My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Time for a change

Wow! No blog post since March. Shame on me!

Believe it or not, I have played a game or two since then, I just haven't been good in documenting it.

DB-AWI: I actually played a long game (20 turns) of it right after the last blog post. As I was playing it solo, and could keep the game set up, it was actually played over the course of several months. With it lasting 20 turns, I needed it to stay set up.

Maybe it was the game that took so long to go to conclusion. Maybe it was that the seeming "sameness" to the games despite the scenarios. I don't know. But I sort of lost interest. Also somewhere along the way I decided the game was more complex than it needed to be. I bought Hordes of the Things (HOTT) and saw people turn historical armies into fantasy ones and liked some of the ideas. I also re-read HOTT Lead (French & Indian War using HOTT) and Hordes in the Trenches (World War I using HOTT) and started to better understand the beauty of simplicity.

So, that is where I am: converting DB-AWI to HOTT. That means throwing away the Elite, Regular, and Militia concepts, order, and other ideas. I will probably keep the Commander as a separate element (a Rider?).

So what went wrong with the original rules?

Too many factors: I knew them by heart, but no one else did.

Too many modifiers: They made sense, of a sort, but added little to the game. It made the game too tactical perhaps.

Multiple basing: It was possible to have a unit represented three ways - close order (4 figures), loose order (3 figures), and open order (2 figures). Okay that is only nine figures, but it got away from the "low figure count" rule of thumb for DBA. Just because I had a lot of AWI figures did not mean anyone else would want to do the same thing.

Some Ideas

The close combat oriented infantry (shock infantry, such as Guards, Fusiliers, Highlanders, Grenadiers, and early Light Infantry) would be Blades for Elites; the Regulars (French, British, German, and Loyalist) would be Spears. The Continentals would be Spears with the Elites (e.g. Marylanders and Delawares in the Southern campaign) as Blades to simulate that the Continentals were trying to fight European style. All of these would be four figures to a base. (I wince at thinking of all the rebasing to be done.)

For interest, the Rifles, Jagers, etc. can be shooters. I would still use fewer figures to represent them, however. In some cases, these units can also be Lurkers. No reason to change the basing.

The cavalry would be Riders and mounted infantry would be Beasts, perhaps. Over the Mountain Men would definitely be beasts. :) Artillery, of course, would be artillery.

Militia, for the most part, would be Hordes. The ability of Hordes to "come back from the dead" is actually a good way to represent their falling back and sometimes re-engaging (such as at Cowpens).

I am still stuck on Commanders and Generals, however. Some would obviously be Heroes, but for the non-heroic ones (such as Gates) I am not sure if I should represent them as Riders (mounted staff) or as Blades (infantry escort).

I need to give it a try - even before I remount - and see how I like it. Tell me what you think (if there is anyone left out there).

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").