Things have started to return to normal at Chez Elenderil after the festive break. I still haven't put the table out for the ECW game (Christmas dinner seating arrangements got in the way) but as soon as I reorganise the conservatory that will go ahead.
I have had some feed back on the rules though. The general feel is that they are for serious ECW tacticians rather than casual gamers. One play tester suggested single based battalia, which has some merit and was a thought which had crossed my mind. The only downside is that I would have to create specific units accounting for different deployment depths rather than stacking smaller bases one behind the other as required. However, sabot style bases might be an option. The number of reaction test triggers was also mentioned with a suggestion that the current number is to high at 14. This I have looked at again and by changing definitions I can have less listed triggers but cover the same events. I don't really want to reduce the need for reaction tests as this is sort of the AI for units because the need to take reaction tests stops a commander having units do exactly as they want all the time.
The unexpected comment was that the turns seem too short for the current number of action points (AP) in each one. Currently there are three AP available in each of a players two action phases which cover six minutes of game time. This would allow an infantry unit to cover a maximum of 150 yards across the two phases or 25 yards a minutes which (using a 30 inch pace length) equates to a rate of 30 paces a minute on flat level ground. Comparing this to Napoleonic battlefield pace, which in turn reflects mid 18th Century march cadences shows this to be a bit slow if anything. British Army ordinary pace was 75 paces a minute and the Austrians managed 90 paces a minute (although I don't know how long an Austrian pace was). By comparison modern British Army slow march pace is 65 paces per minute and quick march is 120 paces per minute. I reduced the theoretical rate to account for uneven ground and poorer drill standards. So I won't be changing move allowance per AP.
I based the firing rates on hit rates per volley and worked back. This was based on some Hanovarian musketry experiments in the latter part of the 18th century, using smooth bore flint locks, and then pretty much halved them. I then set the 'to hit' figure to achieve the required number of 'hits' per 3 minutes of shooting. It's a fudge because I'm not just calculating casualties but it gives a result which feels right. So again those are staying as shown in the rules.
There are a number of sets of rules which I have sent out abut haven't yet had feedback on but I am getting a feel for what people think. I may have to develop a 'lite' version of the rules!