Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A day doing odd jobs ... and finding something that had been 'lost'

After spending most of yesterday sorting out the contents of my father's house so that we can begin the process of selling it, I have spent today doing all sorts of odd jobs that needed doing, but that had not been done before because I had just not got around to doing them.

Besides shredding a very large pile of redundant personal documents, I have removed a dead Fuchsia bush, repaired the wiring in a faulty electrical extension cable, made the usual end-of-the-month visit to the bank, done a pile of filing for my business, prepared the documentation that I will need for my personal online Income Tax Self Assessment, and begun work on tidying my toy room/wargames room. The latter is something that I try to do at least once each year, and each time that I do it, I find something that I had forgotten about. Today was no exception.

Today's find was a large box of photographs that I took before the advent of digital cameras. Amongst them were some photographs of the battle that Tim Gow, Chris Willey and I fought using Chris Kemp's NOT QUITE MECHANISED rules, and which led to the eventual development of MEGABLITZ.



The battle pitted a large Russian force of tanks and mechanised infantry against a very thin line of Finnish defenders ... who – if my memory serves me correctly – managed to stop the Russian advance.

I also found some photographs taken some years ago at the Conference of Wargamers. I am unsure of the years when they were taken, but some of the 'young' men whose faces appear in them are somewhat older now!

Waiting for a plenary session to start.

Deep thought.

Will he notice if I do it whilst he isn't looking?

Well someone is obviously enjoying themselves ...

Why did I ever decide to put this session on? I have even had to write my own name on a label so I can remember who I am!

Monday, 30 May 2011

The portable wargame: Latest draft uploaded to the website

I have just uploaded the latest draft of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules to THE PORTABLE WARGAME WEBSITE.

I have also added another entry to the 'Additional Rules' webpage, and the webpage now includes two additional rules that have been devised by other people. These included Ross Mac and Ron Porter's rule regarding 'Elite Units' and littlejohn's rule about 'Forming Squares'.

These 'Additional Rules' are fully compatible with the existing draft of the late nineteenth century version of the rules, and are included so that players who wish to use them may do so should they so desire.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Getting things done ...

I awoke feeling a bit better this morning, but after a similar start to the day yesterday I was a bit wary about trying to do too much ... and then promptly forgot that good intention!

This morning was taken up with a variety of small but important regular end-of-the-month tasks (e.g. paying bills) and a quick read through of the latest draft of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. I made a few minor adjustments, and I hope to have them available to be downloaded from THE PORTABLE WARGAME WEBSITE sometime tomorrow.

The main changes are:
  • The Close Combat Power of Infantry (Rifles), Infantry (Other Firearms) and Machine Guns has been reduced to 4.
  • Light Field Artillery has been renamed Light Field/Mountain Artillery.
  • All notes have been numbered using Roman numerals and placed in separate paragraphs within the text of the rules.
  • A rule has been added to the Unit Activation and Turn Sequence sections that states that 'A Unit may turn up to 60 degrees in order to fire at an enemy Unit; this turn does not count as a move for the purposes of Unit activation but the act of firing does.' The first sentence of this rule has been repeated in both the Artillery Fire and Non-Artillery Fire sections.
  • The following note has been added to all the rules that determine Fire Effect: ''Pinned’ Units reduce their Fire Effect D6 die scores by 1.' An explanatory sentence has been added to the Pinning paragraphs in the Special Rules section.
  • New – and hopefully improved – Arcs of Fire diagrams have been added to Appendix 2.
My wife and I then visited my father just before lunch. We were joined by one of my nephews, and after leaving my father to enjoy his Sunday roast, we went to a very nice Italian restaurant for a late lunch.

After dropping my nephew off at a tube station so that he could return to his University Halls of Residence, my wife and I returned home. Later in the day we went out for a drink with some friends, but this was curtailed somewhat because by then I was beginning to feel very tired and my headache had returned, and one of our friends was also feeling somewhat unwell.

All-in-all, it was a busy day, and I will be off to bed very soon, feeling somewhat better than I did at this time yesterday. I hope that a good night's sleep will see me fully recovered by tomorrow as it also looks like it is going to be a rather busy day.

I cannot wait to retire so that I can put my feet up and have a rest ... but somehow I don't think that that is going to happen!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Just when I thought I was better ...

I felt a lot better when I woke up this morning, and was well enough to write several blog entries before I took the latest issue of THE NUGGET to the printers. I even managed to do some work on revising the latest draft of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules.

My wife and I drove down to Herne Bay to see my father-in-law later in the morning, had some lunch on the way, and arrived at his bungalow at about 2.00pm. We stayed with him for a couple of hours, and stopped off on the way back to do some shopping at a supermarket just outside Whitstable.

It was just after we got back to the car that I suddenly began to feel my temperature rise, and my headache returned along with the feeling of nausea. I managed to drive home ... just ... but my plans to set up a play-test of my rules this evening have had to be put on hold.

I hope that this is just the final stages of the bug I have had for the past few days finally getting itself out of my system. I have too much to do this week to be ill ... and I am determined to fight at least one wargame at some point during the next eight days!

Nugget 245

The latest issue of THE NUGGET (N245) was emailed to me by the editor last night, and I hope to take it to the printers this morning. It is my intention to collect it next by Friday, and get it sent out in the post by Saturday morning at the latest so that it will with members of Wargame Developments by early June.

I will make the PDF versions of THE NUGGET and THE NUGGET COLOUR SUPPLEMENT available for all members to download from the Wargame Developments website as soon as I can after THE NUGGET has been put into the post.

The portable wargame: Even more arms-length play-tests!

Ross Mac has really got the bit between his teeth with regard to using and play-testing my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. Over the past few days he has fought two more battles with the rules, one set during the Russian Civil War and the other during the first half of the nineteenth century.

As usual his feedback has been very helpful, and I hope to make a few minor changes to the rules in the light of his comments. Once they have been made, I will make the latest draft of the rules available via THE PORTABLE WARGAME WEBSITE.

Polemos: A breakthrough?

I had one bit of good news yesterday; I received a message from Dr David Charles Ballinger Griffith's great granddaughter about POLEMOS!

It appears that she saw my blog entries about POLEMOS, read about my attempts to find out more information about Dr Griffith, and decided to get in contact with me. Furthermore, she informed me that she has an incomplete copy of the game, including the rules, which she is looking after for her cousin!

She has very kindly agreed to send me scans of the rules at soon as she can, and once she has I hope to be able to transcribe them. I will then see it it will be possible to recreate the game so that it can be demonstrated to a wider public at some time in the future.

Thank God for the iPad and WiFi!

As regular readers will have noticed, I have not blogged for the past two days. This was due to my coming down with a very unpleasant stomach bug that basically laid me low for forty eight hours.

During that time I have not been able to concentrate too well, and sitting at my keyboard trying to type and focus on the screen made my headache worse. However, my iPad (plus my home WiFi system) made it possible for me to keep up to date with what has been happening in the world from the comfort of my bed and my favourite armchair.

I am now feeling much better, although I am still a bit wary about what I eat and drink. The headache and stomach ache have almost disappeared, as has the feeling of nausea. I still have some muscle pain, but that is also gradually diminishing. With a bit of luck I will feel well enough to visit my father-in-law later today, and to see my father tomorrow. I might even feel up to staging my long-awaited play-test of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The portable wargame: Questions from Ross Mac

Despite my best intentions, I have yet to mount any play-tests of the latest draft of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. Ross Mac has, and when I got home this evening he had sent me a very interesting email that posed several questions that needed to be answered. As a result, I have had to give serious thought to the possibility of making some further minor changes and clarifications to the rules.

I know that there are some people who will not like what appears to be my inability to actually get this set of rules to a state where they are to all intents and purposes finished (and I include myself amongst them!), but if a play-test shows that there is something that needs to be changed, then changed it must be.

I hope to make the necessary changes at some time over the weekend so that during next week – which is half-term – I might actually manage to mount some play-tests of my own. In the meantime, if anyone else has any questions about the rules, please send me an email and I will attempt to answer it as well as I am able.

The origins of Cordeguay

When I was thinking about a name for my South American FUNNY LITTLE WARS imagi-nation, I remembered using the name Cordeguay many years ago, and so I decided to reuse it.

Its derivation is quite obvious. My surname is Cordery, and there are several countries in South American that end in '-guay', so it made sense to call my imagi-nation Cordeguay. Imagine my horror, therefore, when I discovered that someone else had also used the same name for a South American country. It appears that the country is featured in one of the Net Force Explorers books, THE ULTIMATE ESCAPE (No.4) by Tom Clancy and Steve Pieczenik.

