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"L'Art de la Guerre Rules" Topic

l'Art de la Guerre

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TangoOneThreeAlpha08 Sep 2016 1:11 a.m. PST


I'm thinking of giving these rules a try (when they are back in print in the UK) after becoming disillusioned with some aspects of the Impetus rules set and was wondering what players think of them for non competition 'friendly' type games.

Do you think they give a 'feel' of an ancient battle?

Thanks for any help.


Zippee08 Sep 2016 1:26 a.m. PST

Not IMO – they represent a return to fiddly geometric DBM/FOG style play in my book.

I'd stick with Impetus and await Impetus II or try To The Strongest for a change of pace.

getback08 Sep 2016 1:50 a.m. PST

Opposite experience. They do have their roots in DBx/FOG but the differences are greater than the similarities.

Geometry is there but streamlined and simplified. They do not get in the way at all. Personally I think you need a bit of geometry to make it feel ancient.

The gameplay is very quick. The rules have clever, subtle mechanisms to differentiate troop types. They include variable command abilities, ambushes, flank marching and so on.

I would say that they are a mid-way point between DBx/FoG and Impetus. Possibly a little simpler to pick up than Impetus.

I have played Hail Caesar, Impetus, Sword and Spear, DBX, To the Strongest and ADLG (and others). ADLG presses my ancient wargaming button the most.

Revived my ancient/medieval gaming in 15 and 28mm.

madaxeman08 Sep 2016 2:41 a.m. PST

Agreed the geometry is far less intrusive than in any previous DBx-based set (and lets face it, ADLG is a DBx-based set)

In some ways I am coming to think of ADLG as almost a "DBM v6" developed in an alternative history timeline, where instead of Phil Barker continuing to dive down the complexity rabbit hole with DBMM, development of DBM after 3.x was taken over by a group of sensible, pragmatic and experienced gamers who knew how to play, and who wanted to knock as much of the fiddly stuff out of the rules as they could and replace it with common sense and some more mainstream gaming concepts as well. Its been around for about 8 years being played widely in French, and is on V3.0 hence the "V6 of DBM" idea ..

Taking out pushbacks and replacing their game-level effects with 2-4 levels of hit points per base achieved a lot of the simplification at a stroke (no more buttocks of death), and standardising the basing around DBEs rather than single elements is also a nice touch as everything is (almost) on the same sized base. Having skirmishers and cavalry actually shoot is also nice to have "back" too.

For me, a big part of ancient gaming is also seeing/feeling how different armies "drive" differently, and ADLG does that very well, as the lists have clearly been written to produce viable armies with the right 'feel', rather than being slaves to what sketchy history might be out there (which can end up opening the door for odd max-min compositions that end up breaking the game)

ADLG is still a DBx-based set however, so if you liked DBx rules you should find that ADLG is a cleaner, newer version but on the other hand if you have a religious objection to the idea that a 40mm (or 60mm in 25mm) wide base of figures represents a unit, and you want to see smaller numbers of bigger slabs of troops moving around the table it might not be for you. If Impetus isn't for you, the other popular set of that ilk is probably Hail Caesar I guess?

idontbelieveit08 Sep 2016 3:07 a.m. PST

Yeah, we tried Impetus. It's pretty messed up. It actually had the characteristic of DBR that made me give up on the DBx system – the guy who charges has a big advantage. So really aggressive troops sit outside of charge range for fear of being charged. Combine that with the possibility of double moves and the game is really about working the game mechanics rather than having a battle.

We like ADLG quite a bit and while we like tournaments, most of our gaming is friendly gaming. It's easy to pick up and is very clean.

aynsley68308 Sep 2016 4:13 a.m. PST

Take a quick look at this thread on here from a few days ago -

TMP link

As you can see Zippee wasn't complementary there either, actually Zippee have you even tried ADLG at all?

ADLG does not have any more fiddly bits than anything else even Impeteus ( isn't that the one with the lucky charm that cancels out your lucky roll and all those shooting tables ).

The French have had these play tested for 7 years or so now and are well worth a try now they are finally in English ( or will be again once they are reprinted).

Take a quick look at the link I posted as it was talked about here on the miniatures page and will have all the info you need.

