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Proposal 1: Straits Spaces


Naupactus and Byzantium are designated as special "Straits spaces". Land SPs cannot cross from one side to the other on the same turn.


Add new subsection under Rule 4.1:

4.1.x Straits Spaces

Naupactus and Byzantium are Straits spaces. An Army containing Land SPs may not enter a Straits space from one side of the straits and leave that space from the other side on the same turn. Armies with enough Naval SPs to use Naval Transport are not subject to this restriction. Land SPs which begin the turn in a Straits space may be activated and moved out of the space in any direction.

For purposes of this rule, Patrae and Panormus are on one side of Naupactus; the other adjacent spaces are on the other side. Perinthus and Cyzicus are on opposite sides of Byzantium.


Where Naupactus is concerned, this rule takes the place of the somewhat cryptic erratum that "Naupactus may not be used for shortest route considerations."

With Byzantium designated a Straits space, the Spartans are prevented from marching overland to Asia Minor and ravaging half the Athenian empire in one operation, something they didn't do historically. It also heightens the importance of Thrace, as the only Athenian area which the Spartans can now reach. Since both sides were obsessed with Thrace historically, this makes sense as well.


Mark Herman: This is a reasonable change, but the Spartan 'invasion' of Asia Minor was a simplification to leave out the Persian forces. This is one of those unexplained design for effect issues. The idea was the Spartans could get a force, not necessarily one of their own, but Persian, to wreak havoc with the Athenian ability to raise tribute out of Asia Minor. Historically, this area had long term interruptions of payment for a variety of reasons not simulated in the game except through this mechanic. The key to stopping the Spartans was the critical Amphipolis position. The Athenians need to send a large enough force up there to cause an automatic battle and win.

Also, the statistics I saw from Don showed that the Athenians were winning most of the time. This was one of the key balancing mechanisms. And given the long time lines the strait could be crossed.

Chris Roginsky: As written, this proposed rule change would effectively bottle up Sparta at Byzantium. If Sparta reached Byzantium, the most likely result is that a single SP would remain during the Going Home phase. Even if the entire Army remained in Byzantium, in order to move any of these SPs across the straits Sparta would need to control a path from Sparta to Byzantium, because a leader moving alone cannot enter an enemy-controlled space. Since the rule prohibits an Army from crossing the straits in a single turn, Sparta would be unable to activate any SPs to accompany the moving leader to the Byzantium space. This moving Army would have to stop upon entering Byzantium. Since dropping off SPs is not allowed, there is no way for the Spartans to proceed past Byzantium.

While it is true the Spartans never ravaged the eastern Athenian empire (until late in the war), the Persians certainly did (in game terms anyway). The ravaging of Asia Minor by Sparta simulates this fact. Additionally, the Spartan strategy matrix clearly provides for armies consisting solely of land SPs to reach as far as Abydos and Sigeum. Historically speaking, Amphipolis was the real choke point for armies moving from Greece to Asia Minor, and Amphipolis was a natural staging area for Spartan operations in Asia Minor (on the Athenian strategy matrix, Spartan control of Amphipolis forces Athens into a defensive strategy). My vote would be not to change the existing rules. If there is a general consensus that a rule change is needed, then I propose the following:

Until Sparta controls Amphipolis, no Spartan Army can move beyond Perinthus unless the Army is able to move along naval lines of communication.

Brian Mountford: The point which both commentators made about simulating Persian attacks on Asia Minor is well taken. Perhaps this rule isn't such a great idea.

Chris Roginsky is correct that Amphipolis seems to have been viewed as the choke point, not Byzantium. Unfortunately, the proposed Amphipolis rule has the same problem of preventing "Persian" attacks on Asia Minor. Can anyone think of a way of according Amphipolis the proper level of importance? (discussion group) (me)