On Friday night Greg and I threw around design ideas for the rules for the French Revolutionary period being contemplated by Eureka.
We settled the scale, or at least the scale principals, and agreed on the specific actions that the rules were to model.
Scale: figure scale to model company tactics, but sliding to allow lower level light infantry tactics as well. The manoeuvre element is the 8 to 12 model Company. Figures are single based, moving in clumps. Formations such as line, column and square are not relevant as these occur at higher levels of organisation where several companies cooperate. Crudely we may say that the man to model scale is 1:20, but this might best be seen as the top point of a bell curve depending on the specific instance.
The specific actions we wish to model would be house to house fighting, bridge assaults (Napoleon at Lodi, for example), light company encounters before the main battle line, task force incursions, and so on. We really have to make it clear that these rules are not for modelling Valmy. There are other rules already available for that.
Movement is measured and conventional (curses! No grids!). A single model house represents a single real house.
The core mechanic is based on the Cast of Thousands (CoT) system, already employed for many of Anubis/Eureka offerings. This might appear to be a lazy cop-out, but Greg and I did discuss many mechanisms with the aim of finding the one that correctly modelled what we wanted to do.
Finally, the new working title for these rules is ‘Terrible Passage’, echoing Napoleon’s observations of his bridge encounter.
Next steps: 1) Greg and I need to get a closer understanding of the regional/cultural differences in the protagonists of the period in order to build the factors that will differentiate the sides in the game. 2) We need to do some more reading on the minor tactics of the day and double check that our core mechanism can be extended to cover them without making the rules a joke. 3) As figures become available we must have a sufficient and growing quantity painted up to rigorously test the system. In the meantime Greg and I have figures we can push around. But we want to get the real thing, with camera in hand, so that we can simulataneously capture scenarios for illustrative purposes in the rules.
It’s looking good.