Variable Movement in TMA6

December 11, 2014

Some folks like at least a little friction in there games.  Friction provides some uncertainty to the gamer so that he or she is unable to make the perfect move.  Essentially, their troops will not do exactly as they wish.  Taking an idea from the Black Powder series of games, we can add variable movement rules.  Rather than have commanders with command ratings, we will just allow a unit to move a variable amount of inches.  The kicker is that the player must declare the intent of the move before the dice are rolled.  If he says he wishes to charge an enemy but then rolls a number that does not allow his unit to make contact, he is still obligated to move the unit as far as possible.

In the basic game, units move 6,8,10 and 12″ for heavy infantry, loose order infantry etc, heavy cavalry and light cavalry respectively.  We can gauge these move distances based on the roll of several D6 taking the averages to come up with similar distances.

  • Heavy Infantry 2D6-1
  • Light Infantry, Warbands, Peltasts, Elephants etc 2D6+1
  • Heavy Cavalry, Light Chariots 3D6
  • Light Cavalry 3D6+2

To this we can add group movement.  Up to 3 units in line and within 2″ of the next unit in the group may move as one unit.  One toss of the dice based on the slowest unit determines how far the group moves.  Group moves can only be straight ahead.


Magnesia reight for Throw me a 6!

October 23, 2014

This is my refight of Magnesia.  It is the first battle where I used a DBA army list.  I thought it would make the game run longer.  It seems the game ended in 4 or possibly 5 game turns.  I think it was actually 5 but I was interrupted in the middle of the fight and lost count.  The whole battle took about 1 hour.

The lines are arrayed.  Romans are in black a Seleucids are in red.

The lines are arrayed. Romans are in black a Seleucids are in red.

The battle opened with a general advance from the Seleucids.  The catafracts advanced quickly while the rest of the line stayed together at the pace of the pike phalanx.  The skirmishers managed 1 hit on a Roman velite.  Rome responded with an ineffective missile barrage of their own.  They refrained from contacting the catafracts but did attack the two thureophoroi and drove them steadily.  Turn 2 saw both sides rolling a 1 for initiative and the Seleucids took the first move.  The Galatian warband charged home on the Legionare but took a hit from the Pila.  The melee was indecisive.  Three of the phalanx and the elephant also charged home in the center to no real effect either.  On the right, one of the Seeucid thureophori broke and ran after the melee and would be caught on turn three by the Pergememnid Thureophoi and dispatched.  The cavalry battle swirled back and forth on both flanks.  Also on turn 2, the elephants drive back the velites they were fighting, crashed into a Roman legionare who could not throw their pila as it was after melee.  Turn 3 saw the elephants get hit and go berserk.  The moved off to the right where there was a huge lane for them to run down and off the board.  The Galatians lost the melee and fled.  They would be caught on turn 4 from behind and dispatched.  The remaining Seleucid thureophoroi was also surrounded and destroyed.  This left the catafracts on the right.

Magnesia Turn 3

The situation after turn 3. The phalanx is getting cut to pieces in the center.

On turn 4 the velites in the center would get a lucky hit and destroy the phalanx engaging it.  The Roman infantry would make short work of its opponents including the flanked phalanx also in the center.  The catafracts on the right would hold on to the end but on the left, they would succumb to a flank charge by the velites.

The end.

The end.  Note that the Roman cavalry on the left fell just short.  This is the end of turn 5 I think.  The light infantry and catafracts just hold on.  Amazingly, one of the phalanx suffered no casualties.

The battle went similar to the actual account.  The Pergamemnid troops managed to push back the Seleucid left (the right side of the board) and the other flank remained in check until the end.  The phalanx performed well until the supporting units started to fall apart.  I am certain I screwed up the time line but this is roughly how the battle went. :D

Cavalry on cavalry match-ups seem slow.  I think it would be worth adding a die to each side to speed things along.  That would give fully armored cavalry 3 dice to 2 dice for the half armored cavalry.  As it was, they were rolling 2 dice to 1 die after the initial contact.  The combat skills were all average but I suppose giving some units superior would also compensate instead.

Finally, elephants felt a little under powered.  My solution is to make them attack at 3D against infantry and 4D against cavalry.  For defense, they always count as having more armor than their opponents.

