Sunday, 30 August 2020

Simple Wargames are Go!


While dealing with Covid 19 issues and preparing for the Brexit Omnishambles at work, I have been quietly getting on with Stout Hearts. It is going well, fingers crossed! Here is the current map, on the M44 editor, my preferred design tool. This will be a simple game but simple games are hard to design.

I am very pleased therefore that Disgruntled Fusilier at Sound Officers Call has been running a series of tests on simple games and evaluating them against standard criteria. The latest tests have been of DF's own EAGLES CHEAPER THAN BRAIN CELLS.

What has really interested me is the AARs. You can tell from the way the games have played that there are some really interesting features here. I have been really impressed with the way that the rules produce a cracking back and forth battle for control of terrain as seen here.

It is rare that I get excited about stuff but, as with some of the rules produced by Norm and Peter, I think DF has got something special. Key features are:

  • Orders issued to units at start of each turn, based on 1d6 die roll.
  • For units in contact, orders cost double.
  • A general is available for every six units, who can order troops directly and aid combat etc.
  • Initiative is only decided after orders are issued!
  • Although the initiative is tested each turn, the reacting player needs to score more than 2 more than the active player to take it over.
The reason for my excitement is that this fits really well with OHW and has loads of options, including the influence of the general on orders and initiative.

I'm still mulling over the other interesting features of the rules including the firing and assault rules. Lots to consider here and, judging by the AARs, these rules produce a great game. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.


Norm said...

Hi Jay, there are a few posters at the moment highlighting the ‘simple’ game, with some great ideas falling out from that. It is interesting how difficult it is to define and design for ‘simple’. It certainly has minds occupied. I am presently enthusing over the free ‘Billhooks’ rules being presented with this months Wargames Illustrated and that is also doing something similar, looking for high flavour and low complexity, but there is quite a bit of nuance there.

I know that Steve (DF) will shortly be doing a post that pulls together the several threads that his own exploration of ‘simple’ have raised. It is an interesting time :-)

Disgruntled Fusilier said...

Cheers, Sir, and thanks for the shout out. If you look back to the "allure of simple wargaming" post, I've got 3 of your rules on the docket as part of this study - "Glorious Morning," "Simplicity in Hexes," and "Plan B." About ready to wrap up the "open" wargaming stuff and move to hex gaming for the next parts.

The "Eagles Cheaper..." rules were inspired by, and made for the OHW scenarios, and so far those have delivered some really cracking and tense games.

The parts you mentioned about Eagles, specifically the orders, initiative, and assault rules are some of my favorite parts of the rules.

Again, thanks for the shout out and stay tuned on my blog as I get some of your rules on the table!

I'm really delighted that so many gamers are enjoying these simple wargaming posts!


Old Trousers said...

Hi Steve,

I'm flattered you have included some of my efforts in your project. Looking forward to seeing what you make of them.

I think your project is absolutely excellent. I have often wondered whether we have in fact invented every possible wargames rule but haven't yet managed to put them together in the right order! I think we may well find out soon.



Old Trousers said...

Hi Norm,

Nice to hear from you. I read your post on Billhooks. I'll have to catch up with that one, I haven't been very far since March, not least to the post office where I pick up WI.

You have also been tempting me with Men of Iron, good stuff!