Friday, 9 December 2016

Pillage and Loot

"Pillage, rape, and loot and burn, but all in moderation. 
If you do the things we say then you'll soon rule the nation. 
Kill your friends and enemies, and then kill your relations. 
Pillage, rape, and loot and burn, but all in moderation."

- to be sung to the tune of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious 

According to the interweb to loot means to steal, especially in time of war, whereas to pillage means to loot, especially in times of war. The war James chose for the pillaging and looting in his game this week was the Seven Years War, but sadly it could have been any of them.

I do like a small scale game; we played a very interesting game set around bridge demolition - also in the eighteenth century - a while ago and also a couple of fifteenth century games using Lion Rampant. These latter suffered a bit because lack of familiarity with the rules adversely affected the translation to the table. No such problem here: James makes the rules up as he goes along anyway, and the scenario was designed by one of the Charles Grants; I couldn't offhand tell you which one. I'm not entirely sure that the Prussian artillery are much use, but otherwise it all seems to work to me.

I am playing the Prussian defenders - we are half way through - and may have been overly influenced by James' description of how, when playing the same role, he ended up with no forces at all for several turns. I adopted a rather cautious strategy until my reinforcements turned up. However they are here now and so the Prussians will be need to be on the offensive a bit more next week. I wasn't helped by being short on initiative early on, but I did get the luck of the cards when a Heroic Cavalry Move allowed me to charge and see off the Russian's only line cavalry unit.

That's the only routed unit so far, which brings me to my main point. The rules could probably do with some adjustments to allow for the smaller scale of the action. The standard Major Morale test doesn't make any sense at all. Peter failed when he rolled a one on a D20 - such a common occurrence for him that no one even batted an eyelid - but James' explanation of what that meant in the circumstances didn't seem to convince even him, let alone Peter or me. My other suggestions ["Hang on," interjects the Rhetorical Pedant "you haven't made a suggestion in the first place."] are allowing an automatic rally attempt on an Officer Check regardless of where the officer is and allowing wider options on move cards. I'd be happy to expand on my logic, but most people don't know the rules we play and James never reads my blog anyway.


  1. I like the song at the top of your post, another one could be "War is a science, with rules to be obeyed, which good soldiers appreciate, record and recapitulate, before they go and decimate the other side. " from the musical Pippin .
    Best Iain

  2. That's a musical that has passed me by completely. I note that it's written by the same author as Wicked. When the latter came to both Leeds and Bradford there were literally queues outside the box office on the day that tickets went on sale and, once again, I'd never heard of it.