Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My Simple Rules

Here's a table long view of my two forces. Units of cavalry and infantry are all 6 bases strong. There are three infantry per base and one cavalry per base. Cavalry count as three infantry for casualty determination.
That is, it takes three "hits" to remove a base.
Artillery can only be destroyed if they are over run by the enemy.
Side A fires its cannon, all casualties are immediate.
Side A moves
Side A rolls its melee and fire dice.
Side B rolls any morale tests caused by casualties.
Side B fires its cannon, all casualties are immediate.
Side B moves
Side B rolls its melee and fire dice.
Side A rolls any morale tests caused by casualties.

These are the measuring devices used. They are copies of those used by the Tyne Tees television show 'Battleground!" hosted by Edward Woodward. Thankfully the Edgehill show is now free for all to see on Youtube. Peter Guilder figures and terrain and Callan himself hosting. The three colour dice is a block of balsa. Basically the roundshot sticks works as follows:
You place the base (the hinged end of the stick) in front of the firing gun and the other end over the target(s) you wish to hit. roll an ordinary 6 sided die. 5 or 6 means no adjustment. 1 through 4 means the device is moved right or left to match the rolled number. Then roll the three colour die. The colour shows which areas are capable of inflicting hits. Any figures covered are casualties. I mark the casualties with a dice that is placed next to the suffering unit. Once three hits are received, I remove a base and the marking dice.

Setting the Roundshot stick. The dice roll is good! A five, so no adjustment is needed.

In this example, the Roundshot stick is set and the dice roll is 4. The adjustment is made. The coloured die is rolled. If Blue is rolled in this instance, two figures would be casualties. As the unit already has 1 unit as a casualty (see the dice attached to the unit), one base would be removed and the white dice would be removed as well.

The cavalry movement stick. Pretty straightforward.

The casualties have started to add up.

The cavalry melee on the English right flank. The cavalry each roll one dice per base. 6's are hits.
All units must be in two ranks. Cavalry attack with three figures in the first rank. They roll three dice in a melee. Any casualties are replaced form the rear rank.
Infantry fight in units three wide and two deep. They give fire with two dice (one base is pikemen with no weapons), but they melee with three dice.
 In a game of this size, refinements such as heavy cavalry advantages, terrain etc are largely ignored by a soloist like me. Three hits remove a base. The English (at left) have suffered one casualty. Leaders have little role other than colour and that they can add one to a unit's morale test.
All units have a morale of 6 if they have 6 bases.
Once they aquire 3 hits and lose a base, their morale drops to 5 as they have only 5 bases.
They test morale by the roll of the dice. 5 and under they are OK. A 6 would be a failure of morale and the unit would turn tail and run. HOWEVER, a leader base can add ONE to a morale roll. In this case, raising the morale level from 5 to 6. Once a unit breaks and flees, it is gone for good.

A connundrum. Cannons can be blocked by their own troops. Any soldiers in the green zone are casualties, as are any in the appropriate coloured sections. In this case, the cannon can fire at the approaching cavalry on the right, but care must be taken so that a variation does not cause any friendly casualties.

More casualties.

The English foot begin their advance.

The casualties are adding up.

Odds and sods:
When a cavalry unit attacks an infantry unit, they attack the entire unit, even if they are only lined up against part of the infantry unit. A simplification borne out of DBA. Each base rolls 1 dice.
Giving Fire:
Infantry have two zones of fire, near and far. Far means that only a 6 is a hit. Near, 5 and 6 hit. Pistols only hit on a 6.
Cannister/grape. In the far section 5 or 6 hit, in the near section 4, 5, or 6 hit.

I think this is the meat and potatoes of my simple rules.
With smaller games and fewer figures greater variations can be introduced for heavy cavalry, experience etc., but a fun game can be had with "bang you're dead" rules as well.


  1. Except for the devices, your rule set looks vaguely similar to one I came up with 20-odd years ago. Unfortunately, I was mug enough (after a lot of soul searching) to switch to DBR, just before the bottom fell out of local interest in that commercial set.

