We do like to start a post with a nice pun in the title.
Hopefully you will have seen the announcement before Christmas about a new version of the Celtos rules. What seems to have intrigued some is the new bases, and just what kind of game Celtos is going to become.
We like big games. A big table, lots of nice scenery, loads of figures. And the Celtos figures are so nice it’s a shame not to have lots of them on table. The old Celtos rules work well, but for larger games (100+ figures per side) they do get a bit cumbersome. The tipping point came a while back when we played a big Fomorians vs Gaels game (you can see some photos on Germy’s own website – it’s the second of the Celtos battle reports). Even with a full 7-hour club meeting (allowing for setting-up/clearing up time) we were unable to completely finish the battle, so we decided it was time to look at speeding things up a bit.
After some thought, rather than just tinkering round the edges it was decided to start again from the ground up with a completely new set of rule mechanics, using units on bases rather than the individual models of the previous rules. Each base holds a warband of 10 foot figures, or alternatively 3/4 mounted figures or monsters, or a single large model such as a chariot. We decided on figure removal to indicate casualties, so figures aren’t fixed to the base (which means there’s no need to rebase all of your figure collection).
The bases themselves are 120mm in diameter – oddly enough, exactly the same size as a CD (what a coincidence !). We’re in the process of producing resin cast bases with slots to fit the right number of figures for each unit type, but in the meantime all of our playtesting has taken place on home-made CD bases, and these are perfectly acceptable.
Each base moves and fights as a single unit, including any hero or other special character (there are exceptions, but we’ll deal with those another time). Combat uses an opposed dice roll mechanism, with each unit throwing a variable number of d10s (usually one per foot figure, but this can be modified by heroes, circumstances such as charging etc) and attempting to score more successes than their opponent. As a unit takes casualties it has fewer dice to throw and thus will get fewer successes.
So far we’ve been playtesting with forces of around 6-7 bases per side and completing games in 2-3 hours – pretty much what we were hoping for. One of the earlier playtests involved larger forces (10-12 units) and we still managed two games in a 6 hour session, although this was before we added magic use and some other special rules.