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, November 27, 2015

The Same This or the Same That?

I kept looking at the table last night thinking ”something's not right ”. This morning I figured it out.

I didn't mean to replay using the same number of grid squares and units, I meant to replay using the same (roughly) table size and number of stands.


So here we are with 12*12 9cm squares  and 11 single stand units compared to the original 9*9 5" squares and 6 units totalling 11 stands. Given that the scenario calls for units to be 1/9 to 1/6 of the board width, this maintains that density of troops but with greater flexibility. It also better represents what I am aiming for. Of course, now I don't have time to play!  Maybe tomorrow.

The rules will be an expanded, slightly down scaled, version of the "Square Major General in the ACW" used to fight Gettysburg last year. Since it will cover more than the ACW the tentative working title is the "The Minie Major General".

8 comments:

  1. There is a special hell for people who indulge in ammunition puns.

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    1. Oh. I was more concerned with the overused Gilbert & Silivan reference.

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  2. Ross, seeing you constantly revising and changes these rules reminds me of the introduction to the The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber. He talks about writing and revising the book, and finally says that his friends took it away from him, saying he was just having fun fiddling with clocks and running up and down secret stairways. :) By the way, if you have never read it, find it at a library. A really fun read. Looking forward to the newest iteration.

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    1. Bill, Oddly enough, my great grandfather was a watch maker. Sometimes its about the journey...
      I will keep an eye out for the book. Thanks

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  3. It is difficult to break out of the circular dilemma of grid Vs unit size Vs scale. Smaller grids do give more 'cells' per table and so greater tactical flexibility and room to manoeuvre - but the universal truth is that it then becomes harder to fit both terrain and figures within each square / hex, and even greater concern for anyone wanting to represent formations by having two or more stands in the unit.

    To this end, I have limited my scale to 10mm and 12mm on a 4" hex and it mostly works, but of course my 'want' to go to a larger scale blows that tidy relationship apart. The only solution that I can see (that avoids the 1 stand solution) is to allow the unit of 3 - 4 stands to breath and give them two hexes and to have buildings form contortions to fit in strange ways onto multiple hexed templates.

    This does require some new rules that sit above the square / hex being a single entity and is something that I want to explore rather than discount straight away. The alternative is to go for the 6 inch square which is ideal for terrain and can take a 3 base unit, but obviously one is left with fewer cells / locations on the table - but since those locations are each 6" and this accords with the multiples used for many movement systems, that might not be such bad thing .... other than I may weep being torn away from my lovely 4" Kallistra hexes to home-made six inch squares...... and we are told choice is a good thing ..... I do wonder :-)

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    1. Pretty much agreed. It comes down to choices and comprises. Ron and I experimented with 2 hex units when he got his hexon but the resulting compromises and complications led us to abandon it.

      One can do formations with as few as 4 figures in a hex but 4 or 8 big figures do not have the dioramic look of 24 small ones. Choices! One aldo needs remember that in ordinary circumstances columns were spaced out at deployment intervals and lines left a colum depth between them unless forming a solid multi unit mass so having a 2 stand unit per hex is fine. It allows for formations of libe, column or square to be shown (skirmishers shoukd be 2 hexes ahead if a hex is bsttalion width). A special rule is then needed for 2 units to form 1 clumsy mass in one hex.

      Having abandoned 15mm for first 54mm and then 40mm, the figures are the deciding factor for me. I started with Old School inspiration and 20 or so man units of 25-30mm figures but luckily, just as I was being seduced by the 54s I met Frank Chadwick who was playing his Volley & Bayonet rules eith 4 54mm figures representing a Brigade. It took me a while to accept the concept that this block of space contains a number of units whose individusl tactics are being handled by subordinates using SOP and we only see the result. Seemed more like a board game (no slight intended) than a miniatures game but eventually I got it.

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  4. Sounds like you'll have more opportunity to maneuver troops with this scheme.

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