Tally Ho!

Saturday 3 October 2020

Clash of Spears

Its been a little while since I posted - online DBA is not the most photogenic of games so there has nt been too much to put up.   This weekend though I had a game of Clash of Spears which my brother has been busy painting for over lockdown.   I believe they are Spanish rules translated into English. Its a mass skirmish game currently aimed at the Punic Wars.

The rules contain lots of very familiar elements

  • Leaders have command points they allocate to activate units, who can perform unto 3 actions.
  • Its IGO-UGO with players alternating units. You can save part of your move to react to enemy attacks. 
  • There are skill based attacks and then saving throws for wounds.
  • Troops have abilities which can enhance their moving, shooting, or fighting.
  • There is command friction through dicing to Active 
  • You accumulate fatigue as you move and fight    
We played a simple game with 4 units and 2 officers each with 3 CPs, meaning everyone could Activate every turn unless we did something funky. The units are 6 - 10 figures so a whole army is about 50 models usually. I commanded the forces of Rome vs the Pontics. 

The game begins with moving counters (units or bluffs) before deployment is revealed. Like in Chain of Command this means you can lock the enemy down or grab some vital terrain. In our game we stacked the east side of the table with skirmishers on our right and medium troops in the scrub.  

The Romans did most of the advancing as they looked to close on the Carthaginians right and close the door,   

Early shooting proved family ineffective until volley of pilums from the Hastati wiped a unit of Spanish from the board in a single bound as the Principes also mauled the Libyan javelin men.   

This was pretty deceive as it left the Carthagian heavy foot under attack from two sides with casualties mounting and the army break-point passed. So a win for Rome.


The Verdict

Its a nice looking game and it plays pretty smoothly as its many mechanics you will be familiar with from other games. The key complexity is managing and tracking Fatigue as there are lots of things which affect it and it impacts most areas of the game. 

Typically you are rolling small numbers of dice for things so you can get some swings but in larger games I guess this would be reduced as a factor. We only played a very basic scenario so it would be good to see some of the more complex ones as Activation order may be more critical then.     


  1. I believe the authors are Argentinians who live in the USA.

  2. I found something out today, infantry in Close Order can only charge 2", even if they have the Drilled trait, so we did that slightly wrong.