Monday, 4 June 2012

Glossy glossy glossy

This is my collection of "glossy" rules. Actually I arranged them in order of favorites. I have several other but these are the "new wave" of glossy rules recently published. Perhaps catered towards me and my generation that was raised with a warhammer army on the book self and an army codex in our backpack.

1. General de Brigade.These are my favorite set of rules and our small group of players all like them. I bought the 2ed softback when I and my main opponent Erik decided to get a few boxes of 28mm plastic miniatures. We actually had a few games with Le feu Sacre before that with my collection of 1:72 miniatures about three years ago, but when we saw the new sets from Perry Miniatures and Victrix we dove in, and General de Brigade was the first set that came to mind when I went looking for a 1:20 "big battalion" set of rules.
Lately I have had an urge to play bigger battles and I somehow felt that we needed a simpler and faster set of rules. However now having tested Black Powder the other week I can't see us moving form GdeB, it's simply the rules we associate with the period.
Erik just bought a copy of his own and he is better then me at me when it comes to reading and remembering rules, so that has really brought up the pace we play.

2. Black Powder. A short and fun read. We played them once. I didn't have any particular gripe with them. My opponent found it a bit frustrating to learn a new set of rules. I can see a use for these rules when running a large multi player game. I will definitely buy any napoleonic supplements if published.

3. Lasalle. A really clean and well thought through set of rules. I like a lot of the concepts in this book, the army builder and no casualty removal amongst them. But I don't get why skirmishers is abstracted in a tactical game, and why units is restricted to four or six bases big, why not five? I wouldn't mind playing Lasalle, it's just that we already have a rules set that we like for this type of game, and why fix something that's not broken. I tried these in a solo game and had no trouble with them.

4. Warhammer Waterloo. I really wanted to like this book, and I did, until I tried to set up a game. There is so many weird rules, guess-range artillery, 4" infantry movement, 18" musketry range, a light infantry company can only take four hits while line infantry can take six? To bad, when I brought these to the club I really felt like there was an opportunity to bring a few of my warhammer buddies into napoleonics, familiar with the points build approach.

5. Napoleon.
I bought these for the eye candy and because they seemed like a set of rules a newbie could pick up and get into napoleonics with. The eye candy wasn't that good, have not read the rules. Browsing the Internet for reviews it seems like I shouldn't anyway.


  1. Thanks for your overview of your fave rules. I am going to get a set of GdB!

  2. Yes, I have all 5 myself. I have not played Napoleon (never will). I have yet to play GdeB, I have had a flick through, still just not sure. Lasalle is a great set, but am less interested for the exact reason that you state. I think this is why I like BP, and why I am eagerly waiting their supplement. I actually liked very much how you set up your forces in Waterloo, but the lack of support really killed it for me. I actually liked the artillery mechanism (I have none of the Warhammer biases, as I have never played). One ruleset you did not mention is Field of Battle, great card driven mechanism, but that plague Lasalle for me affect FoB. I really like a set that you can play asymmetric battles with (La Haie Sainte), and details skirmishers etc. So I think that BP or GdB are the only sets in your list that would work for me. I suppose where I started with BP, I am less interested in GdB, as I have what I want.

  3. John, as I understand it we are basically at the same point but we reached it from different approaches.
    Regarding Warhammer bias have nothing against it, almost all my friends play warhammer, and I used to also. I found the guess range cumbersome then, and still do.
    I really think you should GdeB a go :) For lack of better words I would describe it more as a "old school" set of rules compared to the others in the pile. Almost like a son of In the Grand Manner (I have a copy of that to). With no "gimmicky" rules to rely on it plays as well fielding brigade as fielding a corps.
    However playing solo BP's command rolls might give you that uncertainty and friction you might look for in a solo game. GdeB is by far the more detailed of the two, for good and for worse.

  4. Thanks for the quick overview. I have pretty much the same list, but haven't picked up the latest edition of GdB yet. My thoughts are very similar to John's. BP is more familiar to me from playing Warmaster and is probably the easiest to rule set to get my friends excited about playing.

    The fact that the game moves quick and the rules work nicely with bigger multiplayer games is also a plus. The fact that I can use the same basic rules plus the appropriate supplement (waiting to see how those turn out as well) for Nappies, SYW, or ACW is also a plus for my future plans.

    I think the Waterloo book is great for giving to someone you hope to get interested in the period as everything is in there including a quick and dirty history for newbs. I think the Warhammer label some give it is misleading as I recognize more elements of GW's War of the Ring game in the book. Even if it were my rules of choice, the lack of any future support is also a killer. Although I won't be using these rules, I'll definitely borrow some ideas from it.

    Down the road when I get a more solid foundation in 28mm Napoleonics I hope to find at least someone to play some more "serious" games using GdB, but right now I'm concentrating on the visuals and the fun.