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"Playing scenarios with different armies?" Topic

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570 hits since 30 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Timbo W30 Aug 2017 10:52 a.m. PST

Stuck for a scenario ides? Then why not just borrow one from a different period?

So fight Gettysburg using French and Russian Napoleonics, Bosworth with Romans or Waterloo with Royalists and Parliamentarians.

I think its a useful way to generate a quick game setup. Also you get to play scenarios that you'd never paint the proper forces for. IIRC the 'Battle of the Black Mango Tree' was in one of the Wargames mags and involved some Renaissance era Oriental armies that none of the participants owned or planned to own, therefore we fought iot with Poles v Turks. it turned out to be a straightforward bash but a nail-biter.

What do you reckon? Have you done this? How did it go?

cavcrazy30 Aug 2017 11:05 a.m. PST

Been there, done that.
The key is to not let anyone know it is a battle that they may know.
If you tell them it is Gettysburg,they will have an idea how to fight it.
If you don't say anything, then they have to figure out their own strategy.
Say nothing until the end of the game.
those types of games are always great fun.

Rich Bliss30 Aug 2017 11:07 a.m. PST

I did Chickamauga with the sides reversed. No one caught on. One player on the CSA side even commented that his stand on a hill reminded him a bit of Thomas at Chickamauga, but he didn't, recognize the map because he was on the other side.

Timbo W30 Aug 2017 11:13 a.m. PST

Nice one both, I like the idea of simply switching sides Rich, very neat.

btw apologies for the BUG

MajorB30 Aug 2017 11:49 a.m. PST

Wargame Developments have been playing Disguised Scenarios for years. See:
PDF link

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2017 12:25 p.m. PST

Often useful and insightful if disguised--and anyway, no one has the armies to fight everything with the orignal forces.
The catch as I see it is the need to decide what's essential about the scenario and not take it to a time and place where that doesn't work. Gettysburg and Antietam, with forces marching on in the course of a battle, could pass for Napoleonic, but not for Marlburian or Fredrician.

Of course, when you're mostly a solo player, it's still hard to surprise yourself.

Ottoathome Inactive Member30 Aug 2017 1:17 p.m. PST

Back in college we would dump out the pieces from Avalon Hill's Waterloo game on the Battle of the Bulge Board and go at it. Drove the regular board gamers to coronaries, but it was great fun.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Aug 2017 3:04 p.m. PST

Also, stay away from *really* well known battlefields. Waterloo and Gettysburg spring to mind. But any other map with the names change will work.

Without the names would you *really* be able to identify Antietam? How about Talavera?

JMcCarroll Inactive Member30 Aug 2017 3:30 p.m. PST

I once put a Godzilla wars game on a set up of Gettysburg.
A friend had finished putting on the battle at a con so all we did was switch out the 15mm houses for micro scale houses.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2017 6:22 p.m. PST

You can really mess with someone by making one historical army orcs and goblins, and the other one dwarves or elves (or whatever).

Lascaris30 Aug 2017 7:32 p.m. PST

I do this all the time. I've posted a couple AAR's, the last one being Gettysburg set in the Franco-Prussian War.

arthur181531 Aug 2017 2:19 a.m. PST

I believe it's a great way of avoiding games being influenced by hindsight. In historical refights, the player of the victorious side in real life may feel disinclined to adopt a different plan or feel unable to emulate the 'Great Captain' whose role he is taking; the player of the losing side knows what to avoid.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Aug 2017 5:05 a.m. PST

Swapping out the minis, I do frequently.

Using forces with different capabilities is a staple of Steampunk and VSF (two different things in my view) gaming, so we do this a lot as well.

Star Wars forces have the right mix of powerful yet inaccurate ranged weapons and savage close combat to work well in, but give a different tactical feel to, mid 19th Century battles.

One of the big ones that ends up being either really enjoyable or a real flop is swapping ancient armies into Late 20th/Early 21st Century conflicts and vice versa.

Some of this might bridge into "what-if" territory. In the Old West (as well as many other periods), there were a lot of one-sided battles. Refights where the grossly outmatched side actually gets reinforcements or has troops available turn no-fun for wargaming slaughter scenarios into actual fights that never happened.

Fantasy figures in historical battles … well … you gotta love Napoelonorc battles!


DHautpol31 Aug 2017 5:28 a.m. PST

Using a mirror image of the map is another way of disguising its true identity.

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Aug 2017 7:42 a.m. PST

We ran Quatra Bra for a bunch of military guys in different historical periods. It worked quite well.


I really like DHautpol's idea of merely transposing the map. I am going to have to try that.

Great War Ace Inactive Member31 Aug 2017 8:06 a.m. PST

Two that I recall particularly were Morlaix and Tagliacozzo, recast as fantasy battles involving orcs, trolls, dwarves and undead, and humans, of course. I had Little Bighorn (Custer's last stand) pulled on me: I was given a "Norman" force, and the Amerindians were played by Saracens and Turks. The setting escaped me during the game. My natural caution allowed me to escape with most of my force intact. Custer, I am not. :)

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