Summary: Grindy dark age affair with lots of flavour. Bad going made the battle bitsy. Arthur took the day.
My inner megalomaniac is back. This post is a follow on from my 2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian. The previous post was a retrospective of the last 23 months, which means pointing out my successes. This post is the (overly ambitious) list of what I’d like to get done in the coming year. It is the more embarrassing part. The confession. Bear in mind these are more or less active projects.
I have noticed that my The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian of 2015 was literally a confession, describing my overly inflated ambitions and incomplete projects. But the 2016 edition was more a reflection on my progress against those goals. It has been a 23 months since the 2016 edition and it is time to revisit. But I’m going to split the reflection aspect from the confessions bit. So this is my reflection on the 23 months from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.
I recently transferred my Dark Age figures for Hordes of the Things (HOTT) to Big Bases. Magicians, beasts, clerics, hordes, that kind of thing, making Big Base HOTT. This included my Strathclyde Welsh (Northern Cymry) for Britannia 600 AD.
I had intended to use Basic Impetus, and even revised the army lists to do this, but we ended up using the Dark Age variant of Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames instead. Both armies had six units and we used first Pitched Battle scenario. And we played on a 2’x2′ table as per using my big bases with One Hour Wargames.
The summary is: Grindy rules that are very predictable. Might be accurate but not much fun. Chris won.
Big Base DBA (also known as Big Base De Bellis Antiquitatis or BBDBA) allows fast games with a small number of playing pieces and lots of figures. Big Base DBA requires few modifications from the standard DBA rules.
Inspired by Philip Sabin’s Analysis of Ancient Warfare in Lost Battles I’ve drifted further away from normal DBA than you need to, but I’ll explain why as I go along. Mostly it affects basing.
Last year my (then) seven year old daughter asked me to explain wargaming to her. This made me recall “Steven’s Rules” – a set of wargaming rules that my father published in Slingshot back in 1971. This is a very simple set of rules that a seven year old boy (me) could play with his Airfix plastic Ancient Britons and Romans. If you’ve got a seven year old boy around the house you might find these useful.
It has been a year since my Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian so definitely time for the 2016 update. I figured that, by sharing what I’m working on (far too much) and where I was up to with it (not far enough), I’d feel bad enough about my lack of progress to limit my work in progress and get some projects finished. Well, it worked, but only partly. I still worked on seven projects this year and finished none.
The fifth game in our Fall of Hispania Campaign will occur in 448 AD, 2 game years after the last battle. Chris Harrod rolled Roman and I got Visigoth. Despite misgivings I have chosen Basic Impetus as the rules.
Basic Impetus has army lists but, even after I reformatted them, I don’t like them. So I tweaked the two that we are intending to use. Okay, I only made two small changes to troop types, but those changes stem from mistakes that get me quite het up.
I’m thinking of using Basic Impetus for the next game in our Fall of Hispania Campaign. The good news is that the army lists for the Fall of Rome period are freely available at Vol 7. Rome and Empire and Vol 8. Fall of Rome. The bad news is I don’t like them. Firstly, I can’t read them because of all the abbreviations, for example, “FP” does not leap out at me as “Heavy Infantry”. Secondly, the format of the table is counter intuitive for me; I want to know who the troops are first before seeing how they are classified. Thirdly, I disagree with some of the army lists. In this post I’ll content myself with addressing the things about the format that annoy me. In a subsequent post I’ll revise the army lists.
In DBA 2.2 the Sea People warriors are classified as Blades. I’m not sure that is right. Truth to tell I’m not sure it is wrong either. But I do think it worth poking a stick at.
One of the things that really impresses me about Paul Ward of Matakishi’s Tea House is his focus. He chooses a new project, plans the project, does the project, finishes it, and moves on.
I’m a bit more scatter gun myself despite the fact that at work I encourage teams to limit work in progress. I start with a focus and get a lot done but then often wander off on a tangent when something else comes up that sparks my interest. I let myself do that because this is my hobby, not my job. A hobby shouldn’t really be a chore, it should be fun.
However, I have now realised I might be trying to do too much. I’ve got a lot of unfinished projects on the go. Too many. So I thought I’d share what I’m working on and where I’m up to with it. Maybe the list will make me feel bad enough to limit my work in progress and get some projects finished.