Saturday, January 16, 2010

A brief interruption for new content

Got a nice heavy box in the mail yesterday from, containing two really sweet looking Old Glory 15mm armies: mid-Republican Romans and Late Carthaginians. Earlier I think I mentioned that first game of Napoleon's Battles as my true move into full-on grognardism; however, I think the two bags of triarii I got yesterday, complete with piano wire spears, are the real descent into madness. I'm planning on using them with the Field of Glory rules. (Interestingly, while I'm sort of pushing uphill to get the 40k thing started up, Brett from Hypermind and my old buddy Steve have both, totally unprovoked and without lobbying on my part, expressed interest in some wargaming with this ruleset. I've actually lent all my FoG books to Steve, and he probably knows the rules better than I do at the moment.)

Also included was a copy of Sam Mustafa's "Might and Reason," a set of 18th century wargaming rules. I've barely skimmed them so far, but they look interesting - there's a nice initiative system, and each turn is made up of a variable number of sub-turns, or 'pulses.' It seems like it should do a good job of mitigating the 'I-go/U-go' problem, without being too cumbersome. The other thing I've skimmed is the campaign system. There are actually two of them - one a way to model a year's campaigning in a particular region, the other a method to run a large Europe-wide (or possibly worldwide, if I read it right) campaign of up to eight players. The problem with this second system is that it's predicated on using a boardgame called "Soldier Kings" as an integral part of the grand campaign system. I guess it won't be a huge issue, as playing the grand campaign stuff isn't on the radar for the foreseeable future, but I do wish it had been more self-contained. Also, Soldier Kings is listed on the Geek as a playtime of 4 hours, so I don't see being able to work it in boardgames night at Hypermind anytime soon.

Just so I don't sound overly negative, I do really like what I've read of the rest of the rules - they look simple enough to be quick to pick up. The book itself is nicely organized and laid out, and is full of little gems like the random battle naming table (Unterhunddorf will fall!) and some good historical primers (which makes sense, as Mr. Mustafa is a history professor). There's a nice list of rated officers for the various nationalities, and while there are only two scenarios in the book, there are several more offered for free on the game's website, as well as two free expansions for adapting the rules to other locales and conflicts (such as the War of Spanish Succession, or the wars of the Ottoman and Persian Empires). I'm looking forward to grabbing some 6mm dudes and slugging it out - maybe the War of Jenkin's Ear?

Finally, while I've been too shiftless to get my German list finalized for Monday's game (tonight, I swear!) in the interests of fairness/full disclosure/all that happy nonsense, here's my new Ork list that will hopefully be less horrible against crazy people bolted into spinny cutty burny things like Penitent Engines:

ORKS REDUX, 399pts
Troops: Slugga Boyz x 12
-upgrade on boy to Nob
--w/ Bosspole, Big Choppa
-mounted in Trukk w/ Wrecking Ball
137 pts

Troops: Slugga Boyz x 12
-upgrade one boy to Nob
--w/ Bosspole, Power Klaw
-mounted in Trukk w/ Wrecking Ball

Fast Attack: Deffkoptas x 2
-both w/ TL-rokkit launchas
-one with Bigbomm

We'll see if the ability to get around the table a bit faster does any good, or if it just gets me cut into steaming green bits that much quicker... If Brad doesn't run Orks in the league, I think this will be the Ork list I use. If he does, I guess I need to get into R&D on something else!


  1. Drooling over the FoG and M&R rules. Very cool.

    I think that you have a force that is going to smash the SIsters. Just my feeling.

  2. I'll throw them in for Monday so you can take a look. The M&R rulebook is a bit thin, but I think it's going to be well worth the investment. There's tons of neat little historical quotes scattered throughout the book, too - "I command a band of thieves and assassins fit for the rack who will turn tail at the first musket shot, and who are always ready to revolt. The king has the worst infantry under the sun..." (St. Germain to Duverney, 11 November 1757)

    I'm going to see how much an 'average' army in 6mm would cost, but I figure it can't be too much; based on the sample pics in the book it looks like 24 6mm infantry per base, two bases per unit, and (at a wild-assed guess) around 15 units for an army, cavalry and arty included. So it looks like a bag of Bacchus 6mm infantry will make 2 units... I'm thinking you could get a list built at around $50 or so, give or take?

  3. Baccus 6mm may be cheaper than that.
    I think they advertised in the M&R rulebook.

  4. I guess I need to work up at least two solid army lists at the points values recommended in the 'Army Builder' section. The points for an army run from around 150pts if you take a Great commander, up to 240 if you take a Poor commander (these numbers are from the British/Hanoverian list, but they seem to cover the entire permissible range of point values). I should work up a list at each extreme (and maybe one in the middle too) and price them out more specifically than my cocktail-napkin math above. But at an apparent maximum unit cost of 12 points for stuff like Guards units, and with line troops falling in between 8 and 10 points for most lists, I think a full-sized army will wind up being between 15 and 25 total units. I guess the big thing to figure out is how many units you can build per bag of Baccus 6mm. Based on the picture in the M&R book, I was originally thinking you'd only get 2 infantry units per bag (2 units of 2 bases of 24 guys each for 96 minis). However, the example 6mm base listed is actually on a larger base than the rules technically call for; and on the Baccus website you can see their SYW guys very nicely based up at what looks like 16 minis per base. This would give you three infantry units per bag, not 2, which would be a nice savings indeed. The other thing I need to figure is how many cavalry you'd need to base up on that standard base width (2"x1") and not look too anemic. The Baccus cav comes in bags of 45; I'm frankly not sure how many 2-base cav units one could build from a bag of them. I might post on TMP and see if anyone's got any experience in basing them for this ruleset, as unfortunately out of all the pics in this book none are of 6mm cav. Right now my rough guess would be 3 to 4 cav units out of a bag of 45 minis (at a basing rate of 5 or 6 horse per base, hence 10 or 12 per unit). I'll crunch the numbers a little bit finer tonight and post my results here.

  5. Duh... I was starting to run up a few sample armies using the M&R "Army Building" rules, and lo and behold I found the three sample lists Mr. Mustafa so wisely included in the text. For our purposes, the important thing is the number of units in each one. The highest quality list, the Prussians, is a 14 unit list; the average-quality Austrians field at 23 units; and the lowest quality list, the Russians clock in at 26 units (although to be fair I should mention they've still got an Average commander, which means a Poor list would probably be even larger).

    Now what about buying them, as Baccus 6mms? Well, the Prussians can be fielded with two bags of cav and four bags of infantry (you really only need like 1/3 of the last bag, but extra dudes are always good I guess); prices out at around $55. The Russians will cost around $65 - four bags of infantry, two of cav, artillery and a howitzer. Interestingly, the army packs you can buy don't seem to be priced terribly well - they look like half a bag of infantry, a little more than two bags of cav, and a half bag of arty, at a price point which doesn't seem to tally with what you'd pay if you bought them seperately, much less save you any money. I might need to email Baccus and see if I'm reading their army pack contents wrong, or something....