Another good indicator is the fact at our big con in Lancaster Pa. ADLG is drawing 30 or 40 players, a lot more than anything else ancient wise, FOG is gone and Impeteus hasn't been sen at Lancaster for years if at all.

Zippee08 Sep 2016 4:39 a.m. PST

Zippee have you even tried ADLG at all

Yes I have and have a moderately better understanding of it than you seem to have of Impetus.

To each their own.

ADLG certainly seems to get a lot of defensive hackles raised.

Yesthatphil08 Sep 2016 5:04 a.m. PST

I like some of the concepts in Impetus but it really doesn't hold together as well as ADLG.

As above, if you like the sort of game ADLG is descended from, it is a good bet.

We used ADLG for a show-style reconstruction of the Battle of Edgcote (1469) and it gave a very good and plausible narrative … actually it surprised me how good a job it did, 'straight out of the box' as it were.

So, for a medieval historical wargame, it seems to give more feel than you might expect.


MichaelCollinsHimself08 Sep 2016 5:48 a.m. PST

Talking about impetus…

I just wondered if any ADLG players out there could explain how or why it is that Romans get something called "impact" when they are charged by either warbands or pikemen?

Who asked this joker08 Sep 2016 5:53 a.m. PST

I have not played nor am I a fan of complicated rules. Fortunately, these are NOT terribly complicated. They blend some aspects from DBx and Armati together to form a fairly coherent game. The rules are also pretty clear and well edited with little in the way of awkward English (The authors are French I believe) so that is a huge plus. The actual rules, while somewhat lengthy, are coupled with plenty of diagrams that help explain the game concepts. It is a pretty easy read. Designed specifically for tournaments, this set can easily be used for historical battles and pickup games.

I say give them a go!

getback08 Sep 2016 5:58 a.m. PST

"I just wondered if any ADLG players out there could explain how or why it is that Romans get something called "impact" when they are charged by either warbands or pikemen?"

It is an abstraction to represent the last moment use of pila.

aynsley68308 Sep 2016 6:00 a.m. PST

Zippe, no one plays it around me or at the cons is why I don't have a understanding of it and the rules are fairly expensive, never ever seen it played but everyone seems to like ADLG.

MichaelCollinsHimself08 Sep 2016 6:04 a.m. PST

Thanks for the reply Mark!

mbsparta08 Sep 2016 6:52 a.m. PST

We play a lot of ADLG … almost never in a tournament setting.

In 28 MM the armies are perfect for a 6x4 table and look and feel like i believe ancient armies should.

As for game play it is clean and offers challenges turn by turn. All around it is just a fun game.

I have played WAB, Hail Caesar, DBM/MM, a few other games. I enjoy this as much as any game I have played.

Mike B

Prince Alberts Revenge08 Sep 2016 7:55 a.m. PST

I played one game of ADLG and decided it wasn't my cup of tea. Regarding the geometry, I was about to get outflanked by an impressive group of enemy cavalry. One of the more versed ADLG players saw my situation and recommended I angle a small group of skirmishers to block them. The ZOC or geometry of the angling prevented the enemy from falling upon my flank. I won ended up winning the battle but decided I wasn't going to invest more time in the rules, at least for right now. It didn't feel right to me and I'm not a fan of geometry-centric moves. That's not to say they aren't a great rule set for some, just not for me. People in my club seem to enjoy it and the book is very pretty filled with diagrams, army lists and photos.

Who asked this joker08 Sep 2016 8:28 a.m. PST

I'm not sure that is so bad, Josh, if the skirmishers were able to be attacked. basically, you ordered them forward to shoot and annoy the target unit and they would turn and eliminate the threat.

The geometric ploys I hate are those where you maneuver units in such a way that it is impossible to attack anything.

madaxeman08 Sep 2016 9:17 a.m. PST

Skirmishers have a mandatory evade when charged by cavalry (or any proper troops) in ADLG and they exert no ZOC on proper troops either, so they shouldn't really have been be able to block any sort of charge… .?

