Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Incident on the border: The battle for the bridge

Turn 4
The Maldacian Artillery Batteries were still too far away from the nearest Lauranian Units to open fire on them, but the Lauranian Artillery Battery was able to engage the central column of the Maldacian force. It targeted the hex occupied by the second Infantry Unit in the column. The Lauranians threw a 6, which meant that the Infantry Unit was hit; a further D6 die score of 4 ensured that it was destroyed!

D6 dice were again thrown by both sides to determine who would move first this turn. The Maldacians threw a 4 and the Lauranians threw a 3, and as a result the Maldacians therefore moved first yet again.

The leading Infantry Unit of the central column stormed across the bridge and engaged the Lauranian Border Guards who were protecting it. Both sides threw a D6 die; the Maldacians scored 2 and the Lauranians scored 5. As both Infantry Units had to score 5 or less to destroy the other, both Units were destroyed!

At the same time one of the Maldacian Infantry Units on their left flank reached the river and attempted to wade across it, but they only made it as far as the middle.

The Lauranians reacted to this by moving the Gatling Gun Battery up to the river’s edge, and firing at the Maldacian Infantry unit that was in the river. Both sides threw a D6 die; the Lauranians scored 4 and the Maldacians scored 6. Because the Gatling Gun Battery had to score 6 or less to destroy the Infantry Unit and the Infantry Unit had to score 5 or less to destroy the Gatling Gun Battery, the result was the destruction of the Maldacian Infantry Unit.

In addition to this move, the Lauranian commander moved all of his Infantry Units towards the village but not off the hill, as he felt that this still gave him an advantage.

Turn 5
The Maldacian Artillery Batteries were now able to engage the Lauranian Gatling Gun Battery, and both Maldacian Batteries targeted the hex it was in. The first Battery threw a 1, which meant that its shells had missed the hex; the second D6 die they threw was another 1, which indicated that the shell had gone over its target and hit an empty hex. The second battery then threw a 4, and its shells also missed the target hex. Its second D6 die score of 5 meant that the shells actually landed in the river, and were rather too close to one of their own Infantry Units!

The Lauranian Artillery Battery replied and targeted the hex occupied by the Maldacian commander! Their D6 die score of 2 meant that they missed the target hex, but the second D6 die that they threw was also a 2, so that the Battery’s shells hit the hex occupied by one of the right-hand Maldacian Infantry Units. When the third D6 die was thrown, its score of 2 determined that the Maldacian Infantry unit was destroyed!

D6 dice were thrown yet again by both sides to determine who would move first this turn. The Maldacians threw a 5 and the Lauranians threw a 6, with the result that the Lauranians moved first.

The Lauranian commander now decided to commit his Infantry Battalion to the battle, and it advanced downhill and into the village.

The Maldacians responded by falling back. Their commander realised that in order to fulfil his orders he would have to take further casualties, and as his force had already lost over 40% of its Infantry Units, it was becoming increasingly obvious that success would be bought at too high a price … especially as the two countries were not actually in a state of war! He would make this clear in the secret report he would write to the Minister of War … along with a long memo about the need for more training by the Artillery.

Conclusions
The rules as adapted for use with my Heroscape hexes work well, although I think that Infantry Units should be able to fight each other at slightly longer ranges. I have seen this in adaptations of the ‘Frontier’ wargames rules for both the Napoleonic and American Civil War periods, and this would be a logical next step for me to take in developing my version of the rules.

I do like the Artillery rules, and this play-test showed how well they can work. However, I think that the definition of what is and is not ‘Artillery’ would be necessary if I were to develop the ‘Frontier’ rules for later historical periods. For example, tank guns would not be classed as ‘Artillery’ whereas mortars might be.

It gives me something to think about for the next few weeks … if and when I get the time!

14 comments:

  1. Hi Bob, Great report.

    I wonder if replacing "artillery" with "indirect fire" might make things clearer with respect to the tank guns and mortars which you mention?

    regards
    Steve

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  2. That looks interesting. I am surprised by the simplicity of the rules, but that is not a bad thing.

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  3. Great report -- it looks like rules work really nicely and give a fun game!

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  4. Steve,

    I am glad that you liked the report.

    The problem with your suggestion is that some 'Artillery' would be able to undertake direct and indirect fire (e.g. field guns); perhaps I would need to word it 'Any direct fire weapons [except ...] may not fire during the Artillery Fire phase of the Turn Sequence.'

    Thanks for the suggestion,

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Dale,

    The rules have the simplicity and flexibility of other sets of rules (e.g. DBA, HOTT) but I find them easier to use because of the grid. They are not going to suit everyone ... but I do like them!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Chris,

    As you will gather from the report, it was a nice battle to fight, and this made it easy to write a report about it.

    The rules have a simplicity that means that after just a couple of moves it is possible to remember them without having to keep looking at the text. This means that you can get on with the game; you are end up fighting a battle with toy soldiers, not with the text in the rule book!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Hi Bob

    I take your point, but I think this is an opportunity to add an extra command decision for the playerto consider. A fielfd gun may fire "indirectly" with the risk of inaccuracy but the certainty of getting a shot in at the start of the game turn. Alternatively the gun may (if a target presents) fire "directly" during the action phase of the gae turn with the certainty of accuracy BUT the risk of his side losing the initiative and the gun being overrun...

    You would just need to mark guns that had fired indirectly.

    Perhaps "bombardment" would be a more apt description?

    Looking forward to your progress whichever way you go.

    cheers
    Steve

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  8. Steve,

    'Bombardment' is exactly the term I need to use! Many thanks for the idea!

    Any weapon used to 'bombard' the enemy would fire in the 'Bombardment' phase (formerly the 'Artillery' phase); any weapon firing in a 'direct fire' mode would fire during the normal 'Combat' phase. Very simple, very effective ... and very easy to remember!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Hi Bob,

    Great report as ever and the terrain looked really nice. I assume the building are from your Continental souvenier collection?

    I am thinking that the rules would be ideal for use with the Balkans stuff and also the hordes of Peter Laing I have. These figures will fit very nicely on the Heroscape hexes.

    The 'Bombardment' and direct fire issue is a very sound one and should work really well. Perhaps an allowance in respect of accuracy for pre ranged indirect fire e.g. well established defensive positions, might be an idea although this may be a complexity too far...;-)

    All the best,

    Ogre

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  10. Ogrefencer,

    You are right about the buildings; I bought them in Croatia last year.

    The rules would be ideal for the Balkan Wars ... once they have had a few tweaks. As you say, there needs to be some allowance for fortifications in the rules, but that should not be to difficult to include; it could be done in the same way that indirect fire is dealt with or by reducing the battle power of the firing Unit by a factor of 1 or 2.

    I do like the 'bombardment' idea; it makes sense, is easy to understand, and is simple (like all the best ideas!). Top marks to Steve for coming up with it!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Hi Bob,

    I just wanted to comment on the whole 'battle report' thing and say how much I liked it. Will you be doing many more of these sorts of posts in the future?

    All the best,
    Craig

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  12. CWT,

    Thanks for your very kind comments about my latest battle report.

    I certainly hope to do some more in the near future, assuming that I have enough time to stage a wargame. I am currently working on improving the rules I used, and I them intend to play-test them ... Which should generate another battle report.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. Bob, you probably have invested a fair amount of time already in creating some mythical countries to fight in/over, but I thought I woudl direct your attention to a ready-made detailed fictional subcontinent:

    http://paxsims.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/looking-for-a-simulated-country/

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  14. Itmurnau,

    Thanks for the link. I had a look at the website and bookmarked it as I thought that it might be useful in future.

    All the best,

    Bob

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