Friday, 28 January 2011

Frontier/Musket Wargames Rules: Minor changes made

I was stuck in a traffic jam on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge over the River Thames at Dartford this evening on the way back from seeing my father in his residential care home, and I started to think about the finished draft of my heavily Morschauser-influenced Frontier/Musket wargames rules ... and realised that I had missed something out that I had intended to include.

In the original Close Combat system there are four alternative results:
  • The Attacker wins and the Defender is destroyed
  • The Defender wins and the Attacker is destroyed
  • Both the Attacker and the Defender are destroyed
  • Both the Attacker and the Defender survive
I did not feel that the latter rather neutral result was quite what I wanted, especially in my solo wargames, and so I have now changed it so that if the Close Combat is a draw, the Attacker must withdraw.

I will see how this change to the Close Combat system works in my next play-test of the rules ... if I ever manage to get a long enough time-slot in my busy schedule to organise one!


  1. Bob,
    That certainly makes sense in the context of the historical period you're covering - if an attacker cannot carry the position he cannot remain at close range but must withdraw, perhaps to long musketry range, from which the troops will engage in a desultory exchange of fire with the enemy until such time as they can be persuaded to go forward again.

    For my army-level variant, I think I would treat 'Destroyed' as a Morale effect, rather than a physical one, causing a unit to fall back in disorder/rout, but with the capacity to reform and deliver another attack later. A certain number of such results would result in the unit remaining on the board, but unable to do more than hold ground and try to defend itself if attacked; further such results would cause it to withdraw off the board for good. I might make the Draw result indicate that - so far - the close combat has been indecisive and will continue next turn, when the dice must be thrown again. This could also be used for skirmishing, but with one side having to beat the other's score significantly to achieve a result; otherwise the skirmishing is indecisive and continues into another turn.

    Lots to think about, as usual!

  2. Arthur1815,

    You have expressed my thoughts with great precision; that is exactly what I wanted to achieve.

    For higher-level combat resolution, what you have outlined makes great sense, and I would have thought that it will work very well indeed.

    At present, the rules I am working on are intended for use with my portable wargame, but if I was transferring the basic system to a larger playing area (i.e. one that is greater than an 8 x 8 chessboard) I would give each Unit a strength that is eroded by combat (in the same way that units are degraded in 'Megablitz'). This is still in keeping with Morschauser's design philosophy (he did, after all, come up with the Roster System, which a paper-based version of the diminishing strength point idea). In this context, the ‘Draw = Combat continues until it is decisive’ result make sense.

    As you say, lots to think about!

    All the best,



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