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"Rebels & Patriots" Topic

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Action Log

23 Jan 2019 5:10 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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18th Century

1,465 hits since 23 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2019 1:38 p.m. PST

Got the rules in the mail yesterday, and gave them a quick peruse. My impression is that they cover the needed bases regarding shooting, melee, morale.
They flub a bit for skirmish rules set in the era of muzzleloaders, in that there is no need to "load", and when one gets to the ACW, this becomes an issue, since many troops carried revolvers, breachloaders and even repeaters.
Right now, the modifiers for each troop type (which the player must chose for each of his units) seem a blur without a QRS (which is not provided).
Its a workable system (I've played The Men Who Would Be King) and not overcomplicated. I'll likely play a few games.
But for FIW and AWI, I'll be sticking with M&T.
For ACW, the rules lack flavor for that period.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2019 4:09 p.m. PST

I have a copy too. A QRS would be nice. Maybe Osprey will make one available.

I look at this level of game as semi-skirmish. The Sword and the Flame would also qualify. The figures act as units, not as individuals so firing is the effect of the entire unit firing over time.

This isn't a problem if both sides are similarly armed. However, it wouldn't be too difficult to make adjustments as you see fit for a scenario that has some units with rifled muskets and some with breach loading carbines as an example.

A "true" skirmish game, to me, is where each figure is an individual and acts on their own over a shorter period of time. Muzzle loaders, breach loaders and repeaters may have more relevance at this level.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2019 4:21 p.m. PST

Big- I get your point, but even in big skirmish, or even big battles with battalions, muzzleloaders and breachloaders make a big difference. Ask the Austrians of 1866.

And if one must "adjust" a brand new ruleset, what did I just pay for?
That said, the rules do seem to be "adjustable".

coopman23 Jan 2019 5:12 p.m. PST

I didn't see any options for breechloaders or repeaters in the rules, but I just got them about 10 minutes ago.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2019 5:33 p.m. PST

Although you can make a good case that they should be included, I don't believe there are options for breachloaders or repeaters. All I was saying is I don't feel it would be too hard to make your own adjustments.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2019 10:31 p.m. PST

What period do these rules cover?

coopman24 Jan 2019 5:46 a.m. PST

Conflicts in North America. F&IW up through the ACW.

Thomas O24 Jan 2019 7:40 a.m. PST

The easiest thing to do for breech loaders or repeaters would be to give them + to the die roll for shooting. That way they are going to be likely to shoot every turn and not miss the shooting die roll.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 9:24 a.m. PST

Agreed. But why is this necessary in a brand new set of rules that include the ACW?

I've been reading the rules more closely now. There are odd things like "line" and "light" troops can fire up to 18", but "shock" and "skirmish" and "native" only up to 12".I have no idea why. I'm still looking for ranges for
AWI rifles. Are they the same as "line"?

Again, one can "adjust", but why should I?
This is all covered in M&T.

I was hoping these would be a "great new skirmish system"
for ACW. Bro v. Bro always seemed too flavorless.
Anyone out there use the new Sharp's Practice for ACW?
I've seen the book, and its heads above their original one, but I've yet to read it.

Tony Adams Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 10:33 a.m. PST

My first impression, and I may be wrong, is that the rules have abstracted the weapons into the Unit Upgrades section of each troop type.

For example, the breechloaders of the ACW would seem to merit the "Good Shooters" upgrade for Line Infantry. The AWI rifles would be the "Sharpshooter" upgrade which gives them a range of 24". Of course all of these upgrades cost points so they will make your unit costs vary from the base one given.

I don't know how repeaters would be handled. And I also do not understand why some firing ranges are only 12". Once again, they may be included under some Upgrade category by paying extra points.

With all of the Unit Upgrades and Special rules listed it looks like there is a great variety of troop types that can be used. I am interested to follow the discussion.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 11:03 a.m. PST

It would be helpful if they listed all of the potential up and down grades in one place. As it is, one needs to cobble them together from the various examples on troop types.

vlad4824 Jan 2019 11:24 a.m. PST

First, let's acknowledge that all rules in the "Lion Rampant" family (including Pikeman's Lament, Men who would be Kings and now Rebels and Patriots) are sandbox rules allowing you to cobble together stats and traits to meet YOUR idea of what units should look like. In this way it is like Black Powder. Given the standard 62-64 pages Osprey allots for all these paperback rule books, you are never going to get detailed rules and weapon stats for every single conflict from 1759 to 1864. The rules are meant to be quick and easy and adjustable – usually that means you need to use some home rules to get what you like.
Also, there is nothing unusual about rules giving skirmishers or snipers greater range than close order units using the same weapons – I play 2 Nappy rule sets that do so.
In other words, R and P offers a cheap and easy rule set but it does require you do to some work.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 12:14 p.m. PST

I suspect you're right about book length and the intent of the writers. And I may have only myself to blame, as I do have "The Men".

As far as ranges, what's odd in R&P is that skirmishers are given LESS range.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 12:28 p.m. PST

According to Michael Leck, one of the authors, Osprey will eventually have a QRS on their website:


Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 12:56 p.m. PST

That's good news. Of course, the rules were complete
some time ago, given when they were put on pre-order by Amazon.
Is Osprey understaffed?

MajorB24 Jan 2019 2:29 p.m. PST

Is Osprey understaffed?

How many people do you think work at Osprey?

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2019 2:36 p.m. PST

Major- I have no idea. Do you know?

vlad4824 Jan 2019 5:44 p.m. PST

My impression is that "Osprey" staff members don't do things like the QRS, rather that is handled by the author and specific writing team for each project.

vlad4824 Jan 2019 11:33 p.m. PST

Pan Marek,
Less range for skirmishers than close order units? That would be unusual.

