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"Most common Napoeonic rules" Topic

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cretanarcher14 Jun 2012 11:02 p.m. PST

I have recently bought a large number of mainly Front Rank 28mm Napoleonic figures and am thinking of painting them and gaming with them. I would like some advice about the most common rules in use for the period. I have been out of the period for a number of years (I used the old WRG rules for horse and musket generally, 16-something to 18-something, to give you some idea of how long ago I played).

My main concern is unit and base sizes, as the infantry seem to be in 24s and the cavalry in 12s and I don't want to find opponents using one base size when I have used another.

Cerdic14 Jun 2012 11:15 p.m. PST

There are almost as many Napoleonic rules as there are Napoleonic players!

You are about to get 84 posts all mentioning the poster's favourite rules. All 84 will be different!

Probably the most popular at the moment are Black Powder, Lasalle, General De Brigade.

nsolomon9914 Jun 2012 11:29 p.m. PST

All Hands brace for impact!!!

This'll be good!!

Sorry cretanarcher, cerdic is right, there will be no consensus in the posts following.

Chortle Fezian14 Jun 2012 11:34 p.m. PST

It depends on where you live. Many of us Nappy players are crotchety, and won't switch to anything new fangled. If we tell you that the most popular at the moment is Black Powder, that won't help if no one in your area plays it. Check out your local group(s).

Front Rank – lovely. Just ordered loads of them.

If you can't decide on a rule set, try Napoleon's Bricoles. You get +1 for a Bavarian kettle drummer.

cretanarcher15 Jun 2012 1:36 a.m. PST

Thanks all,

To save anyone the trouble of replying, I can see that there are lots more sets of rules than there used to be – and they're a lot more expensive, too! I think I paid about a quid for the last set of Napoleonic rules I bought.

One hope – I live part of the year in Italy and my regular opponents there don't play Napoleonics, but are willing to start, so we may all be able to start afresh with one set of rules.

Chortle, yes, Front Rank are lovely figures. The rest of the figure mountain I bought are said to be Renegade and they look good, too.

Yesthatphil15 Jun 2012 4:35 a.m. PST

I'll say Shako, then … grin

DeanMoto15 Jun 2012 6:56 a.m. PST

I have been seeing a lot of Black Powder games posted here and on blogs recently. Although, that may not necessarily reflect popularity. Black Powder players may just like to take pictures of their games grin

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2012 7:04 a.m. PST

Although I'm no Black Powder fan it is definitely at or near the top for the moment in terms of popularity for this period. The other would be Age of Eagles(judging by sales and the number of people/interest in the Yahoo Group) which is weird as both sets are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

jameshammyhamilton15 Jun 2012 8:19 a.m. PST

It is going to be a case of seeing what your potential opponents are playing and going with that. As has been previously mentioned there are so many different opinions and no consensus.

The only Napoleonic rules I have ever seen played at tournaments are PoW and FoG:N. I believe that there have been some Black Powder events.

Ask around your local area and see what people there are doing.

ancientsgamer Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2012 8:58 a.m. PST

I see about 4 standards for basing (generally)

There is the Empire standard.
There is the Napoleon's Battles/Shako/Age of Eagles standard.
There is the DBM (for lack of a better term) standard.
There is the the square base standard (which actually varies quite a bit :-( )

I am speaking in 15mm terms above but I believe it applies to larger scales too.

While there may be a lot of rules out there, many are well in decline in most areas. So you have less of a set of common rules out there. Empire is still played by a lot of folks (most don't happen to frequent these boards) There are variants to Empire that are played such as Buck Surdu's different rules and games such as Old Trousers (all streamlined and simplified) Shako and Napoleon's Battles seem to be played still. General De Brigade, La Feu Sacre, Volley and Bayonet are still popular too. From the newer rules out there, Lasalle, Napoleon At War, Black Powder, Age of Eagles and possibly Field of Glory Napoleonics are popular (I know I am missing a rules set or two here, apologies)

Most of the newer sets acomodate more than one basing standard.

