Help support TMP

"Neil Thomas Napoleonic Wargaming" Topic

34 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please avoid recent politics on the forums.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

The von Reisswitz Kriegsspiel

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

28mm Captain Boel Umfrage

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian returns to Flintloque to paint an Ogre.

3,821 hits since 12 Sep 2016
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2016 1:14 p.m. PST

Got a copy of his One-Hour Wargame book and like it for it's fun simplicity. Looked for his Napoleonic Wargaming book but it is out of print with second hand copies for $85. USD Ouch!

Does his Introduction to Wargaming Book provide the same rules and army lists? It is more readily available.

SJDonovan13 Sep 2016 1:28 p.m. PST

I recently bought a new copy from Caliver Books in the UK. They have still got a few copies left and they are selling them for £22.50 GBP (which is slightly more than the original list price of £16.99 GBP but not as bad as people are asking for second hand copies). I don't know what they charge for postage to the US but it might be worth checking out. link

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2016 1:50 p.m. PST

I'd keep looking – Paul Meekin books have new hardback copies of the 19th Century Book for £10.00 GBP link

Not the book you're after, I know, but you can probbaly do better than $85 USD!

JimDuncanUK13 Sep 2016 2:06 p.m. PST

Join this Yahoo group and you can get all the rules and amendments for free.


Dale Hurtt13 Sep 2016 2:19 p.m. PST

No, the Intro to Wargaming is not the same rules as his Napoleonic Wargaming book. NW is also nothing like OHW, so be aware that you may not like them. Although all of Neil's rules are on the simpler side, NW uses four bases per unit and you represent what formation your unit is in (column, line, square). Although similar in that NW units have 16 hits (to 15 for OHW), every four hits drops a stand, which in turn drops your firepower and melee power. So more detail in NW.

Both rules are relatively simple, only OHW is more so.

John Armatys13 Sep 2016 2:29 p.m. PST

The rules in Introduction to Wargaming are similar to but simpler than those in the Napoleonic book (I've a added few of the bits from the latter to the rules in the Introduction to get my perfect set (so far!)).

I'd second JimDuncanUK's recommendation of the AMW Yahoo Group, which covers all the Neil Thomas rules, not just the Ancient and Medieval set.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2016 2:32 p.m. PST

Intro to wargaming 1st edition, paperback, signed by the author : link £15.00 GBP

Has the Simplified version of the rules in the Napoleonic Book – not so very different IIRC, fewer army lists.

arthur181514 Sep 2016 12:37 a.m. PST

I found the Napoleonic book disappointing, not because of the rules themselves, but because far too much space, IMHO, was wasted on a 'potted' history of the wars that could have been better used for scenarios, like those in his Nineteenth century book.
So I would recommend you to buy only a cheap copy, or do without.

davbenbak14 Sep 2016 6:11 a.m. PST

Can't recommend "Intro to Wargaming" enough! I would never have gotten into TYW,HYW,WOTR,Ren Wars and ancient eras other than Romans without it.

parrskool14 Sep 2016 7:04 a.m. PST

These books are the modern equivilent of Don featherstone's.. fast, direct, enough to get any BEGINNER started and to amuse an experienced gamer.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2016 7:11 a.m. PST

We did as John Armatys and are having a great time.

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2016 7:12 a.m. PST

Are the Intro to Wargaming rules the same as in One-Hour Wargames? I would love more detail but not too much. I have other rules for more involved games.

Also, how long is an average intro game? I assume more than one-hour.

Dale Hurtt14 Sep 2016 7:27 a.m. PST

No the Intro rules are not the same as OHW. OHW is far simpler and more abstract. I think the simplification scale is (easiest to hardest): OHW -> Simplicity in Practice -> Intro -> Napoleonic Wargaming.

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2016 8:38 a.m. PST

Thanks for the feedback. I think the Intro book with my copy of OHW will work for me. Booth will give fillers for game day or easy evening fun.

Prince Alberts Revenge14 Sep 2016 10:24 a.m. PST

I love Neil Thomas's books and also the rules themselves. OHW is the most basic rules of any of the books. Typically there are 4 generic troop types and (as I recall) no special rules for specific armies. OHW has around 30 fantastic scenarios included. Intro covers a lot of periods, although I haven't flipped thru it in a while. Ancient and Medieval is also very good, there are period specific rules and army lists create some individuality of armies. I have Napoleonic Wargaming but haven't really read it in depth or tried out the rules. The 19th Century book is, IMO, the best (with AMW a close 2nd). It has scenarios, nuanced army lists, background info and some really interesting rules with subtle mechanics to create the feel of the armies and their weapons.

Whirlwind14 Sep 2016 10:41 a.m. PST

I don't have the book anymore, but IIRC the two big things in "Napoleonic Wargaming" were the new treatment of artillery and making every "army" a flat 8 units.

