Sunday, 31 August 2014

Napoleonic hex grid game part 4

Some prototype components

I found some Fab Foam sheets in my study today which I had totally forgotten about. They are green A3 and so just the right size for some 125mm hexes in the style of a Kallistra 6 hex piece. I have marked up a couple and will do the rest this week.

Excuse the awful lighting
I have made a lot of progress with counters. Here are some paper Bavarians....badly printed on paper at this stage but still looking quite nice.

I am working on counters for the Allies and French forces for Waterloo and will now be able to play on a full sized 8 by 6 hex grid. Not to worry, I have other plans for my rather nice small Waterloo map from last week.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Napoleonic hex grid game part 3

Order of battle

I prepared an OB for Waterloo whilst on my holidays and have now just retrieved it from the waste paper basket where I had inadvertently filed it. Waterloo is a big battle with lots of moving parts and is clearly not achievable within the standard 8 unit army in Neil's rules. What I have done therefore is to use the army lists in the rule book as the basis for an OB which resembles (!) the proportions of the armies involved.

More fine graphics from J Bignell at Junior General
Anglo-Dutch: 2 British Line Infantry (average), 3 Dutch-Belgian Line Infantry (levy), 1 British Guards or Highlanders (elite), 1 British Riflemen (elite, rifles), 1 British Heavy Cavalry - Household or Union (elite), 1 Dutch-Belgian Light Cavalry (average), 1 British artillery.

Prussians: 3 Line infantry (average).

Total Allied: 13 units

Variable Prussians: They will, of course, have variable arrival times. I'm also keeping the unit type simple for now but may introduce some variation when I have a better feel for the game. 

French: 4 Line Infantry (average), 2 Conscript Infantry (levy), 2 Imperial Guard Infantry (elite), 1 Voltigeur (average, musket), 2 Heavy Cavalry - Cuirassiers (elite), 1 Light Cavalry -Chasseurs (average), 2 Artillery

Total French: 14

French reserve rule: An option is to have the Imperial Guard in a reserve, only to be released when the Prussians arrive or if either side look like folding up (a coup de grace or rearguard action).

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Napoleonic hex grid game part 2

And not without some diversionary activity!

Earlier this month I completed my first attempt at turning Neil Thomas' Napoleonic rules into a hex based game using an 8 by 6 hex grid. I have now had a chance to reflect on this at the seaside and have brought home some further thoughts as well as lots of extra sand....

Waterloo on an 8 by 6 hex grid
One of my earlier issues was how do I test out the rules before my Wurttembergers are ready? The answer is to knock up some counters and play on a hex map. I found that the map I drew at the beach bore a close resemblance to the battlefield of Waterloo so that is what I have ended up doing. I have also developed an OB which sees 14 French units battle it out with 13 Anglo-Dutch and Prussian units. More on this shortly.

One solution is to simply use the tiny chaps from the Worthington Games' 100 Days game as illustrated above. This looks good and formations can be shown. Another option is to make my own counters. I have had a go and come up with some nice Austrian and Bavarian types.

Corporal Jones is second from left

The Bavarians are considerably smarter!
These are based on nice images from the Junior General website and these are by Daniel Harper and J Bignell respectively.

Last, but definitely not least, I have pondered the rules and made some changes in the new v2. I have reduced the movement distances for cavalry and have generally made it easier for units to change facing as well as removing quite a few other restrictions. As with the first attempt, the idea is to have a simple game with lots of rock, scissors and paper effects. We will see how these play out but I suspect further work will be needed.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Taking up the challenge...

Hex grid Napoleonics

In one of my earlier posts I foolishly announced that I thought I could fit Neil Thomas's Napoleonic rules (which use a standard eight unit army) to fit on the eight by six hex grid used by Norm Smith for his Russian front rules (Tigers at Minsk). I have had my head down this week trying to prove that I can actually do this.

I am therefore now able to reveal my hex version of Neil Thomas's Napoleonic Wargaming rules or, at least, my first go.

Neil's very nice book
In many respects the rules are quite simple to translate into hex grid form. The overall size and shape of the game envisaged by Neil seems to fit very well within a limited hex grid. I have, however, played around with some of the rules. The next effect is to make the game more "gamey" by emphasising the rock, scissors, paper relationship of the various arms. For example, I have made changing formation subject to a morale check so that no-one can be certain if their prize grenadiers will inadvertently remain in line as they are run down by some lancers. I have also made dense infantry formations more vulnerable to artillery fire while retaining their ability to withstand cavalry charges.

So far so theoretical. How am I going to test these out in the current absence of some nicely painted Wurttembergers? The answer is by using some counters and a hex map....

My next job is to lash up some counters using Junior General images and have a go.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Summer breeze

Blowing through the jasmine in my mind....

I'm outdoors building a fence so have not had much time for deep thought. I could certainly do with a nice summer breeze rather than 100% humidity and passing thunderstorms. However, three things have recently impinged on my consciousness:

Firestorm Cherbourg: I have now read the rules through and confirmed that it is possible to play Caen and Cherbourg as linked campaigns. Hurrah.

Wurttembergers: Well, would you Adam and Eve it. Mention Wurttembergers once or twice and they crop up everywhere! Monsieur le Rosbif and Johnny Frog have a friend with nice Front Rank Wurttembergers. Glorious.

Fields of Battle 1: Great Northern War: I've been following the development of this game. It features eight battles each with its own map. It looks great (sorry I mean fantastic!) and I hope it is not out of my price range. The publisher has just put out an update on progress so this one looks like a runner in the fairly near future.