EXERT 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

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Little More Featherstone Mr. MacDuff

Having had time to reflect on it, there will not be an "as close as possible to the original" 20th Anniversary Edition of MacDuff. Instead there will be a proper edition developed from the games played in 2014/15.  The type of scenario I want  to play hasn't changed but some of my ideas on mechanics  have. (Its not you, its me....)

More of this sort of thing is what I want.
(Game from last year)


One of the original concepts for MacDuff was that, like Lawford and Young's Charge!, there would be no separate reaction  tests  to determine how troops would respond to receiving casualties. If defeated in melee or below 1/2 strength you retreated. Of course I watered that down by allowing units to attempt to rally hits, essentially a delayed saving throw of sorts although I didn't see it that way but rather as a process of regrouping.

In 2014/15 I experimented successfully with replacing the rally rules by simple morale rules based on some of the ones in Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers. It worked game-wise and had roughly the same effect with much less time and effort.

I'm still thinking about it but something like this:

"Test if receiving at least 25% casualties from shooting.

4,5,6 Steady. Unit obeys orders
1,2,3 Wavering. Infantry halt in disorder and return fire if eligible, artillery is silenced for a turn, mounted cavalry retreat.
0 Rout. The unit breaks and is removed.

+1@ if Elite, joined by Commander,
-1 Militia
-2 @ Below 1/2 strength."

In the meantime the last 8 figures for the Rosmark Provincials are on my painting desk.

Archive footage from a MacDuff game from 2012.



4 comments:

  1. Are the tests made only if 25% casualties are suffered in THAT single fire, or does a unit always test (regardless of result) once they have passed the 25% point?

    I have been modding the one hour rules by Neil Thomas and have introduced a morale test following casualties taken that turn. But those rules are fire OR move, rather than fire AND move, so a retreat to the defender following a failed morale test can actually help them, because the effect is it breaks contact and forces the attacker to come on at them again ..... facing another hail of shot / bullets as they do. To deal with that, i have a unit that fails it's morale and retreats, suffers a further 2 casualties, so that there is a sting in the tail rather than a benefit to retreat.

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    1. The test will be if 25% are suffered in one turn but not necessarily from one enemy. A unit which fails will have to rally before advancing or firing at full effect.

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  2. Interesting morale rule that , will introduce it to my next 'Featherstonian' game , Tony

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    1. By all means. There may not be a full set of rules in BWMS but there are lots of good, useful bits throughout.

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