Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group

Conference (2018) Report #3 – TGFC – Too Good For Children?

The Art of Steal- Err, Adapting Classic Toys For Wargaming

An occasional series on raiding the toy cupboard for wargming ideas (or future Christmas presents, if they’ve not got it already!)

#1 – Snakes & Ladders as siege simulator

Some considerable time ago now I was looking at the problem of a systemic game process for conducting siege operations in the ‘classic’ period of such operations – say, 1600-1870. The reasons for a system-driven approach was that I needed to give players the key decisions and make ‘progress’ visible to all. As with many games, however, the players had next to no knowledge of the formalised steps for conducting said operations!

However, it was while languishing in the bath one day that I began to jot-down notes on the options – and how the nature of stop-go, three-steps-forward, one-step-back were the primary feature of such ops. It was a short leap from there to the ‘Snakes & Ladders’ board… Let me illustrate:

TGFC_Snakes and Laddrers PDF

(sorry, but WordPress is having trouble with layered tables and grids…)

And that’s it, really – it sounds really silly at first, but I have found it to be (in solo play) a really good representation of some key sieges in the Peninsular War and Crimea. The rules you apply (for advances, moving the sap-line etc) are kinda up to the period and circumstances, but many aspects are quite common across the whole period.

I’m now off to have another look in the cupboard…

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