Sunday, July 4, 2010

Second Manassas Scenario Thoughts

Battle of Second Manassas Scenario.
Twelve Federal cavalry are finished and once flocked, will be ready for the tabletop. In 10mm, a simple paint job makes quick work of two units of cavalry. With the completion of the Union cavalry, I know have the 10mm ACW collection complete. That is, I can field all arms for both combatants for most medium to large-sized battles.

One aspect of the game that frequently troubles me is how to display unit information for each stand. The options I've considered are:
  1. Unit Statistics label on a small but separate base.
  2. Unit Statistics label on figure base bottom.
  3. Unit Statistics on a roster with unit identification on base edge.
  4. Unit Statistics label affixed to figure base bottom with Unit Statistics shown vertically on figure base trailing edge.
When playing solitaire, I prefer having the unit information affixed to a separate 1.5"x0.5" base. This informational base then remains with the figure stand and unit's data are easily accessible at a glance and in photos. The latter is especially useful when drafting AARs from a set of game photos and speeds up note-taking during the game. The downsides to this approach are that the info base must maintain contact with the parent unit and two bases must be moved for each active figure base. In densely populated areas of the battlefield, info bases can become quite jumbled and detract from the look of the game.

A second alternative is to affix the unit's information data onto the bottom of the figure stand. While this resolves the visual clutter disadvantage of the separate info base, this method requires each base to be picked up and examined for every assault, rally, and panic resolution.

A third option is to transcribe all unit data onto a roster that is then referenced during the game. To make a roster most efficient, the figure bases should be identified in some fashion on the trailing edge of the base. Notation on the trailing edge would allow the base to be cross-referenced to the roster without having to pick up the base. The roster method eliminates the disadvantages of the clutter (option 1) and picking up the base (option 2) but does tend to slow play while the eyes are frequently shifting from the table top to the roster and back. Some players do not enjoy using a roster system but casualties and morale states could still be tracked on the game table.

A fourth option involves making a label that is affixed to the bottom of the figure stand but is large enough to wrap around the trailing edge with a bend 90 degrees from the table. All unit information is transcribed onto the upward portion of the label. This method reduces tabletop clutter but with 10mm figures, the visible portion of the label can extend to nearly the height of the figures. Currently for Option (1), I use Avery 1.5"x0.5" self-adhesives labels. I'll have to either find a suitable equivalent or simply print the labels on paper and cut and affix each label onto it's base.

28mm American War of Independence Project:
In honor of Independence Day, seventeen British line infantry are on the painting table. The figures are Perry's in slouch hat for a yet to be determined regiment. Since Austin was planning to field the British contingents at Saratoga, these fine chaps will likely become a regiment not present at Saratoga.

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