So the main thrust of the rules is small playing space, six or so units, and minimal rules are the order of the day - and you are dicing for damage when in range, each unit has 15 'hit points' etc.
That said, there are some real subtleties and of course the nature of the rules lend themselves to being hacked:
- With the C18th version, only cavalry can charge. We amended that to state that British infantry could charge, and that militia would flee, but continentals would not etc. The tendency then is to wear down those 15 HPs with musketry and go in with the bayonet. That said, go too early, you bounce off and face a hail of musketballs. There's a delicate balance between knowing when to charge, and gambling what you will get with d6+2 damage. (We changed the rules a bit for AWI cavalry - and will probably change more).
- There were elements where we found ourselves saying - 'this is really simple', though then discussing whether that meant a lesser game. The answer is a definite 'no' here.We agreed on various questions and moved on. It was like 1974 or something!! Would we have obtained a more enjoyable result with Black Powder or similar, and a better narrative? I don't think so.
- A key feature is that moving units don't fire in the turn. This developed into a realistic alternate 'grind and exploit' game as units traded volleys while other units moved up. I haven't seen this 'period' flavour in many other rules 'designed in' so succinctly. There are some subtleties here.
- We allowed some cover bonuses for fences etc. stating that militia would only endure more than one round if 'parked' behind a fence.
- The benefit here is speed. Battles take an hour or so (duhh!) but the benefit of that is campaign play. If you had a campaign on hexes with multiple units, the battles could be fought out as units/task forces engage, then onto the next encounter and mop up the mess - with the strategic situation developing very quickly.
- The d6 damage mechanic gives a lot of variability (we killed a guards unit with musket and cannon), though whether accidentally or not, that adds a little chaos to the battlefield. Still thinking about this one, but the d6 has never been so powerful!
- Just by chance, we used a yellow / red / black dice combo to outline the hits taken by unit (red at 7 points +, black at 13 points+ etc.) - which gave us the idea of generating certain issues for units when they hit the black dice (after 12 points of damage) - perhaps preventing further charges, or stopping units moving forward etc.
The other BIG benefit I could see was the hit point system:
(1) They aren't just hits. In a campaign or operational game, they could represent supply and logistics.
(2) As Steve does on Sound Officers' Call, there is probably a need for officers/leaders being able to rally once per game to restore hit points. We also allowed the guards unit to self rally once per game - denoting it from the regulars in this manner.
Actually - perhaps leaders can move units in their radius - but if attached to a particular unit, then the others in their 'brigade' can't move unless elite...
Other changes could be +/-1 for really poor or elite units, but these are minor amendments.
We didn't exactly use the 3'x3' suggested either, though did allow American reinforcements to enter on turns 5 and 10 as per scenario, which actually helped their victory considerably...oops
A great game in about 60 minutes. Really good stuff, and lots to think about here.