Several times I have toyed with the idea of breaking all the usual "how to play using a grid" conventions. I hadn't really pursued it but a comment from Stu got me thinking about it again since all I really wanted was a way to measure without faffing about with my bevy of evasive measuring sticks.
What I really needed to do was get away from the 1 unit, 1 grid area maxim. HERESY!
|Turn 1. The game begins. Blue is deployed along a ridge line with orders to stop Red's from advancing. There are two roads leading off Blue's baseline. Victory requires controlling both roads at the end of 15 turns or breaking the other army.|
Well, I'm tired of rebasing and reorganizing want the option to have a full length game with historical Orders of Battle when I want to go there.
|Turn 3. Opposing skirmishers clash over a grove between the line. The Grey's have some initial luck despite the 1:2 odds but then pay for it having bought a tiny bit of time.|
So, I decided to let the bases sizes and units sizes be what they are and treat Units as Units regardless of how many grid squares they covered as long as they maintain a proper formation. Range and arc of fire would be determined stand by stand just like it would be off grid except that it is done by consulting the grid instead of a ruler. Movement is the same idea, no stand can move farther than its allowance. So when a line changes direction for example, one end has to move less than its allowance or the other end won't be able to move around, things naturally happen the way they happen.
Apart from that the rules used were basically the latest draft-in-theory of Hearts of Tin, which is the rules set that the Square Brigadier was based on. I don't have a version written up as played to share yet but will have in a week or two.
|Turn 4. Red deploys under artillery fire.|
General Scott commanded the Blue (Oberhilse) troops consisting of:
Blue Dragoons: 1 Squadron (2 stands) shock cavalry
Rifles: 2 companies each of 2 stands
1st Brigade: Brigadier Wavey. 4th Infantry (3 stands), 1st Volunteers (3 stands), 1 field gun.
2nd Brigade: Brigadier St. John. Lafayette County Volunteers (3 stands), 2nd Volunteers (3 stands), Origawn Militia 1 stand, Bangor Rifles (2 stands), Mountain Howitzer.
23 stands. Break Point: 13 stands or Commanders lost.
Princess Charlotte Dragoons: 4 stands.
Advance. Brigadier Green. Victoria Rifles. 2 companies ea of 2 stands.
1st Brigade. Brigadier Spye. Royal Fusiliers 4 Elite stands, Royal Veterans: 4 stands.
2nd Brigade. Brigadier Stone. Green Tigers (3 stands), Young Buffs (3 stands), Belmont Fusiliers (3 stands)
Artillery: A Battery RFFA 2 field guns.
27 stands. Army Morale: 14 stands & Commanders lost.
So did it work? By GUM! it did, just as I pictured it. The engagement was roughly the size of many of War of 1812 battles so fits there yet still leaves me room to add a few more units. (One of my issues with my Square Brigadier version was that I already had too many figures).
It took about 3 hours to play not counting set up which is about right. Sometimes a quick game is good but I have both Square Brigadier and Portable Wargame options for a quick game but was starting to run short of afternoon or evening length games and a series of short games is not the same.
In addition it had the feel I wanted without needing to fuss with my disappearing rulers. This confirms my conclusion after my last Square Brigadier and Portable Wargame games that the subdivided 6" squares are best, easiest option for my table but doesn't require compromises on organization and basing for my 1812 and mid-19thC Atlantica games.
It does mean I need to get back to work on finishing hills that fit the grid and on making some of the subdivision markings clearer.
Was it perfect? No, some judgement was occasional required where the grid wasn't clear or during occasional manoeuvres, such trying to track the farthest distance travelled when a unit in line changed front by less than 45 degrees, but nothing too difficult, especial when playing with an agreeable opponent like myself.