 


Throw Me a ‘6’ first draft now online

October 16, 2014

I’ve decided to post my first draft of the rules.  A total of 3 1/2 pages plus a half page of design notes.  If you give them a go, let me know how they work.

You can find them here.


Later Macedonia vs Rome

October 15, 2014

A pitched battled between Macedonia and Rome.  This took place on flat terrain.  The initial disposition is below.

Rome v Mac Turn Setup

An even fight. Two cavalry, 2 light infantry and 4 heavy infantry per side. Pila vs Pike.

Rome draws first blood hitting the archer with missile shots.  Skirmishers roll 2 dice against no armor.  They scored one 6 eliminating a base.  No retreat required from missile shooting.

Rome draws first blood hitting the archer with missile shots. Skirmishers roll 2 dice against no armor. They scored one 6 eliminating a base. No retreat required from missile shooting.

On turn 3 the Roman velites get lucky and eliminate the Greek archers by killing two more bases.

On turn 3 the Roman velites get lucky and eliminate the Greek archers by killing two more bases.

Lines clash.  The macedonia cavalry defat their Roman counterparts while the Macedonian companions make steady progress on the left.  In the center the pilum has some initial effects scoring a single 6 with the shot on the first two phalangite units.  However on the right the phalangite nearly speaps away their Roman opponent with a first strike of their own.  Things are not looking good for Rome.

Lines clash. The Macedonia cavalry defeat their Roman counterparts while the Macedonian companions make steady progress on the left. In the center the pilum has some initial effects scoring a single 6 with the shot on the first two phalangite units. However on the right the phalangite nearly speaps away their Roman opponent with a first strike of their own. Things are not looking good for Rome.

Unit typically roll 2 dice in combat.  These dice can go up based on the difference in armor, a full second rank of pike, Roman soldiers fighting a second or subsequent round and so forth.  Typically Rome was rolling 3 dice per unit and sometimes Macedon was after the initial contact.  The simple retreat rules in place of traditional morale works pretty well.

End of turn 5

The left phalanx collapses while the right Legionare follows suit. Units are required to follow up a half move when an enemy retreats or is routed. Occasionally this will result in the pursuer to hit the rear of the fleeing enemy if the retreat roll is 4 or more. The unit would retreat that many inches facing away from the enemy.

The battle ebbed back and forth for a full 14 turns.  Both sides were whittled down to a half strength as Rome took apart 3 phalangite units.  The last one surprisingly stayed intact for most of the battle until it was surrounded by Roman units and was destroyed.  That ended the game.


A test run with the Biblical lists

February 27, 2014

Keith from Minnesota and a new opponent gave the Biblical lists a test run.  Here is a photo from Sea Peoples vs Trojans.  It looks to be a pretty close fight so far.  This appears to be the point were the two lines make initial contact.  I think the Trojans might be getting the worst of it.

Sea People on the left clash with Trojans on the right.  It looks like the Sea People have a slight advantage.   The center is showing some hits while the flanks seem to be about even.

Sea People on the left clash with Trojans on the right. It looks like the Sea People have a slight advantage. The center is showing some hits while the flanks seem to be about even.

 


Two offerings from Der Kampfflieger.

January 5, 2014

From another company called Der Kampfflieger, I have for you a British Dingo Scout Car and a German Panzer Jager I.  Both come in 1/72 scale so sizing does not need to be done.  Both models were easy to build but both had their problems.

The scout car is only about 1.25″ long.  That is problem enough!  Everything about the card was pretty straight forward.  There was one part of the fender that was printed on the wrong side.  Nothing that a touch of bleached bone paint couldn’t cure though.

The Panzer Jager I was easy except for the gun assembly.  I ended up building the gun barrel out of plastic and adding the muzzle break from a bit of toothpick.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I Side.  The scout car wheels are on loose.  Notice the back wheel is slightly "off".  The axle went in crooked.  I am probably going to remove it and adjust.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I Side. The scout car wheels are on loose. Notice the back wheel is slightly “off”. The axle went in crooked. I am probably going to remove it and adjust.

The inner works of the PZJgr-I.  The model was pretty easy to build but the gun was a pit of a pain.  I could not roll the barrels so I ended up getting two sizes of plastic rod from the local hobby shop.  1/16" is the top rod and something smaller is the bottom.  The gun is not exact but is close enough.  The bell at the end of the gun is cut from the end of a round toothpick.

