OK, first time with Peter Pig (PP) rules and I really like the organization and writing style. The tag-line is “RFCP”, rules for the common man, and I agree. It reminds me of reading John Wesley’s directions for singing hymns – pithy, charming, rooted in real world experience. If you can’t tell, this is a compliment. Rules, as they say however, never survive first contact with the player – so we’ll see.
I have the PDF format by the way – so although I printed off some essential things, it is easier for me to read on my iPad. The four or five pages of game aides seem to cover the essentials, I’ll know for sure once I start playing.
I have read through once (omitting for now the siege/assault rules) and have gone back and concentrated on all the initial setup information and procedures. While my move trays are perfect for foot, I made a new batch of twenty to carry just two bases (what I call combat pieces) for the horse. Dragoons, Guns, and Generals don’t need trays (they are “unworthy” as it turns out).
As with most game systems there is a set of markers (a cutout sheet is provided with the rules) and I’ll re-purpose the colored cubes from my own rules:
Generals (the Commanding Officer and two subordinates) MAY have certain gifts which provide the ability to re-roll dice in certain situations. The gifts are “Attack” (black cube), “Defend” (white cube), and “Morale (yellow cube).
Certain troop types have an “Aggression” characteristic (green cube) that adds to their attack capability. Charger (Galloper) type horse and Highlanders have this characteristic.
Units that win fights get a marker (blue cube) which may give a slight advantage in any following fights (close combats).
“Fierce Shooting” markers (red cubes) are acquired through the Scenerio Generation procedure (or by Scenerio rule) and allow a re-roll of dice used for ranged weapon fire. Incidentally there is no close range fire since it is factored into fighting (close combat).
Casualty markers are required (I’ll use my Pendraken ECW markers).
The final marker is a pink cube which I added to indicate a base is a half base ( a base with fewer figures – and capabilities in the RoF system)
To easily distinguish among veteran, trained, and conscript units, I’ll place a color coded paperclip in their move trays (as shown above).
RoF has a fairly elaborate pre-game game that allows two players (or sides) to generate a battle scenario. This involves moving on a flowchart that deals with such pre-battle aspects as logistics, training, intelligence, and motivation. Movement on this chart clearly requires strategic thinking and risk taking. The process leads to acquiring various capabilities and ultimately determining who will attack and defend. It looks like fun but I have no way to evaluate it without another player!
A second stage of the pre-game is placing the scenery (terrain elements). The attacker and defender have a selection of different scenery elements and these are placed and can be “nudged” (adjusted) by the opponent. Again without a live opponent I can’t work through this phase of the pre-game either.
Happily, several great scenarios are also provided!
As a solo wargamer I work with pre-defined scenarios out of necessity. The RoF historic scenario collection has eight from the first civil war (including what I consider the big three – Edgehill, Marston Moor and Naseby) and a ninth from Montrose’s campaign in Scotland (Inverlochy, arguably the most “Highland” of his battles).
So, based on a study of the RoF scenarios, I’ll build my own which will allow me to use part of my Irish Confederation army. In the previous post I have given the overview of an alternate history. The Irish are set as the Defender and the English as the Attacker. The much weaker Irish blocking force must slow down the English advance toward Kilkenny so that the governing council may escape the coming wrath!
The much stronger English force is coming down the Carlow road from the north and encounter the Irish in a strong defensive position in and around the village of Moanduff. The English must clear squares D1,D2,E1,E2 (the four squares on either side of the road on the south end of the board) of all Irish units by the end of turn eight. Period.
If I were strictly following set-up procedures for scenery (terrain features) I have violated two rules: I placed a built-up area NOT in contact with a board edge and I overlaid parts of two wooded areas on gentle hills. As both of these conditions are found in the scenario collection, I felt justified in doing so in my own scenario. I suspect those setup rules have to do more with the “nudging” procedures (scenery adjustment) in the scenario generation package and the desire (in most cases) to have an “open” battlefield than to any play-tested problems.
In the next post I deal with the makeup of the opposing forces and how they will be deployed.