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22 Dec 2010 11:19 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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MarkDeliduka22 Dec 2010 10:32 a.m. PST

Check out this new Game Mechanic being beta tested at St. Crispin's Irregulars Hobby Day. Here is the latest beta test of this game system using this campaign:


vojvoda22 Dec 2010 12:56 p.m. PST

Mark since you just joined TMP I will cut you some slack. I read the thread you posted in the link. Frankly there was nothing about how the F&M mechanic works. Read more like an ad for fast money on an info commerical. Not sure that even the bata version is available for preview at this time and the whole thread keep saying things to make one believe it was the "greatest thing since sliced bread". Without some explaination of the concept I do not see where this thread has any real information. Did I miss something? Hard to say. Just my two cents.
James Mattes

vojvoda22 Dec 2010 1:00 p.m. PST

And FWIW I read your other posting here on TMP (all six) and it seems you are more like a corner soap salesman? Was that your intent?
James Mattes

50 Dylan CDs and an Icepick22 Dec 2010 1:54 p.m. PST

That's all well and good, James, but now he's got your credit card info and all your passwords, and pretty soon you'll be getting a call from MasterCard, asking you if you're the same James Mattes who has just purchased four thousand dollars worth of diapers in Burundi….

Ledarmy22 Dec 2010 2:11 p.m. PST

Mark is a good guy but albeit impetuous. We are all excited at HMGS about the interest shown in F&;M. We been using the rules for a few years now. We all know there are more wargame rules than wargamers themselves and by no means to imply they're the best rules out there.

The author of these rules have been pushed by many people to get these rules out to the public. F&M has been test driven to death for 3 years at our monthly Hobbyday event.
We at HMGS are now in the stages of making a quick start rules book and other media (e.g. youtube) to share these rules.

I myself have been reading TMP for years and this is my first post here but I am not new to wargaming. I have wargamed with Martin of Peter Pig and others in the industry. I have done shows, museums, conventions, tournaments, and had my miniatures and terrain spot lighted on several websites before.

I have been content to game with the few select people in our group for years and feel it's time to share with everyone my perspective on wargaming.

I had once wrote what I call "The Holy Trinity of Wargaming"

1st: at the top why do we play wargames? It is the miniatures, We should always try to put beautiful painted army's on the table.

2nd: rules….there are a million wargame rules does it matter what we play? I don't think it matters but we should play with what is agreeable with everyone, a set of rules that flow and make people feel that they are on the battlefield.

3rd: The people, wargamers can be and at times are an odd bunch. But when you get the right comrades around wargaming is at its best. I find I get to know someones personality through gaming and also it's a stress reliever.

I hope I have been helpful and hope to see people get into wargaming.

MajorB22 Dec 2010 3:53 p.m. PST

We should always try to put beautiful painted army's on the table.

Look out! The Apostrophe Police will be after you!

MajorB22 Dec 2010 3:54 p.m. PST

and make people feel that they are on the battlefield.

Actually, a set of rules that made me feel like that would probably scare me to death!

vojvoda22 Dec 2010 5:09 p.m. PST

Ledarmy 22 Dec 2010 1:11 p.m. PST wrote:
Mark is a good guy but albeit impetuous.

Thanks Frank for the clarification.
James Mattes

vtsaogames22 Dec 2010 6:28 p.m. PST

Well, you have got me mighty interested in this rules mechanism, without a hint of how they work. Oy vey.

MarkDeliduka22 Dec 2010 7:49 p.m. PST

Well James Mattes, this is you cutting me some slack? Man you must be real vicious when you aren't holding back. I can't say that I am all that impetuous as Frank declares, but I will speak my mind.

I'm not even sure you'd want me to tell you what F&M is based on the opinion you appear to have of me already; an opinion not helped much by Frank. I get the impression that you would only be looking at this mechanic for the purpose of tearing it apart since you seem to be the type of person who is already pretty entrenched in your own favorite game system. I may be wrong on that account, it is tough to truly gauge what a person is all about just from text on a screen.

If I am wrong and you wish to know something about F&M, then here it is. Read on MacDuff…

Fire and Maneuver is a game mechanic that is used for running any game scenario. One of the features it uses is exponential scale. The scenario, terrain and values are determined by the players before gameplay. All dice rolls are done with six-sided die for simplicity. The game includes a unique feature known as Command Currency. At the beginning of every turn, initiative is rolled. The winner rolls one d6 to determine how many command coins he gets.

Each unit on the board gets one action: either fire, or movement. Issuing a command coin to a unit allows that unit to do two actions: fire and move, double move, or double fire.

Fire and Maneuver includes a logistics system as well. Each opponent starts with 20 fire and 20 movement markers. as each marker is used, it goes into a 'bank'. In order to replenish your action markers, a command coin needs to be spent to 'purchase' 10 fire and 10 movement markers.

