Bad Day on Shooters Hill

Today has not been a good day.

Firstly my father’s health continues to give my family and I cause for concern. The doctors know what is wrong with him (dysphagia) and have begun a course of treatment that should help his health improve … but despite everyone’s best efforts he seems unwilling to co-operate.

Secondly our Internet connection has been extremely ‘flaky’ for most of the afternoon, and neither my wife nor I have not been able to ‘surf the net’ or send or receive emails. I think that I have finally fixed the problem … but who knows how long the ‘fix’ will last.

Finally I have spent quite a bit of time today trying to write the first draft of what I hope will be HEXBLITZ II … and after three or four hours of work I have realised that everything I have written is over-complex and very ‘clunky’. I have therefore walked away from trying to complete this task today. I have done this in the hope that a break will clear my mind, and that when I return to this task later in the week, the results will be a much simpler (and workable) set of wargames rules.

18 Comments on “Bad Day on Shooters Hill”

  1. Sean says:

    Sorry to hear about all the trouble. A break sounds in order. Looking at the rules with a fresh eye will help I'm sure.

  2. Sometimes life is like a Chinese finger puzzle and walking away is the best thing.

  3. Sean,Thanks for your words of support.Today was a prime example as to why you should never try to do anything difficult when your mind is preoccupied. I was bound to make a mess of it … and walking away from trying to draft my new rules was the best thing to do.All the best,Bob

  4. Ross Mac,My mind was really not 'in the zone' when I started to write the draft … and I ended up getting myself tied up in all sorts of knots. What I should have done was to walk away earlier when I realised that things were going wrong. Instead I persevered … and made a bad situation worse.I never learn!All the best,Bob

  5. barry carter says:

    Hope you troubles ease soon. I wonder, were you trying to work on the computer or on paper…… least one can indulge in the pleasure of watching the wasted wood pulp (and consequent brain ache) burn!BC.

  6. Barry Carter,Thanks for your best wishes.I tend to do my writing straight on to the computer, so I don't have a hard copy to read until I print the draft … and therefore don't have the pleasure of setting fire to my draft until it is finished!All the best,Bob

  7. I'm increasingly drawn to grid/hex games and am aiming to buy some Hexon at Salute. I have Hexblitz in my LOS and it looks very playable. Could I ask why you are developing Hexblitz II and how will differ?RegardsRichard

  8. Doctorphalanx,Good luck using your Hexon II terrain. I have built up my collection over the years, and it was the best wargames 'investment' I ever made.I wrote the original HEXBLITZ over six years ago … and although they are perfectly useable, I feel that I could write a better set now, epecially since I have written other rules (including OPERATIONAL ART, MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE, and the PORTABLE WARGAME) in the interim.I have been asked to include the Battle Dice from Ricardo Borg's MEMOIR '44 wargame in HEXBLITZ, and I have included that in my design brief. (I will, however, also include a combat system that uses standard D6 dice.)With luck the first draft of HEXBLITZ II should be finished by next weekend, and I will be making available as a download as soon as I have started play-testing them.All the best,Bob

  9. BobI look forward to seeing the new version. I'm interested in starting with French and Germans for 1940 on 1/72 bases but using 3mm models, all of which now seem to be available.I can see the obvious attraction of using iconic rather than numbered dice. It's a pity one can't get dice 'printed' to order.Best wishesRichard

  10. Doctorphalanx (Richard),Thanks for your interest. With luck I should have finished the draft by some time later this week.The iconic dice do seem to speed up the combat resolution process, but I do hope to add an alternative combat system that uses standard D6 dice.The use of 3mm-scale figures and vehicles on 40mm bases does mean that you can have lots of mini-dioramas on your tabletop … which will increase the visual impact of the game.All the best,Bob

  11. BobI've been wondering about base sizes. In OPERATIONAL ART you suggested 40mm by at least 40mm. I don't think you mentioned basing in HEXBLITZ. In MEGABLITZ I get the impression that the basing suggested for 1/72 is mainly driven by the size of the models. Given that I will be using 3mm I have more flexibility. I'm wondering whether to base everything on 40mm x 40mm or whether to put Russian regiments on larger bases, transport on long thin bases and company-strength units on smaller bases. BestRichard

  12. Doctorphalanx (Richard),The basing I used in HEXBLITZ was the same as I used in OPERATIONAL ART … and both are copied from MEGABLITZ.I think that 40mm squares would be ideal for 3mm-scale figures and vehicles … but I would strongly suggest that you have a look at Tim Gow's 'modern' version of MEGABLITZ before making your decision. (It is called NATO BRIGADE COMMANDER or NBC for short) . The armies he uses are all 6mm/1:300th-scale, and are mounted on smaller bases.All the best,BobPS. The NBC rules can be found here.

  13. BobThanks for the heads up on NBC. Basing in companies would render more realistic relative footprints, but it would also have quite an impact on the combat factors used in HEXBLITZ/MEGABLITZ by accentuating quality differences, e.g. a superior battalion might get +1 but 4 superior companies end up with +4 if I have understood things correctly.I'm still undecided about footprints. If a unit is a company, should it occupy the same area as a battalion? With 1/72 this is something you have to live with because the models dictate it.With 1/600 I have the opportunity to, say, mount battalions on 40mm x 40mm, recce companies on 20mm x 30mm and transport on 20mm x 80mm. Sorry to labour this, but basing is a fundamental issue when you're planning new armies!BestRichard

  14. Doctorphalanx (Richard),I thought that NBC might be useful to see how someone had tackled using small-scale figures and vehicles on Hexon II terrain.I think that the base sizes you are suggesting would work … but I would wait until I have had a chance to finish the draft rules before you begin building your armies. After all, you might not like to new version, and may prefer to stick to using the original HEXBLITZ.All the best,Bob

  15. BobNo pressure! Things move very slowly in my world…Richard

  16. Doctorphalanx (Richard),The are moving slowly for me as well when it comes to drafting these rules!I have just painted myself into a corner with them … and I am going back to square one yet again to see if I can sort them out.All the best,Bob

  17. BobNever written any rules myself, at least not since I was a schoolboy. I know what I don't like: brain-twisting Latinate sentences and complex lookup tables that take your eye off the game.BestRichard

  18. Doctorphalanx,I always try to keep things as simple and unambiguous as I can … which is one reason why I am trying to use a combat system that uses dice with icons on them and as few tables as possible.All the best,Bob

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