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Author Topic: Adapting rules by Neil Thomas  (Read 555 times)
petercooman
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« on: 10 September 2018, 09:52:08 PM »

As some of you will have read, i have gotten fond of the rulesets by Neil Thomas. Owning 4 of his 5 books, and having played almost every one of them (i won't play the ww2 rules from wargaming: an introduction, i have bkcII for that).

As usual, there are always some things that get changed. I have tweaked and added some rules here and there. Recently i bought his ancient and medieval rules. Since i didn't have any armies (yet), it was the perfect opportunity to start fresh and change as much as i wanted! I will try and write it down here, and maybe get some thought and suggestions on what can be done better.

1: the biggest thing that sometimes bothers me when playing, is that by the end of the game, you have what feels like an 'army of leftovers'. As units get worn out in battle, they get reduced to single bases (normally the comand bases). This looks a bit 'off' for me:

start of a game:


end of a game:


This has nothing to do with game mechanics, just the visual aspect.

Solution:

Starting with a fresh army, i decided to go for big single bases. One base has the same size as 4 of my regular bases (for 10mm), so the footprint doesn't change. Only thing i changed was the depth of skirmisher bases. Regular units,cavalry  and warbands are 80x40. skirmishers are 80x30. Odd ducks like elephants are just single base units in the rules, so they go on 40x20. I'll probably combine two elephants to make one 'base', to get a 40mm frontage.(they just look cooler in pairs)

base of skirmishers


elephant bases


As i didn't want to change the mechanics of the game, i had to show how many bases were left in a unit. (i will call them cohesion points or something like that)

I decided upon adding a small peg to the base that could hold a coloured cube:




I have 4 colours to represent the states of the unit


green = 4 bases = fresh unit
orange = 3 bases = minor casualties
red = 2 bases = battered but still hanging on
black = 1 base = near breaking point

Simple way of recording the remaining strength, and the units stay full untill the end!

individual hits will be marked with dice or counters, like i usually do.


2: units son't move at all in melee/ lose a base if they fail a morale check.

This is my only 'real' gripe with the family of rules. a bad morale check sees you remove another base (so 4 complete hits). I have changed this to 2 hits when playing the napoleonic rules, and it worked well. However, i wanted to have some kind of 'giving ground' in this version, as i wanted to represent the 'push' of combat. So i added a small table to the result of a morale check,making the result worse when the check goes extremely bad!

moral check failed by:
1: push back 2 units of movement OR lose 2 extra hits (losers choice)
2: push back 2 units of movement OR lose 2 extra hits (winners choice)
3: push back 2 units of movement AND lose 2 extra hits
4: retreat; unit moves a full move back facing away from the enemy

The way morale works in the rules, this means elite units can never get a result 3 or 4, and average units cannot get result 4, so i added the following rule: For each base lost in melee after the first, treat the result on  the table as one step worse.

So the better a unit is rated , the harder it is to break, but it is never impossible!

I specifically stated units of movement, because i use cm and inches depending on the scale of miniatures i use. Only thing i am still on the fence about, is to let the winner pursue in number 4.

3: generals

I always like to represent generals, so i just took the rule from Napoleonic wargaming. You can add your general to a unit and he gives the unit +1 to moral

Any unit containing a general that gets a hit rolls 2 d6. double one means the general is a casualty and is removed.


These additions will get tested soon, and i hope they give the rules the finishing touches that i was missing!

Any suggestions/comments are welcome!
« Last Edit: 10 September 2018, 09:56:08 PM by petercooman » Logged
mad lemmey
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« Reply #1 on: 10 September 2018, 09:56:12 PM »

Interesting ideas, not played the rules, but good points.
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Steve J
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« Reply #2 on: 11 September 2018, 07:22:28 AM »

Some interesting points there. I have most of his rules, but have never really played them to be honest Sad. He has lots of good ideas and the scenarios are easily transferable. Like you, I don't have any figures to use, but I've also considered using one base and simply recording the hits.
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fred.
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« Reply #3 on: 11 September 2018, 07:27:53 AM »

I do like the idea of not removing bases, and recording hits. Casualty levels were usually low enough that the frontage of units wouldnít change that much.
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petercooman
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« Reply #4 on: 11 September 2018, 09:51:43 AM »

I always have quite a bit of casualties in the napoleonic version, wich led to this change. Just looks better.

Still on the fence about adding a rout option to the morale table. Having a unit just vanish after a particulary nasty melee phase, just to make it interesting.
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Leman
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« Reply #5 on: 11 September 2018, 10:29:18 AM »

When I first played his C19th I didnít like the column formation as it looked like a road column. I changed it to a double line 2 bases wide, a line a single base deep and a march column four bases deep, but in the end went back to his formations - they just worked better.
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Norm
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« Reply #6 on: 11 September 2018, 02:01:41 PM »

The removal of bases is a good accounting solution, but as you say, visually it takes something away from the game, so coulred beads is a good idea, once they become second nature to making a visual identification as to unit strengths.

His rules are so robust that they easily stand bodificatin or bolt on extras.
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petercooman
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« Reply #7 on: 11 September 2018, 02:08:58 PM »

When I first played his C19th I didnít like the column formation as it looked like a road column. I changed it to a double line 2 bases wide, a line a single base deep and a march column four bases deep, but in the end went back to his formations - they just worked better.

I do the same for the napoleonic version, column is two bases wide. still works for me!


His rules are so robust that they easily stand bodificatin or bolt on extras.

Yes, that's why i like them so much!

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