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, February 12, 2012

The Story so far....... (updated)

Amazing how fast planned hobby time can evaporate. Still, since I managed to play 6 turns this morning, before life intervened, I decided it was time to write down some notes on the rules I was making up as I went.

There are a couple of basic underlying principles, the basic time concept being taken from Lawford & Young. 

1. Scales. Ranges, moves and unit size is based roughly on 1mm=1m (rounded incorrectly to 1"=25 yds for fellow dinosaurs.)  This will put musket ranges back to 8" (sorry Cesar) this is why I originally shortened them. The 12" is more appropriate for the company level game.

2.  Time. The amount of time represented by a turn is variable. A turn in which not much is going on, may represent 1/2 hour or more. A turn where a lot is going on may be 5 or 10 minutes on one part of the field. For scenario purposes 20 turns represent about 5 hours. 

3. Orders. Troops move in accordance with orders. These orders will last until changed. Given the small size of my table, orders may be issued and take effect when a unit is activated, the movement of couriers is not tracked. They may take the form of "move to position X, form line with rest of Brigade then assault position Y on turn N" "or move to X, deploy and await further orders" etc

4. Sequence of play. Activation is by card draw. One formation is activated when a card of the appropriate colour is drawn. When a  formation is activated it completes any  combat  before the next formation of either side is activated. This means coordinated attacks must be set up in advance.    

5. Terrain. Open terrain on the table includes various minor features which are not shown. 

6. Moving. Infantry will advance at between 50 and 100 yds per minute which I am going to cut back to an average of 600 300 yards per turn. (yes 2 feet  the 600 yds/2 feet was too drastic on the 5 ft wide table from a game POV. If using 10mm figures and 1"=100 yds then OK ) . A unit moving at full speed has limited reaction ability and is only allowed to move into its forward arc. Cavalry moves 50% faster normally (assuming a mix of walk & trot), twice as fast when charging. When deploying or shifting position, a unit may go in any direction and change formation as required but may only go 1/2 its maximum distance. Columns are for roads or to mass troops or to pass through defiles. A unit may form march column and march a full move. 

8. Shooting. Artillery 1 die per gun w shot/shell, 2 dice with cannister. 36"/12" for foot artillery. Small arms 1 die per 4 figures.Muskets 8", rifles 16"
Difficult targets: cav, cover, arty, etc 6 to hit
Normal targets: 5= 1 hit, 6 = 2 hits.
Small arms over 1/2 range -1 to die. Shaken -1.

9. Morale. Units reduced to 50% are shaken, may retreat without orders  or rout if defeated in melee.
Units that Rally may recover figures. They must not be engaged and it prevents any other movement.

10. Melee. Haven't got that far but basically as per MacDuff, as with anything else not mentioned. (eg reactions)
Not sure it'll work for others but so far its working well. A similar nerves issue as during the Rosa's Cantina game, hard to stand and do nothing while waiting for a prolonged bombardment to have effect.  See http://gameofmonth.blogspot.com/2011/06/eureka.html  and http://gameofmonth.blogspot.com/2011/06/la-batalla-del-cantina-de-rosie-test.html for my last kick at this.


  1. Funny, just as you're pondering new rules to facilitate the larger sort of battles you want to play, somewhere thousands of miles away across the water, some geezer is trying out your current rules to facilitate the larger sort battles that he wants to play.


  2. A pleasure to read! Luckily I realized tonight that I was modifying the wrong rule set!
    I'll comment on the delightful game over there.


  3. I was about to ask what rules you were modifying (or were you creating a new set) when your more recent post appeared.

    -- Jeff