DSLB Fog of War

One aspect in many miniatures games that I would like to see fixed is the fog of war. More often than not, the enemy dispositions are known before any actual maneuvering takes place. Of course one simple way is to make setup under screen, and reveal after both sides are done. All is good for interesting situations, but that hardly reflects reality save some extreme cases. It is very unlikely that both sides step into a battle like a trap where neither side is aware of others dispositions. During Napoleonic era, intelligence was sufficient that approximations could be given in advance.

I think that Too Fat Lardies’Le Feu Sacre’ has got the right idea with the blinds.

Of course this means several things. For setup, blinds are needed. Pieces of paper will do perfectly. They should be large enough to accommodate one unit in several formations, namely Attack Column, Line or Square (perhaps even march column, but that would only be benefit at road, and somewhat obvious).  Another thing is less trivial one. Terran features should be sufficiently accurate to enable players to test the line of sight properly. If any terrain interferes between the blinds of opposing sides, then the blinds will remain in place during play until they move to within line of sight. Of course any blind could be voluntarily revealed. Blind movement should be restricted to that of a slowest unit – limbered foot artillery. There should be cost for secrecy.

When setting actual units on the table, they may be then set up in the formation and facing indicated on the blind. Because every blind would be a bit larger than actual unit footprint,  a bit of room is allowed for unit placement as long as unit fits entirely under the blind. In this case, blinds would be 120mm x 60mm, and if unit is deployed in Attack Column it’s footprint is 60mm x 60mm, unit can be shifted somewhat for actual deployment.

However, the catch is that one side, or both sides should be granted one to two extra blinds that represent nothing else but false intel. Amount of these should depend on the capacity of the army, size and type of the scenario. For example advance or rear guard actions one or both sides misread the enemy strength and positions. Sometimes to a fatal conclusion.

It should be interesting.


Since thinking of the idea, and writing about the blinds, we utilized the setup method in recent game of DSLB, the double objective. It did work out quite all right and will probably make it a standard method of deployment.

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This entry was posted in Drums and Shakos Large Battles, scenarios and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to DSLB Fog of War

  1. The TFL approach is a reasonable one, and others have used similar ideas (see Wargamer Rabbit’s blog, for example).

    Another is to mess with the “predictable” movement rates (Black Powder, Piquet/FoB, Die Fighting, and others) or sequence (Piquet, FoB, DF, The Sword and the Flame, and others).

    Then they’re the extreme approach, like our recent 11 table/20 player game with Snappy Nappy!

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