that mentality because I don't like the idea of having to spend a CA (or two) to make a unit useful.  One of the reasons M&M don't get used outside of a campaign or a wacky boutique unit build is because the 11 Courage paired with the 4/2/4 build is just rotten.

Instead, I went a different route with many of the units in that for every unit type these guys replicate, there's a better version of it out there.  For example, the Cavalls Armat are carbon copies of Hawkshold Knights, except they have Impulsive.  So the Hawkshold Knights are clearly superior to them.  Similarly, the Alan Cavalry.  While they are a 7" cav unit, they do not have breakthrough ability that Wolf Riders have but also they lack the Courage that Hawkshold Scouts have, running half the time after 2 pts of damage.

With the Almughavar Skirmishers, they are not as good as the Scutarii, so people won't be able to complain that suddenly everyone has better skirmishers than Hannibal.  When Alexander is released the Thracians and the Agrianians will be flat out better (and more expensive).  What the Almughavar skirmishers have going for them is the Cge 12, so they are more likely to stick out the fight with enemy skirmishers and last longer when they take that Cge check from evading.

With the Almughavars proper I made a deliberate choice not to give them a cheaper Off Skill 5 version, so that the army doesn't have a ~200 pt that is still able to provide the big thump or dance around the enemy hurling Pilas.  For other armies this shouldn't be a huge problem, because most armies will have either a decent tank or a decent 200 pt line unit.  But when the Catalans are fielded on their own, the problem comes to the fore.  In fact, when fielded on its own, the 5" move usually ends up as dead points.  Before I added the Ambush Forced March ability, that happened all the time.  Now they can make the terrain work for them, allowing units to get an advantage from their 5" move.

Zelc

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 05:52:52 PM »
Quote
and I thought the history lesson was really cool!  

Yeah obviously I think the bloody history of the Catalan Company is pretty cool, and while I wish it could be something other than my white proxies, sadly its just such a historical niche.
I think you can make this a normal standalone faction.  It certainly has tons of flavor.


Quote
Yeah, I obviously don't ascribe to that mentality because I don't like the idea of having to spend a CA (or two) to make a unit useful.  One of the reasons M&M don't get used outside of a campaign or a wacky boutique unit build is because the 11 Courage paired with the 4/2/4 build is just rotten.
You don't have to make it a checkmark ability or something.  You could always overcost all the units, then give the faction an ability that brings the units back in line.  Maybe give the faction free pieces of terrain, instead of having to pay for it, and then give their units hidden deploy?

The rest I'll take out of your thread :).
« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 05:57:45 PM by Zelc »

Hannibal

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2011, 07:09:37 PM »
Quote
I think you can make this a normal standalone faction.  It certainly has tons of flavor.

It certainly does, and that was what I pitched to Chad, but he felt that it lacks enough name recognition such that if someone read the box they'd know what it is.  People are familiar enough with the names Aztecs or Persians to have a stereotype, even if they know very little.  And he didn't want to pair it with another faction for fear people would feel they're being forced to buy 2 factions to get the 1 they want.  I have no objection to his concerns, much as I wish I could.   ;)


Quote
You don't have to make it a checkmark ability or something.  You could always overcost all the units, then give the faction an ability that brings the units back in line.  Maybe give the faction free pieces of terrain, instead of having to pay for it, and then give their units hidden deploy?

Well, the terrain is meant to be their stand-alone ability.  First, it'd be broken if people with other factions could suddenly start dropping terrain.  Second, it was an ability intended to make them viable on their own because of the design decision to make them weak.

See, my point is that I don't think they need more weakening because most of the units were tweaked to be less points efficient.  For example, take the Alan Cavalry.  With their low number of dice and low Cge, really they're a 7" pinch unit.  That's all they really do.  They lack enough dice to bust through units or any durability (defense, boxes, Cge) to stand up to any other light cavalry.  So I gave them the Cav Pow bonus, which is like a 10% bump in cost.  Its not useless, but its also not optimized for what this unit does.

Same thing with the Greek infantry.  I paired Cge 11 with 3 Green boxes to make them actually kinda crappy.  But then I made them Def 2/2 instead of 2/1 so they wouldn't become super cheap.  So they exist in this neither region of not quite durable but not quite cheap enough to justify it.

