Sunday, February 23, 2014

More Thoughts on Last Week's Battle

Some thoughts on random topics arising from the skirmish in the mountains, brought to you courtesy of my cool Hobbit journal.

Random Deployment
For this game, I tried a new random force composition process, using the Command & Colors dice. I mentally divided the board into 3 sectors. Each side rolled 3 dice per sector, with the results as follows:

  • Infantry - 1 infantry unit (naturally)
  • Cavalry - 1 cavalry unit
  • Artillery - nothing. This scenario featured two scouting parties encountering each other so I thought it unlikely that they would have artillery.
  • Flag - nothing.
  • Crossed Swords - 1 elite infantry unit (rangers).
I then used a D6 to randomly determine each unit's starting position. Each sector was 3 spaces wide and I allowed deployment in the first 2 rows so conveniently there were 6 possible starting squares.

Special Units
Kaptain Kobold asked about the rangers and light cavalry. I must admit that the rules were not well thought out, but fortunately I forgot to use them as written.

  1. Rangers - I figured I'd do them like Memoir '44 - move 2 and still fight. When I decided this I totally ignored that I pared down movement so cavalry only moved 2 and infantry 1. Thus, I think this rule makes the rangers too powerful. As I mentioned, though, I forgot to use the rule and used the rangers like regular infantry.In the future I may just have rangers move 1 but they can still battle after entering woods.
  2. Light cavalry - Fight with 2 dice. I did not account for the -2 modifier that cavalry gets for attacking into woods, which would bring their attack to 0 dice. I mistakenly rolled 1 dice attacking into woods, which is a pleasant accident as light cavalry probably should not suffer as great a reduction in woods fighting as regular cavalry. In the future, I may make their mod -1 for woods.
As an aside, I have started to follow Kaptain Kobold's Stronghold Rebuilt blog. I have not had time to peruse it in depth but I have enjoyed what I've read so far therefore I have no qualms about recommending it highly.

Line of Sight Question
A situation arose during the game when I wanted a unit to attack diagonally (in the picture below, the red arrow represents the attack. A friendly unit and some woods are between the attacking and defending units. Can the attack go through or is line of sight blocked?

In the Command & Colors rules, intervening terrain and units would block line of sight. My rules, however, use a square grid rather than C&C's hex grid, which causes a greater restriction to line of sight. In this situation, I made a judgement call that the friendly unit does not block line of sight and the attacking unit may proceed. Nevertheless, this case points out one of the advantages of a hex grid and tempts me to switch over (which I would do if hex grids were easier to draw).

A Benefit of Solo Gaming
Late in the game, a situation arose where a Grayrockian infantry unit situated on a hill was being attacked by 2 units of enemy cavalry. Close by was a very weakened Bluderian infantry unit. On the Grayrock turn, I pondered what to do. Because Grayrock only needed 1 more flag to win the game, the best tactics from a game perspective was for the Grayrockian infantry to move off the hill towards the Bluderian infantry and attack with the hope of wiping out that unit. If successful, the game would be over. I hesitated because this tactic did not seem realistic. I imagine that if in real life an infantry unit was attacked by enemy cavalry, it would hold its position on the hill and (while forming square) try to battle off the attackers. I wondered if C&C had a rule or if I should institute one.

Then the beauty of solo gaming came to the fore. I decided to eschew the gamey tactic and instead choose the more realistic one. If I had been playing competitively, my desire to win probably would have overwhelmed my sense of realism and I would have attacked the infantry unit. Instead, I stuck to the hill. It worked out in the end as Grayrock still won the battle, but it reminded me that solo gaming can have its advantages.

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