On an aside I also learned why I get so much private email off my blogs and not as many comments as I’d like, so well I learned something it’s time to get back to gaming discussion.
I think after several discussions that a number of people are in a similar boat to me, they want to do something but you get so far into the project, stop and ask yourself what he frell am I doing.
Today I played in a game of 15mm ACW game “Rally Round the Flag” and confirmed why I hate the rules so, but that is another topic. But it did provide a good venue to have some discussions with others concerning 25mm gaming.
In 15mm I have the complete Army of Northern Virginia or damn close at a pretty low scale, 1:30, and for a period I find the battles so boring I don’t want to recreate that. Whether I play “Rally” or “Fields of Honor” or “Guns at Gettysburg” there is no reason to duplicate it.
So the question becomes what do I want to do?
The lowest scale is a skirmish game or some other game along those lines. This is actually the lowest number of figures needed and might be the quickest to get something started. In several games players might only need 20 to 30 figures or maybe as many as 60 in another game. The challenge here is how many players can you get involved and when does the game become unplayable. And I guess more importantly what rules would you use? I am not real happy with most of the rules as published and while many are okay none of them are great.
In talking with players here there really isn’t much interest for gaming at this level. I figure if you showed up with a game you could players to play and maybe a couple of players might paint figures.
The next level of gaming is small scale actions. Think about detachment and company level actions involving recon, supply, escape or dozens of other options. There are literally thousand of actions on this level during the course of the war and I suppose it holds the most interest to me. The problem here is the rules just don’t exist. Currently in the Twin Cities there are at least two groups attempting to play at this level, one group is playing up, using modified skirmish rules at a brigade level while the other group is playing down, using a modified version of a regimental game.
I know BJ will suggest TCHAEATD but after talking with other people and checking out the rules I will tell you I am not interested in them. I found a group that tried the rules and I would like to post a quote, anonymously since I haven’t asked if it was okay. “No doubt they [Too Fat Lardies] developed and play tested in 15mm but I doubt they played a game in 25mm with their basing and scales. The game just doesn’t work [in 25mm]. … We are left trying to figure out if we can salvage the game at 25mm.” I will say the rest of the note was not as kind to the rules. I have seen this issue before, my classic example is “Wilderness Wars” where the game works great in 15mm but seems to fall apart in 25mm.
When we move up the scale from here we really are left with things that we already have in 15mm. Regimental and Brigade Games; which I just don’t want to duplicate.
So I am left with 150 painted figures and another 600 or so unpainted figures, going what do I do with these.
Fitz knows where I have been going for the past couple of months, while he has been “supportive” I am not sure he agrees with what seems to be coming down the pike.
The idea I have bounced around is to take a game system with many of the same principals you find in the ACW from another period and adopt it for ACW. The game I am looking at is “Drums of War along the Mohawk” by Bill Protz.
Of course a couple people are going to start screaming hypocrite because of my stand against a BAR or similar level game in the Napoleonic period. But I think there is one huge change between the Napoleonic Period and the American Civil War; the size of the Battalion. In the Napoleonic period battalions regularly number 720 men or greater, while a typical regiment/battalion in the 1862/1864 you are looking at 300 to 350 men. Well under 50% strength of the Napoleonic strengths, thus reducing the number of figures by 50%.
Additionally another interesting sidebar for the period is in the ACW you have just a few formations, Column of Fours (March Column), Line Abreast, an open line and skirmish. The Napoleonic period I can name four formations for a cavalry defense (Square, Battalion Mass, prone, brigade square) without even thinking about it.
Of course those that want to call me a hypocrite I understand.
Well enough rambling for now.