Saturday, 3 January 2015

Peter and Charles

I like to name rules, as I feel that it gives them personality and something to get emotionally attached to. So, for now, my Great Northern War square-grid rules are going under the working title of 'Peter and Charles'. This may change.

Anyway, I have been considering tweaks and changes, and tried a few out today. Some of them are specific to the rules, whilst others are more part of the general mechanics and will be fed back into the, as yet untitled, American Civil War set.

So, what are the changes?

(i) I have been playing around with how to depict Poor troops, based on a comment that earlier Russian armies should have them. I agree with this, and have a means of factoring Poor troops into the rules. The original mechanism was that they suffered an extra hit if a Retreat was inflicted on them, but after a couple of games I have changed this such that a '6' inflicts an extra hit.  The aim in these rules is that quality doesn't make you fight better, but does make you more or less resilient.

I have changed the Russian army composition tables accordingly - all Infantry are now Poor, and the Veteran troops are regular Infantry. The Swedish tables remain unchanged.

A problem with this in the One Hour Wargames scenarios is that the scenarios are designed for fixed number of units. It is possible to adapt them for different numbers, but I'd like to be able to use them on the fly using the rolls on the army composition tables. Having an army made up of mostly Poor units does give the Russians a severe disadvantage. In 'ordinary' games, poor quality is often offset by larger numbers. To reflect this, when playing games using the OHW setup of six, four or three units per side, Poor Russian Infantry can take six hits instead of four. It's assumed there's more units packed into the square.

(ii) The Swedish Infantry charge is a little too strong at four dice. I have dropped it to three dice, but if any of those three dice score score a hit or retreat then you roll a bonus dice to hit. The end result is that most of the time you will get that extra dice, but not always. I may go back to the four-dice charge if I feel the extra effort required for this rules doesn't offset the slight drop in the infantry charge strength.

(iii) The rolls to hit are very much based on the odds on the pictorial dice in Battle Cry/Memoir '44. M44, for example, gives  1 in 2 change of hitting an infantry unit, 1 in 3 chance of hitting armour and only 1 in 6 of hitting artillery. This is offset, to some extent, by the variable number of hits the units take.

However cavalry and artillery, to my mind, still seemed to difficult to hit. So I have changed the combat table slightly.

On a roll of '2' a hit is scored on Infantry, as before. A roll of '2' inflicts a Retreat on Cavalry. A roll of '2' inflicts a hit on Artillery, but only in close combat. So now Artillery are more vulnerable in close combat (as they should be), Cavalry are more prone to running away (easier to do if you have a horse under you) and Infantry as as vulnerable as before.

(iv) The +1 square move for Cossacks is OK, but I have dropped it in favour of allowing them to make one diagonal move each time they activate. This is to more easily allow for the inclusion of skirmishing infantry further down the line, when I add in Turkish armies.

The pictures are of some of the test games I played today using these changes, and they seemed to go OK. I used a full four-base Maurice unit to depict the Poor infantry; they just fit into the square, and look suitable imposing. The changes seemed to hold up OK as well, but I'll try some more games later today or sometime tomorrow.


  1. To keep to the same naming convention, your ACW rules could be Lee and Grant

    1. To keep to the same convention it should be Lincoln and Davis :)

  2. Nice looking game - great eye candy!

  3. Nice pictures, very colorful!


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