Jun 15, 2013

SDS and Jackewline War of Independence

Image from this post.
Queue long rant, read on your own responsibility.

So while I'm at home and the studies seem somewhat a lesser burden, using the existing stats from Song of Drums and Shakos I produced a list for Jackewlinese/Dorroseani troops. I have not played with my homemade setting for a while and this is an excellent choice - given that since I have bought the rules I only played SDS once.

Here's how the list rules - Jackewlinese units. I did not determine points value and
will likely come up with an own point system.
And there are also a few scenarios I came up with, as, to be honest, the ones in SDS are limited, and pointless slaughter isn't always the best way of fun (as poor Sharpe had learnt in that one specific game).

Camp ambush
Setup: Defender's troops are lying around a small camp. One can be left on guard - roll 3d6 (quasi activation) - if 2 succeeds on the unit's Q the guard doesn't fall asleep. It takes two successful actions for a soldier to wake up. The guard, if awake, rolls interception on the attackers inside 1 Long distance (Medium if they're behind cover/in woods). 
Objectives: This is a 'last man standing' game, the player who beats the opponent scores a victory.

Here, a group of Dorroseani Chasseurs strike at the Jackewlinese camp. The Green clansmen quickly recover and the fight ends up with the Dorroseani retreating. 

Steal the Packhorse (on the analogy of Capture the Flag, obv.)
Setup: This is a little bit close to what I have played at Games Day in December. Narrow forest clearing with a road, one player has to guide a packhorse (Q:4, C:None) through the table while the other player has to steal it. The packhorse cannot be killed.
Objective: Player 1: Get the packhorse to the end of the table. Player 2: Capture the packhorse (pass a morale test while in close contact with it, then move it out of Player 1's units' Long distance).

Same setup but sides switched, this time I am playing the Jackewlinese and make a quick advance - the Dorroseani commander is indecisive and it costs many a lives. Ends up with the Dorroseani retreating again - it's a huge advantage having the better quality of troops.

There could be other variations where one player scores a win with moving from A to B - say, fleeing from a group of cuirassiers after a lost battle and they have to reach the safety of the woods. Then there are other 'escorting' scenarios - carry a general through enemy lines, ride past enemy sentries etc. The opposing groups' balance in these games can be broken.

 This example here is a group of Dorroseani fleeing - probably as a consequence of the previous encounter - through the table occupied by a farm and its yard surrounded by hedges.

The Militia units are poor quality and act so.

These two sit idly as they can't perform two activations to pass the hedge.

Being swarmed by angry Jackewlinese uhlans.

A successful volley clears off four horsemen (completely accidental, one was even missed) but then the militia routs and the rest ends up beaten and captured.

Divided Tables
Setup: The basic idea is deliberately stolen from here - playing smaller elements of the same battle, essentially. For this, each player will choose a larger core army and set up it to 3 to 4 tables (if the tables' numbers are odds, the centre ones will have to feature a larger deal of troops). For this, a point system would be necessary.
The player winning initiative (roll on 1d6, higher is Defender, places units on table first) chooses the order of tables and the sequence at which point the winning player's units can cross tables (after X turns/activations in-game on said table). When one table is cleared (the opponent's units are wounded-dead/routed), the victor chooses the direction of cross-table movement (not on 'flank' tables obviously). 
Objective: decisive victory on all tables.

I did not play this through - leave it to another day maybe.

The general consequence is that SDS is variable and easy to play but sometimes the mechanism gets annoying (in the last scenario the foot figures ended up knocked down but they somehow didn't die after a few turns of fighting). The units' quality actually matters a lot and one has to play very aggressively to get things done.


  1. Sounds like you had a lot of fun with this


  2. Nice. I've grown accustomed and addicted to your "cleverly crafted scenery." Good game work again, Sir.

  3. Very nice skirmish game, Andras. I laughed at the two militia guys stuck at the hedge. Reminds me of certain video games where your character is a deadly "one man army" but can't navigate relatively simple obstacles.


    1. Thank you, an odd similarity and I can totally relate to that (although my good guys are usually armored).