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, May 4, 2018

Good to go!

Well, I want a to paint a few more figures and work on some shrubbery but if I had to, the game is ready to go and the final version of the rules is now set and available (click)

Over view as the game gets under way. The US infantry near the white house are just filling in for now.
It was a tremendous struggle. The fight over the rules I mean, not the game although it was hard fought and close as well.

The idea, ever since getting hooked on Morschauser in 2003, has been to keep the rules results based rather than the process based approach I had been used to for the 30 years preceding that. It seems that my subconscious mind has yet to fully surrender on the issue though, despite being shown time and time again that the results based approach ends up giving me, not just a more interesting game, but also one where the tactics and results more closely resemble my reading. 

 
The British are coming! The British are....HERE!

In the case of late 19th/ early 20th wargames, my mind wants to see an explicit rule for "pinning" amongst other things but getting an effective rules with the right feel and effect has proved elusive for a long time. Time and again, experience has shown me that dumping the various explicit "pin" rules always gets me closer to the right feel but with a more interesting flow and more player choices to make.

In essence, troops in the open which come under fire have two options if they are attacking: return fire or advance. Advancing can work, as it sometimes does in life, as long as the distance is short and the quantity of fire not excessive but it will tend to be costly and there is a strong risk that an assault against an untouched enemy will fail. The alternative is to lay down, return fire and call for artillery or for a friend to flank the enemy while you keep them occupied. These things aren't specified, they just work that way if you think about it or experience it.

The Germans turn the Allied right flank.

The other silly thing I've had to contend with over the last 2 weeks is a strong urge to increase the firepower of units because I increased their strength. It took several tries before the obvious finally sank in that increasing potential hits that a unit can inflict in the same ratio as I increased the number of hits it can sustain, meant little change on the tabletop.

No matter how much it rubbed me the wrong way, to get the effect I wanted without complicating everything, I needed to increase the number of hits that a unit can take without changing the maximum number of hits that it can inflict in one turn. 
End Game: to everyone's surprise the French cavalry are still holding the line but the farm has been lost to the Germans.
 There were a few other details to fuss over but the rules are once again relatively straight forward, quick to learn and quick to play. Much like the early versions that I have to keep bring back. Maybe this time.....
On the other flank, the hill redoubt was lost, retaken and lost again along with the woods. The Allies get 2 VP for the town but the Germans have 3 for the rest. An 11th hour victory. 
This time two weeks from today, it will all be over!

14 comments:

  1. I like the support idea you have built into the morale section of your rules.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully it will work as intended to encourage the use of supports, something that seems to have been stressed in contemporary writing.

      Delete
  2. I have a system that works based on the 'typical' scenario that I placed to the table. One day, I gamed in the same space but with noticeably bigger orders-of-battle and the increase in firepower over the turn due to the increase in units, just made the space too deadly and the 'right feel' was totally lost. Sometimes you just have to play those things to 'discover' them.

    Would it be worth marking each 'large' unit at the start of play and the first hit simply removes the marker, rather than impacting on the unit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Much more fun to just put more toys on the table.

      In any case the order of battle has stayed the same, as has the firepower of the units and the number of units in play. Since I'm tracking hits without removing figures I didn't "need" to actually add figures but any excuse will do.

      Delete
  3. Ross,
    Well done my friend - getting everything ready for Portland must leave you feeling very satisfied and contented. This coming Sunday we intend to do a first play-test of my 15mm Fantasy Rules which I finished writing last night...it is all very exciting and I hope that only minor modifications will be required to the rules after our first Battle. All the Best. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad you have got the rules sorted out , great looking game .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, at the very least it'll look different.

      Delete
  5. Ross Mac,

    This looks like it will be a very interesting battle, and I only wish that I was able to get over to Maine to take part!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful looking table and an interesting looking game.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Always satisfying to crack those nagging conceptual:mechanical conundrums, doubly so in the lead up to hosting a convention game!

    ReplyDelete