|A brave dash by the Hussars might have restored the already flagging fortunes of the day but the wounded horses and men mark where they were caught in a crossfire by riflemen and machine gunners.|
The first clash took place on the 3rd turn as some Oberhilse Hussars charged a thin line of riflemen. That was the end of the proposed rules. I mean they worked OK and got the right result but I hated the mechanisms, just not me and not what I was aiming for. The words of Peter Young came back to mind yet again: "Morale is in the mind of the wargamer himself, for ultimately a war game is a duel between the two opposing generals themselves. Do not let them hide their deficiencies behind the alleged failings of their metal or plastic followers!" .
That says it all really as far as the questions I was pondering last week, Fortunately I had been rereading the posts from last fall more carefully and had been able to remember where the rules had been headed and why I had decided to stop experimenting and start writing the full set, and I can now see how that effort went off the rails so quickly. Despite the grid, this isn't really a variant of the Square Brigadier. Five minutes later I had a new draft which I'll summarize at the end of this post. The full rules will take longer but there won't be a two month's hiatus this time (hopefully) or if there is, at least I'll have notes!
|At the height of the battle. Both sides have their full strength on board. Red's bridgehead has been wiped out but the cost to Blue was excessive. The green chits indicate each Blue hit, red chits mark Red's hits.|
The game can be followed reasonably well through the pictures. I had more but they were even blurrier than these. Apparently the tripod does help. Basically Blue decided to focus on the big bridge at the far end of the table and virtually ignore the secondary one. Red decided to hold both but to cross over the big one to give his troops space to fallback without losing the bridge to a lucky rush. There were flaws in Blue's attack but the dice were also in Red's favour at crisis points.
Blue decided to attack by the book with extended lines of riflemen to reduce casualties. It was working ok apart from the MG on his flank but with lines of extended troops, its hard for either side to gain local superiority and exercise any leverage. A slow battle of attrition results, usually to the defender's advantage. Blue did try a couple of rushes but could not roll a hit in melee regardless of odds.
At this point, the game began to drag a little with a slow fire fight unlikely to force a result any time soon. Since I had somehow changed victory conditions from an original intent for both sides to be trying to capture a bridgehead to Red only needing to hold, this meant a Red victory when time ran out or I got tired of rolling. Rather than call the game or try to figure out how many turns I'd played and what the limit should be, I changed tactics for Blue. Bringing up what fresh and consolidated units I could muster, I started trying to rush the bridge with small assault columns. The result was predictable but not inevitable. They were forced by circumstances to go in piecemeal and were shot to pieces. Might have worked early on when they had an advantage in numbers if they had risked massing the units but it was too little, too late. At any rate, it soon ended the game!
The Back of a Postcard version of the Tin Army rules (aka Tin Brigadier)
as played on Jan 24 2015.
Sequence: Roll for initiative, A moves/rallies, B fires, Melee, Reverse and repeat.
Detached: Commander not within 6 of General or Unit not within 3 of Commander4,5,6 to move (affects all units if a commander) +1 if a commander, or independent, -1 if poor.
Move Infantry 2 or 1 and fire, Cavalry 3 mounted or 1 dismounted and fire, Artillery 2 or 3 limbered.
x2 on road, x 1/2 if slowed by broken terrain, infantry only 1/2 speed difficult terrain
Shoot. 5,6 hits +1 if superior, -1 if inferior1d/2 inf or 1 crew. x 1/2 if indirect arty. x 1/2 vs cover or difficult tgt
1/2 d if disordered.
Extended inf, deployed arty, cavalry are difficult target but are disordered if hit in the open.
Rifles 3, MG 4 Lt Gun 6, Field gun 8, Heavy 10. Indirect arty range x2
Melee. Defender rolls for shooting if eligible and removes hits then all others on both sides roll. Any unit in melee that takes more from shooting+melee retreats disordered.
1 d/figure 5,6 hits +1 if superior/shock -1 if inferior
1/2 dice vs obstacle, 1/2 dice if disorderedCommander with unit may try to inspire troops if shot at or in melee 5,6=cancel 1 hit, 1=killed.
(hits are morale, fatigue and cohesion as well as some casualties)
Modifiers are cumulative. (1/2 for range and 1/2 for cover = 1/4. Round up remainders of 1/2.