And the Cavalry.  They all hit very hard, but they have the Impulsive penalty, which means they can get shenaniganed pretty easily, forcing you to spend CAs to keep them in the right position.

In most cases, the idea is that the Catalans would provide things that other factions have, but they'd be pretty lackluster.  Hawkshold Knights are from Bloomingdale's while you got yours from Walmart.

Thus when you play them on their own, they're actually a collection of really crappy units.  So I included the terrain ability to balance that.  And also it fit their history really well.

In the end, I doubt folks will play this very much, and I have really only been playing them as a stand-alone faction.  Which is fine, one of the freedoms of this going from a suggestion to a fan faction.


Quote
The rest I'll take out of your thread

Egh?  Sorry not following.

gull2112

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 03:23:31 PM »
Love the faction and flavor! Maybe if YMG did a massive sales push into Spain with this as the lead faction we could get a new international audience. ;) I actually have some contacts in Spain, so I could use any excuse to travel there.
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Zelc

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 04:28:50 PM »
For example, take the Alan Cavalry.  With their low number of dice and low Cge, really they're a 7" pinch unit.  That's all they really do.  They lack enough dice to bust through units or any durability (defense, boxes, Cge) to stand up to any other light cavalry.  So I gave them the Cav Pow bonus, which is like a 10% bump in cost.  Its not useless, but its also not optimized for what this unit does.
Yes, but it's still a 7" unit for 140 points.  Now every faction has access to a cheap fast-moving unit.

Similarly, Skirmishers.  Now every faction has access to a Skirmisher (and actually a pretty good one with 12 Courage), which means factions with really cheap units are much more powerful.

Quote
Same thing with the Greek infantry.  I paired Cge 11 with 3 Green boxes to make them actually kinda crappy.  But then I made them Def 2/2 instead of 2/1 so they wouldn't become super cheap.  So they exist in this neither region of not quite durable but not quite cheap enough to justify it.
They look to be about as good as Gallic Warriors.  Worse Courage, better defense, not Impulsive.  Again, it's cost-effectiveness that matters, not whether it's better or worse than a normal Swordsman.

Quote
And the Cavalry.  They all hit very hard, but they have the Impulsive penalty, which means they can get shenaniganed pretty easily, forcing you to spend CAs to keep them in the right position.
Impulsive is almost never a problem for Cavalry.  When are they not on Close?  I understand you may have issues with close with a unit modifier getting wiped, but that's far more rare.

Quote
In most cases, the idea is that the Catalans would provide things that other factions have, but they'd be pretty lackluster.  Hawkshold Knights are from Bloomingdale's while you got yours from Walmart.
Yea, but the Knights from Walmart are cheaper and look to be about as cost-effective.  As a stand-alone faction, that's perfectly fine.  As a mercenary faction, now every faction has access to a pretty good heavy cavalry unit.

Again, I think this faction would be very interesting as a normal faction, but as a mercenary faction, it just gives every other faction way too much.  Do we really want to see Ravenwood Elves with a Skirmisher-Brownies combo for 160 points?  High Elves with 143-point Muntaner's Garrison cheap tanks and 140-point cheap cavalry?  Carthage and Rome with 290-point Medium Cavalry and 400-point Heavy Cavalry?

gull2112

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2011, 05:08:13 PM »
I think the faction is great and I wouldn't want anything changed. If that means it doesn't get to be mercenary, so be it. Maybe they could be a proxy faction, meaning that if you are in a tournament with one faction, you could alternately play The Catalan Company for one of the games.
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Hannibal

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2011, 01:08:37 PM »
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Yes, but it's still a 7" unit for 140 points.  Now every faction has access to a cheap fast-moving unit.

Similarly, Skirmishers.  Now every faction has access to a Skirmisher (and actually a pretty good one with 12 Courage), which means factions with really cheap units are much more powerful.

These arguments falls flat for me, because its the same ones you could levy against the M&M deck.  Every faction has access to cheap archers, or cheap filler units, or horse archers, or big guys or T3 tank units.

