On the weekend I tried a version of the Square Brigadier using the Battlecry dice and my Nine Years War figures. The result was ok, a bit Boer War-ish wih added colour, but once over, it sent me digging into my handful of WWI books and the web. This led me to 2 main conclusions:
- I need more books! Especially about the nuts and bolts of tactics at the company & battalion level in early 1914 and about the functioning of brigades. Most of the dozen or more books I've read over the years were largely collections of individual memories and letters, books on specific campaigns or high level overviews and summaries, and mostly on the Canadians or on non-Western Front campaigns.
- A game at the brigade level of command, let alone higher, is likely to be one or more of tedious or large or quite abstract. (In case you're wondering, I've dismissed any idea of a game at lower levels because I want some level of General with authority to plan and a mix of units.)
Since I don't want to have to paint lots of figures before starting this venture and don't want to track status on units or be making constant rolls to pin and rally while also tracking casualties, I'm looking at abstraction and compromise.
|The Nine Years War continues as the bigger table and revised rules are tested.|
For example, I was originally looking at each 4 figure unit as a company for my WWI game. If I really want it to be a company it should be able to take multiple hits, be pinned or forced back and yet keep fighting, possibly all day. Making 3 or 4 stands a company would make that easier but then I'd need 3-4 times the troops and more space. If instead I just call 3 or 4 stands a battalion and don't worry about lower details then as long as 1 stand still has a figure left, the battalion is still in action and so on.
Another matter to consider is the grid size. My table expansion has given me a grid two and a quarter times the number of squares in my usual 120 square board. If I only field 12 to 20 stands then it will be a very empty field. The options are to increase force size, make the squares bigger or just use part of the board for some scenarios. For now the third option will do since it leaves the door open. Increased forces could be a possibility down the road, either more stands per battalion or more battalions as would a change of scene to a less crowded area, the desert perhaps or East Africa? But that is getting ahead of ourselves. Brigade staff group next I think then gunners and jaegers.