Sunday, 21 February 2010

Morschauser and Rosters

The basic mechanics of Joseph Morschauser's grid based war games rules are ideal for use with individually based figures for casualty removal. However, the man himself used figures on multiple bases and employed a roster system to record casualties as they occurred. That is fine but I am averse to using paperwork for such things and would prefer to either remove the figures or show the casualties with a visual marker of some kind. For my naval adaptation I intend to use shell splash markers bur was at a loss as to the best way of doing this a multiple base of figures. Being a slow painter I am loath to paint casualty figures and I don't really want counters on the table so how best to represent losses is a challenge. I sat and gave this some thought and have come up with a novel suggestion that may help resolve this issue.

For the Balkan Wars and the WW1 collection I intend basing the infantry in 3s, the cavalry in 2s and HMGs and artillery with the piece and two crew. The actual base also counts towards the total so, for example, a full infantry unit will consist of 3 figures and the base for a strength of 4; with a cavalry 'unit' being two figures and the base for a strength of 3. To represent losses on the table I propose to try the following:

A full strength unit is deployed along the front edge of the square. When it suffers a casualty it is moved back from the leading edge of the square and has its left flank adjacent to the left edge of the square. A further casualty moves it to the right side of the square and a third casualty forces it to line up along the rear edge of the square. When it has suffered its final casualty it will then be removed. I need to experiment a little with this idea and of course it means that attention will need to be paid to the positioning of a base within a square. I have also not thought about about units larger than 4 figures either!

It may not be the final answer but is certainly worth considering as an alternative to having a roster system in use with the attendant book keeping.


SteelonSand said...

Interesting idea, makes good use of the gridded squares - but just don't let your opponent accidentally 'jog' the table when your back is turned!

CWT said...

I like your ideas about casualties being marked. I also dislike any roster of strengths, as I just don't think it works well in tabletop games. I'm going with counters myself, but hopefully your grid ideas will lead to a good solution!

Ogrefencer said...

SoS, Shame on you sir! It is well known that all wargamers are paragons of fair play and virtue and would never stoop to such underhand tactics.............;-)

......and then I woke up from my utopian dream......;-)

Good point though, wish I had thought of it (he says, twirling the end of his moustache)!

Ogrefencer said...

Hi CWT, I will have a play around with the idea and see wheer it goes - the only problem I can envisage though is when you have terrain in the square. It is an idea to try at the moment in the absence of a better plan!

Kaptain Kobold said...

Sorry to resurrect an old post ...

I like the idea of the position in the square indicating casualties, although I can see that terrain might make this tricky sometimes.

I solved the problem for my Morschauser games by accident. I was making terrain from cork tile, and had lots of little pieces left, which look like small rocks. Since they match the cork board I use for my grid, they make perfect casualty markers. The figures are on square bases, so the 'rocks' sit quite happily in between them, and move when the base moves. A unit doesn't carry more than three around, either, so they aren't too much of a problem.

David Crook said...

Hi Kaptain,

I used white markers on the original sets of larger blocks but now do not need to as a block is removed per hit sustained. I will probably use this method in conjunction with a roster when needed.

All the best,