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"HFG? Anyone tried them?" Topic

Horse, Foot and Guns

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Jeremy Sutcliffe14 Dec 2006 5:08 p.m. PST

HFG = Horse Foot Guns and is Phil Barker's web published, presumably pilot, rules for wargaming from Malburian to the eve of WW1.

Has anyone ever played them?

They appear to carry the DBM/DBR concepts through into the firearms era.

Do they feel any different from playing DBM/DBR?

Is there enough differentiation between troop types and weaponry to give the feel that an 18thC battle feels like an 18thC and an ACW battle feels like an ACW battle? Or does an ACW battle feel like an 18thC battle and visce versa?

Dave Crowell14 Dec 2006 5:44 p.m. PST

I downloaded them, tried to give them a read through, gave up, and went back to rules written in English.

DBR I gave a pass on as I just couldn't be bothered with rules written in anacronyms.

Tony S15 Dec 2006 4:00 a.m. PST

I've played a few games, and quite enjoyed them. I found them to feel quite different from DBM/DBR. They seemed much cleaner than either of those systems.

The scale took some getting used to. It is huge – you can play Waterloo/Quatre Bras or Gravelotte/St Privat on a table.

However, I've only played Napoleonic games. I did play one SYW battle, but that was ages ago and the rules have changed quite a bit since then. So I'm not sure how different each period "feels". The troop types are quite varied and behave differently in different periods, but as to how that translates into historical "feel" I'm afraid I cannot say.

Other than Napoleonic…and it played very well for that period and for my tastes!

Grizwald15 Dec 2006 4:27 a.m. PST

I've tried it for Napoleonic and ACW. I think it works quite well for Napoleonic and I like the fact that it is possible to do large battles in a reasonable sized area.

I tried it for ACW, doing a game based on Murfreesboro – again seemed to work reasonably well with a more or less historical result. Since then I have decided to use a different set of rules for ACW, but keep HFG for Napoleonic (using 6mm figures).

It will not be to everyone's taste, but if you work at the Barkerese (which is probably not QUITE so bad as some of his other games!) then it gives a pretty good game IMHO.

Martin Rapier15 Dec 2006 5:08 a.m. PST

I've also played it a fair bit, mainly the earlier versions as I don't like the complexities of the later editions.

Managed to do e.g. the paired battle of Waterloo/Wavre comfortably in an evening (makes a more interesting scenario doing both as you don't have to abstract the Prussian/Grouchy's arrival at Waterloo).

bluebmw15 Dec 2006 8:20 a.m. PST

We tried them when they first came out and liked them.

John Armatys15 Dec 2006 3:44 p.m. PST

I was involved in some of the early playtesting a long time ago. I thought that they worked well for Marlburian, Franco Prussian War and Austro Prussian War.

The troop scale can be juggled as necessary – I used to use a base as a brigade for Marlburian and as a regiment for FPW.

Jeremy Sutcliffe15 Dec 2006 4:05 p.m. PST


I must admit to having spent time looking at the army lists (having stuck in lots of carriage returns to make them more comprehensible) and to have worked out some armies.

Its just that my most regular opponent has played his fill of DBM (or so he says) so I don't want to hit him with more of the same when I next host.

JeanLuc17 Dec 2006 6:56 a.m. PST

Well no i ll try them out but Barker rules are usualy written in Cantonese for me, i have some difficulties decifering his rules sets. But i am no fan at all of DBM…

Has any one a link to these rules?

Steve Holmes 1117 Dec 2006 7:47 a.m. PST

Have not played, but read several times.
I feel these push past the point in history where the DBM engine breaks down.

If I had to provide one good reason, it would be the mass of different possible combat outcomes.

To many troop types multiplied by too many possible outcomes renders combinatorial grey goo.

JeanLuc17 Dec 2006 9:36 a.m. PST

ok,i found the rules

not for me no i agree with steve holmes

Jeremy Sutcliffe17 Dec 2006 9:48 a.m. PST

Barker's rules can be accessed on his site at link

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP17 Dec 2006 6:54 p.m. PST

I play DBA and read a copy of the rules. I do like the scale but it doesn't seem to capture a lot of interest with friends. I guess its because of rule saturation in the Nappy era, my first preference.

It makes me hesitate because it requires a basing commitment.

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