There are additional guidelines for morale rolls,declaring a charge, pursuing a retreating unit, and declaring a gun fight (in the case of tank vs tank or tank vs gun combat) as well.

During the three-plus years at St. Crispin's Irregulars Hobby Days, this game mechanic has been used to wargame many eras of history from ancient China to WWII. If you read the meetup thread to the very end, you'll also see the explanation showing how this mechanic could be utilized for a fantasy engagement as well.

That's a rough summary of the concept of the basic game mechanic that is Fire and Maneuver in a nutshell. No fluff, no fast money, no soap on a corner.

Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2010 8:54 p.m. PST


I dont know you, your group, or James Mattes but your post and responses makes me feel like telling you to stuff it. What is the purpose of posting a descriptions of a beta rules set which none of us can look at and which you admit may never see the light of day outside your club? Too make it worse you post a link to a series of rambling posts that take forever to read and basically do not tell me a thing. Your last post at least gives an idea about what you are so excited about. Frankly it sounds interesting and I will look forward to seeing a copy of the rules if they are ever available to us all. Chill out.

50 Dylan CDs and an Icepick22 Dec 2010 9:04 p.m. PST

We're mere inches away from veering off into Greg Pitts territory here….

Ledarmy22 Dec 2010 9:17 p.m. PST

We're looking to get some of these rules in PDF format and posted in

Angel Barracks23 Dec 2010 12:36 a.m. PST

I saw the initial post and went to the linked site and found 4 pages of what appears to be chat amongst pals.
I was expecting a summary of game mechanics in easy to read format.
Never the less I read on and found no real explanation of the game mechanics as promised…

Never mind, oh well.

Then I see a reply from the initial poster to other peoples posts who had the same issues as me (the initial post not delivering on what it said) that has name calling in it.

Yet still I have a look and try to click on some things to find the game mechanics and get this:

This group's content is available only to members

Alas after this hard work, I am not sold.

That is the quickest I have hit the button above endorse as good trader.

MajorB23 Dec 2010 4:40 a.m. PST

The game includes a unique feature known as Command Currency. At the beginning of every turn, initiative is rolled. The winner rolls one d6 to determine how many command coins he gets.

Each unit on the board gets one action: either fire, or movement. Issuing a command coin to a unit allows that unit to do two actions: fire and move, double move, or double fire.

Command coins, PIPs, action points – call them what you will, not exactly a unique feature, I'm afraid.

Martin Rapier23 Dec 2010 5:15 a.m. PST

"One of the features it uses is exponential scale."

I've across a few sets of rules which use logarithmic ground scales (well, specifically FOW, Skirmish 90 and Wheel to Wheel, the latter only in one dimension). How do you deal with modelling historical terrain and unit footprints?

It isn't really an issue with S90 and W2W as they are constrained to extremely specific types of engagement, but it is certainly a problem with FOW.

vojvoda23 Dec 2010 7:25 a.m. PST

MarkDeliduka 22 Dec 2010 6:49 p.m. PST wrote:
Well James Mattes, this is you cutting me some slack? Man you must be real vicious when you aren't holding back. … but I will speak my mind.

Trust me Mark if you do a search on my posting you will find I can be very blunt and Kurtz.

I am glad you came back and posted some of the attributes of the system. Sounds interesting and some of the same mechanisms used in games such as VLB, Piquet, and Grande Armee to name a few.

And to be fair the postings on the link did say there was nothing new and freely barrowed from other rules ideas.

I look forward to the rules if ever available and will follow the development of them here on TMP if you and others are so inclined to post about them.

Do not run away mad here TMPers can be blunt and to the point but they will respect your views when expressed dispassionatly with facts and observations to back up your claims.

Good Gaming,
James Mattes

Ledarmy23 Dec 2010 12:10 p.m. PST

When we run into this kind of petty resistence, it often reminds of the island hopping campaign of WWII.

Perhaps, it is not always good strategy to committ precious time and resources against a stubborn and entrenched foe – especially when he is no longer a threat. The Japanese must have known by 1943 that they had lost the war, but they kept on fighting anyway.

As for the state of wargaming today, perhaps these malcontents are the reason the hobby has suffered. They demand perfection in an imperfect world. They have denigrated and destroyed many a potential new member.

So, it just might be wise to isolate these Ludites stuck on their island and simply go around and move on to more important objectives.

Let's not let these gamers prevent us from reaching the general public.

Enthusiasm to live, learn and teach history should be our mantra. Battles in miniature is one way to attract a crowd.

