How Men of Quality Resolve Differences

How Men of Quality Resolve Differences
Poodle attacks - an ugly but inevitable part of any 17th C. British Civil War, "Oh! The Shame of it All!"

Thursday, January 4, 2018

AWI: Trial Basing for Hessians complete

OK, so after successfully spraying the bases, I have the two battalions mounted and ready to work with. The figs are lightly glued on with pvc / Elmer's , so will snap off easily for an alternative arrangement should I dislike this one after using it for a bit. 

Below: Musketeer Regt. Von Donop. Four "Divisions" of 6-7 figures, with halberd-toting NCOs keeping things in order. Command by Sash and Saber, Figs by Old Glory.

Same, more of a forward angle and "gamer's eye view" at my table.


Below: Fusilier Regt. Von Lossberg. All figs Old Glory. The S&S command figs are just a bit more animated and have just a bit more character. They do have some odd proportions, including an officer who's a bit of a pinhead and large, chunky legs. As they wear black gaiters, it isn't a big deal, but something to keep in mind. Judge for yourself if you like them!

Same, more of a gamer's eye view of the unit.

It may be hard to tell from the above pics due to the lens distortion of the camera, but all the figures are afixed to the base so that every part of them - including arms, swords, anything that sticks out - is entirely WITHIN the edge of the base. This way they won't bang into figures when they are fighting my units, anyway. This is one of my new rules of basing, about which I have said so much in "Spear to the Strife".

Now, the battalions form for action! Lossberg up front flanked by the 3lb battalion guns, with Donop entering the field of battle, conveniently passing in review of their British general.


"Salutations Herr Ingles Nook! the Von Lossberg battalion is here to turn the tide in favor of King George III - where shall we deploy to rout the rebels?"
"My Compliments, Col. Witezell. Do put your command onto the line of battle over there."


Von Donop marching into the table, erhm, field of battle.


The Fusiliers advancing...one is eyeballing the supporting guns, "pew-pew!"

But the advance is not without casualties. Mein Gott! The Ober gefreitenstagfrankenfuhrer ist Kaput!!"


"I said get in step, dumpfkopf!!! Or I will put this pike where sun not shine!" Sergeants...same all over.

*Look, Johann still can't keep the step* Think the drummer and NCO to left

I like to have little vignettes on these big bases when possible, even if it is just a simple story. The command figs from Sash & Sabre cost more, but I think they're worth it due to their characterful poses and animation. However, it can get repetitive...I can't have every regiment with this same vignette, right? So a mix of command figs is preferable.

Gaming Frontage. The large battalions take up almost two feet with their little guns. My office table has about 4x3' of space, so I think I will actually be able to get away with some "imagi-nation" playing of OHW scenarios. The extra width of the Units [NT recomments up to 6" for a Unit, these are 8"] will be accomodated by the extra table width. I will almost certainly shorten the ranges, also, for a 4" short and 8" long range.


This has me pretty motivated now! They look good and are clearly "a Blue team", so I'm thinking of going White with AWI French as well. Getting them will enable me to do actions in the Americas and the Islands. Some of the local guys already have plenty of Brits and Americans, so I'll save those brigades for later.

So I'm thinking the Hessians need:
- Grenadiers,
- Lt. Cavalry

The French would need:
- 4 Battalions
- Guns
- Lt. Infantry [Go Green with Queens Rangers...I've a book about them that will without doubt have me wanting to paint the regiment!]
- Lt. Cavalry [continue Green with Queen Ranger cav]

This would give me a full OHW force for both sides, so I can do some imagi-nation fighting in Europe as well as the Americas. Heck, may as well throw in some Indians in the future. And I'll be able to contribute forces with the guys that I don't think any of them have.

"Vorwarts!"

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Cold-Weather Basing: Spray Paint...In the House!?

OK, so it is time to get moving on some Hessian basing...but I realize I've no bases ready. 

I scrounge around, and find ten bases 2x3" which I think will suit, per last post. However, they are not painted. As they are little more than compressed cardboard / wood / mdf? whatever, I am sure that a good wetting will ruin them, and I don't want that. For their flaws with the beveling [looks cool, hard to pick up] the plastic FoW bases are at least build to last.

So, my goal is to get good bases, seal them properly with paint, then make them worth looking at long-term! My poison of choice is still "Make it Suade!" for that "oh so 70s" look, but it happens to exactly match my gaming cloth that I typically use, and the browns make the greens and other highlights "POP!" on camera for the blog etc.

