Now we just need some rules.
Writing wargames is difficult. Motivation is the toughest, since there are thousands of games out there covering every conceivable period, duplicating someone else's work is inevitable. And it isn't easy - it might seem fun at first, writing your own special rules and lovely dice charts, but as anyone who has tried it knows, there's nothing like the sinking feeling that comes when one of your playtesters says, "well, can I do this?", and you realise there's no rule for it. And you can't think of a way to represent their desired action. It's a difficult job.
But, on the plus side it allows you to create and tailor-make every aspect of the game you like. After reading great First World War books such as The First Hundred Thousand by 2Lt (later Maj Gen) Ian Hey Beith, and Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger, I decided to create a game based around Trench Raids.
- It's a skirmish game, with the attacker controlling about eight trench raiders, and the defender (GM or NPC) in command of the sentries in the trench under attack.
- There is a whole system for stealth with randomised sentry behaviour, inspired by the WH40K Kill Team rules.
- The game is heavily focused on realism, with devastating grenades, very easy wound rolls, and centred around the effective use of cover.
- Everything revolves around actions and 'activation' - your team only gets D3 activations per turn, with each turn representing only a few seconds.
- This makes the whole game about one or two minutes of real-time combat, leading to ruthless, synchronised, fast-paced and cinematic battles.
Me and Kieran may have a pretty big terrain project lined up for all this later on, but in the meantime I'd like to give a shout out to the Modular Trench System from RPG Now. This is a .zip file, costing $7.95, which contains multiple 6x6 tiles depicting trenchworks. The level of customisation is astounding; there are over 30 different squares, and each one can be set to have different entrance/exit points, with several versions of each tile (some with muddy pools of water, others with duckboards etc etc) so that the possible permutations are nearly endless. I ended up printing over 100 squares and getting them all laminated (thankfully by convincing the reprographics department at work that this was, in fact, work-related, so for free).
So there we are! On and off, I'm going to be updating this into a series of posts where I'll talk about specific mechanics and ask for advice. All helpers will be credited in the final version and receive a state-of-the-art email copy absolutely free!
Speaking of generous freebies, my good pal Dai of LDS fame has been kind enough to pop some IG Regimental Advisers and a new liaison officer in the post for me. I'm in two minds - a diorama, or standard advisers for the new OC of the Palladian Guard company?
Thanks for reading, everyone.