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"Republic to Empire Rules Review" Topic


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4,503 hits since 14 Feb 2011
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sotek486 Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2011 11:29 p.m. PST

Hello all,

Thought I would drop a note and review the Republic to Empire rules available from the League of Augsburg. This is a positive review --- so I guess I should start with a disclaimer. I am based in Fremont, California --- far from the UK and I have no ties to the League of Augsburg at all. I am just a happy customer.

I have read the rulebook cover to cover and have managed two games so far -- with a large game coming up this weekend. So I have read and played the rules at this point.

I will start off first by saying that these rules are very well written and thought out for a great balance between "realism" (within the realm of miniature gaming), playability, and reasonability. Design notes and examples apeal to those who like logical game systems.

I have been playing Napoleonic's since 1987 and have a bookshelf full of rules --- 99% of which are interesting reads but just not playable. I have in the past year looked to LaSalle, Black Powder, and Napoleon (form Foundry) and none appealed to me for a multitude of reasons (both read and played) --- but I am not hear to review those rules …

The system used to manage brigade orders is excellent --- especially when combined with the ability to use explotation in the game. You assign orders to each brigade using a number of Manoeuvre Points that are generated based on the number of brigades in your army (roll avg. die per brigade). From these points you must maintain or change brigade orders first --- then with "left over" points you can spend on individiaul unit actions to take extra actions --- exploting opportunities in the battle (extra movement, charges, responses, etc.).

The concept of allowing the "non-phasing" player an opportunity to "react" to charge threats in a interupt driven manner is also a strong point. This makes the the you go I go turn sequence work dynamically. Rules that have you constantly switching back-and-forth OR waiting 2 hours for your opponent to finish "their" turn can be very dreary.

The rules reference may be considered by the average gamer a bit large -- 3 x A4 ("letter") pages --- linked together and beautifully illustrated. I say "rules reference" and not "quick reference" --- as once you have read the rules you can operate completely from the rules reference for anything (even advanced rules like fighting in built up areas). A "quick reference" IMO gets you through the basics but leaves you looking back to the rule book for anything beyond the fundamentals. I usally end up creating a 4-6 page rules reference for any system I play (beyond the usual "quick reference sheets" normally offered) --- so I consider it's size standard from my experience.

And here is a novel concept --- how about when a set a rules is released the author support it via an online forum or mailing list --- something to provide players with recourse for questions. The "Fighting Talk" forum on the League of Augsburg site is excellent and monitored. A frusteration last year for me was the complete lack of response from Foundry on multiple attempts to get clarifications and help with the Napoleon set of rules. I group those who don't support their rules into the same category as those fly by night game suppliers/manufacturers who take your money and ignore you until you hire Italian hit men to track them down and force them at gun point to send you what you paid for … but I digress.

Charging --- perhaps the most complicated and difficult part of any good rules set is well explained and functionally straight forward in RtE (Republic to Empire). Close Combat (with the exception of FIBUA) is decided in a single phase --- melee doesn't last 47 turns --- it gets decided in a single phase --- which I love. I tend to play large games and don't like to get bogged down in minutia.

Planning ahead and solid command execution go a long way. If you plan to advance your entire army at the same time and assault your enemy everywhere you are in for a big challenge. Pick your battles and use part of your force to defend/hold the enemy --- allowing you to use their generated MPs (Maneouvre Points) to conduct exploitations in the sectors you choose to push the attack. Also, changing your stategy "on a dime" will not reward you. For example, if you order a brigade to "rest" (which can allow you to recover casualties – and cost nothing to maintain the order, freeing up those MPs for exploitation) and you suddenly decide that brigade needs to advance or attack it will cost you significant MPs to get that brigade into action – which makes perfect sense as a guy sitting on his but taking tea isn't going to immediately jump up and start charging the enemy.

