EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Friday, January 19, 2018

Meanwhile where the Hosts Gather...

A slightly modified Dragon Rampant game is now posted on my Gathering of Hosts Blog.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

They Shall Not Pass (wrap up)

An old version of the Tin Army gave a really good game yesterday but it had so many holes and unaddressed issues in it that a quick assessment was that there were good reasons why I abandoned that line of attack several years ago. However, the search has led me back to the Square Brigadier before I streamlined it. So I'm pretending that the 3rd game never happened and am presenting a quick glimpse of the revised old style Square Brigadier game instead.

May as well call this lot British and German. Probably the autumn of 1914 and the British are trying to avoid being cutoff. 
The rules were basically a late 19thC version of the War of 1812 one that I did in 2016. Two dice for stationary fire, 1/2 dice if 1/2 move, no separate melee phase, attacks resolved 1 on 1 when they happen, 1/2 casualties for cover etc. My old pinned/disordered/give ground rule for this period was also restored and updated. Together these small, simple things made all the difference in the feel.
The game was a bit too fast paced and exciting so I forgot to stop for pictures. Here we are on Turn 6. The British appeared to be in good shape to break through and escape before the main German force can deploy.
 The end result was the best game of the 4 and makes me wonder why I had thought that I had to stream line a simple game that had worked. I never quite get everything in properly in the first draft (link) but its available playable (unless you are planning to do amphibious ops, engineering etc)
About turn 10.
I think saboteurs got at the British dice.
Sadly, just when I'm keen to get back to building the British/Faraway forces, I need to switch my attention to Prince Valiant and start working on my Huzzah! game for a week or two at least.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

They Shall Not Pass! (2)

That first game was quick and enjoyable, perhaps too quick, but more than that, it felt a bit too abstract. I had a similar feeling  after a couple of games last fall.
The Faraway column pushes past the Oberhilse outpost. 
I decided to play again with some variations that I had briefly experimented with at times over the last 3 years.  I also changed the armies and added a unit or two since my conversion from OHW had been flawed the first time.
The Faraway infantry and artillery pounded the Oberhilse blocking force while the Lancers manoeuvred onto their flank.
The second game was even more enjoyable and lasted slightly longer but some of the changes were merely different rather than better. The changed battle plan and different forces unit were probably more important.
The 1st or Green Squadron of Lancers met a wall of modern rifle fire and melted away but the Khaki Lancers routed the first line of infantry before being repulsed. It looked like the way was open. 
 One of the best changes was one I experimented with in 2014. Instead of sticking with my 15 year old practice of having fire or movement, I switched the play sequence to A moves, B shoots, resolve melee, B moves, A shoots, resolve melee. I also allowed units that only moved 1 area on their turn to fire.

I liked the feel of that sequence but revising the infantry organization didn't feel worth the effort.
Faraway's infantry attack went in. 6 dice for 5 or 6 vs 2 dice. Result: The attack was repulsed all along the line. Then the Oberhilse cavalry struck from behind before they could rally. Game over!
I need to write up a revised Quick Reference and then well, then I guess I'll need to play again.