Beware the “Ides of March”!

A Preview in Anticipation of Its 2018 Release

As we are entering into the final stages of playtesting and since we are approximately 6 months from publication, we here at Fog of War Publications, LLC thought it might be appropriate to provide a preview of this long-awaited (at least by the designer!) conflict simulation.

Ides is very much in the style of “Successors 1st and 2nd Edition”, however with some twists to correctly portray that particular period in Ancient History.  When I first envisioned the concept, it was based upon the remarkable similarities between the struggles for Alexander’s Empire following his premature death in 323BC and the similar fate of the Roman Republic following the assassination of Caesar in 44BC. Both situations came as a surprise to many of the subsequent actors on their respective political stages. Accordingly, there was much confusion, jockeying for position, short-lived alliances and conflicting loyalties.  However as time went on, the majority dropped out of the contest for many reasons and eventually only a few survivors made it to the final stages of the period of interregnum. Of course the main difference between the two periods is that in the former, a number of mini-empires existed following the death and defeat of Antigonas at Ipsus in 301BC whereas in 30BC, Gaius Octavius was the last man standing and the Republic had transitioned into a hereditary monarchy.

The basic operating system of Ides forms the basis for the simulation of both the post-Ides of March period AND its prequel, Caesar’s war with Pompey. There is a shared Strategy Card deck of approximately 43 cards, which serves as the base deck for both periods. Added to this base deck are approximately 31 Strategy Cards for the basic Ides scenarios and approximately 10 Strategy Cards for the Rubicon Scenario/Module. Those scenario-specific cards reflect the different and unique aspects of their respective periods whereas the base deck provides events common to both periods.

Added to these decks is a series of general cards, which provide the major military/political leaders for each period. A few generals are common to both periods, such as Antony and Lepidus.  These general cards are very similar in use to their predecessors in “Successors”, such as providing starting positions and forces for their respective general, military/political attributes of that individual and a holding area for land and naval forces under the command of that general/admiral.  There are 24 general cards total (including a post-Cleopatra Antony card!).

Counters include generic legion and auxiliary combat units, fleet combat units, generals and legates, combat multiplier counters and a large number of informational counters. In essence, one legion strength point (SP) equals one legion, and an auxiliary SP equals a varying number of auxiliary cavalry, infantry and skirmishers. Fleet SPs equal 25 galleys and supporting craft each. “Barbarian armies” are also reflected in the game by single counters (the Parthians have two counters!) and function much like the independent armies in “Successors” except with somewhat more capabilities.

Mark Simonitch produced the mapboard, with some adaptation by the designer. It runs from Spain in the West to Syria in the East and Transalpine Gaul in the North to Egypt in the South.  This mapboard serves as the arena for the following three and two player scenarios:

– Ides of March – A three player game; Turns 1 – 9 (44BC – 30BC)

– Caesar Avenged – A two player scenario; Turns 1 – 4 (44BC – 41BC)

– The Rubicon Module – A two player game; Turns 1 – 5 (49BC – 45BC)

– East vs. West – A two player scenario; Turns 5 – 9 (39BC – 30BC)

– The Triumvirate Fractured – A three player scenario; Turns 4 – 7 (41BC – 34BC)

As is usual in a Fog of War production, there will be an extensive Playbook which will contain an introductory sample game, complete historical card explanations, designer’s notes, a select bibliography and optional rules. We are excited to be bringing this designer to fruition after over 20 years of conception, testing and execution.

 

Thank you for your support,

 

JBF

 

4 comments on “Beware the “Ides of March”!”

  1. David Elkin says:

    Looks like a great game. Best of luck on the timing

    1. John Firer says:

      Thanks David!

      JBF

  2. Ed Pundyk says:

    John:

    Do you have any plans in the works for a VASSAL module? If not, do you need someone to produce one?

    EAP

    1. John B. Firer says:

      Thanks Ed, definitely interested.

      Will contact you via separate email.

      Regards,

      JBF

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