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

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Usual Fate of Plans

Well, that's the week done and not much worth writing about. Not even a proper game to report on although I did finish Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Great Boer War, (Available as a free ebook, all 462 pages, no maps or prints) 2 thumbs up, 5 stars, maybe I'll even write a book report later.

The game in 30 seconds: Red's cavalry flanked the hill on the right but were blocked, a frontal assault by 3 waves of Red infantry supported by guns eventually broke the enemy center. Heavy casualties on both sides but numbers won.

 I did play that game shown in the last post, but not the way I intended. Instead I played a turn or 3 at a time over 4 days, possibly in excess of 20 turns and a total of around 3 hours, mostly while dead tired and with frequent rule changes to test various options. Enjoyable and periodically engaging but not what I had planned, Apart from the discontinuity, the scenario itself was flawed.

Well, not the scenario but the execution of the idea. The idea was that Faraway or Red forces were marching in pursuit of Oberhilse or Blue and found them dug in atop a ridge barring the road ahead. Red had close to a 2:1 advantage in numbers but was not "all up" while Blue was entrenched with difficult ground on the flanks and their positions were concealed. That latter point proved to be an error since I used my usual card system but here it failed me, The key positions on the ridge were nearly all unoccupied while much of the infantry was massed in reserve on the far right. One might presume that Blue was the one surprised but it did weaken their defence. It would have been better if I had garrisoned the key points and used the cards to place a variable and unknown number of reserves.

The second issue is that I deployed the hill too close to the edge. When Red sent their cavalry around, to flank it, they found a narrow causeway between the rocky hill and a huge chasm. Oops! OK if I had intended that but I meant to allow for a flanking attack.

At least the game not only provided some much needed distraction if only for a 1/2 or 1/4 hour at a time but it also allowed my to try and reject various rules options. The draft is now up to date and I plan to rearrange the table and play a meeting engagement sometime this weekend, hopefully in no more than 2 or at most 3 sessions.

8 comments:

  1. Handy having the space to use left set up like that ,,,

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    1. Yes, it was an important criteria when we were loking for a retirement home. Room for Kathy's dogs and my soldiers.

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  2. Sometimes you just have to 'suck it and see' when setting up scenarios. I've had them go badly wrong on me...

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    1. Agreed that's why I won't unleash an untested scenario on strangers.

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  3. "One might presume that Blue was the one surprised but it did weaken their defence. It would have been better if I had garrisoned the key points and used the cards to place a variable and unknown number of reserves."
    Random deployments on the defence (and who wouldn't want to defend those fine looking hills) are always tricky. One approach might be to define the defender's optimum positions but then randomize the actual compositions of the defenders until they are in contact?

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    1. Yes, I went a bit down that road, just not quite far enough. I had 2 guns so shuffled 4 cards inc 2 dummies, discarded 1 and placed 2 on the hill 1 in reserve, something similar for the cav and infantry except with the infantry there were 8 cards and 8 blanks before discarding. I should have broken it down into 2x4 unit regiments and then added blanks, discarded and deployed each stack separately. Then I could have given each its position to defend.

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