Now I cannot prove that I came up with the name before either Tom Clancy or Steve Pieczenik, but I hope that neither of them will be offended if I continue to use it.

And I thought that cyclists were bad ...

I was on my way home this evening when I saw something that made me realise that there were far worse dangers on the roads than bad cyclists ... drunken drivers of disabled scooters!

I had reached the centre of Greenwich, and needed to turn right so that I could avoid the dreadful one-way system and drive through Greenwich Park. I indicated, got into the turn right lane, and was about to turn right when I was overtaken – on the wrong side of the road – by an electric disabled scooter! It turned across the on-coming traffic – which had to stop – and drove across a pedestrian crossing that was full of what seemed to be foreign school children. The latter scattered out of the way of the 'vehicle', but even with my car windows shut I could hear the 'driver' shouting expletives at them!

He then proceeded to drive a little further up the road – keeping his 'vehicle' in the middle of it – until he was forced to stop by a speed bump that he could not get his 'vehicle' over.

By this time I had turned and was following him up the road. I was amazed to see him get off his 'vehicle' and – somewhat unsteadily – pull it up and over the speed bump. This was accompanied by further expletives, most of which were prefixed by the 'f' word. He then remounted, and continued on his way, shouting abuse at all and sundry as he did.

At this point I turned left and the last I saw of him he was driving erratically up the hill towards Blackheath.

Cyclist will never, ever seem to be quite such bad drivers again.

Conversations in cars

Last night I went out for dinner with some other members of the international fraternal organisation that I belong to. It was the end of our ‘year’ (this runs from September to May) and we always mark it with an informal meal in a restaurant. On this occasion we ate in a newly-opened Turkish restaurant, and although the service was rather slow, the food – and company – was excellent.

I gave a lift to one of the other members who also happens to be a wargamer, and on the drive to and from the meal we had a chance to talk about the various projects that we have on the go. He had a fairly good knowledge of what I am currently working on – he reads my blog quite frequently – and I knew from the pages of THE NUGGET that he was working on a set of rules of refighting battles of the American War of Independence. He was able to fill me in on the latest developments and we also discussed the various merits of COMMANDS & COLORS: ANCIENTS of which he is the proud owner of the basic and all the expansion sets. He also gave me some useful background to some of the forthcoming games that will be fought by the ‘Jockey's Fields Irregulars’ (an informal group of wargamers who try to meet once a month in London; we are both members, but I have not been able to go along to the most recent sessions).

Conversations like this are always extremely useful to me, especially as I am not a member of an established wargames club that meets regularly. They give me the opportunity to bounce ideas off someone else before I put pen to paper (or – more accurately – fingers to keyboard).

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Four wheels good, two wheels bad?*

I am about to upset any of my regular blog readers who are cyclists.

This morning I have witnessed some classic examples of bad driving(?) behaviour by cyclists. It started during my drive through Greenwich Park on my way to work. There is a speed limit of 20mph for ALL vehicles … and yet I was overtaken (and undertaken) by more than ten cyclists whilst I proceeded through the Park! One of the cyclists even rode his bicycle the wrong way through the exit gates so that he could overtake a car.

At the next junction, I indicated my intention to turn left. I stopped at the ‘Stop’ line and waited until it was safe to proceed … but as I began to turn left I was undertaken on the left by two cyclists who were travelling at some speed and who had no intention of stopping! They then cut in front of me … and turned right, causing me to have to make an emergency stop!

At the next set of traffic lights, three cyclists rode straight through red lights, oblivious to the fact that they were breaking the law … but the final incident was, in fact, the most annoying of them all. I stopped at a pedestrian crossing to let someone cross the road … only to have a cyclist who had been behind me undertake me on the left, ride across the pedestrian crossing, and proceed the wrong way up a one-way street! What was particularly galling was the fact that this particular cyclist was wearing a camera on her cycling helmet. These were introduced at the behest of several cycling organisations to record examples of bad driving … by car drivers!

Not all the cyclists I see are ‘bad’, but there does appear to be a direct relationship between the cyclist’s gender (and the amount of specialist ‘kit’ that they have) and how safe they are.

Every morning I see the same female cyclist riding to work on her bicycle. It is an old fashioned one, with a wicker basket of the front. She wears a safety helmet, always stops at traffic lights when they are red, and indicates her intentions to change lanes or turn.

I also see a male cyclist almost every morning. He has a lightweight racing bicycle, Lycra shorts and top, special cycling shoes, and a top-of-the-range cycling helmet. He also undertakes cars, exceeds the speed limit, changes lane without indicating his intention to do so, never indicates his intention to turn left or right, and shouts and swears at motorists and pedestrians who get in his way.

I know which of the two I think the safer cyclist is.

* This is a reference to "four legs good, two legs bad," which is a quote from George Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM where animals (four legs) are good, and humans (two legs) are bad.

Monday, 23 May 2011

The portable wargame website: New webpage added

I have just added the first new webpage to THE PORTABLE WARGAME WEBSITE.

The new page is devoted to additional rules that can be used with the basic rules, and the first rule to be added is littlejohn's 'Forming Squares' rule.

A variety of different hexes ... compared

After writing yesterday's blog entry, I decided that I would compare the various different hexed terrain that I have available. I used four 15mm-scale World War II US Army infantry figures manufactured by Essex Miniatures to give me some idea of the relative size of the hexed terrain that I have. I also measured each hex from face to face.

The first two I looked at were from MEMOIR '44 and BARBAROSSA 1941. The former has 5.25cm hexes and the latter 6cm hexes.

I then compared the two hexed terrain boards that came with my early and later editions of BATTLE CRY! In both cases the hexes were 5.5cm from face to face.

My final comparison was between my Hexon II and HEROSCAPE™ hexed terrain systems. The Hexon II measures 10cm from face to face, and the HEROSCAPE™ hexes were 4cm across.

I therefore have quite a variety of different hex sizes that I can use for my play-tests, and I suspect that the scale of the figures that I use will determine which of the hex sizes I will choose to use.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

A variety of different hexes

The recent play-test of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules by littlejohn, coupled with a comment made by arthur1815, made my think about the number of different hexed terrain 'systems' that I own. Littlejohn used the hexed board from his copy of COMMANDS & COLORS: NAPOLEONIC for his play-test, and I have a very similar set of hexed boards in my copies of Richard Borg's BATTLE CRY! (both the original and the latest edition), MEMOIR '44 and Zvezda's BARBAROSSA 1941. I also have a large collection of Hexon II hexed terrain in a variety of different coloured flocks as well as an even larger collection of HEROSCAPE™ hexed terrain.

The upshot of this is that I now realise that I can lay on play-tests of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules using a variety of different sized hexes, depending upon the amount of time and space that I have available.

No excuse now not to run some play-tests ... except for lack of time, of course!

The portable wargame ... gets its own website!

I have been pondering how to make copies of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules available to anyone who would like to download them. In the end – after several false starts – I decided to create a website that would link to downloadable copies of the rules. The website is called THE PORTABLE WARGAME WEBSITE, and at the moment it has copies of the latest draft of the late nineteenth century version of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules available to download in both Word 2003 and PDF formats.

It is my intention to add further information including any additional rules that are developed by me and by other wargamers.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

My Funny Little Wars Army: You can never have too many wagons!

I spent most of the day visiting my relatives. This involved a visit to Herne Bay, Kent, and whilst I was there I was able to purchase another couple of cheap packs of Cowboys and Indians. As a result, I now have four wagons for my FUNNY LITTLE WARS army.

As someone once said, 'You can never have too many wagons!' ... or was that lorries?

The portable wargame: Improving the rules

In the light of various feedback I have had from littlejohn, Ross Mac, and others, I have spent some time this morning changing certain aspects of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. The changes can be summarised as follows:
  • Making all footnotes part of the main body of the rules
  • Italicising any notes and examples that now form part of the text of the rules.
  • Reducing the Close Combat Power of Infantry, Cavalry, and Machine Guns by 1.
  • Adding a new Unit Type, Infantry (Rifles), with a Weapon Range of 3 hexes.
  • Amending the existing Infantry (Firearms) Unit Type so that it is now called Infantry (Other Firearms).
  • Adding a new section that contains rules relating to the Command Units. These now give the Command Units a supportive role in Close and Fire Combat.
  • Clarifying the situation regarding whether or not Command Units are counted as part of an army for the purposes of calculating the number of Activation Dice that the player commanding that army can throw.
  • Clarifying the arcs of fire by adding suitable diagrams in a new Appendix to the rules.
  • Ensuring that the Fire Effects of Artillery and Non-Artillery Units are the same, thus removing an existing anomaly whereby Artillery firing directly at targets that are two or less hexes away could not miss.
  • Generally tidying up the text of the rules in the hope of making them easier to understand.
I intend to make this draft of the rules available sometime later today or tomorrow morning. As it is now quite a lengthy document, I will not publish it as a blog entry but as a PDF that will be downloadable from a webpage.

