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"Bad Roads and Poor Rations: ...Wargaming the War of 1812." Topic

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1,612 hits since 23 Dec 2021
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
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IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2021 9:49 a.m. PST

Bad Roads and Poor Rations: Scenarios for Wargaming the War of 1812.
Has anyone purchased this book? If yes, your critique would be appreciated, thanks.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2021 11:01 a.m. PST

Have it on order from OMM when it comes in.

Stalkey and Co Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2022 5:51 p.m. PST

It's in, it seems.

Any feedback on it?

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2022 12:50 p.m. PST

I wrote this up for my club newsletter:
Book Review of Bad Roads and Poor Rations Fifty-Nine Wargame Scenarios for the North American War of 1812 by Adrian Mandzy, Ph. D. Published by Winged Hussar Publishing, LLC 220 Pages

The War of 1812 is one of my second-string interests. I have a good-sized collection in 15mm and a smaller collection in 54mm for skirmish level actions. I also have a collection of the old Limeys and Slimeys 15mm ships and boats and I hope to play some of the amphibious actions of the war in the future.

I also own Stuart Asquith's Scenarios for the War of 1812 and I will use that as a basis of comparison.

At 220 pages, Bad Roads and Poor Rations, dwarfs Scenarios for the War of 1812's 83 pages. While Asquith's book covers 12 scenarios, all land actions, Bad Roads and Poor Rations, as stated, covers 59, including actions on both land and water. One nice feature of Bad Roads and Poor Rations is that the table of contents lists the actual number of combatants and watercraft involved in each scenario. The book does not favor any one rules set, although the author states that he uses All the King's Men rules by Ken Cliffe, now out of print.

Bad Roads and Poor Rations is organized by region. There is no index. The regions are St. Lawrence, Eastern Lake Ontario; Central Lake Ontario; Niagara Peninsula; Western Great Lakes; East Coast and Gulf Coast. If you want to read about the battle of the Thames, you must search for it in the Western Great Lakes. If you don't already know the region of the battle, then you're at a slight loss. An index would have helped.

Each scenario includes a map. The maps are not as pretty as those in Asquith's book or the several campaign guides for the war published by Osprey, but they contain all you need to know in order to run a game. The book is also profusely illustrated with 166 illustrations, all attributed to their creators, which, as a published illustrator myself, I applaud. At the end of the book that are appendices for available figures, a list of Illustrations, a list of maps and an article on converting Pendraken 10mm British foot to US infantry. While Asquith's book contains a 66-title bibliography, Bad Roads and Poor Rations offers a list of relevant titles for further reading at the end of each scenario in lieu of a bibliography.

I am now going to compare one scenario from Bad Roads and Poor Rations to the same one in Scenarios for the War of 1812. I chose the Battle of Lundy's Lane, a scenario I am familiar with, having run it as a wargame several times. Both books cover the battle in 5 pages. The Asquith book has a pretty color full-page map compared to a half page line drawing map in Bad Roads and Poor Rations. So, the latter title devotes more text to the battle. Both books begin with a short section of background information and then go on to a description of the historical battle. Scenarios for the War of 1812 goes into greater detail and divides the battle up into 7 phases, while Bad Roads and Poor Rations divides it into only 3. In my opinion, the abbreviated version is more suited to the typical wargamer. Both books have similarly detailed orders of battle, with actual numbers given, where possible, for each unit involved. Bad Roads and Poor Rations gives definite victory conditions stating, "Whichever side holds the ridge at the end of twenty turns wins the game". Asquith's book has a heading for victory conditions and then fails to list them, instead ending the chapter by going into detail about the British militia and Indian allies. Overall, I would say that Bad Roads and Poor Rations has the advantage for providing useful information, focused directly for the wargamer.

Bad Roads and Poor Rations sells for $40.00 USD and is available from On Military Matters I would recommend it to anyone interested in gaming the War of 1812, regardless of rules or scale. I predict it will be the go-to book in my War of 1812 collection.

Normal Guy Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2022 1:56 p.m. PST

Thanks for the review, Nick.

arthur181514 Mar 2022 10:09 a.m. PST

Yes, thanks for a very informative and useful review.

Stalkey and Co Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2022 7:05 p.m. PST

Nice write-up.

Do the scenarios seem historical and balanced to you?

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP01 Apr 2022 5:33 p.m. PST

Many thanks for the review.

PaulRPetri20 Apr 2022 3:42 p.m. PST

This books is incredible. I got mine on Ebay for under 40 dollars which included shipping. It is 220 pages long!! It has everything in it. A must buy in my book. I am just venturing into this project with not much knowledge so this book is going to be very useful.

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2022 2:39 p.m. PST


Fantastic compendium.


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