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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

More Angles

I decided to add a few more units then take more picturesto help clarify the options and effects in my mind.

The "Face an Angle or Edge" option.
This looks the closest to what a non-gridded version would look although there wouldn't be what look like gaps in the battle line if there was no grid. At least only the units on the ends of the battle line have a flank in the air.

The "Face an Edge only option".
With the edge only option I tried various times to arrange the Batleline so that each unit in both armies could cover it's neighbour's flank but was unable to do so except by proposing slightly more complex rules about when one could start relative to an enemy and move to contact a flank.

I didn't  pursue the "face two directions" options  because the possibilities depend on the basing used whereas I wish the rules to work the same way regardless of how the units are based.

So, the next step will involve laying out options for moving along the diagonal considering that a unit in line will have to pass through one or both of the intervening adjacent orthagonal squares to reach the diagonally adjacent one and rules regarding splitting fire.

Hopefully some sort of game will result tomorrow.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Ross,
    When using your gridded sustem, does a unit have to stay squared off to the four sides of the space? Can a unit take a 45 degree turn in the square say to bring fire or even to charge? If a unit wishes to move into the square immediately to its left or right does it need to change facing to do so or do you allow a simple shuffle move either to the right or left. It would seem that facing changes are the only way to permit more than one unit to charge a single unit or to mass fire on an enemy. Similarly can artillery fire along a diagonal or must it always fire to the front facing only?
    Jerry

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    1. erry. The answer to the first question is what is being debated with the leaning being to maintain my current practice which allows a unit to face either a corner or an edge.

      The answer to the 2nd and third depends on the game. I generally allow more flexibility in late 19thC/early 20thC Colonial games where a unit is a company armed with breechloaders or magazine rifles than I do in earlier 19th C games where units are battalions in close order with muzzle loaders. In either case I try to partially rely on arcs of fire on the grid to cover part of that since the player is technically not micromanaging individual units.

      Massing fire can be done using overlapping fire arcs and/or by concentrating units to attack it on two grid sides.

      All units use a ninety degree arc centred straight ahead (ie 45 degrees either side of straight ahead) This assumes that the unit is probably adjusting its facing slightly without this being shown on the table. This allows a unit with a reasonable range to fire from the left diagonal across to the right diagonal if facing a side or from the left face across to the right face if facing a corner.

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  2. 'This looks the closest to what a non-gridded version would look although there wouldn't be what look like gaps in the battle line if there was no grid.'

    Since emulating a non-gridded game seems to be of concern, maybe give up the grid. You don't seem to be dealing with vast armies where a grid would streamline things enough to make up for the compromises it requires. I've seen you ponder movement, ranges and basing schemes in order to accommodate your grid. And that's once you've decided on a grid size.

    Maybe return to free-form(?) games for a bit to see if your answers are there.

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    1. Stu, that was my plan but it quickly hit my main issue: I'm 1/2 blind ! A combination of age related and a life time issue means I can't read a ruler or tape if it is either close or far away . My solution to that was brightly coloured measuring sticks in 3" increments but I managed to lose 3 of them plus 2 rulers in 20 minutes in the last game. Found them all during clean up here and there in plain sight. It is a sad and aggravating thing!

      I'm now considering whether or not I can use the table grid for measuring only.

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  3. Ross Mac,

    An interesting series of blog entries.

    My own preference is to always have my units facing towards the face of the grid area rather than the corner ... but I can see the argument in favour of allowing units to face the corners of grid areas as well as their faces.

    Good luck with your experiments.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Bob, its is tempting to have another go at a homemade hex cloth as the extra two directions make a huge difference but it is a tricky business!

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