First, using a program I created for Microsoft Visio, I printed a simple grid of 3.5" hexes with a road grid and stream on a 40" x 48" page.(The red road comes out a good brownish color when printed out on my plotter). I didn't color the background because I was trying to save on ink, and, as this was a prototype game I was playing, a polished product was not neccesary at this time (plus I wanted to get to trying to game as quickly as possible).
Why 3.5" hexes ? The program I use can use any size hex from 0.25" to 30" and every size in between. After some experimentation, 3.5" seemed to fit the figures well, and my houses fit in a single hex. (one of my cardinal rules for making games is use what you have on hand, not what you may have later- or you will never get done with it !)
My figures needed bases, so I printed a some out of stiff card, along with an ID# and the primary weapon type. The Germans have 8 rifle, 2 SMG, and an LMG (which needs a crewman in order to fire at full effect). The Russians have 18 stout riflemen, 1 SMG and LMG (DPS "record player"- no crewmember to fire effectively but not as effective as the German MG34)
As for rules, I created some from scratch (its a sickness I have, really !). I won't get into all the details here, but in general:
- One hex = 10 yards
- One turn approx 30 seconds.
- It uses alternating moves.
- Each side is limited in actions to what it can do each turn. The Germans are more flexible than the Russians, as the Russians have to group into fewer groups in order to get things done. In general, the Germans tend to recieve more orders. Orders range from an emphasis on "F"ire, and "M"ove to what is a minimal order ("X") and an "A"ny order (which allows the player to pick "F" or "M").
- Infantry when fired on can either be Unaffected, Forced to take a Morale Check, or killed. If they fail their morale check, they become pinned (and can only attempt a rally action). If a pinned figure fails its MC, it is considered to have paniced (and is out of battle, counting as dead for VP purposes, but available for future battles). NOTE: I tend to like to fight scenarios that are "linked". This means that forces from this scenario can be brought to bear in the next one. If a side wins a phyrric victory, it is sure to have problems in a the next scenario.
- The scenario at hand begins with the Germans setting up hidden (using the hex IDs I'd conviently printed with the grid) and the Russians coming from across the stream as their 1st turn (all with an "M" order). After the Russian turn 1st, all Germans would be placed on the board and the turn sequence is normal (the # and types of orders are determined by the rules).
This was the map. A few words to clarify the map a bit. The woods come in two types- light and heavy. For infantry they act the same (and their cover is considered the same). For vehicles (I have vehicle rules to but they are not part of this scenario) they cannot enter heavy woods and have a chance of bogging down going through light woods.
Moving on the dirt road has no effect at this scale as opposed to moving in open ground since the weather is considered fine. The stream is fordable but at a cost, except at the roads which are shallow fords. Also the trees shed a lot. so those clumps of green are just the fallout and not blemishes on the picture :).
Also, let me apologize for the unpainted buildings. For some that is a no-no but since this was a friendly game for some close friends, I think they would overlook that little detail. I tend to use games put on at conventions to "motivate" me to finish painting stuff. Since I'd just recently pulled this stuff out of mothballs, it is in the condition you see before you.
For my next post- the setup and play of the scenario itself !