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"Grid/square multi occupancy rule design" Topic

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Aloha6020 Dec 2019 1:34 p.m. PST


I like the idea of a large square grid layout of say 8inch x 8inch with multiple unit occupation
Thinking horse & musket era and units representative of brigades (single base no formations being represented).
The difficulty arises when working out combat – you may have several units of combined arms in an area (grid/square) facing an enemy of a similar mix – exactly what attacks what and in any particular order?

Your thoughts.

Whirlwind20 Dec 2019 1:38 p.m. PST

You could do worse than see how Martin Wallace tackled it in his Waterloo game: PDF link

I know that is "areas" rather than "squares" but same principle, more or less.

Stryderg20 Dec 2019 3:38 p.m. PST

I'm not that familiar with the period, but that won't stop me from throwing in my two cents!

Take combined arms as the default, minuses if you don't have an arm or two, pluses if you have a 'proper balance'. You can define that however you want (2x infantry, 1x arty, 1x cav; or other). Pluses for good leaders (they make better decisions, have a better grasp of timing, etc). Plus/minus for troop quality (they get into the ordered formation faster, no gaps, etc). No a single die roll with all the +/- and consult a chart for results.

Another option, more dice heavy: break the battle up into phases (ie. scouting, deployment, arty barrage, cav charge, infantry charge; season to taste). Roll dice at each phase: My scouting was better, so I get a +1 for deployment. My deployment was worse, so I get a minus for the cav charge, etc. Or you can take damage or have a chance of route at each stage.

Hope you find something you like.

Martin Rapier20 Dec 2019 11:40 p.m. PST

Have a look at how Square Bashing or To the Last Gaiter Button handle it (both use a 12 inch grid with multiple units in a square. Essentially a combat limit per grid side with other units providing various degrees of support. Lost Battles takes a similar approach.

Blutarski21 Dec 2019 7:56 a.m. PST

What distinguishes this approach from an adaptation of a traditional board game, where the cardboard counters are now replaced by three-dimensional stands of miniatures and play requires a 4x6 ft (or larger) tabletop to accommodate these new giant counters?

Just asking.


Jozis Tin Man21 Dec 2019 12:08 p.m. PST

It is horses for courses, but miniatures are prettier and provide a more immersive experience for me, your mileage may vary.

You may also want to look at Phil Sabin's Lost Battles as Martin suggests: link

Martin Rapier22 Dec 2019 1:34 a.m. PST

I think Grids work really well because they encourage units to take up a reasonably historical foot print and avoid the Wargamerisms of jamming far too many bases together and all that arguing about move distances and firing arcs.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Jan 2020 8:13 a.m. PST

I love squares. The RFCM games among others including Rommel are inspirational. I really dig the TravelBattle game by The Perry's. My humble WWII game is under way as well.

"D-Day to Berlin"

Free download here



greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Jan 2020 8:16 a.m. PST

My game uses 6" squares. Up to 4 units (battalions) may occupy a single square. In the above picture you see a combat going on. The Sherman is attacking the Mk IV. All the d6 are support unit or art. dice. The artillery cards are temp batteries assigned for a single game turn. Adjoining units in other squares as well as the units in the attacking or defending square can chime in. Only one combat roll and a save determine the whole mess.


Aloha6001 Jan 2020 1:13 p.m. PST

Hi 'greenknight4'

' Up to 4 units (battalions) may occupy a single square'

How do you deal with the mechanic of those 4 units attacking into an adjacent square which (for example) also has 4 defending units?

Is there an order by which those units attacks, can they all attack, who do they specifically attack in the defending square etc..

SORRY – just saw the link to your rules – I will read through them!

Many thanks

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Jan 2020 4:14 p.m. PST


For combat I borrowed a rule from Lost Battles. First off a battalion (stand) can only be attacked once per player half of a game turn. One unit in each square is always designated the "Prime Battalion" and in a way it does the fighting. All the others are support battalions. Makes for a clean system. The fate of the Pimary battalion will effect all of the others in the square which I call a zone. Moving and fighting can be diagonal as well as straight. Only artillery shoots. All other combat is a melee of sort, meaning the attacker advances into the defending zone.

If it helps a square is about 2 1/2 miles across. A game turn is around 2 hours.


greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Jan 2020 4:16 p.m. PST

I should note the images in the website gallery are from when I was using inches and not squares for measurment. I have since goe to squares.

Aloha6002 Jan 2020 7:19 a.m. PST



I am working in the horse & musket period and want a (slightly) more tactical feel with a square representing perhaps a 1/2 mile (to be decided).
I have a rough frame work – I feel I have to have a mechanism for how infantry and cavalry interact.


greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2020 6:03 a.m. PST

I understand wanting a lower ground scale. My game allows 3 corps of troops on n 8' wide table.

You might have a good look t Lost Battles or Phil Sabin's earlier versions Strategem. I think it will push you in the right direction.

The RFCM might help, esp. Conquerors and Kings or possibly the new WWI release. I do find they are very dicey but I know the theory is more dice less randomness.

Keep in touch please :)

Aloha6003 Jan 2020 6:54 a.m. PST


'RFCM' – never heard of it?

Oh … Google is your friend – I will have a look at this site – very interesting!

BTW, based on this thread I ordered a copy of the Sabin book.
Many thanks

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2020 9:52 a.m. PST

Rules For The Common Man

Peter Pig Games

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2020 9:52 a.m. PST

Good luck with Phil's book too

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