    I like your colourful armies, and look forward to seeing more from them some time.

  2. Great use of those Giant figures, they give a nice "old school" feel to the army.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to look and the kind comments!
    I have more rule sets than sense.
    I've tried many of then briefly, but I always drift back to the simple RISK like Bang Yer Dead rules.
    As for the artillery devices, I also limit what targets can be fired upon.
    Priority is to massed infantry
    Secondary cavalry
    Third, any unit horse or foot that is "menacing" the gun. . Pretty loose qualification, but I have yet to argue with myself over it. Largely this comes from Volume 3 of Featherstone's "Wargames Through The Ages, volume 3".
    Also no artillery duels, certainly not in this period.

  4. I *think* I fixed the photos and made them "clickable". I went into edit, then left clicked each of the pictures and increased the size to Large or XLarge. It seems to have done the trick.

  5. I played the game over a couple days with interruptions taking me away several times. I played out 18 rounds. Overall the game was fun, but I had really good dice rolls for morale and so few units cracked when they probably should have. Adjusting the melee dice to be more lethal might be the cure. As for the rounds I played, the game would be a 6 hour affair if each round were 20 minutes of real time. The first few rounds were largely artillery fire.
    The list shows the hits inflicted on the enemy and the casualties each side caused the other in bases (1 horse = 1 base, 3 foot = 1 base).
    Round 1 English 8 hits French 12 hits
    Round 2 English 5 hits French 8 hits French cause 1 horse and 1 foot casualties
    Round 3 English 2 hits French 2 hits English cause 2 foot casualties
    Round 4 English 4 hits French 6 hits French cause 4 foot casualties
    Round 5 English miss French 5 hits French cause 2 horse casualties
    Round 6 English 4 hits French 6 hits English 2 foot, French 1 horse, 1 foot
    Round 7 English 5 hits French 7 hits English 3 horse,1 foot French 2 horse 2 foot
    Round 8 English 5 hits French 5 hits English 1 horse French 1 horse
    Round 9 English 5 hits French 3 hits English 1 foot French 1 horse
    Round 10 English 6 hits French 7 hits French 1 horse
    Round 11 English 2 hits French 4 hits English 1 horse 1 foot French 2 horse 1 foot
    Round 12 English 2 hits French 3 hits English 1 horse and 1 unit flee French 1 foot
    Round 13 English 8 hits French 7 hits English 2 horse 1 foot 2 units flee French 3 horse, 4 foot 1 unit flee
    Round 14 English 4 hits French 8 hits English 1 foot French 3 foot, 3 units flee
    Round 15 English 3 hits French 3 hits English 2 foot
    Round 16 English 5 hits French 3 hits French 2 horse
    Round 17 English 4 hits French 6 hits English 2 horse 1 foot French 2 horse 3 foot
    Round 18 Game called as English attack in center broken, A French victory
    As for casualties inflicted:
    English 72 hits caused 13 foot base casualties, 9 horse and broke 3 units. 12 unresolved casualties were still on the units left at the end of the game.
    French 95 hits caused 20 foot base casualties, 18 horse and broke 3 units. 21 unresolved casualties were still on the units left at the end of the game.
    Unresolved casualties- it takes 3 hits to remove a base, so these were 1's and 2's next to units on the field.

    A lot of dice rolling, but a decent game.
    Artillery is powerful, but the English blocked a lot of their own shots as they advanced. Being defensive, the French were able to bang away most of the game.
    Melees need to be made more decisive for a faster result.
    Morale remained very good throughout, and commanders adding their +1 to units did much to save the day.

  6. Math errors:
    English 63 hits caused 12 foot base casualties 9 horse and broke 3 units, 12 unresolved casualties.
    French 114 hits caused 18 foot base casualties 20 horse and broke 3 units, 21 unresolved casualties.

    The French inflicted almost 2 to 1 in hits, and the English inflicted a similar drubbing to the French cavalry.