Prince Alberts Revenge08 Sep 2016 9:59 a.m. PST

John and MadAxe: I don't recall the exact specifics of the situation and there is possibility it was done incorrectly or there was a proper rationale for the situation (maybe a second unit behind the skirmishers, I can't remember). The issue for me was that the skirmisher unit was pivoted a small bit to create the situation. Again, I can only speak of my personal opinions and observations, I felt like geometry was too much of a factor for my taste.

madaxeman08 Sep 2016 11:34 a.m. PST

Hmmm.. The only "hard" geometry thing I can think of that might be relevant I s that you have to have part of your units front edge "beyond" a line extending the front edge of an enemy unit it in order to hit it in the flank, so sometimes units can prevent (or postpone!) a flank attack by wheeling a bit so the potential charger is no longer "behind their flank"

But that sort of thing (defining when you can launch a flank attack) is pretty standard in many sets of rules, and has nowt to do with skirmishers…anyway, there are millions of other rule sets out there, so I'm sure one will be OK!

Marcus Brutus08 Sep 2016 1:35 p.m. PST

I have no opinion about ADLG and haven't seen it played at any of the conventions in Canada that I attend. I am a big fan of Impetus and play it constantly. Impetus is a game that takes many plays to get the feel for.

Yeah, we tried Impetus. It's pretty messed up. It actually had the characteristic of DBR that made me give up on the DBx system the guy who charges has a big advantage. So really aggressive troops sit outside of charge range for fear of being charged. Combine that with the possibility of double moves and the game is really about working the game mechanics rather than having a battle.

This comment tells me that the player in question doesn't understand Impetus very well and hasn't played it enough times to really grasp the system. When I first started playing Impetus I was totally obsessed with the impetus rating of units. Then the fighting value of the unit. Then the point cost of the unit. It took me a 100 games to realize that it is a game of command demoralization.

stecal Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2016 4:33 p.m. PST

Tried adlg. The rules are ok, but I dislike the cavalry basing compared to the 2-3 ranks of infantry you get. Was mostly turned off by the fact that the same tournament obsessed players who made warrior/dbm/fog unfun all moved to adlg. I went to impetus and hail caesar.

Tarty2Ts08 Sep 2016 5:04 p.m. PST

There has to be something in ADLG as they're gaining a good following Paul…give them a go. Must be ticking quiet a few boxes for many people.

For me I look for a more 'dynamic' experience in my games these are certainly looking back to a more attritional style of play. This suits quiet a few gamers as there's no surprises.

On a personal level I don't like PIP's or CP's (command points)I think they're called in ADLG. That alone is enough to see me off.

dragon6 Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2016 7:40 p.m. PST

I found the rules like a big soft pillow, even with an index I couldn't find things like how many hit points (cohesion?) a unit had. The indexed link just said all units have them. Eventually I found them on a chart.

I can read, and understand(!), barkerese but I just couldn't grasp these even though they are, obviously, a dbx game

Nikator09 Sep 2016 9:29 a.m. PST

Our club plays a lot of ADLG, and has for the last 18 months. It's fun, not particularly fiddly, simple to learn, and gives a nice looking tabletop. In the past, I have preferred bigger games with more pretty toys on the table, but ADLG games are short and fun.

aynsley68309 Sep 2016 2:54 p.m. PST

Dragon remember these were translated from French so may of lost a little in the translation.
I personally like the rules even though they were written by a Frenchmen, which for our American cousins, this is a high compliment coming from an Englishman, which one is.

coopman09 Sep 2016 3:01 p.m. PST

The cohesion points for every unit type are given in the rules on page 20 and on the quick reference sheet. I found these rules to be organized much better than FOG was.
I don't like the "tournament atmosphere" however and will not participate in them.

Snowcat09 Jan 2017 3:52 a.m. PST

Marcus Brutus: "It took me a 100 games to realize that it (Impetus) is a game of command demoralization."

I'm guessing this isn't the case with Basic Impetus 2 though? Because I can't find *anything* in the rules (Basic Impetus 2) that limits a general's activation of his units in his turn. i.e. if he has 8 units, he can move them all in each of his turns – even if he joins a unit to fight (!).

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Jabsen Krause11 Jan 2017 4:51 p.m. PST

Is Basic Impetus 2 current?

Best regards,


Snowcat11 Jan 2017 5:14 p.m. PST




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