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"preferred rule sets" Topic

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13 Sep 2017 4:55 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "perfered rule sets" to "preferred rule sets"

1,795 hits since 12 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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John Miller Inactive Member13 Sep 2017 2:27 p.m. PST

Just starting in imaginations and have a few infantry battalions containing 24-36 figures. Would anyone care to express any opinions on which set of rules they might prefer for 18 century era games with infantry battalions of that approximate size? Thanks, John Miller

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Sep 2017 2:40 p.m. PST

Black Powder. You can use them straight or pick up a supplement depending on what era you are playing at. Gives a good game, lots of fun, and in my mind just the right blend of serious and silly for an IMagiNation.

They have a "Blunder" chart that you could tweak to reflect the personality of your army. Likely to run, or charge? Small and mighty or big and blobby? Just write new blunders to fit.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2017 5:58 p.m. PST

Check these out. There should be an 18th century version in the files section. I'm a big fan of these.

These I haven't played but have and seem like they will give a fun game. they're on the schedule but I need to repair my SYW armies first.


Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2017 6:41 p.m. PST

With 18th Century Imaginations I like Old School, C.S.Grant The Wargame.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2017 6:50 p.m. PST

We've used Batailles de l'Ancien Regime very successfully with those unit sizes. Look at these blogs for even better battle descriptions than I made.

Bill Protz's BAR site:

Bill Protz's blog: link

Der Alte Fritz's blog:


Sandinista13 Sep 2017 9:09 p.m. PST

I'm a big fan of Black Powder, as said above a nice blend of fun and serious, gives a great game and writes a great story.


10mm Wargaming Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2017 12:06 a.m. PST

I would recommend Black Powder Rules. Hope it helps.

As always, comments are appreciated.

Take care


VVV reply Inactive Member14 Sep 2017 12:47 a.m. PST

I did try Black Powder but was not impressed. Firstly I never like dicing for troops being able to move or not. But the combat system is also weird and being subject to the GW curse of odd or even numbers (have a brigade of four battalions and it will break when it loses 2 battalions, starts with 5 battalions, then you break when you lose 3 battalions).
Then when you come to organise a game, how are you supposed to pick what troops you use? (basically I suppose its follow the basic premise of Black Powder, do what you like).
I could suggest my rules Best Allies but it is really designed for armies of brigades, with battalions as part of brigades.

advocate14 Sep 2017 12:54 a.m. PST

I take it you are talking about 28mm. We use 10mm regiments with 24 figures per unit, but that's on a 90mm frontage; we play King of the Battlefield and Maurice.

Dexter Ward14 Sep 2017 1:31 a.m. PST

Maurice would be perfect – even includes a nice campaign system

Green Tiger14 Sep 2017 2:22 a.m. PST


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2017 3:20 a.m. PST

Charge! Tweaked, perhaps.

CATenWolde Inactive Member14 Sep 2017 4:04 a.m. PST

Rank & File by Crusader Games gives a great "old school" feeling game with a bit of a modern update – easy to learn, fast and fun to play.

M C MonkeyDew14 Sep 2017 7:17 a.m. PST

Another vote for Charge! Using it a game right now with 20 figure battalions. Have also used it with 24, 36, and 42 figure battalions. Simplicity itself.

Be aware that its a bloody game and one should think of losses as including stragglers and those inclined to seek out safer climes, rather than all being battle casualties.

This simplicity allows you to concentrate on your plan rather than on fiddly game mechanics.

BAR is also a very good set.

As mentioned many like "The War Game" although I am not a fan of its artillery or musketry rules.

Horses for courses…

MajorB14 Sep 2017 9:44 a.m. PST

Black Powder.

Clays Russians14 Sep 2017 2:07 p.m. PST

Black powder

nsolomon9914 Sep 2017 4:31 p.m. PST


Really depends on what aspects of the period you are looking for. Black Powder suits very well the people that want a simple generic set of rules to play with nicely painted 18th Century figures.