Friday, 20 May 2011

The portable wargame: Yet another arms-length play-test!

This morning's batch of comments about yesterday's blog entry that described littlejohn's play-test of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules brought news that he had fought a second play-test. This time he re-fought an historical scenario, the Battle of Quatre-Bras.

Having read his battle report, I was very pleased to note that the result was realistic, the battle took about an hour, and, most importantly, he had fun!

He did make a comment about the need to find a use for the Command Unit (other than being a target that tried to keep well away from the enemy!), and it made me think about one of the options that I had considered adding to the rules; namely, that if the Command Unit is in an adjacent hex to another Unit (or Units), it improves their fighting ability by increasing their Close Combat values by 1 or by adding 1 to any firing dice scores.

Something to think about, especially for battles fought during the early part of the nineteenth century and for Colonial battles of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In both cases, Commanders played a much more 'hands on' front-line role.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The portable wargame: Another arms-length play-test

Much to my surprise ... and pleasure ... someone else ran a play-test of the latest draft of the PORTABLE WARGAME rules yesterday.

On this occasion, littlejohn (the writer of the 'Lead Gardens' blog) fought a Napoleonic battle with the rules, and other than adding a very simple rule that allowed Infantry to form square when approached by Cavalry, he used the rules 'as is', and seems to have had a great game!

It is nice to read that other people are both using my PORTABLE WARGAME rules and finding that they can tweak them to suit slightly different historical periods. After the day at work that I have had, this is the sort of news that gladdens my heart!

Just when I thought that nothing else could go wrong at work ...

I only have thirty six days left ... and I thought that by now I would be able to begin winding down ... but every time I think that, something else happens!

Today the NSS reared its ugly head again! Almost all of the work done by the students has been revised, re-written, and undergone considerable change ... and I have been assessing and re-assessing each piece at every twist and turn of the process.

As a result, the work is complete; it is also a complete mess ... and I have been tasked with sorting it out ... by 4.00pm! This does not just mean making sure that it is all in the right order; if that was the case, the work would take me a matter of minutes. What I have to do is to sort the work out into the correct order, renumber all the pages in that order, check that the correct annotations for the assessment criteria have been made, and fill in the four page record sheet for each student. The latter involves cross-referencing the assessment criteria to the pages that contain the evidence for those criteria.

Simple ... and very time-consuming. My last class ends at 2.15pm, which means that I will have about ninety minutes to do about five hours work.

It has been another great day in the world of education ... but as I wrote at the beginning of this blog entry, I now only have thirty six days to go. Roll on 15th July!

PS. If you are wondering why I am spending time writing this blog entry and not actually starting this onerous task, the answer is very simple; I am still waiting for the last few pieces of work to be printed off by the students, after which I should be able to start.

The portable wargame: An arms-length play-test

Good old Ross Mac! Yesterday I sent him a copy of the latest draft of the PORTABLE WARGAME rules as amended for use with hexes ... and within a matter of hours he and his friend Ron had set up a battle where they play-tested the rules!

To read Ross Mac's battle report, visit his blog 'Battle Game of the Month'.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

A quick thanks to ...

Just a quick 'thank you' to two regular blog readers who spotted some typos in the most recent draft of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. The mistakes have now been rectified, but if anyone spots any more, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me.

The portable wargame: Draft of the nineteenth century version of the rules for hexes

The Portable Wargame Rules
For use with a battlefield marked with a grid of hexes
By Bob Cordery
Based on Joseph Morschauser’s original ideas

Equipment:
The following equipment is needed to fight battles with these rules:
1. A gridded battlefield that is marked with a grid that is at least eight hexes by eight hexes;
2. Items of terrain;
3. Two armies organised into Units. Each Unit should be mounted so that it can fit within one of the hexes on the gridded battlefield. Unless re-fighting an actual battle or one from an on-going wargame campaign, the armies should not contain more Units than the number of hexes along the side of the battlefield that the army is defending multiplied by 1½ (e.g. a battlefield has eight hexes along each of its sides; therefore the maximum number of Units the army can have is 8 x 1½ = 12 Units). One of the Units may be a Command Unit;
4. A set of at least eight Activation Dice; (See Appendix 1)
5. A set of ‘pin’ markers to indicate Units that have been ‘pinned’;
6. Two D6 dice (one for each player).

Terrain:
Each item of terrain – such as woods, built-up areas, or hills – must fit within the bounds of a hex on the gridded battlefield and should, if the terrain is passable to troops, allow a Unit to be placed in the hex.
The placement of a piece of terrain in a hex indicates that entire hex is filled by that type of terrain (e.g. a tree in a hex indicates that the entire hex is wooded; a building in a hex indicates that the entire hex is a built-up area).
Where pieces of terrain are larger than an individual hex (e.g. a hill) they must be sized in multiples of hexes (e.g. two hexes, three hexes, or six hexes) and be marked in hexes in the same way as the gridded battlefield.

Unit Types:
Infantry (Firearms)
a. Movement: 1 hex
b. Close Combat Power: 5
c. Weapon Range: 2 hexes

Infantry (Close Combat Weapons)
a. Movement: 1 hex
b. Close Combat Power: 4
c. Weapon Range: -

Mounted Cavalry
a. Movement: 2 hexes
b. Close Combat Power: 5
c. Weapon Range: -

Machine Guns
a. Movement: 1 hex
b. Close Combat Power: 6
c. Weapon Range: 3 hexes

Light Field Artillery
a. Movement: 1 hex
b. Close Combat Power: 1
c. Weapon Range: 4 hexes

Field Artillery
a. Movement: 1 hex
b. Close Combat Power: 1
c. Weapon Range: 6 hexes

Fortress/Siege Artillery
a. Movement: -
b. Close Combat Power: 1
c. Weapon Range: 10 hexes

Command
a. Movement: 2 hexes
b. Close Combat Power: 5
c. Weapon Range: -

Notes on Unit Types:
No Unit’s Close Combat Power may drop below 1 regardless of other rules.
Artillery Units may not move during a turn in which they have fired.
Dismounted Cavalry Units move and fight as if they are Infantry Units but their Close Combat Power is reduced by 1 whilst they are dismounted.
Infantry and Cavalry Units may move forward to replace an enemy Unit after it has been successfully attacked and destroyed by Close Combat; other Units may not move forward in these circumstances.

Activation Dice:
The number of Activation Dice a player may throw each turn to activate Units in their army is determined using the following formulae:
a. For European armies: One activation dice for the Command Unit plus one activation dice for every three Units in the army rounded up (e.g. A player commanding a European army of eight Units will throw four activation dice; one for the Command Unit and three for the remaining Units).
b. For Native armies: One activation dice for the Commander Unit plus one activation dice for every three Units in the army rounded down (e.g. A player commanding a Native army of eight Units will throw three activation dice; one for the Command Unit and two for the remaining Units).
As a player’s army loses Units, the number of activation dice the player may throw will decrease in line with these formulae (e.g. If a player commanding a European army loses their Command Unit, they immediately lose an activation dice; they will also lose an activation dice every time the number of non-Command Units in their army is reduced to a number that is evenly divisible by three).

Unit Activation:
The Activation Dice determine how many Units each army may activate during a turn.
When activated, a Unit may move or fire or be ‘unpinned’. (See Note 1)
The only exception to this rule are Native Infantry and Cavalry Units which may make a double-length move if the player commanding them decides to use two of their Unit activations to do so. For example, a player commanding a Native army may use four activations to:
a. Move four Native Infantry Units one hex each or
b. Move one Native Infantry Unit a double-length move (i.e. two hexes) and two Native Infantry Units one hex each or
c. Move two Native Infantry Units a double-length move each (i.e. two hexes)

Pre-battle Deployment:
For ‘one off’ battles, each side must deploy its army within its deployment zone. These are the first two rows of hexes on the opposing sides of the gridded battlefield.
For campaign battles, each side may deploy its army within its half of the gridded battlefield, subject the rule that no Unit may start the battle in a hex that is adjacent to one occupied by an enemy Unit.

