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"L'Art de la Guerre" Topic

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Banana Man24 Apr 2018 5:18 a.m. PST

Any opinions on the Ancient and Medieval rules set, L'Art de la Guerre?


Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 5:47 a.m. PST

Haven'y played it yet, but it seems to be the "rules d'jour" for ancient/medieval tournament play.


Perris070724 Apr 2018 6:09 a.m. PST

There have several aar using LDG quite recently on TMP. Check them out.

Dervel Fezian24 Apr 2018 6:12 a.m. PST

It depends on what style of game you are looking for?

I would recommend taking a look at Triumph, it does a really decent job with medieval battles with very easy and fast play rules. No turn to turn record keeping and easily play a large battle in 3 – 4 hours even with new players.

If you want more grit, then L'Art de la Guerre is a step up in detail and book keeping.

Mick the Metalsmith24 Apr 2018 6:38 a.m. PST

Very nice set of rules in the DBx family. My only criticism is the setup of terrain rules for tournament play are too gamey for my taste…but easily ignored if you aren't playing tourneys. It could benefit from a force back result in combat. Not really able to see a Cannae like bending of unbroken lines in a battle. Lines can hold in position until they break. Attritional effects of combat are well respected in that cohesion hits can accrue instead of the all or nothing approach of DBx results. It gives a good approach to unit types and morale levels with impetuous shock troops having some command control issues. Gives a good sized game of of 20-30 stands on the board…I think a bigger battle of 60 stands or so would not be over stretching the engine. I like it a whole lot better than DBM. My medieval Anglo Normans DBM forces do pretty well and behave plausibly in the game.

lkmjbc324 Apr 2018 8:09 a.m. PST

LADG is a good rule set.

I have played several fun games of it. I do however find DBA 3 much better…

It is more simple, yet I think gives a better game and historical outcome. I use it extensively for tournaments, club play, and historical battles.

You can see the outcomes of several historical battles in my book, "Great Battles of History for DBA 3".

It features the Medieval battles of …

DBA 3 is available here…

My book is available here for purchase…

or as a free download here…

Check it out.

Joe Collins

JAFD2624 Apr 2018 11:08 a.m. PST

Salutations, gentlefolk !

The cost in time or money to purchase or paint an army is high.

The cost in money for rule sets, in money, is comparatively small. The cost in time to master a new rule set is high, and much of that is not in perusing the 'philosophy' of the rules – the writers' explanation of 'what we are trying to do' – and the explanations of 'how to organize an army, get the table set up for a game'; but finding the rule details that you need to know In The Middle Of The Game, and The Way They Work Together.

My conclusion as An Old Man Who Has Seen A Lot – If there's a group of people you like in your area, play the rules that they usually play. More enjoyment you will get from spending time with good people playing with lousy rules than spending time with dubkas playing using the perfect rules.

Mick the Metalsmith24 Apr 2018 1:09 p.m. PST

Jafd26 good general advice, but do you actually have an opinion on the rules like he asked for? This is a settled game system, not a flash in the pan rules de jour, and he might just be bored with all the 40k games around him…and thus very much needs to be the vanguard for the next thing.

platypus01au25 Apr 2018 5:46 p.m. PST

If he is just starting out with Ancients and Medieval and doesn't have people around that can guide him with what they are playing, then I would recommend either Command and Colours or DBA v3 as starting games.

I'd think LADG to be in the moderately complicated set of rules.

Plenty of Youtube videos on how to play, DBA even has a PDF you can buy with most of the rules and some lists.


JAFD2630 Apr 2018 10:42 p.m. PST

Salutations, gentlefolk !

Apologies for making you put up with the blatherations of an old man, but if you seeketh my opinion … As someone with experience at _WRG 7th_, Terry Gore's _Saga_, _DBM_, _Warrior_, _Tactica_* **, DBA 1.x's and 2.x's ***, _Triumph_, and a bit of _LAdlG_, that you shall have.

