Friday, March 16, 2012

The next phase of the campaign is complete

In between shifts at work and family life, I've been able to work on the campaign a little more.  So for this phase I worked on getting the campaign map taken care of and the two opposing armies rosters made up.

The campaign map came from the board game Risorgimento by GMT.  It is a great little game that boasts 3 specific battles for the 1859 war plus a campaign game.  I have photo copied the campaign map so I won't ruin the original.
The Theater of War supplement has you create a campaign map in any configuration you wish.  The book let supplies you with a grid like map to create the campaign.  Each section of the map then needs two factors added to it.  The first is the Victory Point for the area or areas that are of vital importance.  One uses a d4 and rolls randomly for each area that needs a Victory Point.  The second number is the movement point cost.  Each area, hex, spot or whatever your map looks like needs a movement number.  This has two purposes, the first it tells you how much it will cost you in impetus points to move into that spot and second it also determines the type of terrain you will be rolling randomly for the table top battle.
You use a d6 for this roll.  The numbers break down like this:
1 or 2 is light terrain.
3 or 4 is medium terrain.
5 or 6 is heavy terrain or impassable.
Below are two photos of the map.  I was able to get a photo copy done at Fedex/Kinkos for about $4.00.  I'm not sure if you will be able to see it but the areas are marked with both numbers.  Actually, some of the spots are blank meaning they are a movement point of 1 and are not a victory hex.  In fact only a few areas on the map contain victory points.

The army rosters have also been made up.  There was nothing to this part.  I did some research on the units that were present during the war and used those as names for the units for both armies.  Added to both rosters are the names of commanders for each CinC to assign battle groups too.  I've gone with historical names as I feel it gives a little more flavor to what we are gaming.

Unfortunately I'm not sure how I can put a copy of the excel spreadsheet I created for both armies on this blog post.  If anyone has any ideas on how to do that let me know.

Next up will be a test battle on March 31st using Piquet's Hallowed Ground.  Also the CinC's will get their first look at the all of the materials.  I still need to type up the armies initial deployment areas as I'm going with a somewhat historical setup to start with and also some of the rules of the campaign.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Preparing to start a campaign

At our last game my group and I had our normal after game discussion and the suggestion came up to run a campaign.  One of the guys in my group likes having the feeling of consequences to his actions in battles.  For example, he may not commit to that last charge if he knows he needs his cavalry for the next battle or scouting mission and so on.

So since I'm one who is up to a challenge, I said, "Okay".    Our campaign will revolve around the Risorgimento of 1859.  The forces involved will be Austrian and Italian.  We will be using Piquet's Hallowed Ground for our table top battles.  To run the campaign I will be using Piquet's Theater of War.  I've owned this supplement for awhile but had not used it.
I wish I had spent more time with this supplement sooner.  It is a thing of beauty.  It is designed to use your available forces (no need to paint more) and uses the existing cards from the Piquet supplements to design the campaign and terrain for the battle.
So what I thought I would do is provide some detail of how I'm setting up the campaign and then report on its progress.

Having picked the time period already, I needed to select the scale of the game. Theater of War (ToW) has three to chose from; Strategic, Grand Tactical and Tactical.  The strategic covers an estimated 4000 x 4000 sq. miles and uses the seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter for the campaign turns.  This was too large for what I had in mind.
Grand Tactical covers a smaller area roughly 400 x 400 sq. miles and uses months as a campaign turn.  So 12 turns equals a year.  This is more in line with what I was thinking.
The tactical covers an area of 50 x 50 miles and the campaign turn is a week and the campaign ends after the 4th week or more.  This was a little too small for what I was planning to do.
Having decided on the Grand Tactical scale where each month would be a game turn.  Now it was time to find a map to use.

ToW has it own blank campaign map grid to develop your own unique map.  It also allows one to use other pre-made maps for the same purpose, whether that be a road map, game board, area map, topo map and so on.  I will be using the Point to Point map from the game Risorgimento: 1859 by GMT.  Regardless of the map used, points are assigned to each area, square, hex, point etc.. to determine how difficult it is to move into that spot.
1 or 2 points is considered Light so fairly easy to move through.
3 or 4 points is considered Medium and could represent a small town, more dense orchards, river and so on.
5 or 6 points is considered Heavy and represents cities, dense woods, impassable water obstacles etc..

The points are assigned randomly with a d6 or can be assigned based on knowledge of the actual area if using a board game map.   The points also help in the design of the terrain when comes to a battle.

Once those have been assigned, Campaign Points are assigned to the vital areas using a d4 or again if using a historical reference the important objectives during that war, the more valuable the spot the higher the point value.  This is totally up to the designer and can cover many things.  Cities, road junctions, bridges, ports and anything else you can come with.

I am in the process of doing this step now and I am hoping to get a couple of photo copies of the map to hand out to my two generals for their use.  If I can get a decent photo or scan I will post it here as well.

That's about all for now.  I will add in the troop organization in a few days and go over that process.