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
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A Change of Hearts
I was rather eager to try out the draft rules to see whether or not they were a good start. A quick survey of remaining WWII stuff in hand, in any scale led to a quick conclusion that we would be looking at mostly unpainted plastic. I could mix in the AK47 and CWC stuff but I suspected that would just highlight the unpaintedness of the other figures and anyway, the mix of figures on bases was awkward if I wanted to look at individuals..
A fudged late 19thC game of 40mm figures was tempting but begged the question of whether or not 1/72nd was going to be satisfying.
That left the RCW 1/72nd despite the bases. I don't have enough painted figures to field 2 armies except in the Portable Wargame, so once again my ACW troops were called to stand in and some Zulu War Brits thrown in for the feel of single figures.
When I started to fiddle with ideas for a 20thC game, I was tempted to start with Hearts of Tin mechanisms and update them. Instead I tried slotting in some older rule ideas from my Lawrence of Arabia game-in-a-box (now gone) with hits and pins but since I was borrowing the concept though not the detail of Don Featherstine's anti-tank rule, I figured I'd also try and adapt his infantry firing. Even toned down a bit, boy its bloody! Anyway, by turn 2 I was already confusing HofT and what I was playing and since it wasn't hordes of tanks and things, I started thinking, wouldn't it be easier adopting common mechanisms where I can? So I played a few more turns improvising on a HofT base
Conclusions so far:
A. The 1/72nd stuff is OK but.....something seems to have tipped inside me. It may not be just a phase that I'd rather play with a few single 40mm toy soldiers than a horde of 20'mm figures (or 40's) on bases. This doesn't bode well for vague plans of using 1/72nd ACW to fight big battles. . Not sure what it means for the unpainted RCW either though the PW still looks like a good use for both these.
B. An adaptation of HofT for early 20thC looks perfectly feasible. I'm just looking again at play sequence for fire and movement, some thing that periodically bothers me anyway. I have experimented in the past with reaction/opportunity fire options and with revised sequence of play such as A moves B fires. or else both move and then all fire. I need to check options farther. I'll add in anti-armour rules but the odds that I'll go big in 40mm WWII are pretttttty slim. Boer War & WWI/post WWI are more likely. (still allowing a tank fix of sorts).
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, 4 cats and a bird. Prematurely retired and looking forward to leisure to game, garden and sculpt in our 150 yr old farmhouse.