Monday, July 02, 2007

Battle Highlights Various Rules --

Well, the Battle of St. Argard was won by Mieczyslaw today as the army of the Duchy of the North learned some hard lessons.

Accounts of the game will no doubt be found on the blogs of the two combatants, so I won't go so much into game details but instead focus on the action of various rules from my "Tricorne Wars" rule set.

One of the lessons learned was that "Deployment" needs more thought because it is very important.

Thinking about what your battle plan is (and what you expect your opponent to try to do) needs thought.

The Nordic player failed to think about h0w much room his troops would take up . . . and essentially 'pinned' himself in a corner -- forcing his units to be too constrained. As it turned out, none of his six battalions of infantry ever fired a shot!

Both players were, I think, a tad stunned (and I was delighted) by the difficulty in getting forces moving.

In "Tricorne Wars", Generals and Brigadiers have 'personalities' (Careful, Steady, Aggressive and Political). These personalities affect how they respond to and interpret their orders.

Both players began the game with units "on table" under temporary Hold orders -- with their "real orders" known to them. But in order to get their brigades moving, each brigadier had to overcome their "inertia".

Careful Brigadiers have an inertia rating of 1; Aggressive, a rating of 3; and the other two personalities have an inertia of 2. Being under Hold orders gives you a +1 to your rating. This meant that a Careful Brigader had to roll a 1 or 2 on 1d6 to be able to get his brigade moving the first turn . . . as it turned out, only one brigade on each side got "activated" in turn one.

On subsequent turns, the Brigadiers also got to add their "initiative" ratings as well (mostly ones, but a few twos) -- still, rolling a six always fails.

This succeeded in causing some anxiety on the part of the players as they didn't know just when their brigadiers would begin moving.

Then, when they get close to formed enemy (everyone ignores skirmishers), the brigadiers have to test to "interpret" their orders. The personality of the C-in-C has an effect on their interpretation . . . and one of the Nordic brigades almost turned around and left the battlefield . . . re-interpreting "Advance" to "Delay" . . . and then refusing to receive new orders!

Different orders affect how many "pluses" a unit might have for its "charge test" . . . and, again, this hampered the Nordic cavalry as a number of times they refused to charge and became disordered . . . each time failing by one pip because they were under Advance orders instead of Attack or Assault . . . and it might have made a big difference because as it was they got shredded by musket fire instead of forcing the infantry to make "charge response tests".

One of the goals of "Tricorne Wars" is to cause a few unexpected responses to complicate the life of the C-in-C. Murdock did a fair job of countering that to a certain extent by assigning tasks to brigadiers according to their personalities . . . and he won the battle.

Yes, I learned some more things that I need to adjust . . . but all-in-all I was rather pleased with what happened rule-wise.

-- Jeff


Snickering Corpses said...

Sounds like a pretty successful run, Jeff. Congratulations!

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...


The game looks and sounds like it was lots of fun. Tinkering with rules is also certainly a strength of the hobby.

Best Regards,


marinergrim said...

I like having Generals with characteristics. Of course for the Great Northern War the Swedes were a very aggressive force and the Russians meek by comparison - traits that could be exploited in "Tricorne Wars".

Command and control is usually the key to winning a battle not how much fire power you deliver (although it helps of course!).

Good luck Jeff and well done.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

...I'll go along with that - it sounds like it was absolutely what you wanted... a nice idea.

I always remember reading in Wargamers Newsletter a long time ago, what Phil Barker's thoughts were when he first play-tested the WRG Ancients rules... basically two small forces had entered the table and ended up running away from each other as fast as they could go... it was at this point in time that he knew he had something very good! Sounds similar to your game, and the problems the Nordic army had... well done!!

Ed said...

Rules that cause traffic jams are a good thing in my book.

Far too often we wargamers dance our toy battalions around the battlefield like Ferrari's, instead of barges. This is particularly true of artillery batteries.

Thanks for the write up.

On another topic:

Jeff, you are the Blog owner for Emperor v Elector, right? Could you update the link there for Hesse-Fedora to read "Landgraviate of Hesse-Fedora," so that I'm in the same format as the rest of our Zwergstaaten? I have changed the header on my blog too.

Ed von H-F

Ed said...

YOW! That was FAST!!


Les Princes du Lichtenbourg said...

HI, how long did the battle take what were the forces involved?

MurdocK said...

The game was played over a 7 hour time frame, however we did have 'liberal' breaks and a delay at the start since the Nordic forces needed to have their bases prepped before being set onto the table, along with a short rules summary check. Meaning we played for about 4 and a half to 5 hours of focus time.

Got through 6 turns, moving 2 infantry brigades (of about 75 minis each) and two Cavalry formations (of about 25 minis each) along with a command and 3 artillery batteries for each player. Only two players were involved.