Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Great Northern War Project: Some Ideas

Over the last few days, the humidity appears to have dropped a bit. There's still plenty of summer left, so I'm sure it will return. Never the less, low humidity = good weather for spray painting. That, in turn, has me thinking about my Great Northern War project (I have 200 or so figures to prep and prime).

This project got its inspiration from Joseph Morschauser's How to Play Wargames in Miniature. I had started out thinking I'd base and organize these per Morschasuer's suggested methods, but the more I think about it, the more I realize my preference is for individually based figures.

To my mind, that gives the greatest flexibility. I can use sabots/movement trays (in my case, a fancy name for some craft foam with a card backing) for element based rules and large games, or I can use individual for, well, individual figure rules and smaller 1 to 1 skirmishes.

Speaking of rules, I think I have come to the conclusion that Bob Cordery's Memoir of Battle (with possibly some period specific modifications), G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. (again with modifications), and this very simple, but very fun sounding "fast and loose" idea from Soweiter League will be my rules of choice.

Simple rules tend to be easily modified without breaking, so I can add what I glean from the history of the GNW, if I feel they require it. The Soweiter League rules have the advantage, too, that Fitz-Badger has already demonstrated how effective they are with fewer figures per unit than many other rules use. Take a look at this example for inspiration! (as a matter of fact, he's also demonstrated that with G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. more recently).

So, while I may give Age of Reason a try, because I have a copy, it seems orders of magnitude more complex than Fitz-Badger's rules and I'm not convinced they'd give a game any more enjoyable for the effort.

The next step is to actually read through everything I have acquired regarding history and the uniforms, decide on paint schemes, unit size (if I opt to paint historical units) and then, hopefully, by the time that's done, summer weather will be more less over and I can spray prime the figures. I'm also considering starting a blog specific to the project, but I'm not yet decided on that.


  1. I agree that the simpler and fast & loose that rules are often the best way to go. I came up with some extremely simple skirmish rules that I use when playing sci-fi games with my seven-year-old daughter. They seem to work well.

    1. I went and found them on your blog. They seem like exactly the kind of rules that make for a fun game : more time spent playing and less time spent flipping through pages to find a relevant rule.I hope when my son is older he takes an interest in dad's toys too!

  2. Thanks for the mention! Even with GASLIGHT I tend to go with the simpler options - such as just removing figures rather than doing the counting method. It means I lose the case where more than one hit can hit the same figure, but I figure it evens out (and speeds up the game a little maybe).
    Good luck with your GNW project! I shall look forward to following it.

    You know, that's a great point, Chris! If the kids enjoy the rules that's a good sign that the rules aren't overly complex (or, dare I say, needlessly complex?). :)

    1. I may have to try that with G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. if I use it for the GNW games.While I appreciate the rationale for the casualty method G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. uses, it does slow things down considerably. And, in my experience, it only rarely results in a single figure hit multiple times anyway.