I’ve been designing improved, but still very low detail, 18th century models for 3D printing. They are pictured below. I’m planning on having the range approximate the first quarter of the 18th century. This should allow me to play the Great Northern War and War of Spanish Succession, as well as having some fun with in Imagi-Nation I’ve been thinking about recently. Computer renderings of the models are shown in color at the end of the post. I’ve successfully printed these at 13mm to eye line or 15mm to the top of the head. They came out as acceptable and passable from a distance, but I don’t know how well they’d paint up. The cuffs and raised section of the tricorne trim disappeared in the printing process. I also don’t know how I’d paint them. I don’t think I have the brush skills or the desire to develop them. I’d rather play games than paint. I’m going to try printing them at 18mm (16mm eye line) or even 20mm to the top of the head (18mm eye line). The models I use now are roughly 18mm to eye line, so I know I can paint at that scale. I also need to make artillery figures and sabres for proper cavalry to wield.
I’ve also cracked open my ruleset and am trying to incorporate some of my own criticism. I want there to be some method to limit a general’s ability to execute their plan, but it needs to feel realistic. My current activation system is a little clunky for two players not good for solo play. Currently, both players roll 2D6 and modify for commander’s qualities. The modified score is used to assign activation points. Players then spend these action points to give commands to their unit. Units close to the commander cost 1 activation point to activate while units beyond 3 tiles cost 2 points to activate.
Although this process creates plenty of situations where a player cannot do all the things they wish to do, knowing just how many things a player can do feels too gamey to me and breaks the immersion. The process also creates a situation where a regimental officer must wait for his commander’s order to fire on a target. For example, a player could very easily have his force arrayed in a perfect line with the commander protected, but not receive enough activation points for all troops to fire.
I’ve been tossing around an idea in my head that I might use for my next game. Before attempting to activate a unit, players roll 2D6, if the value is greater than the commander’s control number, the unit activates as desired. If the modified roll is not greater than the commander’s control number, that unit does not activate and the player’s turn is over. Modifiers would be based on the army’s morale and the difficulty of the maneuver being asked of the unit. Therefore, an elite unit ordered to fix bayonets and charge would suffer less modifiers than a unit of conscripts with the same order. Positive modifiers would be given to troops ordered to fire volleys or move into areas outside of enemy range. I think this methodology satisfies the criteria of limiting a player’s ability to execute a plan perfectly while providing a thematically plausible explanation. I am worried that the new methodology will slow the game to an unfulfilling pace.
Only a play-test will tell.