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, June 5, 2012

Tracking Heffalumps

So there I was with trusty old Piglet by my side, tracking a set of MacDuff-alump  footprints (or maybe I was play testing MacDuff at Blasthof Bridge) when suddenly a second set of Heart shaped tracks joined the first. As I followed the two sets of footprints, it seemed oddly familiar, like I'd been here before.

Looking at the games that I played this time last year, I seem to have been in more or less the same place as I am now. That begs the question of why did I diverge? After too much time spent sifting through too many old blog posts, I haven't quite answered the question but I think it have been a combination of excitement over gridded games which re-awakened the whole basing question as well as a reluctance to give up the old MacDuff company/battalion organization even though the games where I switched to 1 level of unit worked well. The whole thing was probably made worse by the pressure of the looming deadline of a public game.

A  test game in progress. Even more spectators than usual look on from the shelves while a stretcher team and nurse await at a small casualty clearing center, center right of the shelving unit.

Anyhow, after some playing about and thinking and revisiting the whole "several wargame companies per regiment" vs "a unit is a unit" debate, I scratched out yet another brief outline, quite similar to what I was doing last year when I merged MacDuff & HofT and started rolling dice. The table was already set up for Blasthof Bridge so I figured that would do as well as anything. So far so good

Its not really MacDuff although it's a  single figure game that started there, but its not quite Hearts of Tin either, even though many of the mechanisms came from there. I may need to come up with a new name, but not till its been though the wringer a bit.



2 comments:

  1. Ross, while I know that both large battles and skirmishes were and can be fought periods, for me there is a marked difference in how I wish to approach the Horse & Musket and Colonial periods.

    For me at least, the "romance" of the two periods is different. For the H&M period (and I'm firmly in the 18th century here), I want units of figures.

    But for the Colonial figures, I want skirmish gaming. Yes, I know that there were large battles but I read too much Kipling as a lad and a small number of men fighting desperately against the odds is the way I think of Colonial gaming.

    And I WANT the rules (and general approach) to be different for the two different periods. I want the style of play to be different.

    To my mind they should each be a bit of a relief to each other. I don't want every game to be "the same". Sometimes I want linear warfare and sometimes I want individual figures in a volatile skirmish situation. Each style of play provides a brief vacation from the other . . . and keeps both "fresh" for me.

    So ask yourself if you really want to "merge" all of your rules? Do you want them the same? Or would you too like to have them different.


    -- Jeff

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    1. Jeff, I hear you. My inspiration comes from slightly larger actions. Small compared to European battles but not 20 men on a jungle path. I like to get variety primarily by mixing small games with particular objectives, like the wagon train and larger ones like a river crossing but still with the same basic rules even if one game has small detachments and the other larger battalions. Still, having different levels of game is why I am leaving Hearts of Tin for bigger battles with small figures.

      The new set is essentially a rewrite of MacDuff to play the kind of games that I have always used MacDuff for. Its just that enough has changed from the original that I am uncomfortable keeping the name.

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