This post will build on an original scenario, ‘Take The High Ground’, set out by Stuart Asquith in his ‘Guide To Solo Wargaming’ (Argus Books, 1988).
The same starting conditions apply in this expanded version. Blue Force straddles a ridge that extends across the northern edge of the battlefield and cannot be outflanked. Red Force, which significantly outnumbers Blue Force, is approaching from the south. Although Blue Force are outnumbered, Red Force have a fair bit of ground to cover before they can come to grips with their opponents, who have the advantage of the high ground.
An interesting departure from the original game is to allow for the possibility of Blue Force receiving reinforcements. This will add the element of uncertainty so important for the solo player. In addition, Red Force will have to capture the ridge within a specific time frame or they will be deemed to have lost. Blue Force will be controlled by the NPG (non-player general) and Red Force by the solo player.
I intend to set out the basic ground rules in this post, then run the game through a few times and report back in my next post. I’d be interested to hear how other people get on if they give it a try!
I’m going to run my own game as a 15mm Italian Wars battle, using DBA movement and combat rules with the Humberside extension for Renaissance warfare. Pending experimentation, these are my initials plans for the two forces:
1. Blue Force – Defenders (Spanish) [Throw 1 d6 for Pips]
Artillery x 3
Shot x 4
Pikes x 4
Blades x 2
2. Red Force – Attackers (French) [Throw 2 d6 for Pips]
Knights x 6
Pikes x 8
Shot x 6
Light Horse x 4
Blue Force Reinforcements [Throw 1 d6 for Pips]
These will be determined at random – see below for details.
1. At the end of Turn 20, throw a D10 to determine how many more turns Red Force has to take the ridge. [Amended after testing]
2. Blue Force reinforcements may arrive from Turn 6 onwards (this is a one-off event). At the start of each Blue Force bound, throw two D10 – a throw of 85% or higher means that reinforcements will indeed appear. To determine their entry point, throw a D6, with the following results:
1-2, reinforcements enter at western edge of battlefield
3-4, reinforcements enter at southern edge of battlefield (i.e. to the rear of Red Force)
5-6, reinforcements enter at eastern edge of battlefield
In all cases they will appear more or less half-way along their designated board edge. Next, dice to see what forces the relief party will include:
1-2, force is made up of 4 Light Horse units
3-4, force is made up of 4 Light Horse units and 2 Knights
5-6, force is made up 4 Light Horse units and 4 Knights
Then dice to see what action these reinforcements will take:
1-2, attack nearest Red Force flank en masse
3-4, attack rear of Red Force en masse
5, concentrate on eliminating the Red Force general
6, attempt to reinforce the ridge line defenders, avoiding Red Force if possible until the ridge has been reached
Normal DBA victory conditions are replaced by the following:
1. Red Force wins if the ridge is taken, i.e. if all enemy forces have been dislodged from it.
2. Blue Force wins if Red Force’s general is killed – at that point Red Force troops will disengage and flee the field.
3. Blue Force wins if any Spanish troops remain on the ridge (on the summit or either slope) at the end of play.
This should provide a tough battle for Red Force! I’ll report back in my next post with photos and a description of how the battle has panned out, including any amendments I have had to make to the scenario for the sake of balance and/or playability.