Sunday, November 30, 2014

To The Strongest! by Simon Miller

Simon very graciously provided our gaming group with a play test set of rules for his new ancient and medieval rules, To The Strongest! We were able to play them this past Friday and Saturday to see how Simon's system works and if they would be replacing our old standby Tactica.

Well I have to say that the rules are very quickly picked up and with a bit of back and forth to the rules for each game, as is the case for all rules when you are learning them, we managed two enjoyable games with neither lasting more than 3 hours.
Each game played had a Persian and Carthaginian army. In the first game the Persian army was 33 points and Carthage had 27 points. Carthage (me) was completely destroyed by my sons Gregory and Eric, and their Persians.
In the second game, the Persians were again 33 points and Carthage now had 33 points also. In this game, Carthage (Jamie and I) Won out over the Persians (Bill and Wendel).
Unfortunately Mike could not make the game on Saturday and his input was sorely missed.

After reading through the rules three times and playing them twice, I must say the they are very good rules. They may not have every little detail and troop type but they are easily grasped and play quickly once you know the flow of play. Simon's system is clever and unique using playing cards instead of dice and a grid instead of rulers. Please see the attached photos of the first two turns of the Saturday game. This clearly shows a heavy grid traced out on my table with a dry erase marker. In the rules Simon suggests ways to mark your table that will not be permanent and will still make the essential boxes obvious. Simon will also be adding some free items on the web site in support of these rules like army lists and such. Please see his link below.

Now the part we missed. We did not use a very important part of the rules that involve Stratagems. We did this on purpose so we could concentrate on the movement and combat parts of the rules. Unfortunately, on reflection, we had left out a very major and important part of these rules.
These Stratagems allow players to place terrain and have a more strategic feel to the game over and above just moving about and bashing each other. We will be concentrating on these more after the holidays.

So to summarize:
Great rules - fast - easy to learn - clever - cover most if not all aspects of ancient and medieval armies - unique system that aids in speed of play - wonderful pictures of ancient armies and generals - excellent diagrams to aid in understanding and playing.
My only detraction is that I wish the rules had an index or page numbers in the table of contents. Simon has set up the rules so that you can use them on your lap top or tablet and can jump to the page with a topic you click on in the table of contents. This worked well during our Saturday game when we had a computer available but if I was playing where a computer was not available, it is a slightly cumbersome to use. Of course having said that, it would only be a few game plays before the system is mastered and reference to the rules would be minimal.
Here are our pictures From Saturday.

The game uses some markers to track missiles available for the bows slings and javelins, disruption/disorder ad coins to track the losses to each army.
Great fun Simon and Congratulations!!!!
The rules sell for 9.99 English Pounds and can be purchased here
Great gaming to all and please, purchase these fun and well thought out rules.


  1. Hi Greg,

    Thank you for the very kind review- I am so glad that you enjoyed them!

    You did the right thing in a first game, by not playing stratagems or doing the terrain deployment; there is always so much to learn in a first game!

    You asked about page numbers- there weren't any in the play-test version I sent you, but there are in the actual release version, together with page numbers in the contents. There isn't an index, but if you click on key words in the text of the electronic version, it usually takes you to the place where they are explained. In March I intend to publish a print version with an index.

    Again I'm delighted to see you enjoying the game; I hope that you play plenty more!

    Best, Simon