I've said it before, "ya gotta" have a catchy name for a set of rules. If I pursue a gridded Horse and Musket game, its going to need a name and I kinda like the Square Brigadier so that is now the working title.
However, since I don't believe that there is any point in maintaining 2 sets of rules for the same kind of game, I am at the point where I need to decide. Since I don't really want to drop either game completely, there are 2 options that I am willing to consider:
1. Limit the Square Brigadier to a small chess board game for garden games or kitchen table at the like and keep it as close as possible to the 20thC game, possibly even raising 20mm or 15mm forces and shrinking the board to 2" squares. Keep Hearts of Tin as my main rules in more or less their current format.
2. Merge the 2 games. Take what I like best from both of them and fuse them.
Both games have their roots in Morshauser so there is common ground. Leaving aside the grid, the effectiveness of some of the choices Bob has made in his adaptation have surprised me by their effectiveness. It seems to me, that I have wandered farther and farther from what initially attracted me to Morschauser, partly through clinging to old habits . The games this last week have given me pause for thought.
I do like the way the grid facilitates play and helps players focus on the game rather than fiddling with quarter inches. I also like the ease of scalability that it allows. With HofT one can measure in cm instead of inches or use 1/2 inches etc but the ease of just changing the size of the grid is better. It also achieves easily what I have struggled to achieve: making base size and the number of figures per base/unit irrelevant apart from looks.
It is in my mind that it should be possible to design the game in such a way that it can be played either without a grid, with a square grid or with a hexagonal grid. This would essentially mean defining a basic unit of measurement then ensuring that everything is always in even increments. This basic unit would be 1 hex or 1 square or a given number of inches on the table (another old technique, a base width is a common unit of measuremnt). The rules would then just have to define arcs of fire and front, flank, rear zones and maneuver rules, The game would not be precisely the same on each of the 3 possible surfaces but they would have the same core engine, be close and would be internally consistent.
This would be a tricky and would take the game farther away from what Bob has written (This is a down side since I have been very much enjoying the collaboration) but is potentially very worthwhile project.and I could still steal good ideas from Bob and incorporate them :).
I have some tabletop time planned for tomorrow, perhaps a battle of the rules is in order.
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
Saturday, March 19, 2011
The Square Brigadier with a Heart of Tin
Born and raised in the suburbs of Montreal, 5 years in the Black Watch of Canada Cadets, 5 years at the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean followed by 4 in the navy. 25 years with CPC in IT simultaneous with 23 years running a boarding kennel. Inherited my love of toy soldiers from my mother's father. Married with a Whippet, 10 Italian Greyhounds and 3 cats. Prematurely retired and enjoying leisure to game, maintaining our 160 yr old farmhouse and just living.