Sunday, 22 May 2011

Small Spanish Steps

Previously on "Wargaming for Grown-ups".....*

Trebian, unsure of whether to wargame the Spanish Civil War is finessed into it by a kind birthday present, starts to paint figures, realises he has to add to his figure mix (most of war not fought by International Brigades and Spanish Foreign Legion), disappointed by the few sets of rules he finds in various magazines begins to write his own rules, hits serious writers block, has a few abortive games and realises promising to put on a session at CoW in early July may have been a bit premature.

So, yes, really need to make some progress on this particular project and need to do it quickly. It hasn't been easy this week as I've had a couple of long days at work (taking part in a "Development Hub" at a remote location) plus a day in the City means my evenings have been a bit squeezed. However I have managed to finish a couple of battalion size units of militia and also a battalion of Popular Army.

I'll fill in the gaps in the unpainted lead requirements next weekend at Partizan (where I'll be on the Society of Ancients stand with the Elephant in the Room if you want to stop by and say hello). I may also pick up some buildings from Hovels as well.

I'm also a bit behind on my flag painting but on the positive side I stumbled across a site with a lot of downloadable flags ( which will make my life easier.

My big worry, however, is the ruleset. Every time I sit down to write them up I find I end up spending more time painting as they simply won't get written. I've been rooting around for inspiration in my wargames library and back numbers of Nugget and finding that it's not getting me anywhere. I was well into writing one set and discovered I'd basically just retyped big chunks of Ian Drury's "Bandenkrieg".

I may have made some progress this weekend, however. Certain things are coming together. The command and control system is looking good and capable of being used to provide further colour and control features.

The unit classification system which rates units on their motivation and level of training got another tweak that combines both to give a "Will to Combat" score. This information is captured on the back of the unit's command stand by means of folded sticky labels.

The infantry firing and casualty system has been given a severe pruning. I was using a high volume of hits with casualty markers and saving rolls approach which frankly had too much going on in it. What I was trying to do was have a way that all the companies in a unit were degraded as it took casualties. I think this is too complicated and meant I needed a lot of hit markers. I think instead I'll just simply remove a base when the unit takes three hits (although this means I need to work out how to apportion hits on to the MG companies).

The last playtest of the close assault rules was a disaster. Actually it was like a lot of my other close combat rules which lead to long and protracted melees in spite of my best efforts. I've now just gone for a straight results table, - die roll plus modifiers for each side then read the difference off a table. If scores are level the attackers are repulsed to their starting position. All I have to do is calibrate the modifiers and results, but it looks good on paper.

The artillery rules are...well...I've got a few ideas but most of them end up with me re-writing Bandenkrieg. Which might be the ultimate answer. And the armour rules are still on the starting blocks.

As I said. Small Spanish Steps.

* Okay, I've been watching too much cult sf on DVD recently. All episodes start like this.


  1. I take it that TFL ITLSU or IABSM don't suit? There are articles in the specials for adapting both to SCW?

  2. Never played any TFL rules, to be honest, but I think the level of resolution is a bit low for me.

  3. Hi

    I'm just wishing more strength to your arm. Being a rule addict, and especially a SCW rule addict, there can never be too many SCW rules :). Having worried the life out of my own rule sets I know how much is involved.

  4. If you want a copy to playtest I might be able to oblige.