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"HFG not forgotten....." Topic


Horse, Foot and Guns

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Comments or corrections?

Aloysius the Gaul25 Mar 2010 8:52 p.m. PST

From Phil Barker on the DBMM list:

2.0 will be finalised before the end of April. I will then try to squeeze in
a draft of Bk.4
First half of May we shall be travelling (Jordan, Egypt, Rhodes, Istanbul).
2nd half I have to work on Sharp End and HFG and finalise Bk.4.

"2.0" and "book 4" are DBMM, "Sharp End" is his new small unit modern rules.

Dale Hurtt25 Mar 2010 9:30 p.m. PST

Great!

11th ACR25 Mar 2010 10:25 p.m. PST

Then 2.1 and 2.2 and all at a nominal fee!

Maybe some day he will be able to put together rules that are understandable.

I just love his use/misuse of the English language.

Sorry its been a long night at work.

Sparker25 Mar 2010 10:32 p.m. PST

I've heard many snipes about 'Barkerese' over the years, but have yet to come across a more clearly written set of rules which seem to combine historical authority with playability than Phil Barker's 'Wargames Rules 1685-1845'.

Just my 2 cents…

Martin Rapier26 Mar 2010 1:54 a.m. PST

Just a shame the direction HFG took, going from DBA 1700-1914 to DBM 1700-1914. The current version is virtually unplayable IMHO.

Jeremy Sutcliffe26 Mar 2010 2:27 a.m. PST

For those who don't know it the link to Barker's site is link

Oh Bugger26 Mar 2010 3:05 a.m. PST

'Maybe some day he will be able to put together rules that are understandable.'

Some people seem to manage to use them and enjoy them. Individual preference really.

I'm not interested in FOG but lots of people are. I don't comment on FOG threads because imho I have nothing useful to add. Then again the authors of FOG don't seem to exert the moth to a flame effect that Phil Barker does. Funny old world innit.

Grizwald26 Mar 2010 3:18 a.m. PST

"I'm not interested in FOG but lots of people are."

Why do you mention FOG?

ashill26 Mar 2010 4:04 a.m. PST

I note what people have said about the use of English in WRG rules over many years and I too have had problems with them from time to time. On the other hand, the service that WRG has provided to me in terms of rule sets, army lists and informative books on ancient and medieval armies far outweighs any problems I've had with the rules. Finally, no one has to buy WRG rules, there are plenty of alternatives.

lkmjbc326 Mar 2010 8:38 a.m. PST

Martin:

I agree. I think Phil made a mistake in going for complication and detail. Better to keep them simple… then, if the market demands… come out with a small scale detailed set designed for each time period.

Joe Collins

kabrank26 Mar 2010 8:59 a.m. PST

There are due to be more period specific sets once HFG is printed

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2010 9:04 a.m. PST

Ditto to Martin and Joe.

Many people were looking for a DBA style post-1700 rule set. Now we have LaSalle, Gunpowder, Republic to Empire, and Napoleon already to cover the that era. Those have much better production values, in that there are diagrams, examples, and even pictures. HFG is tightly written with many clauses per sentence to eliminate or include certain temporal aspects as the game covers 2 centuries.

If the rules were laid out in a more flowing style, perhaps with bullet points and numbered items, with diagrams, charts, and examples (hold the pictures), it might well be an excellent rules set. As it is now, it takes just too much work to pull apart those sentences, to find the very good, underlying game.

Perhaps the final version will benefit from Phil's new partners in the new publishing venture. I hope so.

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER26 Mar 2010 12:23 p.m. PST

about to go into a second edition.

Is that Edition or printing?
Second edition means changes…

Martin Rapier26 Mar 2010 2:08 p.m. PST

"If the rules were laid out in a more flowing style, perhaps with bullet points and numbered items, with diagrams, charts, and examples (hold the pictures), it might well be an excellent rules set. As it is now, it takes just too much work to pull apart those sentences, to find the very good, underlying game."

I think the fundamental game is fine, it has just become so much more complicated. The lists of modifiers make my head hurt. I can't see it being scaled back the elegance of the 1990s versions now though.

I like the 'brilliant general' concept though.

Jeremy Sutcliffe26 Mar 2010 2:52 p.m. PST

If you fnd one of the readbility indices such as Fogg or Fry, and put a few paragraphs of Barker's English through it, it scores at quite a mature complicated level.

