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

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Square Brigadier a Very (very) rough 1st Draft (amended after test)

****** The current version of the rules is available here. ****


Hook's Farm, Oregon. The 40mm armies give the 6" grid a go last week. I liked it but the big grid and the linear units sometimes felt odd.


Note: This is the 1st rough synthesis of Hearts of Tin with my modified version of Bob Cordery's Chess board game inspired by Joe Morschauser. I have skipped most of the definitions, format and finer details to get a version ready to test on Sunday. If it goes well, it will be converted to a word document and eventually all the various bits of Hearts of Tin, engineering, hospitals, balloons etc will be incorporated.

A unit is either a detachment (1 company/stand) or a battalion (3 companies/stands)

After some experimentation, I am starting with the ungridded version designed for my planned units of 3 stands totalling 18 inf (16 privates, officer&nco) or 9 cavalry (officer and 8 troopers), or 2 guns with crews.

All measurements will be in even multiples of 3" and I'll worry about fitting to a grid later. (once I sort out grid size, the leaning is towards a small grid with 1 stand/company per square and saving the 6" grid for the 54mm  toy soldiers using Bob's late 19thC rules )
Without the grid options are measure in cm or sort it yourself.

After some thought, I have decided to be consistent with my other rules and invert the melee values so that high is better.

I am also restricting troop types to those on hand for or in the works in the time period 1812 -1850 for now

These are the rules being tested out this afternoon.

The rules may change but the war in Oregon continues, grid free this time around.

THE SQUARE BRIGADIER

****** The current version of the rules is available here. ****
1. Generals. Each army normally has 1 General who commands everyone. There will usually be subordinate generals called Brigadiers who only affect their own troops.

2.Troop chart
Addition troop types can be added by defining their movement, melee value, weapons range and any special characteristics.
UNIT
MOVEMENT
MELEE
RANGE
Infantry w Muskets
6" 
4
12"
Infantry w Rifles
 6" 
3
18"
Light Infantry w Muskets
 6" 
5
12"
Light Infantry w Rifles
 6" 
5
18"
Light Infantry Spearmen
 6"
5
-
Heavy Cavalry
12"
3
-
Cavalry
12" 
4
-
Irregular Cavalry
18"  
5
12"
Heavy Artillery
 6" 
4
72"
Foot Artillery
 6"
4
48"
Horse Artillery
 12"
4
36"
Rockets
 as type
6
48"
Mortars
 6" 
6
36"
Generals
 12"
4
-
Wagons
 6" 
6
-

3. Formations. Units may be in 1 of 2 formations: These may be shown by arranging stands or placing a marker on marching units.
 a) Marching  A narrow column .
 b) Deployed. Normally deployed units are assumed to choose an appropriate formation but there are special rules for infantry in square.

4. Measuring. All measurements for movement, shooting and melee distance are done from the center of the front rank of a unit to the center of the front rank of the final position for movement or to the center of the enemy unit for shooting or melee. If any part of a unit enters terrain during a move the penalties must be paid so measure the path of the center of the unit with this in mind. The front extends 45 degrees either side of straight ahead..Units in square or occupying a town or fort may choose which side to call front when they shoot or fight.

5. Sequence of Play. 

  1. Artillery Fire. Both sides may fire deployed artillery units. This is considered simultaneous. Artillery units which fire may not be activated this turn.
  2. Initiative. (Optional) At the start of each turn, each side rolls 1 die. the high score chooses whether to go 1st or 2nd that turn, A tie indicates the previous turn's order is repeated.
  3. 1st player move and fire. The first player now rolls his activation dice and acts with his units, 1 brigade at a time.
  4. Melee. Resolve melees if any units are within close range.
  5. 2nd player move and fire. The second player now rolls his activation dice and acts with his units, 1 brigade at a time.
  6. Melee. Resolve melees if any units are within close range.

6. Activation. Each General and Brigadier rolls 1d6 for how many units he may activate that turn. A brigadier may only use his points on units under his command. The General may use the points on any unit.