I have settled on the Napoleon's battles standard as it can be adapted to more rules sets, I believe. Instead of inches though, I have settled on 20mm square stands (for 15mm size figures) This way I can combine stands for the DBM stand width games. I can readily play Napoleon at War, Lasalle, FoG Napoleonics, Age of Eagles/Shako, Black Powder, etc. with no changes in stand sizes. Still debating whether I may use sabots though as this would be the ultimate in flexibility but would be a pain as I would have to have quite a selection of sabots.

This basing would also allow me to play any of Sam Mustafa's rules that will be coming out in his Honour system. Looking forward to Blucher for large battles.

I think you will find that the 28mm size has settled on less of a variety of common rules. Black Powder is mentioned but to be honest, I think that there are probably other rules that may be more popular. You really need to see what is going on in your area. 28mm size lends itself well to Division scale games. Those that are more wealthy, have gaming space and have been collecting for a while, may actually have larger size games; especially when they can combine figures from more than one player. Don't get me wrong, Black Powder has a good following (especially if you read these boards), it's just that I am aware of a lot of areas where the rules aren't played at all (especially here in the U.S.)

Whatisitgood4atwork15 Jun 2012 7:17 p.m. PST

What size battles do you want to fight, and what size units to you favour? Battles with a dozen largish battalions (say 24 figs plus) will point you in a different direction than battles with 30 battalions of a dozen men each.

R D Burnett27 Sep 2013 2:46 p.m. PST

All over the map
CLS(aka Column Line and Square) VLE (aka Vive L'Emperuer)
the unpublished rules that Empires Eagles and Lions (the magazine) played, and the several of and by Paddy Griffith--not to mention George Jeffrey's Code Napoleon

And the play--everything from the "Seven years" style on very small battlefields--that is, infantry in line (with very high firepower) few cannon and few cavalry to massed batteries, massed cavalry (cavalry corps) and massed Infantry (Infantry corps) on large battlefields
With one turn played in anything from ten minutes to three hours, with the slowest moving infantry or cavalry (barely 1/2 km per hour) to cavalry at 6 or 7 km per hour and infantry at 3 to 5 km per hour to invulnerable infantry squares to totally destroyed units from fire or shock (no retreats possible because of the rules/time/turn set up) to units retreating after little damage (morale type rules) to very weak artillery to very strong artillery (the first factors in terrain that isn't on the table--the second doesn't, even though rolling or rough terrain should be on the table) to initiative dice rolls, order writing, order chits and markers\
And for most all--much of the above all mixed together into an unplayable mess--those three hour turns to get twenty historical minutes done

John Tyson03 Jul 2015 4:33 p.m. PST

I have 15mm figures and I use "General de Brigade, Deluxe Edition." Good rules that to me seems to give an authentic simulation of a Napoleonic battle. Also, a good set of rules for solo play. The rules are for both 15mm and 28mm.
General de Brigade also has it's own website that will help with questions, comments, reports, galleries, etc.

noigrim19 Sep 2016 5:45 a.m. PST

most people (not I) seems to favour blackpowder since it covers many periods

14th NJ Vol13 Feb 2022 1:46 p.m. PST

Shako 2. We use Black Powder for ACW

Stalkey and Co04 Apr 2022 5:33 p.m. PST

I agree that basing is a significant issue – one pal of mine has a cardinal rule… if you're rules require special basing, are not in fact "base agnostic" [as he calls it] he won't even read a free set.

That being said, I would ask around in the area where you live, including your Italian pals [like, can I have your lifestyle???] as to what they would like. If 4 out of 6 say they would like to try napoleonics, at the battalion=unit level, and it should be pretty easy to pick up and flavorful, that will help. If 4/6 of your local american players say "I play LaSalle" then I would try to play with them and see how it goes.

Gaming is an incredibly time-consuming and expensive investment for a game. So I say "commit yourself slowly".

If you are very uncertain, try something with zero commitment, like Blucher, which can use cards, and see how your friends like it. The $50 USD spent [or whatever] will save you a lot of emotional trauma later.

my 2 cents.

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