This, combined with dense layout and a reliance on text rather than diagrams, makes his work relatively inaccessible. The wargamer must come to Barker.

By and large the current trend is towards simpler readability levels, better on page textual layout and more diagrammatic support. The rule writer is going to the wargamer.

If, as and when Barker moves to publication of HFG, or any other set, he really should consider varying his presentation although I suspect he would eschew the supporting eye candy that is so much an irrelevant feature of many recent publications.

(I think I've just said what Bob and his dog said)

50 Dylan CDs and an Icepick26 Mar 2010 7:12 p.m. PST

I've always marveled at HFG. It runs the gamut from sentences like this:

"A staff, mounted, dismounted or foot element contacted by enemy only on its flank or rear edges (and which is not in an entrenchment or already repulsed or routing), turns immediately to conform to whichever opponent its player prefers, provided all its opponents moved more than 400p in sight this bound or from overlap."

To sentences like this:

"Elements recoiling against occupied entrenchments end beyond. "


I don't think it has much to do with illustrations, or the lack thereof. It has to do with good old Subject-Verb-Object.

Jeremy Sutcliffe27 Mar 2010 8:27 a.m. PST

I put that longer sentence in the first readability test that came up on Google. I've pasted in the result below but essentially it's saying it's harder than a legal document and you'd have to be in the 26th grade to read it. (That's in your 30's isn't it?)

"Result
Method used: Flesch-Kincaid (English).

Flesch-Kincaid Grade level: 26.
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score: 8.

The Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score indicates how easy a text is to read. A high score implies an easy text. In comparison comics typically score around 90 while legalese can get a score below 10.

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade level indicates the grade a person will have to have reached to be able to understand the text. E.g. a grade level of 7 means that a seventh grader will be able to understand the text."

Phillipaj27 Mar 2010 4:53 p.m. PST

I think Phil Barker is the prankster par excellance of gaming world wide.

He writes this way purposely and is having a quiet chuckle over a pint at the mischief he's caused all these years…..

Aloysius the Gaul28 Mar 2010 2:48 p.m. PST

The current version is virtually unplayable IMHO.

And yet apparently people can play it…….

I do wish people who don't like a set of rules would jsut stfu about it instead of feeling they have to try to having to get their poignard into the rib cage….including comments about FoG on this thread – Bleeped text is that about?? (Not FoG – just why mention it??)

evilgong28 Mar 2010 3:49 p.m. PST

Hiya

I think Phil would be well served by taking much of the detail out of HFG and placing it in the projected three sub-sets (which have 2-elements per Btn).

HFG as a game set at something like the DBA or BBDBA scope would interest many people.

regards

David B

Aloysius the Gaul28 Mar 2010 5:52 p.m. PST

I love it.

I've refought Talavera and Friedland at "nominal" scale, and it was perfect – the main aspects of both basttles were reproduced, within hte contstraints of having some luck involved and the losers doing their damndest not to repeat history!! :)

They are not a DBA-esque abstraction – they are for playing battles with forces representing 40-50-60-100,000 men per side. I've never come across another set that can do big battles with such ease.

the 3 lower level sets (if ever released of course) are for the more traditional divisional-corps sized games beloved of those who have collected armies that deal with that type of engagement.

But there's no use complaining that HFG doesn't do it – it's not supposed to, and is never going to.

Connard Sage29 Mar 2010 7:35 a.m. PST

I do wish people who don't like a set of rules would jsut stfu about it instead of feeling they have to try to having to get their poignard into the rib cage…

I guess everyone's entitled to an opinion, and the freedom to express said opinion. Even if it varies from your opinion.

I'm not a fan of DBx and its derivatives and I reserve the right to be able to say so. I don't like Ibanez guitars either, but no-one gives me a hard time on guitar forums for saying so. Try not to be so parochial and narrowly focused, the world will seem a much happier place. :)


I agree with Martin BTW, the first realisation of HFG was quite elegant, but PB just had to go tinkering with it.

Martin Rapier31 Mar 2010 7:42 a.m. PST

"I do wish people who don't like a set of rules would jsut stfu about it instead of feeling they have to try to having to get their poignard into the rib cage…"

It would be a very strange world if we all agreed, and possibly a little dull. I was under the impression that the discussion boards were for, well, discussing things. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I am glad you enjoy playing the current version of HFG, I shall however continue to play the 1999 version which suits me better.

And I'll go on using my 30mm wide bases as well, despite Phils injunction to stick them on bigger ones.

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