Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

As you can see, posting has been light (to put it mildly) of late. I hope to get some things written up in the New Year (I've got several projects "in the works"). Please bear with me :)

Have a safe and Happy Christmas and New Year !

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Slow posting ATM

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, as my interests (and health) has taken different turns as of late.

I hope to get some more miniature/card game stuff posted soon, so please stay tuned !

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First Look: DSROHG Prarie Grove Army of the Trans-Mississippi (CSA)

Here's the first run of the confederate unit cards for Prairie Grove:

(click to enlarge)

I'm not sure about the game itself, yet (there are some changes I might have to make for playability, such as increasing the strength of all infantry brigades by 1 to make the game scale correctly).

Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Look: DSROHG Prairie Grove Army of the Frontier

Posting has been light, as I've been busy with a few projects. Among them a DSROHG module for the battle of Prairie Grove (Dec 7th, 1862).

Here is a first pass of the Union army (Army of the Frontier) for the game:

(click to enlarge)

Stay tuned for the Confederate army.

Monday, August 22, 2011


I've been toying with an idea with a Mechanicsville scenario. To that end, I've made a counter set of all of
Porter's V Corps (Army of the Potomac), AP Hill's Division and DH Hill's Division.

The rules are still in flux, and I can't seem to find pictures of 2 Regular Army brigade leaders (Lovell and Buchannon).

Here are the (double-sided) 1/2 inch counters:
(click to enlarge)

Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but figured it was kind of nice for OB purposes (and there are some mistakes in this one as well as additional forces that did not fight the historical battle).

One positive thing this project has done is that I've started compiling a database of civil war head pictures (of generals etc) for use in future projects.....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Army of Northern Virginia, Seven Days

With the Army of the Potomac already made, I finished the Army of Northern Virginia for the same time period.

Here is the first look at the Army of Northern Virginia in card form (there are errors in it that have been corrected):

Click to enlarge

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Army of the Potomac, Seven Days

Since I'd  already made the map (it took a day to realize from start to finish), I figured I might as well go "all in" and compose DSROHG unit cards for the two armies that fought the battles there.

A little research and some elbow grease later, voila !

Here is the first look of the Army of the Potomac in card form (some errors on these):

Click to enlarge

Upcoming: The Army of Northern Virginia

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A (slight) diversion....

While researching where to go with my DSROHG card system I contemplated the Seven Days battles (June 26th to July 1st 1862).

Since how all the battles fit togther is a bit confusing, I decided to create a wargame map of the area, at the scale of about 1/2 mile per hex. It clarifies things for me when reading about the battle (and gives me ideas of how/where to make wargame scenarios for it).

Here is the 1st look at it in 1/2 size (it uses 3/4" hexes and comes out to about 32" x 32" in full size). I haven't proofed the colors by printing it (yet).

Click to enlarge

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet (I've got some ideas bubbling up). Maybe I'll create a rule-set and counters for a game using it.

(Edit: Somehow the Deep Water layer failed to print. I've corrected it now :D)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Combat Example in DSROHG Bull Run

Here is a combat example from my Bull Run supplement. As always,click on the image to get a larger image. I assume a passing knowledge of the rules for this example to make complete sense :D.

A Combat roll is with a 20 sided die.
A Hit placement roll is with an 8 sided die.
Morale Check and Depletion rolls are 2 six sided dice added together.

It is the Union player's turn and he draws a card, which is a supply card.

At Start
 The Union plays the Hunter movement card and supply to initiate an attack on Henry Hill. At the moment, only Porter and Burnside are in this attack, as he only had a Hunter movement card. If he'd had a McDowell movement card both Divisions could have been included in the attack.

The Confederate player decides to block the move with Evans (he can choose to not block and give up the terrain). To Strengthen this defense, he plays by a supply card to move Jackson over from the stone bridge . Note that usually a brigade must either have a cavalry component or be in their division's Active zone (neither of which applies to Jackson) to make this move, but Jackson has this ability (as noted on his card).

Even though the Stone Bridge map is now unoccuppied, he knows the Union player does not have any other cards, he can't iniate an attack against it this turn (indeed, it will take at least 2 turns to have the cards to do so).

The Union player plays his last supply card to include one of Heintzelman's brigades (Wilcox) in the combat.If he'd have had a  Heintzelman movement card (or 2 supply cards), he could've included both of his brigades.

