Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Afterthoughts on Action! And More Blobs

Our refight of Action has seen me pondering over my choice of rules. When I was fighting battles with my friends as teenagers (some 30 years ago) we always used the Charge rules. There wasn't any real logic to this choice: they simply happened to be the first set of rules that we read and, as we were happy with them, there didn't seem to be any need to explore the issue further. After so many years, using the Grantian rules for the first time has therefore been something of a revelation.

I found that I much preferred the musketry rules from the Grant set. They have slightly more involved mechanics than the Charge ones but give good value for the extra effort. I feel they reflect how range affects the effectiveness of musketry far better than Charge does: our bickering at longish ranges were satisfyingly ineffective.

The Grant morale rules also worked well, although we would attend to proper bookkeeping next time. The Charge method of 49% casualties=no effect, 51%=total loss was never particularly satisfying.

The use of artillery templates as per the Grant rules we avoided and will continue to avoid. I have never found this device usable: often moving a template just a fraction of an inch can radically alter the number of figures within its area. This is not something that works well in a game with any sort of competitive edge. Fortunately a mechanism based on the Charge rules can be substituted here.

We never got a chance to try out the cavalry vs infantry (ie. the breakthrough) rules. In our game, by the time that the infantry columns had been roughed up sufficiently for them to be vulnerable, neither side was in a position to use them. Soubise's Gensdarmes were trying to rally (and failing every kind of dice throw they made), Kornberg's dragoons were better employed as a 'threat in being' to limit Soubise's options. Even so, the existence of these rules had some impact on the game as both sides felt the threat that cavalry posed. Using Charge rules, we were always confident that the casualties suffered to musketry in the charge would make the cavalry regret attempting to charge an infantry battalion.

Cavalry Man and (with luck) Croat

On the sculpting side, progress continues at a pace sufficient to make the average snail look like an olympic athlete. It's still great fun although, with the realisation that it might just result in a usable figure or two, there comes the the daunting prospect of having to try and make a mould. In addition to the cavalry figure, I'm now also working on what I hope might turn into something resembling a Croat.


DC said...

Your sculpting seems to be going remarkably well - the horse is particularly impressive (given time i can hack out a reasonable foot figure but i'd never even attempt a horse). I think you'll find moulding is the easy part. Sometimes you need to put some thought into how you position the figure (to minimise mould lines and minimise areas where the rubber is very thin and so easily damaged) but as long as you take your time with the first mould half (building up the plasticene or whatever to form a nice neat line round the figure) there's no reason you won't get it right first time. Indeed once you've got the venting and metal temperature right you'll wonder why manufacturers with their professional spin casting set-ups are producing worse castings than you are. Good luck.

Fitz-Badger said...

The sculpts are coming along very nicely!

nice to hear comparative thoughts on the Grant and the Young rules, too

Snickering Corpses said...

Your sculpts are really beginning to look like exactly what they're supposed to. Excellent work.

Bluebear Jeff said...

I appreciate your discussion of the Charge/Wargame rule differences . . . and would appreciate further thoughts from you on this.

-- Jeff