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

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Decision Points

I could have played this game by now, I've had lots of hobby time, but... well, the long search to decide what the heck I want to be doing for the next while has pretty much run its course in every scale and period so I decided to just get on with getting the troops organized based etc before I played. That led to some minor adjustments to the game plan.

Faraway infantry in obsolete service dress take post in a farmyard and prepare for the onslaught of a horde of Oberhilsians. 
The first item was settling on the period for the rules and my games. Various ideas had led me to momentarily forget that after a lengthy study of the options, I had decided to select c1905 for my fictional campaign. This was after drab uniforms were introduced but before they were universal. More importantly it was after the revolutionary introduction of Quick Fire artillery with shields. I don't have a source for Boer War artillery, all I have are 5 Crescent WW1 field guns and a couple of scratch built heavy guns.

Luckily this is also the period for which Little Wars was written and will allow me to include all the key features I want most from the Boer War,  Mexican Revolution, WWI and various late Colonial Frontier campaigns. Unlike many previous efforts, I am not planning to do these rules as multi-period though they will be easy to adapt. Initially though I will only cover what I need to cover.

The second item was remembering that I had been through various organizational options and most of the exisiting troops were originally organized into 4 figure companies with plans to group the infantry into battalions of 4 companies. Rather than doing the work to change that, I just started putting them back the way they originally were.  Thats just about done now.

A heavy howitzer prepares to join in the bombardment of Faraway positions.
After all that basing and organizing, I realized that I didn't have enough Faraway units of the right period to attack but did have enough to defend while Oberhilse had enough to attack. So I switched armies as well as the war being represented. 
The last issue revolves around the move back to a smaller number of bigger squares. One 4 man infantry company looks a bit lost in a square all by itself but I don't want to double the number of figures per company and this in each wargame army. It works well enough for a skirmish with a handful of units but for bigger games I should also have the ability to mass troops in a small area. This means reviving one of the  past versions of a stacking rule. Its not so much difficult as time consuming making the rule clear, easy to use and having the right effect.  Just a matter of spending the time.

5 comments:

  1. 'stacking' is a useful way to deal with the depth of the square cell, that can appear to lose a unit unless filled. The questions that I have thought about on stacking rules revolved around where the second unit is in 'reality'. Is it next to the first unit so that both units are in the front line, or is it behind and supporting.

    The answer to that generates the questions of facing rules for each unit, supporting rules and how casualties or fire effects such as retreats effect the second unit.

    I think from a rules perspective, one unit per cell is easier to produce streamlined rules, but stacking does potentially generate a greater range of play nuance and dynamism.

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    1. In this case its less about stacking in depth to fill an area and more about showing the difference between a thin skirmish screen and a thick firing line. I have been teetering back and forth on whether it will be easier to have 2 stand units and allow them to stack side by side or to have 1 4 stand unit and allow it to split in some circumstances.

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  2. Ross Mac,

    I love that period between 1890 and 1900. You can field all sorts of uniforms (Parade Dress, Service Dress, Campaign Dress ... and mixtures thereof) and a real mixture of kit (automatic and manual machine guns, field guns with and without recoil mechanisms and/or shields). You can even field early aircraft and pre-dreadnoughts.

    What's not to like?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. look like reality :) Nice about that!

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