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"Any interest in very small skirmishes?" Topic

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711 hits since 3 Mar 2017
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Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2017 10:05 p.m. PST

Toying with some ideas for a "back alley" fighting system for black powder games, suitable for a few hussars scrapping with a few opponents or a more RPG oriented game where the heroes have to sneak in and blow up a bridge, that sort of thing.

Say 4-6 figures on each side with a simple skill system.
Pretty simple but does offer hit locations and different types of wound for more detail.

Anything that might be of interest, if I wrote it up nice and put it up as a beta?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2017 10:24 p.m. PST

I've played two games along those lines. Gloire, which is really closer to an rpg, and WRG's Fire and Steel.
The first I abused the hell out of by having 50 figures on a side (no, I'm not sorry grin) in a Rescue Roddy McCorley game.

The second I used in quite a few successful FIW skirmish games. I also abused it with 50 players per side in my (in-)famous "Rescue Demi Moore" game.
I'm looking at it again to do a Sugarloaf Massacre game in 40mm. Hi Doug!

Hafen von Schlockenberg Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member03 Mar 2017 10:38 p.m. PST

Desperado is that level,but another one wouldn't hurt.

The Beast Rampant03 Mar 2017 11:32 p.m. PST

"Fistful of Lead: Horse & Musket" is that scale and period.


I haven't played or read it, but had planned to pick it up in the near future.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 12:56 a.m. PST

So that's a yes? no?

Personal logo Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 2:23 a.m. PST

Yes, please :-) I will pay you money for it.

advocate04 Mar 2017 2:27 a.m. PST

I find that scale of game very limited, personally. Yes, suitable for role-playing, but I find it hard to come up with more than a few scenarios that amount to anything more than 'kill the other guys', so not a lot of variations.
I much prefer games that start with at least a few dozen figures on the table.

Edwulf04 Mar 2017 3:15 a.m. PST

I like the idea though Napoleonic doesn't seem to fit the style.
What kind of situations would you get only a handful of guys fighting a handful of guys in the Napoleonic wars?
Best suited for Wild West, Fantasy, Gangsters, Moderns or games in North America.

Edwulf04 Mar 2017 3:18 a.m. PST

Not wanting to be a downer on the project. I'd still be interested in giving them a look.

Timbo W04 Mar 2017 4:29 a.m. PST

I like the idea

plenty of inspiration in Sharpe, Hornblower etc, and perhaps could be adapted for shipboard combat or naval landing parties.

Certainly a handful v handful seems appropriate to me, eg house-to-house in sieges, guerillas, foraging parties, vedettes, cossacks, cloak-and-dagger missions, daring escapes, rescuing aristos from la guillotine, tavern brawls, Nelson v polar bear etc

Could be a nice idea to add duelling rules?

Also if you have a set of nice skirmish rules that handle musketry and hand-to-hand, they could be adapted to a wide range of time eg Renaissance, 18th Century, Colonial etc.

Main problem I've found with blackpowder era skirmishes in the past is that its a bit tedious hanging around several turns to reload muskets and tracking which figures are how far along.

taskforce5804 Mar 2017 5:02 a.m. PST

Songs of Drums and Shakos by Ganesha Games.

Timotheous Inactive Member04 Mar 2017 6:09 a.m. PST

+1 for Song of Drums and Shakos. Works very well for a dozen or fewer figs per side.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 7:00 a.m. PST

I played a game of Song of Drums and Shakos at a con that had about a dozen figures per side. I had fun.

4th Cuirassier04 Mar 2017 7:02 a.m. PST

Other than the rate of fire for the firearms, what would give this type of game a Napoleonic feel?

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 7:04 a.m. PST

For scenarios, check Mikaberidze's "Russian Eyewitness Accounts" books--1807 has some particularly nice bits.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 8:31 a.m. PST

4th To some extent, man to man skirmishing always feels the same I think.

The figures and the stories we tell make much of the difference.

I put the thread in the Napoleonic forum because we have a million boards where it could go, and that seemed as good as any.

Musketeers or Sharpe won't play that differently on the tabletop, I wager.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 9:05 a.m. PST

+1 Timbo W.

"Main problem I've found with blackpowder era skirmishes in the past is that its a bit tedious hanging around several turns to reload muskets and tracking which figures are how far along."

Yes, that is what I found. Depending on your intended time scale (which I would presume to be fairly short with just a few figures), it can make a great game less fun to play.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 9:29 a.m. PST

So that's a yes? no?

Maybe. grin
I am not committed to the rules I mentioned above in this scale.
Just don't put in any dumb "tap loading" rules.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 9:52 a.m. PST

In a back alley, I'd wager you fire the musket and then either charge with a sword or run.

No way I'm standing helpless in an alley trying to reload. But then maybe I'm just a coward evil grin

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 9:54 a.m. PST

I do agree that man-to-man and small units often feel the same. Frankly your set of rules would apply to any period prior to, say, the Franco Prussian War. Just some guys have guns some don't.

With 4-6 combatants, I don't think there's much difference between a Roman with a sword, and a Volitgeur with one.

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 10:07 a.m. PST

Right, that was sort of what I was trying to get at :)

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 2:02 p.m. PST

Then the problem is, with approximately 11,000 rule sets out there already, what makes your different? evil grin

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 7:17 p.m. PST

Extensive use of D14?

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 8:59 p.m. PST

It's aimed at an RPG style game play with hit locations and skill improvement, so only 10.999 competitors :)

I'll neaten up the document for people to look at.

adymac265005 Mar 2017 5:36 a.m. PST

we are taking a skirmish scale Napoleonic wargame around the uk shows , its called Forager and its set for between 5 and 20 figures a side. each character has personal traits and battle traits that help them in the game as well as equipment. loads of daring do scenarios. Went down well at Hammerhead yesterday with those that played it

Personal logo Weasel Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 10:44 a.m. PST

Adymac – Anything we can have a look at? :)

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 5:35 p.m. PST

We re using modified Chosen Men for a 40+ figures per player at a Cold Wars game.

I am a big fan of the Empire of the Dead and would use that for the kind of game you are describing

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