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" - Boardgames & Miniature Campaigns" Topic

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908 hits since 28 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Colonel Bill Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2017 9:00 a.m. PST

Back to miniatures (mostly, damn close to 100%) with my weekly tome for the Wargamer. Using hex and counter wargames as miniature campaigns and battle generators.



Ciao, Colonel Bill

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2017 9:27 a.m. PST

Thanks! Yes, good and traditional system. I knew guys who fought out wars that way using AH's Blitzkrieg. Players would be given that there was a battle, the odds and the overall terrain type, fight it out with whatever they had and report the results back. This is a much more historical variant--given you have the troops to pull it off, and someone trustworthy to generate the actual tabletops.

(Me? Mostly maps pulled at random from a file of battles in the area. Not as accurate, but I'm lazy about such things.)

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2017 10:21 a.m. PST

Good article, Bill. The issue with the Zucker games is that even though combat is the simplest element of them, getting your gaming group to understand the rest of the systems can be a challenge. On top of that, Napoleon at Bay, Struggle of Nations, etc., have a learning curve just in getting the right units deployed onto the board! Once you figure out movement, attrition, vedettes, etc., they are fantastic views of Napoleonic campaigns. I can remember playing 1807: The Eagles Turn East for the first time. I looked at the three maps going all the way to Danzig, then my few counters on the board and had a certain empathy for the little guy on the white horse. What are you supposed to do? Where is the enemy? Where should we go?

mwindsorfw Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2017 12:17 p.m. PST

Interesting article. The Altar of Freedom website for their ACW rules have a free download for a Vicksburg campaign. It is essentially a basic boardgame to give you some context for playing your miniatures games.

Ottoathome Inactive Member30 Sep 2017 2:09 a.m. PST

Sounds good Bill and I and several friends have tried it from time to time but it always ends on abject failure. Nothing in the system you have delineated but in the physical constraints. You have to leave the game set up all the time where it is susceptible to stuff being inadvertently dumped on, swiped off, disturbed or eaten by the cat. The second thing is if the board is too large whatever it is set up upon is completely unuseable for the the weeks and months of the campaign, and finally memories are short and people start to think there is some sort of "jiggery-pokery" going on. This is especially true if you take the set up down after a campaign session and put it back up before the next.

One of the best games for this sort of thing was the old TSR "Divine Right." but again the villain was often the incautious dog or cat, or the kids dropping their dirty laundry on the board.

Trajanus30 Sep 2017 4:05 a.m. PST

Cats are programmed to do that. It's a long term revenge on behalf of those women who owned them that were strung up for being Witches!

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2017 7:20 p.m. PST

Good article. Board games do offer a lot of advantages in campaigning, particularly if you have someone volunteer to GM and multiple versions of the game. Zuckers games are very comprehensive. My only reservation would be, not counting Napoleon's Last Battles, Kevin's games are fairly complex and long. So, I agree with Bill that there are a lot of possibilities.

Block games like the much more basic Napoleon [Waterloo Campaign] by Columbia games can work well too, though without a lot of the detail that Kevin's games provide.

The variety of board games that cover campaigns is rather large. I have had fun with GMT's 1859 campaign game by Peter Perla, even using the map and most of the rules for Napoleonic 1796 campaigns. I do find board campaign games a great basis for campaigns with miniatures.

donlowry01 Oct 2017 9:02 a.m. PST

If nothing else, board games do provide you with a map for the campaign.

Russ Lockwood09 Oct 2017 10:46 a.m. PST

Sadly, despite best intentions, many campaign games fade after the first or second battle -- one side loses heart, players can't make it to the next campaign game, and so on.

For Snappy Nappy, I created a Campaign in a Day system that basically creates one giant game people play for a long afternoon. Pre-campaign moves are made by the C-in-Cs, troops are placed on the table where they start (or a limited number of units can be repositioned around the start area), players show up and the game begins.

You do need space. I've played on two tables, and run the game in my basement across seven or eight tables, but the full effect is during a special club day.

And you need people. We had 16 or so at each of the Snappy Nappy events held at The Portal game store. You don't need fog of war rolls or random movement rolls when you've got 16 players doing their thing.

The last Campaign in a Day (1809 Italian campaign) was on 17 4x6-foot tables. Here's the write-up on that and other the Blunders on the Danube blog:

Snappy Nappy Campaigns

Like a good campaign game, the losses in one battle carry over (Snappy Nappy uses a fog of war roster system, but some gamers place markers on the troops instead because they don't like rosters). You can get a sense of where action is from the messages passed between commanders and C-in-C. It lasts from 11am to 5pm, although you could go longer, but that's a nice balance of time.

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