Turn Sequence:
1. Any Artillery Unit that is within range may fire. Because artillery fire is deemed to be simultaneous, casualties are removed after all artillery fire has taken place.
2. Both sides roll a D6 die to see which side will activate its Units first. The side with the highest score activates its Units first this turn and then:
2a. Throws its Activation Dice to determine how many Units it may activate this turn.
2b. Selects the Units they are going to activate, and activates each of them in turn. (See Notes 1 and 2) When activated, a Unit may move or fire or be ‘unpinned’. (See Note 1)
2c. Any Close Combats are resolved and casualties are removed.
2d. Once the first side has activated all the Units it may activate, the second side may activate its Units and follow the procedure laid down in 2a, 2b, and 2c.
3. Once both sides have activated their Units, the turn has ended and the next may begin.

Artillery Fire:
Artillery fire is simultaneous; therefore if an Artillery Unit is destroyed it may still fire that turn before it is removed.
Artillery Units may only fire once each turn, and if they fire, they may not be activated during the same turn, although they may be ‘unpinned’.
Artillery Units may fire if they are ‘pinned’.
All artillery fire ranges are measured through the sides of hexes and not through the corners of hexes.
Artillery Units fire within an arc of fire that is 120 degrees forward of the direction in which they are facing (i.e. in an arc sweeping from one 60 degree diagonal line of hexes to the other).
Artillery fire can destroy any type of ground Unit.
Artillery Units can fire into woods, built-up areas, and fortifications.
Artillery Units can fire out of woods, built-up areas, and fortifications if they are in a hex that is on the edge of the woods, built-up areas, or fortifications (i.e. the adjacent hex in the direction they are firing does not contain woods, built-up areas, or fortifications).
If an entire Unit can be seen by an Artillery Unit that is firing at it, the artillery fire is direct fire; if an entire Unit cannot be seen or it is in cover (e.g. woods, built-up areas, and fortifications), the artillery fire is indirect fire.
Artillery firing at targets that are two or less hexes away
If the range from the Artillery Unit that is firing at a nominated target hex is two hexes or less, any Unit in that hex is hit.
A D6 die is then rolled to determine the effectiveness of the artillery fire upon the Unit that is in the hex in which the artillery fire has landed.
a. Direct artillery fire – 5 or 6: Destroys a Unit; Any other score: Pins a Unit
b. Indirect artillery fire – 6: Destroys a Unit; 4 or 5: Pins a Unit; Any other score: No effect
Artillery firing at targets that are three or more hexes away
If the range from the Artillery Unit that is firing at a nominated target hex is three of more hexes, a D6 die is thrown:
a. Die score = 5 or 6: Artillery fire lands on the target hex.
b. Die score = 3 or 4: Artillery fire lands in the hex immediately in front of the target hex. (See Note 3)
c. Die score = 1 or 2: Artillery fire lands in the hex immediately behind the target hex.
If there is a Unit in the hex that the artillery fire lands in, that Unit is hit.
A D6 die is then rolled to determine the effectiveness of the artillery fire upon the Unit that is in the hex in which the artillery fire has landed.
a. Direct artillery fire – 5 or 6: Destroys a Unit; Any other score: Pins a Unit
b. Indirect artillery fire – 6: Destroys a Unit; 4 or 5: Pins a Unit; Any other score: No effect

Movement:
A Unit may only move once each turn and then only if it has been activated and:
a. It has not fired or
b. It is not ‘pinned’. (see Note 1)
All movement is made and measured through the sides of hexes and not through the corners of hexes.
A Unit may change its direction of movement any number of times during its move.
A Unit may move through hexes that are:
a. Occupied by friendly Units;
b. Adjacent to the flank or rear of an enemy Unit.
A Unit may not end its move in the same hex as another Unit.
A Unit must stop as soon as it enters a hex that is adjacent to the front, flank or rear of enemy Unit, and both Units turn to face each other at once.
If a Unit is being faced by an enemy Unit that is in an adjacent hex and the Unit has not yet been activated and moved this turn, it may move providing that:
a. It is one of the Units chosen to be activated and moved this turn and
b. It does not move into a hex that is adjacent to the front of another enemy Unit.

Non-Artillery Fire:
Non-Artillery Units may fire once each turn if they have not moved.
Non-Artillery Units may fire if they are ‘pinned’.
All non-artillery fire ranges are measured through the sides of hexes and not through the corners of hexes.
All non-Artillery Units fire within an arc of fire that is 120 degrees forward of the direction in which they are facing (i.e. in an arc sweeping from one 60 degree diagonal line of hexes to the other).
Non-Artillery Units can fire out of woods, built-up areas, and fortifications if they are in a hex that is on the edge of the woods, built-up areas, or fortifications (i.e. the adjacent hex in the direction they are firing does not contain woods, built-up areas, or fortifications).
If an entire Unit can be seen by a non-Artillery Unit that is firing at it, the target Unit is in the open; if an entire Unit cannot be seen or it is in cover (e.g. woods, built-up areas, and fortifications), the target Unit is in cover.
A D6 die is rolled for each non-Artillery Unit that is firing.
a. Target is in the open – 5 or 6: Destroys a Unit; 2, 3, or 4: Pins a Unit; 1: No effect
b. Target is in cover – 6: Destroys a Unit; 4 or 5: Pins a Unit; Any other score: No effect

Close Combat:
Close Combats are fought if, after a side’s Units have been activated and moved, a Unit is being faced by an enemy Unit that is in an adjacent hex.
Units do not need to be activated to take part in a Close Combat.
If several Units move into hexes that are adjacent to an enemy Unit, the enemy Unit is turned to face the last Unit that moved into contact with it. This last Unit is deemed to be the attacking Unit for the purposes of resolving a Close Combat, and its Close Combat Power is used when the outcome of the Close Combat is determined. If the attacking Unit loses the ensuing Close Combat, it is the Unit that is destroyed and removed.
When several Units attack a single enemy Unit, the defending Unit’s Close Combat Power is reduced:
a. 2 attacking Units reduce the defending Unit’s Close Combat Power by 1;
b. 3 attacking Units reduce the defending Unit’s Close Combat Power by 2;
c. 4 attacking Units reduce the defending Unit’s Close Combat Power by 3.
This rule is subject to the proviso that no Unit’s Close Combat Power may drop below 1.
To determine the outcome of a Close Combat, each side throws a D6 die:
a. If the attacker’s dice score is equal to or is less than its Close Combat Power, the defending Unit is destroyed and removed at once; If the attacker’s dice score is greater than its Close Combat Power, the defending Unit survives the Close Combat. (Notes: If the attacking Unit is an Infantry or Cavalry Unit it may move into the now empty hex. If this results in the attacking Unit coming into contact with another enemy Unit, it may not attack the enemy Unit this turn.)
b. If the defender’s dice score is equal to or is less than its Close Combat Power, the attacking Unit is destroyed and removed at once; If the defender’s dice score is greater than its Close Combat Power, the attacking Unit survives the Close Combat. (Notes: The defending Unit may not move into the now empty hex.)
a. If one Unit is destroyed, the surviving Unit or Units have won the Close Combat.
b. If neither Unit is destroyed, the Close Combat ends as a draw. The attacking Unit must withdraw into an adjacent empty hex that is not adjacent to a hex occupied by an enemy Unit. If it is unable to do so, it is destroyed.
c. If both Units are destroyed, the Close Combat has resulted in mutual annihilation.

Special Rules:
Pinning
With the exception of Regular European Cavalry Units, when a Unit is ‘pinned’ is stops where it is and may not move until it is ‘unpinned’.
Whilst ‘pinned’, the Unit is deemed to be under cover, even if it is in the open. This reflects that fact that it has ‘gone to ground’.
Regular European Cavalry Units do not stop when they are ‘pinned’; they move towards the nearest enemy Unit at the earliest opportunity (i.e. as soon as it is their side’s turn to activate Units), and will continue to do so until they are ‘unpinned’.
This reflects the fact that Regular European Cavalry Units tend towards ‘flight to the front’ when they come under fire rather than seeking cover.

Hills
A Unit that is attacking an enemy Unit that is above it reduces its Close Combat Power by 1.

