Author Topic: FOCUS ON..........Horse and Musket (H&M)  (Read 3665 times)

LetsPlayHistory

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Reply #15 on: October 26, 2021, 06:21:35 PM
If any of you is wondering which scenarios are covered so far (and which might be in the future), I have a list sorted by volumes and sorted by year/conflicts for your convenience.

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Hethwill

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Reply #16 on: October 27, 2021, 06:13:26 AM
If any of you is wondering which scenarios are covered so far (and which might be in the future), I have a list sorted by volumes and sorted by year/conflicts for your convenience.

That's a great list Jan.
From where did you buy your copies ?! ( if you own any physical )



bob48

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Reply #17 on: October 27, 2021, 10:37:42 AM
I really can't make a comparison with C&C for the simple reason that I've never played it. However, these are, for what its worth, some of my thoughts on the H&M system in general.

I only have Volume I, and so only have access to the rules for that, although I have played a number of scenarios from Vol II and III on Vassal with someone who is very knowledgeable about the rules and has all the material published for those and later expansions.

Therefore, I was only aware of any additional rules that applied to those later games as they were conveyed to me by my opponent.. I really am not sure if any /all of these additional rules can be applied retrospectively to the earlier games.

While the base rules are pretty easy to learn, there are a lot of 'optional' and 'recommended' rules that add a significant amount of detail (and thus complexity) to the game.

One one hand, the system is quite clever in that it employs one of three combat tables depending on the size of the battle depicted in the scenario. This obviously enables the system to simulate a lot of scenarios over quite a long historical period when used in conjunction with any relevant special scenario rules provided.

However, in order to do all this, certain sacrifices and abstractions are required. For example, ground scale and unit size are not detailed which does at times make the battles feel a bit generic,. Thus, a unit may represent anything from a few battalions to a few regiments and is just a mass of troops. I'm not inferring that this doesn't work, but to me, it does feel a bit too vague.

Now, I'm no expert on any of the periods covered by the games but have read a few books and played a few games that fit into the time period, so I do have at least an inking of the tactics of those times, and one of the things about the games that had bothered me is 'recommended' rules for formation and facing.

These additional rules obviously add much to the authenticity of the games but a at a cost of slowing things down a little. It also introduces the use of a new chart that influences the combat calculations by making a comparison of the attacking units formation in relation to the defending units formation.
My argument is that where the unit is a large body, as maybe depicted in one of the 'large' battle scenarios, then would all the sub units in that body be in the same formation and with the same facing? For example, some flank battalions (or whatever) may be in a refused flank. This is easy enough to depict with smaller scale games but has to be assumed to be the case where the unit represents a large body of troops.

Anyway, my point is that I do wonder at the validity of the formation and facing rules. I stress that this is just my take on it and I'm quite happy if someone want to try and educate me.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 10:42:38 AM by bob48 »

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LetsPlayHistory

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Reply #18 on: October 28, 2021, 01:28:23 PM
From where did you buy your copies ?! ( if you own any physical )

I only have the PnP files from WargameVault so far.
I plan using my 3mm armies for the game, maybe with C&C board or so (the hexes might be a bit too small, though).

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bob48

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Reply #19 on: February 20, 2022, 02:02:24 PM
I've recently found myself drawn back into playing H&M (Vol I), taking the opportunity to visit some of the scenarios that I had previously not bothered much with. I'm using just the basic rules at present in order to get back up to speed with it, and it all flows along very nicely with out much recourse of having to consult the rules.

The system is actually quite clever in the way that it can encompass battles of many sizes using only one map plus the overlays through the use of slightly different CRT's and movement rates, etc. Thus we have 'small, normal and grand' battles. Obviously, we do accept some abstractions here, so don't look for ground scales of detailed unit sizes. We can assume that unit represent bodies of troop that range from a few battalions to a few regiments. In any case, unit size is represented by a morale number rather that a number which represents the number of troops, and this works well within the game context.

The first of the many optional rules are those for formation and facing, and whilst these do add some 'realism' into the game without much additional complexity, they do add a little to playing time.  When combat occurs, we cross reference the stance of the attacking unit with that of the defender to yield a possible DRM.
there isn't a handy PAC to cover this, you must instead glean what you want from the rules, although strangely, there is one with the Vassal mod. I therefore decided a while ago to produce one, which I did, and made it available on the games BBG page, and to prove it, here is the link;

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/191669/formation-modifiers

Now, this got me thinking about how relevant this is given what the unit counters represent. I did consider if that within such an obviously large body of troop, they (the sub-units) would not all be assuming the same frontage or formation. I'm thinking of things such as refused flanks, and reserves in column and so on.

OK, they are after all just optional rules, the whole point being that you use them or not at your discretion, but I thought it would be interesting to see what other players think.

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bob48

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Reply #20 on: February 23, 2022, 05:46:43 AM
Well, that went down like a cast-iron Zeppelin.

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mcguire

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Reply #21 on: February 23, 2022, 04:41:49 PM
I haven't played Horse & Musket enough to get good feel for it, but I expect the formation rules are just making the simplistic assumption that everything in the unit is in the same formation, although (given that formations are an optional rule) it could be that it means most of the sub-units are in the given formation. I think (did I mention that I haven't played it enough to decide?) that in the former case, being in the wrong formation or orientation would be catastrophic while in the latter it would only be pretty bad.

I would like to note that Phil Sabin, in his simplified conversion explicitly got rid of the formations optional rule.

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bob48

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Reply #22 on: February 23, 2022, 05:10:06 PM
I have played it quite a bit using the formation & facing rules and I really can't decide if they have a sufficient impact on the battle outcome to justify the extra effort involved.

My feeling really is that its not relevant for such large scale battles, and where the size of the body of  troops is pretty vague, but there again, this may just be me making excuses for being lazy.

I have in the past played a number of Vassal games with Doug, and he, as developer and scenario designer for some of the game modules, will only play with just about all of the optional rules plugged in.

This is why I was hoping for a bit more feedback on the subject, but I am grateful for your thoughts on the subject.  :bigthumb:

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mcguire

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Reply #23 on: February 24, 2022, 02:52:36 PM
You don't need excuses for being lazy. Lazy is a virtue unto itself.

"Man...knowing how to use the cards properly certainly changes how I play the game" -- judgedredd


bob48

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Reply #24 on: February 24, 2022, 03:16:59 PM
^ I suspected it was thus, but its nice to have it confirmed :-)

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bob48

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Reply #25 on: March 04, 2022, 04:47:55 PM
For those interested; the new edition, well, September 2021 anyway, of the core rule book is available to download on BGG.

https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/145951/horse-musket-rulebook

Its much clearer and well worth getting if you play the game.

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bbmike

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Reply #26 on: March 31, 2022, 08:58:42 AM
Just arrived. I place the blame squarely on Bob.


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bob48

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Reply #27 on: March 31, 2022, 09:32:05 AM
Wonderful - brimming with gaming goodness :-)

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bob48

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Reply #28 on: April 08, 2022, 07:03:06 AM
I just noticed that the Vassal mod for the 'Fleurus' scenario is missing some terrain items - there are only 2 hills shown instead of 5. I have no idea how to edit a Vassal map.

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Barthheart

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Reply #29 on: April 08, 2022, 07:36:20 AM
Are the hills in the physical game tiles that are added as needed? If so then the module creator should have made them that way as well.
If so you should be able to find them as markers or pieces in the module’s menus and just place them onto the map like units.

If not, let me know and I can take a look at it for you.

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