One problem - it is snowing, and the temperature is in the 'teens this whole week. Yet, it is New Year's Day and I want to make a big splash with moving forward on gaming projects! Yet spray painting "Make it Suade!" in the house is not a great idea b/c it stinks like heck! I could heat the garage up with a space heater for a couple hours, but that only gets it into the 50s, and it takes forever - plus it makes me nervous not being able to see what's going on with a space heater personally. 

I need a better solution that will insure maximum drying time yet not get me into trouble with Home 6. Thinking...

In the garage is a huge piece of cardboard...in the furnace room there's a small fan,,,first floor bathroom is rarely used...hmmmm.

Cardboard is in bathroom, it opens up on the one side like a double-door.


Cut in half and stacked it makes a nice little chute to channel spray paint stink out the window. I need something to hold this contraption up at window level and grab Home 6s drying rack which is just the right height! Flip the other half of the box and now have a tunnel.
    

Still, this will stink. Counter-stink measures include: Sandlewood scented candle in nearby kitchen, cinnamon candle in nearly living room, and mistletoe scented candle in even closer dining room. OK OK, so it will be a confounded melange of scent, but who cares???



OK, some cross-venting will do, from the foyer to the dining room...just 2" or so...


What a confounded idjit! I set all this up and now can't reach the window to open it...and it is locked...I grab an old crutch we have laying in the play room [kid likes playing with it...really!] and ta-daaa! latch is open, window is open [note snow falling], fan is placed. I also place small space heater next to me, creating a waft of hot air heading to the window where the fan is blowing it out. I spray the bases on the diagonal, as it is more efficient - I only have to do one side on diagonal then the other.
  
Of course, I flip bases over after an hour as I want no side of the base to be vulnerable to moisture. The space heater is perfect, makes the air very hot and very dry, and somehow wins over the fresh air wafting in from outside. I spray again.

Another hour later, the second side is dry. They still smell a funny, but that can be helped. I put the dry bases [they are dry, but still the paint is "settling" you might say] in the furnace room on fresh cardboard on top of the returned drying rack. The one with paint and stink on it goes - outside.


I fold up the cardboard, remove the fan, tidy up and ta-daaa! Bathroom looks fine!


Just don't look in the shower, please!


This worked very well! total time was about 3-4 hours to set up, spray two sides, and have the items dry enough to handle, ie not tacky at all.

We never use the downstairs shower, so I can just leave all this in there. I've now got a few more spray projects in the works [including 15mm WWII and modern micro armor], and it really doesn't take long at all!

So to summarize:

  1. small room, easily vented to outside with small fan.
  2. space heater, cardboard "tunnel" to channel the spray "mist" outside.
  3. good height to window...a drying rack worked here.
  4. Open window, turn on fan, spray  with door closed. Exit upon completion.
  5. Drying time about an hour.
  6. Spray other side. Drying time another hour.
  7. Once dry enough to handle, leave overnight in furnace room to really get the paint dried out.
  8. Next day, ready to use!
Wife arrived home from trip, didn't comment on any funny smells at all. Not that she's particularly blessed to have a keen power of scent, but still, "Make it Suade!" is the Blackbeard's Delight of paint scents, so...

Mission Accomplished!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Basing: presenting history on the table for AWI

Well, it is time to put these guys on bases. At the very least, they need to be lightly glued to something to prevent breakage / scratching while I experiment with developing AWI rules.

My immediate solution is to fit it into the general style that suits both the figure size and what's happening locally. In this case, a gaming pal has his 28mm AWI mounted 2x2 on a 1.5" square base. For my larger Hessian battalions that will come out to 3x2-3 on a 2x2" square base. I say 3 figs x 2-3 figs because I want to create the "feel" of that third rank the Hessians used through 1776-1777 [at least], and because I like differentiating units a bit, so the purpose for using Hessians in AWI is not just historical or because they look cool [they do!] but because they offer another set of characteristics by:

  • being large battalions that fight three ranks deep, and, 
  • marching and performing formation evolutions a bit slower than their British allies [post-Nova Scotia training]. 
So here is where I'm headed at this point: British according to 1764 regulations:

from "With Zeal and with Bayonets Only" by Spring, Matthew H. [click]
I love how this looks from the top - it shows a force that is ready to fight, and how they do it. 

