Tuesday 16 February 2016

More nice reviews of BBB - and Chickamauga ACW

I was doubly chuffed this week by two synchronicitously similar-but-different blog posts / reviews of BBB by first-time players. Both had chosen not to use any of the available practice scenarios but instead set up simple attack-defence situations with forces and terrain deliberately chosen to test various aspects of the rules. One used an American Civil War setting, the other the Russo-Japanese War, so were at quite different ends of the weapon lethality spectrum. And both got similarly satisfactory results.

For the ACW, we have Richard Morrill's blog, The Rat Report. Quotes we liked:

- "The simplicity of the mechanisms hides a great deal – these are subtle and elegant rules."

- "We felt the battle really played out as we would have expected and gave a good and accurate representation of an ACW battle between the forces we had."

- "We didn’t find anything we didn’t like and we will be playing them again soon. I really do feel these rules are excellent."

I'm looking forward to meeting Richard when we welcome him and some dozens of other like-minded souls to our first BBB convention, "Bash Day", in Oxford on Sunday 10 April. If you'd like to join us and fight some historical battles, sign up here.

Meanwhile, in distant Manchuria, Alan "Shedman" reports on the battle of Hyicho-Ri in his Two Marshals blog. Apparently this is a standard scenario he uses to compare the performance of different rulesets. His verdict on BBB:

- "Overall a great set of rules  - not too many modifiers, some nice touches [...] and easily picked up by the players."

I'm particularly pleased to see Alan's RJW experiment working because it's a war I have not yet visited myself with BBB and I definitely want to do so.


As for my own activities this week, like Richard I was fighting the ACW. Andy Bailey, "The Attention Deficit Historian", has written a draft BBB scenario for Chickamauga. This is by my reckoning the ninth biggest and third bloodiest battle of the ACW, so obviously a must-do for BBB, and I was really happy to see Andy's work. We had a great time with it. It's a confused mass brawl in the woods, but with low enough troop density and enough trails through the trees to allow some swift manoeuvre, a bit like The Wilderness. I won't file a detailed report this time, suffice to say that our Confederate assault started out looking good but then the tide turned and we got convincingly crushed.

Initial positions: Confederates at the top (white labels),
about to smash into the Union's wobbly blue line.

Andy's scenario is in the BBB Yahoo group files. A load of photos of the game are in Flickr but not yet tagged or annotated.

Sadly this has spoiled my 100% record of wargame wins in 2016. Score for the year is now:

Played: 7
Won: 6
Drawn: 0