The inner works of the PZJgr-I. The model was pretty easy to build but the gun was a pit of a pain. I could not roll the barrels so I ended up getting two sizes of plastic rod from the local hobby shop. 1/16″ is the top rod and something smaller is the bottom. The gun is not exact but is close enough. The bell at the end of the gun is cut from the end of a round toothpick.

Again, the models were quite inexpensive at about $3.00 each from E-card Models.  Print and build as many as you like!  The Dingo took about 2.5 hours to build but the PzJgr-I took something along the lines of 6.5 hours.  Good thing I don’t need to many of those!  As with any photography, some of the imperfections immediately showed up in the shots.  I assure you, the tanks look way better in person, especially from 3 feet away.

Panzer Jager I

Daimler Dingo Scout Car


1/72 Scale WW2 Vehicles in Paper

December 1, 2013

I’ve been experimenting with some World War 2 paper vehicles.  I have made several now and would like to show the results.  I’ve purchased so far from two companies and found one item free on the web.

From left to right: Matilda MkII, Universal Carrier, Stug III, Panzer III

From left to right: Matilda MkII, Universal Carrier, Stug III, Panzer III

First up is a diorama offering from Best Paper Models.  The item comes with a Matilda and a Panzer III.  These tanks were pretty easy to put together.  Simply adhering to some paper modeling “best practices” and you could get these together in about 4 hours each.  This includes, cutting, gluing and touch up painting.  The results are quite nice.  A side note, I felt that the colors were a little bright so I toned them down, making the Panzer III a bit more tan and the Matilda a bit more earthy.  The latter’s colors were clearly influenced by the Matilda at Bovington.  The gun barrels are supposed to be rolled paper.  I managed to roll the Panzer III gun barrel pretty easily.  The Matilda gun barrel is a simpler piece and should have been even easier to roll.  However, for some reason I could not roll the paper into a gun barrel for this model.  I used a toothpick instead.  The last thing I want to mention is that these models are actually 1/87th scale.  I pasted them into a PNG file.  The graphics are actually very high resolution.  I had to shrink the files to 28% size.

On a side note, I did look up measurements for the vehicles just to make sure they were close to scale.  I use www.wwiivehicles.com for most of my needs since the web site owner has done most of the research for me and even lists his sources.  All measurements varried but the Matilda II varied the most, especially with the length of the vehicle.  The difference between the smallest and largest measurement was something like 3 feet!

Matilda and Panzer III from the side.  Note the solid tracks.  No cutting out bogey wheels.  Just one solid foldable piece.

Matilda and Panzer III from the side. Note the solid tracks. No cutting out bogey wheels. Just one solid foldable piece.

The second purchase was from paper Tiger Armaments.  These vehicles are very nice.  The coloring is, perhaps, not quite as nice as those from Best paper Models in terms of texture and detail but a very good model never the less.  There are more details in parts, especially in the track area.  I was not up to the task of assembling the tracks a wheel at a time so I used the tracks from the PZIII from BPA.  I recolored them further to give them a near match to the PTA Stug.

Stug III with tracks from the BPA Panzer III.

Stug III with tracks from the BPA Panzer III.

The final model is a Universal Carrier from J. Friant and is available on his web page.  This was a pretty easy model to build.  There is a good bit of white space in the interior when you look down and at an angle into the drivers compartment.  This can be fixed with some appropriately colored paint.  The coloring scheme is very basic so it would be easy to re-skin it to anything you like before printing.

Universal carrier with the solid track option.  There is also a detailed track option similar to the PTA tanks.

Universal carrier with the solid track option. There is also a detailed track option similar to the PTA tanks.

Final Thoughts

Paper tanks can be slow to build.  I suspect that the process can be somewhat sped up by building multiple tanks.  I have not tried it yet though.  At 4 hours per tank, this is probably a bit slower than preparing some of the quick build plastic models for the game table.  The advantage is the cost.  You can purchase a tank image for $2 to $5 via the web and then build as many as you need.

Best Paper Models Matilda and Panzer III in North Africa

Paper Tiger Armaments Stug III

Universal Carrier from J. Friant


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