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"Colonial Fire & Fury" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Lascaris30 Apr 2022 1:24 p.m. PST

So I'm toying with the idea of using regimental Fire & Fury for refighting mid-sized colonial actions and I'm wondering if anyone else has gone down this road before?

So far I'm thinking that the British are relatively straight forward to rate with the exception that the range of their breech loaders should probably be the same or somewhat higher than a rifled musket in the rules. I'm thinking Veteran/Reliable with perhaps Crack for guards and spirited for Highlanders. For Egyptians I'm thinking Trained/Unreliable for the units deployed to the Sudan.

For the Mahdist's I'm thinking Field Column as the only formation, except for Jihadiya who could also use skirmish. Hadendowah get no ranged fire but obviously get the "cold steel" benefit. Ansar would have the "green musketry" modifier.

Anyway, interested in others opinions on either the viability of doing this and any comments on ratings or other rules tweaks to fit the period.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2022 3:06 p.m. PST

Battles for Empire 2 uses a Fire & Fury type movement system, which is what attracted our group and we've been playing it ever since. The combat system is not the same, but it does a great job of simulating the "lava like" flow of the native formations.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2022 3:09 p.m. PST
Ogdenlulimus Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2022 3:24 p.m. PST

You could have a look at Age of Tigers. It is an Age of Valor sub-set done for colonial fights in India.

Ferd4523101 May 2022 5:04 a.m. PST

Did you go to the F&F web site. There are variants posted and the forum could help you contact those of a similar mind. H

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2022 10:20 a.m. PST

I have toyed with similar ideas, and came to the conclusion I don't really like RF&F for later, less formalized conflicts. I think aegiscg47 has a point, BfE2 has similar mechanics, is already adapted for the colonial genre, and should be pretty easy to adjust if you want to adapt specific RF&F mechanics (e.g. one roll per command).

If you insist on continuing with RF&F, some things to consider:

  • Field column doesn't really act like a mob of irregular melee infantry. You really need a new formation that's a bit shallower and less rigid.
  • Irregular native cavalry should also have less rigid formations, e.g., more amorphous movement around obstacles, very open clouds for light skirmishing horsemen, etc.
  • Skilled marksmen make little difference in large pitched battles that RF&F simulates, but can have an outsized influence on smaller colonial-sized actions.
  • You'll need to add new lines for new rifle types. I had to add a new line for the Chassepot; the abilities of later 19th C. British rifles like the Martini-Henry and Lee-Metford will be similarly unaccounted for.
  • It's not enough to just add extra weapon types, you also need to invent rules to reflect tactical uses determined by technological limitations. E.g.: RF&F has no rules for MGs, and early MGs had very specific technological limitations unique to each design contrast the use cases for the mitrailleuse, gatling gun, Maxim gun, etc.
  • The average practical size of RF&F unit is a regiment/battalion of 6-8 stands, but colonial actions often involved maneuvering smaller formations (like companies or even platoons). This has proved a problem in AWI gaming (which is full of 120-250 man militia units). An obvious solution is to reduce the ratio of men/stand (to e.g. 20 or 25 men/stand), but this requires a consequent reduction in ground scale, which then increases weapon and movement ranges, and things start to get wonky in a hurry.

Making all these modifications can be fun, but it is time-consuming, and the unintended consequences can be legion. As Ferd45231 pointed out, the RF&F supplements may have extra rules that could help guide further modifications of the basic system. In particular, the rules for Open Order in the RF&F AWI supplement have some ideas that might help make more flexible formations. I also recommend mining BfE2 and even TSATF for ideas.

- Ix

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