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Monday, 3 October 2016

Homegrown WWII company level rules

Well, it's been a while since making a posting. Real life seems to be taking a major front seat with trying to set up a business (not that here is the time or place to chat on about it). So, as a consequence of using the wargames space as an office build, trying to keep a handle on game related stuff has been a little challenging. - but not impossible with a little determination on my part.

One thing which I can do, especially with the instant access of my IPad, is continue musing about my ideas for gaming, expressed through rules writing. Current brain activity - I have never been quite satisfied with company level modern rules; that is to say where the basic playing unit is a company sized fighting formation.

For me, a re-occurring theme is the natural cross over between boardgames and wargames. Listening to a recent podcast crystallized my mind even more so. Sam Mustafa (Blucher, Lasalle fame) said that he didn't see a clear demarcation between the two spheres of gaming. After all, beautiful figures are still a marker on a beautifully scenic playing board. For me, I really buy into that idea. Over the years of gaming, wargames still seem to lack the simple elegance of some boardgame mechanics. I'm not sure wether it's because representing such mechanics is difficult on a free form table, or wether it's a subconscious industry/consumer approach to keep the two seperate. That seems to be a harder fence to maintain to keep the gaming herd from leaving the ranch...

Anyway, back to my rules writing. Playing the ACW ruleset 'Altar of Freedom' has helped me to think more clearly about the importance of leadership over technical ability when playing higher level games. Looking at the technically superior French losing to the superior leadership of the Germans in 1940 is a nice illustration. Currently I'm toying around with several command techniques, looking for that 'simple elegance'.

That leads me to a asking for your help. I want the combat to be fairly simple, but flexible to represent the different types of weapon systems and approaches used during WWII. The table below is at the heart of that interaction:

Using a comparative dice mechanic allows the combat operations of different troop types a clear distinction when fighting what sometimes seems a dymmetrically opposed set of combatants. Within this system, it then becomes easier to define the quality of each fighting type. For instance the combat power of a PzII (1 dice basic) can be separated from the stately Tiger 1 (4 dice). This approach keeps the action simple whereby a core mechanic for combat can be learnt, but differentiation defined through the combat matrix.

What do you think? Trying to distill down the combat power of each company formation is quite a challenge. Do you think that the table (all things considered) has the correct proportional relationship?

Let me know in the comments below...

Thanks for your help everybody!