And here is how Frederick the Great did it, which is a primary tactical influence on the Hessian army:

from "The Army of Frederick the Great" by Christopher Duffy [click]

I've included the caption so you can see who was doing what. It is clear that every platoon of about 40-60 men had about 5 sergeants behind and a sergeant and a lieutenant to each side to maintain order and keep them in the ranks! 

This diagram says something about the unit, the soldiers, the war, everything!

I'd like my units to look more like this. However, game mechanics will certainly play into it. For example, as I plan my Hessian Battalions, I also have to figure out how they will fight according to the game mechanics - which aren't decided yet! So as at least a temporary measure, I will need an "intermediate" basing scheme that allows me to try it out on table.

I think the 4 Division system of maneuver will play into my game, so it might look like this:

But it does push the color party to the left side a bit and splits the colonel off onto a different base. Not sure I like that. Also, the location of the color party and colonel would be nice to show during formation changes, so I am thinking they'll need a separate base to move around - which would also permit it to be centered. That might look like this:

The main game mechanic question is "will the color party base be a marker / indicator or an actual fighting base?" 

Also, with 5 bases, the formation risks looking a bit lopsided, unless I have the sixth stand of grenadiers marching around with them, and they were often removed and put together as a composite grenadier battalion according to the needs of the generals. So it would be nice to have the flexibility to declare that the color party bases are or are not actual fighting bases in which case it would be good for them to look the same [for those occasions when they do fight as just another base].

I think that's what I'm going to be running with at this point - as stated above, it is just an intermediate step, so I will lightly base each figure with some elmer's glue which is easy to snap a figure off from.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Decisions, decisions: AWI

"My compliments, sir. WHAT is going on with this project - indeed this PERIOD!?"


Well, that's a good question, your eminence!

This blog has the dubious honor of "least posted to" as I've been just banging away with Medievals and WWII. Lots of inspiration for game design with some great support from others has really got the "fast-play with flavor" design concepts working well, here. Also, there's been lots of indecision on my part re: what to do and how to do it.

Suffice it to say that I flirted with a switch to WSS because the units are cool looking and it is pretty exotic, a lesser known period. I got some Wargames Factory 28mm plastics, and they look really interesting to work with. Then I started puttering around with formations and table space, and I just didn't like the way the 25mm looked for a mass battle sort of game. It was also something of a struggle to differentiate between the English / Dutch firing line and the French style firing line. Looks matter, so I sort of lost momentum thinking I should switch to 10mm or even 6mm.

Then, I thought that I'd ditch much of the tricorne era stuff, as there are plenty of others around here who play it. Also had trouble deciding if I should do French and Indian War or AmRev. It's a bit silly, since I live in the middle of a major theater of war for the American Revolution, but there it is...a clash between the exotic and the known.

Anyway, playing around with my 25mm Old Glory medievals has given me more feel for how they will look and play on the table. They are OK in the small space on which I do much of my wargaming. As my fast-play medieval game [click] is a "big skirmish" [or perhaps "Unit Skirmish" game would be a better term] it does somehow feel right.

So overall, I am thinking that games where a Unit is a few companies, say 100-150 men, work well in fast play and on my table. I think that a full regiment for fast-play needs smaller figs to keep the small frontage that makes the Units themselves _physically_ easy to handle. 
Game Design Note: let's remember that effective shooting distance is typically about half the size of a regiment in the horse and musket era, if we use the 7YW as a sort of median.

Anyway, this brings me back to the Tricorne Era, and American Revolution.

Been going back and forth about what to do with the last of my 25mm Old Glory AWI. I've about a hundred, all nicely painted, all Hessians, including:
30 Musketeers w' command
30 Fusiliers w' command
19 Jaegers w' command
6 Gunners
5 guns
2 generals

and left over somehow: a regiment of 24 7YW French w' command.


That's it. The big old mound of lead was successfully sold off.


Now, I do love AWI, and I live near a battlefield and in an area full of AWI history. 


For a while, I was going to redo a part of it in 40mm.

I love the figs - they're bigger and easier to paint in my old age.  But I haven't gotten my ECW stuff painted so I'm uncertain about if I'd really prefer them in 40mm. Also, the units may be a bit snug on my small office table where I do much of my gaming - it's only 4x3' and units of 16-32 figs take up about 5-10" frontage each.

