I've done much thinking and some test games over the last year, including yesterday's game. I've re-purposed some troops, and I've re-homed two collections of 40mm troops and enough 54mm Arabs to disperse any thoughts of going back there. At last, I now have a new plan.
|Hunh? What happened to the 4.7"? Well I decided to try an impromptu 1860's version of the 1812 version of the Square Brigadier with 12 man battalions and so reset the table accordingly.|
1. The War of 1812 in shiny 40mm. This is aimed squarely at small, one hour-ish Square Brigadier games with small battalions or detachments as units. The goal is to be able to fight the main battles in Upper and Lower Canada.
2. Atlantica in Shiny 40mm. This will eventually be the long delayed mid 19thC Colonial campaign against the northern native Atlantican state and its army. This will have "company" sized units which by themselves represent a detachment or skirmishers but up to four of which may be combined into a close order battalion. I've tried to avoid this as it is Gridded anathema but I can't find an acceptable way around the need for this sort of flexibility for this sort of campaign.
3. The American Civil War in 1/72nd. This is a battle game. At the moment units are 3 stand regiments but I might consider going to 5 stand brigades as units, maybe, probably not though.
4. The Northwest Incident in shiny 54mm. This is aimed at small fictional battles with company sized units in the age of breech loading rifles using a variant of the Square Brigadier aka the Tin Army.
5. The Great Atlantican War in shiny 40mm khaki. This is the sideshow which keeps threatening to become my main thing every time I touch it. It is set in the early years of the 20th Century and includes both conventional warfare between the Great(ish) Powers and Colonial games. It will use the same rules as the earlier Atlantica and the 54mm game with company sized units but with magazine rifles and machine guns.
Command control and detail again. For some time now I have been flip flopping between two mechanisms to make it harder for players to always have every unit moving as and when desired. Both work, both have downsides. This game was played using the "dice for unit's outside command radius" method. It works OK when I remember to apply it. At the moment it doesn't really emphasize the importance of maintaining multi unit formations though. I had hoped that the combat rules would be sufficient to encourage that and they mostly do, but not as well as the Order PIP system does. In some recent games I started each turn with a "place out of command chits" phase and that have helped me remember the rule at least. A smaller command radius for subordinate commanders might encourage tighter brigade formations.
I'm also still trying to put my finger on an illusive "something" with these Division sized battles. The command rules feel a bit too immediate, like an active brigadier controlling his direct reports rather than a Division Commander controlling his Brigades. Short of written game orders or a team of players, I always find this hard to do simply, especially when playing solo. A Brigade posture rule perhaps with a delay in implementation of new orders? or maybe a change to command radius to only allow a Brigadier to control a group of contiguous units. No serious thought on this yet, just an observation.
I don't have a similar issue with the 'company as unit' games since the over all commander can be very hands on in life in such situations. Maybe its just that I'm tired of only having one hour type games but can't seem to get any game to last much longer on the small table top?
(ps, apparently I should have reread this post from May:
more-thoughts-on-command control )
Markers. I used the little green dice to track hits again during this game and again they worked ok apart from their annoying habit of wandering away from their units or falling over to a wrong number. Some good quality tacky stuff could fix this except where there is no room on the bases. I was sorting out my various dice and marker containers today to take advantage of some improvements to my games room layout and had one of those "duhhh" moments. I like the psychological effect of the casualty caps but would prefer some less conspicuous rings. I'm also short on them when it comes to bigger battles. I have black ones that are just toooo HUGE to use except in emergency and I decided to shorten them to the same size as the red and white ones. I snipped a little ring off the end to shorten it and then noticed that that ring was just right. Fifteen minutes later I had no red or white casualty caps left but instead have three times as many small rings that are not nearly as overwhelming and stay put better. Only took me a couple of years.......