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"what is Piquet and all its various napoleonic supplements" Topic

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GeorgBuchner21 Jan 2023 9:32 p.m. PST

Of all the rule sets i have been interested in of late – kind of got carried away with just collecting them generally – one series though has escaped me and that is Piquet – looking at their website they have a bunch of different sets which kind of sound similar
Les Grognards
Grand Piquet
Field of Battle
Battle Command
and Command Piquet

i see Les Grognards requires the Master Rules, but i am not sure if the others do or not.

Command Piquet doesnt and perhaps this one and Grand Piquet i am not curious about – are these good systems? they sound good for solo play according to another site

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2023 10:06 p.m. PST

Field of Battle is a standalone set of rules for 1700-1900, written to be a sort of "Piquet lite", so not quite full Piquet, no need for master rules. It's now up to FOB 3, which is also expanded to cover back to the ECW.

dave8365 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2023 10:59 p.m. PST

And don't forget the recently-released Battle Command, which appears to be a modified FOB3. Haven't seen enough reviews to really dive down into it, but I'm curious, particularly since it appears to be a brigade-as-basic-unit level game.


BillyNM21 Jan 2023 11:19 p.m. PST

IMO the real gems in terms of game mechanism in Piquet is the card activation system (tied to initiative / time clocks/counters ) and the morale system where you have a pot of morale chits that are expended as bad things happen and you pay a morale chit to make the opponent test morale. The multi dice system used for combat and morale is OK but I find gimmicky so swapped in another set of rules for those bits (easy to do), and it seems many people tweak the rules for their preference.

The TMP link below tells you most of what you need to know and there used to be some learning examples of game play online which I can no longer find, although I have kept copies if you're interested.

TMP link

Again, IMO, if you don't have oppoenents already playing Piquet I reckon you're better off making your own period modifications to the Master Rules.

JeffGrein22 Jan 2023 8:40 a.m. PST

Check out Peter Anderson's fantastic blog:


He has many examples of a number of these sets as well as other fantastic games.

Dexter Ward22 Jan 2023 9:33 a.m. PST

Field of Battle makes for a superb solo set

GeorgBuchner22 Jan 2023 5:59 p.m. PST

thanks for the replies – i will have to look at Field of Battle then , should be a review of it somewhere i can read

HMS Exeter22 Jan 2023 9:29 p.m. PST

My group tried to test drive the AWI Piquet a few times and, while I admit we weren't experts on its' mechanics, and, we might have been working from an early iteration of the rules, but, the general concensus was we would rather subject ourselves to a series of root canals, forced marches after overdoses of laxatives, and/or a marathon of Slim Whitman albums, than try that again.

As noted above, the fundamental core of Piquet is a card driven activation system. Fine, in and of itself, but the cards don't just determine when you can do something, it also constrains WHAT you can do. If you are in perfect position to shoot at a target, and have loaded muskets, but you don't have a SHOOT card, you ain't shooting.


BillyNM22 Jan 2023 10:39 p.m. PST

HMS Exeter – in my, admittedly old, copy of Piquet you can always fire if loaded, you just need a card to reload. But I admit it's a ‘Marmite' rule-set, I have some friends who enjoy it while others would rather end a friendship than play.

HMS Exeter23 Jan 2023 1:49 a.m. PST


What sent several of our group over the edge was an AWI feature called "sneaky heathens" that tended to upend turn sequencing. Of course, the unsupported gun crew that repulsed a dragoon charge didn't help.

Mr Elmo23 Jan 2023 4:23 a.m. PST


The rules are really bad. Don't bother unless you collect horrible rules.

One of the mechanics is D20 rolls for "action points" with a turn countdown clock so:
I roll a 16, you got an 8 so I get 8 points and the clock is now at 12
I roll a 14, you got a 9 so I get 5 points and the clock is now at 7
I look, you rolled a 19 and I got a 3 but you only get 7 remaining

As you might imagine, this happens turn after turn and you might as well not play.

Tanker1123 Jan 2023 5:28 a.m. PST

I strongly recommend Field of Battle 3ed (FOB3). It addresses the "swingy" initiative issue that many (example: Mr Elmo, above) don't like from original Pique.

The card and dice interactions are great. Keeps players involved.

Peter Anderson runs fantastic games at each Historicon, the high points of my wargaming year. He has examples on his blog as JeffGrein posted above.

The just released Battle Command is a derivative of FOB3. I have not played it yet, but it looks very good. Takes some of the cards from FOB3 and gives the player/general multiple options on each card based on leadership quality roll. Intriguing.

Regarding the only "shooting" when the right card is drawn….this is a little disingenuous based on how the rules work (FOB3). You get to resolve effects of fire when you shoot, and only get to "reload/reset" your unit on the infantry firepower card.

FOB3 has allowed me to play in huge games to a clear results (the morale chip rules), have many difficult decisions to make, and play as a general. I have launched a multi-regiment (several brigades) cavalry charge that devastated an enemy corps, turned the flank, and started to draw the enemy reserves. In many rule sets, this kind of sweeping movement is impossible.

Try them out…PDFs available….print the cards., and away you go.

JeffGrein23 Jan 2023 8:55 a.m. PST

I love all the hate for a rule set that people seemed to have played once or twice, complain about rules that they did not play correctly and then decide it was a piece of trash.

Tanker11 got it correct.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2023 9:07 a.m. PST

I am of the group that tried it once and never looked back.
Way too fiddly.

DeRuyter23 Jan 2023 9:55 a.m. PST

@JeffGrein: TBF the hate appears to be for the initial Piquet rules not the subsequent FOB iterations.

One could also say that the some of the criticism of the original is fair based on the changes made in FOB.

Gonsalvo26 Jan 2023 3:24 p.m. PST

I actually still like original Piquet a lot myself, but it plays best with 1 or 2 players a side who "get" it, and with a bit of impetus modulation, such as Eric Burgess' "Rule of 1/3".

Having said that, I LOVE Field of Battle, and really enjoyed my first game of Battle Command, which is not FoB, but certainly is closely related to it. Some more direct linksto posts on my blog..


A (very) detailed walk through of Filed of Battle, 3rd edition, which also includes the prior review of FoB1 and FoB2, including who they relate to Piquet

Battle of Ocana, 1809 with Battle Command (later part includes a look at the mechanisms that maje it different for FoB3)


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