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"Recommend a set of rules for single-day club games" Topic


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Wayniac29 Aug 2020 8:16 a.m. PST

Hi all, my group is considering revisiting Napoleonics after the idea sort of fell by the wayside. We were originally planning on 28mm and Black Powder but the more we think of it the more it seems like we may want a different approach since we only play around once a month and the store we play at has 6x4 or maybe 8x4 tables and we don't really want to futz around with adjusting things if we can avoid it. We really want something that is suitable for club games (not necessarily pickup games, we will likely prearrange them as it's a small group) for a single afternoon's worth of gaming.

We are discussing 15mm or 10mm models (the latter likely only if we choose to play ESR) instead and the topic came up about rules since none of us are really that fond of Black Powder; we only picked it because at the time we were considering doing joint things with a group south of us and that's what they used.

In talking to the others our criteria list looks something like this:

1) Plays well on a 6x4 or 8x4 table with up to 28mm (if we stick with that), 15mm or 10mm figures

2) Can be played to a reasonable conclusion within a few hours, say around 3 or so.

3) Allows us to play larger battles but not full-scale battles; we want to do more than a small clash but not the entirety of Waterloo or Austerlitz. I think this translates to Brigade level or one level higher (Corps?) but that terminology is confusing.

4) Rules are reasonably straightforward, none of us want a dissertation or having to do a ton of setup or complex mechanics. This is one game among a few that we will play so we'd prefer something that we can pick up reasonably quickly without constantly referring to the book to see how to play.

5) Doesn't require a ton of setup; as mentioned above we get together roughly monthly on a Sunday for a few hours so we want to maximize our game time.

6) Has at least some period flavor; it doesn' have to be a huge amount but it should feel like a Napoleonic game and reward at least some adaptation of period tactics

Looking at some rules and doing some research I think I've narrowed it down to the following that seem to fit and look interesting without being overly complicated or "strange" looking (I could be wrong though, this is certainly a deep, deep topic):

Black Powder (but see above)
Field of Glory: Napoleonic
Rank and File
March Attack
Et Sans Resultat

Any suggestions or other tips? This is all still relatively new to us (we mainly play Flames of War and Warhammer) so we are trying to make a decision before we start spending too much money and lock ourselves in. The above rules seem like they fit what we want at first glance but any more information would be helpful.

Wayne

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2020 9:18 a.m. PST

I like Black Powder the Clash of Eagles cover Central/Eastern Europe well (I am not a big fan of the Penninsular War) – I will add the caveat that we game in 6mm with obviously smaller base sizes and use cm instead of inches

You might want to look at Age of Eagles they are designed for the size of battle you like and are also designed around 15mm

https://ageofeagles.com

John Armatys29 Aug 2020 10:29 a.m. PST

I use a home made set called "Brown Bess", on a 3ft x 4ft table with up to about 12 x 15mm units a side (for a larger table you could add 50% to all distances). There are some reports of games here link

The rules were published in The Nugget No. 317 which you can download free from link

Steamingdave229 Aug 2020 10:55 a.m. PST

Definitely not Black Powder far too generic, even with the supplements. Not played the new edition of FoG(N), but found the original edition rather difficult to follow and find infirmation quickly during a game. The book needed a lot of editing. If the new edition has dealt with this ssue, then the basic rules are sound. Rank and File is quite easyto pick up. Never played " March Attack" or "ESR"
I like "Over the Hills" for this type of game, it has distinctive characterstics for different nations and a mechanism, "Fatigue Scores", which encourages the use of reserves and ensures that you can't just keep throwing a brigade at a hopeless situation. It also means that you get a result in the time scale you have. We used to play a lot of 10mm games on tables ranging from 6x4 up to 10 x 5 with up to 6 players.

T Corret Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2020 10:59 a.m. PST

Give Snappy Nappy a try. I have been Napping since Grant and Quarry, with years of Empire thrown in, and Snappy never fails to deliver a quick, satisfying game. An added advantage is the small numbers of figures you need for a large game.

Legionarius29 Aug 2020 11:08 a.m. PST

Snappy Nappy is a very nice set. Quick and provides good historical result.

MajorB29 Aug 2020 1:28 p.m. PST

Snappy Nappy is a very nice set.

