Saturday, May 1, 2021

To the Arena!

 Lately, I've been rather too lazy and/or distracted to set up a proper battle. When I get like this, I find my thoughts turn to skirmish-style games, such as gladiators. A recent ad on the Wargames Website has me thinking once again about entering the arena. I even picked up the advertised rules, Red Sand Black Moon.

What intrigued me about RSBM was that they were designed for matches between fantasy figures. I was hesitant to get these at first because they are a Two Hour Wargames design. I have a love-hate relationship with THW. On the one hand, I really like many of the subjects they cover and they do have some interesting ideas. However, I dislike their base mechanic. It seems table heavy and not intuitive. Despite my misgivings, I decided to take the plunge. I am glad that I did. I don't plan on running RSBM as is, of course. But there is a mechanic in it that I plan to steal.

One of the difficulties in replicating one-on-one fights on the tabletop is that a lot of the movement involved does not translate. In reality, the combatants could essentially stay in once place, yet they will be making a bunch of small movements - shuffling their feet, bobbing and weaving, making feints, and probing for an opening. This typically gets lost in wargame rules. But RSBM captures it with a Maneuver roll. It is an opposed die roll. If the attacker succeeds well enough, he slides to the opponent's undefended side and can attack. Failure means that he cannot find an opening. It's a simple solution that replicates this jockeying for position.

My goal is to combine this concept with my MicroBattle skirmish variant. I also want to take a second look at Munera Sine Missione, which I tried before but did not pursue.

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