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"Chosen Men skirmish rules - Impressions?" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Eclaireur28 Jan 2017 5:42 a.m. PST

Interested in hearing from people who've tried them.

Happy Wanderer, have seen your useful AAR, how would you (or others) compare them to Sharp Practice?


Timmo uk28 Jan 2017 6:12 a.m. PST


A tangential response but you may be interested in taking a look at the new Napoleonic version of Combat Patrol. I think it's skirmish game aimed at about 30 figures a side. I'm going to take a look at them for pirate games.

No dice at all the game uses cards for everything. I've read good things about the WW2 version. My feeling is that SP is better for larger skirmish forces i.e. more than 30 or so figures.

Terrement Inactive Member28 Jan 2017 7:22 a.m. PST


dwight shrute28 Jan 2017 8:25 a.m. PST

theres a pay through of '' Chosen Men '' in the new Feb issue of wargames illustrated …

Personal logo Dale Hurtt Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member28 Jan 2017 10:13 a.m. PST

I keep seeing references to Chosen Men as "Warhammer 40K for Napoleonics" because it seems to have a similar personal attribute system for the figures.

I have them, but have not gotten around to trying them yet.

Eclaireur28 Jan 2017 11:39 a.m. PST

Dwight – I've seen the piece in January's WI, by the rules' author, which is what's really got me interested. Haven't seen Feb's issue. But does the magazine have some kind of tie up with Osprey? Not sure whether to regard it as 'advertorail'.

Dale – 40K for Napoleonics? Uh oh!

Timmo – will look at Combat Patrol though I'm not wild about card driven games. Also I'm keener for a slightly bigger game. The rules' author says 30-50 in the WI article, but I think Happy Wanderer talked about even going to 100+.


Tony S28 Jan 2017 2:54 p.m. PST

Chosen Men isn't 40K at all. It's the old "Waterloo" from Warhammer Historical, or very close to it. Which also wasn't 40K.

Haven't tried it, as it doesn't have much fog of war, or friction for my tastes. Sharpe Practice is more my cup of tea.

Ney Ney29 Jan 2017 3:23 a.m. PST

I like the simplicity of the rules. Completely different experience to Sharp Practice, not better or worse.

Army lists are not the greatest.

Eclaireur29 Jan 2017 11:54 a.m. PST

Thanks Tony and Ney Ney. I've bought Sharp Practice and will play – but on first impression they read too 'cinematic' and not tactical enough. Is Chosen Men more of a tactical game do you think Ney Ney ?

Green Tiger30 Jan 2017 2:35 a.m. PST

Haven't played yet but have had a read through and I think I'll give it a go – will probably ignore the army lists and recreate some historical clashes.

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Jan 2017 3:22 a.m. PST

Terrement mentioned Combat Patrol. The rules' Web page is here: link This includes a bunch of free downloads and some how-to videos so that you can see how the rules work before buying them. You can also download the basic rules from DriveThruCards for free and give them a read before investing in the professionally printed cards.

While designed for WWII, Combat Patrol has proven very flexible. We recently released a Napoleonic supplement (free). Zeb Cooke (of D&D fame) has been working on another free Combat Patrol supplement for cowboy games. Mostly what he's done is create the stats for the weapons of the era. The basic mechanics are unchanged. Rules for horses are found in another of the free supplements.

Give the rules a try. I think you'll find they give you a very nice gaming experience.

Buck Surdu

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Jan 2017 4:43 a.m. PST


Combat Patrol will scale to very large game if desired. It is not just card drive activation. It uses a unique set of card driven mechanics to resolve combat in a streamlined way. Take a look at the how-to videos on the Web page.

I didn't see the WI article.

Buck Surdu

Zebcook Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2017 6:23 a.m. PST

When we were playtesting the Combat Patrol Napoleonic rules, we did a couple of 4 player skirmishes with 30 to 40 figures on a side . Individual units were a bit larger than the standard CP squad, usually 7-9 figures but that made sense because you needed a bit more bulk for the right feel. Since one player can easily handle 3-4 units in the system, the table filled up pretty quickly.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2017 4:05 p.m. PST

It feels very Anglocentric, at least to me, an American. The British regular infantry get a drummer as a default as well as the ability to fire all their muskets when in two ranks. The French line, on the other hand, have to spend points to buy a drummer and may only count half the rear rank (rounded up). And, of course, the British Rifle regiments are like a Napoleonic SAS. This especially concerns me as I would like to try out the rules for the War of 1812 in America. I will be trying out the rules at my club with two 1,000 point forces next month.

Eclaireur31 Jan 2017 4:40 p.m. PST

Zeb and Buck – thanks for that, enjoyed the CP video.

Nick – well the author of Combat Patrol cites the novels, such as Sharpe, that he's read rather than referencing learned tracts about the period. So the ten foot tall Brits doesn't surprise me. 2nd Battalion of 95th Rifles, which had a very good record in the Peninsula, didn't do too well in America…

Eclaireur01 Feb 2017 3:17 a.m. PST

My bad, ref last post – I mean the author of Chosen Men cites novels…

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Feb 2017 5:00 a.m. PST


Thanks for the correction regarding which rules author cited novels as a source. There is nothing wrong with that if that is the kind of game you are seeking, but it wasn't me. 😀 We have tried to keep Combat Patrol as nationality agnostic. You customize the relative strength of the units by manipulating the figures' GAMER attributes.

