of the earth!
|The Duke of Wellington having a ponder|
I too have been pondering but not in a picturesque setting. I have been reading the beta version of Scum of the Earth by Nordic Weasel. I don't think this game is a derivative of their earlier Starport Scum skirmish games and it looks like a new system to me, although familiarly weaseley (and don't ask me about the stoat joke again!).
The French system of conscription brings together a fair sample of all classes; ours is composed of the scum of the earth — the mere scum of the earth. It is only wonderful that we should be able to make so much out of them afterwards.
Duke of Wellington speaking about soldiers in the British Army, 4 November 1813I'm assuming the title comes from the Duke's famous saying and the game is, of course, about black powder warfare (broadly Napoleonic Wars to the Crimea).
I have to say that I really like this system. The key things are that it is simple, has clever mechanics, low rules overheads and is very, very small. One important thing is that, like the Rampant/Lament system, it allows you to play battles which are not just skirmishes with a couple of bods. But, as it says in the rules, this will look just like Sharpe on the telly.
Broad outline of the game:
- Played on a 24" by 24" board (DBA sized!).
- 3-5 units a side, 6 infantry figures or 3 cavalrymen per unit or one gun per artillery unit.
- Unit can have traits (including scum so watch for looting!) and characters (musicians) which impact on movement or combat.
- There are leaders (on white horses) who inspire courage tests and combat results.
- There are simple basic formations, but no facing (yet).
- IgoUgo with rolling for initiative each turn.
- Units attempt to roll for movement (d6 plus a modifier e.g. 3 for cavalry) and the total is the move in inches.
- Crossing bad going or obstacles requires a minimum score on the movement die.
- Scoring 0 on the d6 (modified or natural) allows the enemy a reaction move by one unit.
- After movement there is artillery fire, infantry fire and close combat.
- The attacker fires a volley (d6 plus modifiers) and the defender rolls a d6 (plus modifiers) to see if it withstands the fire or is shaken and retreats with losses.
- Melee is a similar d6 plus modifiers comparison.
The beta version contains only the basics so far and is not yet complete. It does look very promising though. The reason for this being that it will fit on a six by six hex grid and therefore can be used with the OHW scenarios! I feel a hex grid conversion coming on!!!!