Having wargamed for far too many years to mention, it finally dawned on me how much money and time I have spent rebasing armies or learning a new set of rules. With that in mind I decided a few years ago to find a style of rules that I liked and base all my future rule sets and armies it.
My key requirements are:
- I spend a large amount of time and money collecting units. I decided I wanted them to stay on the table long enough for people to see, therefore no casualty removal.
- I hate the “my turn/your turn” approach. With that in mind I use a card based turn system. I first used this in my Dad’s army game. Depending upon the level of game you are playing, a playing card is allocated to each unit or in larger games brigade commanders and above. This also means turns are not all the same as an end of turn card can come up at any time.
- They have to be easy to learn. The common approach should assist with this and it is then just about the era specifics.
- As little paperwork as possible. Most units have a small tab on a base. This contains all the information you need so no other paperwork, in most cases. This could of course be kept separately rather than attached but I think in a demo game it also allows visitors to see which units are representing which.
- Enjoyable. I am not too serious and enjoy a light hearted approach at times to rules. Have a look at my rocket rules. While they may be a little slow to enact, imagine the gasps as rockets snake across the field. You never really know where they will end up!
I like to discuss issues arising. One of the biggest challenges is for “serious” Wargamers is to look past their unit not getting activated and not firing, moving or engaging in melee. I remember in one game, a player arguing that units should always have an action. This came about due to the fact that in the first 3 turns his British artillery’s activation card had not been drawn. What rubbish he argued and most others started to agree after a while. I then raised the point of the British artillery at the battle of Bunker Hill. Not many were familiar with the battle but the British artillery could not fire for a while as the wrong ammo had been made available. This impacted upon their ability to join in the battle at a key moment and affect the outcome. How could you ever build that potential impact in to a set of rules?
Most of the players started to appreciate the idea behind the card system. The British player finally supported it fully as Lancers appeared on his flank only to be too far deployed from their commander to be activated. This gave him the chance to form square next turn and live to fight another day. I appreciate it is not for all but I love it.
With this in mind I offer my set of rules called KING GEORGE COMMANDS AND WE OBEY. They are suitable for the American War of Independence, Napoleonic Peninsular and the American War of 1812. Some aspects may be familiar and some not so. Ideas have come from so many rule sets I have collected over the years.
I hope you find something you like; if not then I hope they encourage discussion.
If you would like to see them in action then please come along to Legionary 14, Exeter, on the 3rd of May where we will be presenting the battle of Vimeiro.
I will add some more scenarios over next few months.