Thursday, July 17, 2008

More on Tinkelwasser

Here is a map as a .jpg of the Bishopric. Cities are not named, neither are towns (that's for later).

I created the map in Campaign Cartographer. Took me about 15 minutes, most of which was spent with the rivers. I've found that CC2 is one of the more versatile mapping programs around. It's a vector system, but it gives you the option to save in a variety of formats. I chose .jpg because I was comfortable with it.
The map is oriented with Upper Tinkelwasser being to the south, or upper part of the map. There's a large lake to the east (Lake Tinkel), and some rivers that flow into the Tinkelwasser itself. Minor details will be added later.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Volley & Bayonet

Bluebear Jeff asked about Volley & Bayonet for the WSS. That's all I use. I've tried the rest and found them wanting, getting too much into the minutae that I used to love, and am now impatient with.

A few notes as an overview: V&B is top down. A regiment is on a 3"x1.5" rectangle, a brigade on a 3"x3" square. You, as Generalissimo, do not care about all of the nitty-gritty going on at the battalion level. You could care less whether they reload in 9 motions, or 12; there are sergeants to handle that. You don't have to order them into square if charged by horse, you have junior and field officers to do that. Turns are one hour. A lot can happen in that time.

There are differences between the combat systems in the WSS, and it is accounted for. There's modern drill, and early muskets, or Early Firelock Drill. The former, when stationary, shoots with 4 dice; the latter, when stationary, shoots with 3. You hit with 6's. Foot units are a little stiff for maneuvering, and if you can bring multiple units against one, you get to throw a whole lot of dice. The maneuver element is the horse. They don't have the facing change restrictions of the foot, and so they are the part of your army that can turn the tide and win the battle.

Artillery is useful to have because, in part, they cause morale checks on the enemy. But they aren't absolutely required.

Now as for the differences between 1st and 2nd... 2nd edition has the glitches fixed that were developed through a lot of playing of 1. There weren't many, but they always seemed to crop up at the most critical times. The rules were originally set for the 19th Century, but people with a great deal of knowledge gave critical feedback for the 18th Century, and one gamer did the League of Augsburg (1689-1697) variant.

A good game of V&B in the WSS can be had with 1st edition. That said, the refinements in the 2nd edition make them worth the money.

A New Country

There are many reasons to have more countries in this imaginary continent. The simplest is to explain allies. Thus the Frei Bishopric von Tinkelwasser.

It starts with the army as I gradually weed through my Froggies and convert them to Marlburian. Of course this will be so I can eventually play with my Froggies in a Volley & Bayonet War of the Austrian Succession game. It also allows me to utilize some of my new figures and mix them with the old.

Tinkelwasser is an Hereditary Bishopric. It sits in a relatively inaccessible part of the Imaginary Alps, and happens to sit on several very large and extremely profitable silver mines (and a couple of iron mines). This means it has money. It also has a small riverfront section on the Wasser River, right where the Tinkelwasser joins in. The Bishop's summer palace is there in the town of Tinkel en dem Wasser. This is also home to the largest brewery in the land, which employs most of the townfolk. Just about the only (relatively) flat land is around this town, and the people who don't work at the brewery raise horses.

Most of the Bishopric is a series of interconnected valleys that have a disturbing number of young men without room to inherit anything (all the tillable land is taken). The solution, of course, is to put them in the army so they aren't sitting around home causing trouble. This is why the army is the size it is.

The base of the army will be my 18th Century Swiss. That'll be four regiments of foot, all in red with blue distinctions and black leggins (a new innovation because the Bishop was tired of paying for new shoes). The horse (unlike the Swiss, there'll be horse) will be a kuirassier brigade dressed in the Austrian style (pot helm, back and breast, white coat, half with red shabraques, half with blue). There probably won't be any artillery, but I haven't decided on that as yet.

This force will be a "swing" force that can be on either side to balance the scenario, and I'll use my writing skills to work out the narrative of how they got there (did I mention that I sold a story? Woot! Woot! Woot!). That fits how we usually do things.

There'll be more on Tinkelwasser in future posts.


Historicon is next week, and that should mark the publication of Volley & Bayonet, 2nd ed.