I think the addition of the Baggage Train rules in Pub Battles was one of those things that just “clicked,” and suddenly everything fell into place. Gone were the days of destroyed lines suddenly appearing as fresh a turn later. Gone also, were the days of grindy combat where it was near on impossible to eliminate 50% of the enemy’s infantry blocks.
The system could stop there and be fine. Which it has. But again, what if there were a simple mechanic for showing an upper limit to how much damage one Baggage Train could fix?
After much discussion with the folks at Command Post Games, I have come up with and tested a new Baggage Train rule. It is two part:
- During a night turn all blocks are recovered, but they begin as spent and may not be rallied that turn.
- Each unpacked Baggage Train may rally 4 blocks per game.
While this may seem like a simple rule, as in “How much work could that be?” Its evolution through many different suggestions, all of which start out much more complex, hides the effort required to distill a complex concept down to a simple, elegant rule, that does everything initially desired.
What this means is that even after a day of heavy fighting, an army can look pretty good by morning, but it is only an illusion. The troops will be more brittle, and your lines will begin to crack and fail if asked to do it all over again.
Even after rallying four blocks, your Baggage Trains will remain on the field of battle. All the infrastructure they represent will still be present (hospitals, food, pack animals and fodder, smithies, and everything else that keeps a mobile city of several thousand functional). They must still be protected, they still fulfill critical offices.
As always, this is NOT an official rule. Once in its final form it will need to be playtested for quite some time before you see it in an “official” format, which means whenever a new edition of the rules is made available.
Take for instance the number four. Three seems to be too few, and five seems too many, so we’re starting with four. Who knows? Maybe we’ll end up with seven, or one. I really think it will be four.
Down the road, with this tool in their design bag, we might see battles with one side having very tight belts, we might see fewer rallies with more Baggage Trains, or one gigantic Baggage Train. Anything is possible, but always, it must be Boom Simple!