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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Porting Myself to Halifax

On Wednesday I made the trek cross province to Ron's for a Sudan game. When I arrived I discovered that he had laid out the example Colonial game from Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame but with British instead of Egyptian troops on the Imperial side.

The second game nears the end. Mostly 25mm Ral Partha with a handful of Minifigs apart from some Airfix Camel Jockeys and my Scruby Arab cavalry.
We played the game twice. First time around we played straight up and realized we had both made mistakes about how the Strength Points work. I had read the Sudden Death option first which has a 50℅ exhaustion rate and missed that the basic or Roster system had a 30% loss exhaustion point. We had both missed that the book makes no reference to the strength point value of units lost but just a loss of strength points. This means that an army can be exhausted without losing a single unit which rather makes reserves less valuable. A look at the example was of no help since in the last turn, the Egyptians dropped below to 30% mark whether counting the SP's of destroyed units or just the percentage of overall SP's.

In any event it took about nearly two hours before I ground down the British to their exhaustion point and managed it by only using my gun and the muskets of my cavalry and better infantry. With a string of spearmen across the table behind a line of hills the exhausted British had  no option but to retreat. The outcome was never in doubt.

We reset the table and played again using sudden death. Since the number of figures per unit was irrelevant we beefed them up to look better. This game took a bit less than an hour but it was exciting/nerve wracking and involved some hard thinking. Until about the second to last turn the outcome hung in the balance and only some favourable luck saved the faithful, inspiring three units of poor troops to retreat rather than be destroyed and blinded the infidels' sight so that two successive artillery shots needing 2 or better to hit, missed! A double move then allowed the venerable Airfix tribe to exploit  a gap  to make a flank attack and things started to slide for the British.

That second game was the sort of fun game that makes you want to reset and play again but it was time to head home.

6 comments:

  1. I have similar hex terrain but never thought of the idea making hills that way,so simple and so effective.
    Alan

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    1. Tradgardmastare (Alan),

      If I hadn't invested money in buying the 'proper' Hexon II hills, this is what I would have done. The figures don't slide off, the hill contours are easier to see, and they are easier to store.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Alan, Ron normal covers the whole table with a rolling terrain with multi level hills and slopes thar can often cover a dozen hexes with complex line of sight issues to consider but he wanted to copy Bob's map as closely as possible and have a flat too for the single figures to stand on rather than the bumpy hilltop option.

      It wasn't as pretty but I have to admit that it was very practical.

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  2. Ross Mac,

    It sounds as if you both had an enjoyable couple of battles.

    I originally had a running total for each side's SP in the battle report, but took it out as I thought that it upset the flow of the text. Perhaps I should have left it in.

    The 'sudden death' option does seem to produce more exciting and fun battles, especially the more units one has on the tabletop. I tend to swing backwards and forwards between using it rather than the roster/hit marker system, but usually the choice depends upon how much time I have available.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    Replies
    1. Our next gane will probably see double the units but I am going to try to talk him into trying my 2 hit sudden death variant which will allow players to refuse one retreat result if they so choose and allow players to sometimes pullback damaged units.

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    2. Ross Mac,

      I think that the 'double hit' option is a great halfway between the 'sudden death' and roster/hit marker system, and I will probably include it in my follow up book ... with suitable attribution.

      All the best,

      Bob

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