Added flags for larger battles?

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Contrarius
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Added flags for larger battles?

Post by Contrarius » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:41 pm

Don't know if this has been discussed elsewhere, but I'm finding that larger games, say 6 leaders per side, tend to play quite differently from smaller ones with just three or four leaders. For starters there's a big problem getting units activated each turn, so many flags have to be reserved for just that, meaning that you rarely have any spare flags to expend on luxuries like Crashing Volleys, Sharp Practice, Stepping Out, etc.

So, just wondered if anyone has developed house rules for this, say an extra flag for games with 6 or 7 leaders, an extra two for 8 leaders or more?

Amaz_Ed
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Re: Added flags for larger battles?

Post by Amaz_Ed » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:26 pm

There are already rules for adding extra flags. From page 26 of the rule book;

A force with eight to ten Groups should add
one additional Command Card. A force with
eleven to fourteen Groups adds a sixth
Command Card. For very large games, seven
Command Cards may be included.

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Captain Reid
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Re: Added flags for larger battles?

Post by Captain Reid » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:30 pm

I just stick to 4 command cards regardless of the number of Groups or number of Leaders. I find it works fine. In general my games have 4-8 Leaders per side and sometimes a dozen or more Groups per side (or at least on one side), points being 65-130.

I have vaguely toyed with the idea of 'half flags' that only allow activations after tiffin (so as not to mess with the probability of 4 flags, which adding flags does very significantly) but don't really feel the need.
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Derek H
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Re: Added flags for larger battles?

Post by Derek H » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:02 pm

I have used five Command Chits for larger games. It does lead to a noticeable increase in four chit bonus activations, but it helps move the game along.

Like the idea of a half flag.
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sjwalker51
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Re: Added flags for larger battles?

Post by sjwalker51 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:40 pm

We’ve followed the rules on p.26 for larger games. The only tweaks we’ve experimented with is to increase/decrease the number of cards where the quality of the two opposing sides is very different. It’s also easy to reduce the number of random events by increasing the requirement to 4 consecutive command cards.

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bandrsntch
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Re: Added flags for larger battles?

Post by bandrsntch » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:59 pm

I've noticed the same thing as Contrarius has. Not sure what the fix for it is. Seems to me most players use the Command Flags to remove Shock and once in awhile Sharp Practice. For units that require three flags to do something, it rarely gets done. With more Leaders, the Level 1 Sergeants are using the Command Flags to remove Shock off as they are supposed to do. I have seen however, a couple of games where Pas de Charge was used to good effect, but since it allows the unit to remove two Shock per Group and charge with 3D6, it is well worth the cost. For now, I've been trying to keep my games smaller with less than eight Groups. This usually results in six Leaders or less.

Contrarius
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Re: Added flags for larger battles?

Post by Contrarius » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:54 am

Amaz_Ed wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:26 pm
There are already rules for adding extra flags. From page 26 of the rule book;

A force with eight to ten Groups should add
one additional Command Card. A force with
eleven to fourteen Groups adds a sixth
Command Card. For very large games, seven
Command Cards may be included.
Don't know how I missed that! (Perhaps because it was in the preamble to the Command Cards section – I often skip preambles and initial paragraphs as they tend to repeat the obvious.)
I would say "problem solved", but I see many intriguing ideas popping forth.
Yes, I like the idea of half-flags: they tie in with additional off-colour dice for bigger games in Chain of Command.
Certainly, there has to be a mechanism for reducing the number of random events generated by drawing three consecutive flags.

Contrarius
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Re: Added flags for larger battles?

Post by Contrarius » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:17 am

My last game had 9 groups on the British side and 12 groups on the French, with six leaders a side. An extra command chit per side would certainly have helped, especially in the later turns. The British were playing in defence, with their position based around an entrenched artillery piece. Somehow, they always found the command flags to get that gun serviced and it caused utter mayhem in the French lines. Despite their numerical superiority the French never really had the cards to drum the Pas de Charge. Maybe next time they will...

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Captain Reid
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Re: Added flags for larger battles?

Post by Captain Reid » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:27 am

It's not just random events, you also need to bear in mind that the chances of a free Leader activation on 4 cards is dramatically increased if you put an extra command card in the deck (and more so again if 2 more in for the same side). That free activation is very powerful and, especially if one side has 6 cards and the other has 4, can make games rather lopsided.

I admit, I'm slightly surprised that people find 4 command cards to be a problem in larger games as my experience is that more than 4 create issues that sticking with 4 avoids and I've never really felt the lack even with as many as 8 leaders and 15 Groups on one side. But it goes to show we all play differently and I suspect the number of units typically formed (as opposed to Groups in the force) may make a difference - I often have French conscripts in units of 4 or 6 Groups and typically regulars in units composed of 3 or 4 groups. Probably if your typical units are 2-3 Groups that would make a difference.
Faith! If they tried to outrun a Hielandmon, they stood but a bad chance, for Whash! went the broadsword.
- James Thompson, 78th Foot.

The Saindoux Campaign, 1757, my French and Indian War blog

Cerro Manteca, 1811, my Peninsular War blog.

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shamus2d6
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Re: Added flags for larger battles?

Post by shamus2d6 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:33 am

I am new to Sharp Practice learning by watching the videos as I get my armies mustered. I play many other games with various command and control mechanisms. I wondered the same. My immediate thought in regards to the question but going beyond the rules mechanisms already in place would be to keep the same command cards and deck but have a more senior officer in place who stays remote from units. He would have the ability to activate and coordinate a wider number of units via their officers but cannot get involved with shock removal etc., directly. He could instruct the unit leader to use his activations to do so. This method may require duplication of leader id numbers e.g., leader 2 brigagde "a", leader 2 brigade "b". Should brigade "a" use normal activation process as outlined in the rules brigade "b" cannot. The point being that brigade "b" can only be used should Leader 1 be activated via the cards and who is in overall command of the two brigades. All he can do is activate a number of leaders. How good is Leader 1? Well I guess you would give him the ability to activate a minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 unit commanders. The advantage I would explore for leader 1 is his his ability to enable each of brigade "b"'s units to sequentially activate. To keep it simple I may stay clear of using the flags for this brigade to represent local initiative being dissolved by top brass intervention so the deck as played stays for the use of brigade "a" only until the tiffin card is played. After the tiffin card is played then either brigade could activate normally and follow the above again. This process would need to be thoroughly playtested as it would skew the game from its original aim but it would provide a new level of decision making for the player and games would potentially end very quickly if one sides leader 1 failed to activate. I will be following up on this idea for myself but thought I'd share idea in case it peeked an interest.
shamus2d6

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