Saturday, 29 December 2012

Merlinc Boundaries - Tripartite indenture and the year of the French

I got this idea from reading about Owen Glendower (Owain Glyndŵr).

He made this proposal during his rebellion against Henry IV. He proposed that the northern earls - the Percys - form a northern English kingdom and the rival for the English throne Edmund Mortimer, form a southern English kingdom. Owen would then by the king of the newly formed Welsh kingdom. Henry IV would be overthrown.

The Owen Glendower wikipedia entry tells it better:

"Owain demonstrated his new status by negotiating the "Tripartite Indenture" with Edmund Mortimer and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. The Indenture agreed to divide England and Wales among the three of them. Wales would extend as far as the rivers Severn and Mersey including most of Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. The Mortimer Lords of March would take all of southern and western England and the Percys would take the north of England. Although most historians have dismissed the terms of the Indenture as being highly ambitious and fanciful, R. R. Davies noted that certain internal features underscore the rootedness of Glyndŵr's political philosophy in Welsh mythology: in it, the three men invoke prophecy, and the boundaries of Wales are defined according to Merlinic literature."

So in game terms this would be a four-player game. Each player would have a track of local support that they would want to build and maintain by their actions. Other influence - for example, events in France, Ireland and Scotland - would be from a shared card deck. Each card would have four sections relating to each player. Each player would draw a card and could play the event on either themselves - to a lesser effect - or on another player at normal effect.

The objectives of the players are complex.

Henry IV only wins if he remains king of England and Wales. He gets a draw if he losses any portion of his kingdom, and an absolute loss if dethroned.

Edward Mortimer only wins if he becomes king of all of England;  a draw if he is king of southern England; a loss if he gets nothing.

Owen only wins if he gets to be King of an independent Wales, a draw if he is some sort of overlord of Wales paying homage to another King and loss if nothing.

The Percys win if they get to be King of northern England, a loss if nothing else. They were not called Hotspur for nothing.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Naval Wargames - a suggestion


Game Suggestion

My basic idea is that in a naval wargame manoeuvre and visibility is what the player should concentrate on. Firing should not dominate the game, but be rapidly adjudicated and the damage caused should remain hidden from the opposition.

Thus hidden movement is used for most of the action at long range. Only for very close actions would we move to a model to model table top game. 

Shell fire is abstracted to dice rolls and cards are drawn to determine special hits and their effects. Each ship would have a deck of cards with some element of its equipment highlighted and the effect caused if damaged. Each card would have the armour protection etc.

Hidden movement

Two schemes present themselves.

1. The playing area is a large floor. The ship models are used at actual ground scale and are thus very small. The ship models only show the class of the ship and the nationality. The players are made to sit behind tables and can only observe from the side. The movement is not necessarily hidden but difficult to see.

2. The players and umpires have maps that have a large scale grid. Inside each grid is a smaller grid that enables exact location to be plotted. The players plot their moves on these small grids. The master map is updated from the player grids.

It will not be necessary to keep calculating the distance for firing at all times because at the speeds the ships move and the distances they fired at the distances won't change much.

Firing and Damage

A simple chart for firing salvos will be used that enables a dice roll to decide how many shells hit in each salvo. For each hit a card is chosen, this will show the location of the hit (the range of cards will be in proportion to the surface area of the ship), together with the armour protecting the area and what equipment will be damaged if the area is hit.

Damage will then affect the main ship record so that turrets, speed and other aspects of the ship handling will be noted as damage occurs.