Monday, January 21, 2008

Tarleton's Quarter: First Play Through

Tarleton's Quarter is the name I gave to my little homegrown adaptation of Fire and Fury to the American Revolution. It is a very focused set of rules, intended to be played in the Southern Campaign 1780-81.

It is a regimental level rules set, based on the open formations adopted by British units to fight American skirmishers and riflemen in persistently lousy terrain for traditional close order, two rank formations. In Tarleton's Quarter, British units are free to move between an open order, or standard two rank line. These are documented in Lawrence E. Babits' excellent "Devil of a Whipping," on the Battle of Cowpens. The rules strongly resemble Rich Hasenauer's wonderful Fire and Fury ACW rules, the original brigade level game, not the regimental system that is under development, and possibly will be under development for the rest of my lifetime. It also owes a huge debt to Doug Hamm's work on a similar adaptation for the War of 1812.

I've been remounting and painting troops for my little game system for the past three or four months (off and on) and I finally summoned up the courage to try to play the rules. Mark Waddington and Scott Abbott, both expressed interest, so I dragged all my stuff down there on Saturday. Surprisingly, there were a lot of guys there to try 'em out, so what I believed would be a handful of players, ended up being eight.

The scenario was simple. A British force of three infantry units, a cavalry detachment, and a gun were to advance against an American safe house, capture their supplies and free some British prisoners. The Americans had five units of militia, including a rifle armed unit.

The Americans and British made their plans. The Brits had to advance across a creek, had bad die rolls, and were shot at a lot. The Americans didn't have to move as much, and rolled much better on their shooting die rolls and repelled the British advance.

All the players were pretty complementary, but offered some good suggestions:
  • I rewrote the maneuver table for the d10 level of the original F and F game. It's now easier to move.
  • I added one more category of troops-loyalist militias and American state troops, and factored in their brittleness to the maneuver table.
  • I rewrote the melee table to better represent the militias' reluctance to come to close quarters.
  • Everyone expressed an interest for adding a special events card draw for rolling a natural 10 on the fire table. This would end the automatic out of ammunition and/or officer casualty result from the brigade level game.
Everybody also expressed an interest in playing the game again, so I will need to make some time soon if I am to have the rules serviceable enough for play at Enfilade.

I, of course, forgot my camera, but will have pics next time for sure.

Next up is the first Enfilade meeting of the year at Bruce's next week. DBA day is on February 2nd, if I can make it.

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