Then I thought about doing it in 6mm, but I'm uncertain I like that size fig. 

I've some 6mm ACW that need to be finished, and after pushing them around a bit I'll know if I like figures that small and will buy into the "big picture look" of a 6mm unit. The ACW units will be brigades of about 6 bases of 16 figs each, or 96 figures.

Then I stumbled onto Pendraken 10mm AWI.

They are just lovely, and cost nothing and look like they'd be easy to paint. They'd be great for a small table and One-Hour Wargames type activities. However, they are a bit small to have individual character and do narrative gaming with them. I think in 10mm I'd rather do a "mass battle European war" type of thing like WSS.

Then there is 15mm - but my old club has a mound of 15mm AWI. I've a couple of local guys who have 15mm, so the stuff would mesh with theirs. But I dunno - it's not expensive but it is almost like it has the disadvantages of 25mm details to paint, but on a smaller surface. I'd rather do 25mm and have more space on which to paint.


Then there's 25mm, which is the scale in which I started my AWI. 

It has a good balance of individuality of figs and "mass effect" of figs. You can play a skirmish game or you can have a table full of massed units. Note this is 25mm, as in Old Glory 25mm, not the new British 28mm stuff. It is not expensive - with the OG Army discount, it is around 72 cents a figure, or 1/3 the price of either 40mm or premium Fife and Drum 28mm stuff, which is in the $2-2.25 a fig range. I also like the Old Glory balance of animation and paintability, with the exaggerated hands and faces - just makes them look better on the table at game distance. 

As I've been playing with my Old Glory medievals, which are based in groups of 5-15 figs, I think they provide a nice size to table space ratio for me. This has reinvigorated my interest in my painted 25mm Old Glory Hessians. So here they are in all their [Old] Glory:


Below. View of the battlefield, a little-known invasion of South Carolina by Hessian Forces [note the palm trees in the scrub at the top]. Musketeers [30] to top right, two 6pdr guns w'crew, 19 Jaegers scattered around in front, to left, and holding the terrain at top.


Close up of Jaeger's skirmishing, skillfully using every shrub and bush.


Hurried conference between the Oberjaegerfuhrer, his leutnant and the musician as to the deployment of the additional jaegers dashing into the battle.


Meanwhile, the Musketeers try to decide which formation looks better...


Two groups of two divisions? Left divisions with British advisor holding field conference


right divisions moving up


...or one big battalion of all four divisions? Looks really matter, this is Lace Wars, after all!


And on to the artillery. These came out very well, IMHO. 6pdr guns look small but not tiny.


The concept was three gunners per gun if 6pdr, 2 gunners per gun if 3pdrs [which I have]. The Hessians apparently often pulled around their own 3pdrs as battalion guns.




Speaking of looking good, here's the second 30-fig Unit, Fusiliers.

In original concept, this would be all 30 in three ranks, as the Hessians fought closer and deeper than their British and Rebellious Subjects - it's about a 6" frontage.

Looks a bit crammed, however.

In my next concept, the "third rank" would be implied by putting the drummers, colonel, and some pushy sergeants in a third partial rank. This would be differentiated from the wider, narrower British and Americans by putting them in a wider, 2-rank formation - it's 1" wider.



And this is assuming 4 divisions of 2" each, a good size for basing these figs - now 8" wide.




And the two generals I painted up. I _believe_ the right is supposed to be Benedict Arnold, and of course the fellow on the left needs no introduction.

Still pleased with how Gen. Washington's horse came out - the dappling is nice!

Well, there you have it. A lot of thinking going on here...

The 25mm seem to have the best balance of size as individuals and are yet small enough to give a "mass" effect when in groups. They are also pretty easy to see on the table from gaming distance. As I truly like the Old Glory style [not everyone does] I'm in pretty good shape financially. I priced out the American side of a Trenton Christmas Surprise project at needing around another $150 or so of figures. Not really that bad. Of course I need the entire American force, and then Grenadiers for the Hessians.

Also, I could go another direction and fight Blue Prussians v. White-coat French in a sort of semi-imagination / 7 Years War sort of battles. All I'd need to do is add some heavy cavalry for each side as I was already planning a couple units of light dragoons for these armies.

I'll have plenty more time to think about it - I'll be working with a lot of 25mm figs for the next few months, preparing for a big-battle Brunanburh which will be covered in my ancients thru medieval blog, Spear to the Strife [click].

