01 August 2011

Blinds, time and uncertainty

We have to have uncertainty.  This has special importance for Mars-la-Tour, where the key to the battle was Bazaine's uncertainty as to the Prussian forces blocking him, and the Prussian uncertainty as to the actual location of the French army.

I have written earlier of the use of blinds, which I still quite like in general   The problem they present for us are twofold.  First, they add time; second they take figures off the table making for both a less attractive table and an issue of storage on side table.

The minimalist way to deal with this is to place figures on the table for all possible units.  For convenience, reveals will be by entire corps.  Unrevealed units can be kept in a compact and easy-to-maneuver mass.  A simple set of reveal rules can then be used to require (or allow) a unit to deploy into its true, revealed formation.  Once revealed, it will be far simpler if the unit then stays revealed for the balance of the game.

These rules will only be interesting, I suspect, only when there are at least two Corps on a side.  Looking at the war in general, that means are looking at rules for 3 historical battles:
  • Mars-la-Tour
  • Gravelotte-St. Privat
  • Sedan
  • Mas-la-Tour through  Gravelotte-St. Privat as a three day campaign.
Always with the possibility other hypothetical battles, of course.

While one should be able to play the exact historical OBs, I think for replay value it will also be desirable to have some sort of randomization mechanism to alter the OBs so total enemy forces faced are as uncertain as their locations.

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