Sunday, 4 September 2011

Poor Commanders

Our wargame rules are derived from LFS, though they have been much amended to produce the type of game we enjoy.
There is a lot I like about LFS not least their use of Gifted, Average and Poor commanders. I have kept this effect, but have reduced number of options and what can be done under each heading.
Our rules, like LFS, are turn driven by the selection of a card. Each commander has a card, and he takes his turn when it is drawn. In addition there is a Gifted and a Poor Card.
The Gifted Card allows a Gifted commander to move when it is drawn, or he can wait until his own card is drawn if he prefers. Useful, but not really a game winner.
The Poor Card has a much more drastic effect. Once drawn the next poor commander must miss his turn entirely. Not too bad if there are more than one poor commander is a game, and particularly if there are poor commanders on both sides. But it can dominate a game if there is only one poor commander. It is quite possible that he will have to miss most, or even , all of his turns.
For this reason Jan and I have always ignored the Poor Card in games where there is only one poor commander. So I was quite surprised when campaign players felt it should be played in every game – even the player who had the poor commander concerned.
So as a temporary measure I have decided to make the poor commander affected by the Poor Card change his orders to Halt, rather than miss his turn.
Halt is not included in the LFS options. I introduced it for a player who felt he could not safely carry on with his CinC orders. Normally only the CinC can change corps orders, this is the only exception.
Halt prevents the corps from advancing towards the enemy, or initiating any offensive action. In effect they halt and wait for new orders from the CinC. However they can retire out of enemy artillery fire if they wish, or manoeuvre to take up a better defensive position. They can also fire or fight to defend themselves.
A further penalty to the poor commander is that he must use his command points to change his orders to Halt. This costs three points, which reduces the number of orders he can issue that turn.
I have considered various options to change the effect of the Poor Card. All of them involve complicated rule amendments and all are difficult to accept as a natural reaction of a commander. However Halt is already covered by the rules, and can be explained by a lack of confidence on the part of the poor commander.

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