MajorB25 Jan 2019 12:42 p.m. PST

Major- I have no idea. Do you know?

Probably a lot less than you think.
My guess would be less than 10.

MajorB27 Jan 2019 10:24 a.m. PST

Just got the rules and I have a question. Do you have to make an action test before making a rally test or does the rally test replace the action test?

coopman27 Jan 2019 11:57 a.m. PST

MajorB: I would say yes your unit has to be successfully activated in order to then rally based on the activation list on page 21 of RAP.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2019 2:24 p.m. PST

I agree with Pan Marek that it is odd skirmishers have a shorter range than close order troops. Having skimmed through them (albeit not in much detail) my initial observation is that I could've just used my Men Who Would Be Kings rules instead of buying these. I got mine on pre-order via Amazon in the hope that they would offer a cheap and cheerful option for a club night AWI game. Since most of the folks that join in the games at my FLGS are not hardcore historical wargamers, I'll probably use them there. For games I host at my home I'll stick with Sharp Practice.

FlyXwire30 Jan 2019 3:18 p.m. PST

TMP link

Frankly, I was never impressed with THWWBK, and this new set was going to be an iteration of that.

The thread above explored whether these new rules would be anything more than a sandbox set.

I'm doubtful new rules (ones that would convince me to switch from what I play now) can be squirted out every year or so, and have anything particularly meaningful to buy into. Truly good rules come along maybe every half-dozen years or more, and they're usually someone's [lengthy] product of passion, not a "port-over".

Osprey has been squirting out rules like bricks.

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2019 2:27 p.m. PST

FlyX- I have that impression about THWWBK too. Shame.
I thought Mersey would produce something with more flavor.

For AWI skirmish, I'm sticking to M&T. My search for a
tasty ACW skirmish set will continue.

But as others have mentioned, the rules are a workable
tool kit. I might tinker with them for for ACW. But I'm no game designer.

Personal logo doctorphalanx Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 7:21 a.m. PST

I've created a temporary QRS link

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 12:27 p.m. PST

Typical Brit. written rules. Here are the basics and now you go and finish the rules. I want a complete set of rules. Tool kits are fore working on your car not a set of rules which I paid good money for.

vlad4816 Feb 2019 6:24 p.m. PST

Two points.
1. As a very long-time gamer, I can't agree with the harshness of some of the comments on this thread. Geez, R and P is a comparatively inexpensive rule book that comes pretty well as advertised – simple games in lots of conflicts. If you need to differ between muskets and rifles in the ACW, the book tells you to give the rifles a Good Shooting trait, etc.
I wouldn't expect a book at this price point (it's about 20 bucks, not 80)to have pages and pages of specific rules and "flavour" for over a dozen conflicts – it's just not happening.
2. Now – that being said, I was interested in how the rules handled the tricky matter of skirmishers. As Pan Marek pointed out, they have LESS range than line units, which is generally unusual in most rules.
Let's remember that skirmish units are dirt cheap – only 2pts – and their main functions are to screen and harass – not to be a major firing platform.
The rules handled this by simply giving them the shorter range of 12" (while also giving them Evade and a "Cover" bonus in Open Ground.)
I wonder if this would have been better handled by keeping the range at the standard 18", but half the shooting dice from 12 to 6 (and perhaps allow them to hit at 4+ instead of 5+).
How are other guys dealing with the boiling skirmisher controversy?

vlad4817 Feb 2019 11:01 p.m. PST

Following up the issue of ranges for different infantry, I posted a question with Michael from the Dalauppror Blog who had a role in game design. He provided some interesting answers on rules decisions that may be of interest:


FlyXwire18 Feb 2019 6:12 a.m. PST

"I wouldn't expect a book at this price point (it's about 20 bucks, not 80)to have pages and pages of specific rules and "flavour" for over a dozen conflicts it's just not happening."

Nor would we expect such a rule book to do anything for these various periods with any specific fidelity either that's the point.

Many of us have used exiting rulesets to "make specific" for a particular conflict, that's not unique here with this TMP audience.

It's also not very useful for gamers [particularly newer ones] who don't have the time, experience, or inclination to cobble together period-specific unit builds and modifiers to render an historical period they're hoping to game in either.

"Here's your new ruleset now you apply it and make it work for you."

(keep your 20 buck rule book for over a "dozen conflicts")

Winston Smith18 Feb 2019 8:27 a.m. PST

What's wrong with saying that you don't wish to purchase a product for your own reasons?
Those may be the same exact same reasons to persuade someone else to buy it.

FlyXwire18 Feb 2019 9:34 a.m. PST

Indeed, and I'm sure Osprey has enough market presence to experience a little critical analysis for their product(s) too.

As one of these long-time gamers mentioned as being pertinent above, we're well-enough along in this hobby not to feel we have to accept every product for it, or be inclined to think we're not supporting it if we don't.

Winston Smith18 Feb 2019 10:22 a.m. PST

Yeah. I stopped buying every new set of rules that put "American Revolution" on the cover a long time ago.
Most are probably quite good, but I hate the whole procedure of learning a new game.
I always miss a few "important" points in the first game or two. I hate looking it up and not finding it while the game is stalled.

cae5ar19 Feb 2019 3:56 p.m. PST

Well I've bought the rules, read them and played them. No complaints yet; very enjoyable and easy set to get into. This was just the kind of no-fuss game our group needed for a couple of hours on a weekday evening and perfect to get newbies involved. I'm glad to hear that Rebels & Patriots will probably get a second print run soon which is a good indicator that the rules have been well received and will be widely played.

vlad4823 Feb 2019 3:57 p.m. PST

Hey Cae%ar,
Good to hear from someone who has actually used the book…

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