Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Whaddiyah Get When You Cross A...

Work is now well under way on organizing, painting and basing my 4cm Elastolin Romans. First up, they needed a mounted General to command in the field.

Comes Imonsey Magnus and Tribune Jehanus  

I didn't actually have one, or even a spare cavalryman but I did have 2 commanders on foot and a very Heroic Horse from one of my Norman knights. A bit of scrounging turned up a volunteer Saxon knight to provide legs. Not bad but the pointing thing was, well, ok, but then I noticed that his scabbard was empty. Right! A few minutes later I had a spare Elastolin arm with sword from, well, I'm  not sure which kit it was from, I don't seem to be missing one. A little chopping, gluing  (gotta love hard plastic), pinning, puttying and painting and  tada! It belatedly occurred to me that it might have been useful to paint him to match my commander on foot so that I could have had foot and mounted versions of the character like I do for the Prince. Oh well. I'm intending the Romans for massed battles anyway.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Re-Gathering of Hosts

When a month went by without me being able to talk myself into playing another game or even painting or basing any figures for this high priority project I knew I had a problem. I decided to review my objectives and revisit the rules once again since I really wasn't sure where they were headed. Uncertainty is the death of enthusiasm.

Inside the walls of Nulpartium the anxious garrison watches a vital convoy under assault.

The primary goal was something new which would be suitable for a convention setting where there would be 6 or 8 players, each with up to a dozen units, who would be given a 5 minute briefing and a QRS and then thrown into battle. Past experience tells me that this can work, even with novice gamers, if the rules are simple and clear. A quick review confirmed my suspicion that I had been wandering away from straight forward.

A secondary goal was to develop something that a gamer in the 70's might have cobbled together bssed on published rules with the provisio that it had to work with single unit stands regardless of the number of figures. That pretty much left me working with Morschauser's Shock Period rules despite my own experience back then all being WRG and Featherstone. I'm sure there are other possible sources of inspiration but I'd as soon work with what I am already familiar with.

The last couple of drafts had wandered so far from Morschauser's rules that the inspiration was no longer recognizable. I got out my copy and started over.

A replay of the ol' wagon train. Romans under attack by Germanic allies of the Huns.
The first thing I did was to review the very bloody melee rules to look at the odds and whether converting the both die result to a tie would help or if there was at least a way to use his factors and simplicity. I managed the last two by turning the melee rating into the number of dice to be rolled and using his shooting dice scores for melee as well.

Next I ditched all the excess fidgety bits I had added about formations and low level tactics. I also ditched the new sequence of play and went back to move and/or shoot on your turn with a joint melee phase at the end. I kept the initiative roll since I like it and it goes back at least as far as Featherstone.
Just when all looked bleak with Barbarians amidst the Bullocks, the Tribune sacrificed himself to save the last wagon. By a freak of the dice the Barbarian chieftain was slain on the farside of the hill at the same time. When the dust settled both armies were shaken and could no longer shoot or attack. Only the city garrison was unaffected, including the unit of cavalry which had ridden out to save the convoy. One cart has been ransacked, another was abandoned when the driver panicked but can now be rescued while the 3rd was indeed saved by the Tribune since the Huns, who were about to slay the driver and pillage it, also panicked when their Chieftain fell.
The end result of this was a cracking little Wagon Train game that had me on the edge of my seat  until the whole thing was upturned and reversed at the last minute. I am stoked now to get back to painting and basing and to play some more games.

The Version 7 draft is now posted click here  or use the link to the left.