The combat s initiated
Both sides take their 8 target chits and assign them to the available cards. The Confederate player decides that since Jackson is the stronger brigade, he will get more target chits put on him, hopefully ensuring he will take more of the hits than the weaker Evans. The Union player opts to spread the markers out more evenly.

1st blood is inflicted
 The defender gets to roll 1st, so the Confederate rolls his D20 combat rolls:

Evans has a strength of 8 (adding the infantry + cavalry + artillery strengths).  He rolls a 14, which is a miss.

Jackson has a strength of 9. He rolls an 8 which is 1 hit. Jackson rolls a D8 to determine where the hit is placed, and rolls an 8, which places the hit on Wilcox.

Since at least 1 attacking unit took a hit, every unit must take a Morale Check.

Wilcox rolls an 8, but adds 1 to this because of the hit he took. With the roll of 9 he fails (his morale is 8), so is considered to have cowered. He must make a depletion check for his artillery. He rolls a 9, which depletes the artillery (he no longer has use of that strength value).

Porter and Burnside roll 5 and 6 respectively, so continue the attack.
The Union response
Porter and Burnside get to make their combat rolls. Wilcox is out of the combat.

Porter has a strength of 9 (10 minus 1 for attacking a hill). He rolls an 8, which is a hit. He makes a hit placement roll of 8, which puts it on Jackson.

Burnside has a strength of 9 (10 minus 1 for attacking a hill). He rolls a 6, so he hits also. His hit placement roll is 3, so Jackson gains another hit.

The Confederate player must make Morale Checks, since at least 1 defender took a hit.

Evans rolls a 9, and since his morale is 9, he passes.

Jackson rolls 7 + 2 (for the 2 hits he took) = 9. His morale is 9, so he passes.

The End result
 If Evans and Jackson had cowered (or routed due to taking too many hits to their resilience), the Union would've captured Henry Hill.

Each side totals up the damage points each inflicted on one another.

The Union player score is 2 (for the 2 hits).

The Confederate player score is 2 (1 for the hit, 1 for making a brigade cower).

Since the attacker has at least as many damage points as the defender, there is a chance to gain the advantage in that battle-zone. If the defender has more damage points than the attacker, and the attacker has the advantage in that zone, they have a chance to lose that advantage (e.g. it would go back to neutral).

Even though the a player does not capture the terrain map, if the game goes down to a Standard Victory Check, the advantage player would get the die roll modifier benefit of that terrain they had ocuppied it.

If a side gains 2 advantages in a battle-zone, he captures that terrain card (as if he had removed all enemy units from that Front zone) unless.:

1. It is on the enemy baseline
2. The terrain is obstacle terrain (note that Jackson, as noted on his card, counts as obstacle terrain as long as he is still in the battle-zone at the end of the combat).

Both sides roll 2d6 and add their damage points. The Confederate total is 8, while the Union player total is 9. The Union player gains the advantage in that zone. If he can gain another advantage in a future turn (and Jackson is not present), he captures that terrain card and is 1 step closer to the Confederate baseline.

The end result is a slight Union edge in that battle-zone at the cost of Wilcox taking damage and being able do nothing until he rallies, and will be without his artillery strength for the remainder of the game. Jackson has taken a lot of damage, (having only 3 resilience left), but he has held Henry Hill.

I hope this has been enlightening on how combat is performed in DSROHG. There are a lot of permutations that can occurr, depending on the action and unit cards available to each side. Each battle can be very different, which allows for great replayability and the "If I only had done THAT I'd have won the game" feeling to it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

First Look: Antietam Terrain Cards

I've completed my 1st pass of the Antietam terrain cards for DSROHG.

I've settled on 4 battlezones of 4 maps each for the historical scenario. There is some overlap amongst the full maps (the cards are only about 1/3 of the map terrain for miniature purposes), so it took a little longer than I wanted to get them done.

I used the Cope Maps for my main source.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Friday, July 8, 2011

First Look: Antietam Army of Northern Virginia

Here is the Army of Northern Virginia for my DSROHG card game:
Click to enlarge

It has to be somewhat disconcerting for the Confederate player that some of his regiments (and their brigades) are so weak...

I've got some special rules to handle the reserve artillery (the cards under Lee).

