Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Back in Hot Water

Quite literally. After more than a week  of heating water for washing on the stove I have finished installing a new hot water heater to replace a broken one and installed it in a better location. Yeah Sharkbite! (My new favorite plumbing accessory, beats the hell out of using a torch in cramped quarters, thank you Australia.) We now have heat and hot and cold running water again. All the modern conveniences!

Anyhow, I was hoping to get my table cleared of debris and a game of MacDuff laid out but I was beat by the time I finished and it didn't happen. I don't think  it will happen until I take the table down, install a tool/workshop area at the back of my wargames room, rearrange bookshelves and stuff and maybe figures and put the table back up. 4th effort in this house to claim a space to organize tools and do small things. There are days when I look at the snow out my window and think of Ney relentlessly fighting a  rearguard action day after day during a long retreat.  

So, I broke out the Square Brigadier, harmonized it and posted it. Essentially HofT for all ages but on a grid with 1 stand units.   I haven't done any sample early 20thC Unit Characteristic charts and special rules yet as they will be extensive needing AFV's, MG's, indirect artillery, air support, telephones and so on but from (very) generic ancients up to basic ACW there are sample period charts and rules for the 3 periods I intend to use plus the 18thC.  The full HofT and the Gathering of Hosts will use the same mechanics minus the grid but with 3-5 stand units and a place for Brigadiers in HofT since it is intended for larger games.

With a bit of luck I'll get a trial game of SB in before bed.

The rules can be found at left or here.


  1. Ross Mac,

    So you have left the ranks of the great 'unwashed' (or in your case 'washed with difficulty') and rejoined the rest of us wargamers, who are – of course – renown for their fragrance and over-use of deodorants! :^)(The latter is not true of my experience at some UK wargames shows, where a blind person might reasonably think that they had walked into a room full of polecats!)

    Seriously, it is good to hear that you have managed to replace the old boiler with a new hot water heater. That is a job that I would certainly have left to an expert as my DIY skills are limited to hitting things with larger and larger sizes of hammer until they work … or break!

    I have read the Square Brigadier rules and I like what I see … and it has given me one or two ideas about how to develop the PORTABLE WARGAME: ANCIENTS version which I am intermittently working on. It is interesting to see how we have come from similar starting places and developed sets of rules that are both similar and different at the same time.

    I look forward to hearing how your SB battle goes.

    All the best,


    1. Bob, my clever plan was to retire with sufficient funds to avoid doing such things myself but mice and men being what they are its probably good for my brain to keep at them anyway.

      It is interesting to trace the roots and the different paths. I have to say that there was a drastic reduction in unneccessary fussiness as a direct result of your influence.

  2. Replies
    1. Indeed, especially when mixed with lemon, rum and sugar.

  3. Very glad that you now have hot water to get into.

    The Alpian Wars have been delayed because this latest cycle of chemo has really knocked the stuffings out of me . . . but it will continue.

    -- Jeff

    1. Glad to hear that they will continue Jeff but sorry to hear that the latest bout has been tough.

  4. Well done Ross. I shouldn't be surprised that a man who casts his own figures would be an adept plumber. My plumbing skills are pretty risible, as my basement sink reminds me on occasion.

    So for the Square Brigadier one would need a table with some sort of hex or square overlay?

    Bob - North American gamers are also soap-adverse. I frequently suggest to my friend James Manto that the registration fee for his Hot Lead convention should include a bar of deoderant.

    1. Michael, the "ept" part sounds right but I think it starts with "in" not "ad", otherwise it wouldn't take multiple tries and much spraying of water!

      The Square Brigadier is, or will be, essentially the gridded version of Hearts of Tin but it can be played on a non-gridded table quite simply by adopting a standard "length" say 3" and mutiplying the distances by that so that a 2 length move becomes 6" and adjacent means within 3". I have a batten that I marked into 3" lengths and use that. When moving units without a grid the rule becomes that no part of the unit can move farther then its allowance.

      I'm looking at maybe attempting Hot Lead next year, but March is not a great time for me to travel.

  5. Ross,

    Let me get this straight: you took time and energy away from wargaming in order to install a hot water heater? Get your priorities in line, man! Don't you know that wargaming will get you through times of no hot water better than hot water will get get you through times of no wargaming?


    1. In my defence, when the heater was delivered last Friday morning, I helped wrestle it into the basement then waved good bye to my wife and headed to Halifax for a wargame.