EXCERPT 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, March 23, 2018

Tweaking with a Sledge Hammer

There have been too many disruptions and distractions so I have not yet played a full test game of the tweaked scenario and the re-re-re-revised rules but there has been a partial test.

Aerial Recce photo taken prior to Saturday's attack.
For the scenario itself, the tweaks were small, mostly a matter of spreading out the victory points, tweaking the cover to make for a better selection of attack routes to add interest and using the new units to get the force balance closer to what I envisaged. The rules had been more than tweaked and were the real source of my unease until a test game was played.

For several years now I have swayed back and forth between a Charge! inspired system of half casualties for cover (etc) vs a different score by target type approach inspired largely by the old WRG 1685-1845 rules (How's that for a catchy title?). Each time, the 1/2 casualties have eventually won out so I'm not sure why I felt the need to go back and try the other way again.

One of main the advantages of the different score approach is that its easier to have a more nuanced approach with a wider range of weapon and target modifiers. Unfortunately this is also one of the main disadvantages since the rules quickly get more complicated, harder to remember and sometimes its harder to  recognize  the impact of some of the nuances before playing. If restricting yourself to d6 its also really easy to modify yourself into a corner where a small +1 or -1 die modifer changes 'normal' to 'too easy', 'too hard' or even 'impossible' when combined with the "to hit" chart. That is not what this is supposed to be about!

So, after hours of lost time making tweaks during spare bits of downtime during the last two weeks and 3 turns of playing, I reset the rules (click) and the table.

Since this is a dogshow weekend, I anticipate having the time for a full play through on Saturday.

6 comments:

  1. Those +1's and -1's do always seem to lead to that slippery slope of complexity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ross,
    As always your post has let us into the thought processes that drive your games. The metacognitive parts are, indeed, mighty interesting and have whetted my appetite to see how today's game is going to resolve itself.
    Jerry

    ReplyDelete
  3. I also recently managed to tie myself into knots of horrific complexity with modifiers and varying weapon effects against different types of target. I couldn't understand the resulting combat table, which is never a good sign!

    The only thing with the 'half casualties' thing is that it is a very decisive effect, so you need to think carefully about what sort of cover might offer such a huge degree of protection.

    I suspect a few trees and bushes don't offer quite such good cover in real life..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is indeed. A few shrubs aren't much value but a few memoirs I've read seem to indicate that the ditches and banks that accompanied the lines of trees along the roads made pretty good cover. Still I tied myself in knots trying to find a simple way to differentiate between fortifications and improvised cover. Still under consideration but it'll probably only come in during assaults. Trying to decide what to do with the effect of lyddite vs shrapnel in a fast simple game was also a thorn. etc

      Delete