Angel Barracks23 Dec 2010 5:20 p.m. PST

They demand perfection in an imperfect world

I was not after that, just when a post says it will do something, I would rather not read 4 pages of chat, only to discover the promise of said something failed.

Why try to promote something by promising something and then not delivering…
It plainy turns people off.

Allen57 Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2010 6:25 p.m. PST

Who are these guys?

MarkDeliduka27 Dec 2010 12:21 a.m. PST

My apologies for taking so long to post. Since Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and goodwill, I decided to stay away from all the abuse I'd been getting until later. LOL! laugh Besides, it gave me more time to chill out like Allen suggested. LOL! laugh

James, thank you for your reply and I'm glad that my posting of the attributes of the game were helpful. I would offer you the invitation to join our St. Crispin's Irregulars Meetup site as well to keep you up to date. You don't need to live in So Cal to join! thumbs up

Martin, good questions. I believe that the exponential scale and the logarithmic ground scales you mentioned are different, but I'm no expert. I've only just recently gotten back into gaming and am still learning many of the new terms and developments.

As for unit footprint Martin, the game system is flexible to the point that the players themselves determine the unit footprint to be used. Do you want companies, regiments or brigades? You choose what that body of troops on the field represent and what footprint they use. And since there is no standardized terrain ever bused, the players discuss before the game whether this is a Tier I or Tier II hill, whether this group of trees is a thin treeline or impassible forest. I hope this helps a little bit, and I apologize for not being more specific if that was what you were looking for.

Angelbarracks, I can understand your comment. So far, we haven't promised when F&M will be available, but I for one understand how frustrating it is to read about something I cannot sample directly. Hopefully, we'll have some developments for you in the coming year.

Allen, we are the St. Crispin's Irregulars out of Anaheim California. We are a chapter of the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society/Pacific Southwest Division. (HMGS/PSW) Our focus is on bringing history to life for children and young people through the use of historical miniatures gaming. We do this through outreach programs; putting on historical games for the general public in places like the library, the local museum, and local schools and historical re-enactment events. We have a very successful track record, and one of the best and most successful tools we have used has been the Fire and Maneuver Game Mechanic.

That is who we are.

Merry Christmas to all and may you all be richly blessed in the coming year.

RudyNelson28 Dec 2010 8:25 a.m. PST

Actually Mark, as a target of some of James comments, that is James cutting you some slack.

In addition, you do not want some of the old game designers who have been formulating game mechanics for over 30 years to comment on either.

MarkDeliduka28 Dec 2010 11:03 a.m. PST

Thank you Rudy. I appreciate that.

As for the guys whom have been formulating game mechanics for 30 years, why wouldn't I want them to comment if they have something positive and helpful to say? If however, they are too close minded to see beyond the rulesets they have been formulating to give positive and instructive feedback, then you are right. I don't want them to comment. Those are the ones referred to in Ledarmy's most recent post above.

Anyone who has been formulating rulesets for so long who comments with helpful information would be welcome since all it can do is improve this system even more before release.

RudyNelson28 Dec 2010 9:16 p.m. PST

So mark how do you find the basic mechanics of the system. All I could bring up were discussions. Iprefer not to read discussion to taint my analysis. I prefer to look at the data raw before drawing conclusions.

MarkDeliduka29 Dec 2010 1:19 p.m. PST

Rudy, I apologize; I'm not sure I understand the question. Do you mean what is my opinion of them when you ask how do I find them, or are you asking how I find the particulars of the mechanic to make it work? If the second is the question, that is one best answered by the author himself.

Ledarmy29 Dec 2010 10:29 p.m. PST

Hey Rudy as a fellow wargamer from Alabama myself I have been living in California for 15 years now and been gaming with R.J.,Mark, and other HMGS members for over 3 years now.

I have played about every rules set you can think of and I'm not going to say F & M is the best rules but I been finding myself using them 90% of the time. I found the rules for my needs will scale up and down from squad size units up to battalions. I also like how the rules manages each persons time playing the game and their responsibilities. It's up to the attacker to know his weapons capabilities and the defenders to know their concealment and cover state and armor ect.

Do I need rules where I have to roll 14 ten sided dice to make sure my ground crews have pulled the safety pins on my air to ground bombs before I take off?

In most fire fights all I need to know in F&M is how well can I see my target? (defender says) I'm in the tree line I have concealment. I measure for range and according to my weapons ROF I punch rounds down range (roll dice). Defender then rolls for saves. There are still some factors in different fire solutions but most fire fights play out fast and accurate to the weapon.

lol I once punched a round into a T34 on the move and had to roll a scatter die+6d and watched it lurch of to the left in flames while it crashed into the command tank only to immobilize it too.

RudyNelson30 Dec 2010 7:45 a.m. PST

I was looking for the basic rules to read. All I got was the opinions page on the link. I do not join groups which may have been a requiremnet to get access to them.

