Thursday, 15 October 2015

Continuing to refine WW1 rules

Playing a WW1 game using a 6" gridded table meant I had to drop the variable movement and assault rules. As I quite like those aspects of the rules, after the game I decided not to progress further with migrating the rules to a grid system.
Game in progress using a gridded table

Reflecting on this little foray in to WW1 wargaming, the whole thing started backwards for me. Normally the steps are: 1) being inspired after reading a book, 2) looking for suitable miniatures, 3) paining models, and 4) searching or writing rule sets.

This time I started with finding my 30 year old painted Peter Laing WW1 miniatures and an interesting set of rules ("One Hour Wargames"). So finally, after a visit to the local library, I'm now reading more about the period with "The Western Front" by Richard Holmes. I'm halfway through the book and already I will be trying out rule changes with the introduction of a game clock and weather.

Game Clock
The game clock provides a better narrative to the game when planning and writing up the games in battle reports. A planning example could be:

6:30am - Attack starts with a 30 minute barrage and arrival of the assault's first wave.
7:20am - Wave 2 of the assault arrives
9:30am - Cavalry arrive as wave 3.

For the defence, reserves may be 3 hours away, so would arrive 3 hours after receiving orders.

The way the rule works is at the end of both player's turn an average dice (2,3,3,4,4,5) is rolled and the score multiplied by 10 for the minutes to be added to the game clock. If a 4 is rolled, then 40 minutes is added and the clock moves to 7:10am for turn two.

In turn 1 the defenders would have called for reserves, now due to arrive 10:10am. The assaulting waves cannot arrive until the clock is greater or equal to their expected arrival.

Often with reserves variability is created with rules such as, on 4+ dice roll reserves arrive as planned on turn 4. The game clock creates that variability along with a a more interesting narrative.

I know other rules use this approach. I recall one example the free WW2 rules "Tigers at Minsk".

At the present I'm using three weather types: rain, fog and mist. The likelihood based on the time of year.

Of the three rain lasts all day, and fog and mist last for 3 hours from sunrise on the game clock.

  • Rain effects visibility, movement and supply difficulty
  • Fog effects visibility
  • Mist effect visibility to a lesser extent.

At present both these rules are scribbles on paper which I need to write up and update my rules.

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