Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Dispatches from the front XXVIII - In house rules & desert purchases.

It's been over a month since the last dispatch and still everything is still middle east focused.... I was hunting around for some extra terrain items for the desert and spotted some nice pieces on Two Shed Fred's eBay page.

As usual great service from Fred.... a set of walls which will add to the village and be useful for multiple periods.

Add to that three Mine Fields, these are great pieces very simple in design with a barb wire fence around each of them, with 6 movable signs, 2 generic, 2 British & 2 German. 

Having had Fred make me some bespoke roads a few years ago, I was wondering what to do with my Battlefield in a Box Roads, the answer was found in a couple of cans of Desert Yellow and Bone Yard and there they are..... Desert Roads..... and an excuse to add a couple of house rules for the desert games around bogging and mid day heat.

To compliment these pieces a small order from Ironclad Miniatures with a selection of fox holes, nothing says desert warfare than a bunch of infantry hiding in fox holes, whilst these are rather high I like the fact that I can drop them over the top of infantry or support teams rather than half figures.

On the subject of House Rules, I played a couple of Pint Size Campaign games with Chain of Command over at the Wyre Forest Club, a good encounter between the French Defenders and the attacking Germans... It's been a few years since I last played CoC, they have some nice mechanisms and feel a little more realistic than Bolt Action however my gaming tastes have changed slightly and I am leaning more towards the 'fun' game but still keeping a degree of realism. 

It got me thinking about adding in certain key elements of Chain of Command into Bolt Action.

I like the Force Morale elements in the Too Fat Lardies game mechanism, this makes you think about when you commit your troops but also not leaving sections too exposed. So adding a Bad Things Happen Table for the loss of a unit in addition to a loss of a dice makes for some jeopardy. 

This is the draft.

Snipers in BA can be pretty lethal and players always go for the LMG in a squad, Force Morale makes Officers more important and their loss could reduce the Force Morale which feels better rather than just taking dice from the bag.

Movement within BA can feel a little rigid with 6" for Advance and 12" for a Run so I have tweaked this with 1D6 for Advance and 3D6 for a Run HOWEVER if you get a double a unit gains a pin. This makes a Run a useful move but you may need to spend a turn reordering the ranks in a future turn.

If a unit fails a pin test and breaks under the house rules now units fall back 6" plus 2D6 and then go Down, but also take a Bad Things Happen Test.

One of my gripes with some rules is how whole units are taken off the table after a few casualties, it takes so long to paint units do I really want them back in the box after a few rounds of fire. So when it comes to Hand to Hand now when units lose they not taken off the table but rout backwards and gain pins equivalent to the difference in casualties.

The initial run through in a small game as French take on the Italians for a desert watering hole played really well.

How to test it with a few more players who are used to BA proper let's see if the tweaks hold up.

Happy gaming...