First Look: Antietam Army of the Potomac

Here is the working Army of Potomac for my DSROHG card system:

Click to enlarge
 I'm still settling on the battle-zones and board size.

Next up: The Army of Northern Virginia.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Shiloh and setup

The Shiloh supplement has been posted to my yahoo group for download.
Here is the current DSROHG Shiloh setup (corrected over earlier image):
Click to enlarge

It takes a bit more space than Bull Run, despite only having 4 battle-zones.

For this supplement, I've removed most of the Union batteries from the cards to counter form (leaving the heavy guns for support only) to allow the player to allocate them as he desires. It allows him to "bunch" guns for support or spread them out amongst his brigades.

There are 22 battle maps in 4 battle-zones. Zones A (left) and D (right) are 5 maps each, while Zones B and C are 6 maps each. The terrain cards are small parts (about 1/3) of the terrain maps for miniatures, of course.

It has its own action cards, but still needs the markers, rules and turn chart from the original set.

Not shown are all the Union cards not on the table (Lew Wallace, Buell's Army of Ohio and of course, the gunboats !).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Look: Union army at Shiloh

Here are the 1st run of the cards for the Union Shiloh forces (Grant's Army of the Tennessee and Buell's Army of Ohio).

Army of Tennessee (Click to Enlarge)

Army of Ohio (Click to Enlarge)

I've got to come up with some graphics for the gunboats Tyler and Lextington, but in game terms they work like supporting artillery (in the appropriate battle-zones of course :D).

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Look: DSROHG Shiloh Confederate Unit Cards

I've tentatively gotten the Confederate Shiloh cards completed.

Click To enlarge

There are some rules that will have to be tested (detachments such as the cavalry and artillery) like some special rules to handle the wierd Confederate command structure.

Next up: The Union cards.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Play example of DSROHG Bull Run

Here is a play example for the historical scenario for my DSR On Hallowed Ground Bull Run (rules version 6-16-2011) :

I'll detail how one of the attacks is resolved as well in this example.

It uses the basic DSROHG rules with a few modifiers to them, mostly to account for the CSA command structure. In addition, all artillery and cavalry on both sides are attached to the brigades.

Click on the picture to get a bigger image.


Initial Union setup is with Hunter at Sudley Ford, Heintzleman in reserve and Tyler spread between Ball Ford and the Stone Bridge. All brigades except for Sherman are in their Division's Active zones. Sherman is in the Front zone of the adjacent battle-zone B (Spindle Farm for his side of the board).

Initial Confederate setup is with Evans at the Stone Bridge and Cocke at Ball's Ford. All Confederate units are individual brigades, nominally commanded by their army leader.

The big difference between the Union structure and the Confederate structures is the fact that the CSA has a harder time keeping brigades in a battle-zone. When they cower or panic, they will be moved behind their army leader which is in the Reserve, taking more effort to get them back to the battle-zones again.

Both players need to keep in mind that Zone D (Blackburn's Ford, along with reinforcements for both sides) will not show up until sometime at midday, which is the battle-turn (as opposed to player turns described below) after the current one. A battle-turn elapses when a deck of action cards has been run through.

Both sides draw 4 cards and discard unuseable ones (e.g. the CS move (1) cards held by the US).

Turn 1 (US)
 Turn 1:
The US player draws a US Move(1) card. He decides to attack Mathew's Hill with Hunter's brigades by playing a Move and a Supply card (both are required to initiate an attack). The CS player decides to block the move by reacting with Evans (in the Stone Bridge area of zone B) to Mathew's Hill (in zone A) by playing a supply card.

The CSA can at most perform 1 adjacent blocking move per turn, and the unit performing that move must have at least a nominal cavalry contingent available to do so.

Evans slides over and battle is fought. Since the terrain is a Hill, the attacker is modified down and the defender modified up.

Evans takes a hit and cowers. He is moved behind his Army leader (Beauregard) to indicate that he cowered. If he had panicked, he would be tilted 90 degrees to indicate this (Panic is harder to come back from that Cowering).

In addition, since he cowered, he has to check to see if he lost his cavalry contingent (depletion) while falling back. He fails the depletion roll, so he can no longer perform a blocking move to an adjacent battle-zone and suffers another -1 to his combat strength (for a total of -2 taking into consideration the other hit he took).

