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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

AhHa! Caught the Heffalump!

The more I worked on the new draft, the more familiar it looked. Finally it dawned on me that I was rewriting the basing neutral version of HofT that I did last year. So, I went back to rereading old blog posts (like this 54mm  Toy Soldier battle and this  Oberhilse-Faraway ambush) and dug out that old draft. Yup, that's what I'm busy writing!

The answer to why the last two attempts to recreate MacDuff have failed is that while I still wanted to play the kind of game that I used to play with MacDuff, each time, all of the most identifiable MacDuff features, variable length moves, card activation, figure vs figure melees, etc started getting stripped out and the rules kept turning into a single figure version of HofT at which point it became pointless.  Having gone back and reread Dick Larsen's Morschauser inspired rules for single figure games which has been one of my major inspirations this century, and having in mind some recent thoughts on war games in general, I've got one or 2 small changes to things such as the morale rules that will improve the ability to play with either stands or figures (eg no more zombies) but its a tweak to the November rules, not a new set. This also means I can stop wracking my brains on how to make the rules different while using my current favorite mechanisms.

So, there will be no 3rd set of rules, nor, despite the emotional attachment, no expanded, polished MacDuff. Certainly not in the near future and probably never. Instead, there will be an expanded, polished, complete Hearts of Tin. It will be based on the November 2011 version, fully compatible with my 40mm figures whether based singly or on multiple figure stands, my 20mm ACW and even certain 10mm Tricorne armies.  As previously, normally, scenario units will be 12 to 32 man battalions but could be independent 'companies' of a few figures when playing a small skirmish,  or possibly even whole brigades if using the cm scale.

   

8 comments:

  1. Ok I feel like I'm chasing Woozles here. The nezt set of rules will it replace the May 27th MacDuff, the April 3rd HOT, both or neither?

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    1. WOOZLES! You're right! It was woozles not heffalumps, the heffalumps involved the pit and a honey pot. Obviously too long since I read Milne.

      But yes, the second. For my purposes the updated HofT will replace the current versions of both rules. So for the 2nd time this year I am announcing the end of MacDuff. I may leave MacDuff there or replace it with a link to the original, I'm not sure yet. If I do feel the urge to play a 1:1 skirmish, I'll use Rob Dean's Musket Mayhem.

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  2. FYI, I've kept a hitorical set of MacDuff rules over time. I'd say leave both of tehm up.

    Cheers

    PD

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  3. I would like to mention that I personally MUCH PREFER variable movement.

    You've even referred to it in passing by pointing out that the table top terrain does NOT include everything.

    Besides I like the decision factor of not being sure if a charge will go home or not . . .

    So I urge you to consider once again using "variable movement" at least as an option.


    -- Jeff

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    1. I prefer variable time to variable movement. Once I paused to think about it, I can't get my head around what it means. For example if a charge is ordered from say 200 yards away, the charge might take 3 minutes vs 2 minutes but the troops won;t pause 10yards short of the target. Likewise with retreats and pursuits. It wouldn't be like a sprint between 2 men where one crosses the finish line a second ahead of the other and is therefore safe.

      Nope, for me its variable time. The move lengths show the intent not the actions.

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  4. Ross

    I agree with Jeff - the variable movement worked very nicely in the colonial games I played - especially for the native side. Even for more European actions it adds flavour. Don Featherstone (IIRC) noted that at Maida4 French infantry columns set off across an open plain at about the same time but arrived at their objective at four separate times!

    Cheers
    PD

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    1. Presumably some of them failed Control checks or else they all got there at different times within the same turn. (see my reply to Jeff). Not saying it wasn't fun at the time, but...... it didn;t work too bad for me last year when I tried multiplying the distances by 4 to get more realistic moves (which would be about a 30 inch cross country infantry move in MacDuff) but that did get a little jerky.

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  5. "and even certain 10mm Tricorne armies"

    Owners of certain 10mm Tircorne armies are, of course, pleased to hear that.

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