With an awful title.

Mike Petro29 Aug 2020 2:15 p.m. PST

Rank and File. Each unit can be a battalion, regiment or brigade. Each stand can be 50, 100, 250 men.

Uber simple, fun games that won't give you a headache, but some may find too generic and not very "Napoleonic".

We used them for Naps and they were fine.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Aug 2020 7:19 p.m. PST

Volley and Bayonet is another option.

repaint30 Aug 2020 12:40 a.m. PST

From my research to the same question, I selected the following rules:
-Age of Eagles
-Volley & Bayonets: road to glory

Wayniac30 Aug 2020 4:27 a.m. PST

I've heard good things about volley and bayonet. It was added yesterday by the group to prefer something "base agnostic" but I'm pretty sure nearly all rules are like that and have the "if everything is based the same it's fine" clause.

I'll need to try and find some more info on Age of Eagles and V&B. Same with Snappy Nappy but yikes that name lol

Right now I think my suggestion is Rank and File since it seems simple enough that we won't get bogged down in rules yet fun.
I can't quite tell what scale it's designed for but the rules seem to work at any (my suggestion is going to be 15mm so we have shared terrain with Flames of War) , but ESR is very tempting due to the army packs (even if they are 10mm I think 15mm terrain still works). Just looks a lot more complicated from what I'm seeing. Trying to watch a demo on YouTube and I keep getting distracted by all the nuances…

I think I can rule out FOG; seems complicated and I really really don't like that a unit is an entire brigade since isn't a brigade made up of multiple regiments? So what, you consolidate three different regiments into one unit? Or did I misunderstand?

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2020 7:04 a.m. PST

If you need more info on Snappy Nappy here are some links,
YouTube link
link
YouTube link

I have the rules and you can easily do battles with them. The campaigns however are really something special.

Wayniac30 Aug 2020 7:09 a.m. PST

Those do look cool, although we only have like a handful of people so not enough to do like 10 tables xD Still, that is really cool.

Wayne

oldnorthstate30 Aug 2020 7:50 a.m. PST

I suggest the Carnage and Glory computer moderated Napoleonic system. The program allows you to set you ground scale and the appropriate figure ratio so you can adapt to any table size…the rules are easy to pick up for new players since all the calculations and record keeping is done by the program.

Steamingdave230 Aug 2020 10:31 a.m. PST

@wayniac
I think FoG(N) units are " regiments", not brigades (except if you are playing British of course) I remember there was a lot of discussion about why they had gone for regiments when the first edition came out.

Wayniac30 Aug 2020 11:06 a.m. PST

Regiments make more sense to me than brigades, because I get a regiment is made up of battalions so you would represent the whole regiment on the table. But a brigade seems weird since a brigade is made up of multiple regiments.

Watching a tutorial on ESR at the moment since we seemed interested in that but man it looks really complicated and drawn out. I'll need to look more at FOG:N since the points system and pickup friendly part is tempting.

Rank & File is currently winning because I really like that it's straightforward and easy to pick up. Since we will have limited playtime and Naps aren't our focus something that we don't have to re-learn every time we play would be good.

Wayne

Rich Bliss30 Aug 2020 12:00 p.m. PST

For Volley and Bayonet, see;

link

Mark5230 Aug 2020 1:17 p.m. PST

I've enjoyed Grand Battles Napoleon. You can play small or larger battles depending on time. I play in 15mm. Plenty of manufacturers in that size.

Here's a sample game: PDF link

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2020 3:57 p.m. PST

Here is an old TMP thread on Rank and File.
TMP link

Wayniac30 Aug 2020 4:07 p.m. PST

Thank you, I had found that link previously but had lost it in the middle of reading.

I do like how R&F is straightforward and seems to be intended for the sort of "club games" that we are thinking and what we generally do. We are fans of the period but I wouldn't say we are so heavily into it that we want something highly detailed but something that gives us a straightforward way to indulge the period's flavor without being cumbersome. If that makes sense.

Wayne

leidang Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2020 8:50 p.m. PST

We had fun with Cold Steel and Canister for a while. It's biggest assist for speed is that is played on a grid so you eliminate all the fiddling with measuring movement and measuring angles and wheels.

