Monday, February 27, 2006

A like mind!

I distinctly felt the sense of human companionship today, on a wargamer's forum that I regularly visit there was a posted message to me from someone else who has a serious bug about playing SCW with 6mm. I don't have a clue where in the world this person hails from, but it sure feels nice to know that there are others afflicted by the same substrain of the malady.

Whoever you are, Red Trotsky Red, thankyou!

I am nearly done with the first 'clean up' of my rules prior to posting. It's taking much longer than I thought.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Writing my rules

This is an update on what is presently occurring with the rules I have been working on for my SCW miniatures. I have called them Al Front! (which means "to the front").

Over the years I've seen lots of rule sets and used most of them in one game or another. When I used to play 6mm WWII at a friends', they used a set that was written by a local master-gamer called Micro 300. I didn't wish to use these rules for this game, as there was some bookkeeping involved and a lot of dice rolls and charts. When we used to use them, they were great, but we had a lot more time and ability to leave a game set up for months. That is no longer the case.

I did an internet search, and had a look at lots of various sets out there at the present. There were bits and pieces in most sets which I liked, but none seemed to have the 'flavour' I was looking for. So, I did what all old wargamers eventually do, and decided to write my own.

By the time I was finished, I had 24 pages of a word document, including 5 pages of tables. I am presently working on cutting back the verbosity, and simplifying generally. I was going to post them up to a free rules site but am again going through them to simplify and rewrite. There are a couple aspects of the rules which I took almost whole from other sets and, even if I don't originalise these bits, I need to make sure I'm not done for copywrite.

The process has been real interesting, I have had to delve deep into assumptions and design theory to work out exactly what it is we wish to achieve with our simulation/game. It was a joy to find someone who has covered much of this intellectual territory and found words to express it as well as the fact that many gamers this decade seem to be moving the way I am in their rules (simpler, quicker, less complex, single dice roll, card involvement).

The next scenario I'm thinking of, by the way, is the initial military coup of the SCW - in Morocco. Will involve elite Foreign Legionairres and Moroccans seizing a town centre and airport while worker militia and regular army mobilise to try and prevent.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Morning in Spain

Morning in Spain, looking back towards Italian baseline. Posted by Picasa

This photo is looking back over the central bridge where the CVs are. You can see the blue overalls of the worker's militia platoons, some in the village at left and some in the open between the bridge and town. The Italian militia (closest to camera) have swept around through the village and are about to engage the pinned militia in the open with fire. In the midground are visible an Italian infantry company, advancing towards the crossroads, and various other infantry advancing in the distance and through the woods. At the rear of the table are visible mortar support units and Italian trucks.

This photo was taken after the final turn had been completed and the markers which we use in the game removed. The Italian had had a dawn militia attack upon republican elements in village and woods. Reinforcements had arrived over the following hours, a battalion of infantry and a company of CVs. It is those CVs which have swept onto the two bridges in middle of table. They only did this with a turn to go, as Republican militia held out in the village, put up a bitter (though losing) fight for the woods nearest the river, and advanced reinforcement centurias up the roads. With only an hour of game time to go, it appeared that a draw was likely and a republican win possible. Then, the CVs swept through several gaps and stormed over the empty objectives (central bridge had been heavily shelled on previous turn by Italian artillery, and subject to air attack by a pair of CR 32 biplanes, which together had eliminated a centuria of militia that threatened to block the Italians with their lives).

For historical context, the Italians were part of the 1936 sweep to cut off republicans in Malaga. They had to get across the bridges to win this game. The Republicans were to buy time for the evacuation of Malaga. They had to deny one bridge for a draw, both for a win.

The games purpose (besides providing entertainment, which it did) was to test out the rules we are working on (Al Front!). We played it over four sessions, a couple hours per session. Not bad for a Brigade sized game. The scenery has moved on since then, and I look forward to posting pictures of our current set up.

I'm not sure when this will happen (as we have lives to live between games), so thought I'd post this to keep the blog active.