My Favorite Rules Pt2

January 1, 2020

In my last post about my favorite rules, I said that I would work on combat in the next post.  Well, I generally like to write rules in order of sequence of play.  Movement comes next, so today I shall talk about movement.

Like everything else, I like to keep my rules short and sweet.  Infantry can move 6″ and cavalry can move 12″.  Remember, this can be modified by morale results.  Sometimes, a morale result can allow only a half move or even no move at all.  Other times, the unit might fall back or route 1 or two moves, which counts as the unit’s move for that turn.

Formed units typically turn about the center  with a turn consuming half a move.  Skirmish/light units may turn about the center up to 45 degrees for free.  Optionally, a unit may wheel and spend movement for each inch moved measured from the outside corner.

A formation change costs a unit a half move.  Formations can be line and column.  Columns can be march column or field column.  March column is 3 figures wide with multiple ranks lined up behind.  Field column is 6 figures wide with multiple ranks lined up behind.

As mentioned, infantry moves 6″ and cavalry 12″.  A unit in column gets a bonus move of +3″.  A unit in march column may gain an additional bonus of +3″ if it moves entirely on a road or path.   Finally, skirmish/light units get +3″ for being in skirmish formation.

It should be noted that a unit that is afforded a half move because of a morale result would only be able to move, change formation or turn as it only has a half move available to do one of the three.

As a final note, morale plays heavily on a unit’s movement ability.  A player may typically move their units as they see fit, within the rules of course!  When a unit starts taking casualties, morale rolls are typically required and this can slow a unit or even force it back.

So there it is!  Short and sweet!  Next time, I shall provide rules for combat.  This time I mean it!

Progress so far…Braddock’s Defeat

November 11, 2019

I’ve decided to put some armies together for the French and Indian War and the American War of Independence.  For scenarios I am using the book Seven Steps to Freedom by Charles Wessencraft.  It outlines 7 phases of the American Rebellion starting with it’s roots in the F&IW.  The first scenario is Braddock’s Defeat and the Battle of Turtle Creek/Braddock’s Field or simply Braddock’s expedition.

The rules used in my games will be A Gentleman’s War.  Normally this is a head to head game and the card play really only lends itself to that style of play.  However, if  I get a number of players around the table, I will probably use a card system more similar to The Sword and the Flame.   The Wessencraft book game rules use a low figure count per regiment at around twelve figures per similar the A Gentleman’s War so this has turned out to be an excellent purchase.

Here is a couple of shots of the first few regiments.

Two English regiments. Each has 12 figures.

Two French battalions lined up as a single regiment. 20 figures total.

This is how I can normally get a lot of figures painted and on the table.  I plan on painting to the scenario.  So I have 4 Indian Warbands to pain, another 3 English regiments and 3 continental regiments.  I also need one or two light cannon depending on how I decide to crew them.

The Invasion Has Begun

December 15, 2018

I am just running my Featherstone re-write through the paces.  I’ve played a good bit and the rules work quite well.  I want to make sure all of my addenda get put into the rules as written.

I am using the scenarios from 1 Hour Wargames.  I’ve randomly determined which battles will be played.  Blue is the aggressor on the first battle.  The winner of each battle becomes the aggressor of the next battle, the counter offensive should it be the defender.  This first scenario is #26 in the book: Triple Line.  The aggressor must cross a bridge and defeat a numerically inferior force (6 units to 4).  Blue has 2 skirmisher units, 3 line units and an artillery battery.  Red has 1 skirmisher unit, 2 line units and 1 artillery battery.

I limited the artillery to 8 rounds of ammunition.  Skirmishers shoot at one range band farther though at long range they still just shoot at long range.

Turn 1: Blue advances with a skirmish screen, 2 units in line and another in column of march. The artillery comes up on the right and so is not eligible to file this turn. There is a short exchange of fire at long range with just 1 casualty inflicted on a Blue skirmisher unit.

Turn 2: The right blue unit flank marches and the unit in column charges over the bridge, driving the Red skirmishers back. Long range infantry fire is ineffective but the artillery rips through the ranks causing several casualties.

Turn 3: The assaulting line unit manages to form line but is met by a hail of musketry and artillery fire. While at 50% it does manage to hold its ground as the second line unit crosses the river and form line.

Turn 4: Blue wins a critical initiative. They are able to bring their last line unit over the river and form up. They are also able to make a retreat lane. Blue’s general moves up to help rally the wavering line unit but is killed in the process. The line unit manages to hold on but is still disordered. Artillery on both sides continues to inflict casualties.

