Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Simpler Morale

In an early version of the rules, a graphic chart was used to determine changes in morale levels. I thought it was quite nifty, not having to consult another table of figures or do any further calculations beyond the initial roll and it served more than one function: where your adjusted dice roll plotted on the chart told you any test-related actions the unit had to take and the adjustment to the unit's morale score.

Then I did away with the chart (one less quick reference sheet to find on the gaming table), rendered down the morale effects into just five brackets and knocked up a simple calculation (something that could fairly easily done in the head) for the apres-roll adjustment of the unit morale level, depending on how well or badly the dice went, so that there was a built-in possibility of rallying (or for morale to deteriorate) whenever a morale check was done and using the actual morale test roll to do this, which is the kind of thing I find elegant.

Although not into English Civil War gaming (yet!), I've been looking at the Polemos rules as they have some interesting game mechanics which I saw in an exhibition version at Joy of Six 2014. Combat & terrain effects all conspire to imparting levels of shakeness to a unit, resulting in degradation of coherence, effectiveness and eventual routing off the gaming table.

I decided to apply this somewhat to my rules so that now a failed morale check simply leads to dropping down by one morale bracket (which could be regained in subsequent turns by rallying if the unit was lucky enough to be allowed to do so). I still retain the morale dice roll and adjustments (a few daft or infrequently used ones have been thrown out) as a kind of saving throw mechanism and also the unit strength percentage on-table green tiddlywink (again, less notebook or post-it rummaging) but that is all there is now in terms of number crunching.

Results Tables

The colour coding is for the use of really small tiddlywinks until I sort out the scenic markers, which I think will 'disappear' into the terrain or at least obviate the need for fluorescent arrows with 'fall back' and the like written on and scattered all over the battlefield. Most of these miniature scenic details I will be acquiring from PerfectSix Scenics at Joy of Six via the Leven Miniatures stand this coming weekend.

While I was at it, I worked out how I am going to handle the morale of detachments of sections and the main body, after agonizing for months over how to recombine the independently arrived at scores with some sort of weighted or averaging calculation: I am just going to have the smaller detachment assume the morale level of the larger one (probably the main body) for simplicity's sake.

So that's that sorted, nothing left on my hitlist of anomalies to iron out. 

More to follow on the Joy of Six.