Porter took a hit and cowers (so is placed behind his Division leader). Burnside doesn't take a hit, but fails his morale check so badly that he Panicks anyways ! In addition, he loses his artillery contigent, weakening him for the rest of the game.

If any unit card had routed for either side, their parent would have to take an Integrity Check, which could force that whole unit to rout. In addition, if a division has no units in its Front or Active zones and the enemy does, it has to take an integrity check (which may rout that division).

Since the US player did not leave any units in the Front zone of that battle-zone (they all cowered or panicked), control does not change even though the CS player has no one there. Both players dodge a bullet.

With the last movement card in his hand, the US player decides to move Heintzelman up from the Reserve to Spindle Farm, opposite the Stone Bridge.

Turn 2 (CS)

Turn 2:
The CS player draws a CSA Move card, which he needs badly so he can rush the troops currently in his reserve to the fronts of  Zones A and B.

Bartow moves to the Stone Bridge and Bee moves to Mathew's Hill. They brace for the expected attacks soon to come. Although, since the US player has burned all his cards, he is a few turns from having the opportunity to do so.

Turn 3 (US)
Turn 3:
The US player draws a Supply card. He decides to rally all the Hunter's troops by playing a movement card (if he had played a supply card, he could only attempt to rally one unit card). Porter automatically moves to his division's Active zone, while Burnside must pass a rally check. Poor old Burnside fails, but at least does not rout, so he is now in the parent's Cower zone.
Turn 4 (CS)
 Turn 4:
The CS player draws a supply card, so he decides to rally Evans, which is moved to his parent's Active zone. Since he is in the Reserve, it will take a movement card to get him back into a battle-zone.

Turn 5-6-7 (US-CS-US)
 Turn 5:
The US player draws a US Move(1) card. He decides to hold it to build up for the next attack. No activity occurs.

Turn 6:
The CS player draws a US Move(1) card and must discard it.

Turn 7:
The US player draws a Supply card so decides to attack the Stone Bridge using Heintzleman. This costs a movement and supply card. If he had another supply card, he could have included Sherman in the attack, or if he'd had another movement card (or a Move(2) card instead of just a Move(1) card) he could've ordered Sherman and one other of Tyler's brigades into the attack (there is a limit to 1 move between adjacent battle-zones allowed per turn.) As it is, he can only include Hentzleman's brigades.

The CS player has no ability to react from Zone C (Zone A cannot react because that brigade has no cavalry contingent) because he has no cards to use.

The battle is fought. Since the terrain had been a ford, Ford, all attackers have to pass a task check (TC) to be able to fight fully. Those that fail can only use their artillery component. Franklin fails while Howard passes. Howard attacks at full strength (he is only infantry) while Franklin can only attack with his artillery.

Bartow defends 1st with all his components and rolls a twenty sided die. He needs to roll less than or equal to his combat strength (7) rolls a 7. This is enough to inflict one hit which is randomly distributed amongst all those attacking. Howard takes the hit.

Since the attackers took at least 1 hit, all must take Morale Checks. A Morale Check (MC) is a 2 six sided dice roll added together. A roll of less than or equal to its morale and it is OK. If the roll is greater than its morale, but less than its Panic number, it cowers. Otherwise it Panics. If "boxcars" is rolled, the unit routs.

Howard goes 1st with a +1 modifier due to the hit inflicted this turn.  He rolls a 7, which is modified to an 8, so passes.

Franklin did not take a hit, but still must pass an MC. He rolls a 5 and passes easily.

Sherman does not have to check, since he did not participate in the attack. He would have to check, however, if any of the attackers panicked or routed.

The attackers now get to roll against the defender. Howard rolls a 10, failing miserably.  Franklin rolls. If he had passed his TC, his combat strength would have been 8 (6 infantry plus 2 artillery as indicated on his card) but instead it is only a 2. He rolls a 2, inflicting one hit on Bartow.

Bartow has to take an MC, which he rolls an 8, modified to a 9 (because of the hit he took this turn). He cowers and is placed behind his parent commander (Johnston, in the reserve).

The US player has captured the Stone Bridge and appears to have a clean shot at Henry House hill ! He is only 3 battle-zones from winning the battle (the 1st side to get to their opponent's baseline automatically wins, or he can win by causing the enemy army leaders to rout by failing integrity rolls of their own).