Again, if there's a group in your area, and you think you could have fun with them, learn the rules they're using.
And do read
TMP link

If your group is just getting started with ancient miniatures:
Download the Triumph rules from WargameVault. Print copy of the 'how to play the game' section for everyone (You'll all get the printed edition when it's out, right.).
Pick a period – one of the Meshwesh 'thematic categories' or … – and draw straws and choose up sides "Joe'll take the Macedonians, Jim gets the Gauls and Galatians, Joan'll take the Romans, Jack's left with the Carthaginians…", and start painting up your armies and terrain. Maybe print up some 'paper figures' to practice with. Onwards!

The DBA rules are quite popular, and can be an alternate starting point, if you're OK with 80-word sentences containing seven subordinate clauses.

If LAdlG has a following in your area, you may consider planning your purchasing and painting to get a 200-point army together (or if you have a force of Ancients already). It certainly shows its WRG 7th ancestry, and armies that both shoot and melee have an advantage.

My $0.02 USD. Hope you find it useful and/or interesting.

Yours, John

* Hang out at Maplewood Hobby long enough – even these days, and a game of _Tactica_ will happen – some of the folk in the credits thereto are amongst our crew.

** The 'But it's not much Fun' problem with _Tactica_ is that there are only three or four times in a game when a unit can turn/wheel/change facing, so when that happens, everyone crowds around with rulers/protractors/calipers/laser sights…

*** Have not had chance to try DBA 3 yet, but see

**** Apologies for the delay. Supposed to be some nice weather this week (FINALLY !!!) so did some flash chipping and base sanding and got about 250 figures ready for priming, maybe later today…

arsbelli02 May 2018 11:04 a.m. PST

Here are links to some online reviews for L'Art de la Guerre:

Oldgrumbler Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2018 8:31 a.m. PST

L'Art de la Guerre is a very good set of rules. I find it to be an improved version of the DBX family written in understandable English (it took a Frenchman to do it.) The only thing I like better about DBX is the simpler movement mechanics for individual stands. The use of cohesion hits is much superior to the retreat mechanics in DBX. Movement is more clearly defined while the command mechanics are the same except for more emphasis on leader quality. Shooting works very well, though you still can't kill Harold with an arrow.

Thomas Thomas16 Jul 2018 1:28 p.m. PST

LAG (or the French) game is an alternative version of the old DBM mechanics. These mechanics are very good and so to are most games based on them.

The French game greatly complicates individual stand movement by having them move as if a group and this takes a while to get used to. But otherwise it uses the very solid PIP/group/individual move system pioneered by DBX.

It also uses a different less abstract troop classification that is much more flexible than traditional DBX though the presentation is quite complex.

Its main fault is not having a Recoil system where stands are driven back when beaten. The Recoil system representing disorder is tailored to the Group system and as essential part of that system. Its one of the great design breakthroughs in gaming. Medieval battles had limited casualties until an opponents line (or "shieldwall") broke up and then you got a sudden complete collapse. DBX does this very well and so you get realism with no book keeping. For some reason the French game reverted to a complex book keeping system where its impossible to drive back an opponent. Combat is static when in fact in often involved push backs, follows up, cutting into an enemy line and likewise being trapped within an enemy line that otherwise held firm. So you can't get Towton, Canne, Agincourt or other battle where opponents drove into an enemy line to work.

Shooting is much like old DBM but since then thanks to steller work on DBA 3.0, shooting has greatly improved in DBX making the French game seem primitive in comparison.

The French game does feature a nice troop classification system which works much better than latter versions of DBM. (DBA 3.0 has no classification system at all).

So overall both DBX and the French game use an excellent command control mechanism but while the French game has a much superior troop classification system, DBX's combat system remains far better.

I've played DBA (all versions), DBM, DBMM and the French game extensively including tournament and historical scenario play. And with that very much in mind I designed A Game of Knights & Knaves to play medieval battles in a simple but reasonably realistic manner.

The French game is not a game for beginners. DBA 3.0 is but the presentation can be quite difficult to manage. The Basic Game for Knights & Knaves covers well the basic aspects of the DBX system and is an excellent spring board to the French Game, DBA 3.0, DBM or DBMM. (Its essentially a 1 hour wargame version of bare mechanics.)

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame & Glory Games

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