Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Questions - and some answers

I have received some questions about what I'm doing here, and I'll try to answer those I think are relevant, or that pique my curiosity.

#1 - Why Don't You Post More Often
This is a simple one. Real Life. Work has been busy, and there are other requests on my time, such as my writing, some home improvement, and the like. I'm no longer a full-time wargamer; sad, but true.

#2 - What About Other Rules? "Ruleset XYZ is Much Superior, and..."
Wargame rules are personal. There are a ton of game systems out there, and they don't always fit what each gamer is looking for. There are different philosophies and mechanics between, say, Warfare in the Age of Reason and Koenig Krieg, and my past experiences with both sets of rules have prejudiced me against one of them -- and no, I'm not saying which one, but those who have heard my stories will know. Everyone who wargames finds this or that set of rules with which they are comfortable. For me, Volley & Bayonet works for this period. It feels right. Now as to the difference between v.1 and v.2, that remains to be seen.

I would sooner argue religion than debate wargames rules. There are people who take it that personally. I will go on record as saying that I prefer Hordes of the Things as an ancients set to Shock of Impact, having played enough of both to have a very FIRM opinion, but that's it.

#3 - What About "Minor" battles?
That remains to be seen. However I will probably post a CRT for those. But the whole point of campaigning is to: a) give a reason for the battles; b) generate something other than the evenly matched fight. And while 4:1 is no fun to play, I've pulled off a rearguard action against an entirely mobile force, and made it work. I've also been on the wrong end of 3:1 odds from converging forces, and gotten away.

#4 - Why Hexes? Why Not . . . ?
Because I have this perfectly good hex map sitting downstairs gathering dust. Maurice de Saxe once wrote that you would be hard put to find a position that could hold 50,000 men in each province. There was almost a kind of positional warfare in the 18th Century because everyone knew the good positions, and they would use them. Frequently. A box-to-box campaign system such as in Soldier Kings is very good at replicating this. But I had this map, see... So why not?

#5 - Will There Be Pictures?

#6 - Which Minor Countries Did You Choose?
I'm getting to that. Years ago, in a game of Blitzkrieg, I played a very nasty trick on my opponent. I did not invade one of the minor countries. I left a force watching the border, but I bypassed the country. Of course he had to do the same (detach a force) and those troops were a long way from the main front. That got me interested in those countries.

These two border on one of the major combatants of the game Blitzkrieg. They are both egged on by the larger power under the assumption that this is a good place to train officers, get some combat experience, and weaken these two minor countries for later seizure. However the other major power is pumping money into the area, too. This is giving these smaller countries a chance to buy a lot of troops that they could otherwise not afford. Will it suck the larger powers into a war? Perhaps. Smaller wars have a disturbing habit of becoming larger ones. But maybe saner heads will prevail at the Chancelleries. We shall see.

This conflict has been brewing for some time. The immediate cuase is a gold mine that is right on the border. As the very astute Duke of Plaza-toro, Ltd. (95 quarterings in arrears) once stated, "A Class A gold mine on the border is a causus belli." That has indeed proven true. Both of these minor countries realize they are being played, and are struggling to stand on their own two feet. Right now they have no realistic hope of a Woodrow Wilson showing up, mucking everything up out of pig-headed idealism, and laying the groundwork for a greater war. Those events lie in the future.

So, it is time to generate a border incident to spark the wider war. This will be a limited incursion by both sides, or something. Prince Tedron of Methylonia, who was ennobled for creating a border incident between two countries with no common border, will be consulted. And the details, and the actual combat, will be displayed very shortly.

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