The control marker is changed to indicate control of the Stone Bridge, and the Henry House hill terrain card (B5) is played on the Confederate side. However, there is no one there to defend it at the moment.

Turn 6 (CS)

Turn 6: The CS player draws Jackson as a reinforcement. Usually a reinforcement card must be placed in the Reserve (so it would take at least 2 turns to get into a battle-zone), but since he is Stonewall Jackson and this is the historical scenario, he can deploy directly into a battle-zone by special rule.

The CS player deploys Jackson into battle-zone B (Henry Hill).

Since both sides lack the cards, the next few turns will be a time to hopefully stock up for the next series of actions, depending on the cards drawn. Can the Union player muster and win enough attacks to beat the Confederates before the Confederate reserves (they start coming in starting with battle-turn 2) start making an impact ? Or does Jackson again stand like a stone wall ?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Miniature maps for DSROHG Bull Run

Work progresses on my DSR OHG card game.

I've completed the 1st in a series of maps for the battle-zone cards for my DSR OHG Bull Run supplement.

The Terrain Map card for Centerville (A1)
 The card shows the center (setup area) for the owner of that piece of terrain, while the whole map is shown below:

The full map (click to enlarge)
I intend to eventually create these large maps in 3" hexes (its a sheet about 40" x 60" in size) in the same style as my geomorphic squares 

For Bull Run, I need 28 distinct maps to fight the battle. Now that I've got a system in place to make these maps (icons, style etc) I hope I can complete them all by the 150th Anniversary of the battle next month :D

I've posted the latest Rules and latest Bull Run Supplement to the Yahoo group.

I've got the OBs worked worked up for my Shiloh supplement as well.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Updated Cards for DSROHG

Developement continues apace on my Civil War card game. A few changes in components were needed to allow for historical battles to be created, so here is the latest On Hallowed Ground unit and terrain card design:
Click to Enlarge

I've worked on a 1st Bull Run supplement for the system (16 Terrain cards, 35 Unit cards) and have the historical scenario roughed out. It uses all the rules from the Basic system with only a few changes to handle the battle (victory conditions and some issues handling the Confederate brigade structure (as opposed to the normal Corps/Division structure).

I'm still seeking playtesters to develop the basic system further. To participate, join my Yahoo Group (click link on the right side of the page), download the PDFs, and give it a try.

I'll try to post a few turns from a beta historical DSROHG Bull Run game in the near future. I hope to have the supplement uploaded soon for playtesting as well.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A call to arms and a quick few turns of DSR On Hallowed Ground game....

I am currently looking for playtesters to help work on my Civil War card game On Hallowed Ground. For those interested, please join my yahoo group

where the (basic) rules and other stuff needed to get started can be found .

Here is a few sample turns from a standard game. Not all rules are touched on, but most of the basics are covered. (Click on the pictures for a large version).
The intial setup is 3 battlezones (with at most 2 more coming into play during the 1st deck) with each side receiving  a Corps of 2 Divisions each (CSA divisions have 5 Brigades per division, USA divisions have 4 brigades per division). In the deck, the US has 3 more divisions, while the CSA has 2 more divisions.

Both sides receive 4 cards each at a start, and the game begins on the Daybreak battle-turn (each run through the action card deck is a battle-turn) until sometime after the Eveningl turn (determined by am End of Game card added at that time).  The objective is to rout the enemy Corps (by control of territory/routing subordinate Divisions).

Both sides roll 2d6 to determine who goes 1st.

Turn 1 (US)
Turn 1: The Union wins the roll, so draws a card. It turns out to be a supply card. He decides to move his two Divisions in his reserve into Missionary Ridge and Bryce's Crossroads, so expends a movement card for each and takes initial control of both battle-zones. Play passes to the Confederates.

Turn 2 (CS)
Turn 2: The Confederates draw a supply card, so limited in what he can do, decides to move Ewell's Division up to the Trostle Farm (the middle zone) to take intial possesion of it.

Turn 3 (US)

Turn 3: The Union player draws a movement card and decides to increase his control in the direction of Bryce's Crossroads, so advances his whole Division with a movement card and a supply card, which enables them to move as a unit and have the Divisional artillery for support.

