Now wet days should be good wargaming days, as they give you an excuse to stay indoors and keep dry … and get on with all those wargaming tasks that you wanted to do. But life has a habit of finding other, more pressing things for you to do, and today has been no exception. So most of today has been dedicated to doing all sorts of non-wargaming things.
I had plans to make some minefields and pillboxes for my next play-test, but I have made no progress at all and have no idea when I will be able to sit down and make them.
C’est la vie!
I did, however, manage to visit the Arts & Craft section of the small department store that is situated in the Retail Outlet Centre at Chatham Maritime, where I bought some more pieces of coloured felt. These will be used for the forthcoming play-test of the latest draft of the Modified Morschauser ‘Modern’ Period Wargames Rules.
I pose this question because of the recent work I have done – with the help and assistance of Jim Wright and Ross Macfarlane – modifying and developing Joseph Morschauser’s wargames rules.
Whilst the basic mechanisms are still very definitely Morschauser’s, the wording of the rules is gradually moving away from his style, content, and layout to become much more like my own. Rules have also been added to those in the original version, and some of the original ones have been changed or even removed. At some time in the future I intend to add some explanatory notes and diagrams to the text, and at that point I suspect that over 50% of the content will be my original work rather than Joseph Morschauser’s.
But is it right to call the result mine?
My gut feeling is that the answer to this question is ‘NO!’ because the fundamental elements of the rules will still be Joseph Morschauser’s.
Perhaps the answer is to look for a solution in the world of music, where composers have used the work of others to produce variations. For example, Brahms’s wrote VARIATIONS AND FUGUE ON A THEME BY HANDEL and the VARIATIONS ON A THEME BY HAYDN. So when I cast around for a name for the rules I am still developing, perhaps I should subtitle them something along the lines of VARIATIONS ON A SET OF WARGAMES RULES BY MORSCHAUSER.
- Reformatting the ‘Units’ table so that the Unit Types are separated into Infantry, Artillery, AFV, and Miscellaneous
- Removing Antitank Grenades from the list of weapons in the ‘Units’ table that Infantry Units can use
- Adding Minefields to the list of Unit Types
- Removing the rules that allow Tank Units to run down other types of Unit
- Removing the rules pertaining to the use of Antitank Grenades
- Removing the rules that stopped Tank Units from engaging in Close Combat
- Adding new rules that deal with Woods & Built-up Areas, Minefields, and Barbed Wire to the ‘Special Rules’ section.
Class Wargames has recently launched a film about Guy Debord’s THE GAME OF WAR, and it is possible to view the film in five sections on the website. Whilst I found this … interesting … I actually found the rules of Debord’s game more relevant to my studies of wargames that use gridded playing surfaces. They are certainly worth looking at in more detail, and I shall be doing so sometime over the next few days.
- Removed the section of the rules that allows Tank Units to run down other Units and destroy them (This immediately reduced the complexity of the rules and increased their simplicity)
- Given AFV – Tanks a Close Combat Power = 3
- Given AFV – Armoured Car a Close Combat Power = 5
- Removed the use of Antitank Grenades from Infantry – Rifles and Infantry – Submachine Gun Units
- Added a rule about what Units can move through woods off road
- Added a rule about the ability of Units in woods to fire at enemy Units
- Added a rule about the ability of Units to see enemy Units that are hidden inside woods
I am also thinking about introducing rules for minefields and barbed wire before the next play-test. Time … and pressure of work … will be the determining factors as to whether I manage to do so or not.
During the first Tank vs. Infantry encounters in World War I (and also during the early part of World War II) there were instances when the Infantry broke and ran, but once they had been trained how to deal with tanks at close-quarters the Infantry learned that staying and fighting was safer.
Morschauser’s rules do not seem allow this to happen. Furthermore, trying to explain the anomalies that arise in the rules as a result of Tank Units being the exception to the general Melee/Close Combat rules is adding a level of complication that could – and should – be avoided.
I have discussed this by email with Jim Wright, and I have decided that the next draft of the rules will reflect these changes:
- AFV – Tanks will have a Close Combat Power = 2
- AFV – Armoured Car will have a Close Combat Power = 3
- Infantry – Rifles and Infantry – Submachine Gun Units will no longer have the option to use Antitank Grenades (they only had a range of 1 grid square, which is the same as the Close Combat range, and they are therefore subsumed into the Close Combat Power of the Infantry Units)
I am also thinking about introducing rules for minefields and barbed wire … but not until after the next play-test at the earliest.