Saturday, August 27, 2016

More Thoughts on a "Modern" Campaign

As I added to my previous post, rifling around through the books on my games shelf (a single shelf. I got rid of more than 1/2 of my gaming related books collection over the past year!) I discovered both Morschauser and Featherstone (in his Advanced War Gaming) provide some interesting mechanisms for running a map campaign.

Both have a simplicity that I like, although Featherstone muddies things up with several optional bits - more complexity sounds great to me at first, but I have learned that in war gaming ,and RPGs, for that matter, there is a point where my enthusiasm wanes in proportion.

Morschauser's system is the harsher of the two, in that if a force loses a battle, they are just done and no longer available for the strategic level. There is the benefit of no record keeping in that case, but it does seem a bit difficult to swallow. Still, he uses painted wooden blocks on a map and who doesn't like the sound of that?

Featherstone 's method for generating a random map sounds quite fun - using 2"x 2" painted squares drawn at random and placed into a 12" square frame .

I believe it was in Featherstone that I saw mention of the often cited "rule" of 1/3 of casualties are killed, 1/3 are wounded and not available for some time period and 1/3 are combat ready by the next encounter.

Even if I did not see it there, that rule of thumb has a long pedigree and who am I to resist something with such history?

Of course, I could combine the two (blocks on a randomly generated map, using casualty recovery)

The other issue I find myself considering is the level of command.

Initially, I was thinking commanding a company at most in a given game, however, a battalion would not be out of the question, either with Morschauser or Blitzkrieg Commander, both of which work with the same basing systems I intend to use. It's more a narrative question than it is a gaming issue.

Scenarios in any case, I think are well accounted for with Blitzkrieg Commander, FiveCore's Company Command, and Platoon Forward (moved up a level) all providing scenario ideas, plus One Hour Wargames, and tabletop teasers (and presumably, situations would naturally arise from the campaign).

Next, I need to look at my collection and see what, if anything, I want to paint (OK, need to paint. Want is a strong word) - I think I may be short some heavy infantry, and I know my anti-tank gun teams need some love.


  1. One thing about casualty return in WWII is who controls the battlefield at the end of things. Your 1/3rd ratios work for the side that wins, but the loser should lose at least half of their seriously wounded and some of the lightly wounded as prisoners. And the loser's equipment/vehicles should almost all be lost (recovered on a 6?).

    1. Very good points about differences for victor vs loser, Stu Rat.

      And I hadn't even considered how vehicle casualties should work - new recruits, volunteers or conscripts, are easier to come by than increased armament production. How I approach this will depend in part on what level I choose to game at. If I go with something where a base is a squad and a vehicle is one vehicle, I think it's easier to write off the vehicle if it's destroyed than when it represents 2-3 vehicles. In the latter case, I begin to prickle at the thought of the record keeping (for both troops and armor). Then again, recovery on a 6 or perhaps using Featherstone's 2d6 for armor results from his simple WW2 rules might work, but after the battle. (I'd get up to copy the exact table here, but my cat is making that impossible).


  2. Rules wise, for your WWII, I draw your attention to this:

    I have no experience with them, just thought it might be something with which you could tinker.

    1. Stu Rat,

      Thanks for the link. I have played those rules before and rather like them. They are only a little more complicated than old school type rules, with a few mechanisms that we modern gamers have come to expect eg. reaction fire and suppression come to mind. It scales either for company or battalion, and has a nice command and control system based on unit quality - so not every unit will activate every turn). I can't believe I forgot to include them in my short list for this campaign idea.

      In fact, the author did a few articles in Lone Warrior about a campaign he played using those rules in combination with Solitaire Advanced Squad Leader.