Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Reworking Skirmishers and Zama

Rebased skirmishers from 40mm to 30mm
In 2015, a focused push was undertaken to field an additional 200 figures for the 28mm Peninsular War project.  That goal was accomplished.  For the rules used, each line battalion required two, individually mounted skirmishers.  Light battalions required four such skirmish markers.  Up to now, each skirmisher was mounted on a 40mm round.  When this project began, the number of skirmishers allowed per battalion coupled with a 40mm round basing scheme seemed good choice.  As the collection grew and I got a few games in the books, I began to reconsider both of these choices. 

The first dilemma considers the number of deployable skirmishers per battalion.  Having the maximum of two (line) or four (light) skirmishers per battalion presented a situation where a large number of skirmishers could be roaming the battlefield.  With many skirmishers, the "little war" took a more prominent role in a battalion level game than I wished.  The number of skirmishers also tended to slow game-play.  Skirmishers are meant to harass and degrade an enemy formation.  This enemy degradation is a two-step process accomplished first by neutralizing any enemy skirmishers deployed and, second, by harassing the now unprotected parent formation.   

Could this same effect be achieved by reducing the maximum number of skirmishers in half?  I think it could.  Now, line battalions carry a complement of one skirmisher while light battalions can muster two.  This solution cuts down clutter and speeds up play. A side benefit of this skirmisher reduction is that a number of already painted skirmishers become surplus.  Less figures to paint when future battalions are fielded. Of course, I may have to make a facing or plume change but that is a minor adjustment.
40mm vs 30mm comparison
The second choice under consideration was base size.  At first 40mm seemed a good choice.  Only after seeing the amount of space 75 40mm round skirmishers consume in the storage box, did thoughts turn towards reducing their footprint.  Perhaps, 30mm rounds would be a better solution?  Over Christmas, I dove into rebasing all of the skirmishers from 40mm to 30mm bases.  With this change, surface area has been reduced by about 44%.  Not too painful to tackle and I like the results.   

The first gaming of 2016 is in the books.  Kevin came over for an afternoon session of Commands & Colors: Ancients.  The featured battle was Zama.  The battlefield deployment certainly appeared for favor Scipio over Hannibal.  In the photo below, Scipio and his Roman legions are in the foreground; Hannibal in the background.
Zama in 6mm and Command & Colors
Kevin opted to command Scipio in Game 1.  Game 1 was a closely fought battle with the Banner advantage going back and forth between the two adversaries.  First commander to reach eight banners would be victorious.  In the end, Hannibal pulled off an upset winning 8 Banners to 7 Banners.

In Game 2, we switched sides with Kevin commanding Hannibal.  While another good contest, Scipio pulled ahead to win the day 8 Banners to 6.

As I have mentioned repeatedly, CC:A is an elegant system and games are always great fun and produce good results.  With luck, I will be seeing more CC:A out on the game table in 2016.

14 comments:

  1. great looking miniatures very interesting to see the your ideas on skirmish miniatures basing i have just started my own Peninsular project. looking forward to more

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stephen! My project is not at the skirmish level having only individually based figures. Rather, these individual skirmish figures are really only markers showing the extent of the skirmish capability of the parent battalion. The parent battalion consists of a number of multi-figure bases in close order.

      Good luck in your Peninsular War project!

      Delete
  2. Very nicely done on both Jonathan and your eye sight must be great to do the little guys!

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Christopher! With 6mm figures, it is the "mass and splash" effect that I target. That is, tightly packed stands showing splashes of color.

      Delete
  3. Nice skirmishers. The CCA Zama scenario is a bit strange as the Romans actually outnumber the Carthaginians instead of the reverse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about relative force size, Mike. In the scenario, Scipio outnumbers Hannibal 21 stands to 19. Not a huge difference but I wonder if Carthaginians were reduced in order to bring about an historical outcome? Perhaps many of Hannibal's troops were combined into fewer units to reflect their lower combat effectiveness?

      Delete
  4. I think the resized bases look good. Maybe try cutting the number of skirmishers in half and giving them 2 hits each to see if that makes the board less cluttered?

    I like the micro CCA system you have there. I think this is the first time I have seen you use a green background rather than tan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reducing the number of skirmishers is exactly what I have in mind. Line battalions reduced from two to one and light battalions reduced from four to two. I like the smaller rounds too!

      Delete
  5. Ah, Zama! One if the great scenarios. so much depends on those elephants. A mounted charge card used against the Roman mediums or heavies and Hannibal is in business! Really like your set up with the 6mm figures. Lovely to look at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaron, Zama does make a great CCA game. Speaking of Mounted Charge cards, Hannibal played one in the middle of Game 1 to blow open a hole in the Roman line. Although the elephants are brittle and never seem to hang around long in my games, attacking mediums or heavies in a one-two punch can certainly clear the lanes.

      Delete
    2. I also remember the early game being interesting: a race to screen the elephants (for Carthage) or force the same to rampage with timely missile fire (Rome). Might have to get it to table again some time soon!

      Cheers,
      Aaron

      Delete
    3. One benefit of CC:A is that no two games play out the same resulting in high replayablity.

      Give Zama another shot, Aaron!

      Delete
  6. Zama was played three times at HCon by the PK/FoB crowd. 50/50 split for CCA, and a Carthagenian win with Pulse of Battle, IIRC. Hannibal pretty much lives or dies by the Elephants in that one!

    As you are well aware, and as the pics illustrate, cutting the bases down from 40mm to 30mm round decreases the area occupied from about 4xPi cm2 to 2.25xPi, or almost half. That's a huge savings in storage space requirements (and round bases are kind of a pain storage wise anyway because of the wasted space around the bases).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, reducing the size of the skirmisher base saved considerable space in the storage box. Now, more room for more figures without adding another storage box.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...