Roads:
Each hex of movement made along a road by a Unit uses up only half a hex of movement.
If a Unit moves along a road and then off the road during the same turn (or vice versa), any unused half-hexes of movement are lost.
For movement, built-up areas count as roads.

Rivers:
Rivers may only be crossed by bridge or at a shallow spot (ford).
Units that enter river hexes where there is no bridge or a shallow spot (ford) are destroyed.
When crossing a shallow spot (ford) in a river, a Unit moves into the river on turn A and stops. It remains in the river for turn B, and it then moves again on turn C.
Units that are fording rivers (i.e. are in turn B of the above sequence) may not fire.
A Unit that is in a river hex and is attacking an enemy Unit that is in an adjacent hex reduces its Close Combat Power by 1.

Woods:
Units attacking enemy Units that are in woods reduce their Close Combat Power by 1, even if the attacking Unit is also in the woods.

Built-up Areas and Fortifications:
Units attacking enemy Units that are in built-up areas or fortifications reduce their Close Combat Power by 2, even if the attacking Unit is also in the built-up area or fortification.

Appendix 1: Activation Dice
The Activation Dice are D6 dice with the faces marked as follows:
a. One face marked with ‘0’;
b. Two faces marked with ‘1’;
c. Two faces marked with ‘2’;
d. One face marked with ‘3’.
In the absence of a set of such dice, players could use ordinary D6 dice, each score being divided by two and rounded down:
a. 1 = 0;
b. 2 = 1;
c. 3 = 1;
d. 4 = 2;
e. 5 = 2;
f. 6 = 3.
It is important to note that, when using ordinary D6 dice as Activation Dice, the dice scores are not aggregated before being divided by two; each die’s score must be separately divided by two and then the resultant scores are aggregated to determine how many Units a player may move.

Appendix 2: Front, Rear, and Flank
The front, flank, and rear of a Unit is determined by the direction it is facing in relationship to the sides or corners of the hex it is in.

Notes:
1. Any Artillery Units that have fired at the beginning of this turn may not move this turn but they may be ‘unpinned’.
Regular European Cavalry Units that are ‘pinned’ at the beginning of a turn must either be ‘unpinned’ or move towards the nearest enemy Unit.
If a player chooses not to try to ‘unpin’ a ‘pinned’ Regular European cavalry Unit, the automatic movement towards the nearest enemy Unit does not count as an activation.

2. This decision to ‘unpin’ or not to ‘unpin’ a ‘pinned’ Regular European Cavalry Unit takes priority over all other decisions about activations and must be completed before any other activation takes place.

3. In cases where there are two hexes immediately in front of or behind the target hex, the odd number indicates the left-hand hex and the even number the right-hand hex.

The portable wargame: Converting the rules for hexes

For personal reasons I am not at work today, and as a result I had a bit of spare time to look at how easy it might be to convert my PORTABLE WARGAME rules for use with hexes rather than squares. In the end, it turned out to be even easier than I expected.

The easiest part was replacing every reference to squares into one that referred to hexes. The next step was to go through the rules and amend them so that they would work with hexes rather than with squares. Other than removing any references to measuring movement distances and weapon ranges orthogonally, and to squares that were orthogonally adjacent to other squares, this was quite a simple exercise ... and in my opinion actually made the rules easier to understand. The final step was to add a simple appendix that included a diagram that showed which faces of a hex a Unit was in were that Unit's front, flank, and rear.

The rules are currently untested, but I now have the bit between my teeth and would hope to see how they work a some point next weekend or during the following week. In the meantime, I will try to make the rules available online as soon as I have enough time to do it.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Face-to-face vs. Emails

This bog entry has nothing whatsoever to do with wargaming but ...

I have just come from the usual Tuesday Staff 'Briefing' (only seven more to go!), and whilst I was sat there listening to the long list of 'pronouncements' from the Senior Management Team it struck me that I seemed to be in a world where things were rather topsy-turvy.

Why is it that management always wants to tell you things face-to-face that they could send you as an email ... but send you an email when it is something that should really be said face-to-face?

Monday, 16 May 2011

The portable wargame: A version for hexes?

I have recently received an interesting question; is it possible to use my PORTABLE WARGAME rules on hexes in place of squares?

In theory, the answer is yes ... and in some ways it might make the rules easier for some people to use (no measuring ranges and movement orthogonally, for example). If I get the opportunity, I will see what changes will need to be made to make a hexed version work, but at the moment my priorities are to make sure that the current version of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules work and to sort out my FUNNY LITTLE WARS army.

Mind you, it is an interesting problem to solve ... and I love solving problems!

The portable wargame: The final tweaks (I hope!)

I have just read and re-read the latest draft of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules, and have tried to make the section that deals with the reaction of Regular European Cavalry Units to being 'pinned' as proof as possible against the machinations of wargames rules lawyers.

Basically, if a Regular European Cavalry Unit is 'pinned', it does not go to ground like other Units; it moves towards the enemy at the earliest opportunity ... and will continue to do so until it is 'unpinned'. This is to reflect that fact the during the latter part of the nineteenth century and earliest part of the twentieth century, Regular European Cavalry tended to experience 'flight to the front' when it came under fire.

The difficulty with the rules was to ensure that this happened. My solution was to make players decide at the beginning of their part of the turn sequence whether or not to attempt to 'unpin' a 'pinned' Regular European Cavalry Unit. If they decide to 'unpin' the 'pinned' Regular European Cavalry Unit, this is counted as one of their activations; if they decide not to 'unpin' the 'pinned' Regular European Cavalry Unit, the Unit is moved towards the nearest enemy Unit before anything else is done but this is not counted as one of their activations.

In theory, this seems to work, but until I have had the opportunity to play-test the rules again, I will not know if does or not.

My Funny Little Wars army: Artillery

This evening, as I was packing away the Britains Deetail toy soldiers that Ross Mac kindly sent me all the way from Canada, I decide to see what some of may artillery looked like with crews.

The first 'experiment' used one of my Britains 4.7-inch Naval Guns (the gun has a shortened barrel and is crewed by some rather large metal American Civil War Union figures from Ross Mac's collection) and a Crescent 18-pounder Field Gun (crewed by some equally large American Civil War Confederate metal figures and a Britains Deetail flag-less flag-bearer. The results were ... interesting.

The metal figures look quite all right alongside the Naval Gun ... but they rather dwarf the Field Gun.

Next I tried a conventional 4.7-inch Naval Gun with the Union figures and the short-barrelled 4,7-inch Naval Gun with the Confederate figures.

In this instance the figures looked in scale with the cannon.

So what have I learned? That the larger figures can be used to crew the larger artillery pieces ... and that I need some smaller figures to crew my Field Guns.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A very busy weekend

Most of this weekend seems to have gone by in a blur. Yesterday was mainly taken up with visiting my father-in-law in Herne Bay, Kent, doing his shopping, and trying to sort his finances out for him. The latter was not easy as he has a habit of storing his bank statements in all sorts of odd places in his house, and not just in the simple 'Home File' that we gave to him for exactly that purpose.

Today was devoted to visiting my father, whose 85th Birthday it is on Tuesday. His dementia is now at a stage where he knows that something is wrong, but cannot express the way he feels. As a result he seems to switch from depression to anger to frustration and back again on an almost minute by minute basis. He seems unable to find any kind of inner peace, and repeatedly says that he wishes that he was dead. I try to do my best to raise his spirits, but my efforts always seem to have little or no effect.

Despite all of this, I did manage to get a bit of time to myself today, and I spent it re-reading and amending the current draft of my PORTABLE WARGAMES rules. The main changes related to Regular European Cavalry Units. They now automatically charge towards the nearest enemy Unit in response to being 'pinned' by enemy fire. This 'flight to the front' seems to have been quite a common response amongst Regular European Cavalry to enemy fire during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the new version of the rules reflect this. I still have to play-test these rules (something that I had hoped to do this weekend) but I feel that they are almost as finished as they ever will be.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

More reinforcements ... again!

Yet another small package was waiting for me when I got home this evening. This one contained four Britains Deetail American Civil War cavalry figures; two Union and two Confederate.

The two Union Cavalrymen will help to flesh out my FUNNY LITTLE WARS Cordeguayan Regular Cavalry Regiment, and the two Confederates will form the basis of a small Civil Guard Cavalry Regiment.

