One of the test games from this weekend.
The decision to forego the attempt to find a One Rule solution (One rule to ring them all?) means that while I plan to share some mechanisms where it makes sense to do so and keep them identical, I am also free to do some things quite differently. In this context, I was looking at pictures of previous cardtable games and noticed how prominent all the little marker dice were when there was one for almost every stand. Then I remembered how annoying it was to run out of them midgame. I also remembered that I need something like a pin result for late 19/early 20C games which brought my original RCW rules to mind as they used an older pin/kill step rather than a roster-ish 3/4/5 hits. So it was that I found my self revisiting the Square Brigadier with an eye to finding an alternate mechanism to deliver a broadly similar over all result.
Since units are being treated as entities not clusters of elements and since the theory is that hits are cohesion as well as casualties an improved version of the 2 step pin/kill process I used in my old Lawrence of Arabia rules in the late 80's seemed suitable. This was similar to one I used in my first RCW game and such as was used in some versions and variants of Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame.
I also wanted to incorporate the idea of some advantages or tactics cancelling hits rather than modifying dice to decrease the possibility of one lucky die roll negating say entrenchments. The system needed to work with a maximum of one marker per unit. Eventually, once proved, these could be casualty figures rather than red dots. Ideally it would be nice to have a possibility of sudden death from overwhelming circumstances but in practice it always ended up being too easy to achieve so I settled on doing without. What that left me was that a unit that took one or more hits after applying the benefits of cover etc would become "disordered" (pinned) with penalties. Cavalry and light infantry can use their mobility to negate 1 hit by falling back a square. If already disordered, a 2nd hit will kill. On their turn, units may attempt to rally. To incorporate the difference between qualities of troops I ended up making them easier or harder to hit. Not perfect but a compromise
I managed to try out the ancients version of the rules on the weekend and a battle report has been posted to my Gathering of Hosts blog. So far so good. Its time to buff up the late 19th/early 20th century section and try it again.