Friday, 17 August 2012

What Next?

When I started my Spanish Civil War odyssey I was given a copy of RFCM's "Bayonets & Ideology", the SCW version of PBI2 (not to be confused with the current version of those rules, PBI). I've always enjoyed the PBI style of game although I've never played BAIT as it is known. When I started to paint my figures I kept half an eye on BAIT, although I felt it was never going to be my main SCW game.

My intention was always to produce more than one set of SCW rules, each set focused on a different level of resolution. So far we have "Send Not to Know" and "If You Tolerate This" which are both working quite nicely, so maybe it is time to turn my attention to another set.

The SCW is peppered with some bloody and sustained low level street fighting, - the battle for University City in Madrid being particularly notable.That type of close, claustrophobic fighting is quite well done by PBI, so I'm hoping that BAIT will fill the gap here, at least initially.

It was remarked on TMP that University City would be well suited to 28mm skirmish level games (of course it is a widely held view on TMP that any type of warfare is best simulated by 28mm skirmish wargames, which makes refighting the siege of Leningrad or the Battle of Kursk a bit of a challenge). I think that skirmish conflict is a lot less representative of low level combat in the modern era where modern armies are well versed in squad and platoon tactics, - that makes the PBI/BAIT approach more interesting because it tries to capture that type of combat with proper command and control.

I have a secret (well, no longer secret)  feeling that when you get down to very low level combat that not a lot has changed over the years. The more detail you put into how fast a man moves and the types of weapons the less it actually matters. What gives warfare its character is when large masses of people act together, - it is at this level when the combined interactions of weapon systems create battles in the way we understand them. After all what is Pike without Shot? In a ECW skirmish game the pike man soon becomes superfluous and you might then be anywhere up to the end of the Napoleonic wars.

BAIT seems to me to be at about the right level, although I also think that Martin may have overdone some of the colour. I'm not convinced in a company level game that we should be too bothered with pre-battle barrages and air support/intimidation.

So that is the project for Monday Evening. Learn BAIT over the next few days and set up the table on Sunday afternoon.

And hope the trains run to time.


  1. For me, it's always been about small groups of men slugging it out at close range with all its individual acts of heroism, cowardice and desperation; anything that replicates that gets my vote.

    1. Monty,

      I'm not saying that low level skirmish isn't enjoyable and that tales of heroism at that level aren't stirring and fascinating, - I'm saying that in terms of the character of warfare it doesn't really matter what was you're in if it is mano a mano across a barricade.