I did not represent generals on the field since they are fast enough to move anywhere they want.   Every time they are used, roll a D6.  On a 6, they are hit while trying to influence combat.  Roll again.  On a 1-2, the horse was shot from beneath them.  On a 3-4, they are wounded and are out for D6 turns.  On a 5-6, they are mortally wounded and carried from the field.  If they are wounded while influencing melee, and their unit loses the combat, the commander is also captured.

Turn 6: red wins the initiative and tells blue to move first. Blue creeps their skirmisher through he woods on the right to gain a flank shot on red’s left most unit. red’s skirmisher fail a morale check and are obliged to retreat to the woods. Blue inflicts casualties heavy casualties on Red’s right most unit through artillery fire and some casualties on the left most with long ranged musketry. Red’s return fire is mostly ineffective though artillery managed two hits on Blue’s left most unit.

Turn 7: Blue’s skirmishers do not rally and can’t move. They press the attack on red’s right and despite taking flank fire from Red’s skirmishers manage to hold and deliver close range musketry to Red’s right hand unit. Red’s fire’s and misses with its artillery. The other side of the line is a rather even exchange of infantry fire. Both sides have just 2 rounds of artillery fire left.

Turn 8: Blue wins the initiative and orders a bayonet charge on the already wavering Red unit on the right flank of Red. Red’s unit routes and takes several casualties knocking it down to it’s last stand. However, disaster strikes and Blue fails a morale check with the same unit and routes back to the bridge. (I am off here somehow). This may be a picture after 2 turns of action. Hmmm). Blue’s artillery inflicts casualties on Reds remaining line unit as does the long range fire from Blue’s other two units. red returns with a hit or two. Both artillery units are down to the last round.

Turn 9: Both batteries inflict some more casualties with their last rounds. Blue continues to whittle down red’s remaining line unit. Red in desperation, presses blue’s skirmisher unit near the bridge.

Turn 10: Blue wins the initiative and charges Red’s wavering line unit. Red’s unit breaks and runs leaving Blue’s skirmisher and line unit close to an otherwise defenseless artillery battery. The resulting musketry fire inflicts 3 casualties.

At this point, it was clear that Blue would win.  They still had 2 line and both skirmisher units on the field and Red had only their skirmisher unit though their last line unit did rally with a ‘6’.  It likely would not have withstood the onslaught of Blue’s remaining units.  Next battle will be battle #1 which is a fight between 2 hills.  It’s a pretty uninteresting map but will test the rules on open ground.

The figures are mostly Minifigs 2nd gen with a few Minifigs 3rd generation.  Trees are by JTT trees.  Hills are from Battlefield Terrain Concepts.  The rivers and roads are craft foam flocked with railroad flock made by someone at the flea market at Cold Wars.  I am ashamed to say I did not get the gentleman’s name.  They are a clever and inexpensive way to make roads and rivers.


My Own Version of Battle Part 4

November 2, 2018

Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my design notes.  In part 4 I’ll go through our design methodology for vehicles and answer a question.  were British vehicles in the desert really worse than the German counterparts?  lets not beat around the bush and jump right into the designs.

In the early years of the desert campaign, there were really 4 different tanks that were used as battle tanks.  Matilda II, Cruiser A13 MkII for Great Britain.  On the German side we have the Panzer IIIf/g and the Panzer IVd/e.

Matilda II had a maximum road speed of 16mph.  The main armament was the QF 2-pounder anti-tank gun.  It also had a BESA machine gun mounted coaxially with the gun.  It has effectively 8cm of armor in the front for both turret and hull and about 6cm on the average for the side and rear.  In short, it was a rolling brick.  For game purposes, it has an 8″ move cross country.  The frontal armor is 15 which the side armor is 13.   The 2-pounder has the following strike values.  7/7/6/5 for 100/500/1000/1500 yards respectively.

The Cruiser A13 MkII has a road speed of 35mph.  Yeah.  That’s right.  This thing can almost fly!  Frontal armor is about 3cm in most places while side/rear armor is only 2cm and yes.  I am being generous here.  So the frontal armor is only 10 and the side/rear armor is 9.  It also has a QF 2-pounder and a coaxially mounted MG, either a BESA or Vickers.  You can use the stats for the Matilda for firepower.  The speed of this tank off road is an impressive 17″.

And now for the German tanks.

The Panzer IIIf/g was the work horse of the desert campaign right up to the end.  The ‘f’ models were up-armored and up-gunned so they were essentially ‘g’ models.  They had 2 machine guns and a 5cm L/42 cannon for a main armament.  There was 6cm of armor on the front and about half that on the side and rear.  The turret had 3 to 3.7 mm of armor all around.  This brings the frontal defense values to 12 and the side defense to 10.  The tank had a road speed of 25mph.  That gives it roughly a 12″ move.  The 5cm gun has strike values of 6/5/4/3/2 at the various ranges.

