I do a lot of my game design in my head. Wrestling with how things will work / play / look. But with some things it helps to write down the challenges I’m facing. Here is my latest design quandary. With my Musing on Free Form and Area Movement and my subsequent thinking about big base sabots, I’m back to thinking about ground scale in Deep Battle, my draft rules for Operational level wargaming. Should I go for a tight fit, regular or loose? WARNING: This is a very abstract discussion; do not read if ground scales either terrify or bore you.
I’ve been looking at trees. What trees to use for Operational level wargaming in my draft Deep Battle rule set. Since my Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid I’ve gone for increasingly smaller terrain including Tiny Hills and Monopoly Buildings. And now I find my normal size 15mm trees are too big for the look I’m striving for, so I’ve gone for copses of small trees – trees that would normally be used for 5mm (1/300th) or 6mm (1/285th) scale wargames.
It is very common for game systems to give different units different to hit scores. The big question for me is, is it better to (1) give good units a higher to hit score or (2) reward higher dice rolls?
I’ve been doing some more musing on Operational level wargaming for my draft Deep Battle rule set. My Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid forced me to get Tiny Hills to Fit the 4 Inch Hexes. Now I’m doing the same thing with buildings. In fact I’m using Monopoly buildings which are more like … Read more
Cards on the table, I should have started with this experiment first. It might be too late, because I’ve been doing a lot of Experimenting on a 4 Inch Hex Grid, but I thought I’d see how my 15mm figures fit into the hex grids (4″ and 5.5″) and square grid (4″) that I’ve already got. The answer … not very well. This is, of course, for my as yet unwritten rules for operational level wargames called Deep Battle.
I’m planning on having railway lines and roads on table for games using my, as yet unwritten rules, Deep Battle rule set. But do I need them? This is basically what Richard asked in a comment about my post Operational Terrain 3: Experimenting on a 4 Inch Hex Grid. Richard asked “do your roads/railways have any game significance? If they don’t you could take the bold step of forgetting them.” I think they are essential.
By coincidence I recently read “Thunder in the East” by Evan Mawdsley and if anything this reinforced my opinion that a set of Operational level wargaming rules must represent railway lines and major roads. I’ve explained my rationale below and shared a bunch of quotes from Mawdsley (2015) to illustrate the point in a historical context.
My Terrain Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid convinced me that my existing hills were too big. I need some tiny hills to fit within 4 inch hexes. The context is that I want to try some operational level wargames on a mat with a 4 inch hex grid. This is for my, as yet unwritten, Deep Battle rule set.
Logistics was one the criteria I used in my Review of Wargaming Rules I could use for the Operational Level of War. To be considered Operational the game includes rules to penalise troops that are out of supply. So Deep Battle, my as yet unwritten Operational Level wargaming rules, has to have a logistical system. The game systems I reviewed offer lots of inspiration for my own logistical system.
Any long time reader of my blog will know I’m a fan of Crossfire. Crossfire’s initiative system makes it the most intense wargaming experience I’ve ever had. Even if you are the other guy, waiting to have your turn, you are actively involved and can’t afford to lose interest. And your turn comes around pretty quick. I want to bring some of that intensity into Deep Battle, my as yet unwritten Operational level wargame. I want intensity and I think that needs some kind of initiative or impulse system.
Things are shaping up in my head for my proposed Deep Battle rule set. One of the key decisions is what game resolution to pitch the game at. Obviously Deep Battle has to be Operational – that is the whole point of the exercise. But, unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. In fact I think Deep Battle has to work at two game resolutions: Front Operations and Strategic Operations.
What is this relatively recent thing with Steven and hexes? My mate Chris is the hex-meister of the universe but normally I prefer free form tables without a grid. So how come I’ve gone all-hexy e.g. my recent maps for the Battle of Kharkov (10km Hexes; 20km hexes) and operational terrain experiments (River Templates, MDF River, Experimenting, Felt Rivers, Felt Railways)?
A grid offers a handful of advantages which I think are particularly apt for Operational level wargaming. I’m not the only one who thinks so. When I did my Review of Wargaming Rules I could use for the Operational Level of War, I saw a trend towards hex or square grids. So, when I write my own Deep Battle rule set, I’m going to use a hex/square grid of some kind.
Following my Experiment with Felt terrain on Hex Grid, I was unsatisfied with using a grey felt strip for a railway line. So I went looking for a patterned felt that I could use. And I found it: Gingham Printed Hard Craft Felt in Black.