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"Le Petit Empereur Returns to Millennium Con 9" Topic

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1,877 hits since 13 Nov 2006
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Ed von HesseFedora13 Nov 2006 6:19 p.m. PST

This past weekend at Millennium 9 in Austin, TX, my friend Ray Rangel and I put on a series of games using the rules "Le Petit Empereur" by Chipco Games. Ray and I would like to thank the M9 staff and Lone Star Historical Miniatures for a great convention and for all their help.

"Le Petit Empereur" (LPE) is a fast-playing game, with units abstracted to give a Napoleonic flavor. Each stand is one of seven types (elite cavalry, other cavalry, elite infantry, line infantry, light infantry, foot artillery, or horse artillery). There are no formations in the game, with the mechanics giving benefits to foot or cavalry as appropriate based on the situation. The player acts as an overall general.

We based our terrain on the Battle of Quatre Bras, but used the "generic" LPE armies to represent the British and their Brunswick allies against the French. So, there were some anachronisms, in that French elite infantry and British elite cavalry were on the table, but not at the original battle.

LPE has had a long history at our club, always before in 15mm. Ray and I have decided to put together a 28mm project. In order to get a game going quickly, we started with LPE, which uses only around 130 models per side.

Arriving at Millennium on Friday, Ray and I played a practice game in the main ballroom. It was the first time we had the finished troops all together, and the first time we played the game in 28mm. The practice was quite successful, and the game looked great.

On Saturday, our designated table was open a couple hours earlier than our planned 2 pm start, so we went ahead and set the game up. This allowed us plenty of time to get everything laid out, and that attracted a number of people. We explained the game and were able to recruit a few players for later.

The game started around 2. After a short description of the rules, we got straight into playing. We had four players, one completely new to LPE and three that had played once or twice years before. The rules are simple, and everyone was soon able to run their own forces with little help from either the referees or even the reference sheets.

At this point I should mention LPE's most interesting mechanism: the Morale Clock. As the armies take casualties, their Morale Clock goes down. Since the clock determines how many units can be moved, the players soon find themselves unable to control their entire army. They have to prioritize their moves without being able to do all they would like to do. As the clock ticks down toward zero, the choices become more and more critical, until one side's clock reaches zero and the game ends.

The large buildings and figures drew a lot of attention from passers by. When the first game ended around 5, we quickly set it up again, grabbed a bite to eat, answered more questions, and launched another group of five gamers at 7. More rousing good fun was had by all, with several exciting rounds of combat centering around the crossroads at Quatre Bras.

The second game ended around 10:30, and although not scheduled for a third round, we had more than enough interest and did so. By my count, we cycled 15 different players through the games on Saturday. All of these games ended with very definite conclusions, which is one of the benefits of LPE. No one had any doubt who won.

It turned out the French won every time. The power of the French elite troops successfully overcame the prime benefit of the British army, which in LPE receives a bonus on the defense. But I think everyone had a good time, which was the prime reason that Ray and I put on the game.

Cast and Credits:

British: Foundry figures painted by Ray
Brunswick: Perry figures painted by Ray
French: HCH figures from Tinsoldier UK
Bases: Litko Aerosystems (based and terrained by Ed)
Buildings: Renaissance Ink, Miniature Building Authority, and scratch-built by Ed
Mats: Hotz Artwork
Trees: Woodland Scenics

Chipco generously donated 5 copies of LPE to the players. Thanks to Paul at Saber's Edge for providing the copies.

I'm sure I left off something, but hope you enjoyed the write up. For some pictures, visit Ray's website at


It works best in Internet Explorer. Additional pictures may show up at the LSHM site at

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2006 6:42 p.m. PST

I saw their game and it was very impressive. Thanks for all the effort to put on a great game for MCon guys.

preston Inactive Member13 Nov 2006 6:46 p.m. PST

I got to play in the second game & had a great time. Thanks for running the game and having such pretty figs.

Dave Gamer Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2006 6:49 p.m. PST

What size bases did you use for 28mm?

Ed von HesseFedora13 Nov 2006 6:52 p.m. PST


We doubled everything, so the bases were 3 inches square, with infantry move at 8 inches, artillery range 16 inches, etc.

Thanks for the nice words, Preston & Shag!


Some other name Inactive Member13 Nov 2006 8:51 p.m. PST

Everyone, including myself, should learn how to run a convention game from Ed and Ray. The session started with a quick explanation of the rules and capabilities of the units and it seemed like they had rehearsed the presentation numerous times. Ed was on one side of the table and Ray was on the other so if there was a question either of them were close by to answer. The rules were not complicated so the time was spent playing the game not looking up rules. The figures and terrain were great and showed they really put a lot into the visual aspect. The scenario was well balanced and the game flowed smoothly – no long periods of inactivity.
Can't wait until their Wellington's Rules game next year!

Jeigheff Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2006 5:48 a.m. PST

I second your comments, Grenadier Books. Ed and Ray did a great job!

Chris at Little Wars Inactive Member14 Nov 2006 7:37 a.m. PST

The Game looked great. I was even inspired to paint up some of the Mirliton Napoleonices for next year.

Ed von HesseFedora14 Nov 2006 4:54 p.m. PST

Thanks for the compliments.

We hope to see you all at M10 next year, where Ray and I hope to put on a corps-sized game using Wellington Rules. As mentioned at M9, we invite anyone with 30:1 25/28mm units to join us for a big fun game.


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