I'm about to do some playtesting of my Aztec Wars variant for Commands & Colors.
I'm going to see if I can make this period of warfare work given the great disparity in the unit technology and quality.
I will use 4" hex mat from two different companies. I will be using 13 hex x 11 hex mat and WoFun miniatures. Prior post regarding this project.
I'm sure this will take multiple playtests to get the right feeling. I'm going to use the stats below, and the Commands & Colors Ancients card decks I believe (medieval may be a better choice, but we shall see). Click on photos to enlarge.
Aztec Wars Rules
Here is the list of current rules I'm using for this period.
1. All infantry are 3 stands (this may be too fragile, and will require more playtesting). Part of the reason for three stands is WoFun has 18mm figures and they come with six stands per sprue. I may have to boost the Indians to four stands. Playtesting should see if this is needed. The Cavalry is only 2 stands as they were very small amounts. This looks great on the table to me.
2. Heavy Spanish troops ignore crossed sword hits in melee. This makes them much tougher to hit on red and leader symbols.
3. Spanish Cavalry gets an automatic "First Strike" whenever they are attacked. They are like having a tank moving around a battlefield of people covered in linen and wicker! This may be too powerful, but we shall see.
4. Limit Aztec armies to a random 1-3 leaders for the scenarios. I tried 4 in the initial game and having those leaders allowed them to hammer the Spanish.
5. Spanish heavy troops are worth 2 victory banners each. I really like this as it makes the Aztecs want to really attack those Spanish heavies.
6. Foot can't evade cavalry.
This small battle is based on an Aztec force attempting to block the Conquistador (and Tlaxcalan allies) from entering the lake district. There are 16 Aztec units vs 12 Spanish\Tlaxcalan units.
Conquistador Command: 6
Aztec Command: 4 (I think I'll make this 5 for the second playtest)
Conquistador Banners: 8
Aztec Banners: 7
I'm going to toss out some photos of the battle here and make a few comments if pertinent.
Below: Three Spanish Heavy infantry get the blessing from Father Ortega before the battle. Heavy Cavalry behind the line.
Post Battle Thoughts
First, I had a good time and as the Aztec player I was scared to death of the HEAVY Spanish forces, especially the Cavalry. Having each heavy worth 2 Victory Banners really kept me going after them, even though I just wanted to avoid them. (note, that my Arquebus unit didn't cause a single hit the entire game even throwing 4 dice twice!)
I'm unsure if 3 stands per unit will really work, especially for Indians. I have to playtest some more as the Indians are sooooo fragile when fighting Conquistadors, but that was what it was like in the real wars. Another options is to keep three stands for the looks and mark hits in some other way for four stands. Marking hits rather than removing stands (now units are back to four blocks) also worked better in my second playtest.
As far as changes, put more Aztecs on the table. They should outnumber the Spanish in most cases. Change the Aztec command to 5, rather than 4. This worked better in my second playtest.
Cheers and thanks for reading this post.
PS - Third playtest will be against an opponent at the end of the month.