Well, if you've any thoughts on this, I do welcome them!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

FOR SALE ITEMS! FOR SALE Seven Years War

Gents,
Selling off most of my 7YW painting and resources - investigating WSS instead [possibly 10mm or even 6mm - if you have any of that for trade!].  Available are:
OSPREY
  • The Austrian Army 1740-80: (2), Infantry
  • The Austrian Army 1740-80: (3), Specialist Troops [Grenz, Freicorps, sappers, artillery, pandours]
  • OOP - Russian Army of the Seven Years War (2) [cavalry, artillery, flags]
  • OOP - Russian Army of the Seven Years War (1) [Infantry]
  • Frederick the Great’s Army 3, Specialist Troops [engineers, frei-corps, volunteers, jagers, field artillery]
  • Louis XV’s Army (1) Cavalry and Dragoons
  • Louis XV’s Army (2) French Infantry
  • Louis XV’s Army (3) Foreign Infantry
  • Louis XV’s Army (4) Light Troops and Specialists
  • Campaign #35: Plassey 1757, Clive of India’s Finest Hour
  • Campaign #91: Kolin 1757, Frederick the Great’s First Defeat
  • Campaign #113: Rossback and Leuthen 1757, Prussia’s Eagle Resurgent
  • Campaign #125: Zorndorf 1758, Frederick faces Holy Mother Russia
  • MaA Series 263: Mughul India 1504-1761
Uniforms of the Seven Years War – A Painters Guide, by William S. Biles, retail $15/ea, here all three best offer over $30
Vol 1: Prussia, England, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel and Brunswick
Vol 2: France, Austria, Bavaria, Saxony and Wurttemberg
Vol 3: The Reicharmee, Russia and the Palatinate States
Pengel & Hurt  retail about $50, here all four best offer over $35
Prussian Infantry Uniforms of the 7YW
Prussian Cavalry Uniforms of the 7YW
Prussian Hussar Regiments: Regular, Irregular and Provincial
Prussian Flags of the 7YW
Small Hardbacks
Mollo – “Uniforms of the Seven Years War, 1756-1763”
Blandford Colour Series – “Cavalry Uniforms of Britain and the Commonwealth”

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More on Inter-active Turn Sequencing

"Hah! They think they will be permitted to use anything but IGO-UGO...kill them all!"
Image result for generals planning
the more tyrants change, the more they stay the same...

Periodically I return to a critical aspect of game design mechanics, the turn sequence. I've learned a lot from using Neil Thomas' "One-Hour Wargames" and other game designs of his. I previously posted on this concept HERE where it was inbedded in a post that was mostly focused on a more gamey [but fun] use of playing cards for a turn sequence.

At the moment, I am working on a re-think of one of my favorite inter-active turn sequences, the Roll-Off. The Roll-off works like this:

Each side rolls off using 1D6 and the winner gets the differences in Actions for his Units. With 6 Units per side in OHW, this usually takes about 5-7 roll-offs, depending on the values. Once one side has finished, having Acted with all 6 Units, the other side finishes the turn by acting with all not-yet-activated Units of his own.

There are several things I like about this sequence:
1. It is a bit unpredictable - you don't know how many Actions you will [won't] get until the roll-off. If you win, you don't know if you'll win again, so you have to carefully consider that the Actions you are presently using may be followed by opposing Actions.
2. It is not wildly unpredictable - you can be pretty sure that the winner will normally get about 2 Actions, and that the winner will change every couple of dice rolls.
3. Even if you lose and your opponents Acts with all his Units before you've Acted with any, you still have SOME sort of an advantage in that your Actions can now all be Counter-Actions to the winner's activities. As the turn now ends, all Units have another chance to go again, and you "may" be able to act again with a couple of your units in a productive way that furthers a critical part of your battle plan.
All of which really remind me a lot of reality!

For Ancients through Pike and Shotte [at least] warfare proceeded at a pretty stately pace in larger battles, mostly due to the difficulty of controlling large bodies of Soldiers. I'm therefore OK with the single-side combat of those periods [either melee or shooting] altho there may be some tinkering needed to fully adapt this to OHW.

The Cycling Turn effect is also helpful, in that it allows a simple mechanism and player decisions to shape events that are faster - or slower - than a rigidly structured turn sequence permits. So an IGO-UGO says something like "Infantry can move 6" per Turn, and Cavalry can move 12" a Turn." In between your alottment of 6" or 12", the opponent is allowed to do the same, providing a constant action-reaction of those move increments.

