Monday, September 22, 2008

Check out Soapy's new post!

I just checked the new post on Soapy's blog and, as usual, he's got me all impatient and ready to spend my hard-earned cash. It looks like all kinds of good things are in store over at the Woodbine Design Company in the next year. Any how, support this guy and buy his miniatures

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Gatling's Jammed!-- a rambling reading

I purchased Partizan Press' The Gatling's Jammed rules last week. They are a colonial wars variant of the General de Brigade Napoleonic rules, covering the period 1815-1911 or so.
As background I need to state that the club where I play uses General de Brigade and Guns of Gettysburg both of which use the same basic rules system. Since all the players know or are familiar with the mechanics of these rules, I have been looking at G-de-Bde variants with an eye toward using them for my games. The logical choice would seem to have been Bloody Picnic but those rules turned out to be a major re-engineering of the system, and, though I like the end result, it defeats the goal of introducing rules which are familiar and seamless.
So when I saw that this variant of the G-de-Bde was out, I took a look at a review( and was intrigued.
The Gatling's Jammed is self-described as General de Brigade lite and I think this is a very accurate description. The mechanisms are much less baroque than in the original while still retaining all the best elements of the original rules. Rather than being based on a # of figures representing a Battalion, units are built around single stand "elements" (read Companies) typically there are 4-6 elements in Regular Battalions while Irregular units may be anywhere from 2-10 elements strong. Each element will take a number of hits (based on Strength) before it is eliminated and often this ability to absorb damage will not be a known quantity with Irregular units until they actually come under fire. This then triggers a morale check. A player who was familiar with G-de-Bde. could be given a single side one page summary of differences and easily play TGJ.
Now, how does this apply to WWI in the near-east? As you know, I have been searching and searching for a divisional level game and since these rules accommodate everything from Jezails to Maxim guns they seem, on the surface, to be a workable solution for the earlier more "colonial" aspects of this theater. The campaign against the Senussi, the Mesopotamian campaign up to the siege of Kut (but especially 12/1914 through 5/1915), the Aden campaign, Darfur, Dyer's campaign in the Sarhad all could be played with a very minimum of modification. This would mostly consist of adding QF artillery, HE shells and a doctrine which emphasised deploying into extended lines.
But why not keep on using Price of Glory? The reality is that I probably will. The rules work well and for Skirmish action they are my first choice. That being said WWI in Mesopotamia and Palestine feels like a Division-level theater to me. The combined operations of Infantry, cavalry artillery and Armoured Cars seem to be best represented with Battalion sized units. The truth is that I'm a rules junkie and always get enthusiastic about new things. My club also plays and knows the Disposable Heroes system, and we will certainly be using P-o-G for Western Front stuff. But I can dream can't I?
Any how, I trust my opponents will keep me in line.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Artizan / Brigade Games Arab Revolt

Well I've been waiting for months to hear about this and now here it is! Lon has posted preview photos of the new Arab Revolt range on his Yahoo Discussion group. Oh Boy!
Of course I'll be using them as Turkish "allies" in 1915...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some filler until...

Some exciting WWI action lifted from the Internet... more figure photos on the way!