Me, I need more of a period feel to my gaming and a generic set of rules that tries to cover several centuries of European Warfare just doesn't deliver it, for me.

I've played Leuthen with BP and it looked pretty but didn't feel like the accounts of the battle. Thats my objective, I want a battle on my table that unfolds the way the historical accounts read. Its a personal thing.

Depends on what you're after.


John Miller Inactive Member14 Sep 2017 7:13 p.m. PST

All Hands: Thanks very much to everyone who responded!!! It appears I have a lot of options to consider and different points to ponder. By way of an insignificant anecdote, I purchased Charge when it first was available, (1966?), and it had three pages missing, not torn out but doubles of three other pages. I got caught in the draft before I could attempt to get a correctly printed copy. Over the years I lost my copy, so I never really got to play it. My daughter saw a copy on e-bay for over $100.00 USD. Too rich for my blood now, however. I will take all your suggestions to heart and investigate each one. Thanks again for you most kind assistance, John Miller

VVV reply Inactive Member15 Sep 2017 12:40 a.m. PST

I did a bit of searching and found new copies of Charge! available at the History of Wargaming project. Details here

Royal Marine15 Sep 2017 2:55 a.m. PST

'Black Powder' and 'Honours of War'

John Miller Inactive Member15 Sep 2017 1:12 p.m. PST

VVV reply: Thanks for the above information about Charge. I will try to get my hands on a copy. Even if I don't decide to play it I would love to own a copy for nostalgia reasons.

My research continues into all your suggestions. Thanks again to all, John Miller

coopman15 Sep 2017 6:00 p.m. PST

Got any other gamers in your area, John? If so, what rules are they using?

John Miller Inactive Member15 Sep 2017 6:31 p.m. PST

coopman: Well no, not for this. Our group here in Baltimore plays Empire on a pretty regular basis. I was hoping to lure my grandson away from his "smart phone", thinking this might be something that would appeal to him. He used to like Lord of the Rings games. I have several battalions of 25mm SYW French and one of 30mm SYW Prussian that I painted up many years ago and adding a couple of more units might fit the bill. A second benefit would be getting some use out of them before I go to that big wargame in the sky.

coopman16 Sep 2017 3:45 a.m. PST

Do you have the book "One Hour Wargames"? Nice simple rules where units are eliminated after they suffer a certain no. of hits. Total hits are noted by dice placed behind the unit. You can probably split your large units up into several battalions for these rules too.

ge2002bill Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2017 5:59 a.m. PST

Hi John,
Thank you Jim mentioning BAR. I appreciate that.
Here's my take:
You have or will have approximately half a dozen units.
You want to get your Grandson interested.
Then whatever system you choose, never mind dicing to activate units. Discard this portion of the system.

I can just imaging your Grandson saying Grandfather, "Why has my total force of three units not been able to move for three turns? Yours on the other hand is zooming around like a race car. It happens. It happens a lot. Whatever cogent reason presented for this will probably not keep him interested.
So if you play Black Powder (an elegant system), never mind dicing to activate units. Your Grandson needs to learn how to operate on the table and not be hamstrung.
Also with that few units, fragile morale is a negative. You will want units to hang on longer on the table. For the good of the game with your Grandson. If the system you choose makes units flee logically, historically or whatever too soon, my suggestion is to adjust the morale rules yourself so they stay a bit longer.
Bill P.

John Miller Inactive Member16 Sep 2017 12:11 p.m. PST

womble67: I will let you know how my decision comes out.

coopman: I have heard of them, however I have not seen them yet. Will look into them also.

Bill P.: Thanks for the advice. Those are the kinds of things I need to consider, some of which I should have thought of myself but didn't. For instance, I am so used to rolling to activate it did not occur to me how that could turn off a novice at gaming.

John Miller

VVV reply Inactive Member19 Sep 2017 8:04 a.m. PST

My copy of Charge arrived today.

