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

Monday, November 23, 2015

Old Tricks for Old Dogs

This morning when I sat down, cat on my lap, to play, I was momentarily at a loss. Nothing I had been thinking of seemed to fit what I was looking at and yet it looked pretty much like what I had been picturing since I took down the big table. I shrugged, rolled an Orders Die and let instinct take over. In no time at all I was playing the old 2013 Square Brigadier. (Oh.) And enjoying it, like those old games. (Oh).


The Blue Guards and 7th Infantry arrive on Turn 5. Meanwhile Red has being faffing about with abysmal order dice and getting shot up by Blue's artillery.

My original intent for this Atlantica campaign was to use 1 unit per 1 unit for Grant scenarios. In this case with a OHW scenario I had only 6 units but it all worked like a charm. The resulting game lasted just over an hour suggesting the larger Grant ones should be good for 2-3 hours. 

The game was supposed to go 15 turns but since I was using dice for activation I used cards for a combined Chance Deck and turn record such as I have been experimenting with. Once again it worked like a charm despite suspicions that an Oberhilse agent had spiked the deck. Two chance cards turned up. One allowed Blue to halt a Red unit on turn 2, the other shortened the game by 3 turns robbing Red of time for bombardment.

At last Red is up, engaged and making progress. The 1st Infantry has just been driven back into cover losing the aging Brigadier Zinn yet again. Five times Brigadiers intervened to rally troops under fire or lead a charge and 4 times they rolled '1' and were wounded. Seriously? These new rifled muskets must be pretty dangerous after all!
Several times I was going to try various new ideas but the game was flowing well so I let things be. There were plenty of tense moments, brilliant rolls for Blue, like the fistful of 6's from Blue's artillery to repulse a charge by Red's cavalry and amazingly poor ones for Red at times, at least until they got warmed up. 

With time running out, only 1 block captured and units on both sides one hit away from dedtruction, it was "Do or Die" for Red. "Bugler! Sound Charge!"
OK, so the answer should have been obvious. Once I had the 40mm troops mounted on easy to handle bases and a table with a grid big enough to hold them, there was no reason not to fallback on the game I had liked do much with the 4x20mm figures on the card table. All the waffling and confusion has been largely about past expectations and habits of thinking.

There is some evidence tbat Blue's Guard Lancers may be secretly armed with repeating carbines for dismounted action. The questions now are whether the Tigers can slip out of town in the midst of all the confusion as night falls and how is Old Turner going to explain the loss of 2 units of infantry and 2 of cavalry without taking the objective. Might be retirement time. The age of Cocket Hats and Tails is over!
I was going to repost the page with the rules but apparently I over typed it with one of the 20th Century variants, carelessly relying on the Google drive backup which I apparently never actually made. Oops. Luckily its all in my head and there's plenty of abandoned variants to start from. 

It will have to come back as Square Major General given the size and scale but it'll be back on line (and properly backed up) soon.

10 comments:

  1. Looking forward to seeing the rules. I have 40mm figures painted up that I can use for this. They are the Grand Duchy of Waldo and the Ruskin Palatinate. (Germany never happened, still small german states in Europe at the end of the century)

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  2. Round and round we go Ross! I did rather like the way that you dealt with skirmishers in your hasty update of a couple of posts back though. I thought it very neat. I think it effectively handles Supports as well or was I raeding too much in?

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    1. Possibly, Line units are assumed to have skirmishers deployed but not shown. Most infantry shooting other than adjacent units is assumed units to be opposing skirmish lines normally. Light infantry would be specialist sharpshooters or irregulars. Supports work with any unit.

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  3. Ross Mac,

    I am seriously looking at using my version of Joseph Morschauser's FRONTIER rules in my forthcoming wargame. Funny how we seem to return to rules that we were happy to use a couple of years ago.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Exploring new options is good exercise but what works, works!

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  4. Alls well that ends well then Ross.

    Did the cat end up on the table in the end?

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    1. She's not one of the better sort. The only time she gets on the table is to roll around on her back sending trooos flying if I have failed to fulfill demands for cuddling in a timely fashion.

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  5. A good ending to the game I am pleased to hear.Cats seem to be in my viewing/reading having watched "Alien " last night on dvd. I too look forward to reposted rules and maybe getting the 40mms out for a wee game at the weekend...

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