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

Friday, January 18, 2013

Second Trial



Last night I made time to play another test of the Square Brigadier. Ancients this time, fictional bordering on fantasy but ancients none the less. The narrative Battle Report is on my Gathering of Hosts Blog but I'm going to keep the rules stuff here. The game was sufficient fun to play that I am going to keep the 3" wide units even in the big table, fielding more units rather than larger ones if I want to see more troops on the table. That means that the Gathering of Hosts rules might just be the grid-less variant of these of even just the ancients version of SB with the names changed and non-relevant bits removed. Another grid-less game is required before I decide but I'm almost ready to start twisting Ron's arm to try them on his Hexon terrain.  

I found one goof in the first play test of SB and found another, cavalry related, in this 2nd play test game. The cavalry charge bonus was supposed to be +1 die per unit not +1 per die. I also noted that disordered units (broken by any other name)  were not mentioned under the army morale rule so added that in. If too many troops are allowed to run for safety there should be a risk of it catching on. I also added back in the description of what constitutes front as mentioned last time.

There were a few special rules that seemed to be cropping up in every period chart so I added Light Infantry back as a unit type and transferred their movement bonuses and the evade rule from the unit charts to the rules. Apart from that I felt the need to expand on and fiddle with a few of the period unit characteristics. For example, the pike phalanx was a little too flexible for comfort.

It would be soooo easy to add more and more particulars to ancients units since they cover such a  wide variety of equipment and tactics but I'm pretty sure I can live within the parameters that I have set and that they cover the really essential bits from a macro or effect level.

I think I have a solution for rearranging my games room without taking the table and rebuilding it, at least temporarily, so that will be my goal for the weekend.

4 comments:

  1. As ever, I'm following this with much interest. Interested to read the bit about adding more and more particulars. I'm reluctant ever to say anything critical about the WRG, in case stones start to fall on my house, but I used to find their ancient rules (their OLD ancient rules, if that's not tautologous) were cumbersome in use because the booklet was stuffed with so many things you didn't need to know that you couldn't find the things you did.

    Eventually I typed up a shortened subset to protect my sanity. I really believe that rules should be as short as possible, and any special weapons or whatever should be covered as necessary in scenario notes. If you find that you keep seeing the same scenario note, then maybe it should be in the main rules.

    There are those who suggest that the WRG felt compelled to tell people these things - even people they passed in the street - but of course I couldn't comment.

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  2. Its also poor marketing since customers get everything they need first time around.

    The Warhammer Historical chaps were smarter and added rules for special tactics and weapons in period supplements.

    Of course WRG also caused problems by using correct but long and complex sentences, the longer the better since command of the finer points of English grammar was always a key element of generalship.

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  3. I recently tried reading the WRG 3rd ed set - I've been carrying it around in my bag for weeks now.

    I - ah - am finding it a challenging read.

    Greg

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    1. Well, it hasn't got the narrative charm of Little Wars or Charge! but it was WRG 3rd ed that I really cut my wargaming teeth on. Don't know how many hours I spent at college pouring over those rules and planning my armies for the next battle.

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