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member19 Sep 2017 9:00 a.m. PST

Charge! is an absolute charming delight on the first read. Enjoy.

Ottoathome Inactive Member25 Sep 2017 6:59 p.m. PST

Extremely unimpressed with Black Powder.

Played one game at a conventions where I was a rank novice. Playing with me were three others who had a slight acquaintance with the game. On the other side were four players three of which were alleged "experts" on the game. One of them was a novice.

I had the Austrians and the other side had the Prussians. We had no real defensive position to speak of. They outnumbered us 3 to 2 in infantry and 2 to 1 in cavalry, 2 to 1 in guns, and all their troops were better than ours.

By turn 2 the three experts were arguing bitterly over the rules, and when the GM looked them up it turned out ALL of them were wrong.

The fourth player on the other side would not make a decision unless each and every one of the complicated rules was explained to him in all its iteration and choices.

My orders to my side were simple. Hold fast, make no attacks, stay in position and all guns to fire not on the enemy guns but on their infantry. We made not one move and blasted them to pieces as they came across the field.

By mid game the Prussians (other side) were grousing that I was playing the game wrong, that I should advance and get the beating I richly deserved. It was a defeat for the Prussians worse than Kunersdorf.

Even less impressed with Maurice. When I want to play gin-rummy I'll play gin rummy. To me the important part of the game is the toy soldiers, not slobbering around with cards.

I wrote my own rules.

If I couldn't use them, it would be Charge with a suitable modification for stands.

John Miller Inactive Member27 Sep 2017 12:17 p.m. PST

Ottoathome: I have ordered a couple of the suggested rule sets above but have not received them yet. I want to be able to get as much information as I can before I make the final plunge. I appreciate very much your giving me your opinions. I am trying to get my grubby little hands on a copy of Charge. John Miller

Ottoathome Inactive Member27 Sep 2017 6:20 p.m. PST

Dear John

I have several. I THINK I have a black and white reprint of it. If I do I will let you know and send it to you.

It will have to wait a few weeks though. I am moving and it's all packed up. Contact me in 2 weeks at in 2 weeks and I'll let you know if I found it.

John Miller Inactive Member28 Sep 2017 5:04 p.m. PST

Ottoathome: Thank you very much for your most kind offer!!! I will contact you in two weeks. Since I have limited access to computers and less knowledge of how to do things with them, ordering something from England is difficult for me, (sharp as a bowling ball is the descriptive phrase here). Thanks again, John Miller

Ottoathome Inactive Member08 Oct 2017 12:29 p.m. PST

Dear John

I can't find it.

I know I have it, I just can't find the case it's in. Don't worry, eventually I will find it.


John Miller Inactive Member10 Oct 2017 4:31 p.m. PST

Ottoathome: You have gone to enough trouble already!! I appreciate this very much!!! John Miller

cae5ar10 Oct 2017 5:45 p.m. PST

Some people like Maurice a lot, some obviously don't. It's hard to describe what's good and bad about a game like Maurice without actually experiencing it because it is so different to other wargames. They're probably my favourite set, certainly for themes like imaginations.

To see for yourself you could try the free version of the rules. You need to download two files to play: the Maurice Lite rules and the Basic Action Cards. Print the cards off on card, or use paper and cover in contact before cutting them out. Apart from your time to set up it's completely free! If you do like the rules, the full rule book is available as a PDF for $15 USD and can still be played with the Basic Action Cards.


John Miller Inactive Member13 Oct 2017 5:47 p.m. PST

cae5ar: I will certainly look into Maurice, which I am not familiar with at all. Thanks for the information about the cards also. John Miller

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 10:16 a.m. PST

Extremely unimpressed with Black Powder.

I can see how you were unimpressed with the convention game you played. However, your issues seemed to be with the GM and your colleagues and not the actual rules themselves.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 3:34 p.m. PST

In this case I would say BP.

Alexja14 Nov 2017 1:45 a.m. PST

Fife and Drum for me followed by BP

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