The Confederate player decides to attempt to block him, but since movement between adjacent battle-zones is more limited than within the same zone, can only move one brigade to block. He chooses the unit with the strongest resilience (Rowe with 5) and plays a supply card to enable him to do so. To help them, he adds another supply card so he can support Rowe with his divisional artillery in defending the upcoming attack as well.

The Union player plays another supply card, allowing him to include his Corps artillery in the attack.

The attack is resolved, both sides taking a few hits (Brigades can only take so many hits before being destroyed, and units that take hits must check morale to stand). Rowe's brigade is forced to fall back (and is placed behind in his Division's Rally zone), allowing the blooded 1st Division to increase its control to Union +1. Rowe is not destroyed or routed, but must be rallied before it can do anything else.
The Union player ends his turn.

Turn 4 (CS)

Turn 4: The Confederate player draws a movement card and decides to get some defense for Bryce's crossroads, moving up Hill's Division. In addition, he spends a supply card to rally Rowe, who is returned back to Ewell's Division.

Turn 5 (US)
Turn 5: The Union player draws a Confederate movement card, so has to discard it. He decides to put up a defender from his 2nd Division into the Trostle Farm zone, for when the Confederates decide to advance their control there.

Turn 6-7: The Confederates draw a supply card and does nothing. The Union draws a supply card. No actions take place in either turn.
Turn 8 (CS)
Turn 8: The Confederate draws a movement card, so decides to press the issue at the Trostle Farm. The Union player decides to contest the advance with the Brigade there (this is optional- he can choose to not contest the advance) as well as playing a supply card to add another Brigade to the defense.

The Confederates add in their Corps artillery by playing their last supply card in their hand, and the battle is resolved. The result is that the defense holds, albeit at the withdrawing of a brigade from the defenders. The attackers suffer 2 withdrawals. The control marker stays at +0 (Confederate).
Turn 9 (US)
Turn 9: The Union player draws a terrain card, which he must play adjacent to either the left or right of the zones already in play. He chooses to lay it adjacent to Bryce's Crossroads, expanding the battlefield.

Both sides continue to pull cards and perform actions, until the Action Deck is empty. Then the battle-turn is advanced one (from daybreak to morning) and the deck re-shuffled. 

I hope this whets your appetite for trying the real thing !

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things take a very different turn.....

I could not keep my sanity in upkeep for the simple Civil War campaign, but the time put into it was not lost !

While overcoming a bad bout of flu, I came up with an idea in my fevered mind for a method to fight large battles with a limited amount of troops without having to scale the forces down beyond that which my miniature rules use. The idea is simple: to break down a major battle (say, Bull Run) into many smaller battles that could be fought on the table size with the amount of figures I had available.

I've developed a set of rules that uses cards to allow the maneuver of Corps (and their component Divisions) against an enemy Corps, generating battles with the components of the Divisions (e.g. Brigades) over a "rolling" map of the battlefield. It generates battles of various sizes between the two sides (usually like 4-15 regiments per side, ranging from 2-4 brigades each) over terrain the players choose to fight over.

Cards are either terrain cards, command cards, or unit cards. Command cards are needed to perform actions with units. Supply cards are useful for a number of things, from increasing support of an attack or defense,  rallying routed brigades or shuffling individual brigades around. Unit cards are the forces the players work with. Terrain cards are the boards (which in total make up the whole battlefield) that can be laid down to expand the initial battlefield to the left and right of the current battlefield.

A side will never have enough commands  to do everything they want to do, so they will have to prioritize their goals.

Its still a work in progress, but from the feedback I've recieved from my playtesters, it show promise as a game itself, not just as an relatively easy way for me to generate linked miniature battles (mini-campaign).

Here is a sample of the generic Unit Card design (using Union units).
Click to enlarge (ver 1.0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A simple American Civil War Campaign, Part 1

Using my new Geomorphic Squares, I've decided to do a refereed (with me being referee, of course) generic Civil War campaign.

The situation is set is circa 1862 or so (around the time of McClellan's Peninsular Campaign and the Seven Days Battles). The situation is somewhat similiar.

The Union is a little strung out and awaiting while "Little Mac" screams out to Washington that he needs more troops. The Confederates, sensing that they have a chance to bleed Union, seek to do so.

The map is an area Southeast below Centerville, in the wooded, somewhat rough area.