The Panzer IVd/e had just 5 cm of armor on the front hull and 3cm on the turret.  There was 2cm of armor on the side and rear.  So the frontal defense will be a 11 while the side/rear defense will be a 9.  The short 75mm gun was not designed for anti-tank purposes.  These models were built when the concept of infantry tanks was still part of the German doctrine.  5/5/4/3 is the strike values.  The road speed is similar to that of the Panzer III.  So 12″ off road movement for this tank as well.

When engaging at normal range of 1000 yards, the 2-pounder can be effective against the frontal armor of the German tanks.  The 6 strike value  means that it can defeat a Panzer III with a roll of 7 and a Panzer IV with a roll of 6.  Conversely, the Matilda with its massive 15 defense would be tough to destroy with either German tank.  The A13, on the other hand with its paltry 10 defense would have to rely on its speed to not get hit.  Any direct hit would likely prove fatal.

So with the tanks so close in value head to head, how did the German army dominate?  The answer is the tactics they employed.  German did not view its armor as an anti-tank weapon only.  Often they would engage at long range, bait the enemy into a charge and then fall back behind a line of anti-tank line.  The line would have a variety of weapons including 5cm Pak 38s and the mighty Flak 36 88mm gun.  Once the enemy was fully engaged, the German armor would make a wide flanking maneuver and attack the helpless British armor from the flank and rear.

I do believe that the armor matchup was relatively even and I’d even give a slight edge to the British at this point in the war but the superior German tactics coupled with the the mechanical difficulties of some of the British tanks, gave the edge on the battlefield to the Germans.




My Own Version of Battle Part 3

October 25, 2018

I’ve started with tanks and have gone through the infantry basics as well.  Now it is time to worry about artillery and the communications involved in directing fire.

Mr. Grants game is based on a 1 minute game turn and assumes that the units in question will be able to move about with perfect efficiency should the player choose.  I’ve chosen a 5 minute turn, not that it really matters, and assume there will be plenty of “hurry up and wait” involved with moving units.  With that in mind, a forward observer (F/O) will need to raise the gun battery on the radio.  Grant assumed a throw of a 5 or 6 was necessary on a single dice throw.  Given that we would have 5 chances to get this number, I’ve distilled this down to a single dice throw as well.  The chances work out to being roughly 86% which means you would need something like a 2 or better on a single dice throw.  Now that may seem excessive but when you consider how artillery works in some of the other games out there, you would be left wondering how in the world guys got support in on target in a timely fashion!  A friend of mine, who served many years in the army, would agree that games routinely get it wrong.  You can usually get contact in a minute or two, a spotting round down range within the minute and if all goes well you will probably be able to fire for effect a couple of minutes after that.  So, it should follow that you can have artillery raining down on the enemy within a turn or at most two.

So here is how it should work.  The F/O makes contact (2+ on a D6).  Now, he would place a marker and roll to range in.  A 5 or 6 is required.  A failure results in the target being ranged in on the NEXT turn at the point the player selected.  Now, place a 1.5″ X 3″ rectangle down centered on the point of impact.  Each corner will be numbered 1 through 4.  A die roll of 5 or 6 will result in the rounds coming in on target.  On a 1 through 4, the area is shifted to the numbered corner that resulted.  Thus if the upper left corner was labeled 1 and a 1 was rolled, shift the point of impact to the upper left corner.  Any vehicle or figure caught under the blast is subject to being destroyed.  Infantry and gun crew need a 5 or 6 to survive in the open, a 4+ in cover except woods where splintered wood would effectively make the area as dangerous as in the open.   infantry sheltered in slit trenches, fox holes or bunkers are saved on a 3+.  Tanks are immobilized on a 4 or 5 and rendered inoperative on a 6.  Soft skinned vehicles are destroyed on a 3+.  Any passengers make saves as if in the open.

DF-LIKE Horse and Musket Update

October 4, 2018

After a mere 2 years, DF-LIKE Horse and Musket has been updated.  There was a minor error in the QRS (last page) that reflected the old melee resolution system.  It is now changed to reflect the rules.

With that said, I am going to run it through the paces with a mini campaign using the One Hour Wargames scenarios.  I’ll be randomly determining the scenario and deploy one side as the English and the other as the French.  The winner of the scenario becomes (or remains!) the attacker in the next scenario.  I’ll play 6 of them and see where the narrative takes me.

Armored Car Company

February 19, 2017

These have been mostly finished and sitting on my paint table for a few weeks now.  I did not want to bring out the paints until my figures arrived from EWM.  Well, they did arrive yesterday and I spent some of the day today lining and touching up the models.  I think the results look pretty good!  All models by Paper Tiger Armaments.  Note that the sdkfz.222 also comes with a truck.  I have not built it…yet.

