The picture below shows where the crack appeared: the Human-Dwarven (HD) Knights charged into the HE battle line, each side lost a Knightly unit, and the game was over, 10-6 in favor of the Human-Dwarven side. (I seem to have lost the picture where I lost the ninth HE casualty...)
Here was the battlefield at the end of the game (click to enlarge).
I really liked using this method. So you have a few stacks of colored tokens around; it is not really messy and it makes for a happy medium between full control over every unit every turn, and the more random nature card draws.
So, what would I change? For starters, I was using a single leader with a Leadership Rating equal to the Command Rating. I did that for simplicity for the initial test; I think a Leadership Rating of 6 is way too high. Rather, I envision:
- Using more leaders per side, each with a lower rating (2 or 3 is right; a 4 would be an exceptional leader).
- Close proximity to a leader takes fewer orders than if the unit is far away.
- Possibly special tactical abilities for leaders. (Something to explore as the system gets refined.)
The first question would be how to differentiate between "in close proximity of the leader" and not. The Battle of Westeros rules indicate that within two hexes of the leader unit another unit can be ordered as part of the leader's tactical card. As I am not (yet) using tactical cards, something similar might be that you can use a token to order the leader, and additional units can be ordered without using additional tokens.
For example, if the Elven leader - a Blue Cavalry unit - has a Leadership Rating of three, then for one Blue (or Purple) token, the leader and two other units (of any color) could be ordered. This would certainly encourage the use of leaders, for starters, and would amply show the price to be paid for ordering units scattered all over the board.
So, in the end, does all of this add to the game? I think so. I get to use my hexes (or hex mats), which I love because they regulate all measurements and don't reduce free-form games to micro-measurements (and the attendant arguments). I get to have larger board with more varied terrain (multiple elevation levels, for example). I can use much larger armies, and they allow my DBA miniatures to pull double duty. I still have resource management choices to make, although it is questionable that moving from cards to dice have made my games more or less dependent on chance. I feel like I have more control, but not too much. Pretty much just what I was looking for.
I look forward to trying this out again, especially against another player.