Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Simple Campaign Format --

Here is a simple format for a two-person campaign that requires little bookkeeping. It is particularly designed to encourage the building of new units.

Featured above is the "campaign map". The two armies (blue and red here) first meet in the white circular area.

This should be an even battle with similar forces . . . for the 18th century, this might be something like four battalions of Infantry, one regiment of Cuirassiers, one regiment of Dragoons and one Medium Artillery Piece each, with comparable (mainly mid-range) morale.

All troops "lost" in each battle are diced for at battle's end. Dice by "stands" (or even individual figures, if that's how they're based) rather than by whole units.

The winner has a 2/3rds chance of recovering each lost stand (anything but a 1 or 2 on each d6); while the loser of the battle only has a 50% chance of recovering each lost stand (he needs a 4, 5 or 6 on each d6). These losses need to be retained for the next battle.

Note that, even if a unit is completely destoryed, it still gets to dice for each stand to recover. If such a unit fails ALL of its rolls and is completely "wiped out", it is considered to be lost for the remainder of this campaign.

In addition, each winner of any battle selects one unit to improve a morale grade and the loser selects one unit to drop a morale grade. This allows you to "reward" good units and "punish" those that disappointed.

For subsequent battles, the loser will get reinforced by one new unit (although losses will remain from previous battle or battles). The exception to this is if you are forced back to your own "Area B", where you have your choice of either a new unit OR bringing all of your current units up to full strength instead.

Any winner of two consecutive battles may also be re-inforced with a new unit OR may choose instead to bring his current units up to full strength.

If you are pushed back to your "Area C", you get to both get a new unit AND to bring your current surviving units up to full strength.

If pushed back to your Capitol, you get to add one guard-class unit and a heavy gun -- however, you've exhausted your reserves so you don't get to bring any "wounded units" back to full strength.

So, there you have it . . . a simple campaign format that encourages unit building. (By the way, there should be a prior agreement as to the morale grade of new units -- I would suggest either veterans or green units depending upon your preferences).

-- Jeff


Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Hi Jeff,

Your campaign plan looks very interesting. The fact that it encourages unit building and changes in unit morale is good too. I'll have to try it once I have enough units painted to fight more than minor skirmishes.

Have a good day,

Stokes Schwartz

Patrick Lewis said...

Hello, Jeff:

Some years ago, a friend of mine and I played an ancients campaign that used similar mechanics. I got the rules for it from an issue of The Courier wargaming magazine (sorry, but I don't remember which issue.)

I've also read about this style of campaign elsewhere and I believe it is sometimes called a "piston" campaign in that both armies are pushing back and forth.

The ancients campaign we played was Alexander vs. Darius. I didn't have the miniatures for the campaign, so we converted it into a paper map and cardboard counter game and it worked very well. (I created the basic map, terrain pieces and units using the Microsoft Publisher program. These were printed out and glued to fairly thick matte board and then cut out. They actually looked pretty good, if I do say so myself.) The battlefield terrain was determined somewhat randomly as each area had a greater or lesser chance of a certain type of terrain becoming available for placement on the battle board.

I don't recall us having any detailed rules for replacement of losses or the improvement of morale or even adding new units to the order of battle. If I remember correctly, all units were brought back to full strength between battles as the time between battles was deemed sufficient to make good any losses.

Your system looks interesting and I also like the ideas for morale and creating new units.

Let us know how it works!


Dale said...

I also like the system. Simple and clean, and as you say, encourages the painting of new units and adding battle honors to previously painted units.