In search of the British army. sdkfz.231 in between two sdkfz.222.

In search of the British army. sdkfz.231 in between two sdkfz.222.

Upper front view.

Upper front view.

Rear view. Mission complete. Heading home!

Rear view. Mission complete. Heading home!

I suppose the extreme weathering with gray underneath is to show that they were hastily painted either before or after arriving in N. Africa.  Maybe they should have primed first?  😉

All (not so) Quiet

February 17, 2017

I have not been posting but have been a little busy over the past week.  The little General wanted me to build a Tiger Tank.  I rescaled Rawan’s Tiger I from 1:100 scale.  I think it came out well.  The other thing I’ve been doing is working on a sdkfz.10 artillery tractor.  Pictured on the right, it is the white template.  No tracks or wheels yet.  But those are pretty easy to do anyway.  I do need to adjust the front fenders, widening them and fixing the length.


Side by side.  The half track is tiny!

Tiger Gun barrel is the length of a toothpick minus the tapered ends. 7/8″ of paper was wrapped twice followed by 7/16″ width of paper wrapped 3 times to get the tapered look of the gun. The muzzle break is 1/8″ of a medium kabob skewer.  The half track took me about 3 days to get to this point. I suspect I will have a detailed version this weekend.

The total build time of the Tiger was about 3 hours.  I think it took me about 1 hour to get the half track built to that point.  Maybe another half hour for tracks and wheels.

EDIT Here is the half track with wheels and tracks.  When I printed it out, I realized I forgot to duplicate the wheel.  Fortunately, there was a spare from my sdkfz.231 sitting on the table.

Wheels and tracks.

Wheels and tracks.

The Finished Product (mostly)

February 7, 2017

This is my final prototype.  I lowered the front edge of the front fenders a little.  I am unhappy with the window texture.  They are just to bright.  I am thinking a glass texture with a brown tint would be better.  Anyway, here are a few shots.  Included in one of the shots is a Kubelwagen by “Rawen” for size comparison.  It was a 1:100 scale model resized to 1:72 scale.  It comes with a Tiger I as well.  My son will be happy when I finally get that built.

Side/Rear shot to show off the rear "fenders". I simply added a circular strip of 67 lbs paper that was slightly larger than the wheel well. I've included 4 in the model just in case one gets messed up.

Side/Rear shot to show off the rear “fenders”. I simply added a circular strip of 67 lbs paper that was slightly larger than the wheel well. I’ve included 4 in the model just in case one gets messed up.

Front shot showing off the lowered front fender edges as well as the front bumper and windshield. I am not happy with the glass color.

Front shot showing off the lowered front fender edges as well as the front bumper and windshield. I am not happy with the glass color.

Overhead to show the basic interior print I added. Surprisingly effective with out much fuss. The roof will be permanently glues on.

Overhead to show the basic interior print I added. Surprisingly effective with out much fuss. The roof will be permanently glues on.

The axles are just 1" lengths of florist wire. Rough them up before gluing. I think the wire is about 20 gauge.

The axles are just 1″ lengths of florist wire. Rough them up before gluing. I think the wire is about 20 gauge.

Side by side with a quick build Kubelwagon by "Rawen."

Side by side with a quick build Kubelwagon by “Rawen.”

You can get the final model in jpg on the “Old School” page on this blog.

Quick notes: Cut out all of the black areas and discard.  The rear fenders make sure you do the black areas out first and then the outer edge.  I found it easier to cut the rear fenders with a knife being careful to leave enough paper to hold the piece in place.  Use 65-67 pound paper.  Some of the lines are not meant to be cut!  Print out at 85ppi for the correct scaling.

If you are new to card modeling, check out  Wonderful site full of very helpful folks!

Horch in color

February 7, 2017

I made some changes to the fender assembly and added a small bumper.  I eyeballed everything and luck was on my side.  The fenders and bumper were perfect lengths.

Front view with new fenders and bumper.  Not a great shot.  My

Front view with new fenders and bumper. Not a great shot. My “good” camera uses AA batteries and they went dead.

Rear view.  I used a straight edge when scoring most of the folds to get an ultra straight line.  The fold where the roof meets the body was not straight on my white prototype.  There was a small gap.  Perfect fit this time.

Rear view. I used a straight edge when scoring most of the folds to get an ultra straight line. The fold where the roof meets the body was not straight on my white prototype. There was a small gap. Perfect fit this time.

I still need to draw interiors.  I’ll also make a “roof down” option.  Finally, I forgot to draw in the rear fenders.  They don’t need to protrude as they are almost flush.  But they are supposed to be there and noticeable.