The Initial Map
 The Union controls 4 of the six objectives, while Confederates control 2. The winner will be the side that controls the most objectives.

For the campaign rules, I am refereeing it by having the players move their forces on the map above, based on limited intelligence (some false, some true). I put the two plots together and calculate where and how the battles will be fought. They issue the orders and I determine how well they are carried out. This allows me (the referee) to spice things up a bit (like a stack of regiments without a named brigade leader taking the wrong turn on the road toward their objective).

For the battle rules, I am using a set I wrote that is regimental in scale (DSR ACW) and am playtesting. They emphasize the need to keep units supported and Brigade integrity.

Since I am limited with the forces I can put on the table (15 regiments or so a side),  I scaled everything down to be small brigade size. The players are not fixed in their brigades, but have infantry regiments, artillery batteries and brigade leaders. They order the stacks around on the board above.

To help maintain my sanity, all regiments are 400 men at the start (it works out to 16 figures/ regiment) and all batteries are 4 gun types. Morale for the regiments and Brigade integrity are the same across the board for both sides. Any force on the field has an integral "Brigade Leader" for integrity purposes. A named Brigade leader is better than the unnamed, but each side only has a few of these at the start of the game (Confederates 4, Union 2). Both sides should receive reinforcements in the game.

Next up: Intial moves and Battles.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Partially Geomorphic Squares (with hexgrid)

My 3" hexgrid terrain needed some work. In the past, I've used overlays for things like roads, streams, fields and hills in the past, but these can get fiddly, especially when you have roads AND fields AND hills AND streams on the same table. So I've created partial geomorphic squares for the basic underlying roads and streams. 
The Squares (reduced to 5% so I can uploaded them for viewing)
 Why squares ? Because they are easier for me to calculate and print on my plotter. They also allow for me to easily "add" tiles to any table edge (provided I have the space to do so, of course) if the battle goes beyond the edge (no more "Edge of the World" effect).
Why Partial geomorphs ? Because full geomorphs would require bigger tiles to give a good look to them. I'm limited with the available table size I can game on as well as my printing width. These squares at full size are about 22" by 22". These tiles can be placed either above or below or to either side, but cannot be turned 180 degrees.

You still have to match up the roads and streams, but overall they seem to look and work pretty well. A compromise, to be sure, but one I was willing to make for maximum utility versus printing ability.

Special tiles can be made that are 2x (or more) wide or high (as the 3 lower tiles demonstrate). These will allow the creation of more varied terrain that the smaller tiles will not.

The hexes each have a label ID, just as the board has an ID. So hidden stuff can be noted down (e.g. B1-0101 would be hex 0101 of tile B1).

Here is an example of the B1 tile at 25%. I've not trimmed the hexgrid "gutter" off for this example:
Click to Enlarge to 25% of full size
The basic set is 16 tiles. (A1-3, B1 through B13). That comes to about an 8 x 8' board of terrain or so. Since they are done in the same style as my overlays, I can still use overlays to enhance the basic tiles even more (such as railroads, hills and fields). Of course model trees, walls, and buildings are added after the basic terrain has been laid down.

Now I'm off to work on using these for a simple Civil War campaign. Stay tuned.....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Some help needed

Anyone out there know a publisher who would be interested in a wargame book ? I've gathered enough material together to write a book on miniature wargaming with hexgrids. I figure I'd title it "Miniature Wargaming with Hexgrids" (pretty original, huh ?).

If anyone can help (or knows anyone who can help), please email me at DSRGames

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rampage on the Rhine- Week 3

Week 3 promises to be the decisive week of the campaign, as both sides have mustered all the forces at their disposal for a battle Royale (the Chuacii haven't been mobilized yet and even if they did, they probably would not factor in until near the end of the week at best).
Week IIIa
The Romans enter Chasuarii territory and march on the lone village with evil intent. The Germans won't stand for this...
Week IIIb
As expected, the Germans challenge the Romans with their combined force and a large battle occurs.