The above Turn sequence introduces a more dynamic flow of actions by permitting a player, through the combination of BOTH the dice rolls [has to lose most of the turns initial roll-offs, then win the initial roll-offs next turn] and planning [has to save the Units he wants to move last, i.e. counter-move, for the end of the turn] to get two Actions before the opponent can Act. 

This could be a big deal in the original OHW mechanics where combat is one-sided; I inflict Hits on you thru shooting or melee, and you inflict none. In effect, I could shoot or melee you twice before you can fight back. This could certainly end some combats earlier and with few casualties to one side. So if your combat is one-sided, then you can probably only use the roll-off Actions WITHIN the phases of a turn, e.g. Movement Phase, Shooting Phase, etc.

In my Modern Combat adaptation, I'm using a simultaneous roll-off mechanic, so taking two shots without being able to fight back is not an issue. It does help to win at the beginning of the turn as you get to set the pace of Action. Also, engaging an OPposing UNit -OPUN- in a fight usually takes away its own turn.

I hope these thoughts give you some more perspective on the critical aspects and issues of the Turn Sequence. Interactive is not automatically "better" than "IGO-UGO" but it is different and has different strengths and weaknesses. I happen to prefer it for anything past WWI or lower than a squad-level game, i.e. Skirmish games, but get informed and tinker so you learn what you prefer. Most of all, HAVE FUN!!

That's an order.
;)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What's Missing in One-Hour Wargames Rules? P.1: Ancients to Pike & Shot

2/3 of the Horse & Musket OHW Rules...obviously not encumbered with details and differentiations!

What would the design teams of "Empire III" and "Advanced Squad Leader" say about this???

"One-Hour Wargames" rules are pretty sparse - which is why they are so short! Essential mechanics have been left for the players to decide. Some aspects must be defined or clarified, no matter what your gaming preferences are. In other words, there's no way of playing the game without these coming up and then having to be discussed. It's all well and good if you're hanging out with a friend - especially one who isn't a wargamer - but the tendency of people to argue to their own advantage, OR, the need to explain to a willing participant, means you may as well think about them now and make a decision on them.

Missing and Must Be Decided


General

- Premeasuring allowed?
- rounding fractions in favor of attacker, i.e. ANY fraction UP? so 2.25 Hits = 3 Hits?
- Unit Size dimensions are loosely given, typically 4-6" in the rules, with a few like guns being half that. It MATTERS for a number of mechanics AND how many units fit onto the table top in certain spaces, how wide the units are. Depth isn't as important.

Movement

- Crossing River at Ford / Bridge, i.e. rate, cost, bridge model
- Road Movement, i.e. how does the 1-base unit do it?
- Charging; How to Contact [corner-edge? edge-edge? full / partial alignment?]
- Measurement point for move distance to Contact?
- Cavalry retreat from Hand-to-Hand, e.g. 6" move any direction or straight back?
- turning and corner / edge interpenetrating friendly / enemy units.

Shooting

- measurement points to / from Units [center-closest? center-center? closest-closest?]
- measurement point for Unit occupying town?
- Firing Arc, i.e. how is a Unit "within" 45 degrees of the front facing?
- How much of a Unit needs to be seen to be targeted?
- How large a gap does a shooter need to fire through?
- Line of Sight, including through / within / across Area & Linear Terrain, and over units [especially important for artillery Units].
- Can you shoot into a melee [Ancients, Dark Ages, Medieval, Pike & Shot rules]?

Terrain

- How many Units may occupy a town? If 2+, how to work the 360 fire arc?
- what's "in" woods / town terrain?  [entire Unit or Unit Edge] [Partially or fully] within?
- How does a Unit "occupy" a hilltop? Same as "in woods / town" above?

MY DECISIONS

I generally divide the periods into Ancient [Ancient thru Pike and Shot] and Moderns [Horse and Musket to WWII]. The general concept is that modern armies begin when training is widely introduced to make movement and shooting more predictable.

