My early games with my ECW miniatures rules based on Commands and Colors have shown a common theme – a tendency for the cavalry to race around the place, wiping each other out, while the foot are pretty static in the centre – slow to get into action and ponderous once they get there.
This may well be an authentic representation of what 17th Century warfare was like, but I have been giving some thought to making the foot a little more mobile – nothing outrageous, but a little more – how do you say? – oomph when deploying. For my next couple of games I propose to allow foot to fire only if they stand still, to move 1 hex and still have the capability to initiate a melee combat, or to move 2 hexes with no option to carry out any combat. This double move is not allowed to bring them nearer than 2 hexes (musket range) of any enemy, and must not compromise any terrain rules, so they may not make a 2-hex move if they are within 2 hexes of the enemy, and must stop when they get to 2 hexes from the enemy. I am doing some consistency checking to see how this sits with the terrain rules and the Command Cards.
This change may, of course, distort the entire game, but in principle it seems reasonable, so I propose to give it a trial.
Subject 2 – on my September trip to Bavaria and Austria, I saw the remarkable Glockenturmautomat in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, in Vienna. This astonishing clockwork device was made in Augsburg in 1580. We did not get to see it working when we were there (it’s much too precious for that), but I have subsequently found a little film about it on YouTube (of course). It is an odd piece of whimsy – a tower with bell-ringers working away while some merrymakers are boozing on the balcony. The film shows that, in close up, the weathering of the drinkers makes them look a bit sinister, but it is a terrific piece of workmanship.
If you like a touch of Rabelais in your humour, watch to the end…