Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Drums of War on the Mohawk" and "Batailles de l'Ancien Régime"

In an effort to keep the subject line and the subject the same…..

There are about two or three local players who are very interested in both "Drums of war on the Mohawk" and "Batailles de l'Ancien Régime" rules. "Drums on the Mohawk" is the French and Indian War rule set while the "Batailles de l'Ancien Régime" [aka BAR] are the Seven Years War variant of the “Drums”..

Those players locally interested in the rules (including Brent Olson who is currently the primary catalyst) are interested in playing the game at 1:10 figure scale using 25mm figures. Brent has picked up several battalions for both sides (of both wars) and is looking for more players and of course people interested in painting more figures. Personally I am slowly working on a Prussian Brigade for BAR, emphasis on the word slowly since it is not really one of my top ten periods.

With the scale of the figures and figure the big issue of playing either Drums and BAR will be the space requirements of the gaming surface, it is going to need a BIG table, roughly five to six feet per player a side plus a few feet on the side to allow wiggle and maneuver room. Thus a six player game (three per side) would require a table between 15 and 20 feet long. This space requirement limits the game (at those scales) to conventions or other larger gathers. Brent Olson is totally cool with that.

Bill Protz, the rules author, has an idea for his version of gaming utopia, when he wrote the rules he envisioned that players would paint up a brigade (or two) of their favorite nationality and when he showed up at a convention to run a game players would bring their own figures along and push them. I think Brent is hoping the same is true for players in the locally. I unfortunately gave this a try several years ago and was grandly chastised for such a proposal so I am my usual cynical self now that Brent is pushing the idea. Brent however has attracted some interest both locally and in the Greater Minnesota region, including the Fargo and the Red River Area Wargamers group.

Being that several SPI members have French and Indian War figures painted up and already singly mounted it would not be that much more effort to fill out a few units and give the game a decent three tries. It would be a totally different feel than the Brother Against Brother games you have played.

As for moving “Drums on the Mohawk” to the Napoleonic period, I think the game loses some appeal when you start decreasing the number of figures in a unit which is “semi” required as the number of units involved in the battles begin increasing. IE I can’t convince myself that painting for 1:20 isn’t a bad thing how am I going to move down to 1:10, tripling the number of figures need? Honestly I thought about it this morning but I can’t think of another Napoleonic Game that plays at 1:10.
Once you drop figure scale down from 1:10 to 1:20 there are already a number of interesting games at that level, In the Grand Manner and General de’Brigade come to mind, so I would wonder why recreate the wheel. Now as an aside I know of several reasons some people might, but that is another discussion all together.

For the Napoleonic period I personally am interested in gaming at roughly 1:30 figure to men ratio. There are several sets of rules at 1:20 and a couple at 1:40, as well as many more at 1:50 and 1:60, I could never understand why there were so few rules available at what to me appears to be a nice ratio, as such I spent a lot of time writing a set and writing a variant for another.

2 comments:

greatredoubt said...

1:30 or 1:33 is one of the classic "old school" ratios for Naps... though you probably already know this.

Rules sets like Quarrie's, CLS, Paddy Griffith's rules, the old Peter Young "Charge" set, etc. Most of them were designed to have figures based 1 rank deep, so a unit in line is 24 figs wide, which is a look I don't care for much.

For a new project, I'd think that 24-fig units are about the minimum I'd find acceptable from an aesthetic point of view, at least for horse & musket era games. IMHO of course.

greatredoubt said...

1:30 or 1:33 is one of the classic "old school" ratios for Naps... though you probably already know this.

Rules sets like Quarrie's, CLS, Paddy Griffith's rules, the old Peter Young "Charge" set, etc. Most of them were designed to have figures based 1 rank deep, so a unit in line is 24 figs wide, which is a look I don't care for much.

For a new project, I'd think that 24-fig units are about the minimum I'd find acceptable from an aesthetic point of view, at least for horse & musket era games. IMHO of course.