Saturday, January 18, 2014

Thoughts on the Francesia Project

I played another battle of the Grayrock Revolution this morning and wanted to jot down a few thoughts while they are fresh in my mind. I'll post a battle report once I get around to downloading the photos.


  • Mountains - The scenario involved a forced passage through a mountain pass, so I needed some mountains. I thought about making them out of blocks of foam, but I don't have any handy and I was eager to play. Instead, I used some spare cork to make extra levels to add to my hills. I think they worked out nice (you'll have to check out the battle report to see them).
  • Buildings - I really like the Village in a Bag buildings. It creates a nice "toy" feel that fits with the Risk soldiers.
  • Trees - I really need some trees, although the Village in a Bag ones are growing on me because they don't take a lot of room in the space. I still would like to replace them with something more tree-like but still with the "toy" vibe.
  • I'm sure that there are hardcore miniature wargamers who will scoff at me, but I like using the Risk minis. I'm toying with the idea of giving them very simple paint jobs (e.g. flesh on the soldiers, horses, and guns) but I have no qualms about using them unpainted. From a distance, they look very colorful.
Command and Colors Dice
  • Picking up the C&C dice was a good investment. It really speeds up combat because it is immediately obvious if hits are made.
  • The dice also worked for unit activation. In this battle, each side rolled 4 dice to activate units. Infantry, cavalry, and artillery symbols obviously activated 1 unit of the respective symbol. Crossed sabers allow the player to choose.
  • I added a little twist to unit activation. Previously, I mentioned that I was unsure what to do with the flag symbol. I also wanted a way to allow infantry to move an extra space (a forced march). I solved both problems by combining them. A flag symbol allowed the side to move 1 of its activated units an extra space. However, that unit was not allowed to engage in combat. It worked out well. There were many times when a side could not use the flag (I either wanted a unit to engage in combat or a unit I wanted to force march did not get the die roll to be activated) so it was not overpowered but it did come in handy at times.
  • I want to get or make a nice dice tray for rolling my dice. Today, I was using a box from a case of cat food. It worked but it wasn't pretty.
The Revolution
  • I may have been unfair to the Bluderians. They were forcing a mountain pass held by a small force of veteran Grayrockians. However, rebel militia could pop up randomly to ambush the Bluderians. The militia did not count to the Bluderian flag total (in this scenario the Bluderians earned flags by eliminating Grayrockian veterans or by securing the road out of the pass). In the future, I may allot 1 flag per 2 militia eliminated.
  • In one sense, the Bluderians were fortunate because the militia did not arrive in the numbers I expected. Ah well, the tides of war.
  • I have deviated from Bob Cordery's Restless Revolutionaries campaign. After the Grayrockian defeat at Dardona, battle should have shifted back to the regional capital of Maraconi. I did not relish the idea of fighting over the same battlefield so I decided that the Grayrockians would make a stand in a mountain pass (one of the benefits of playing solo is that you can change the rules on the fly even if it is unfair to one side).
  • What next? SPOILER ALERT! With the Grayrockians holding the pass, it seems that the revolution is in a stalemate. So where does it go from here? The Restless Revolutionaries campaign doesn't really help, but I have some ideas to make things interesting. Wait and see.

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