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, January 8, 2013

Yes it is.

The question was "Is it worth maintaining 2 sets of rules if many or most of the rules are the same?".

I haven't had much time for wargame stuff over the last few days due to some domestic issues taking priority. (Both heating and running water appear to be thought  important by some members of the household) However, despite the expense, effort and emotional stress, I have taken a bit of time here and there to continue rebasing my 1812 Americans from too small flex steel bottoms to washers for greater stability and to match the British and I've had time to consider the question.

In short the flip side of the question is "What is gained and lost by trying to write one set of rules to handle two different styles of game?" Without going into details both sides lost something while gaining mere convenience. In particular what would normally be MacDuff games lost much of their OSW and toy soldier appeal while being too small to make good Hoft games while the HofT games lost some of their simplicity and smooth operation without gaining flavour. In particular the simple difference in troop quality was lost.

In order to reduce my own confusion I am going to share as many aspects of the rules as possible. For example the Order system is easy, effective and will work just as well with both systems so it will be shared. Likewise while 1 rule set will have one die for so many figures and the other will have so many dice per stand, the scores to hit and modifiers can be the same. Morale and the effect of hits on the other hand will have to be slightly different to get the appropriate feel, It will take a while to harmonize the fiddly bits and charts in HofT to match MacDuff but MacDuff is ready for a spin and feeling better than ever.

One of the bugbears that has been haunting me for the last 5 years is the question of matching historical War of 1812 to game units and maintaining scale without degrading the game as a game. I'm happy to announce that I've given up and admitted failure. The rules will allow you to try since what constitutes a unit is not fixed  but I am falling back on my original OSW inspiration  and will focus on about playing games and letting the armies build their own history. I've also decide to stop considering selling my original chunky units and redoing them just as the armies are coming together. Maybe I can build the missing Dragoons for both sides instead. .




15 comments:

  1. Dear Canada Father,
    No January 8th Battle of New Orleans?

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    1. New Orleans? Nothing to do with us. That was a British US thing, our war was over.

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  2. I'll refrain from commenting on the heating/water problems in case I somehow provoke my own domestic equipment into another round of midwinter delinquency...

    I've felt for some time that it was worth maintaining MacDuff and HofT as separate sets, while understanding the motivation to try to bring them together, because the flavours and styles are distinct. To keep them apart but with a number of mechanisms in common seems like a happy solution.

    Thanks for posting the latest MacDuff draft, which I'm looking forward to reading later today.

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    1. I'm looking forward to playing them. When I get away from the table and spend too much time thinking I sometimes "possible" doesn't equate to "preferable".

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  3. Best wishes with regard to the heating and water issues. They can be damned inconvenient.

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    1. Useful when they work but damned annoying when they don't.

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  4. Ross Mac,

    Haviong 'lost' electric power (and therefore heating and lighting) for just 23 hours recently, I can understand your domestic plight. I smelt even more like a polecat that usual with minutes of losing the ability to wash ... and try shaving with cold water in a bathroom where there is no light to see by. I ended up looking like my face had been razored by the Brighton Gang from Graham Greene's 'Brighton Rock'!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Ross Mac,

    I forgot to anser the question!

    My answer would be 'YES! Keep both!'

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Hello Ross:

    Living where you are in the wilds of Nova Scotia, I can see that water and heat would take priority. I agree with Bob, keep both, and tinker as you see fit.
    Google Drive asked me to send you a request to get access to the MacDuff files, I would enjoy trying them out.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. Sorry about that, I've also been having problems with Google Drive this morning. I hate complaining since its free but........... Anyway, should be fixed now.

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  7. Are we having fun yet? The other Jeff
    Sorry to hear about the water and heat issues. Nothing is worse when the Wife isn't happy!

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  8. Not quite at fun yet but we are close enough for comfort. Not sure my wife was any less happy than me!

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  9. I hear you. BTW today which is Friday we have minus 20 C. Thank goodness everything is running okay here anyway. Hopefully everything is good at your end?
    Jeff

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    1. There is still work to be done but its nice and warm here. We've had good run of luck all told.

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