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.