Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Joy of Hex


The ACW naval project is moving along nicely so far and so I thought that now would be as good a time as any to share my thoughts on how I would like this to develop. I am thinking along the lines of around some 36 models in all – a good selection of primarily river types – covering the major types that served both sides. I will add to this some mortar rafts and coal barges etc as well as some all important land terrain. The rules will be based (loosely) on Bob Cordery’s 1860 to 1870 variant of Memoir of War at Sea. Needless to say, these are grid based. This part of the project though is merely the beginning.

I want to tie in land actions with the naval side using North Versus South – a set of rules that can best be described as an advanced version of Battle Cry by Avalon Hill/Hasbro and are available free from the Toy Soldiers of Antwerp website. You may be able to see where this is leading although you would probably be surprised when I said that I have no plans to buy or paint any figures for this side of the project. For the moment I will keep this aspect under wraps as I need to finalise how I am tackling this before unleashing it on an unsuspecting (and probably incredulous) public!


My ultimate aim is to be able to fight a river based land and naval campaign using my scratch builds and the as yet undisclosed land stuff in tandem with rules of a common parentage and that can easily cater for actions fought in either element. I can design the terrain using historical maps superimposed on the sheets of hexed paper with a 13 x 9 grid. I have downloaded some of this in various sizes and it is invaluable for scenario design. Ideally I would like to do these on the PC but I have yet to find a way of doing this as I would have to ‘crack open’ the PDF. I will have to experiment with this as it would certainly make life a lot easier to be able to tackle this on the computer rather than freehand although I am not averse to doing so. It would be a piece of cake to do on a square grid and I could cobble something up using Excel easily enough.

The land side will be fought on my soon to be acquired Hexon green flocked terrain tile set and again, as with my set of blue tiles, this will conveniently cover a 13 x 9 playing area. For those of you unfamiliar with the Memoir 44/Battle Cry/Command and Colours system, 13 x 9 is the size of the playing board. I don't want to sound overly dramatic but for me the acquisition of this Hexon terrain represents a quantum shift in my war gaming aspirations and whilst not everything to everybody, it will allow me to indulge my gaming 'flights of fancy' easily and efficiently.

6 comments:

Tas said...

Thanks for the detailed 'hex education' DC!

SteelonSand said...

So - Land, Sea (or at least River), all you need now is Air - do I see a Thaddeus Lowe balloon corps coming on?

Looks like you'll have all the bases covered, and will really be using the Hexon to its advantage - I think a lot of people still use it in spite of the hex divisions, as it were, ( as it is very practical) but you'll be fulfilling the whole potential by having it reflected in the rule system - very cunning!

I'm definitely intrigued to see which way you go with the Land forces - teeny-tiny generic types, perhaps?

David Crook said...

Hi Tas,

Meaningful Hex is much better in the long term than those shabby, one night affairs....;-)

Command and Colours in any of its permutations using models and terrain etc - what's not to love?

All the best,

DC

David Crook said...

Hi SoS,

You have no idea just how close you are to the truth.......;-)

Seriously though, for me the thing is the 'game' rather than the toys we use to play it. My imagination is fertile enough use representations rather than painstakingly detailed miniatures (although I have every admiration for thems that do!)and I tend to look at this as a cerebral exercise to a large degree.

Simple though does not mean simplistic - flavour is all and if my models and rules can eflect that then I am a happy and satisfied bunny!

What did you think of the Benton?
All the best,

DC

SteelonSand said...

The Benton is quite the beast, isn't she - certainly give any Confederate raider a run for the money - tell me, did you think of depicting the ships with any of the gun ports in the open position? - she would look proper menacing with a few gun muzzles on display....

David Crook said...

Hi SoS,

Beast is the word and she would vertainly give any Confederate raider something to think about assuming they were close and slow enough! She was very S-L-O-W....

I am not ashamed to say it but I chickened out of the open gunports option - especially when you see some of the options of 'port on display - split flaps anyone ?! (Oooeerr missus etc)

The next eight models should be ready in the next few days....

All the best,

DC