Andrew and I playtested another Fantastic Battles siege game last week. The result - a new approach to sieges is necessary.
Back in December I produced a free pdf document as a thank the community at large for the initial support that Fantastic Battles recieved. The document included new relics, traits, a few scenarios and, something asked for by quite a few folks in the Facebook group, work-in-progress ideas for sieges. It has taken a while to get back to working on them, but polishing the siege rules is my current priority as far as rules creation is concerned.
After three test games, all against different opponents, it is clear that the approach that I had taken is not the way forward. I had attempted to create what might be termed a 'full siege'; simulating the attrition of sieges over weeks or months, with players needing to worry about supplies, foraging, engineering, and sallies etc.
While that approach can be done, and it can be done in some detail, it does not make for a fun game. The attritional phases of the siege dragged on. They were too crunchy, with too much record keeping. Real life sieges were historically boring affairs filled with dysentery, and taking this approach to play out a tabletop siege was a bit too realistic.
Thus, back to the drawing board. Sort of. The rules already developed for the actual assault are relatively sound. The game just needs to be reframed so that the attrition is abstracted through siege-specific pre-game mishaps, leaving more time for the assaulting of the walls, and less time for the armies and players to poo themselves to death...