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Author Topic: A Wargaming Experiment  (Read 614 times)

Offline Warren Abox

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A Wargaming Experiment
« on: April 20, 2022, 07:10:58 AM »
Today the fates conspired to embroil me in an interesting wargaming experience.  My D&D pals have been experimenting with by-the-book AD&D, and looking into the connective tissue that binds that version of the game to its wargaming roots.  Along the way, I've run two Chainmail scenarios and a city fight that were given to me by DMs.  Their D&D campaigns generate large set-piece battles that they could hand-wave the results of, but they wanted to see how miniature wargaming mass battles might affect the tabletop RPG.

Anyway, in part from a desire to see things from the other side of the issue, today I asked for volunteers to run a small skirmish set on the edges of the large, map-based Chainmail campaign that I've been running over on the Joy of Wargaming.

With seven takers, we've got a chance to do a little "Live Playtesting".  We can give each player the same info, turn them loose, and compare how they interpreted some relatively vague guidance into a gamable scenario.  Then we can look at the results and see if we can make any interesting connections there.

Full details are on the blog, but here is the information that I gave the players:

Sir Dewd Delabides (Hero) has taken 160 light horse north to intercept a party of 125 orcs. These orcs are marching 525 human prisoners – heavy foot captured at the battle of Renninger Marsh – north to feed them to a giant.  The orcs are classed as Heavy Foot (in Chainmail terms) versus Light Horse for the human cavalry, the latter of which are led by a Hero.

All I need to know is who wins, who survives, and how long it takes. Anything beyond that is gravy. The map is about forty miles across and generally grasslands, but feel free to add any small woods/atreams/etc you like.

The Bromans have intercepted the orcs – gotten ahead of them, actually. Mounted, they might plan an ambush, but they are in orc territory so that gives a slight edge to the orcs. See that battle just south? That is a big one a day’s march away. The orcs could cut the prisoners loose and run south for safety. They could kill them all. I am tracking things at auch higher level than this. I leave all the details to you.

Note that there are two armies clashing just ten miles south of here, where the victorious orcish army meets a flanking human army at the gates of a tomb that holds the MacGuffin that kicked off the campaign.  We'll have to see the results of the prison break first, because there is a chance - a slim one - that the orc guards cut and run south to reinforce the main body.  Or maybe the cavalry rescue the prisoners fast enough that they can arrive late in the day in a "look to the east at dawn" moment.  Who knows?

And here is the map supplied for some additional context:

Ultimately, we'll roll some dice to decide whose play-through becomes 'canon' and impacts the rest of the campaign.

If anyone else wants to play along, and let us know how you fared, feel free!  We're having a lot of fun with this shared project, and you're welcome to join.


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