Again, German ardor, although remarkable, does not carry the day, and the Romans win a victory, although at a cost of 3 Cohorts and 1 Light Auxillia Infantry units. The Germans suffer losses of 16 warband, 3 Skirmisher, and 1 Heavy Cavalry unit.
Week IIIc
With the Germans a spent force, the Romans decide to tie up a few lose ends. After ending the Chasuarii by burning their village, they decide to head finally finish the Tencterii.
Week IIId
The Chaucii, feeling that discretion is the better part of valor, have decided not to join the German cause and have stayed neutral (they failed their activation roll). The desperate German army can only shadow the Romans and try to bring them to battle once again. The Romans slip away, onto the last Tencterii village. For all practical purposes, the campaign comes to a close 1 week early (week IV was upcoming).

Final Tally of VPs:
Romans: 7 + 2 = 9 (if played to Turn IVa, it would be 2 more for the Tencterii so actualy 11).
Germans: 5 + 3 = 8

The Romans win a marginal victory by points (they needed 4 or more to win a decisive victory). The Germans have been punished, but not thoroughly chastised enough to not rise again.

All in all, a fun campaign, with a decent amount of large-ish battles to keep things interesting (which I fought out with my own ancient army miniature rules). The campaign rules are simple enough to run without a referee (although hidden and false markers are needed).

On to pastures anew !

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rampage on the Rhine- Week 2

Week II dawns with clear weather. Time for the Romans to march onward !

The Romans, despite taking some losses, have defeated 2 tribes (the Usipattii and the Bructerii) and reduced the remaining Germans (Tencterii). Time to push on !
Week IIa
 The weak German army (A) manages to reaction move away from the approaching Romans, but instead of pursuing the weakened enemy, the Romans launch into the Ampisivarii territory to take them out !

Week IIb
  The German army, too weak to dispute the Ampisivarii village, fall back to defend the river line in the Chausuarii territory, hoping for some tribal mobilization to bring them up to strength so they can oppose the invaders when they inevitably come to deal with the Chasuarii.
Week IIc

The Ampisivarii are suppressed before they can mobilize, and the Romans move on to deal with the Chasuarii and Tencterii (which still have a village unrazed).

Week IId
German outrage finally results in the mobilizing of the Angrivarii (appropriately named). The Germans scramble to form a united front against the Roman Legion if it tries to burn the lone Chasuarii village.
No major battles this week as the 2 sides maneuver into position for next week, where the major battle(s) that decide the campaign will probably take place.

Week 2 VP Totals:
Roman:  3 + 4 = 7 VPs
German: 5 + 0 = 5 VPs.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rampage on the Rhine- Week 1

Week 1 begins with good weather.

The 2 Roman Legions march towards the closest German villages.
Week Ia
The Usipatti stand and defend their village (they failed any reaction move roll, but would probably have stood their ground anyhow), and are defeated in a battle. Against a full legion, they had little chance. However, they did manage to inflict a 1 Cohort loss on that Legion.
Week Ib
The Germans manage to mobilize the Bructerii and consolidate their forces into more dangerous mobs. The newly arrived Bructerii accept the remanants of the Usipatti in defense of their village. The Tencterii stand by, waiting to either reinforce the Bructerii or attack an isolated Legion.
Week Ic
The Romans continue onward, burning the Usipatti village (gaining VP for the village and destruction of the tribe) and one of the Tencterii villages. The 2 Legions meet in the Bructerii village, and a large battle ensues.
The Germans fight hard, but still lose in the end (always a common theme in this scenario). However, they manage to destroy 2 Cohorts for 2 VP.
Week Id
The Germans regroup and mass all available forces to attack the Legions in the Bructerii village area before they can burn the village to the ground (razing villages occurs at the start of the Roman turn, and its the German turn). The Romans see that this is an opportunity to reduce the German presence in the area, so they stand to and let the Germans  come to them (e.g. they chose to not try any reaction moves).

The battle is large (13 Cohorts, 6 Light Auxillia, 2 Heavy Cavalry versus 28 Warbands, 9 Skirmishers, and 5 Heavy Cavalry). The Germans (being the attackers) have no choice but to attack the Romans. The German Cavalry on the wings causes some consternation, but German valor and anger does not prevail over Roman Discipline and Training.

A disappointing battle from the German perspective, considering the massive casualties (16 warbands, 7 Skirmisher and 4 Heavy Cavalry losses versus 2 Cohorts and 2 Light Auxilia Infantry). The Bructerii are doomed next turn (which is Roman turn IIa).

Victory Totals for the week:
Romans: 3 (with  2 more coming next turn after the Bructerii village is burned)
Germans: 5