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

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Inching Along

There are times when I suspect my subconscious of only wanting to play with half ready armies. So when I found myself thinking it was time I played something that had something to do with my Gathering of Hosts blog, I also found myself looking at cobbling together a Turanian force from vague ideas and promising recruits. I put my metaphorical foot down and decided to test the game with my 16thC Anglo Scots armies. They actually belong to this blog, not that one, but the rules bits about reverting to rolling dice to determine how many inches a unit can move can go there.

O Flower of Scotland!
The scenario was Thomas's 30 minute Salamanca. I think it might have been better with different armies  and different rules and hope to prove that tomorrow. Basically the English have to get half their units off the far edge of the board by road. Why by road? I dunno but since I had spare acreage outside the playing zone, I added an impassible river off table with a bridge where the road crosses, so that's why.

With my 4x4 board, 3 of my stands equate to one of his 6" units and since it just happens to be how they're organized, I went with that.  This gave me the following:

Scots: 6 stands of pike with General blocking the road. 6 stands of Highlanders, 3 of skirmishers and 3 of border horse making a flank attack.
English: Left, 4 Bills, 2 Bows, Center: 4 Bills, 2 Bows, Cavalry: 3 demilances including General, Rearguard: 3 Border horse.

There wasn't much room for manoeuvre so there was a bit of shooting then a big brawl with the Demilances coming in on the flank and the Border Horse making a show of fighting each other until on turn 5 of 15 the Scots morale broke. The English had 1 stand over 1/2 left so were able to saunter off the table in the following 10 turns. Quick and bloody.
The English arrive.
Now, the real point of all this is that after a lengthy trial, I'm having second thoughts about using a grid for so many of my games. There are some minor quibbles about the interface of front and flank along the diagonal with squares, especially when long range weapons come in, but the real problem is the amount of custom terrain that still needs to be made and that having backslid to using 3 sizes of figures and various scales of game, I could really use a variety of grid sizes and thus terrain in different grid sizes.

It is possible to just make what fits in a grid area a "unit" and keep using the same grid size and mostly shared terrain for all games is starting to make different periods and campaigns feel too similar despite small rules changes. In addition, the return of 54's is stressing my ability to share terrain and fit it to the grid.

At the very least I need more custom terrain possibly including some multi-grid area terrain pieces and rules for the same. At the moment I have the grid painted on and sometimes throw an old battered cloth over it for non-gridded games.
The Scots depart. The way ahead is open for the Earl's remaining forces, just enough of them.
No decision yet. At the very least I need a new cloth, but I'm contemplating over-painting the grid and using a choice of gridded game-mats thrown over top when I want the grid instead.

3 comments:

  1. Ross

    Just to make you jealous - I walked the dog around Flodden battlefield a couple of days ago!

    Steve

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  2. I recognize the flag in the top pic. Did my kinfolk fight well?
    Peter

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  3. My Heritage IS Scottish...so indeed I'd most likely play as the 'Scots'...very nice figures Ross - look forward to the Battle Report. Regards. KEV.

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