  • An activation unit allows a unit or detachment to do 1 action.
  • Some terrain features require an extra activation to allow some troop types to enter
  • Some units may move twice if an extra activation point is spent on them: This includes cavalry, irregular cavalry (but not heavy cavalry), light infantry and any unit in march formation. The extra action may only be movement. (The first action may be a move, rally or a shoot (light infantry and irregular cavalry are the only ones to use this option since infantry in march mode canpt shoot while deployed infantry can't be given a 2nd move
  • If the general expending the activation point cannot see the unit then an extra activation point is required.
  • A Brigadier must subtract 1 pip from his die for each of his units which is destroyed or leaves the table

8. Actions.  When activated a unit may do one of: move, shoot, attack, rally, form sq (line inf only). (note that there are not separate movement and small arms fire phases)

9. Movement. A unit may move its full distance in any direction and may end the move facing as required.
See rule 3 on measuring. A unit which uses road movement must end the turn in march formation, there is no other penalty for changing formation. (a unit which moves in march formation can be given a 2nd activation and can use this to move and deploy as long as it is not using road movement)

11. Attacking. An attack is a move to a position within 6" of the enemy (see 3. Measuring)  Artillery, squares,  units in march formations and detachments may not attack. A unit that attacks must have the enemy within its front when it begins the attack and after it moves. If it began to the front of the unit being attacked then it must attack the enemy front.  A unit which attacks must resolve melee. If a unit begins its move within 6" of an enemy but not facing it then it may be activated and turn and attack it, may move away or may ignore it.

12. Shooting. Roll 1 die per stand shooting if the unit has an enemy within its front arc and within reach. Units in march formation or square cannot shoot.
Score to hit:

ARTILLERY
EFFECT
Hit vs tgt in the Open
at 1/2 range or less 
Hit vs Target in cover
at 1/2 range or less
Hit vs tgt in the Open
over 1/2 range
Hit vs tgt in Cover
over 1/2 range 
DIRECT FIRE
 4,5,6 
5,6
5,6
INDIRECT FIRE
 5,6
5,6
5,6
5,6 


All fire requires a clear line of sight to the target. This extends into but not through cover, hills etc. Rockets and mortars use indirect fire instead. They may shoot at targets they cannot see but must roll a scatter die and  shiftt the target 6" for mortars, 12" for rockets in the direction of the arrow. (Treating bulls eye as a hit). If there are units of either side in the grid square or hex that is indicated then roll against it for hits. If no scatter die is available then roll 1 die for accuracy with 5 or 6 being required to hit, If it misses then spin a pencil to choose the distance that it deviates in.

SMALL ARMS EFFECT
Hit vs tgt in the Open

Hit vs Target in cover 


ALL FIRE
5,6 
6



13. Melee.
Melee represents close range volley fire as well as charges with cold steel. The active player is the attacker, the inactive player is the defender. 


Reaction. At the start of the melee phase a unit which is being attacked, may respond by doing ONE of the following : (no activation pts are required)

  • Face. Any unit attacked in the flank or rear  may turn and face. They are not obliged to do so.
  • Evade. Light Infantry and  irregular cavalry may choose to retreat 1 move, following all the usual restrictions  as long as they do not move adjacent to an enemy unit (regardless of facing).
  • Form Square. Regular or elite line infantry only may form square if attacked only by cavalry.
  • Defensive Fire. Infantry with muskets or rifles and artillery which are attacked from the front by cavalry or by infantry who have declared that they are charging with cold steel, may roll their close combat dice and apply the result before the attacker rolls.  Units in march formation may not use defensive fire
  • Counter charge. if cavalry.

Melee Resolution. Units in close combat roll 1 die per stand if there is an enemy within 6" to their front. For each score which is equal to or more than their Melee value  1 hit is inflicted on the enemy. 

If the defender is able to claim defensive fire, he rolls his dice first then applies the hit. If the attacking unit survives, it now rolls its dice. In all other cases both sides roll simultaneously



Units in march formation only roll 1 die. 
If, after all close combat rolls have been made, there are still units surviving on both sides then the side that took the most number of hits must retreat a normal move. Tey may pass through friends. If the same number of hits were suffered on both sides then the attacker n=must retreat, 
If the enemy retreats, cavalry, irregular cavalry and infantry that charged with cold steel may advance a move and may attack again immediately.




Modifiers.  All modifiers are to a unit's die roll. A roll of 1 always misses, a 6 always hits

  • if any unit is attacking an enemy who is on a higher contour -1
  • if any unit is in a river -1
  • if infantry is attacking woods or a town or a breached fort.-1
  • if any troops are attacking an unbreached fort -2
  • if cavalry is in woods or a town or a steep hill or is attacking woods or a town or a fort or a steep hill -3
  • if infantry attacking with cold steel +1
14. Effect of hits.
Militia units lose 1 stand for each hit. 
Regular or Irregular units lose 1 stand for every 2 hits
Elite units are lose 1 stand for every 3 hits.

