I have been reading Charles Grant's "The Wargame" recently and thinking about "old school" rules once again. I can remember lining up hundreds of HaT, Accurate, and BMC 54mm PLastic AWI guys on my dining room table and having grand fictitious AWI fights. (the finely sculpted Accurate 1/32mm plastics were always Guards.... Because they looked the coolest. My favorite was the officer with the saber pointed straight out at the enemy.)
Anyways, in that spirit I wrote down some thoughts on "Old School" wargaming rules for Horse & Musket battles with toy soldiers and wanted to put them out there for everyone to comment on (or even try if you dare!)
Play sequence is "similar" to Grant's:
- Movement (alternate formations EG I move a unit, you move a unit)
- Artillery Fire (apply casualties at end of artillery phase)
- Stationary Fire (apply casualties at end of Stationary Fire Phase)
- Moving Fire (apply casualties at end of Moving Fire Phase)
- Melee Combat
Line units move and not fire 12 units of measurement. Line units who will fire move 8. Attack columns move 12. Artillery may move 6, foot limbered may move 12. All cavalry move 20.
Inches for troops larger than 15mm. Centimeters for 15mm and below. If you're using blocks of 10mm or 6mm troops, consider making hits by base instead of by figure. Just say each base fires with 2 D6 and takes 4 hits.
Unit sizes are 16 troops, including figures representing officers, musicians, etc (unit representing a most likely an 18th or early 19th century battalion or ACW sized Regiment)
Shoot groups of 2 figures. So a full strength battalion gets 8D6 (8 six sided dice). Game uses opposed shooting rolls. So firer shoots his fire dice. For every hit, the unit being fired upon rolls its morale dice to see how it stands the fire.
EG: Austrian foot at normal morale (4 stands of 4 troops each) rolls 8 dice. Normal morale hits on 4+. He rolls 1,1,2,3,4,4,5,6. Every die that is "4" or higher scores a hit. The Austrian unit scores 4 hits. The Prussian unit he fires at is currently also at Normal morale. He rolls 4 dice (1 for each hit) and rolls 2,3,4,5, canceling out 2 hits from the Austrian player. THe Prussian player takes 2 total hits to his battalion. The Prussian player places a small die with the "2" showing behind the left-most stand.
Morale Levels are Normal, Disorganized, Shaken. For every 4 hits, you reduce your morale level by 1:
4 stands full strength. 3 stands Disorganized. 2 stands Shaken. Units reduced to 4 figures or 1 stand are removed.
For Shooting and Morale:
Normal Morale GREEN Dice hit on 4+ / Save on 4+
Disorganized Morale YELLOW Dice hit on 5+ / Save on 5+
Shaken Morale RED Dice hit on 6 / Save on 6
ALTERNATE MORALE SAVE DICE OPTIONS (roll number or higher on 1D6)
MORALE Dice for Opposing Fire
Second Rate 5+
Hastily Trained Conscript / Mil. 6
UNits must take a morale check after losing a stand, prior to melee, and receiving a charge. Must roll your morale level or better on 1D6.
Line up Battalions and roll as per shooting. Winner must beat loser by 2 casualties. (Prussian scores 4 hits, Austrian scores 2 - Prussian is the winner.)
Moving player announces Charge and makes pre charge morale check.
Moving player moves unit in. Player to receive charge makes morale check. must pass or retreat full move distance.
If Morale check passed, player receiving charge may fire if he has not previously moved or if he has not moved over 8 (the maximum move distance allowed to fire in a turn).
Join units. Resolve dice rolls during Melee Phase.
Melee Phase roll 1D6 for every figure in unit, striving to meet or exceed the Shooting/Morale number. (Normal Morale 4+, Disorganized Morale 5+, Shaken Morale 6). Both sides make Morale Save Dice throws.
Remove Casualties or use marker dice if troops are on bases.
Winner is the side who scored 2 more hits than opponent.
So that's it. I've been having a difficult time with figuring out what scale to play this at. I'm thinking of 1/72, individually based troops to give it that "toy soldier feel" that I got out of playing on my dining room table. Not to mention the fact that individually based 1/72 guys can be used for skirmish games as well. So maybe that decision has already been made!
Thoughts? Feedback? There was alot of influence from Grant's The Wargame in that i thought his sequence of play was just brilliant. Also, many games try to impart negative modifiers from the consequences of bad morale onto die rolls, morale checks etc. I like the concept in "All The King's Men" rules where your To Hit and Melee dice are based on attrition (granted, in those games you can recover your morale level. In these rules, you have 4 hits before losing a level - but in this game the level cannot be gained back during the game.) Thus the morale results are built into the game and you don't have to worry about extra modifiers. In this way, the game can accept large numbers of Battalions in a big fight without too much book keeping.
The book keeping will mostly occur during shooting in each phase. Since shooting is simultaneous per phase, you'll have to track casualties incurred this phase, then apply those casualties at the end of the phase. It's a slight annoyance but it might not detract from the flow of the game.
I like the melee rules in that you get "buckets of dice" which I'm particularly fond of growing up on Epic Space Marine and the like.
Leave comments and let me know your thoughts!