Also uses order chits so you can do some simultaneous movement except where you get close and order starts to matter.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2020 12:54 p.m. PST

One other rules set you might want to consider, Sam Mustafa's La Salle rules, they fit the criteria you have laid out. Tons of reviews of them on the internet and here on TMP as well.

Wayniac02 Sep 2020 3:11 a.m. PST

After a lot, and I mean a lot of back and forth, we decided to stick with Black Powder since there are more groups around here that use it and a few that play other Warlord games so it's an easier sell to them. And since at least one core member bought a bunch of 28mm already we decided to stay at that scale. We'll find a way to make it work.

C'est la vie.

Wayne

Bismarck08 Sep 2020 3:08 p.m. PST

"Before I was a Marshal I was a Grenadier" by the late Larry Brom. For larger battles "Bring up the Guns". Both are great for newcomers and seasoned gamers alike. And you get to use DICE!!!!

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2020 11:04 a.m. PST

Don't forget ERS. The Wargames Company does excellent services.

Comstar22 Jan 2021 3:05 p.m. PST

Your answer was ultimately the best what does everyone else in my area play.

After playing about a Dozen games of Field of Glory Napoleonics, I think it does fit a lot of your criteria.

) Plays well on a 6x4 or 8x4 table with up to 28mm (if we stick with that), 15mm or 10mm figures The rules are based on what size you play, so it covers all your sizes (6mm/15mm/28mm). A 6x4 table works for 15-18mm.

2) Can be played to a reasonable conclusion within a few hours, say around 3 or so. The game is designed for 3 hour games between 2 people. It's great for club or tournaments were you can play for 3 hours in a standard corps sized game of 800 points. There are variant online rules for 500 point games on a 4x4 table in 15mm, which would be quicker.

3) Allows us to play larger battles but not full-scale battles; we want to do more than a small clash but not the entirety of Waterloo or Austerlitz. I think this translates to Brigade level or one level higher (Corps?) but that terminology is confusing. The game calls itself as being regimental level, but you play as one Corps commander. Each base of figures works out to one regiment/2-3 battalion's and you have 20-40 stands per army. This also means you can easily refight an entire historical battle with 2-4 players a side. I played in a Battle of Taravala with 3 a side, each player controlling 2-4 divisions of troops and it went for about 5 hours.

4) Rules are reasonably straightforward, none of us want a dissertation or having to do a ton of setup or complex mechanics. This is one game among a few that we will play so we'd prefer something that we can pick up reasonably quickly without constantly referring to the book to see how to play. FOGN got re-written to much more clearer. However, the interactions of rules can be a bit hard to learn and it takes sometime to learn. I do think they are vastly better laid out and written than Black Powder. The book does lack an index which is maddening when trying to work out what rules apply to what units. Once learnt the game can be players with reference to 5 pages of tables (movement, firing ranges, firing dice etc).

5) Doesn't require a ton of setup; as mentioned above we get together roughly monthly on a Sunday for a few hours so we want to maximize our game time. Unlike a lot of other games, the setup is part of the game! Each player chooses what terrain they want on the table and then roll to see where it goes so a good general will choose his ground carefully. It's pretty quick to setup though, and if you don't want much terrain on the table it's very quick (you might only have 4 pieces to place). Units deploy on the table as entire divisions, so you only placing 2-4 groups of units on the table each time for each player, and if one side is attacking and the other defending, you put your entire army down at one time without needing to alternate.

6) Has at least some period flavor; it doesn' have to be a huge amount but it should feel like a Napoleonic game and reward at least some adaptation of period tactics. I've found I started to win games with my Peninsula army only after I started to read use Wellington's tactics. Place your infantry on the reverse slope. Put Cavalry on the flank but you need artillery or infantry if you force the enemy into square. Cavalry that charges too far can be counter charged when there are spent and blown. Cavalry can slow down the enemy advance and force them into square. Attacking infantry need artillery to good firepower to disrupt the enemy before charging and need flank and rear support. I think it leads to very historical tactics and outcomes, but you still get out of the ordinary events that make battles memorable (My Portuguese conscripts held the line! The Polish Lancers wiped out a division with one decisive charge. The Highlander infantry charged the town and took it despite being outnumbered).

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