|Set up for Scenario #2 The Guard's passage the lines.|
Submerged deep in the man cave with literally a dozen box files of figures open at any one time I have been forensically exploring the wargaming options with redoubts for the Poltava series of pdfs which is now nearly complete.
Although I have been gaming the Great Northern War for nearly thirty years, it is a long time since I gamed Poltava, particualrly with such granularity. Never before have I broken the battle down into so many component actions and built scenarios around them. Using Beneath the Lily Banners War of Three Kings and With Talon and Claw to create the orbats and scenario mechanisms has really focused on getting the game balance right.
|Roos's attack on redoubts 1-4. Scenario #1|
These scenarios all use the 4Play Expanded format - 4PlayX games are played on a 4 x 4 table using 8 units per side over eight game turns.
Redoubts and field fortifications feature in every single Poltava scenario in one form or another. From the T shaped Russian redoubt complex to the massive fortified camp at Yakovetski and on to the Swedish defences around their own camp at Pushkaryovka - it's been redoubt, chevaux de frise and breastworks all the way.
|A scene from scenario #2 as it played|
Playing these scenarios through and understanding the command challenges has also helped me appreciate the difficulties facing both sides at Poltava.
Having had Hamilton, Roos, Rehnskiold and the King at the helm across different scenarios has given an appreciation of what a difference the commander can make. The Swedes have been extremely robust in every scenario but, the cumulative frailty of their position in the escalating difficulty ladder of each scenario has heightened my appreciation of their collective fatalism as the climax approaches.
|Defending Pushkaryovka - from scenario #6|
Many games have produced surprising results and eye popping moments as the dice yet again intervene to defy probabilities. Well, I guess that IS Probability as a concept!
Nevertheless, pre - release I thought I'd share a few moments of redoubt -redux as some of my veteran Swedish battalions painted more than 20 years ago, once more emerge from the box-billets to fight the traditional foe on the Ukrainian plain.
|Counter attack - Rentzel and Heinske attack Roos. From scenario #3|
Some of these scenario packs I have expanded from 17 pages to 24 to accommodate extra information, which means over the last week I have created the equivalent of just under half of With Talon and Claw.
The set will go live later this week I hope.