Irrational Number Line Games, LLC
This game ran at Williamsburg Muster on 04 FEBGet the After Action Review here!
1812 : Rise of the Machines
This year's Williamsburg Muster has the theme "1812 - The World is Burning", so we will be running a theme historical game 1812 : Rise of the machines using our QILS rules. That's right. A historical game. While others will be running North American War of 1812 or Peninsular Campaigns of the same, INLGames will be gaming another very important conflict of that time - the Luddite Rebellions!
Yep! We will have honest, hard-working artisans and craftsmen (and the occasional hired agent provocateur with a gun) assaulting and trying to destroy the new-fangled factories that are taking away their livelihood. And on the other side the self indulgent capitalist menace trying to destroy tradition and a way of life.
Or maybe that is terrorists holding on to the past and ways that deny prosperity and jobs to thousands and concentrate production power in the hands of the few killing and destroying the way of life of the prolitareat who, with the help of the government and its standing forces, is trying to defend the path to the future.
Either way you look at it, we will need a few things: (1) Luddites and Agents Provacateur, (2) Factory Workers and some British homeland forces, (3) Factories with a skirmish-interesting layout, and (4) Looms!
We've shown the forces above, each with a few variants. The basic combatant will be the "man". Aritsan or factory worker, They hit hard and duck fast. Next are the agents provocateur and the British Army, both of whom get guns and the same stats (some of the mercenaries hired were ex-Army and Luddites did conduct military drill and training). Both of these types of force are roughly equivalent to two regular men. If this weren't close quarters skirmishing inside a factory, having a gun might bring a better advantage than two to one.
One of the more interesting parts of the forces here are women. Women made up much of both the factory workforce and craftsman community (while their husbands were making a "real" living in agriculture). Being the early Nineteenth Century, there was some reticence (especially on the part of Army men) to shoot or bludgeon women. The women themselves showed no such reticence to commit acts of violence (in one case with a pitchfork). In the women's stats, they were given a lot of defense points (but no additional attack) and end up being worth about three men. Many women would say that ratio is still a bit light.
Now we're on to the looms. Are these historically accurate 1812 mechanical weaving devices? Well, that depends ... if you have no background in such things, then Yes! They are! Well, OK, they're not that far off, but in looking at drawings of such things in factories, I realized it wouldn't work well for wargaming, mostly due to two factors: (1) we don't match figure scale and ground scale, and (2) figures really need bases, so they can't fit through very narrow spaces. So I went for a compromise. I made something that looks like a "single workstation" loom, and made it sufficiently 19th Century. They are built with K'Nex to make it easy and quick to construct a lot of them and make them identical. The looms have a two-part design with a stand and a frame. I wrapped the frame part with thread and primed them black. Then I went back and painted the thread dingy white and gave the black metal parts a drybrush with dark grey. All in all, a nice, grimy, industrial piece I think. The two-part design allows players to remove parts of the loom as they are destroyed instead of tracking two successful hits on a card or stat sheet. This added a nice bit of atmosphere to the game during playtesting.
The factory floor itself is four pieces of 12"x12" corkboard. Not exactly a sawdust floor, but a nice texture and easy to procure. The size also gives me a bonus. For a 2'x2' skirmish area, I can slide four of them together and prop up walls in the seams. The walls are just textured scrapbook paper, cut to 6" lengths, folded in half, then the botoom inch folded back up to make an upside down "T" shape. They slide in the seams of the floor to make for some good protection from those few with guns. The scene is rounded out with some War Torn Worlds crates. The space needed some more clutter to impede movement and inhibit line of fire, but didn't want every piece of terrain to be a scenario objective (destroy or protect the looms, remember?).
Hope some of this is useful. We will have an After Action Report up a week or two after the Muster!