Sunday, 24 March 2019

Imaginations in 42mm (13)

Following up on my (solo) experiments with a ruleset for my armies of 42mm toy soldiers, I can already draw some conclusions w.r.t. further developments and a first real playtest.

1. Troop Density

The basic unit size is 8 infantry figures (4 for cavalry), and they can split in 2 subunits (4 figures for infantry, 2 for cavalry). That means that either an infantry unit can act as a unit of 8 figures strong, or as 2 subunits of 4 figures each. Since I give great importance to how the game looks visually, figure density is an important consideration.
I also decided the Commander in Cheif and his staff is represented by 2 cavalry figures.

Below you see both armies, with either full units in 1 hex, or 2 subunits in 2 different hexes.

Blue Army, 8 infantry figures per hex, or 4 cavalry figures per hex. The CinC is in front of the battleline. This is the visual impression when all units are located in a single hex.
(Part of) Green Army, deployed with all subunits taking up their own hex, resulting in 4 infantry or 2 cavalry per hex. Each infantry subunit has either an officer or a standard bearer.
Overall, I am pretty pleased with how things look, although I have a slight preference for the denser troop formations. But since units can be split or joined again during battle, we will have to play a few games to be sure.

2. The Time Track

The main mechanism in the game will be the time track, inspired by the mechanism used in the boardgame Conan.

Every unit is represented by a tile in the track. Every side gets 10 commands points each turn, and can use these to activate units (different actions can cost a different amount of command points). Once a unit is activated, its tile is put at the end, and the entire row slides forwards. Units in front can be activated cheaply, units in the back (which have been activated recently), are more expensive to activate quickly again.

During my solo playtest, it seems to work, but I will probably only make the first 2 slots a cost of 1 or 3.

3. Combat Resolution

I decided I wanted a mechanism that did not remove toy soldiers (after all, I painted them, so I want to see them on the table!), and that combat results would only be determined when a unit was activated. This requires that each time a unit is the target of an enemy unit in firing, it receives a little marker. At the start of the activation, the number of fire markers is used to determine the overall effect, and the fire markers are removed.

I used a very simple combat resolution table, shown below. I rolled a D6, cross-indexed with the number of hits received.

However, I forgot to include some more interesting effects. Thus, I will redesign this table, including some more effects:
  • Out of ammo
  • Unable to move
  • Disorganized
  • Retreat
  • Panicked Retreat, with adjacent friendly units retreating as well
  • Retreat, nemy units following up
  • Losing some commands points
  • etc.
Any of the (permanent) above effects such as out of ammo or being unable to move can be "removed" by a rally phase (beginning or end of a unit's activation), which I still need to think about in some more detail

I think having a variety of combat outcomes can greatly add to the atmosphere oft he game and add to the evolving narrative.

4. The Imaginations

I still haven't come up with good names for either of the two countries, except that I have decided I want the names in Dutch/Flemish (see also this blogpost for some previous thoughts on this).

Green Army (the more traditional one)
  • Generaal: Sigisbiduwald von Trappstein-Hohenschlieffen
  • 1ste Regiment Fusiliers, Companie A & B (Black)
  • 2de Regiment Fusiliers, Companie A & B (Red)
  • 3de Regiment Fusiliers , Companie A & B (Blue/Yellow)
  • 1ste Karabiniers te Paard, Eskadron A & B (White)
  • 1ste Artillerie (Brown)
Blue Army (the more modern one)
  • Generaal: Philip-Leon du Madeleine du Tré
  • 1ste Ban Schutters, Schaar A & B (Red)
  • 2de Ban Schutters, Schaar A & B (Turquoise)
  • 3de Ban Schutters, Schaar A & B (Straw)
  • 1ste Verkenners Te Paard, Patrouille A & B (White)
  • 1ste Mechanisch Geschut (Magenta)

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