The artillery thing is quite clever: each army has a single artillery unit, but armies with more effective (or just more) artillery historically usually do more damage.

There were a couple of minor changes in the firing and formations and so on, but nothing radical – again, IIRC.

The Napoleonic Wargaming rules were okay but I prefer the "Simplicity in Practice" rules myself. I really like them!

And Arthur1815's criticism is spot on. The C19 Wargaming book is a much better book, in comparison, because it is full of interesting scenarios.

Sevastopol14 Sep 2016 2:06 p.m. PST

Wow! Checked for it on ABE books and the cheapest copy is selling for$78.85USD. I got my copy about 3 years ago for about $30.00 USD.

Sevastopol14 Sep 2016 2:10 p.m. PST

Copy selling on Amazon for $718.00 USD! What the heck?

coopman Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2016 2:50 p.m. PST

They must think that Napoleonic wargamers are crazy…

Sevastopol14 Sep 2016 4:05 p.m. PST


daler240D15 Sep 2016 2:16 a.m. PST

I often wonder what is really going on when I see prices like that for used books on Amazon. Do you think the seller really has it in their possession and will only part with it for that much? Maybe they are waiting to see if someone will try to buy it at that price, then they will just go to and buy it for 30 pounds and resell it to the fool. But I find it really hard to believe ANYONE would order it, so why is the person bothering with the listing? Is there some kind of tax write off or can they claim inventory depreciation??
Anyway…I bought the book 3 years ago for about 20 bucks and think it is a great introduction. More detail than OHW or his first one on Intro to Wargames.

Sevastopol15 Sep 2016 8:25 a.m. PST

Exactly, what is the point of selling something at a price no one will pay for.
It is a great book, esp for people just getting into the hobby.

Whirlwind15 Sep 2016 8:48 a.m. PST

I thought it was just a quirk of algorithmic pricing.

daler240D15 Sep 2016 9:19 a.m. PST

I thought it was just a quirk of algorithmic pricing.

Ahhhh. I did not think of that. Of course, when you put a computer into the equation and automate something like that it starts to make sense. I wonder what would happen if you emailed one of the sellers and gave them a reasonable offer for it. I actually might try that just to see what will happen.

Ben Avery15 Sep 2016 9:49 a.m. PST

I think it is something to do with an algorithm sellers use, but it can mean rapidly escalating prices, as they are comparing books to others on sale, which are also priced in a similar way.

coopman Supporting Member of TMP15 Sep 2016 2:52 p.m. PST

Human greed.

SJDonovan16 Sep 2016 8:14 a.m. PST

@20th Maine.

Thanks for the heads up about Paul Meekins Books having copies of Thomas's 19th century rules for £10.00 GBP I just took delivery of a copy and it looks very nice indeed. I like the fact that it is a 'proper' book complete with dust jacket. It may not be the most convenient format for a set of wargame rules but it does take me back to the days when I used to borrow books by Featherstone, Grant and Quarrie from the local library.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2016 11:24 a.m. PST

Glad to have helped – I got the Ancients book from the same source a while ago. I think it was £6.00 GBP – at the time it was going for silly money second hand!

SJDonovan16 Sep 2016 11:49 a.m. PST

I hadn't heard of Paul Meekins Books before but I have now added it to the favourites list. The service was excellent and they have got lots of interesting stuff there.

CATenWolde22 Nov 2016 11:40 p.m. PST

@QC – A little off period, but I've gone through the same process of trying to balance details vs scenarios with OHW and AMW (and the Dux Brittaniarum scenario and leadership system). I started off with Dux Brit because the scenario and campaign system drew me in to the period, but the tabletop rules were a bit too detailed and slow to get in multiple games in an afternoon or evening, in order to move the campaign along. I eventually tried out AMW and liked the speed of play, and am currently testing whether moving down to OHW would remove too much "fun detail" from combat. Given that the NT rules lack leadership systems, I'm experimenting with adding the leadership systems from both Dux Brit (formation cards and leadership points) and Dux Bellorum (expanded role of LP's).

I would be interested to hear what you eventually think about a mish-mash of OHW and the 19th century rules (which I haven't picked up yet) for the ACW. I love F&F for the "details of the period" feel, but I also game with younger and occasional gamers who really benefit from very simple rules.



Sparta23 Nov 2016 1:52 a.m. PST

Simple rooms can either have depth or only work apparantly. Most rules works for games that get played a few times or where you constantly throw in new things to keep the novelty. I do not think anyhting represented in some of the extremely simplified things out there will stand the test of in-depth playing week after week.

furgie23 Nov 2016 1:10 p.m. PST

I have OHW, Intro and NW – I much prefer the Napoleonic rules in the Intro book.



Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.