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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Form Up, Form Up!

After much thinking and rethinking followed by editing and formatting and reformatting and  re-editing, I have taken the drastic step of printing out a copy of the latest draft of MacDuff. (ink and paper are expensive you know!)

As often happens, after developing some 'clever' and increasingly complicated rules, a walk in the cold air revealed a simple solution to my twin problems of increasing the vulnerability of units reforming after melee and encouraging players not to blaze off at long range. All I had to do was simplify the reaction rules and remove the various penalties. Basically, units which have not fired, fought in melee or moved over 1/2 move yet this turn, can react by shooting, charging or retreating 1/2 move or changing formation if the enemy shoots at or charges them or walks across their front within 6".   Since a unit can only shoot the once and can't be activated if they have reacted, firing at long range vs an enemy who is likely to close later in the turn is unwise as is returning fire if you want to advance later or wasting  battalion volleys on a handful of skirmishers if they are backed by advancing columns. Since troops who have fought in melee, are unable to react, they are briefly vulnerable to a counter attack. Probably works slightly better with the card activation option than with the initiative/igougo option but close enough.

I also restored the old movement and range distances, simplified the arty (I couldn't find the new  cannister rule last time, its gone) tidied up various bits (whole paragraphs seemed to be missing from some sections) and so on. Not only that but the rules are down to 6 1/2 pages! (Mind you I reduced the font slightly now that I think about it)

Now to come up with a scenario, with luck the snow and freezing rain in the forecast will translate to some gaming time.

 The latest draft has now been uploaded to google docs.


  1. I'll give them a read and hopefully a playtest this weekend.


  2. I too will have a look at this - thanks again for making them available.