Sunday, April 06, 2008

"Victory Without Quarter" --

Well, we tried the above rules out today . . . and they were a lot of fun. We did have some questions about the rules however since they are relatively sketchy is certain areas.

As to the report of the actual battle, I will leave that to Murdock. He will surely post a wonderfully illustrated battle report on his Duchy of Mieczyslaw website sometime over the next few days.

However, a bit of background would be appropriate. This was a civil war battle in the 1650s between the Duke's forces (high morale) and the Baron's forces (more numerous).

Because of this scenario, I chose to make some changes to the usual card deck. Clarence Harrison's "Victory Without Quarter" rules use a card deck that features activation cards for each unit, each brigadier, each general, etc.. There is also an "End of Turn" card -- which makes for a deal of uncertainty (and tension) which we liked.

Anyway I made a few changes. Instead of one "Reload" card for everyone, I had two cards (one for each side) -- so one side could get resupplied with powder while the other did not . . . and this provided an interesting dynamic.

Since we each had two potential brigades as re-inforcements, I made up a "Re-inforcements" card for each of the four brigades. On turn three, one random one for each side was plugged into the deck. Likewise on turn six, the other two were added.

Of course, when one of these Reinforcement cards was turned, the arrival was not automatic. Because of the nature of the scenario, the Duke's reinforcements would arrive on a 1d6 roll of 5+; while those of the Baron would arrive on a 4+.

We did have some questions about the rules. I tried emailing the author a few days before the battle . . . but he was probably off at a Convention because I've not heard back yet (and he's reportedly very good at responding to questions).

Our first question had to do with Shooting. It wasn't clear to us as to which "orders" permitted shooting. What we decided (until we hear differently) was that we could shoot on "Hold" or "Move" orders, but not on "Maneuver" or "Charge" orders.

Another "Shooting" question was whether the target got to shoot back or not. We decided that for this game at least, it did.

A further question arose in play when a "Melee" ended with the units still in contact. Does it continue right then? On the next card drawn that could "activate" one of the units involved? Or only when one of the units involved chose to continue it. We chose the latter -- which I'm pretty sure was wrong.

There were a couple of other minor questions which arose during play . . . but I can't recall them now.

These rules were very different from our normal sets . . . but we had a lot of fun playing them. There was a definite "ebb and flow" to the fight, with a number of reverses of fortune . . . and the "Event" cards (which provided a few odd incidents) gave us some good laughs.

All-in-all we will definitely give them some more play.

-- Jeff


Andy Mitchell said...

It sounds to me you have an excellent set up - a wargames opponent with whom it is a pleasure to play. I'll take at look at the rules you mentioned too.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jeff! I never got the first e-mail, but I did get the second one...

I allow shooting anytime the unit is given an order, including maneuvering and charging. The trade off is that shooting is very ineffective unless you are "loaded" so you need to time your effective volley. Also remember that infantry cannot charge formed infantry, but a charge may be declared, a volley fired, and then the charged carried out if the enemy is shaken. If not, the firing unit remains stationary.

No shooting back in my games. Units may only act on their card or on the appropriate order of an officer. No different than Warhammer or most other games for the period.

Melee continues again only on the appropriate card.

Some of this stuff only makes sense when you embrace the changing time scale. One round might be two minutes or ten. It depends on what happened before the End of Turn card.

All of that being said, please fell free to amend the rules so they give you the game with the feel you want. They are purposely sketchy and certainly open to improvement.

I have a long list of FAQ that I need to get to, but I have been immersed in BLB and I am staring to work on Republic to Empire. I am also painting Napoleonics again so the ECW has taken a back seat for now. At some point I will revisit VWQ and it may see publication after R2E.

Keep playing and certainly send me your comments. VWQ has not benefited from exhaustive playtesting so I welcome the scrutiny.


Bluebear Jeff said...

It looks like Pete and I will try out these rules on Thursday.

-- Jeff