Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Saturday 4 June 2022

Polemos Ruse de Guerre - Quilmes & New Solo Mechanism

This is a bit of an orphan report.  I played the game at about the same time I played the same scenario with the Polemos Napoleonics rules, but this time I played it with Ruse de Guerre.  For some reason, I don't have photos of the last bit of the game, so I was wondering what to do...and then I forgot about it.  Oh well.  I probably wouldn't have blogged about it, except that it was the debut of a new solo system I am using with Ruse de Guerre.

The details were pretty much the same as for the first battle, except for some reason which seemed compelling at the time, I only used half the Guachos (3 bases instead of 6).

The Battle:

I will just spool forward to where the action really gets going - a more co-ordinated advance by the British this time; the British have quite a hard decision as to where to put their sailors and militia though: given the very small number of units, putting them in reserve may be too wasteful, putting them on the flanks too dangerous...

Another view

The Guachos look on as the British advance

And another view

The very effective Spanish artillery eliminates one of the attacking British units in short order!

View from behind the Spanish

The British Marines see off the Guancho cavalry

The British attack barrels forward - the Spanish artillery takes heavy casualties amongst the gunners and barrels back into the town.

A wider view

Some of the Guancho cavalry has cleared off; whilst the sailors and the Spanish infantry exchange ineffectual fire around the town

The British infantry facing the Spanish Right (centre-right) have not been able to dislodge the cavalry opposing them with either bullet or bayonet.

That was my last workable photo, not that there was much too events afterwards - the Spanish tried a cavalry charge, failed, took more casualties and then pulled out.

Game Notes:

Okay, nothing to say about the rules in this one except to note that the 'throw a 10, kill a unit' mechanic throws up  some interesting and not always entirely plausible occurrences.  I have mentioned the probability issues around this before, and the similar ones which are thrown up by Horse, Foot and Guns, so I won't labour this here, except to note that it is even more striking when unit count is low.

I did try out new solo mechanics in this one.  Polemos Ruse de Guerre uses a slightly different system from other Polemos systems by putting in an extra step.  It decides how many Tempo points there are around in an interactive way, and then does the bidding process as in the rest of the Polemos rules.  Whilst I can see this is great for face-to-face gaming, it feels like an over-complication playing solo.  What I have therefore done, then, is modify the first roll: instead of rolling a d10 and the higher roll choosing whether to use the higher roll or the lower as the number of 'extra' tempo points for the round, the d10 is replaced by d6 + a command factor from 0-4.  So Wellington will get a roll of d6+4, Beresford d6+2 and de la Cuesta d6.  This allows much more personalization of the two commanders and the 'better' commander will generally have much more control over the flow of the battle.  However, it still doesn't make the better commander more likely to win the Tempo - and winning the Tempo, important in all the Polemos series of games, is particularly important in Ruse de Guerre.  Why is it different in Ruse de Guerre? Well, simply put, Ruse de Guerre makes more concessions to 'the game' than other rules in the series.  It normalizes the tempo allocation (and force morale) between both sides, whereas other Polemos rules allow one side to have much more natural tempo than the other.  Insofar as Ruse de Guerre does this, it recreates this at the lower formation (brigades and regiments) level than at the command level - it dishes out more baseline points that commanders have no influence over.

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