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"Advice on rules" Topic

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magister equitum06 Jun 2020 3:17 a.m. PST

I need advice on choosing a set of rules for the Napoleonic period (I'm especially interested in the revolutionary wars). I'm looking for the following features:

1. They should have 2 or 3 scale variants or they can be easily scaled up or down, so you can play from small to big battles with the same basic rules and basing
2. I prefer more focus on command&control and fog-of-war, rather than low level details
3. Not too much bookkeeping and micromanagement

From online research I found that "Volley&Bayonet" (with alternate scale variants) and "Piguet – Les Grognards" fit the above list. Are there any other?

I wonder if also "Piquet – Field of Battle" does the same? And what differences are there with "Les Grognards"?


colonial nic06 Jun 2020 4:15 a.m. PST

Shako would do those things too.

keithbarker06 Jun 2020 4:40 a.m. PST

Have a look at Commands & Colors Napoleonics. Might be of interest. It comes with blocks but lots of people, myself included, play with figures and terrain! It hits all 3 of your requirements.

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2020 6:00 a.m. PST

Take a look at SNAPPY NAPPY. It is a very high level game that allows Ligny on a 4x6 table. Several campaigns are reported on the Blunders on the Danube website. There is little need to rebase units from other games, and it is easy and fun.

Legionarius06 Jun 2020 6:15 a.m. PST

I second Command and Colors and Snappy Nappy. Lots of good historical scenarios come with Command and Colors and there are more scenarios available online.

USAFpilot Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2020 6:20 a.m. PST

I'm a big fan of Commands & Colors because the rules are simple and easy to play; but I think you are interested in a more serious wargame. There is no scale in C&C; it is a board game played on a hex grid. Randomly drawn cards determine your command and control. You micromanage every unit; there is no chain of command. Like I said, a fun game I have played quite often and recommend, but it plays more like a game of chess and doesn't have the feel of a miniatures wargame.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Jun 2020 6:35 a.m. PST

Black Powder would also fit your bill.

A "unit" can be either a brigade or a battalion and the game still works quite well. The focus is command and control and formations with fog of war in the activation mechanic.

It is basing neutral (units are just given a size – small medium or large) so you can use your friend's figures as is.

Commands and Colors never felt Napoleonic to me. It is a fun board game but the connection to the period felt very, very limited at best.

arthur181506 Jun 2020 6:57 a.m. PST

Bob Cordery's The Portable Napoleonic Wargame has variants for Brigade, Division and Army sized forces would seem to meet your three equirements admirably.

It also has the merit of being inexpensive and the rules for each level are only about twelve A5 pages long.

Timmo uk06 Jun 2020 7:26 a.m. PST

Le Feu Sacre by TooFatLardies fits the bill and is particularly strong for:

1) fog of war
2) C&C
3) specific rules for fighting with Revolutionary War armies
4) not needing to worry about micro-management or too much book keeping

coopman06 Jun 2020 9:31 a.m. PST

V&B has no command control. However, the gamers themselves offer all the variables that you could ever hope to find as they maneuver their troops into battle.

magister equitum06 Jun 2020 2:18 p.m. PST

Thanks to all, I will look into the suggestions!

Mike Petro06 Jun 2020 2:20 p.m. PST

Piquet just released Field of Battle 3. I just got the new cards, very nice.

Les Grognards does indeed scale up and down. So does Rank and File by Crusader Publishing.

Napoleons battles is semi scalable ( choose your figure ratio) much as the Fire and Fury variant Age of Eagles.

People probably scale or bathtub Black Powder as well.

Personally prefer the randomness of Piquet based games. Flows like a story of a battle. Many like them and many hate them. Each their own.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2020 5:06 p.m. PST

I admire the spirit, but I finally went two ways instead--microscale armies with constant-frontage bases for big battles, and larger individually mounted castings for times when you want to show battalion attrition or keep track of formations. It's something you might want to keep in mind. Asking a single set of rules to do both Barossa and Leipzig can be something of a strain.

khanscom06 Jun 2020 5:38 p.m. PST

"Campi di Gloria" perhaps? Game mechanics might be a bit more complex than you are seeking, though. "Shako" is also a good bet.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2020 3:25 a.m. PST

You might want to consider "Bloody Big BATTLES!" (BBB)

"1. They should be easily scaled up or down"
Check – BBB uses elastic troop, ground and time scales to fit pretty much any battle into an evening's play on a 6'x4' table.

"2. I prefer more focus on command&control and fog-of-war, rather than low level details"
Check – simple but subtle C&C; fog of war comes from the activation rolls; pretty stripped-down on the complexity scale.

"3. Not too much bookkeeping and micromanagement"
Check – base removal rather than strength points etc; all distances measured in 3" increments.

You can find lots of reviews on my BBBBlog. Here's a relatively recent one from a group in Virginia that's adopted BBB for Napoleonics:

Hope this helps. Good luck with finding the ruleset that suits you.


Bloody Big BATTLES!

KimRYoung Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2020 3:05 p.m. PST

Take a look at these, they are Free


There a some good ideas here and could be scaled as needed.


KimRYoung Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2020 3:11 p.m. PST

I like these even better


138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP02 Jul 2020 3:44 p.m. PST

ESR from The Wargaming Company is a great place to start

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