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"Why 18th Century instead of Napoleonics?" Topic

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Drabix25 Feb 2018 7:59 a.m. PST

What's your sales pitch for 18th Century instead of Napoleonics? Seems like a good topic for the Getting Started board.

JimDuncanUK25 Feb 2018 8:34 a.m. PST

A good place to ask your question would be here.

jaztez25 Feb 2018 8:56 a.m. PST

… Or just ask it here.

Simpler uniforms, easier to paint and of course you get to do the great northern war with nutty Swedes!

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

Simplify, simplify, simplify!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2018 9:40 a.m. PST

Hmmm. Mind you, I do both. I'd say--setting aside Charles XII--18th Century Warfare is more reason and less emotion--Chess rather than Poker, if you will. And the sides are better balanced than the Napoleonic Wars. If you fancy the AWI, you get a very nice run of small battles just right for the tabletop in the larger scales. And if you just HAVE to have the headlong charge, you've got the '45.

Also--goes with the "less emotion" bit--it's professional, "no hard feelings" warfare. I for one could do without the people who pop up on the Miniatures Page to tell me how picked on His Imperial Majesty Napoleon I was and what a grand place Europe would be today if only it had been ruled for two centuries by the same family despotism. No one gets that way about Old Fritz or Maria Theresa.

TMP--and the tabletop--should be about uniforms and tactics, not politics.

(I am, you understand, making the case for the 18th Century. None of this kept me from painting 1815 Scots Grays yesterday, or Grenadiers a Cheval of the Imperial Guard today. But the 1745 Highlanders are being primed.)

willthepiper25 Feb 2018 9:42 a.m. PST

Tricorns and mitres are cool.

How about an interest in the actual history? Romantic Scots can look at the '45 for what could have been. My son is a fan of Peter the Great, so Great Northern War is a natural follow on from that. Americans looking at their nation's origins can embrace the American War of Independence or American Revolution or whatever you choose to call it. And lots of leeway for Imaginations if you are so inclined.

Neal Smith25 Feb 2018 10:55 a.m. PST

Maybe the American Rev, Marlborough, Frederick the Great, etc. appeal to you more than Napoleon?

Striker25 Feb 2018 11:13 a.m. PST

As someone who just dabbles in 18th Century, my choice was based on ease of painting and learning curve. I've got SYW Russians, only. I have a Cossack unit for goofing around with but that's all I'm getting for 18th Cent. Easy uniforms to paint and very few references needed. As for the history, I'm honestly not too interested in either but Napoleonics just seems like too big of a topic in both time and information available. I don't have the time to read all the material just on Napoleon in Russia and if I did have the time I wouldn't get through it due to interest. I'm able to get through what I need for SYW Russians and stop at that. This is not saying either is good or bad.

coopman25 Feb 2018 11:34 a.m. PST

The F&IW and AWI were so important in the history of the USA, it was a natural choice for me.
But…I have tons of 15mm Napoleonics also.

Winston Smith25 Feb 2018 12:03 p.m. PST

Napoleonics bore me to tears. I tried and gave up, twice, to collect the only army I had the vaguest interest in, British. I'll certainly play if someone else provides all the troops etc. But it will just be pushing units around on the tabletop for me.

As noted above, in the AWI you can do complete important battles with 25mm figures in one gaming session. None of this Borodino with 32 players nonsense.
Also noted above, there's the ‘45. And FIW. All far more interesting.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2018 5:14 p.m. PST

I enjoy the AWI & FIW because of the uniforms, Terrain, because I live in America and been to numbers of the battlefields, also enjoy the type of fighting during these times, oh yea, Indians too!

daler240D25 Feb 2018 5:26 p.m. PST

The people that game it are, in general and just in my experience, better company. They tend to be more broadly read but aren't button counters or hyper competitive. They don't game the rules and aren't generally interested in balance or a point system.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2018 6:02 p.m. PST

I don't know that the uniforms are any simpler, but SYW armies were a lot smaller – plus there is a certain elegance in a laced tricorne and a pressed jacket with Swedish cuffs

I like both but I did SYW a long time before I got into Napoleonics

Pan Marek25 Feb 2018 8:32 p.m. PST

Napoleon who?

Tacitus26 Feb 2018 12:54 a.m. PST

Tricorns, yes! Shakos, not so great.

TodCreasey26 Feb 2018 2:42 p.m. PST

As someone who loves Napoleonics and is so so on 18th century I'll give the counterpoint.

For the petit guerre it is 18th century all of the way – FIW and AWI are way more interesting for small battles than 1812.

For me I like the variety in troops and tactics that the Napoleonic era has – I simply have more options to play with (squares, assault columns etc). I find the linear armies quite samish.

