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"Rules Read-Through: About Bonaparte" Topic

About Bonaparte

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Dale Hurtt25 Nov 2016 5:43 p.m. PST

Not quite a review – I don't like making a formal review (anymore) without trying the rules without a game or three first – but I could not help but comment after buying and reading these rules.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

I have to say, though, is that it does combine rule mechanics from some of my favorite games! :)


arthur181526 Nov 2016 1:10 p.m. PST

Dale, thank you for a very detailed and thoughtful review. I had read the author's article in the latest Miniature Wargames and was somewhat tempted to purchase a copy. You've saved me £16.00 GBP – thanks again!

I have, however, downloaded the QRS from the author's website address in MW, which should enable me to tinker to my heart's content…

Dale Hurtt26 Nov 2016 4:17 p.m. PST

Hmmmm. I am not sure how I feel about that. Kind of bad on one hand, but glad to help someone on the other. What specifically helped you decide it was not for you?

I, on the other hand, read what you just wrote and rushed out to buy the magazine to see what THEY said about the rules! :^D

It is ironic that they have a Command & Colors: Napoleonics article in the same issue.


vtsaogames26 Nov 2016 7:30 p.m. PST

Your review has got me thinking of taking ideas and doing my own version with miniatures on my 13 X 9 hex mat.

Dale Hurtt26 Nov 2016 10:00 p.m. PST

As it turns out the author of the article is the author of the rules and the article is ripped straight out of the Forward in his book. Holy crap! There is even the same misspelling in the article!

@Vtsao: I was thinking the same thing.

arthur181528 Nov 2016 4:46 a.m. PST

Dale, I'm very sorry you bought MW under a misapprehension that there was an objective review of About Bonaparte. In my post I did say it was 'the author's article'…

Your review – and my own reading of the MW article – indicated AB was simply a reworking of Commands & Colors mechanisms, and your references to additional layers of complexity, coupled with my own disappointment with the article, was sufficient to put me off buying the book.

I have previously been disappointed by Caliver's Tin Soldiers rulebook (translated very poorly from German}and was disinclined to risk my cash again. I've reached the conclusion that, for the not-too-serious toy soldier games I want to play in my retirement, there are plenty of freely available rules (such as Bob Cordery's and Ross Macfarlane's) that I can easily tweak to serve my own ends, without investing in expensive rulebbooks.

Dale Hurtt28 Nov 2016 6:51 a.m. PST

@Arthur: I am not blaming you, nor am I sorry for the purchase. I would have purchased the issue for the article on C&C Napoleonics team play alone. Also, there is a sale going on and it was 99 cents (or pence, I can't remember). I was just remarking that the "article" was pulled straight from the rules and MW does not even seem to have edited it, so that shows me they knew the source.

I read the TMP thread about your disappointment with Tin Soldiers in Action yesterday. I am currently going through a test game and loving it. A review will appear on the blog soon. I have only found a few instances of strained wording in the rules section, but have not read the extensive material in the rest of the book. The only unusual thing is the use of a comma for a decimal point, but that is prevalent in Germany, so to be expected.

I am curious if you found the rules unplayable, not to your liking, or simply not clear. Might be good input for my blog article.

arthur181529 Nov 2016 2:26 a.m. PST

Dale, I found Tin Soldiers in Action difficult to read, and struggled to get a sense of how the rules worked, probably due to the poor translation and the way the rules were presented.

I had hoped for a book that had the charm of Wells' Little Wars, Young and Lawford's Charge!or Grant's The War Game. It had no such charm for me, so I confess I did not persevere with the rules as I should have done – but then, why bother when Bob Cordery and Russ Macfarlane express themselves more clearly and concisely? Life's too short..

I shall read your account and review with great interest; I'm sure I will then have a much better understanding of the rules, though I'm not sure if I would actually use them.

I love your wooden soldiers!

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