Yeah, everybody can now take skirmishers.  But they'll only have 2 green boxes, so it'll be pretty easy to force that first check.  And against other skirmishers, they're at best tanks.  As far as the Alan Cavalry, I don't see the big deal.  Against any faction that has fast cavalry, you're toast.  And anyone that doesn't have fast cavalry, they deal with you the same way they dealt with other factions that did have fast cavalry.

As a final note, go here:  http://yourmovegames.com/forum/index.php/topic,2248.0.html

You'll note that the original idea for the Amazon faction was to have Merc. Knights and Merc. Infantry.  I'll trust that if Chad didn't feel it was broken to give other factions access to Merc. Knights then its fine to do it in a full blown Merc faction.


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Again, it's cost-effectiveness that matters, not whether it's better or worse than a normal Swordsman.

And if you think spending 162 pts on a unit that will run away 50% of the time after 3 boxes is cost-effective...well, we'll just disagree about that.  Personally, I'll take the Wildmen and spend the 2 CAs to make them more effective at holding the line.



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Impulsive is almost never a problem for Cavalry.  When are they not on Close?  I understand you may have issues with close with a unit modifier getting wiped, but that's far more rare.

Wow, we'll just have to disagree there.  Impulsive on cavalry is worse than impulsive on infantry.  You can get pulled out of position to a greater degree because you often have more movement and cavalry are often on a flank where they seldom have 2 units bracketing them to steer them when they go on Close.  And if they get sucked into a bad matchup, they don't have the boxes to survive.

I had a Knight unit on Close with an objective that would let me flank his GWE, and so he ran it up, forcing me to erase my objective.  I had to spend CAs or charge into the front of the GWE one at a time with my two cavalry units.  Having move caps and objectives disappear when the enemy gets within 7" is a big deal.  Impulsive is pretty undercosted for cavalry (which was fine).



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Do we really want to see Ravenwood Elves with a Skirmisher-Brownies combo for 160 points?  High Elves with 143-point Muntaner's Garrison cheap tanks and 140-point cheap cavalry?  Carthage and Rome with 290-point Medium Cavalry and 400-point Heavy Cavalry?

It bothers me just about as much as Romans with Healer Mages.  Or Wood Elves with Wildmen.


In the end all this is academic.  This faction will never see the happy end of a printer, hence me posting it here, so if you think its a cool faction but a bad Merc faction you can house rule it to be a stand alone faction only.  I mean you'd already be house-ruling it into existence among your gaming group anyway.



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Love the faction and flavor! Maybe if YMG did a massive sales push into Spain with this as the lead faction we could get a new international audience. I actually have some contacts in Spain, so I could use any excuse to travel there.

Yeah the history is cool, but if you were just a player and all you saw was a picture of a spear-chucking barbarian and the words Catalan Company stenciled across the box, would you even know enough about it to be intrigued?  Believe me, I'd love to be given the green light on this faction, but BGFW doesn't have codeciis where we could slip this in with their awesome story.  There's simply no place with the current packaging to sell their story to drive sales.  I'd love for that fact to be different, but alas, it ain't so...   :'(


But hey, thanks!  I have cards for them and I can send them to anyone who wants to play them.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 01:29:04 PM by Hannibal »

gull2112

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2011, 05:43:37 PM »
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But hey, thanks!  I have cards for them and I can send them to anyone who wants to play them.

That'd be great, as this might just be the faction that could cause my friend Carlos to put aside his WH stuff and give this a try!
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Hannibal

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2011, 11:12:49 PM »
Sent to your email.  Let me know if you got it!

gull2112

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2011, 09:35:57 PM »
Got it! Kiitos paljon! (mucho gracias in finnish)


"Rules are only as good as the book they're bound in."
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Hannibal

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2011, 12:11:46 PM »
A friend of mine has been nice enough to create unit cards for the Catalan Company, and despite dealing with salvaged screen-caps from a computer game has done an awesome job.  So I thought I'd share them here with you guys:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69625611@N03/6505912629/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69625611@N03/6505912109/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69625611@N03/6505913435/

(For some reason, the insert image tags aren't working)

Mad props to leemie for creating the DIY cards.

leemie

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Re: The Catalan Company
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2011, 04:11:47 PM »
cool. :)