Friday, 11 January 2013

Hell Broke Loose: Play Test part 1

Firstly, sorry, but there will not be a Porcinorci part 2. That and another game played between then and now will not be reported on further.

As most of you will know, Peter and I have been developing and play testing a set of rules aimed at the Italian Wars. They are based on the original work Field of Battle by Brent Oman and my, and Peter's, 'Ager' series published in Miniature Wargames.

Initially, I thought I would call them Thirst of War and Blood. This is a line from Erasmus' Colloquies but, after some thought, I have decided to call them after the specific title of the work (written in 1522 AD) in which that line can be found: Hell Broke Loose.

I have just completed the first full draft of the rules. Those wanting a copy to play test should contact me now. The documents are in MS Word format and include the rules, the quick play sheets, and my card stock. The latter include several pictures that are probably held under copyright by someone (the pictures were found on google images) and I ask that if you take a copy, that you do not make the card stock more widely, and definitely not commercially, available.

Although I am happy to make these rules available, please, will only people that are genuinely interested in rules for this period, or with the subject of rule mechanisms specifically, email me for them.

In the following post, I will try to show you where we are. I am not going to publish the rules here in full. Rather, I am going to go through part of a game to show how the game is played. I may, if I feel the rule is important, or slightly unusual, give details and my reasoning. The play-test game is quite a large one, but this is to draw out as many rule mechanisms as possible in one 'honest', to keep it interesting for me, solo-play battle.

Set Up

The battle is between a French force and an Imperial force. It is an open field battle. 

In the set up, each side rolls a D12 for its army die and sequence deck. The French rolled a 5 for an average D10 army dice and sequence deck. The Spanish rolled a 9 for a better than average D10* army dice and a D10* sequence deck. (Poor D8, and excellent D12 army die and sequence decks are possible.) The army die and sequence decks, as you will see, are the backbone of the game. 

The army die also determines the modifiers for officer quality rolls, again using D12. The D10* gives the Spanish officers a +1 adjustment.  Unbelievably, they all rolled up as D10 quality.

The French army comprises units with a total of 90 unit integrity points (to be explained later) . This, divided by 12, gives 7 characterisation cards. 

These cards, dealt from the Army Characterisation Deck (ACD), give morale chip cards and special ability cards: from the start, every army is slightly different.

The French army has 54 morale chips, a Like Hail Missile Reload Up 1 sequence card, and  Chow Bella Group Wild Card sequence card.

The Spanish army comprises 94 unit integrity points and gets 8 ACD cards. These give the Spanish 50 morale chips, a Stratagem card, a Four Horsemen sequence card, and a Look Sir, Army Morale sequence card.

The Stratagem (not pictured) was deemed, by the draw of a normal playing card (a 10 of spades was drawn), a Forlorn Hope stratagem: this allowed the Spanish to deploy up to one quarter of its unit integrity points up to the table's centre line[ish]. 

The morale chips give an army its staying power. ACD sequence cards replace similar cards in the army's sequence deck or they are added to it - they are always advantageous. 

The game is now ready to start. But that is the subject of the next post. Until then, here are a few pictures of the deployments.

Spanish forlorn hope facing the French right.
Spanish forlorn hope facing the French right.
 The French right.
 The French centre.
The Spanish main line.


fireymonkeyboy said...

Gorgeous as always. It'll be interesting to see how the game develops.

Ken said...

It really does sound quite similar to FOB. It will be interesting to hear how you adapt it to the pre-horse and musket era.

Ken said...

It really sounds very similar to FOB. It will be interesting to hear how you adapt it to pre horse and musket.

Ken said...

Looking forward to hearing how you adapt FOB to pre horse and musket era


Hi Ken,

yes, it is FoB and an Ager Sanguinis / Ager Proelii hybrid with some extra period specific bits and pieces.

Ken said...

I'm sorry for the multiple posts!

Nick Lemming said...

Hi James, looks interesting so far - I hope you show us more of the battle as it proceeds.

I see Markus (FMB) from our group has also taken an interest - we may have to sign up for the playtest at some point. :)

topi said...

Very much looking forward to seeing how you adapted it. And as always, looks inspirational!

Dalauppror said...

Stunning pictures once again, a real jou to look at and read about you gaming !

best regards Michael

Anonymous said...

I am also interested in seeing how well this plays out. I'd be interested in a copy of the rules, mostly because of rules mechanics. I love how the period looks, but I've not got the time or the budget to start another project at this time.

Victor said...

I would like a copy of the playtest rules, please.

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Jagger said...

Hi James,

These rules look very interesting. I would love to try them out if you can send me a copy of the rules.




Hi Jagger,

drop me an email. My email is at the top of the blog.