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, August 12, 2018

They'd never expect me to try that again......

This is, I think, my third try at trying to mesh a gridded game where "a unit is a unit is a unit" and small matters of formation and the like are "below the grain" with an Old School approach where the figures matter, players can play with formations etc., and you count noses when resolving combat. The final conclusion in each case is that it can be done but the resulting game is not as good as either style of game on its own.

Note the new street barricades to indicate that the town block is prepared for defence.

The hybrid game actually worked OK but it was quickly obvious that to make it work, I would need to make the rules much more detailed and do custom made terrain, and, more importantly, counter to my intention, the added detail was a distraction from the General's POV rather than being a "fun" addition.

Game 3 getting under way with hybrid rules.

So, I paused the game, put the rules back more or less to the War of 1812 version used for the 2016 New Year's Eve game and then modernized them in that spirit, keeping a few innovations from the Great War rules. Then I resumed the game with the renewed Square Brigadier.

The Gentlemen Pensioners support Fort Henry guard just before the break.For some reason it wasn't a good day for sharp pictures. 
That worked well which was no surprise and I enjoyed the simpler game more, partly because it was quicker and easier, but mostly because I was freed from that attention to the minor details of  how the units were trying to carry out their orders and could focus on directing the army.

At the end of  turn 12 out of 15. Red has captured one bridge and is about to attack the other from both sides leaving the Zouaves still holding on in their original post. "To the Last Round!" However, Blue has now lost 6 out of 9 units and has to concede.  
Its a relief to put this question to bed at last. If I get another urge to adapt an Old School game to the grid, I can fit 24 man ACW regiments or 18 figure semi-flat SYW units in my 6" grid squares and break out Featherstone or Charge!, just converting movement and ranges to numbers of grid squares. I could also just skip the grid anytime I want but the fact that it doesn't happen very often is significant.

Anyway, what I to do now is to cast and paint more units for both armies!

6 comments:

  1. There is always merit in learning that an idea dose NOT work well, so that you can focus on what does! :-)

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    1. Agreed. It is sometimes a bit of a shock when you finally succeed only to realize that you have now lost the desire to do that after all.

      Luckily that's a good thing to recognize .

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  2. And casting/painting inspiration can come from the strangest places.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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  3. I'm always found C&C decisions most fun at a high level. I like command friction, but not unit micro-management ( that's what subordinates are for ;) ). Interesting to hear you're moving towards simpler mechanics - is it for similar reasons?

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    1. I used to enjoy doing both but also enjoyed games that lasted 3,4,or more hours and Old School tactical details and absolute army command was where I started so seemed natural.

      Now, I want to have the game to be simple,fast (2-3 hours max), and decisive' Luckily, I am now happy to imagine the low level tactics without playing them out.

      My favourite friction is a multi-player game but I don't like many of the dozen or so random command friction mechanisms I have tried. DBA is the best of the lot since a good general can minimize the danger if he has the strength of mind while a poor one will leave himself open to disaster but it is hard, though possible, to translate it to complex scenarios and variable force levels with a high decree of success. Too many systems encourage one in a thousand events to happen frequently so that infamous events like the Charge of the Brigade or Sackville's refusal to charge at Minden become everyday events.

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