I've fiddled with rule sets like, forever. At primary school my mate Derek and I knocked off sets of rules for every period imaginable, based on those in Don Featherstone's "Battles with Model Soldiers", that my big brother had copied out. Every set I ever bought was treated to heavy surgery, - except the Airfix Napoleonic Rules by Bruce Quarrie. So involved trying to fiddle with them was impossible.
I don' know what set was the first I wrote completely from scratch. It would probably be at University, I would think, under the dual influence of Pete Berry and my membership of WD. I know I was writing "committee games" and one off board game type things, but the first set of table top rules I'm not sure about.
Due to the inclement weather today I had no excuses anymore for not sorting out a load of stuff in the study. My historically neat filing system for rules of my own and others had fallen apart a bit, and there were several different versions of rules masquerading as the most current, which is annoying to say the least when you get them out to run a game.
Early rules were hand written, - a challenge for a lefty like me, taught to write in the mid 1960s, but I was liberated by the purchase of a portable typewriter from Boots whilst an undergraduate. That did solid service for about 5 or so years before I bought an Amstrad PCW, which was a gigantic leap forward for writing and amending rule sets. Then PCs were introduced at work and I was into the Windows age with my first PC, a Gateway 2000(?).
Many of the early files I don't have anymore, or can't read the discs, but I still have paper copies of most things. Today's tidy up has taken me down memory lane. So here we have a list of rules wot I wrote, as far as I can tell, together with serious adaptations.
|Henri IV and the League||1986||French Wars of Religion|
|These arose out of my obsession with Henri de Navarre I developed at University. The firing system never really worked, but it featured a sliding scale odds table for the hand to hand, which I always thought worked quite well.|
|Early XIVth Century Cohesion||1989||1500 -1520|
|Mainly developed to play Henry VIII v French. Featured a complex cohesion mechanism which counted down from 100 by unit. Too clever for its own good.|
|"Heat and Dust"||1990||Indian Mutiny|
|A Science v Pluck variant. Did a lot of work adapting this, but it never really worked satisfactorily. Bombed at COW.|
|Over the Plonk||1991||WW1 infantry|
|Platoon level infantry Trench attack. Worked quite well, with system revolving around officers motivating/activating sections.|
|George and the Dragon||1992||WW1 Armour|
|Modified from "OTP", this was a tank driving game where you had to predict where you would be in three moves, without telling the infantry player. Famously, in our group, this is the game where Paddy Griffith drove over his own troops and machine gunned them on a pill box glacis.|
|A return to Henry VIII. The "Early Renaissance Infantry Slog" had some novel mechanisms, where the frontage of theu nit represented strength, and the depth quality of unit. The Commanders' main job was to ensure enough casualties were recycled back to the fighting ranks.|
|File Leader variant. These got published.|
|ERIS, only with Cavalry and Artillery as well.|
|Take Me To Your File Leader||1997||Sci-Fi|
|A File Leader variant to be played with GW Space Marines. Got quite close to publishing, but had a serious computer problem and lost the files. Only have a much written over printed copy. Featured the "Groms" fighting the "Yacky-Dars". The background to the game was the best bit.|
|Cityfight Africa||2000||Modern Africa|
|A squad level AK47 Republic style game, but intended for house to house fighting. Had a novel casualty system where hit markers were placed under the figure bases secretly, with varying degrees of damage. Only know what they are when an officer/medic attends the base.|
|De Matricae Bellae||2004||Ancient|
|Tabletop matrix game rules written for the Society of Ancients, based on Chris Engle's "Politics By Other Means"|
|The above rules, but expanded, and put on squares.|
|Red Army, White Guards||2006||RCW|
|A Divisional Level plus game, using the Richard Brooks "Red Squares" system as a base.|
|Trial By Battle||2009||Wars of the Roses|
|Simple combat mechanisms )based on AMW), lots of work for Commanders to do, ensuring units still have arrows and so on.|
|Return to the River Don||2010||RCW|
|Command system features coercion to over come activation fails, - but at thep otential cost of unit mutiny. The command and control process was quite intricate, and plans can fall apart quickly. Armoured cars were handled mainly in respect of their morale effect.|
|Send Not To Know||2011||SCW|
|Card driven activation sequence, where players pass initiative between each other based upon how long a suit of cards they are dealt. The firing system altered the die type base on quality, and the melee system had a forced positive outcome, - ie you could not get draws.|
|If You Tolerate This||2012||SCW|
|A square based SCW system, with alternating initiative, based on motivation failures. Hand to hand system basically taken from SNTK, but firing system has its roots in Cityfight Africa. Got a makeover in 2017.|
|Taiping Era||2013||Mid 19th Century China|
|Intended for both the 1860 "Opium" War and the Taiping Rebellion. System is entirely driven by the EDNA system. Received a significant re-write in 2015.|
|A card driven, limited resource game with 12 units a side, played on a grid.|
|To Ur is Human||2014||Ancients|
|Sumerian Warfare, using a Fight/Fright/Flight mechanism. The relative status of units is key as they try to intimidate one another. The core combat system isn't special, - it's based on AMW.|
|Like Rapid Raphia, only with elephants|
|It's Getting a Bit Chile||2016||1879 Pacific War|
|Corps level actions in South America. Easy to learn with innovative "column shift" combat system and movement linked to disorder.|
|Va t'en guerre||2018||Marlborough|
rules for the WSS which reinforce historical behaviours. Keeping units fresh
is key, as is rallying back your cavalry behind your infantry.
It's not a bad list, - there appear to be some fallow years, but looking at my files these were filled mostly with the development of Participation and After Dinner Games (I'll post a list of those in the near future, too). There's also a period around the turn of the century when I was doing a lot of Matrix Gaming, which culminated in the publication of DMB. I was also obsessing a bit over "AK47 Republic", and running the "Brixcon" tournament. I was also doing a lot on the release of Armati 2, so with all the other stuff I didn't seem to have the time to develop anything serious for myself. In 2007/8 I was doing a lot with AMW, including running demo games for the SoA on their shows stand, so that's a bit blank as well.
Having said this, it looks like a good run since 2009, with some opportunities for revisions. I might go back and revisit the RCW sometime soon.