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Saturday, 6 June 2020

Weather and wargame campaigns: some ideas to test

I spent quite a chunk of yesterday thinking about how I might factor seasonal weather changes into my forthcoming Operation Barbarossa campaign. After considerable reflection, I decided that I need to use a simple D6 die mechanism to ‘generate’ the weather for each campaign month across the various types of terrain on my campaign map. This would, in turn, determine how far units and formations can move in each type of terrain.

I have also been thinking about how long a campaign game turn should last ... and I think that season and weather will also influence this. For example, if the Summer weather is good, each campaign turn would equate to three days/half a week of real time (with ten turns per campaign month), whereas if the Winter weather is snowing/freezing, each campaign turn would last fifteen days/a fortnight of real time (with two turns per campaign month).

I need to start testing some simple mechanisms to achieve my goal, and I hope to do this over the next week or so.

14 comments:

  1. Featherstone summed up what weather conditions could do to armies very well in Advanced Wargames

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    Replies
    1. Maudlin Jack Tar,

      Thanks for the suggestion; it’s not a book that I’d thought about looking at.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Some of my comment disappeared! I meant to also say, I'm not sure if he really covered 20th Century games though! Interesting for Horse & Musket.

      Delete
    3. Maudlin Jack Tar,

      I don’t think that the era is that important. The weather has an impact on mobility even today.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. I would go 2D6 to generate the bell curve, which would give better results IMHO. Funnily enough I've just finished reading about the Peninsula Campaign in the ACW and the weather really affected both armies ability to manouevre, as roads overnight became quagmires. Metalled roads, of which there were few were relatively unaffected.

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    Replies
    1. Steve J.,

      I’d like to stick to a simple mechanism that uses one or two D6 dice.

      Weather is one of those factors that wargamers often choose to ignore, and yet it can be a decisive one.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Bob,
    Different lengths for campaign turns to reflect the amount of activity likely to take place during different seasons of the year seems ideal for the black powder era when armies often went into winter quarters until the late spring/summer/early autumn campaign season.
    Perhaps it can also work for 'less civilised', all year round, modern warfare too; I'm sure - like your namesake - 'you can fix it!'

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    Replies
    1. Arthur1815,

      Like so many of my ideas, I’m hoping that any mechanism I come up with will be applicable to other historical periods.

      All the best,

      Bob the Temple Builder

      Delete
  4. Din Featherstone covered this well in more than one of his books. As did Tony Bath.
    But I am sure you can develop an appropriate rule ser.

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    Replies
    1. Whiskers,

      I’ll be looking at Don’s books as I design the mechanisms I hope to use.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. Take a look at Wargaming Mechanics, this particular entry discussed this very issue. I found it when I was looking for ideas on handling seasonal weather.

    http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/2018/04/weather.html

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    Replies
    1. Mr, Pavone,

      Thanks for the link. I hope to visit the blog tomorrow.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. I also use variable length turns to model weather (and time of year) in operational games. In more northerly climes, 16 hours of daylight in summer vs six in winter makes quite a big difference. Just changing the turn length is far simpler than complex calculation of movement and combat duration.

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    Replies
    1. Martin Rapier,

      It seemed to me to be the simplest way to achieve the right result, and even if it isn’t perfect, users are less likely to make mistakes!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete

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