Once again I'm not going to do the look back/look ahead thing, looking back, please browse the past posts, looking ahead, just expect more of the same sort of thing and often something to surprise me as well as you.
I'm trying to catch up with some non-wargaming things delayed by 3 weeks of flu as well as answering to General Winter but things aren't entirely stalled. There has been enough of a break and a little bit of variety to get me out of "this is what I do" mode which almost always means a) Trouble and sometimes b) New and Improved Something.
In this case, the older form of sequence of play that I've been experimenting with again has hit the spot this time around. In essence it is a modified form of one of the three systems proposed by Featherstone in Battles With Model Soldiers. The original was "dice for initiative at the start of the turn. A moves, B moves, B shoots, A shoots, Resolve Melee". My kluge for the Square Major General was to incorporate a premovement artillery bombardment phase inspired by Bob Cordery's rules inspired by Morschauser's Frontier Wargame Rules and to lump the infantry fire and melee together into 1 phase. For the level of game, with 1/2 hour turns and brigade units, having non-simultaneous fire doesn't make sense to me even if one side did get the first shot in out of the dozens or more that they traded before it was over. For a lower level of game in a black powder era, it might still make some sense as adding a bit of flavour/chrome. Which brings me to the next point.
As mentioned occasionally, to minimise confusion when switching back and forth, I like having a series of rules for various "periods" that share as many common mechanisms as possible as well as having specific things to give that special period/level of action feel. For instance a similar play sequence, a similar style of combat resolution even though the particulars are different. Having a complete change now and then is fine but its best if its very different. For example, I am unlikely to confuse Charge! mechanisms with the Square Brigadier whereas I do occasionally get confused midgame if Gathering of Hosts and the Square Brigadier do similar things in different ways. So expect some testing and adjusting of an alignment of my various 'Square Based' rules over the next month to have stand based combat & losses, a similar play sequence (eg for the medieval rules archers will fire in the bombardment phase so same idea, different detail).
At the same time, I have been meaning to revisit Hearts of Tin. These poor rules have suffered since I got hooked on grids and at some point I took a set of rules that I was happy with and changed them into a set where all I can remember is that I don't feel like playing them. In part this is because I explored strange new territory with the square based rules using my HofT armies and tried things that I have eventually decided were not really where I wanted to go but buggered about with HofT a bit anyway. Since the Square based rules have now returned closer to their roots but improved, I have already updated HofT to a happier place. There needs to be a bit more checking and unit stats updated and then I will be running a non-gridded HofT game in the next few weeks, either ACW or 40mm and posting a link to the rules again.
First up though will be an early 20thC Toy Soldier game using the appropriately modified Tin Brigadier with each figure being a "stand" for consistency sake. Since this is definitely a Toy Soldier game as opposed to the recent ACW game, I will be fielding inappropriate levels of units in a traditional reverse bathtub approach where a "skirmish" teaser with a train ambush might see several wargame battalions used where platoons might be more appropriate just as later games might see those same battalions filling in for brigades in a "battle".