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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Six Sided Squares: Test of Battle

Yes, Yes I know, geometrically speaking, squares cannot have 6 sides, however functionally these ones do since they share boundaries with 6 other squares and to cut to the chase, they worked like a charm!

The Governor General's Bodyguard and Foot Guards rushing forward for their first taste of battle!
The scenario was "Melee" from Thomas's One Hour Wargames. Essentially Red is trying to hold a vital hill while both armies rush reinforcements to the battle.

The battle rages as reinforcements continue to arrive.
By and large I was quite satisfied with how the rules had worked for the action at Brioche but rather than use them with a few tweaks for the offset squares I wanted to try out some alternate ideas.  In essence it was a case of not  yet being fully convinced that  some of the changes adopted in the last two years were really the best approach for this campaign setting. 

Basically there were three main issues:
  • a) Should I go back to rolling for "orders" with an order being required for a group of units to move rather than only testing to allow isolated or leaderless units to move? 
  • b) Should some form of regimental integrity be included and should I revert to having companies losing combat capability as they take hits, or stick with having them fight at full effect until destroyed with the only attrition effect being at a higher level as gaps appear in the line? 
  • c) Should I revert to having more dice per unit, allowing for quicker, more dramatic not say drastic combat results?
Turn 6 of 15, Both sides are fully on table and Red is feeling pretty comfortable.
I decided to try the alternate possibilities and by game's end decided that the rules used in the last game were better in every respect and will be reinstated with adjustments for arc of fire etc. That includes reducing units back to 1 die for firing and 2 for melee, having units fight at full effect until removed, reverting to 3 figure cavalry and sharpshooter infantry units, ignoring any role for 2 figure half company bases other than showing road columns, and allowing all groups with a Commander attached to move automatically. The attrition matter will be handled by my well tested method of having companies grouped into "Brigades" with a Commander and allowing these Brigades to become 'exhausted' by unit losses and thus unable to shoot or advance towards the enemy. The "army" will only be exhausted when all of the brigades are exhausted.  

Case closed.

Several turns later and Red is not happy at all! With General and gun captured and cavalry repulsed, things were looking shaky although a spectacular round of fire has shattered Blue's infantry on the plain.
I've got a pretty good idea about how I want to work the matters of facing and arcs of fire but putting it in writing and having it make sense to others is going to be a challenge.  There may need to be diagrams and I'll probably break a few conventions.

Turn 12 and a combined counter attack by the  Governor General's Bodyguard and the 5th Royal Scots has consolidated Red's control of the hill and broken Blue's morale.
So for this week, Papal Zouaves, basing, a written copy of the rules and another game.

Well, one needs to push oneself a little now and then!

A moment of glory and satisfying debut for Major Denison and the Governor General's Bodyguard.


12 comments:

  1. Ross,
    An interesting application of rules variants - a good win to RED...like the photos. Cheers. KEV.

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  2. Looks as though you have found what you're looking for!

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    1. So far so good. I was happy enough with the hexes I drew on in June 2011 but cutting modular hex hills defeated me. Square ones, I can handle!

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  3. Off-set squares presumably work like hexes(?)It looks very good anyway. The GG's Cavalry look splendid.

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    1. They seem to do more or less the same thing though I'm sure there are subtle differences which escape me. I am pretty happy with how the cavalry turned after taking 19 years to get dressed.

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    2. The effect is the same as stretching the hexagons 'across the grain' of the board. Probably barely noticeable once you're all set up.

      When the idea of 'rectangular hexagons' first occurred to me (in about 1990-1) offset square didn't occur to me at all, my idea fixed upon equal physical distances at each 60-degree angle from a point. Hence my 'offset oblongs' (I called it the 'stretcher bond' system).

      To my everlasting shame and regret, that was as far as I got with it: a campaign map that I never used.

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  4. Looking forward to the Papal Zouaves. One of the poses of the "B" series Britain's I missed out on was a running Fusilier that looked like the running Guard figure. Seeing your figures is like pouring salt on that fresh wound!

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    1. If I could shrink him I would. I'm amazed that you've managed to find as many B series as you have.

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