Thursday, 5 February 2009

Table Top Battles - Land Battles (for mid-20th century warfare) - Some more thoughts

Last night I re-read the section that deals with unit rosters in my copy of the TABLE TOP BATTLES wargames rules. The idea is quite simple; rather than removing a stand if – during firing or hand-to-hand combat – its score is less than half the firing or attacking stand’s score, the stand’s points value is reduced by one. This continues until the stand’s points value reaches zero, at which point it is destroyed and removed.

In addition, if the unit is part of a formation (e.g. brigade or division), the formation will be allocated a morale value that is half the total points value of the units in the formation at the beginning of the battle. When units lose points value, the formation loses the same number of points from its morale value. When the formation’s morale value is reduced to zero, it must withdraw from the battlefield.

I am not a great lover of rosters because they involve paperwork that tends to clutter up the tabletop, but the concept is a good one and addresses some of the problems that I had when I first adapted these rules for fighting mid-20th century land battles.

I used some of my Megablitz units for my play-test, and they already have magnetic tape on the back of the stand for a strength point marker. I therefore used Megablitz strength point markers to remind me of each unit’s points value during my play-test.

Whilst journeying to work this morning I got stuck in the usual traffic jam that occurs on Blackheath. As I sat there waiting to move I started to think about using the roster concept but replacing the roster sheet with removable Megablitz strength markers. These could be changed for lower values as a unit’s points value is reduced. In addition, the formation command stand could have the formation’s morale value represented by a Megablitz strength marker. This could also be changed as the formation’s morale value is reduced.

At the same time I also got to thinking about replacing the use of a D12 throw at the beginning of each turn to determine which side had the initiative with the card-drive turn sequence I have used in RED FLAGS AND IRON CROSSES (TARRED AND FEATHERSTONED). This should make the game much easier to play solo, and reduce the amount of time each player spends sitting around waiting to do something in face-to-face games.

I hope to try these ideas out in a short play-test at some time over the next few days.

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