Buck Surdu

Marc the plastics fan01 Feb 2017 5:48 a.m. PST

So, no one played chosen men yet?

nsolomon9902 Feb 2017 4:15 p.m. PST


Doesn't seem like it. Sort of tells you something doesn't it.

Eclaireur02 Feb 2017 5:13 p.m. PST

Well I've received a copy today…
I can see, like Zebcook says you can get a bigger game than with Sharp Practice, and I can also see that it looks more tactical and less 'adventure' than the Lardies offering. So maybe it is indeed what I'm looking for. But of course the truth will be in the playing – which sadly won't happen any time soon for a whole lot of reasons.
nsolomon99 – I'm not sure whether it tells you much. It hasn't been out that long. Osprey clearly don't have the in built advantage that Black Powder or some of the other rulesets being sold as part of a product range with figures, though I see 'Man Who Would be King' seems to have made some impact with colonial gamers.

4th Cuirassier09 Feb 2017 2:42 a.m. PST

@ Nick Stern

Points well made. I haven't played any skirmish rules in this era, but am mulling over trying a set as an excuse not to sell off my 1/32 Napoleonics.

If the effectiveness of 2-deep lines and riflemen is overstated, it should not be an issue in the American theatre, though, surely – as the American army fought in 2-deep lines and had lots of riflemen.

It may cause higher casualties or something, but not asymmetrically so.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2017 10:40 a.m. PST

I am going to try out the rules on Saturday. I'll post a report. Comparing the TMP posts on Chosen Men to those on The Men Who Would Be King, Chosen Men's reception feels lukewarm at best. I am going to try a tactical scenario based on the Craufurd's Combat of the Coa, with British light infantry and Rifles having to pull off a fighting retreat in the face of French superior numbers. I dislike the generic scenarios listed in the rules. How often did balanced forces meet on an even playing field historically? Never.

4th Cuirassier (cool handle!) I hope you find the right set of rules for your 1/32 Napoleonics. But let me know if you decide to sell them!

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2017 6:31 p.m. PST

I hosted my first game of Chosen Men today. My four players were all experienced wargamers with good knowledge of the Napoleonic wars. Unfortunately, the unanimous verdict was: Too clunky! Admittedly, I perhaps stretched the rules to their limit by fielding two 1000+ point forces in our first game, but the scenario could easily have been accommodated by other Napoleonic rules we play, such as Sharpe Practice and Field of Battle. Some of the aspects of the rules which were unpopular, included: taking three dice rolls to resolve small arms fire; four if you include saving throws for cover. A one in four chance of artillery making a "misfire" when firing ball. Clunky artillery rules requiring multiple dice rolls and both a D6 and a D3 to resolve ball fire. I assume that the author was attempting to model the effect of an old-school bounce stick, but we found the method confusing and time consuming. Unrealistic movement rates where skirmishing infantry "on the double" can move faster than cavalry in the open. Assuming that all infantry is by default in skirmish order when, historically, only a small percentage of regular infantry was so trained. Poorly organized text that required a lot of searching. No FAQ or Cheat Sheet or any kind of support from Osprey.
I was particularly disappointed because I was very impressed by the recently published: Men Who Would Be Kings, which made gaming the Colonial period streamlined and fun. By contrast, the Chosen Men rules have, at their core, Warhammer Historical mechanics overlaid with complexity, for no apparent purpose other than the goal of adding complexity for its own sake. Sorry Osprey, this one gets a FAIL from me.

pilum40 Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 3:56 p.m. PST

I hosted my first game of Chosen Men in 54mm today. I thought 5 units a side would be enough to see if the rules worked or did not. I hosted 4 experienced gamers as per Nick Stern's post. Our experience was quite similar. The general finding is that this game is way too clunky and gives the impression that the author just was meandering and wanted to get "something" to the publisher. I'll echo Nick's concern that firing was to dice roll intensive with 4 dice rolls being required if units were in cover. We thought the idea of TACs was pretty ok at first but broke down quickly where cavalry was charging other cavalry. We ditched the initiative system and melded the chit pulling system from Sharp Practice It seemed to work ok.
We really didn't care for these rules and will not be playing them again. I agree with Nick when he posted these rules were "a fail". I'll stick with Sharp Practice if I want to play a skirmish game. These rules are not going to do it for our group.

pilum40 Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 4:03 p.m. PST

Hey…4th Cuirassier…if you want to sell your 1/32 scale Napoleonics, drop me a pm. I've got a load of All the King's Men, Italieri, etc. of French and Brits. Always could use some more! Don't tell my spouse! lol

Steve Miller
DFW Irregulars-Southern Front

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 6:00 p.m. PST

Pilum40, coincidentally, my game was also played in 54mm! We had 3 units of ten British Light Infantry and 2 units of British Rifles, plus two horse artillery 6 pounders and 1 unit of Light Dragoons vs. 2 twenty figure units of French line, 3 ten figure units of French Voltigeurs, 2 medium guns, 1 unit each of Chasseurs a Chavel and Lancers. We had the same issue when cavalry charged cavalry – way too complicated!

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