I also like the reasonable approach taken to force composition/army lists. Let's all be honest … 20+ years of constantly change organizations, paper musters vs. field musters, paper "restructuring" vs. what was actually implemented, etc. etc. --- for any army list or composition "rule" with Napoleonic's you can find a fact or reference to the contrary. RtE makes generalized recommendations based on actual orders of battle from key battles each nation fought in and leaves the window open for your own interpretations. No min/maxing or playing 130439.34 "point" games … use the guidelines in the book and combine that with your "common sense" (provided you have some) and you will be in a happy place :-)

FIBUA (Fighting In Built Up Areas) and the skirmish rules are solid, well thought out, and the best I have seen put to paper and the game table. Really refreshing to see clear and well defined rules particularily for these topics rather than the usual vaguities or massive rooms full of end user interpretation.

I think I'll stop there for now. Needless to say I highly recommend these rules. It is a fine balance between beer and pretzels and detail/realism. Maybe not for everybody … but definately worth your due consideration.

Happy gaming!

Regards,

Jay White
Fremont, CA

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2011 12:30 a.m. PST

Interesting review, thanks. I may have to give them a go now…

sotek486 Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2011 9:55 p.m. PST

No problem – I hope you enjoy them as much as my group has.

Sparker Inactive Member15 Feb 2011 11:59 p.m. PST

Thanks Jay. I decided agin them cos of the mahoosive 'quick reference', so perhaps I was mistaken…Still, I'm pretty wedded to Black Powder now…..

Oh Bugger Inactive Member16 Feb 2011 8:02 a.m. PST

I enjoyed that. Thanks.

valleyboy16 Feb 2011 11:19 p.m. PST

well done Jay
I've played the rules quite a bit and am in agreement

jocknroll Supporting Member of TMP28 Feb 2011 2:25 p.m. PST

Thanks for the complimentary review!

For those interested in R2E and how it plays visit the link below. These are photos from a 14 player 2 day refight of the central section of Borodino played 26-27 February. We used about 2,500 models over a 12 x 12 feet table and played the battle in 30 minute battle time turns from 0800 till 1330 when the French were deemed to have run out of steam and a winning draw was awarded to General Bagration. We had players from the US, England and Scotland at the event which was very nice. Next weekender is likely to be a Peninsular Game. We continue to run 1 day events at Mutineer Miniatures premises.


link

Widowson28 Feb 2011 4:12 p.m. PST

Jay,

I am in San Rafael. I'm always on the lookout for local gamers. I guess Fremont sort of qualifies.

What scale figures do you use, where do you play, and when?

Best,

Bill

sotek486 Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2011 9:51 a.m. PST

Hi Bill,

Not that far away at all. I am a big 28mm guy. Mostly we play at my place – I converted my garage into an Irish pub/gaming room (with a 6'x12' table). I have a large collection of Austrians, French, and Bavarians (~2000 figures done). Others in the group have British, Dutchy of Warsaw, more French, Russians (just started).

Drop me a line at sotek486@yahoo.com --- we'll try to get you out to the next game, likely in the next couple of weeks.

sotek486 Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2011 9:53 a.m. PST

Oh --- and here is some galleries of our gaming:

link

Regards,

Jay

jocknroll Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2011 5:25 a.m. PST

Jay,

trhanks for the invite to game in California.. doubly attractive!!

May take you and your group up on that sometime as Clarence and I are definitely hoping to run some gaming events in the US.

R2E is picking up some traction now that gamers have had a chance to play and experience the mechanisms in action. Obviously we are very happy about that!
We are running another 1812 GAME in May at Mutineer Miniatures premises. Anyone in the UK who fancies a try out of R2E can find details at
leagueofaugsburg.com

sotek486 Supporting Member of TMP09 Mar 2011 11:50 p.m. PST

Sweet --- no problem --- just let me know -- my collection is at your disposal :-)

I have been eyeballing airfares to Scotland --- pondering an appearance for an RtE weekender at some point.

Tordenkuglen Inactive Member29 Aug 2011 6:21 a.m. PST

Hey Jay n all

Im a big fan of wargaming in general, havent yet found a Napoleon rule set tha suits my likings, but R2E sounds like it could be, but is it bring n battle or is it Umpire based kinda game ??

In our group we need bring n battle rules to catch the other players

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