Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Solo wargaming - Joy or curse

In my decent into solo war gaming it has opened up a large array of periods that I can now game in whereas previously I only had figures for games where I had an opponent (ACW, Napoleonic, WW2, WSS). Solo war-gaming has however open up a very broad selection of my war-gaming interests, which have to some degree made me think about what I actually want to game with and what current figures are surplus to my requirements.

As a result of Solo I now have small forces for the following periods:
  • SciFi (15mm).
  • Fantasy (15mm/6mm).
  • 10mm Pony Wars.
  • 10mm Vietnam
  • 6mm/15mm Colonial
  • 6mm WW2 (Early war\ Pacific) 
  • 6mm Napoloenic
  • 15mm WW2 Skirmish.

All small scale items I can chuck on the kitchen table (or floor) for some small games when the mood (suits me). I still have the bigger forces (28mm etc) for actual games if time arises  and even though some armies I have not played with in 3 years I still cannot bring myself to get rid of them (28mm Napoloenics is my pride and joy).

There is the issue of terrain. In the world of Glossy magazines and such I always have this view that my table needs to look like masterpiece theatre. However I find now any terrain will do as long as it looks slightly appropriate, does not fall apart when I touch it or stick to anything that moves.

Of course this new plethora of periods has lead to the usual Rule rush trying to find some decent rules. For the above periods I have looked at a large variety of rules and I think I have settled on some already.

  • Colonial - Science Versus Pluck and TSAF (The Sword and the Flame) 
  • Sci\Fi - 2150 (Twho Hour Wargames) andd Patrol Aglis (Once its released - HINT Gavin :) )
  • Fantasy - Rally Round the King, Song of Blades and Heroes..
  • WW2\Vietnam\Napoleonic unit scale - Piquet rules (Great for solo)
  • WW2\Vietnam Skirmish - Nuts\FNG
  • Pony Wars - Yellow Ribbon (Indians are controlled by rules)
The above rule-sets have good mechanics, variety,  swings of impetus that a solo wargame needs (With a few tweaks).  They do have their faults (as all rules do) but I can live with that.

As we all know finding rules can be a enjoyable yet tiresome process, forums are rife with strong opinions and its hard to guess a rule-set without trying it. I had an interesting conversation with someone recently where they stated Solo war-gaming was stupid, Piquet was crap etc etc and basically everything I was doing was nonsense.

I don't think so, the person in question is a ardent follower of trend. First it was , Rules of Engagement, blackpowder, then Lasalle, then Saga, then Bolt Action. Every year he seems to be re-basings entire armies for a new ruleset that goes out of fashion as quickly as it comes in and then he sells his army. I'm happy just to find what I like and stick with it, its not a competition after all.

Archduke Piccolo wrote a series of Napoleonic and ACW rules a very long time ago that I still think rate as some of the most enjoyable rules I have every used, considering we have played them on and off for over 25 years - simple, to the point and enjoyable and my figures are based the same now as there were back in 1993 when I purchased my first front rank infantry. It is finding a set of the ACW rules in my University papers that I then started to do this ...........

I am slowly (turtle break neck speed) getting my 1/72 armies into gear so I based all my remaining figures ready to paint.



Archduke Piccolo said...

Got your message, Paul. I seem to be descending into the solo gig myself. Thanks for your comment on my rule sets. I still like the way they work, too.

Just a thought, but as we are both working up our armies, perhaps we can get together some day - afternoon or evening - in a kind of working bee. I recall doing this with James several years ago, shortly after he got the Napoleonic armies that used to belong to Errol Brathwaite. He was flocking up his armies, and I think I was painting mine. At any rate we both good quite a bit done that day and enjoyed each other's company the while.

If we do it here it will probably be kitchen table, but the light is good and can be improved. Anyway, just a thought that occurred to me just now....


Jacko said...

Could be a plan Ion, we both have so much to do Im sure we could fill in weeks !


Archduke Piccolo said...

I was thinking that your pride in your Napoleonic guys is well justified - I seem to recall them as
very well presented troops. Can't possibly be getting rid of them!