Wednesday, 20 May 2015

AWI game - rule testing

Last night at the club Neil and myself went through a playtest of his horse and musket rule system. The rules are called "Battle Factor: the age of cannon 1704-1865".

Neil brought his AWI figures and I played the patriots (or rebels depending on your viewpoint of history), I had two regiments of Continental infantry, two of Buckskins, two ranger units and some militia. In addition to four generals, a cannon and a unit of cavalry.

The rules I think played well, they were well written which is a good quality in any rule set, they are evolving but most of mechanisms will probably stay the same with some minor retuning as he has worked on these for a while.Neil was very patient while I blundered through the game.

Each side must secretly determine two objectives (sensible military ones!) and at the end it may be possible for both sides to 'win', mine were to capture the crossroads and the church. Neils were more sensible, he also wanted the crossroads but also the high ground overlooking the crossroads!

Command and control is based on a 1D6 roll for each general and the C&C, low rolls mean you cant move, change formation or fire as mush as you would like.

All hits are determined by rolling sixes, easy to remember that. Maybe use fives as well for close range rather than adding extra dice?

The number of musketry and melee die are decided by the frontage in mm, I think it was 1D6 for every 40mm.

Artillery and musketry are not deadly, although at close range they can be. The important factor for deciding results is in melee, again causlties can be light it is the morale acsendence that determines if a unit is pushed back or not.

At about 50% causalities a unit will begin to start suffering the effects of these losses, as these go beyond 50% they cannot attack or advance and will finally rout. The information is kept on rosters and is not onerous.

When movement and firing occur the defender can react either by firing back, or a formation change. Reacting troops are noted by markers, as well as those that reacted by firing.

I think the recoil rule may need to be rethought as I kept wining a melee repeatedly and the losing unit sort of got stuck in front of a friendly unit and could not retreat further. Usually, based on my limited experience I would expect to see these pass through the friendly unit causing disruption or not depending on the rule set.

If you lose a melee, (die rolls are compared and the loser is pushed back), you can follow up but the winners use five dice to the losers three. So having lost once expect to lose again.

Joining the Whitley Bay war-games club has been one of my better decisions, I'm actually playing!

In terms of game play, I concentrated on the crossroads my continental infantry won several melees pushing the British back, one of them routed off the board. The church was just about in my setup zone so that was objective down already. The woods north east of the church were filled with indians and British light infantry, I failed to take the woods and my militia and rangers were pushed back. The British centre was overrun with 3-4 of my battalions and more or less won the game. On my left flank Neils dragoons routed my cavalry and caused panic with the remaining infantry battalion posted there.

I must apologise for the fuzzy quality of the photos, my hands shake and the lighting isn't too good in the hall.

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