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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hard Slogging

This is trickier than it seemed. Its amazing just how hard it is to abandon old habits of thought and expectations but things that work for more tactical games often don't work so well for higher level games. (and yes I 'knew' this going in but still.....) However, I am making progress!

To make my life easier and for clarity in the future, instead of hiding my work until after the game has been played, or posting twice daily versions so people can follow my progress and play the versions I have rejected,  I am updating the rules as originally posted on the 16th and will explain the changes and issues in separate posts.

As 2 of the 12 participating Divisions finish up today's rehearsals, the props department starts rolling out masking tape, paint and the like to turn the empty grid into the Gettysburg Battlefield.


One of the big issues has been trying to work in artillery bombardments when the distances are so short and time per period so long. Another has been trying to balance combat resolution to find a happy ground between instant vaporization and endless die rolling without result all while giving the defender a benefit. Lastly, because distances are so great, its been tricky finding an easy way to do pinning attacks vs all out assaults when both should really be done when adjacent.

I decided to give up relying on the play sequence to give the defence a bonus and switched to a modifier. This allowed me to play around with play sequences and get one mutual combat resolution per turn. Then I took a page from Bob Cordery and implemented a shared  Bombardment phase at the beginning of the turn but included infantry Skirmishing in the same phase.

So the current sequence is:
Roll for Initiative with winner choosing 1st or 2nd move.
Shared Bombardment & Skirmishing phase for units not adjacent to enemy.
A moves
B moves
Shared Combat resolution phase for adjacent enemy units.

I then modified the combat rules to give benefits to units that didn't move and penalties if disordered or attacking a terrain feature or entrenchment. Some quick mini-tests, Division vs Division, have been encouraging so I am back to plotting masking tape roads and rivers for a test game. I'm hoping that the 1st Day Scenario (or mid Day since it leaves out the early and late fighting)  can be resolved in about an hour. That would suggest that the whole 3 day battle could then be done in a day.


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