Well on Thursday Colin, John, John and myself returned to the SYW, using Honours of War wargame rules. We started using these rules as soon as they were released, and I really enjoyed them, I felt they gave a more SYW type of game as opposed to the Black Powder, Argument of Kings rules we had been using.
The game itself turned into a rather fractious affair, due to a number of things, but mainly because we hadn't played the rules since August, and well we had forgotten how they worked,and by the time we did, the Prussians, ie me and Colin had lost.
The result was actually a tonking, with the Austrians not really being troubled.
After the event I had a long think about the rules we were using, and why they just didn't have the allure that I had previously identified.
Ignoring the bickering, which to be honest does happen now and again, I simply hadn't enjoyed the actual feel of the game. The Austrian artillery can be very powerful due to their historic rating of
' superior, ' and to be honest everything I have read backs up the fact that the Austrians had a very good artillery arm. However as John Reidy pointed out, one spends a lot of time rallying from causalities, because woebetide any commander marching into a firefight with 3 causalities already to there name. [ One can only take 4 before being forced to retire or 5 when they become destroyed] The trouble is it is very easy to receive causalities from good troops.
So is this post a critique of the Honours of War rules, well no I would like to think not, there are a good number of great ideas in the rules. What I can say is that after 40+ years as a wargamer I still haven't found a set of wargames rules that I can honestly say captures the 'feel' of the period I am fighting whilst being fun to play.
This is actually a ridiculous state of affairs considering that wargames has been around far longer than my mere 40+ years.Is there any other hobby/sport which hasn't been able to formulate an accepted set of rules after such a period. It may go some way to explain why wargames rules are released with such depressing frequency. Wargamers are still looking for the Holy Grail of rules that will satisfy what we are looking for, except of course we wargamers are all looking for different things, so therefore the Grail can never exist or ever be achieved.
It comes as a bit of a shock that I will probably never find that set of rules that ticks all the boxes I am looking for and that I will always have to settle for compromise. So what boxes do I actually want ticking? well in no particular order, it has to be playability, ie easy to learn and use. They have to 'feel' they mirror the period being fought. There needs to be enough balance that no army is a 'super' army that can never be beaten, and most importantly they need to be fun, even for the person who actually loses the game.