General

Premeasuring is allowed; 
- Any fraction is round UP. This "minimum" Hit of '1' gives a little satisfaction on a bad roll, and it also is justified by how intense and tiring combat is.
Unit SizesFor Ancients, I field units on a 2-1 front / Side base size ratio. My Medievals are all being rebased to 5" front and 2.5" deep. This is close to the WRG / DBx standard of 12cm front by 6cm deep. I then use the Base Width [BW] of 5" and Base Depth [BD] of 2.5" as measurement tools. For Moderns, I will be using multi-stand units about 4cm x 2cm in size, and they take up about 5-6" wide on the table.
- Line of Sight [LoS] I handled using the 2-1 base width-depth ratio. For a shot or charge, an attacker needs a BD of the target unit. So all of a flank and 1/2 the front of the base. The entire LoS needs to be within range, so again it would be the entire flank side of the base, or 1/2 of the front side of the base - the 1/2 front side doesn't need to be center to corner.

Movement

Crossing River at Ford / Bridge, i.e. rate, cost, bridge model
I cross at normal move rates, but always make the river about an infantry move wide. So the most common units spend a turn crossing.
Road Movement, i.e. how does the 1-base unit do it?
for Ancients, I let any contact with the road count, as they are mostly just a rough track or trail, anyway, and hasten movement not due to the quality of the road itself but due to the ease of staying on course. For Moderns, I have multiple base units so they just move along the narrow side of the base, each base upon the road.

- Charging; How to Contact [corner-edge? edge-edge? full / partial alignment?]

I use edge / edge and maximise contact, with the minimum being half the front, or a BD.
- Measurement point for move distance to Contact? I use charger's front center point to the farthest point of the LoS - a full BD of the base side being charged. 
- Cavalry retreat from Hand-to-Hand, e.g. 6" move any direction or straight back?
As I use edge-edge contact, they bounce straight back, HOWEVER, this is a good example where I can see allowing the corner contact along the straight line, and then moving directly back along that same charge line, so no conforming to edge contact.
- turning and corner / edge interpenetrating friendly / enemy units.
I allow this as the Units themselves are an area that has soldiers in it, not that the entire base footprint is entirely packed with people. Also, it's a lot easier on players to move around, especially when they're learning the game.

Shooting

- measurement points to / from Units [center-closest? center-center? closest-closest?]
Front Center point to the entire LoS, which is BD long [half the front, all the side] must be within range.
- measurement point for Unit occupying town?
One Unit per town, so the center of each of the four sides of the square, as tho it was a unit.
- Firing Arc, i.e. how is a Unit "within" 45 degrees of the front facing?
The entire LoS must be with the front 45 degree arc, so 1/2 the front, all of the side.
- How much of a Unit needs to be seen to be targeted?
A BD, or 1/2 the front, all of the side, needs to be in LoS.
- How large a gap does a shooter need to fire through? A BD.
- Line of Sight, including through / within / across Area & Linear Terrain, and over units [especially important for artillery Units]. 
I use a BD across a terrain edge or line that blocks LoS [e.g. woods, hill crest] or a BD within terrain [woods, town]. I don't allow shooting over friendly units, but if a Unit is a full level higher or more than an intervening enemy unit, I allow them to shoot if that unit is closer to them than the target unit.
- Can you shoot into a melee [Ancients, Dark Ages, Medieval, Pike & Shot rules]? 
I say yes, as long as you have a Line of Sight. This is b/c I don't see melee as continuous, but a series of short, sharp attacks with times of breaks in between. This also allows bowmen and Skirmishers to support other units during the game better.

Terrain

- How many Units may occupy a town? If 2+, how to work the 360 fire arc?
One in Ancients - so the square town is like a unit. In Moders, I let them fight through towns like they are woods, in effect.
- what's "in" woods / town terrain?  [entire Unit or Unit Edge] [Partially or fully] within?
I say entirely within area terrain to get a defensive bonus in melee. For shooting, if the LoS has the terrain between, then the unit gets the terrain bonus.
- How does a Unit "occupy" a hilltop? Same as "in woods / town" above?
I use a military crest, usually, so I define this by being "uphill" of the opponent in melee. If both are across the slope and appear "equally" situated from uphill to downhill no one gets a defensive bonus.

While there are many different rule sets out there that handle these mechanics and situations differently, I've tried to choose a series of intuitive, visually obvious means to solve most of the issues in the simplest way possible. Additional nuance is usually BOTH tedious and a-historical. An overall difference is best expressed with something simple, like Cavalry is faster than infantry, so it has a 12" move rather than the 6" infantry move.

Hope this list helps you to more easily prepare to play these rules and start considering your own way to handle the various situations that arise.