Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Lots to think about

I had to go to a meeting in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire straight from work yesterday, and I did not get home until after 10.00pm, which is why I did not manage to write a blog entry. The drive there took me over an hour, and the drive back slightly less time, so I had plenty of time to think about Richard Borg's BATTLE CRY wargame rules.

Although the rules are part of a complete 'package' (i.e. the game comes with a printed terrain board, hexagonal terrain features, command cards, and plastic Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery figures) they can be used with any hexed terrain system – of which I have two, Heroscape™ and Hexon II – and normal wargames figures.

Several of the game mechanisms employed – especially the combat system – are simple, elegant, and very easy to use. I know that other wargamers have developed wargames rules from the original set, and I find myself drawn to doing something similar, although I do want to retain a flavour of Joseph Morschauser’s ‘Musket’ Period and ‘Frontier’ wargames rules.

First and foremost, I want to develop the basic combat system used in BATTLE CRY. There are one or two ideas that I have that I want to experiment with. These are:
  • Giving Infantry that are armed with poorer quality firearms (e.g. smooth-bore muskets) three as opposed to four dice. This is intended to reflect the shorter range at which such weapons are effective and their lack of accuracy when compared with rifled firearms
  • Giving Artillery that is armed with better quality ordnance (e.g. rifled and/or breech-loading field guns) increased range but not more dice. This is intended to reflect the longer range at which such weapons are effective and their improved accuracy when compared to smooth-bore artillery
I am sure that someone else has probably already thought of these ideas, and no doubt they will be in contact to tell me about their experiences; in the meantime, I hope to set up a few tactical situations to test out my ideas … assuming that I have enough time over the next few days!

8 comments:

  1. Both interesting ideas.

    I find the cross over from smoothbore to rifled artillery interesting. In the ACW at least, the rifles seem to have been found to be different rather than better. Partly do to imporved performance of cannister from the smoothbores but also due to the bounce factor if I can call it that of the smoothbore ball over rifled shot. The size, power and quality of high explosive not yet being sufficient to correct the imbalance. So during the transition period rifles were useful for long range work but smoothbores more deadly at closer ranges and I usually look for a way to balance them.

    All changes with better fuses and explosives of course. I look forward to seeing where this goes.

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  2. Hi Bob. Not sure if you are aware but there are several sets of miniatures rules based on Battle Cry and its derivatives. I think they are from the "Tin Soldiers of Antwerp"

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  3. When I visited John DZ at the weekend we played a couple of games using the 'Command & Colours' system which I understand is a development (for the ancient period)of Battle Cry. John uses 15mm toys on Hexon terrain and while I have some reservations about the rules it gives a quick and enjoyable game.

    Tim

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  4. Ross Mac,

    I have had one or two others as well, including allowing players to 'trade off' retreat 'flags' for casualties. In other words, a unit can stay where it is, but will lose a figure for each 'flag' they get.

    That period during the nineteenth century when the military technology was beginning to have an impact on the tactics used for the previous hundred years or so is one that has always interested me. Hence my interest in Morschauser’s ‘Musket’ Period and ‘Frontier’ wargames rules and now my growing interest in Richard Borg’s ‘Battle Cry’ (and ‘Memoir ‘44’) rules.

    With luck I should be able to try out my ideas later this week … work permitting!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Steve,

    Many thanks for reminding me about the work that Rudi Geudens has done. I keep meaning to download all his 'Battle Cry' variants at work so that I can print them in glorious colour, but I keep forgetting to do so!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Tim Gow,

    15mm figures of Hexon II terrain … sounds like my kind of game!

    I think that the basic system that Richard Borg designed has some excellent mechanisms. I have a few reservations about some aspects of some of them – particularly the Command Cards as they do not seem to allow solo play very easily – but they do allow you to have fun fighting battles to a conclusion in less than two hours ... which is a big plus for me!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Hi Bob,

    Worthington Games variant of the Command and Colours system dispenses with command cards altogether and usesaction points instead. This is used in the F and I War, AWI and the War of 1812 - also the new Napoleonic figure based game a la Battle Cry. There is also a yahoo group called, IIRC, BattleCry2000 that also has a few useful variants in the files section.

    All the best,

    DC

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  8. David Crook,

    I think that you may have brought the Worthington Games variant to my notice before, but I had not realised that it was based on the same system as 'Battle Cry' and its derivatives. I will now have to seek it them out.

    Thanks also for the information about the Yahoo Group. I will have a look at as soon as I can.

    All the best,

    Bob

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