This blog entry was originally posted on Thursday, 12 May 2011

My Funny Little Wars army: The Regulars and the Civil Guard

I decided to see what a Regular and Civil Guard (or Reserve) Infantry Regiment of the Cordeguayan Army would look like, so this evening I sorted out some of my collection of American Civil war Britains Deetail toy soldiers into two units.

The first was the Regular Infantry Regiment ...

... and mighty fine it looked as well! As I was able to muster enough standing and kneeling figures to form the bulk of the Regiment it looked very businesslike. I could almost hear the order 'At one hundred yards, volley fire!' as I took the photograph!

The Civil Guard (the name given to reserve units of the Cordeguayan Army) looked a lot more ragged ... as you might expect from soldiers who only serve in time of war, and whose training is purely voluntary.

I am quite pleased with the way these units look, and as I acquire more figures, I will add additional units.

This blog entry was originally posted on Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Canadian reinforcements!

When I first intimated that I was beginning to collect Britains Deetail toy soldiers so that I could form a FUNNY LITTLE WARS army, Ross Mac contacted me and very kindly offered to send me some of his figures to add to my collection.

They arrived today ... and when I opened the box and unpacked them, I realised what a great favour and honour he had paid me. They are, quite simply, magnificent.


Not only will these additional figures allow me to form several new units (including a ceremonial bodyguard for my army commander), it will enable me to form two small American Civil War FUNNY LITTLE WARS armies that can fight against each other if need be! I also think that I now have enough Union and Confederate troops to fight battles using both my PORTABLE WARGAME rules and Richard Borg's BATTLE CRY!

Amongst the figures Ross Mac has sent me are character figures for General Robert E Lee and U S Grant, and they will serve as generals in the Army of Cordeguay (under assumed names, of course) as well as as themselves in any American Civil War battles.

Many thanks Ross Mac; you are a real gentleman, and it is an honour to know you ... and one day, I hope to meet you!

Missing posts ... and anal retentiveness!

Blogger has not yet reinstated the blog entries that went 'missing' during the recent outage, and I have decided that if they are not back on my blog by this evening, I will re-post them.

Strange as it may seem, I have been saving my blog entries as a word-processed diary almost since I started writing my blog, and this means that I still have a record of each and every blog entry I have written (but unfortunately not the comments). Every time the diary reaches forty pages, I print it off and it is stored in a display folder. I printed Volume 32 last week (which means that so far my blog 'diary' has reached a length of over 1,200 pages!). Every so often I pick a volume at random and have a flick through its pages ... and this can be a very interesting experience, especially if it is one from a year or so back!

Now doing this could be classed as being anally retentive ... and it probably is ... but having worked with information technology for many years, I know that you should always create at least one back-up of whatever you have produced and, if possible, make a hard copy.

You know it makes sense!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Nugget 244

I collected the latest issue of THE NUGGET (No. 244) from the printers this afternoon. I will post copies out tomorrow morning and it should, therefore, be with members of Wargame Developments before the end of next week.

I have now uploaded the PDF versions of THE NUGGET and THE NUGGET COLOUR SUPPLEMENT to the Wargame Developments website, and these are available for members of Wargame Developments to download and read.

Back to normal?

Blogger seems to be working again after it's recent extended outage. At least one blog entry is still missing, as are some of the comments blog readers have made, but Blogger says that they should be restored in due course.

The outage has made me realise how much I enjoy writing my blog ... and how much reading other people's blogs has become a part of my daily routine. I hope that the technical problems that caused the outage are now fixed, and that normal service can be resumed as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Nugget 244

The latest issue of THE NUGGET (N244) was emailed to me by the editor last week, and I took it to the printers last Friday. I hope to collect it next Friday, and get it sent out in the post on Saturday morning. If so, it should be with members of Wargame Developments early next week.

I will make the PDF versions of THE NUGGET and THE NUGGET COLOUR SUPPLEMENT available for all members to download from the Wargame Developments website as soon as I can after THE NUGGET has been put into the post.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Forty-three days ... and counting!

Whilst trying to explain to a student how little time there was left them to complete their work before the end of term, I realised that I only have forty-three more days before the term (and my contract) ends! That is eight more Mondays, eight more Staff 'Briefings', and nine more Fridays (and weekends) to look forward to.

Despite the amount of manure we currently have coming into contact with the air conditioning system here (there is a lot of it flying about at the moment!), things are looking good.

Monday, 9 May 2011

The portable wargame: More tinkering required!

Conrad Kinch is right ... I just cannot stop tinkering with these rules!

In my defence, I must point out that Ross Mac read the latest draft and asked a question about pinned Regular Cavalry Units that I had not covered in the recent draft of the rules. I therefore need to make a few (hopefully very few) minor changes that cover the points that he raised and then ... with a bit of luck ... I will not need to tinker with these rules again ... well, at least for a week or two!

I will publish the changes as a blog entry just as soon as I have drafted them, and that will probably be later this week.

Lending tone ...

A small package arrived in today's post, and after the day I have had at work (the least said about events at work today the better; if I mention manure and air conditioning in the same sentence, you will get the idea!) it was nice to have something to lift my spirits. The package contained the first of the American Civil War Britain Deetail Cavalry figures that I have bought.

It has been said that the Cavalry existed purely to lend tone to an otherwise uncivilised brawl; well these characters look rather rough and tough, and very unlike the European Cavalry the saying referred to. They will form the basis of the Cordeguayan Regular Cavalry Regiment, and I hope to add some more figures to their ranks in due course.

I cannot wait to see how they perform on the battlefield ... but knowing my luck with Cavalry, it will be quite badly!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

The portable wargame: The latest draft of the nineteenth century version

As Conrad Kinch has pointed out, I have a tendency to 'tinker' with the wargames rules that I write. I try not to ... but like at itch that will not go away, eventually I have to give in.

I have resisted the temptation to revisit the most recent draft of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules since I returned from my cruise. I did a little tinkering whilst I was away (mainly to iron out some anomalies), but since then I have not looked at them again ... until today. When I did, I was surprised to realise that I could not think of any changes that needed to be made (although I did correct a couple of spelling and grammatical errors that I found) ... and so here is the latest draft of my rules.

The Portable Wargame Rules
For use with a battlefield marked with a grid of squares
By Bob Cordery
Based on Joseph Morschauser’s original ideas

Equipment:
The following equipment is needed to fight battles with these rules:
1. A gridded battlefield that is marked with a grid that is at least eight grid squares by eight grid squares;
2. Items of terrain;
3. Two armies, mounted on bases that are smaller than the size of each grid square on the gridded battlefield. The armies may not contain more Units than the number of grid squares along the side of the battlefield that the army is defending multiplied by 1½ (e.g. a battlefield has eight grid squares along each of its sides; therefore the maximum number of Units the army can have is 8 x 1½ = 12 Units). One of the Units may be a Command Unit;
4. A set of at least eight Activation Dice (See Appendix 1);
5. A set of ‘pin’ markers to indicate Units that cannot move until they have been ‘unpinned’;
6. Two D6 dice (one for each player).

Terrain:
Each item of terrain – such as woods, built-up areas, or hills – must fit within the bounds of a grid square on the gridded battlefield and should, if the terrain is passable to troops, allow a Unit to be placed in the grid square.
The placement of a piece of terrain in a grid square indicates that entire grid square is filled by that type of terrain (e.g. a tree in a grid square indicates that the entire grid square is wooded; a building in a grid square indicates that the entire grid square is a built-up area).
Where pieces of terrain are larger than an individual grid square (e.g. a hill) they must be sized in multiples of grid squares (e.g. two grid squares, three grid squares, or six grid squares) and be marked in squares in the same way as the gridded battlefield.

Unit Types:
Infantry (Firearms)
a. Movement: 1 grid square
b. Close Combat Power: 5
c. Weapon Range: 2 grid squares

Infantry (Close Combat Weapons)
a. Movement: 1 grid square
b. Close Combat Power: 4
c. Weapon Range: -

Mounted Cavalry
a. Movement: 2 grid squares
b. Close Combat Power: 5
c. Weapon Range: -

Machine Guns
a. Movement: 1 grid square
b. Close Combat Power: 6
c. Weapon Range: 3 grid squares

Light Field Artillery
a. Movement: 1 grid square
b. Close Combat Power: 1
c. Weapon Range: 4 grid squares

Field Artillery
a. Movement: 1 grid square
b. Close Combat Power: 1
c. Weapon Range: 6 grid squares

Fortress/Siege Artillery
a. Movement: -
b. Close Combat Power: 1
c. Weapon Range: 10 grid squares

Command
a. Movement: 2 grid squares
b. Close Combat Power: 5
c. Weapon Range: -

Notes on Unit Types:
No Unit’s Close Combat Power may drop below 1 regardless of other rules.
Artillery Units may not move during a turn in which they have fired.
Dismounted Cavalry Units move and fight as if they are Infantry Units but their Close Combat Power is reduced by 1 whilst they are dismounted.
Infantry and Cavalry Units may move forward to replace an enemy Unit after it has been successfully attacked and destroyed by Close Combat; other Units may not move forward in these circumstances.