In the end ask yourself what you want in your games and choose the period based on that.

miniMo27 Feb 2018 7:08 a.m. PST

I love Napoleonics gaming and 18C isn't bad, but to answer the question as asked for 'why 18th C instead' — the 18C Discussion Board here is a much nicer place than the Nappy Board (excepting when the occasional Revolutionary discussion spills into 18C).

Mick the Metalsmith27 Feb 2018 9:14 a.m. PST

I would like to game more 18th, but painting time and lack of space has prevented it. I may get into it one day.

My absolute favorite game memory was an 18th century battle at a con when I had no prior knowledge of the period, being just a newbie more interested in tanks or dragons at the time. I was given the Prussians and told that my troops could march and turn to their flanks more quickly than my opponent's Austrians. Iirc the rules were Koenig Krieg. Setup was hidden via index cards. I had put a thin screen of mostly dummies and some minimal refused infantry and cav across two thirds of the board and stacked the bulk of my force forward in echelon on the right flank. The game was over in about 15 minutes as I rolled up the Austrian left and steam rolled down his line. My opponent asked if I had read about Leuthen of which I was quite ignorant at the time. He said I unknowingly had used the same strategy as Frederick. Heady stuff for a 23 year old, artillery lieutenant fresh out of OBC with a head full of general military principles.

Always wanted to try to play the period again, but Napoleonics got in the way. 18th century always seemed more scientific a way to fight, chess-like. If I had had more opportunity for 18th instead of in Napoleonic (back then I didn't paint whole armies, usually I painted to add to what was played with the local group offering.) I think I might well have been just as enamored or more with 18th century.

Prince Lupus05 Mar 2018 2:45 p.m. PST

Napoleonic obviously revolves around Napoleon and therefore his army. C18 doesn't concentrate in one character but Louis, Peter, Charles, Frederick, Maria Theresa, Catherine, Georges (III and Washington) are as equally interesting as Napoleon himself.

I do also play Nappies but I'd choose Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart over Beethoven alone.

Banana Man17 Apr 2018 7:37 a.m. PST

Napoleonics is dull? (duck)

Bill N18 Apr 2018 8:04 p.m. PST

Better small battles.

In the 18th century there were a number of important battles involving fewer than 10,000 men per side. There were some important battles having fewer than 5,000 men total. Sure with Naps you have all the different unit types and all the different national contingents. However your armies would vave to be much larger to fully justify having those different troops. In the AWI you can put together a realistic British army containing Guards, Regular British, Highlanders, Hessians, Loyalist infantry and British and Loyalist horse in an army of 5,000 men.

von Schwartz13 Jul 2018 6:59 p.m. PST

To paraphrase one of the authors of the old SYW rule set Frederick the Great, there is the most SPLEDIFEROUS uniforms since the Landsknechts. The 7 years War era was also known as the era of The Lace Wars. This period included the wars of Marlborough up to the Revolution, the French Revolution that is. There are those among us who love painting the fancy uniforms and flags. One of my criteria for which units to build was how colorful they were.

Oldgrumbler Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2018 6:44 p.m. PST

French & Indian War is really fun. Both skirmish & set piece battles. Add it to AWI & you have got all you need but cavalry. For that you must go to Europe. SYW is missing the better developed combined arms approach of Napoleonics. But then naval battles are more balanced as the French Revolution has not yet decimated the French officer core. Can't take any scalps in Napoleoninics either.

Father Grigori31 Oct 2018 3:59 a.m. PST

Just my opinion, but the Eighteenth century has uniforms that are easier to paint, and are more elegant, if less flashy, than Napoleonics. There's also the variety of troop types, and colonial wars that beats the later C19th stuff. You can have small scale skirmish campaigns in North America, or go to India for a completely different scene, with the collapsing Mughal Empire, the Durranis, and the plethora of smaller Indian states. Naval warfare is much more even than Napoleonics; the French royal navy is more dangerous than Napoleon's. Lastly, there are the shifting alliances. In Napoleonics, it is really everyone else vs France. The C18th has more scope for diplomacy if you're into campaigns.

So open a bottle of port, pour a glass, and settle to consider the Ultima Ratio Regum like civilised men.

von Schwartz03 Nov 2018 6:44 p.m. PST

Hear Hear!!!! lets not forget to lite up a nice Kristoff Maduro Matador as well!

von Schwartz02 Jan 2019 5:30 p.m. PST

Once again the answer to this question can be summed up in one word "UNIFORMS". For me anyway, half of the fun of this hobby is painting the figures.

Clays Russians21 Aug 2019 2:27 p.m. PST

If I may intercede, tardily I'm afraid, I believe I may have THE definitive answer to the OP ….
Long land service Brown Bess musket.
The King's Musket….. the answer is obvious.
"More Clarèt gentlemen?

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