It is best to use some form of marker for hits. 

15. Rallying. During the movement phase, a unit which is activated and does not move or shoot may remove 1 hit. Lost stands may not be recovered.     

16. Squares. A line infantry unit may form square instead of moving. A unit in square cannot shoot. A unit in square requires 2 activation points to move.  A unit in square has no flanks and thus does not pay penalties for being in contact with more than 1 enemy.

17. Generals.  
Generals do not count as a unit. They may be represented by a single officer figure, usually mounted on a horse or by such a figure plus an ensign with a flag. If a General is touching one of his units then he is attached otherwise he is not attached.

A General who is attached at the start of a turn may move with that unit without paying any extra activation points. A General who is not attached at the start of a turn or who wishes to leave a unit that he is attached to, must pay an activation point to move 

 If a General is attached to a unit which is engaged in melee then he rolls 1 die. If that die comes up a 1 then he is wounded and removed from play. 

If a General is attached to a unit which takes one or more hits from shooting then roll an extra die and if that die scores 1 then he has been wounded and is removed from play.

A General who is not attached may not be shot at. If a General who is not attached to a unit moves within 6" of the front of an enemy unit  or an enemy unit moves so that its front comes within 6" then both sides roll a die and if the General's die is lower then he is immediately captured and removed from the game, if his score is equal to or higher then he moves away up to 1 full move.

Terrain. 

Roads. A unit in march formation may move double along a road unless climbing a steep hill. The unit must end the turn in march formation and may not attack. A unit in march formation may ignore off road terrain.

Towns & Forts.  Only infantry and light infantry may deploy in a town. Artillery and infantry may deploy in a fort. A town provides cover against shooting and blocks line of sight. Units attacking a town or fort are penalized. It costs an extra activation point for infantry/artillery to enter and deploy in or to leave a town/fort except by road in march formation.
Woods. Artillery, cavalry, and wagons may not enter woods unless marching along a road. It costs an extra activation point to move line infantry into or through woods. There is no penalty for light infantry in woods. 

Hills. 1 contour or shallow hills do not slow movement, 2 contour or steep slopes do not affect light infantry but cost 2 activation points per other units to move up or down unless following a road. A unit suffers a penalty when attacking uphill

Rivers. A unit must stop when it enters a fordable river unless following a road. It may move normally on the next turn.  A unit which is in a river is penalized in melee

Yes, that is a sawmill off to the left of this chance encounter.

7 comments:

  1. Is this (HTML embedded in a blog entry) the only format that you have for the rules at the moment?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dale, these were just some rough ideas, composed into the blog entry. I am in the process of incorporating the ideas into the word version of Hearts of Tin. It'll be done by the end of this weekend.

    If you want just the rough notes you can always cut and paste them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can you share with us, please, the manufacturers of your nice figures? :)

    I think I see Irregular Miniatures Indian Mutiny British... who else is in there?

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Cameron. Quite a few of the figures are identified in various photos but that is hard to find. I have been meaning to put together more info in a post with a tag and will work on that.

    Most of the figures are converted Scruby 40mm ACW or War of 1812 figures from Historifigs.
    http://historifigs.com/scruby_miniatures.htm#40mm Miniatures

    I really like these. They were sculpted by Ericson (afaik). They are a little smaller and finer than Irregular which are 42mm.

    Some of the cavalry and artillery are converted from Zinbrigade home cast molds.

    Most of the rest are original figures.

    The only Irregular figures that I have are the Guard's officer who serves as an Aide to the British General, and an American officer waving his hat.

    -Ross

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Ross.

    I did go back and look through your other posts and enjoyed the photos and information.

    I am ordering some 40mm Scruby figures from Historifigs today. :)

    May I ask whether you have looked at the Shiny Toy Soldiers range at Spencer Smith? I have several dozen and like them very much.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ross,

    I like these rules. Do you think you'll be doing anything to playtest and refine them, or are you going to wait to see what Bob C. does with PW2?

    Just wonderin'...

    Best regards,

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  7. Some of the ideas were incorporated into Hearts of Tin but after a few games of various things, I started to remember that I'm not that fond of the PIP system outside a very limited context.

    However, the latest version of Hearts of Tin has benefited from some of the ideas explored in the Square Brigadier. I should have that available sometime in the next 2 weeks if I can get a game of it in. Got to deal with MacDuff 1st!

    -Ross

    ReplyDelete