Terrement30 Dec 2010 10:55 a.m. PST


Ledarmy30 Dec 2010 1:35 p.m. PST

The primary reason for a "Recovery Roll" is to determine whether the target combatant, after being hit, is still capable of fighting back.

The second reason is to speed up the battle. By dividing the responsibilities of the opposing players, the mechanics run quicker and smoother.

It is the responsibilty of the ATTACKER to know his unit type/quality and the capabilities of the weapon system (range, penetration, obstructive view etc)

It is the responsibility of the DEFENDER to know his unit type/quality and the unit's cover state/armor.

The third reason, is to keep the defender (or reactive player) focused on the game. As long as he (or she) has a chance to determine the fate of a unit, the player will not stray far from the table.

MarkDeliduka31 Dec 2010 12:34 p.m. PST

Thanks JJ. Good advice. I usually do have a thick skin but I may not always be as well informed or articulate as I should be.

MarkDeliduka03 Jan 2011 2:22 p.m. PST

Okay, today we are going to scout out the location for the Battle of Borodino at the Anaheim Muzeo using Fire and Maneuver game mechanic. It is interesting how the Russians named their operation to smash Germany's Army Group Center as "Operation Bagration" named after Prince Bagration who was mortally wounded at the same battle of Borodino we will be recreating on the tabletop. It should be interesting to see whether our tabletop game will follow actual history showing the victory by the Russians thanks to the Madonna Icon, or will history change with Napoleon breaking through?

I am always amazed at how well Fire and Maneuver allows me to enjoy the game so well. Brings back the memories of the battle of Chancellorsville where I was told by my commander at the beginning not to allow him to bring in his reserves unless absolutely needed.

Well, we had pinned down the Union left flank and charged the center causing two divisions to run we had two divisions still on the road; one was moving into line formation to advance on the remaining Union troops trying to hold the center, and one was still on the road unengaged. That's when my commander ordered me to bring in the reserves. I told him, "No." He asked me if I was disobeying a direct order, and I replied "No Sir, I'm obeying an order that supersedes your order to bring in the reserves. You told me not to allow you to bring in the reserves unless absolutely necessary." He asked me why I didn't think it was necessary to bring in the reserves and I replied that the Union center was broken, we had three divisions advancing on one remaining Union division still trying to hold the center, and there was still one of our divisions on the road that has yet to be engaged.

The reserves were not called in…

Another great scenario was when RJ and Frank were playing an engagement between retreating German troops who'd stopped to dig in for a delaying action just beyond a bridge; and a pursuing American unit trying to catch up to them. The bridge was at the edge of the table play area, and the objective (a farmhouse at a crossroads) was near the center of the table. As Frank started his tanks across the bridge, RJ told him to roll a d6. 1-3: success, 4-6 failure. Frank rolled a five. The bridge was turned over to reveal the sign "Minen" taped underneath. Frank lost 3 tanks when the bridge collapsed. The closest ford to cross the river was some distance away and well covered by the Germans.

This game degenerated into a spirited discussion on the sanctity of the 'zone of deployment' which had me laughing the whole night long.

As for the Battle of Borodino, I'll try to have an after action report posted here after the ninth of January. Stay tuned!

MarkDeliduka10 Jan 2011 11:02 a.m. PST

This was a very fun event. We managed to transport in over 1000 miniature soldiers and a large terrain layout in to recreate the battleground as accurately as possible for this battle. Battle commenced at 11:00 AM and over the course of the day the French were able to systematically reduce the Russian artillery while threatening the Russian left flank. The Russians held the bridge leading into Moscow despite losing their artillery support. In desperation, 'Kutuzov' ordered a charge against the French guns threatening his left flank. The French battery held ground and sent a devastating volley downrange, thoroughly breaking the Russian cavalry division and sending them running. As night fell over the battlefield the situation was still a bit in doubt with the French apparently still having the upper hand, but the stubborn Russian defense was still in place.

This battle was fought by two individuals who had never played using Fire and Maneuver ruleset before. One of them, a high school sophomore, was very impressed and thrilled with the game. You can see his comments and impressions posted in the Thread that is linked here in the first post. Please feel free to stop in and check it ou8t.

Legendmaker17 Jun 2014 10:11 a.m. PST

Hello everyone and I just wanted to jump in . And mention that F&M is gaining in popularity in more places then just St. Crispin's Irregulars Hobby Day in Southern California. There has even been an updated version. And can find a link for the file on my Miniatures War Gaming Facebook site. link

Fire and Maneuver is being play tested in other locations across the USA and beyond now. And it is out there for the public to play test. As a generic miniatures rules set mechanic it is quite good.

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