Slow Start

As usual l am progressing more slowly than planned. I really want to get on with the battle for Ballamoy but we have done some traveling lately and I also got distracted with more rules details as I worked on the final scenario for the battle. Then of course there was “Lone Warrior” – a journal long devoted to solo wargaming, particularly the theory and practice thereof:

LOne Warrior

I think  I have been aware of it several times in the past but never investigated it – I wish I had done so sooner. The upshot is that I now have a subscription and a couple of dozen back issues. Lots of interesting ideas. If you are doing solo gaming (which many of us are) I now think this is an indispensable source of information. You can learn more at:

Lone Warrior Blog

I have also been pouring over all the various forums on TMP relating to ECW, game design, and solo gaming. Time manages to fly by without my full awareness of its passage.

I am starting to realize that this blog is not only about its stated goals (17th century warfare on the Celtic Fringe) but my journey of discovery of everything new (pretty much the last forty years of wargaming in my case). For many wargamers all this is well-plowed territory but for me it is all sparkly new!

As I worked on the Ballamoy Scenario I also continued to work on the static pages of this blog, most of which are still in draft. I had planned to add “weather” to my games at some point but discovered I really needed it for this scenario. There simply had to be an explanation as to why there is a bridge over a minor, entirely fordable stream, particularly when there where very few bridges (or roads) in Ireland at that time (the answer is frequent flooding). So here are some of the aspects of weather (which will be detailed on a static page later):

First there are – for the moment at least – only six weather conditions: Clear, Fog, Heavy Rain, Light Rain, Heavy Snow, and Light Snow. These can affect firearms (and possibly bow strings), movement, and visibility. The current condition (as illustrated below) is displayed at the top of a clear acrylic rod about 18″ above the table – I want to be instantly reminded what is going on with the weather.

Balleyeasca Weather and Condition narkers

There is also a set of weather cards that not only shows what the current condition is but if a previous condition is still affecting the field. As many of us know Waterloo was fought on a clear and sunny day but heavy rains in the previous 24 hours had turned parts of the field in to a swamp.

I added colored disks to the weather system to indicate various effects on the game. Roads and plowed fields are easily affected by rain and three discs deal with that: Yellow means slower movement, Orange means MUCH slower movement, and Red means impassable. Likewise there are two river, stream, and littoral effects: Blue means flooding (or high tide) making a previously fordable area non-fordable and Green means low tide making a previously impassable crossing passable. Light snow may affect firearms, of course, but Heavy Snow affects all movement everywhere (think of Stannis’s approach to Winterfell or Napoleon’s retreat from Moskva)

I am aware that many don’t like the aesthetics of markers and such but I can’t keep all the information in my head and I already have too many reference sheets to deal with.

Update: My wife is irritated by my random use of effect/affect so maybe each use is now proper!

2 thoughts on “Slow Start

  1. It gets very complicated! I know you want the game to be as realistic as possible. I’m amazed at all the aspects of battle you are incorporating into the game. It’s a good thing you don’t have another full-time job!


  2. You are absolutely correct! I would get no sleep!
    BTW – many wargame rule sets are enormously complex, considering way more factors than I can even think of. Actually what I’m doing is fairly rudimentary!


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