Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some thoughts on Sunday's Game

Sunday's game was the first horse and musket game (barring a couple of skirmishes) I've played for years. I think the last time was when John Ansari ran Waterloo on his kitchen table and that must be a good decade ago. It's brought home to me a few lessons; some of them tactical and some more related to game design.

Firstly, it's easy to forget that a horse and musket period brigade takes up a lot of road space when it's stretched out in a column. If you're going to concentrate your forces on a key point you really need your approach march to be along several parallel axes (preferably roads).

Second, if you're going to use dummy forces, they must appear to threaten your opponent and draw him into false moves. Neither of us got the best out of the limited intelligence provided by POW's Movement Base rules.

Finally, it's really hard to know how big an army is "too big" (or conversely how small is "too small") with a new set of rules. People who know POW have said I was too ambitious with those armies for a first game but I could equally well have not got the proper effect by fielding armies that weren't big enough. Next time I run POW I think I'll use smaller armies in the hope of getting to a conclusion in the time available.

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