Wargame Thoughts and Commentary

And Now For a REALLY BIG Battle!


Since the release of Die Fighting II and some very thought provoking exchanges with Gary Barr, I have begun to think through the process of scaling up DF2 for truly large, mega-games.

I mentioned in the designer notes to DFII, found on the DVD, the fact that DFII is very scalable-simply extend the table, each player/commander brings his "Division" of 12 or so units to the game and away you go. However, I've got a few additional thoughts on the matter for those that would like to attempt such a project.

First, gamers should be encouraged to build their twelve unit commands for both sides in a period, so, just as in reenactments, they can fill in on whatever side is needed. It wouldn't be much of a game without both sides being represented, and in competitive numbers.

Second, I see a natural way to build corps, and armies in this system. If a player/command is roughly a "divisional sized" force, then a game with 3-4 commands on a side at one table is really a corps sized action on the table, and, if there were three such tables, you would have, roughly speaking, an army sized action.

This would require a few adjustments. What we now designate as a CIC for 2-3 commands, should, in these larger actions, be a corps commander, and there could be another figure/role/person above these three corps commanders , who would then be an army commander.

In game terms the rules for a given table would remain unchanged. Each command stand would generate and send dice to his command, and the Corps command (ex-CIC) would be able to send command dice to any unit on his table, or his 4R card generated red resource dice to any of his sub commanders at that table. However, there would be an added Army Commander (CIC) figure, which could be placed at any table who could send his command dice to any unit he can reach with his command radius, and his Red Resource dice to any corps commander within his command reach , who could then add it to his generated dice and pass them on to his divisions commanders (the players) and their command troops.

Allied Command

Using the core rules for a table, where each command rolls twice at the beginning of the game for red dice and the Corps commander (Ex-CIC) once, and then all roll once on each 4R card there after, we would add a roll for the Army Commander where he would roll three times before the game, and freely pass those dice to any corps commander he chooses, and twice thereafter on a 4R card that occurs at the table where he is located. He is free, of course, to move to another table using standard movement rules as he sees fit. The three tables would be thought of as contiguous, and could be designated the Left, Center,and Right Flanks.

Victory conditions would be the same as the standard game at any table, but the degree of victory would be judged by the mix of wins over the three tables. If a table has a command out of dice at the end of the turn, that is , as before, a decisive victory. If two go empty at any time during a turn, it's a rout. A concede is a narrow loss. All of this is standard.

But the battle would be judged by the outcome at the three tables.

If, at any time two tables rout on one side-that it an Austerlitz style victory for the winners.

If two tables on one side lose decisively that is, of course, a decisive victory ala Gettysburg!

if two tables concede, Its a narrow victory-with the "Bragging rights" winner being judged by total units eliminated-so the victory could be a Pyrrhic one.

On any mix of results which are "equal", i.e. one side loses a table decisively, and so does the other, and the third table is a concede, it is a draw, with the same check for Phyrric victory measurement. The same would be true of one table routing, on each side, with the third being a concede.

Any battle where all turn out to be a concede, with both sides having at least one concede, is an absolute draw. In campaigns, the side that wins the Pyrrhic count or has the fewest concedes holds the field.

Any battle where there is a mix of Concedes, Decisive losses, and Routs on both sides, a simple point system with 1 point for a conceded victory, 2 points for a decisive victory, and 3 points for a rout is applied with the point winner being the victor of the battle. Tie points is a draw. a 1 point edge is a narrow victory, 2 points a decisive victory, and 3 points a Glorious and Wonderful Victory!

Example: Side A-Wins on Table 1 by a decisive victory, Side B- wins on table two by routing the opposition. Side B Concedes on table three. This would leave Side A with 3 points, but side B would have 3 points, hence a draw!

This could provide for a really fascinating convention gaming experience. Three such tables would easily handle six players (three on a side), plus two Corps commanders at each table, for a total of 24 players, plus two Army Commanders, one for each side, for a grand total of 26 players involved in one battle!

The command would be tiered, with the command dice and resource dice flowing through the command structure in a pretty good metaphor for command and control, as well as command focus and will!

This is all just my immediate thoughts, but it would be a lot of fun organizing this event. Terrain at each table could either be identical, ala duplicate bridge tourneys, or each could be set up to reflect a real historical battle by sections, or just randomly generated. It should be available to both sides prior to the battle. Ratings and rolls for command size ( you bring your full complement of 12 units, BUT you may only use 7-11 of them). would be done at the game. Since the game resolution will be unaffected at any table-the entire battle will be resolved in 4 hours or so-so one could simply switch sides, or armies and refight it!

This is just my immediate thoughts and needs some fleshing out and testing of premises, but I see no immediate reason it could not work. It places no greater demand on any player than the creation of his 12 unit command. Again, the players on one side could consult and create large vavalry commands or Grande Batteries, in any one command, as long as the total army percentages were reasonable. It could make large battle playable, and allow for team victories that would be great pub conversations, and undoubtedly lead to commemorative T-shirts, cups, and trophies.

Die Fighting II and its inherent scalability should handle this easily. I would appreciate any comments from the readers on this idea over at the Yahoo! Repique Rules forum. (Hit the button in this left hand column of this page).