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The answer to both is a confident yes. Of the two combat systems, complex or simple mode, I had initially intended to play in complex mode on hard. Unfortunately, hard proved far too difficult for the tactical noob that I am, so I quickly dropped it down to normal.

Put simply, actions in complex mode, whether they were skills, movement, or attacks, were prohibitively expensive—especially for slow characters, like the dwarf or tree spirit. Fortunately, switching to simple mode provided a simpler, but more enjoyable and definitely better balanced , experience. Instead of a single pool of of action points to allocate to movement, attacking or using skills; each has their own pool or allotment.

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This means that instead of having to weigh movement against skills, attacks against movement, and skills against attacks, the only thing that has to be considered is whether I would get more value out of my limited action point pool by using a skill this turn, or next turn. Thus, while the intent of complex mode is to provide slower and more tactical gameplay; in actual play, it seems to only make the game inordinately difficult in the beginning. Nevertheless, the port is quite admirable… as long as the device it is played on is an iPad.

While technically released and playable on iPhones, and while it does support cloud saving only for iOS devices for easy switching between phone and tablet, it is simply not suited for a smaller device.

The screen is just too small, and there is too much that needs to fit on it for the game to really excel. Each soldier benefits from the protection of his neighbours' shields as well as his own. This tactic was known to be used by many ancient armies including the Persian Sparabara , Greek hoplite , Macedonian phalanx , and Roman legion , though its origin and spread is unknown.

It may have developed independently more than once.

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Although little is recorded about their military tactics, the Stele of the Vultures depicts Sumerian soldiers in a shield wall formation during the third millennium BC. By the seventh century BC, shield walls in ancient Greece are well-documented.

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They were equipped with three-foot shields made from wood called aspis , sometimes covered in bronze. Instead of fighting individual battles in large skirmishes, hoplites fought as cohesive units in this tight formation with their shields pushing forward against the man in front to use weight of numbers.

The left half of the shield was designed to cover the unprotected right side of the hoplite next to them.

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  4. The worst, or newest, fighters would be placed in the middle front of the formation to provide both physical and psychological security. In a phalanx, the man at the right hand of each warrior had an important role; he covered the right side of the warrior next to him with his shield. This made it so that all the shields overlap each other and thus formed a solid battle line.

    The second row's purpose was to kill the soldiers of the first line of an enemy shield wall, and thus break the line.

    The Shield Wall

    All the other rows were weight for the pushing match that always occurred when each side tried to break the other's wall. When a wall was broken, the battle turned into a single-combat melee in which the side whose wall collapsed had a serious disadvantage. The Roman scutum was a large shield designed to fit with others to form a shield wall, though not overlap. Roman legions used an extreme type of shield wall called a testudo formation that covered front, sides and above.

    In this formation, the outside ranks formed a dense vertical shield wall and inside ranks held shields over their heads, thus forming a tortoise-like defense, well-protected from missile weapons. Although highly effective against missiles, this formation was slow, and vulnerable to being isolated and surrounded by swarms of enemy soldiers.


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