Monday, 16 November 2020

3am at Walcourt & the Goldilox Hex Principle

Ages ago, I joined 'Steam', and discovered all of the old PC games that I wasted time on 20 years ago on the PC.

I also found 'Pike & Shot Campaigns' which I had first seen on Doug's excellent 'Cry Havoc' blog, and it included a lot of late C17th battles, so what's not to like?

So when I say this is a screenshot, Duc de 'Luddite' couldn't work out how to do a 'Prt Scrn' from here...these are actual with a camera.

 I chose Walcourt 1689, which is great, as the scope of the battlefield encompasses all of the movement of incoming reinforcements from both sides, seizing built up areas and hanging onto them, and massive cavalry actions on the flank. It's a nice system, which is obviously built upon the mechanisms of wargaming rules, so all makes sense.

Great action, great dynamic gameplay ...I lost!

 Say what you like about video games 'addiction': I was up until 3am ....uhhhh....and I lost!  Great game, and lots of scenario detail. 

Point the second: More thoughts after the last GDW Team Yankee / First Battle game. I'll be graduating to 'Battlefield Europe' next - the follow on variation, which used D10 instead of D6, and added some more developmental rules for modern warfare.

I have a few sizes of hexagon, though the 4.5" variants are the ones that I have most of, and that are finished/flocked.  I had contemplated using the 1/200 and 1/300 stuff on hexes and so had a few tests.

1) I can mimic the rules exactly in terms of smaller hexes- though I can't fit enough vehicles on board to mimic the stacking limits (3 or 4)

Too Small

 2) I can use the ultra large hex, but it allows too many vehicles, and I don't really have enough of them - plus increases the footprint of the map - even if this represents two map hexes.

Too Big

 3) I can use the 4.5" hexes - and model each of them on the  basis of 'two' actual hexes on the GDW gameboards...AHA! Stacking to this extent is rare, but does allow Soviet platoon doctrine.

Just Riiiight!

So this represents 2 hexes on the actual game map.

Now, this also has the handy bonus of mimicking Soviet doctrine - in that, I can place a platoon in the hex and have it restricted to staying in 3 vehicle groupings.

As it's two hexes, I can have a platoon of tanks and BMPs in the same hex, if required.

I can further have a single platoon fire at a single target as per Soviet doctrine, and rule it perfectly with this system.

So, if two hexes in the boardgame, becomes one hex on my table, I re-do the counter information slightly, along these lines:

 Now that I see these rules in action again, I'm wondering even if mimicking NATO training is simply done by virtue of granting them initiative each turn.

Also, I can use the scenarios from here:

to test the system

The more I see of this simple (but not simplistic) GDW/Chadwick system, the more I like its elegance. The advent of the D10 over the D6 actually fixes the obvious issue that the system had with decent armour, whereby if you fired enough shots at an M1, you could destroy it through disablement. That's harder on the D10 CRT.

More to come...


  1. That Pike and Shot game looks very nice. Not sure how Steam works; being old I like my games (and my music) to be on something tangible rather than in a "cloud"!

    1. Yeah, Steam scared the heck out of me, but it seems ok to use.
      The P&S game is obscenely addictive and takes forever warned :)

  2. I eventually got hold of a copy of Battlefield Europe for the scenario ideas. If only I still played Combined Arms the scenarios would translate without difficulty.....
    Not sure about translating board games to miniatures; with most it seems there are more problems than benefits.....

    1. Got you - understand fully.
      But, with these rules, I'm seeing more simplicity with 'grace' over complex systems that I don't want to be bothered with...but we'll see what works I guess.

  3. Now I'm going to have to start posting again...

    Love the shoutouts to Battlefield Europe and Fire Team. I played a bunch of both and still have them on my shelf. There's supposed to be an updated Fire Team on the way, too.

    1. Hey Doug - hope all is well.
      Yeah, I think the new one is imminent - though my current version has sat on a shelf for decades. I always loved the scenarios and maps in it though. Ultimately I'll probably try those rules for tabletop too.

  4. This just goes to show that size really does matter in regards to hex. The digital gaming looks cool, not sure I could invest the time at the mo.

    1. I think it's all about your 'hexual prowess'.
      The size of hex matters a lot.
      The more you can fit in, ...the better...

  5. Hex size can be an issue but it looks like you’ve hit upon a solution.
    I gave up my video games back in graduate school bc I was certainly addicted to them. Now I don’t go near them bc I’d likely disappear down that hole and never get around to miniatures again. 😀

    1. I considered this video game issue at 3am on Monday morning, as the computer defeated me.
      I really shouldn't be playing these damned things on a school night.
      Then I heard the Joe Rogan podcast on electronics addiction on the way into work that morning.
      It's all do with dopamine hits apparently? Excuse me, my phone just pinged...must go

  6. I really like the video games that look like a wargames table. A 'quick' way to have a game if one does not have time or inclination to do it 'properly' I have a game called Julius Caesar (in the Tin Soldier range) that works on a version of Win XP that I run virtually on my Mac. It's fun to drag out every now and again.
    The 'just another turn' ones like Civilization and Rome Total War are the worst for losing track of time, I find!
    Regards, James