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, February 21, 2012

The Awkward Squad

The first half of the Lafayette County Rifles received their uniforms today. They don't quite have the polish of regulars yet but some more drill and a 2nd coat of varnish should fix them up.



I normally avoid painting white horses in Toy Soldier style. They tend to come out blotchy and without shading and washes, there is no where to hide. He just seemed  like a white horse kind of guy though.

The HofT draft has received some more proof reading and minor changes such as a movement penalty to foot or siege artillery which moves.

While backing up some files I came across the original (2003) Morschauser Meets MacDuff. I have this nagging feeling that its better than most of the intervening versions. Oddly enough, one of the things that made me uneasy was how the rally chart worked, a successful rally brought back 1/2 of casualties. I've been worried with the return of the Rally to HofT that a big unit will take longer than 2 small ones to recover after losing a melee. When I reread the original, now that I understand that the hits are about morale and cohesion as much or more than casualties, the original rally suddenly made sense! So I updated the rally rule. The latest draft has been updated but I have also added a link to the original.

13 comments:

  1. I love these figures! Nice paint job, too. They're just so wonderfully "toy soldier-ish", even whimsical. Should be conducive to having fun games and not getting too stuffy about historical accuracy or being too serious. (not that there's anything wrong with historical accuracy)

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    1. Yup. I think they may be just the boost Atlantica & Oberhilse needed.

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  2. A very smart lot, and much thinner than most soldiers I work with. I'm guessing they all run the Lafayette County Marathon? :)
    Very nice looking bunch.

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  3. I like to think we were that thin back back in the day :)

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  4. That unit was quite a spectacular gift, and they're looking VERY sharp in their new uniforms. Here's hoping they earn the reputation of veterans in the years to come.

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  5. Ross I have some questions/comments about the Firing and Moving rule in latest draft of HofT:
    - As A Charge is a move into base to base contact, I think it is not possible for a unit to charge and then shoot (because it will be in melee), so the rule could simply say: move and shoot or shoot and move.
    - Why must a unit that shoot before move pay any disorder penalty that it is about to incur when it moves?
    Regards, Cesar.

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    1. Cesar
      - Charges. Yes you are right. 5d and 6c are redundant. I have been avoiding having a rule in 2 different places because if/when I make a change, I need to change it in 2 places and it is easy to forget. Also, I am lazy. But, if a rule is in only one place, it can easily be missed. It is a mark of my increased confidence that I am starting to put some rules into more than 1 section.

      - Disorder. Many of the causes of disorder, such as a formation change, or a retreat or move to the flank really indicate that the unit has less time for other things like shooting. rather than the ranks being in disorder. I need a better word for this, disorder is not the right word but I have not found one that I like better yet and I do not want several unit status with different names but the same game effect.

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  6. Ross: I think the Disorder status is a usefull addition to the rules, but my question was why a unit must pay the penalty before taking any advantage of the movement which will cause disorder.

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    1. Let me try again.

      One roll of the dice for shooting, represents several shots. Possibly as many as 5 or 10 or more with muzzle loaders. Let us look at a unit on the table that shoots and is then moved backwards 30 cm. What is really happening?

      Perhaps the unit is executing a retirement by wings where 1/2 the battalion fires while the other 1/2 about faces then retires 50 paces, halts, faces the enemy and opens fire while the other 1/2 then ceases fire, about turns marches back 100 paces halts etc until the whole unit has finally retired the 300 paces. The amount of fire in this case is probably 1/2 the amount of fire that could have been delivered if the unit had stood still and everyone had fired.

      or the unit might have fired 1 or 2 volleys then retired instead of firing more volleys. We don't really know it is "below the grain of the game". The penalty is not exact to the cause because I am trying to keep it simple but it reflects that a unit undertaking a difficult maneuver will not be able to deliver as effective fire as one which is not.

      One could argue that advancing will also reduce the effect of fire and that is true but not only is there less impact but there is a morale benefit to advancing which is not matched by retiring or trying to change formation under fire or crossing terrain which severely disrupts a units formation. Perhaps even more important, I have found that a penalty for an attacker firing and advancing seems to induce an unnatural paralysis in many gamers.

      Is that any clearer?

      btw you might enjoy this video clip of the Fort Henry Guard demonstrating one method of retiring by wings. ft
      The clip is about 1/2 turn long :)

      -Ross

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  7. Yes, now I unsderstand what you are trying to simulate with this rule.
    Thank you very much!
    Cesar.

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  8. They look rather well I must say - even if they are a pack of dastardly republicans.

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  9. Very nice, Ross ! Can't wait to see the whole formation when you finish.

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