Thursday, August 1, 2013

Stratagems in "Kérdu"

I've been tinkering away at "Kérdu" again - that is, the big battle rules for Tékumel wargaming.

One thing I have been thinking about is the various stratagems that are such a big feature of Tékumel themed battles. Or which should be in order for them to be "authentic". An example is the "Bow of Hrúgga  which is described in the "Battle of Ry" account. This stratagem employs two adjacent phalanxes separated by a relatively narrow gap. The concept is that once the phalanxes have struck home the rear ranks wheel and charge up the gap - becoming the "arrow" - to strike home, presumably with some additional effect though, in truth, it is hard for me to see what actual benefit would be achieved by doing this in a Real World battle. So the question is: do we model such fantastical ideas or not? If not, then any ancient rules would be appropriate as long as it can handle the basic elements of melee, missile fire and phalanxes. All one need do is tack on a magic system and perhaps some modifiers to account for the various races and "voila" - it is complete! On the other hand, if we choose to model these various stratagems that are part of the flavour of Tékumel-themed battles then I think we also have to allow for a little suspension of disbelief. Just as when playing Space 1889 we accept that Mars is inhabited, that we can travel across the ether and that "liftwood" exists, so to, to properly wargame on Tékumel, we must accept that certain things "work".