CLASH of Spears – Smashing its target!

Currently on Kickstarter, with just under three weeks to go, CLASH of Spears has smashed its target. Anyone interested in historical skirmish games has probably already picked up on this campaign. For those that haven’t I take a quick gander and digest…

Do I need another set of rules?

As a bit of a gaming magpie, I’m always keen to pick up and at least try anything that takes my fancy. Classical historical games have always been appealing but I could never seem to rustle up the enthusiasm for painting hundreds of 28mm figures. Just as I make the shift to smaller scales, far more manageable for big battles, I end up with less gaming time overall. So to scratch that itch I found myself happily playing the likes of Saga, and more recently, Mortal Gods.

So what is CLASH and why should you be giving it a look? I grabbed a very quick chat with Alvaro, one of the key minds behind the game. We spoke of our fondness of and starting out with the likes of Warhammer (and by extension Warhammer Historical) and how as we got older, our gaming time is often constrained by other obligations. Having created a set of rules for large scale skirmish, the move away from purely ranked combat meant games could be played and completed satisfactorily over a few hours. The other kicker is that the initial release focuses on the Punic Wars; a period oddly missing in the popular sets of the moment.

Key Features

For me, a big selling point of this new book is its contained nature. One set of rules along with period flavour and army lists in one book. It’s also pretty appealing that it is pegged at a fairly reasonable price. Currently, you can pick up the book during the campaign for $29 + post. This also includes a free pdf (if unlocked) which means I’ll be able to just drop the table into the gaming bag if playing elsewhere. Also handy for reading on journeys etc so I don’t have to lug dead tree copies of stuff.

With a lot of playtesting under their belt, the game relies on a set of core mechanics with different nations and ‘armies’ accessing different skills or traits. Whilst moving away from traditional rank and flank or rank and file style games, CLASH enables a more fluid tactical solution. Units of fighters can open up or close ranks as needed and I think this is perfectly in keeping with the large skirmish mentality. If you are set to receive a charge, it makes sense to shuffle up to your buddy next to you and lock shields.

As I say CLASH is set for games during the Punic Wars with twelve confirmed army lists including:
Roman Republic, Carthaginians, Lowland Gallic Tribes (Veii), Highland Gallic Tribes (Ligurians),  Greek Colonies (Taranto/Syracuse), Iberians, Lusitanians, Celtiberians, Italian Hilltribes (Samnites), Italian Lowland Tribes (Campanians/Etruscans), Numidians, Macedonian expedition (Pyrrhus)
Assuming the game takes off, there’s plenty of scope for support and new periods.

Speaking of Support

Whilst I personally am only really interest in the rules at the moment, the creators have teamed up with Victrix to supply boxed sets of figures to get you started. Below are some pics of the fully assembled groups – note that these boxes won’t come with bases or the shield transfers on show.

Apart from the Kickstarter campaign, you can grab a look at some of the play test design and development blog over at The Wargame Spot. You’ll notice some of the pics here have been taken from there.

Overall this looks like a pretty robust campaign. It’s good to see that this isn’t just a whimsical release but a rule set that’s gone through some robust testing. There’s clearly a market for them given the pledge total right now and given our mutual gaming interests, I’ll be keen to check out the finished product.

Have you jumped on this one? Drop your comments below or join us over at our Facebook page.

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