Activation Dice:
The number of Activation Dice a player may throw each turn to activate Units in their army is determined using the following formulae:
a. For European armies: One activation dice for the Command Unit plus one activation dice for every three Units in the army rounded up (e.g. A player commanding a European army of eight Units will throw four activation dice; one for the Command Unit and three for the remaining Units).
b. For Native armies: One activation dice for the Commander Unit plus one activation dice for every three Units in the army rounded down (e.g. A player commanding a Native army of eight Units will throw three activation dice; one for the Command Unit and two for the remaining Units).
As a player’s army loses Units, the number of activation dice the player may throw will decrease in line with these formulae (e.g. If a player commanding a European army loses their Command Unit, they immediately lose an activation dice; they will also lose an activation dice every time the number of non-Command Units in their army is reduced to a number that is evenly divisible by three).

Unit Activation:
The Activation Dice determine how many Units each army may activate during a turn.
When activated, a Unit may move or fire or be unpinned. (N.B. Any Artillery Units that have fired at the beginning of this turn may not move this turn but they may be unpinned.)
The only exception to this rule are Native Infantry and Cavalry Units which may make a double-length move if the player commanding them decides to use two of their Unit activations to do so. For example, a player commanding a Native army may use four activations to:
a. Move four Native Infantry Units one grid square each or
b. Move one Native Infantry Unit a double-length move (i.e. two grid squares) and two Native Infantry Units one grid square each or
c. Move two Native Infantry Units a double-length move each (i.e. two grid squares)

Pre-battle Deployment:
For ‘one off’ battles, each side must deploy its army within its deployment zone. These are the first two rows of grid squares on the opposing sides of the gridded battlefield.
For campaign battles, each side may deploy its army within its half of the gridded battlefield, subject the rule that no Unit may start the battle in a square that is orthogonally or diagonally adjacent to one occupied by an enemy Unit.

Turn Sequence:
1. Any Artillery Unit that is within range may fire. Because artillery fire is deemed to be simultaneous, casualties are removed after all artillery fire has taken place.
2. Both sides roll a D6 die to see which side will activate its Units first. The side with the highest score activates its Units first this turn and then:
2a. Throws its Activation Dice to determine how many Units it may activate this turn.
2b. Selects the Units they are going to activate, and activates each of them in turn. When activated, a Unit may move or fire or be unpinned. (N.B. Any Artillery Units that have fired at the beginning of this turn may not move this turn but they may be unpinned.)
2c. Any Close Combats are resolved and casualties are removed.
2d. Once the first side has activated all the Units it may activate, the second side may activate its Units and follow the procedure laid down in 2a, 2b, and 2c.
3. Once both sides have activated their Units, the turn has ended and the next may begin.

Artillery Fire:
Artillery fire is simultaneous; therefore if an Artillery Unit is destroyed it may still fire that turn before it is removed.
Artillery Units may only fire once each turn, and if they fire, they may not be activated during the same turn, although they may be unpinned.
Artillery Units may fire if they are pinned.
All artillery fire ranges are measured orthogonally (i.e. through the sides of grid squares and not through the corners of a grid squares).
Artillery Units fire within an arc of fire that is 90 degrees forward of the direction in which they are facing (i.e. in an arc sweeping from one 45 degree diagonal line of grid squares to the other).
Artillery fire can destroy any type of ground Unit.
Artillery Units can fire into woods, built-up areas, and fortifications.
Artillery Units can fire out of woods, built-up areas, and fortifications if they are in a grid square that is on the edge of the woods, built-up areas, or fortifications (i.e. the orthogonally adjacent grid square in the direction they are firing does not contain woods, built-up areas, or fortifications).
If an entire Unit can be seen by an Artillery Unit that is firing at it, the artillery fire is direct fire; if an entire Unit cannot be seen or it is in cover (e.g. woods, built-up areas, and fortifications), the artillery fire is indirect fire.
Artillery firing at targets that are two or less squares away
If the range from the Artillery Unit that is firing at a nominated target grid square is two squares or less, any Unit in that grid square is hit.
A D6 die is then rolled to determine the effectiveness of the artillery fire upon the Unit that is in the grid square in which the artillery fire has landed.
a. Direct artillery fire – 5 or 6: Destroys a Unit; Any other score: Pins a Unit
b. Indirect artillery fire – 6: Destroys a Unit; 4 or 5: Pins a Unit; Any other score: No effect
Artillery firing at targets that are three or more squares away
If the range from the Artillery Unit that is firing at a nominated target grid square is three of more squares, a D6 die is thrown:
a. Die score = 5 or 6: Artillery fire lands on the target grid square.
b. Die score = 1: Artillery fire lands in the grid square to the left of the target grid square (i.e. at 9 o’clock relative to the target grid square).
c. Die score = 2: Artillery fire lands in the grid square beyond the target grid square (i.e. at 12 o’clock relative to the target grid square).
d. Die score = 3: Artillery fire lands in the grid square to the right of the target grid square (i.e. at 3 o’clock relative to the target grid square).
e. Die score = 4: Artillery fire lands in the grid square before the target grid square (i.e. at 6 o’clock relative to the target grid square).
If there is a Unit in the grid square that the artillery fire lands in, that Unit is hit.
A D6 die is then rolled to determine the effectiveness of the artillery fire upon the Unit that is in the grid square in which the artillery fire has landed.
a. Direct artillery fire – 5 or 6: Destroys a Unit; Any other score: Pins a Unit
b. Indirect artillery fire – 6: Destroys a Unit; 4 or 5: Pins a Unit; Any other score: No effect

Movement:
A Unit may only move once each turn and then only if it has been activated and:
a. It has not fired or
b. It is not pinned.
All movement is made and measured orthogonally (i.e. through the sides of grid squares and not through the corners of a grid squares)
A Unit may change its direction of movement any number of times during its move.
A Unit may move through grid squares that are:
a. Occupied by friendly Units;
b. Diagonally adjacent to the front, flank, or rear of an enemy Unit.
A Unit may not end its move in the same grid square as another Unit.
A Unit must stop as soon as it enters a grid square that is orthogonally adjacent to the front, flank or rear of enemy Unit, and both Units turn to face each other at once.
If a Unit is being faced by an enemy Unit that is in an orthogonally adjacent grid square and the Unit has not yet been activated and moved this turn, it may move providing that:
a. It is one of the Units chosen to be activated and moved this turn and
b. It does not move into a grid square that is orthogonally adjacent to the front of another enemy Unit.

Non-Artillery Fire:
Non-Artillery Units may fire once each turn if they have not moved.
Non-Artillery Units may fire if they are pinned.
All non-artillery fire ranges are measured orthogonally (i.e. through the sides of grid squares and not through the corners of a grid squares).
All non-Artillery Units fire within an arc of fire that is 90 degrees forward of the direction in which they are facing (i.e. in an arc sweeping from one 45 degree diagonal line of grid squares to the other).
Non-Artillery Units can fire out of woods, built-up areas, and fortifications if they are in a grid square that is on the edge of the woods, built-up areas, or fortifications (i.e. the orthogonally adjacent grid square in the direction they are firing does not contain woods, built-up areas, or fortifications).
If an entire Unit can be seen by a non-Artillery Unit that is firing at it, the target Unit is in the open; if an entire Unit cannot be seen or it is in cover (e.g. woods, built-up areas, and fortifications), the target Unit is in cover.
A D6 die is rolled for each non-Artillery Unit that is firing.
a. Target is in the open – 5 or 6: Destroys a Unit; 2, 3, or 4: Pins a Unit; 1: No effect
b. Target is in cover – 6: Destroys a Unit; 4 or 5: Pins a Unit; Any other score: No effect

