Monday 19 August 2013

Back From Hols

So, just returned from a very satisfactory 2 weeks off work, consisting of a few days around Exmoor with the lady wife, then a week on the Union Canal in Scotland en famille. The latter included an evening at the Edinburgh Tattoo, which was as good as ever.

Thanks to Steve J I had a number of back issues of Wargames Illustrated to pass the time, as you can see below. Despite my occasional caustic comments on the corporate nature of this publication, I have to admit that some very readable articles continue to be published therein.

The man behind the bullshit relaxes on the afterdeck of his (rented) narrowboat

And here's an idea...
Of course, the above bit of fluff will hardly constitute a satisfying post for the discerning wargamers who frequent this blog. So, let me pass on an idea that occurred to me whilst reading an article on hidden movement in one of said magazines. In a post from 2009 I mentioned my use of the old-fashioned idea of a curtain across the middle of the wargames table, to create a 'hidden' set up which gives a bit of interest to a basic encounter game. Further thought suggested that not only the armies but the terrain as well could receive the same treatment. 

So set up your curtain across the middle of a bare playing surface, allocate forces and a selection of terrain to each side, then each player can set up their own side of the table independently. This represents not only ignorance of your enemy's deployment, but also the frequent situation where the countryside on your opponent's side of the hill is a mystery to you as well. 

Now I admit I have not tried this out yet, but it would seem to be a way to give interest to a simple encounter game. If players have a selection of both units and terrain to choose from, they can indulge in the task of making a terrain that suits both the force balance they have selected as well as their tactical intentions for the game ahead. Of course, they may have a nasty surprise when their opponent's choices are revealed. 

Let me know what you think.


Steve J. said...

First off I'm glad the WI magazines were of use en vacance. A couple of issues were actually rather good with quite a few articles of real interest to me.

I must admit I do like your idea of placing terrain in addition to the normal deployment of troops. Afterall you have no idea of what's on the other side of the hill.

One thought would be that you could move either one terrain piece or unit of troops after deployemnt if you have skirmish units in your army. This represents in some way their already having scouted out the terrain in advance of your army. Just a thought.

Keith Flint said...

Nice idea Steve. Or move one unit of troops/piece of terrain per skirmish/recce unit.