Close Combat:
Close Combats are fought if, after a side’s Units have been activated and moved, a Unit is being faced by an enemy Unit that is in an orthogonally adjacent grid square.
Units do not need to be activated to take part in a Close Combat.
If several Units move into grid squares that are orthogonally adjacent to an enemy Unit, the enemy Unit is turned to face the last Unit that moved into contact with it. This last Unit is deemed to be the attacking Unit for the purposes of resolving a Close Combat, and its Close Combat Power is used when the outcome of the Close Combat is determined. If the attacking Unit loses the ensuing Close Combat, it is the Unit that is destroyed and removed.
When several Units attack a single enemy Unit, the defending Unit’s Close Combat Power is reduced:
a. 2 attacking Units reduce the defending Unit’s Close Combat Power by 1;
b. 3 attacking Units reduce the defending Unit’s Close Combat Power by 2;
c. 4 attacking Units reduce the defending Unit’s Close Combat Power by 3.
This rule is subject to the proviso that no Unit’s Close Combat Power may drop below 1.
To determine the outcome of a Close Combat, each side throws a D6 die:
a. If the attacker’s dice score is equal to or is less than its Close Combat Power, the defending Unit is destroyed and removed at once; If the attacker’s dice score is greater than its Close Combat Power, the defending Unit survives the Close Combat. (Notes: If the attacking Unit is an Infantry or Cavalry Unit it may move into the now empty grid square. If this results in the attacking Unit coming into contact with another enemy Unit, it may not attack the enemy Unit this turn.)
b. If the defender’s dice score is equal to or is less than its Close Combat Power, the attacking Unit is destroyed and removed at once; If the defender’s dice score is greater than its Close Combat Power, the attacking Unit survives the Close Combat. (Notes: The defending Unit may not move into the now empty grid square.)
c. If one Unit is destroyed, the surviving Unit or Units have won the Close Combat.
d. If neither Unit is destroyed, the Close Combat ends as a draw. The attacking Unit must withdraw into an orthogonally or diagonally adjacent empty grid square that is not orthogonally adjacent to a grid square occupied by an enemy Unit. If it is unable to do so, it is destroyed.
e. If both Units are destroyed, the Close Combat has resulted in mutual annihilation.

Special Rules:
1. Pinning:
With the exception of European Cavalry Units, when a Unit is pinned is stops where it is and may not move until it is unpinned.
Whilst pinned, the Unit is deemed to be under cover, even if it is in the open. This reflects that fact that it has ‘gone to ground’.
European Cavalry Units do not stop when they are pinned; they immediately charge towards the nearest enemy Unit, and will continue to do so until they are unpinned.
This reflects the fact that European Cavalry Units tend towards ‘flight to the front’ when the come under fire rather than seeking cover.

2. Hills:
Units may only move up or down one hill contour each turn.
A Unit that is attacking an enemy Unit that is one hill contour above it reduces its Close Combat Power by 1.

3. Roads:
Each grid square of movement made along a road by a Unit uses up only half a grid square of movement.
If a Unit moves along a road and then off the road during the same turn (or vice versa), any unused half-grid squares of movement are lost.
For movement, built-up areas count as roads.

4. Rivers:
Rivers may only be crossed by bridge or at a shallow spot (ford).
Units that enter river grid squares where there is no bridge or a shallow spot (ford) are destroyed.
When crossing a shallow spot (ford) in a river, a Unit moves into the river on turn A and stops. It remains in the river for turn B, and it then moves again on turn C.
Units that are fording rivers (i.e. are in turn B of the above sequence) may not fire.
A Unit that is in a river grid square and is attacking an enemy Unit that is in an orthogonally adjacent grid square reduces its Close Combat Power by 1.

5. Woods:
Units attacking enemy Units that are in woods reduce their Close Combat Power by 1, even if the attacking Unit is also in the woods.

6. Built-up Areas and Fortifications:
Units attacking enemy Units that are in built-up areas or fortifications reduce their Close Combat Power by 2, even if the attacking Unit is also in the built-up area or fortification.

Appendix 1: Activation Dice
The Activation Dice are D6 dice with the faces marked as follows:
a. One face marked with ‘0’;
b. Two faces marked with ‘1’;
c. Two faces marked with ‘2’;
d. One face marked with ‘3’.
In the absence of a set of such dice, players could use ordinary D6 dice, each score being divided by two and rounded down:
a. 1 = 0;
b. 2 = 1;
c. 3 = 1;
d. 4 = 2;
e. 5 = 2;
f. 6 = 3.
It is important to note that, when using ordinary D6 dice as Activation Dice, the dice scores are not aggregated before being divided by two; each die’s score must be separately divided by two and then the resultant scores are aggregated to determine how many Units a player may move.

The portable wargame in 54mm?

As I was packing away the figures that I recently acquired for my FUNNY LITTLE WARS army, I wondered what they would look like as 'Units' for my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. The cloth I was using was the one I used some time ago for my gridded version of Morschauser's 'Modern' wargames rules, so all I did was turn it over and lay out some typical 'Units'. The result looked like the:

I was surprisingly pleased with the result. To my eyes it looked like a smaller version of the gridded wargames that Joseph Morschauser used to play.



I now realise that these newly acquired figures are going to have many more uses that I originally envisaged. For example, if I want to demonstrate my PORTABLE WARGAME rules, a gridded cloth and 54mm Britains Deetail toy soldier figures are going to look more impressive and easier to see than my current 15mm setup.

It also strikes me that I could use these 54mm figures on my Hexon II hexed terrain to fight American Civil War battles using Richard Borg's BATTLE CRY rules.

More things to think about!

Open the box ...

Because yesterday was quite a busy one, I did not have time to have anything other than a cursory glance at the contents of the package that I picked up from the local Post Office sorting office yesterday morning.

This morning I managed to unpack the package, and this is what it contained:

I now have enough American Civil War Union figures to easily form an blue-clad Infantry Regiment, and as far as I can see, the additional Confederate troops should enable me to form a second Infantry Regiment that will be clad in grey uniforms. I have also acquired a couple of Gatling Machine Guns, which will considerably enhance the Cordeguayan Army's firepower.

All I am waiting for is some cavalry, and the Cordeguayan Army will be pretty well complete.

Long live Cordeguay!

Cut-price Cowboys and Indians

I finally go around to opening one of the bags of cheap Cowboys and Indians that I bought yesterday in Herne Bay.

Besides the wagon (which also has two rather small horses or ponies to pull it), the bag contains two lengths of fencing (which might prove very useful), a spare pony and Indian rider, and mixture of Cowboys and Indians of rather poor quality.

Still, for £2.49 a bag, they seem to me to have been quite good value, and the wagons will certainly do until I can acquire something better.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Even more reinforcements

On the way to visit my father-in-law in Herne Bay this morning, I stopped off to pick up a package from the local Post Office sorting office. I was not able to open it until I got home just a few minutes ago, but when I did I found that it contained a large number of American Civil War Britains Deetail toy soldiers that I had bought last week in an Ebay auction.

But there is more; whilst I had been out, the ordinary post had delivered a smaller package that contained another batch of Britains Deetail Apaches ... enough for another regiment of irregular light infantry.

But there is even more; whilst I was in Herne Bay, I popped into a toy shop and found two bags of cheap Cowboys and Indians on sale for £2.49 each. Part of the contents of each bag was a covered wagon ... so I bought both bags. The figures may have some uses, but the wagons give me the basis of a supply train for my FUNNY LITTLE WARS army.

All-in-all, it has been a good day so far, and my Army of Cordeguay is beginning to take shape.

Friday, 6 May 2011

More reinforcements

When I got home there were two more small packages of American Civil War Union Britains Deetail toy soldiers waiting for me ... and a card from the Post Office telling me that another parcel was waiting for me at the local sorting office (so I know where I will be going first thing tomorrow morning!).

The first package I opened contained an officer, a standard bearer, an infantryman standing and firing, an infantryman kneeling and firing, and an infantryman loading his musket. The second package comprised an officer, a standard bearer, two infantrymen standing and firing, two infantrymen kneeling and firing, and two infantrymen loading their muskets. I now have a total of nineteen Union infantrymen of all types, and this is almost enough to form an Infantry Regiment.

What is interesting to note is that figures that at first glance appear to be the same are in fact subtly different. In the case of the firing infantrymen, some have a moulded on right arm and some have an arm that is kept in place by a plug that fits into the body. They also have slightly different colour schemes. For example, none of the officers has the same uniform! One has dark blue trousers and the other two have light blue trousers ... but one of them has a yellow stripe up the seam of the trousers!

As a result my army is already looking a bit 'rough and ready', and as further batches of troops are added to the collection, this trend will no doubt continue.